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Microsoft Antitrust Trial Essay Sample

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Microsoft Antitrust Trial Essay Sample

Government Side: It is already established that Microsoft already has a monopoly over the personal computer operating system market. It is a fair and just monopoly that Microsoft acquired cleanly through sheer luck, timing and miscalculation of its competitors. That is not what this case is about. This case is about Microsoft’s unfair and unjust use of its monopoly to drive the competitors of its other products out of business.

In 1995, the leading internet browser was Navigator, a program made by Netscape Communication. Microsoft had a competitor product in its own Internet Explorer program. Netscape Navigator could be freely downloaded or installed from a CD. However, to undercut Netscape, what Microsoft did was to bundle Internet Explorer (IE) for free with its flagship operating system, Microsoft Windows. Because Microsoft had a monopoly of operating systems, this meant that nearly all PC users had Microsoft Windows and that they also had IE. Because they already had IE for free with their operating system, consumers do not have any more reason to install Netscape Navigator. This is how Microsoft is leveraging its monopoly to gain an unfair monopoly in another market.

Not only is Microsoft leveraging its OS monopoly into the browser market, but also leveraging its monopoly into making its product the sole way for consumers to access the rapidly expanding World Wide Web. IE is only the first step for Microsoft to expand its monopoly from the established desktop computer operating system market but also to establish itself as an early monopoly in the new field of the World Wide Web. This would be akin to AT&T giving away free cell phones at a time when cell phones were not yet so popular in order to gain an early monopoly in the emerging mobile phone market. Additionally, Microsoft having monopoly over the browser market will let it dictate the development of new features or protocols for the web simply due to its large indomitable presence in how users all over the world use the internet.

Microsoft Side: Microsoft is in the business of technology, of innovation, of providing its users with greater value for their money with every new product. As the new thing called the World Wide Web was starting to gain popularity, Microsoft only saw it fit that consumers be able to browse the Internet from the moment they first turned on their computer. That is why Microsoft not only packaged IE with Windows but also integrated it into the operating system. This allows Windows to have newer better features stemming from the use of the Internet.

All antitrust cases should be filed to protect the consumer. In this antitrust case we have to ask is the consumer’s interests the one being protected or is it another company’s own profits that are being safeguarded? Integrating IE with Windows was a huge win for the consumer who now not only has to go out and download another browser but also has newer more innovative features open to him/her. We can even question how this action harms Netscape since Navigator can be downloaded free of starting from 1994 (Gilbert, 2003).

Microsoft is a company of engineers, not lawyers. As engineers Microsoft takes great strides in making sure that each product is better than the last. Today’s Windows already has a music player and image editing software among other things right out of the box. You can expect that the next version of Windows will have even more features as we only want to give the best to our consumers. Surely, more pre-packaged software is what our customers expect when they buy the next version of Windows. Yet, even as we do this there are still companies that make their own applications. There’s Winamp and ITunes for playing music and Adobe for editing images. These companies exist because like Microsoft, they know that to stay alive in this industry they must stay innovative and competitive. People still buy these software because they are still better than what comes free with Windows. Innovation is how you protect your business, not through lawsuits. Microsoft knows this just as any good software company knows this fact by heart.


Abanet.org. (n.d.). Antitrust and the Internet:. In Netlitigation. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://www.netlitigation.com/netlitigation/antitrust.htm.

Gilbert, H.. (January 17, 2003). Technical Perspective on US v. Microsoft. In Yale University. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://pclt.cis.yale.edu/pclt/msupdate.htm.

Wired News Report. (November 4, 2002). U.S. v. Microsoft: Timeline. In Wired Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2002/11/35212.

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