The market says Microsoft is no longer a monopoly, how long before DOJ changes Microsoft monopoly status

The buzz of CES has been said by some to be the end of Microsoft and Intel monopoly.

This is the most exciting CES ever

JAN 6, ’115:23 PM


At this year’s CES two unthinkable things happened:

  1. The abandonment of Windows exclusivity by practically all of Microsoft’s OEM customers.
  2. The abandonment of Intel exclusivity by Microsoft for the next generation of Windows.

Many of Microsoft’s customers chose to use an OS product from Microsoft’s arch enemy. Some chose to roll their own. Microsoft, in turn, chose to port its OS to an architecture from Intel’s arch enemy.

These actions confirm the end of the PC era. Although most people would characterize the era as exemplified by a particular form factor or market, for me the definition of that era is the way the value chain was structured and hence how profits were captured.

That era was marked by the condensation of profits around two companies, Intel and Microsoft, with the simultaneous evaporation of profits from all other participants in the value chain.

The DOJ was able to win the case that Microsoft is a Monopoly.

United States v. Microsoft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States v. Microsoft was a set of consolidated civil actions filed against Microsoft Corporation pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act on May 18, 1998 by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and 20 U.S. states. Joel I. Klein was the lead prosecutor. The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system sales and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Microsoft Windowsoperating system. Bundling them together is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft's victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of Internet Explorer. It was further alleged that this unfairly[citation needed] restricted the market for competing web browsers (such as Netscape Navigator or Opera) that were slow to download over a modem or had to be purchased at a store. Underlying these disputes were questions over whether Microsoft altered or manipulated its application programming interfaces (APIs) to favor Internet Explorer over third party web browsers, Microsoft's conduct in forming restrictive licensing agreements with original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), and Microsoft's intent in its course of conduct.

Microsoft stated that the merging of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer was the result of innovation and competition, that the two were now the same product and were inextricably linked together and that consumers were now getting all the benefits of IE for free. Those who opposed Microsoft's position countered that the browser was still a distinct and separate product which did not need to be tied to the operating system, since a separate version of Internet Explorer was available for Mac OS. They also asserted that IE was not really free because its development and marketing costs may have kept the price of Windows higher than it might otherwise have been. The case was tried before Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The DOJ was initially represented by David Boies.

It’s too bad Microsoft can’t play the CES events now to show that Microsoft is not a monopoly.

Firefox now has a bigger market share.

Google Gobbles Internet Explorer’s Market Share With Chrome

Jan. 5 2011 - 11:32 am | 4,014 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Take a look at the graph below from StatCounter, showing the market share of leading Internet browsers in Europe last December.

Graphic from Statcounter

You’ll probably notice two things:

1) Internet Explorer has slipped into second place behind Firefox, marking the first time IE has lost its dominant position in a major market.

On the other hand, there may be some that claim their defining Microsoft a monopoly changed their behavior and created more competition.

Who is the next market leader who will slip to #2.