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Is Apple more monopolistic than Microsoft?





Hogwarts
I've been thinking about this for the past week or two, and this thought has been growing on me, but is it fair to consider Apple a greater monopoly than Microsoft?

A monopoly is a company that holds more than 25% market share in an industry. Sure, that means Microsoft is a monopoly in office software and operating systems. But is that really the case? There are free alternatives, Microsoft doesn't have the power to exercise a substantial control in the industry, lest they be usurped by Apple and free alternatives.

Apple, on the other hand, is a different story. For many of their products, they hold a perfect monopoly upon many of the accompanying goods. An example?
  • iPhone apps. Is it possible to buy these from an external source? Only if you jailbreak your phone, which.. you shouldn't really need to. Compare this to Microsoft Windows Mobile, and Apple is definitely the more monopolistic company in this sector. In addition, Apple charges a 30% levy upon all apps sold on their marketplace, which is just an example of the power they exercise over iPhone app developers.
  • iPod songs. Is it possible to put songs you don't buy from the an Apple iPod? Probably. Does Apple make that easy, or support it? Definitely not. They've been advocating DRM for ages, and have only recently removed it from the songs they sell.
  • Macware. Apple limits the hardware that Mac OS can be run upon, it being a direct violation of their EULA to run it on any third-party hardware. Even Microsoft has not done such a monopolistic act, effectively creating another perfect monopoly over which Apple retains full control.

Now, I could continue to list reasons why Apple seams to be more monopolistic, but is it really fair to say that Microsoft is still more monopolistic than Apple? Does it mean that the "Monopoly" branding can only be extended to a company which has such a large share of a non-sub-market? Would it mean that Microsoft isn't a monopoly if it only had a 15% marketshare in the OS industry, but only allowed you to install programs on your computer which had been sold through the "Windows Marketplace'?
deanhills
MS Office is the common standard for business software. Any of the normal businesses in the world, as well as Government, Semi Government and Education, work with MS Office. When Gates changed the way we were used to MS Office by adding the ribbon etc. everyone was forced to take courses, etc. etc. I would say MS Office has a total monopoly on the standard core business software. It also has the monopoly of Explorer software. All new computers come with Vista or Windows Xpress, and it has now become so monopolistic that there is even software to track the license of these software packages.

Individual geeks can work there way out of this, but on an individual basis. If you are working for the Government or do business with big corporations, you have to have MS Office software on your computer.

Apple is very individualist about its identity. Once you own an Apple product you can only use Apple compatible accessories. That is a choice. It does not make them monopolistic. Compare this with Sony and Sony cameras operating their best with Sony batteries.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
Apple is very individualist about its identity. Once you own an Apple product you can only use Apple compatible accessories. That is a choice. It does not make them monopolistic. Compare this with Sony and Sony cameras operating their best with Sony batteries.


Wait. What?

You're saying that Apple isn't acting monopolistic? Nearly all of what Apple does, in some way, is the behavior you would expect from a monopoly. Microsoft, on the other hand, is much more open. Sure, one can agree that most new computers come with Windows, but even then there are alternatives that people choose not to use -- just because their tastes prefer Windows, as they're more used to it. Conversely, Apple Mac OS comes on Apple hardware limiting you to Apple peripherals and, on occasion, forcing you completely to use only Apple software.

Isn't it also arguable that big businesses and the Government use Microsoft Windows because they've chosen to do so? There are significant alternatives to MS Windows, with lots of big businesses even using Linux servers. It may be because Windows is simply more usable by people without significant computer experience. Does that make it more monopolistic than Apple, however? Sure, Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer come bundled with the OS, but as most people already know, they're pretty much replaceable. I've previously never had any significant qualms with Windows Explorer anyway. Also, you could argue that Nautilus in Gnome or "Finder" on Mac OS is just as bad as explorer. Microsoft has very few traits evident of being a monopoly in comparison to Apple.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
Microsoft, on the other hand, is much more open.
You have to be joking Hogwarts. Did any of us have a choice when Microsoft came out with its latest MS-Office 2007? Even when it was a complete deterioration from the previous version? Just for the sake of making money? And do we have a choice in accepting new operating software, i.e. Vista for example, when it was also not tried and proven yet, and for some who had been forced to take it (Laptops were forced to only use Vista) that is daylight monopoly. OK we can choose to have different operating software systems, but who have the time to completely get rid of Vista (with the ramifications) and then load on different operating software with learning curves?

Hogwarts wrote:
Isn't it also arguable that big businesses and the Government use Microsoft Windows because they've chosen to do so?
No. they had no real choice in this. If they should change completely at this stage of the game (and I truly hope that that can be economically feasible for the future) it would mean a total overhaul of their systems. We had a little taste of that at one time when we had both Windows 2000 and XP at the same time. Microsoft has created its own monopoly and Government and big business are still in its power. So are little people like me, as naturally the systems I have at home have to be compatible with what I have at work. Some have Apple at home, with excruciating headaches. It is a much better system than Microsoft compatible systems, but very very different.
lagoon
Most of the songs on my iPod weren't bought from iTunes. Its pretty easy.
LumberJack
Apple is indeed much more anti-competitive than Microsoft. That is why I don't own any apple products. Yes, Microsoft is dominating with their Office and Windows products. However, apple is seen as the only viable competitor. It has the luxury of being more anti-competitive because it currently is not the top dog.

I don't like the way Apple conducts business. Their products are locked down, hard to customize with non-apple products, and just generally engineered so you can only use apple products on apple stuff, and there is no generic competition. So, Apple is and always will be a non-issue for me.
deanhills
LumberJack wrote:
Apple is indeed much more anti-competitive than Microsoft. That is why I don't own any apple products. Yes, Microsoft is dominating with their Office and Windows products. However, apple is seen as the only viable competitor. It has the luxury of being more anti-competitive because it currently is not the top dog.

