Re: Bill Gates mentions Linux

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar (
Tue, 10 Mar 98 08:37:25 -0800

You wrote:
> If I
> had been smart about it I would have asked them to indicate if any of
> them have to pay Microsoft anything in the future unless we come up with
> a great new version of Windows.

And if they were smart, they would have said, "Yes, every time I buy a
new computer." Even if you buy a Mac, the only general productivity
software available is MS Office. If that's not a monopoly, I don't know
what is.

> In other words, Microsoft gets no
> revenue except for innovation that goes so far beyond what they already
> have that it's worth the trouble to switch.

Except of course for the effective tariff they get for every machine
sold, but why bother counting that? It's only a few billion, and the
OEMs aren't allowed to talk about it, so why should he?

Maybe I'm being ungenerous, but I've always assumed Microsoft gets like
a third of its revenue from bundling deals. Is that fair?

> I should have asked why they didn't choose LINUX or OS/2 or Macintosh

Um, couldn't have anything to do with an agreement that PC manufacturers
had to pay Microsoft even if they shipped another OS on their system,
until the DOJ told you to stop, could it? Nahh.

-- Ernie "feeling uncharacteristically pugilistic today, probably
because I decided to bite the bullet and subscribe to Slate just so I get
Today's Paper" Prabhakar