|Posted by tadelste on Dec 15, 2005 8:49 AM|
LXer.com -Article; By pendraco
pendraco writes: Read the article more closely -- for that matter, try staying abreast of what the media as a whole continues to say about Microsoft and their good buddies, the [U.S. Federal] government.
Linux Technology not Stopping Microsoft
While nobody in their right mind can argue with MS's anti-competitive actions, dragging the government into it is a joke.
Read the article more closely -- for that matter, try staying abreast
of what the media as a whole continues to say about Microsoft and their
good buddies, the [U.S. Federal] government. The government is already
"dragged into it". The real point of the article is to get the
government dragged out of it.
That is, out of actively supporting Microsoft and into actively
enforcing its own laws -- laws which Microsoft is not only convicted of
actively violating, but continues to show no sign of doing otherwise,
nor has any incentive of stopping as long as the government continues
to lobby for them.
It's no secret that the Bush'es and the Gate's are good friends of
multiple generations. Before Bush Jr. took over, it seemed certain that
Microsoft, the convicted
monopolist and anti-trust tortfeaser, was going to be a broken
company... literally. Ironically, no sooner than the would be "Mr.
President" raised his right hand and "swore" to support the laws of
this country than did the DoJ reverse its push for breaking up
Microsoft and, instead, suggest a list of menial "oversights"...
"oversights" which amounted to little more than a "wristslap" composed
of a warm handshake with both hands and a smile. At that time did the
"government" drag itself through the doors of the Microsoft
"gentlemens' club" and take on the mantle of Microsoft defender.
It's not the government's job, furthermore, if the government were
to do the job that *WE* are supposed to do the end result will be a
screwed up computer industry.
Then what is the government's job, if not to enforce its
laws and ensure that the country's "free trade" and "fair competition"
based economy is maintained and adhered to... BY ALL?!? Since
Bush's re-election Microsoft seems to have become even bolder as the
government's two hands stay even more warmly clasped around the right
hand of Bill. We've read about numerous anti-competition "goings on"
around the world regarding Microsoft: EU, Australia, South Africa,
Japan, Korea and more, and everywhere there has been the U.S. putting
in its two bits for Microsoft. Why is that?
Another of the [U.S. federal] government's "jobs" is the regulation and
taxation of foreign commerce (foreign companies doing business in the
U.S. and visa-versa) -- thus being, in fact, not only its principal
reason to exist but also its principal source of revenue. One could,
therefore, surmise, though incorrectly, that the government has a
vested interest in helping Microsoft (any U.S. company for that
matter), with its troubles abroad. Afterall, Microsoft is
one of the "richest" companies in the world, ranking 203rd on Forbes'
"Top 2000" list for the world in terms of assets, though on this basis
there are @ 55 other U.S. companies over it (my quick counting may be
off by one or two). Yet, I do not recall much media coverage regarding
the U.S. sticking its nose into the troubles of those companies abroad
-- er, is it because those big companies are not as arrogant, pushy,
and "above the law" feeling as Microsoft and, therefore, do not get
into as much "trouble"? Not likely! In any case, it is not "assets"
which the government gets to tax but, rather, profits.
In terms of "profits", Microsoft ranks 12th on the same list, with
eight other U.S. companies topping it. In the number 1 spot is
ExxonMobil, another company which has a track record of difficulty
keeping itself out of hot water yet, which this government has upheld a
similar track record of "no holds barred" over putting the stick to!
Obviously, merely protecting "vested interests" is not a compelling
force in the government's support of its 9th most taxable domestic
revenue source! In the case of Microsoft, unlike with Exxon (not to
mention, a couple of the other Microsoft beaters on the profit list),
the government is clearly not doing its job by putting shackles on Microsoft, rather than the warmly clenched hands which it currently puts forth.
I doubt any of us want that. Getting rid of MS's dominance is a very
real and achievable goal, but not at the demise of the computer
I have a friend who is fond of saying he "votes with his wallet" (er,
just not in the same sense that Microsoft does ;) ). "Getting rid of
MS's (sic) dominance" in this way is certainly preferable in a "free
economy" to the government "doing its job" and enforcing "competitive
practices". Yet, when the government also refuses
to that job in the case of a clearly malicious "competitor" and market
dominator, there is no way to make such a "vote" that does not still
directly benefit the "voted against". In the end, the consumer may have their "choice", but that choice was in fact not "free", nor "cost effective".
The point the article makes is clear and correct: the effect of such a
"vote" currently bears no consequence to Microsoft -- you buy a
"preloaded" computer, you pay MS regardless of what you eventually
might "overload" on to it. Paying twice for a "choice", is no "choice"
at all, it is an election with forced consequences. Yes, there has been
much bally-hoo in recent years over offers of PCs "preloaded" with
Linux; yet, until very recently those have all been from small 2nd and
3rd tier "players"... "players" who don't "deserve" the big discounts
MS baits its OEM contracts ("taxes") with in the first place.
The most recent announcements by Dell and HP so far amount to 'naught.
In the case of HP, at least, they have a vested interest of their own
in Linux, but truly little motivation to make a big play with "Linux
preloaded" as long as they still have to bite it with MS' "OEM tax".
Until the government "drags itself out of"
the MS camp and, instead, truly enforces the "fair trade"/"fair play"
standards on which this country was founded, upon MS, not only will
"Linux preloads" continue to be relegated to niche corners of the PC
marketplace where the "MS tax" has little bite, but the "freedom to
choose" your O/S will continue to be both costly and at risk, or
obtainable only by the technophile, the geek, and the grassroots
Yes, I "vote with my wallet" and use Linux -- and will continue to do
so as long as the choice and "freedom" remains mine -- not only because
it is technically superior in my eyes, but also because my freedom to
do so is equally, if not more so, important to me. Yet, I am also one
of the fortunate minority, among one of those aforesaid "groups", with
the ability to circumvent the "MS tax" almost
completely by "white boxing" for myself. Though, in the case of my
laptop... MS' tentacles still got to reach deep into my wallet... an
"election", not a "choice".