I don't like the way Apple conducts business. Their products are locked down, hard to customize with non-apple products, and just generally engineered so you can only use apple products on apple stuff, and there is no generic competition. So, Apple is and always will be a non-issue for me.
I don't own any Apple products, but some of my friends do, and as far as I can gather Apple products are much superior to Microsoft products. I think that is the only reason why Apple is still in existence. Because of its specialist products and because it does do a lot of things better than Microsoft. Microsoft is a much more aggressive competitor than Apple has been. Still is. But it is almost like the victim of a life-long abuser. We have become so much used to being abused by Microsoft, it is so much part of our lives, we don't even recognize the abuse any more. Smile
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
I don't own any Apple products, but some of my friends do, and as far as I can gather Apple products are much superior to Microsoft products.


The only real comparisons you can make there are the Zune and Windows (+Mobile). The Zune has been accepted by some to be superior, and by many to be equivalent (despite having more features) than the iPod. Personally, I think Windows is better then Mac OS. Why? Because Microsoft wasn't tight enough to limit their OS to their own hardware. I'd prefer a magnesium alloy/carbon fiber Thinkpad over a stupidly priced, good looking and flimsy Macbook.

deanhills wrote:
Microsoft is a much more aggressive competitor than Apple has been.

No, you're kidding. Who was the first to start the "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" propaganda? Ohhhh. Wasn't that.. uh.. Microsoft? Yeah, Microsoft went and started spreading propaganda about "PC"s (despite, ironically, Macs being simply glorified fisher-price PCs) Rolling Eyes

Also, some people prefer Vista to XP. People are allowed to do that, and Windows 7 hardly looks like "abuse" to me, given the numbers of XP and Vista users alike participating in the beta.

LumberJack wrote:
Apple is indeed much more anti-competitive than Microsoft. That is why I don't own any apple products. Yes, Microsoft is dominating with their Office and Windows products. However, apple is seen as the only viable competitor. It has the luxury of being more anti-competitive because it currently is not the top dog.

I don't like the way Apple conducts business. Their products are locked down, hard to customize with non-apple products, and just generally engineered so you can only use apple products on apple stuff, and there is no generic competition. So, Apple is and always will be a non-issue for me.


I agree wholeheartedly with LumberJack here.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
The only real comparisons you can make there are the Zune and Windows (+Mobile). The Zune has been accepted by some to be superior, and by many to be equivalent (despite having more features) than the iPod. Personally, I think Windows is better then Mac OS. Why? Because Microsoft wasn't tight enough to limit their OS to their own hardware. I'd prefer a magnesium alloy/carbon fiber Thinkpad over a stupidly priced, good looking and flimsy Macbook.

If this is true, Apple would not have been in existence any longer. Apple's existence and survival as a product depends on being different and unique to that which Microsoft offers. Perhaps your opinion is one of personal preference? If the majority felt the same, then Apple would no longer be viable and would have to go bust?

Hogwarts wrote:
No, you're kidding. Who was the first to start the "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" propaganda? Ohhhh. Wasn't that.. uh.. Microsoft? Yeah, Microsoft went and started spreading propaganda about "PC"s (despite, ironically, Macs being simply glorified fisher-price PCs) Rolling Eyes

Also, some people prefer Vista to XP. People are allowed to do that, and Windows 7 hardly looks like "abuse" to me, given the numbers of XP and Vista users alike participating in the beta.
Right, Apple was first. And then Microsoft took over. For a while Apple almost vanished from the scene until Jobs returned as CEO of the company. When Microsoft started it went all out in battle to dominate the market. And it was successful at it for most of the time, battling out charges in courts for being monopolistic etc including Court Ruling in 1999:
Quote:
Most harmful of all is the message that Microsoft's actions have conveyed to every enterprise with the potential to innovate in the computer industry. Through its conduct toward Netscape, IBM, Compaq, Intel, and others, Microsoft has demonstrated that it will use its prodigious market power and immense profits to harm any firm that insists on pursuing initiatives that could intensify competition against one of Microsoft's core products. Microsoft's past success in hurting such companies and stifling innovation deters investment in technologies and businesses that exhibit the potential to threaten Microsoft. The ultimate result is that some innovations that would truly benefit consumers never occur for the sole reason that they do not coincide with Microsoft's self-interest less direct, but nevertheless serious and far-reaching, consumer harm by distorting competition

http://www.thisnation.com/library/ms-findings.html

Also recently an article in PCWorld: "Microsoft Faces New Monopoly Charges in Europe"
Quote:
Microsoft was formally charged with monopoly abuse by Europe's top antitrust authority, the European Commission, over the way it bundles the Internet Explorer browser with Windows.

The move follows an unsuccessful attempt by U.S. authorities nine years ago to strip Internet Explorer (IE) of its unfair advantage over competing browsers. European authorities were more successful in their prosecution of Microsoft over similar antitrust offenses five years ago, fining the company over US$1 billion and ordering it to change the way it does business.


Read more on the new monopoly charges: http://www.pcworld.com/article/157901/microsoft_monopoly.html?tk=rss_news
Hogwarts
Quote:
If this is true, Apple would not have been in existence any longer. Apple's existence and survival as a product depends on being different and unique to that which Microsoft offers. Perhaps your opinion is one of personal preference? If the majority felt the same, then Apple would no longer be viable and would have to go bust?


As proven by human stupidity, many people will buy something simply because it either looks good or is expensive.

Also, the point of this topic isn't about 1999, it's about today, and now. Microsoft has a stance where they allow people to install their own applications on a Windows Mobile device, whilst Apple limits everything in their own way? Microsoft bundled it's own software with its own software? Outrageous! No, seriously. Apple has been long bundling iTunes with Quicktime, for a proprietary format, simply to capitalize on that stupid format. Microsoft doesn't profit from bundling internet explorer, and I support IE being further developed. Why? I'd prefer a market where there were more apps than Firefox, lest Firefox becomes the monopoly.

And that PCWorld article is stupid. Microsoft should be well within their right to distribute Internet Explorer with Windows. I mean, they don't even make a cent out of it. If that was the case, too, I would hope that Apple was forced to stop distributing Safari with Mac OS X and likewise for unix-based operating systems. But, no, Microsoft is bigger, and thus they're the only OS-developer who can do wrong.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
Quote:
If this is true, Apple would not have been in existence any longer. Apple's existence and survival as a product depends on being different and unique to that which Microsoft offers. Perhaps your opinion is one of personal preference? If the majority felt the same, then Apple would no longer be viable and would have to go bust?


