Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Oct 2012 12:14 UTC
Windows After yesterday's TV advertisement, Microsoft finally unveiled the pricing for its Surface tablet - the ARM Windows RT version that is. The cheapest Surface - 32GB without touch cover - will set you back $499. They're aiming straight for iPad pricing here, ignoring the popular cheaper Android offerings. Update: only available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. As usual.
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You don't understand Microsoft's monopoly. You don't understand the scam they sell to the public with the help of their oem partners. The pre-build desktops that you see in retail stores (HP, Toshiba, etc) are practically crippleware because the hardware only responds to Windows, what's worse is some cases it only responds to that licensed version of Windows. Meaning that if you reformat your HP/Dell/Sony desktop it will be already be crippled. Please don't tell me that consumers are getting a bargain buying some desktop at walmart, because you and I know that is corrupt business practices. That's just MS and their oem partners getting a quick buck and that is the truth.

Microsoft is a monopoly not because of their market-share or through the oem deals. Microsoft is a monopoly because of the copyright laws in software.

The copyright laws in software prevents any modification and redistribution of Windows. For example mac os x is made up of parts of bsd. Let's say a linux vendor decides to mix the nt kernel with linux, they would be in violation of a copyright law. If I were to fork windows and make it open source I would go to jail. In the foss world you see forks all the time of linux and bsd. Why can't a software vendor fork windows or use parts of windows, especially since it's practically used everywhere?

So it is the copyright and patent laws that allow microsoft to standardize the desktop market in their favor. Because they have the market-share that attracts developers and hardware manufacturers (this is known as the network effect) the consumers only have one choice if they want to get video game compatibility or if they want to get a certain hardware working, because the other operating systems don't have that support. This is called vendor-lock in because consumers have to use windows in order to get something done.

If the copyright laws did not exist in software, or if it was legal to modify and redistribute windows, this **** wouldn't happen. But copyright and patent laws do exist. I mean it is a crime to copy "the look and feel" of apple products. We all know that apple's litigation history is infamous. Can you imagine what would happen if some competitor use parts parts of the windows source code?

You can believe all you want that there is actually a choice in the operating systems we choose. There is no choice especially for the average consumers, it's only Windows.

Edited 2012-10-18 00:24 UTC

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