> On Wed, 31 May 2006 02:57:41 UTC, Allison Linn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer
>> Security software makers, the 800-pound gorilla has landed. Microsoft Corp.
>> was to announce Wednesday that it is releasing software that aims to better
>> protect people who use its Windows operating system from Internet attacks.
> Let me get this straight. Microsoft makes a popular product that is
> vulnerable to certain forms of attack. Rather than choosing to fix
> the problem, they decide to create add-on products to get a share of
> the money spent on competing after-market products.
> It is a very good thing that the public still chooses to use the
> popular products with known [vulnerabilities]. A competitor might come
> along and take away their core business.
Given that Microsoft's core business is Public Relations, in all
senses of the words, and that the corporation has proved that FUD is a
much more profitable product than competently written software, there
is no incentive for it to improve Windows or anything else it sells.
Moreover, there is little motivation to change: having ground Apple
and other upstarts under its heel, The Boys from Redmond need only to
pre-pre-pre announce the next "improvement", cash some more options,
and laugh themselves to sleep while worshiping an effigy of
P.T. Barnum. The only competitors with the political, financial,
marketing, and HR muscle to mount a frontal attack are governments,
and _they_ already took their cut.
Lacking the authority to mount an inquisition - a prerogative of the
governments they just settled with - Microsoft has no way to
intimidate or outspend those whom are working for free to create and
improve things like GNU, Linux, BSD, and Apache. It remains to be seen
if Open Source will continue to fly under the radar, or if Mr. Gates'
minions will manage to co-opt or suppress the efforts.
> At least the automotive industry had competitors and there was
> reasonable competition and improvement across the board.
The automobile industry's only "competitors" are alternative modes of
transportation such as urban mass transit, and your friendly local oil
baron ripped up the tracks long ago: the industry hasn't had, and
hasn't needed, any meaningful change in almost a century.
The odds are overwhelming that you drive a gasoline-powered,
rubber-tired, human-guided vehicle which is fundamentally the same as
a Model T: this popular product is dangerous and expensive to
maintain, but automakers are doing just fine while selling add-ons
such as seat belts and side-impact airbags.
The fact that you feel the automotive industry has even the appearance
of competition is proof prima facie of Madison Avenue's expertise and
the impressionability of the average consumer, and with that in mind
I'll declare Microsoft's monopoly safe for the moment.
(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)