As proven by human stupidity, many people will buy something simply because it either looks good or is expensive.

Also, the point of this topic isn't about 1999, it's about today, and now. Microsoft has a stance where they allow people to install their own applications on a Windows Mobile device, whilst Apple limits everything in their own way? Microsoft bundled it's own software with its own software? Outrageous! No, seriously. Apple has been long bundling iTunes with Quicktime, for a proprietary format, simply to capitalize on that stupid format. Microsoft doesn't profit from bundling internet explorer, and I support IE being further developed. Why? I'd prefer a market where there were more apps than Firefox, lest Firefox becomes the monopoly.

And that PCWorld article is stupid. Microsoft should be well within their right to distribute Internet Explorer with Windows. I mean, they don't even make a cent out of it. If that was the case, too, I would hope that Apple was forced to stop distributing Safari with Mac OS X and likewise for unix-based operating systems. But, no, Microsoft is bigger, and thus they're the only OS-developer who can do wrong.
I believe it is completely wrong for one company to dominate operating software to the tune of 90% of the world market. Something has to be wrong about that. They also did not get there with twiddling their thumbs either. I did not have time to dig up more articles, I am convinced there are many more. When someone starts something good, Microsoft either buys them out and folds them, or take that idea and market it. I am convinced if we move to Seattle tomorrow and spend a few weeks with Microsoft HQ that we will see things the way they are.

If I could find alternative software to the MS-Office, I would grab it with many hands. But why do we only have MS-Office? Why is the whole of the world using MS-Office as the standard office software? Why can't it be 40% and other software companies have 20% or 30%? That already says something for me right there. I believe that Word 2007 from Word 2003 was a 100% deterioration. Mailmerge is a small example, it was so much more efficient in MS-Word 2000 than MS-Word 2003, and now in the Ribbon MS-Word 2007 a disaster. This is just one example. When we changed to MS-Word 2007, it took me double the time to sort things out as Microsoft had complete re-engineered the software. And they could do that, as they are the leaders with MS-Office. They have the monopoly of the market.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
If I could find alternative software to the MS-Office, I would grab it with many hands. But why do we only have MS-Office? Why is the whole of the world using MS-Office as the standard office software? Why can't it be 40% and other software companies have 20% or 30%? That already says something for me right there. I believe that Word 2007 from Word 2003 was a 100% deterioration. Mailmerge is a small example, it was so much more efficient in MS-Word 2000 than MS-Word 2003, and now in the Ribbon MS-Word 2007 a disaster. This is just one example. When we changed to MS-Word 2007, it took me double the time to sort things out as Microsoft had complete re-engineered the software. And they could do that, as they are the leaders with MS-Office. They have the monopoly of the market.


The question isn't about if they have a monopoly on the market, it is about if Apple is more monopolistic than Microsoft.

You weren't forced to upgrade to MS Word 2007, and you weren't forced not to use Open Office. If the company you work for decided to upgrade them, then that's still not Microsoft's fault. If people's tastes want MS Office, because it's proven to be good software, then people will buy MS Office. I personally believe the ribbon is a nice innovation, something original. Sure, you might not be used to it, but the same goes for the Frihost index page -- you will become more used to it in time. The ribbon is already being used in lots of non-Microsoft software, so I can't see why that's bad except from the super-conservative viewpoint. In addition, I think the right click menu in Office 2007 is an excellent innovation. It's more functional, and yet retains simplicity to use.

deanhills wrote:
I believe it is completely wrong for one company to dominate operating software to the tune of 90% of the world market.

And I believe it's even more wrong to market overpriced toys (iPhones) and then limit the software on them to that which you allow on them; filtering and screening them to make sure they don't oppose any of your monopolistic policies.
Arnie
Deanhills, it is high time you start speaking for yourself only instead of groups that you do not represent.
deanhills wrote:
If you are working for the Government or do business with big corporations, you have to have MS Office software on your computer.
deanhills wrote:
Did any of us have a choice when Microsoft came out with its latest MS-Office 2007? Even when it was a complete deterioration from the previous version? Just for the sake of making money? And do we have a choice in accepting new operating software, i.e. Vista for example, when it was also not tried and proven yet, and for some who had been forced to take it (Laptops were forced to only use Vista) that is daylight monopoly. OK we can choose to have different operating software systems, but who have the time to completely get rid of Vista (with the ramifications) and then load on different operating software with learning curves?
deanhills wrote:
But it is almost like the victim of a life-long abuser. We have become so much used to being abused by Microsoft, it is so much part of our lives, we don't even recognize the abuse any more. Smile
deanhills wrote:
But why do we only have MS-Office? Why is the whole of the world using MS-Office as the standard office software?
There are plenty people who are doing fine with OpenOffice.org for example, also in government organisations. Just because you don't know them doesn't mean that they don't exist so you can start a rant that 'we are all forced to use MS Office'. There are also plenty people who have or take the time to install a different OS on their computer, plenty people who would be offended when you call them victims of abuse by MS, plenty of research groups at universities that I know that will disagree when you say "the whole world" is using MS-Office as a standard.
deanhills
Arnie wrote:
There are plenty people who are doing fine with OpenOffice.org for example, also in government organisations. Just because you don't know them doesn't mean that they don't exist so you can start a rant that 'we are all forced to use MS Office'. There are also plenty people who have or take the time to install a different OS on their computer, plenty people who would be offended when you call them victims of abuse by MS, plenty of research groups at universities that I know that will disagree when you say "the whole world" is using MS-Office as a standard.
We are forced to use MS Office, and a cheap software package like OpenOffice is cheap. It is not a feasible or viable alternative. It can only exist because it is cheap and free. And guaranteed if it should become a serious contender, it would immediately be bought out by MS-Office. But is not even near a serious contender. I tried it out. It is not a viable alternative for professional use.

