Sunday, March 14, 2004

Microsoft Giveaways

Read here an article about the government refusing free copies of Microsoft Office. This isn't particularly interesting, I guess, except that it shows how important network effects are, and to what ends Microsoft will go to create them...

Microsoft Office played a very interesting role in the Microsoft antitrust suits several years back. Readers will recall that the first proposed remedy divided Microsoft into an OS company and an Apps company. It's pretty clear that that was a bad idea, but I think people probably often underestimate the market power of Office. One suggested--and rejected--antitrust remedy, actually, was to force Microsoft to port Office to any operating system that requested it (this following their threat to cancel Mac Office -- until Apple agreed to install Internet Explorer).

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