The Costs & Benefits of a Microsoft Monopoly
internetU.org Schools of Business and Economics, Governance, Math, Science and Technology Case Study


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Additional References:
Settlement Information & Editorial Membrane.com Staff Writer (2001)
Attorney General on Microsoft: U.S. Needs More Than Robber Barons Janet Reno (2000)
More Microsoft Madness, John C. Dvorak (2000)
Micorsoft to Dominate Keyword Searches, Dominic Gates (2000)
Reed Firm Regrets Role in Lobbying Bush on Microsoft, David Lawsky (2000)
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, United States of America (2000)
Consumer Group Says Microsoft Must Divest Browsers, David Lawsky (1999)
Justice Department's Finding Of Facts, Thomas Penfield Jackson (1999)
Class-Action Suit Reportedly Planned Vs Microsoft, Reuters (1999)
Antitrust Experts Bash MS Lobbying, Lisa M. Bowman (1999)
Microsoft Anti-Trust Ruling, Senator Conrad Burns (1997)


To: The Department Of Justice (DOJ)


Dear Sir:

Pursuant to the Microsoft Anti-trust case, I have several questions. They involve two main areas:

  1. Microsoft's operating system controlling consumers access to the Internet.
  2. Microsoft forcing businesses and consumers to use Microsoft products by breaking Internet standards.



I. Microsoft's operating system controlling consumers access to the Internet.

There are many examples of Microsoft already doing this. The fact that they made the web browser their operating systems graphical interface is a case-in-point. But, nothing causes me more concern than if the following is true:

From Wired Magazine's, "Explorer in Step with Netscape" by Chris Oakes (1:09 p.m. 4.Nov.98.PST) -

Microsoft said the new Explorer represents a significant advance in the software. "We really took a look at where we could build in intelligence throughout the product," said Rob Bennett, product manager for Microsoft's Internet client group.

The keyword feature, called AutoSearch, is not included in Wednesday's release. But the final version, due to ship in the first quarter of next year, will support it as part of a larger family of technologies called IntelliSense.

AutoSearch interprets words and phrases entered into the browser's address bar. It then makes a best guess at which site the user is looking for. Entering the word "Apple," for example, will bring up the Web site for Apple Computer.



  1. As a small business offering Internet content services, will Microsoft's operating system control the ability of most consumers to find my company on the Internet?
  2. Will I have to pay Microsoft for our websites to be recognized by IntelliSense technologies?



II. Microsoft forcing businesses and consumers to use Microsoft products by breaking Internet standards. There are also many examples of Microsoft already doing this (e.g. Webtv).

  1. If the web address location is changed to an AutoSearch, will Microsoft be changing the name from URL (Universal Resource Locator) to MSRL (Microsoft Rented Location)?
  2. Will the eventual Microsoft acquisition of what was once "open Internet standards" create a Microsoft monopoly in the area of Internet software?

As I have grave fears as to the future of my business, your prompt reply to these matters will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. I shall await your advice.

Sincerely,
help at membrane.com


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1998