This is the current stats for Microsoft domination of the world operating software market:

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=8

I came across an objective review of Open Office from the point of view of politics at Sun, delaying its progress. I sincerely hope someone like IBM or Novell with financial power can come up with viable competition.
http://www.itpro.co.uk/610553/ibm-sun-and-openoffice-org
Arnie
Quote:
We are forced to use MS Office, and a cheap software package like OpenOffice is cheap. It is not a feasible or viable alternative. It can only exist because it is cheap and free.
Deanhills, it is now really, really high time you start speaking for yourself only.
deanhills
Arnie wrote:
Quote:
We are forced to use MS Office, and a cheap software package like OpenOffice is cheap. It is not a feasible or viable alternative. It can only exist because it is cheap and free.
Deanhills, it is now really, really high time you start speaking for yourself only.
Perhaps you need to read my postings Arnie as I made very specific and very definite comments of my own in this thread - did you read them? I tried to find factual evidence to support my statements tonight when I was at home as Hogwarts at one point thought that one of my references was dated. It took quite a lot of effort and hard work to do that. I regret that you did not find anything of value in it. Hopefully there may be other Frihosters who will as it is an interesting topic. Thanks to Hogwarts who started the thread as I learned a lot and found the debate very interesting.
Arnie
How can you prove a statement such as the one I quoted in my last post, when you haven't even defined who this "we" you're talking about is? If by "we" you mean everyone, then I only have to give one counter example to prove your entire argument wrong. And believe me, OpenOffice.org is a "feasible or viable alternative" for many people. What you're doing has nothing to do with factual evidence or even logical reasoning: just because you haven't seen a black sheep in Ireland doesn't mean there are no black sheep there.
deanhills
Arnie wrote:
How can you prove a statement such as the one I quoted in my last post, when you haven't even defined who this "we" you're talking about is? If by "we" you mean everyone, then I only have to give one counter example to prove your entire argument wrong. And believe me, OpenOffice.org is a "feasible or viable alternative" for many people. What you're doing has nothing to do with factual evidence or even logical reasoning: just because you haven't seen a black sheep in Ireland doesn't mean there are no black sheep there.
You most certainly did not ask me to define "we" the first time when you quoted my statement. Instead, this was the sarcastic comment I received:
[quote="Arnie"]Deanhills, it is now really, really high time you start speaking for yourself only.


"We" are the people who are using Microsoft Office, quite a significant number of us. I tried to get some statistics up to back up my facts, but you obviously did not read any of the quoted articles, otherwise you would not have asked me to define "we".

OK now that we are into proving things, can you please define "many people" in:
Arnie wrote:
OpenOffice.org is a "feasible or viable alternative" for many people
Who are the "many people" using OpenOffice? What is their percentage of market share?
deanhills
deanhills wrote:
Arnie wrote:
How can you prove a statement such as the one I quoted in my last post, when you haven't even defined who this "we" you're talking about is? If by "we" you mean everyone, then I only have to give one counter example to prove your entire argument wrong. And believe me, OpenOffice.org is a "feasible or viable alternative" for many people. What you're doing has nothing to do with factual evidence or even logical reasoning: just because you haven't seen a black sheep in Ireland doesn't mean there are no black sheep there.
You most certainly did not ask me to define "we" the first time when you quoted my statement. Instead, this was the sarcastic comment I received:
Arnie wrote:
Deanhills, it is now really, really high time you start speaking for yourself only.



"We" are the people who are using Microsoft Office, quite a significant number of us. I tried to get some statistics up to back up my facts, but you obviously did not read any of the quoted articles, otherwise you would not have asked me to define "we".

OK now that we are into proving things, can you please define "many people" in:
Arnie wrote:
OpenOffice.org is a "feasible or viable alternative" for many people
Who are the "many people" using OpenOffice?
Arnie
You mean to participate in this discussion one should have read this TL;DR story? You must have been thinking, "nobody is going to do that so I win by default!"

I'm not asking you for statistics by the way. But
Quote:
OpenOffice.org 3.0 was downloaded 3 million times in its first week, with about 80% of the downloads by Windows users.


The reason I don't care too much about statistics here is because you're going to say "they were only trying it and not doing anything useful". Well, I know entire university groups that use Linux and OpenOffice.org for their work, although for high-quality documents I think they use TeX, which can still be considered another alternative to MS Office more suitable for formatting scientific documents.

Back to my actual point, after substitution of your definition of "we"...
Quote:
the people who are using Microsoft Office are forced to use MS Office
Wow, you are acquainted with all users of MS Office, quite a significant number. I'm impressed! Even more surprisingly, they all chose you as their representative!
deanhills
Arnie wrote:
Back to my actual point, after substitution of your definition of "we"...
Quote:
the people who are using Microsoft Office are forced to use MS Office
Wow, you are acquainted with all users of MS Office, quite a significant number. I'm impressed! Even more surprisingly, they all chose you as their representative!
I also saw your stats Arnie and yes, my response is exactly as you predicted it to be. I am a 100% user of Microsoft Office products, meaning I use them in an intense way. I'm not the only person like that. We need to do fancy reports and presentations in record time where everything is integrated and personally feel there is a lot that Microsoft can do to improve its software. All of us (the majority of Office software users) would embrace better alternatives. I was really happy to hear about OpenOffice and tried it out, and I'm afraid it does not come close. I wish it did. If you do research you will find comment like mine here by other serious Microsoft office users who tried the same. Fact of the matter is that much more will have to be invested in OpenOffice before it can really compete with Microsoft Office in the serious Office Software users market. Perhaps it will one day as obviously all those downloads of OpenOffice software must send a very clear message to Microsoft, as well as competitors of Microsoft Office products.

By the way OpenOffice is hoping to reach 24% of the market. It is working towards that. I hope it will reach that. The more competition it gives Microsoft, the better for users of Microsoft Office products, like me.
Arnie
You say you need to do fancy reports and presentations in record time - do you think top researchers at universities have all the time of the world? When they don't hurry with a publication, some Chinese group with massive state-funded research power (much more laborants than here to do the dirty work) beats them to it and they're simply too late. These people don't have grades at stake, but funding of their research, which ultimately means their job! Still I see them preferring Linux and OpenOffice.org over the Microsoft products. I myself am included by the way, although I'm still a student who only occasionally works in research groups. All my reports are written in OpenOffice.org, and they're not just text with some occasional bold and italics formatting...

Quote:
If you do research you will find comment like mine here by other serious Microsoft office users who tried the same.
One day I went out to the fields and I saw 50 white sheep. Does this mean there are no black sheep in the world? Perhaps the problem isn't that OpenOffice.org is an inferior product, perhaps the people who are still using MS Office are "incompatible" with it. How else would you explain that there are plenty people who are productively using OOo? That's why I started by saying you should speak for yourself only.

Back to the actual original topic, you're not forced to use MS Office or Windows. Perhaps you just like them better, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
Arnie wrote:
Back to my actual point, after substitution of your definition of "we"...
Quote:
the people who are using Microsoft Office are forced to use MS Office
Wow, you are acquainted with all users of MS Office, quite a significant number. I'm impressed! Even more surprisingly, they all chose you as their representative!
I also saw your stats Arnie and yes, my response is exactly as you predicted it to be. I am a 100% user of Microsoft Office products, meaning I use them in an intense way. I'm not the only person like that. We need to do fancy reports and presentations in record time where everything is integrated and personally feel there is a lot that Microsoft can do to improve its software. All of us (the majority of Office software users) would embrace better alternatives. I was really happy to hear about OpenOffice and tried it out, and I'm afraid it does not come close. I wish it did. If you do research you will find comment like mine here by other serious Microsoft office users who tried the same. Fact of the matter is that much more will have to be invested in OpenOffice before it can really compete with Microsoft Office in the serious Office Software users market. Perhaps it will one day as obviously all those downloads of OpenOffice software must send a very clear message to Microsoft, as well as competitors of Microsoft Office products.

By the way OpenOffice is hoping to reach 24% of the market. It is working towards that. I hope it will reach that. The more competition it gives Microsoft, the better for users of Microsoft Office products, like me.


I'd have to say you're being a bit of a hypocrite. Sure, you would "embrace better alternatives". Hell, I'd switch brand of favorite chocolate if there was a better alternative. That comment, effectively, means absoloutely nothing. Assuming that the majority of users are using Microsoft because it's the best option available, how is that monopolistic? Yes, they have a monopoly on the market, but they must constantly keep improving MS Office to maintain that market share. Just because you dislike the dynamic ribbon does not mean that it's a bad thing. That's simply because you're being over-conservative. Me? I think that MS Office 2007 is vastly superior to Office 2003. Why? You can do so much more, have it better looking, and do it in the same amount of time as it would take in Office 2003. Now, you can argue that people don't like the ribbon. They're not being forced to upgrade to Office 2007. Office 2003 did the job perfectly fine, the same as OpenOffice, however Office 2007 offered improvements in the MS Office market (I'm not sure if it would have converted more people to MS Office, and thus I'm keeping this within the bounds of the MS Office market).

I mean, seriously, the biggest (not only) problem people have with monopolies is that they get complacent and all innovation stops. That is not the case with Microsoft. Microsoft has constantly being innovating in all areas, including the .NET framework (arguably my favorite initiative created by Microsoft), which is a brilliant innovation. And yet, Apple continues to have a perfect monopoly on iPhone applications -- which effectively slows down innovation in the iPhone apps markets.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
I'd have to say you're being a bit of a hypocrite. Sure, you would "embrace better alternatives". Hell, I'd switch brand of favorite chocolate if there was a better alternative. That comment, effectively, means absoloutely nothing. Assuming that the majority of users are using Microsoft because it's the best option available, how is that monopolistic? Yes, they have a monopoly on the market, but they must constantly keep improving MS Office to maintain that market share. Just because you dislike the dynamic ribbon does not mean that it's a bad thing. That's simply because you're being over-conservative. Me? I think that MS Office 2007 is vastly superior to Office 2003. Why? You can do so much more, have it better looking, and do it in the same amount of time as it would take in Office 2003. Now, you can argue that people don't like the ribbon. They're not being forced to upgrade to Office 2007. Office 2003 did the job perfectly fine, the same as OpenOffice, however Office 2007 offered improvements in the MS Office market (I'm not sure if it would have converted more people to MS Office, and thus I'm keeping this within the bounds of the MS Office market).

I mean, seriously, the biggest (not only) problem people have with monopolies is that they get complacent and all innovation stops. That is not the case with Microsoft. Microsoft has constantly being innovating in all areas, including the .NET framework (arguably my favorite initiative created by Microsoft), which is a brilliant innovation. And yet, Apple continues to have a perfect monopoly on iPhone applications -- which effectively slows down innovation in the iPhone apps markets.
I have this feeling Hogwarts that you are living in a world where you have much more power than the average Joe like myself. I work in a large organization where there is no choice but to accept the software that comes my way. This organization has a large IT Department that makes its own recommendations and decisions. I believe that is about standard for most large organizations in the world. I would like to take a guess that you have to be in a smaller company in which you have a leadership role? Where you can tell the IT what you prefer? You have a freedom of choice.

A year before "the ribbon" most of us went to a tremendous expense to do the ICDL course (International Computer Driver License). Microsoft 2003. This was in anticipation of a rumour that the ICDL would become a condition of employment. At that time there was no inkling that there would have been the significant change to the software that there was, which pretty much made all the time invested in that course as well as the funds invested in the training redundant. Another small example. Perhaps you and I are arguing from two different worlds? And perhaps mine is more of the average than yours is?

I have really no choice but to accept the Software that comes my way. I'm good with software and am a quick learner, but there was so much time wasted. I still can't see how it has improved as that which was removed along the lines of menus and tool bars and that had been really good, balances out that which was added to make it more integrated and efficient. People had nightmares with graphs in Microsoft powerpoint presentations. We now have it sorted out, but there was a complete slow down until people could get up to speed. I also believe that Microsoft launched the 2007 products prematurely, as in removing some of the 2003 features, it made some mistakes with leaving compensating intuitive features out in 2007. Hopefully the next version of the software will have some of those glitches sorted out.

I would like Microsoft to get competition as it would at least keep the price of the product down and keep it on its toes. I don't think that is hypocritical. I am acting completely in my own self-interest here. And if anyone says Microsoft is not monopolistic, that does not make sense to me at all. I can't believe I am hearing that Microsoft is not monopolizing the market. And that a small company like Apple is. That sounds a bit crazy to me especially when you put their marketshare in pie charts. Apple's would be a slim sliver. Microsoft the domineering chunk.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
I have this feeling Hogwarts that you are living in a world where you have much more power than the average Joe like myself. I work in a large organization where there is no choice but to accept the software that comes my way. This organization has a large IT Department that makes its own recommendations and decisions. I believe that is about standard for most large organizations in the world. I would like to take a guess that you have to be in a smaller company in which you have a leadership role? Where you can tell the IT what you prefer? You have a freedom of choice.


Nope. I'm just an average worker who does some of the coding for a website/software company. We don't particularly require an IT department because we all effectively qualify as it. Basically, we have a server, you use SSH(/SFTP) to connect to it and you do what you need to do. That's it. From your computer, you use entirely what you want and .. well, what you want. Currently, I've been trying out OpenOffice, and I'm yet to suffer any significant problems with it.

Oh, and the server doesn't use Windows, by the way Wink
deanhills
Yesterday I was looking to buy Microsoft software - Microsoft Expression Web 2. When you are in the Middle East you cannot buy it online. The Microsoft on-line stores are regional, yet none of that is clearly indicated in their Middle East (Gulf) Website. So when I finally phoned the guys in Dubai, they came up with a www.solutionfinder.microsoft.com Website, and the companies listed in this Website have been listed on the basis of being "Gold Partners" (certification-based). Not a single one of them were in the business of selling retail software! The organization I am working for can get the standard Windows software as well as Microsoft Office Suite on a "home base" arrangement with Microsoft, but I am looking for Expressions Web 2, so may have to travel to Dubai to look for software companies there, and most likely they will charge me double the price of the full software. Since I already have Frontpage 2002 and qualify for an upgrade, I should have been able to purchase it online from Microsoft for 99US, but I can't! I also can't get hold of the software from other online Software retailers. Probably will wait until the summer holidays and hope I can get hold of an upgrade when I am in London or the US. Grrrrr ..... Twisted Evil
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
Hogwarts wrote:
What? I use both Google Documents and OpenOffice.org, and guess what? I'm not suffering. At all.
You obviously have a choice, and lucky you. We don't. Besides which Microsoft Word is that much better than the OpenOffice equivalent. OpenOffice will have to become commercial in order to provide expert, specialist and dedicated users of word processing software a viable competitive product.


Dual-booting, I find OpenOffice much better than Microsoft Office. Perhaps because it's a matter of opinion as to what's 'better' Rolling Eyes

And as long as you think it's better, of course you're going to use it. You should be using what you think is best. Stop complaining that you prefer something over other things and subsequently don't want to consider the alternatives available.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Hogwarts wrote:
What? I use both Google Documents and OpenOffice.org, and guess what? I'm not suffering. At all.
You obviously have a choice, and lucky you. We don't. Besides which Microsoft Word is that much better than the OpenOffice equivalent. OpenOffice will have to become commercial in order to provide expert, specialist and dedicated users of word processing software a viable competitive product.


Dual-booting, I find OpenOffice much better than Microsoft Office. Perhaps because it's a matter of opinion as to what's 'better' Rolling Eyes

And as long as you think it's better, of course you're going to use it. You should be using what you think is best. Stop complaining that you prefer something over other things and subsequently don't want to consider the alternatives available.
That is simply not true, I'm the first to try out viable alternatives. I like to try things out, and I'm definitely hoping for someone to come up with a viable alternative for Microsoft. I tried OpenOffice two years ago, and I tried them again a month ago, and they are not up to scratch yet. I believe if they really want to do well, they need to go commercial. Microsoft has been on the throne for much longer than they should have been. It is not healthy for the industry that they should have an enormous monopoly to the extent that they have. Can you imagine the billions of dollars in certifications that Microsoft IT staff have to get, the licenses, etc. etc. Time for a change!
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
I believe if they really want to do well, they need to go commercial.

Firstly, that statement is stupid. I do believe that the Linux kernel isn't commercially written, and yet it's rather popular and does an extremely good job.

Secondly, if you wanted a commercial remix of open office, IBM did one, called Lotus Symphony.

And really, if Microsoft has and maintains the fact that they're the best product on the market, what's wrong with that? I mean, what's wrong with people using the best product available? Whereas, with Apple, you can only use the complimentary goods provided.. by, ah, Apple.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
And really, if Microsoft has and maintains the fact that they're the best product on the market, what's wrong with that? I mean, what's wrong with people using the best product available? Whereas, with Apple, you can only use the complimentary goods provided.. by, ah, Apple.
It is never good to have a monopoly in the market. Once that happens, you find situations where Microsoft starts to call its own shots. It has a complete monopoly of the software products, even controls how we can buy the products. I don't even know why we are arguing about this. Microsoft is also putting changes in products for the sake of making people beholden to them and guaranteeing future market share, rather than improving the products for the sake of better products. That happens when one company is dominating the market. Part of the reason they can dominate the market is because they are commercial and being driven by money. For any other software company to seriously compete with Microsoft they would have to find products that are not just better than Microsoft's but that are that much better than Microsoft's products, as Microsoft products through monopoly have become entrenched, they would also have to have massive funding ... which being commercial would be the only way to provide ... before they can seriously compete. We need the competition so that products can be improved along the way, which no doubt they will if there is meaningful competition with Microsoft. Which currently there really is not. Having free products that are imitating Microsoft products is not progress in my view. Perhaps it is for you, but not for me. We need better, different, we need change. All the time. Right now that change is being impeded by one company dominating the market.
truespeed
related story.

See here

Microsoft releasing windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer.
Hogwarts
truespeed wrote:
related story.

See here

Microsoft being forced to release windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer.

I'll be waiting to see Apple and all Linux/Unix-based distributions remove all browsers from their OSs.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
It is never good to have a monopoly in the market

No, especially for iPhone apps, Mac hardware, oh, what else? Rolling Eyes

deanhills wrote:
Once that happens, you find situations where Microsoft starts to call its own shots

Such as the 30% commission on all products sold on the iPhone apps market?

deanhills wrote:
It has a complete monopoly of the software products, even controls how we can buy the products.

Yes, for the iPhone Apple has a perfect monopoly! Microsoft, why haven't you done this, you monopolistic pigs?

deanhills wrote:
I don't even know why we are arguing about this.

Perhaps because somebody is unable to comprehend Apple doing anything wrong.

deanhills wrote:
Microsoft is also putting changes in products for the sake of making people beholden to them and guaranteeing future market share, rather than improving the products for the sake of better products.

Pardon? Yes, every damned company does the same thing. They're called improvements. Without improving competitively, you lose market share. If those improvements take getting used to, I'm sure they're well worth it. Which they are. I'm not sure you agree. And if you don't, you don't need to upgrade. It really is that simple.

deanhills wrote:
For any other software company to seriously compete with Microsoft they would have to find products that are not just better than Microsoft's but that are that much better than Microsoft's products, as Microsoft products through monopoly have become entrenched, they would also have to have massive funding ... which being commercial would be the only way to provide

No they wouldn't. Is Firefox commercial? That's competing pretty well.

deanhills wrote:
Which currently there really is not. Having free products that are imitating Microsoft products is not progress in my view. Perhaps it is for you, but not for me.

Just because you find Microsoft Office to be superior to OpenOffice (and its derivations) does not make OpenOffice inferior; except for the microcosm of Deanhills' mind. And how are the imitating Microsoft's products? That's a stupid statement, too.
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
It is never good to have a monopoly in the market

No, especially for iPhone apps, Mac hardware, oh, what else? Rolling Eyes
Right, all of the above including Microsoft.

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Once that happens, you find situations where Microsoft starts to call its own shots

Such as the 30% commission on all products sold on the iPhone apps market?
I thought we were discussing Microsoft, but if iPhone has a monopoly that is wrong too.

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
It has a complete monopoly of the software products, even controls how we can buy the products.

Yes, for the iPhone Apple has a perfect monopoly! Microsoft, why haven't you done this, you monopolistic pigs?
Well I think we got your point during the first reply. Wink

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I don't even know why we are arguing about this.

Perhaps because somebody is unable to comprehend Apple doing anything wrong.
I have not said anything about Apple before, nor got sorted out on that. But since you are doing that right now, I do not agree with Apple having a monopoly too, but if you compare it with Microsoft I would say Microsoft has the bigger size of the pie. Gates is probably a little more wealthy than Jobs, what do you think? A comparison between an Eagle and a mosquito? Smile

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Microsoft is also putting changes in products for the sake of making people beholden to them and guaranteeing future market share, rather than improving the products for the sake of better products.

Pardon? Yes, every damned company does the same thing. They're called improvements. Without improving competitively, you lose market share. If those improvements take getting used to, I'm sure they're well worth it. Which they are. I'm not sure you agree. And if you don't, you don't need to upgrade. It really is that simple.
Some improvements are made, but generally they are made in a way to keep loyal customers loyal as well as dependent. There has been a complete switch in the design of the software from 2003 to 2007 MS-Office. In the meanwhile we had to take compulsory courses to qualify for the International Computer Driver's licence. That cost a pretty packet too. So do all the certifications have to be upgraded. Some more funds for Microsoft, etc etc etc

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
For any other software company to seriously compete with Microsoft they would have to find products that are not just better than Microsoft's but that are that much better than Microsoft's products, as Microsoft products through monopoly have become entrenched, they would also have to have massive funding ... which being commercial would be the only way to provide

No they wouldn't. Is Firefox commercial? That's competing pretty well.
Explorer is still the most commonly used of the two.

Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Which currently there really is not. Having free products that are imitating Microsoft products is not progress in my view. Perhaps it is for you, but not for me.

Just because you find Microsoft Office to be superior to OpenOffice (and its derivations) does not make OpenOffice inferior; except for the microcosm of Deanhills' mind. And how are the imitating Microsoft's products? That's a stupid statement, too.
Now now Hogwarth let's not make this personal ... Wink All you have to do is check up on the Web, there are some comments there about people who tried out OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office. I did it for you (does that qualify for macrocosmos?) and it covers quite a number of opinions for and against. Mine are there and yours too:
http://www.trap17.com/index.php/Open-Office-Microsoft_t6644.html
I'm sure if we try harder there will be more comments to note. Some like, some don't. Some think that Microsoft is better. Other say the wordprocessing software of OpenOffice is OK, but the rest of the family, Calc etc not up to scratch, etc. etc. I gave you my microcosmos views, I think you gave us the benefit of your microcosmos views too.

I found this article about Apple that you may like (or may not like - beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all that):
http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2009/01/15/kicking-apple-to-the-kurb.aspx
Bikerman
Apple certainly has a monopoly on the digital music playing market - their market share (80 odd percent) is such that this cannot be denied.
The difference (to date) is that Microsoft has repeatedly been guilty of abusing market dominance (by forcing smaller players out of the market) which is in fact illegal. Apple hasn't yet been guilty of this. I suppose you could say, therefore, that MS is a malign monopoly whereas Apple, up to now, has been a benign, or at least fairly neutral, monopoly.
This doesn't justify Apple's monopoly, however, and it is a general 'truth' that monopoly leads to market abuse.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Apple certainly has a monopoly on the digital music playing market - their market share (80 odd percent) is such that this cannot be denied.
The difference (to date) is that Microsoft has repeatedly been guilty of abusing market dominance (by forcing smaller players out of the market) which is in fact illegal. Apple hasn't yet been guilty of this. I suppose you could say, therefore, that MS is a malign monopoly whereas Apple, up to now, has been a benign, or at least fairly neutral, monopoly.
This doesn't justify Apple's monopoly, however, and it is a general 'truth' that monopoly leads to market abuse.
I doubt they are going to have that monopoly for long. Microsoft is bringing out products that are getting better reviews. Apple is probably going to loose market share by default. There is almost a Template to its marketing. Microsoft always comes out with something better or with a marketing strategy that is improved.

This is a good blog about Microsoft sharpening its teeth design-wise, marketing probably to follow shortly after:
http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2009/06/09/design-first-engineer-second.aspx
gandalfthegrey
I think Apple's George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty Four parody television ad from 1984 is quite ironic.

While I prefer the ease and reliable of Apple products, the difficulties I am having with trying to do the same things I use to do on Windows has me pulling out my hair! For instance, I am trying to find a product to sync my Ipod Touch and upload music to it, without using ITunes, because ITunes ****** copies my music collection to a directory of it's own, thus costing me space on my hard drive. I also have a suspicious feeling that there ITunes is either messing with or deleting my MP3s - all of which I burned myself from my old CD collection.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
Microsoft always comes out with something better or with a marketing strategy that is improved.

Where's the problem?
deanhills
Hogwarts wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Microsoft always comes out with something better or with a marketing strategy that is improved.

Where's the problem?
The monopoly. If more people shared the market, they may be much more innovative than just one or two people sharing the market.
deanhills
deanhills wrote:
Yesterday I was looking to buy Microsoft software - Microsoft Expression Web 2. When you are in the Middle East you cannot buy it online. The Microsoft on-line stores are regional, yet none of that is clearly indicated in their Middle East (Gulf) Website. So when I finally phoned the guys in Dubai, they came up with a www.solutionfinder.microsoft.com Website, and the companies listed in this Website have been listed on the basis of being "Gold Partners" (certification-based). Not a single one of them were in the business of selling retail software! The organization I am working for can get the standard Windows software as well as Microsoft Office Suite on a "home base" arrangement with Microsoft, but I am looking for Expressions Web 2, so may have to travel to Dubai to look for software companies there, and most likely they will charge me double the price of the full software. Since I already have Frontpage 2002 and qualify for an upgrade, I should have been able to purchase it online from Microsoft for 99US, but I can't! I also can't get hold of the software from other online Software retailers. Probably will wait until the summer holidays and hope I can get hold of an upgrade when I am in London or the US. Grrrrr ..... Twisted Evil
Hogwarts, you are going to enjoy this story. After all the bellyaching with Microsoft in the Middle East about being unable to purchase Microsoft Expression Web 2 on-line, specifically the Upgrade Version, they responded to my complaints by sending a free upgrade of MS Expression Web 2 by courier to my office!!!! It took a couple of weeks from the undertaking to today for it to happen, but I received my free software today, brand-new out of the box. I'm in total shock Shocked Laughing Dancing
yuxuan
apple's monopoly like a circle,itunes ,apps ,ipad , iphone ,imac make up it. and many of us like the circle.
microsoft depend on lock,you know,most of sofeware is developed on WINDOWS,especially games, i don't like the userface,don't like the slowly speed,don't like the bad safty...but i just cann't leave it,which likes kidnapping.
So microsoft is more monopoly.
zacky
deanhills wrote:
MS Office is the common standard for business software. Any of the normal businesses in the world, as well as Government, Semi Government and Education, work with MS Office. When Gates changed the way we were used to MS Office by adding the ribbon etc. everyone was forced to take courses, etc. etc. I would say MS Office has a total monopoly on the standard core business software. It also has the monopoly of Explorer software. All new computers come with Vista or Windows Xpress, and it has now become so monopolistic that there is even software to track the license of these software packages.

Individual geeks can work there way out of this, but on an individual basis. If you are working for the Government or do business with big corporations, you have to have MS Office software on your computer.

Apple is very individualist about its identity. Once you own an Apple product you can only use Apple compatible accessories. That is a choice. It does not make them monopolistic. Compare this with Sony and Sony cameras operating their best with Sony batteries.


i just want to clear the first part, "MS Office is the common standard for business software"... No offense but i do believe it's not... it just happen that companies attracted to the features of MS Office BEFORE... nowadays because many companies suffering from financial crisis, they tend to use instead the Open office of to what we called open source softwares... Smile
deanhills
zacky wrote:
i just want to clear the first part, "MS Office is the common standard for business software"... No offense but i do believe it's not... it just happen that companies attracted to the features of MS Office BEFORE... nowadays because many companies suffering from financial crisis, they tend to use instead the Open office of to what we called open source softwares... Smile
Maybe things are changing in the US, but where I am in the Middle East, the standard is Microsoft software. All job ads also come with a specific requirement for being expert at the software, i.e. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access. Doing the International Computer Driver's License that includes Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint and some other competencies is also compulsory in some of the Government organizations.

I'm not unhappy with this at all, as in absence of software that can really compete with Microsoft standards, I prefer to work with Microsoft.
gandalfthegrey
Yes, because Apple forces you to use their software on your iphone/ipod touch. Mircosoft, they provide default software (like internet explorer web browser - if you remember the famous anti-trust case against them from Netspace? or was it Opera browser?), but you have a choice to add additional software. Apple, you have to "jailbreak" you iphone/i pod touch to use 3rd party software.
standready
Simple, they both have monopolies in certain areas. I do think Apple holds on a little tighter. You don't have to use a single Microsoft product on your PC. I kinda like my XP OS using my Google browser and OpenOffice. Get certain Apple products and it's Apple or nothing.
liljp617
Does Microsoft sue others nearly as much as Apple does when somebody even remotely steps in "their territory?"

Hell, Apple was going to sue over the Android phones (I believe) because the unlock feature was a "pattern" and apparently Apple has a patent on "unlocking the phone with a pattern." Sorry, what?
PureReborn
In terms of market share? Comparing MS's OS market share to Apple's MP3 player market share, then MS is still more of an monopoly.

Talking about attitude though, I think Apple's actions for iPod and iPhone shows they can be the most dreaded type of dictator in any market they control. Certainly worse than MS (or at least comparable to MS during the IE vs Netscape war)
owenbeckham
Yes, now, i cannot live without apple................................
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