Microsoft Hatred FAQ

David Schwartz davids at webmaster.com
Thu Oct 27 14:30:04 CEST 2005


Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen wrote:

> David Schwartz wrote:

>> Roedy Green wrote:
> <snip>
>> competing products. (Just as Burger King corporate will not you sell
>> Big Macs in the same store in which you sell Whoppers.)

> Rather odd comparison don't you think ?

    No, it's dead on.

> A better comparison would be if Burger King purchases the fries from a
> factory that says that Burger King has to give out a pack of fries
> with all meals, regardless of the type of meal, or they are going to
> raise the price. In other words, you'll be forced to take a pack of
> fries with your ice cream, salad or what not. Considering that
> McDonalds have been selling meals with "potato-boats" (don't know the
> correct english term for it, carved potato pieces fried), they'd have
> to give you a pack of fries with your meal regardless, even if you
> want to replace the fries with "potato-boats".

    The reason this is a much worse comparison is that the fries don't 
determine the nature, to the consumer, of the meal. On the other hand, there 
is a sense in which all PCs running, say Windows 98, are alike to the 
consumer. That is, what Microsoft provided is what put the product in its 
class to the consumer, and to the typical consumer, the meal is a unit.

> Also, in this case Burger King "won't sell you" is not the same as
> "can't sell you", which seems to be the case with this whole Microsoft
> discussion. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to easily buy a
> computer from Microsoft with OS/2 installed or vice versa either and
> I'm not sure they would be obliged to do so either. However,
> controlling what an independant outlet is doing, that's different.

    I'm talking about Burger King corporate, the wholesale distributor and 
franchise licensor. They control what any entity that wants to sell their 
branded products can do, and do so very strictly.

    The term "independent outlet" is hiding the entire point. Microsoft has 
no more obligation to sell Windows through independent outlets than Burger 
Kind corporate has an obligation to sell Whoppers through indepedent 
outlets, which is none at all. Microsoft elected only to allow Windows to be 
purchased wholesale through a franchisee like arrangement, so you were no 
longer a fully independent outlet.

    I think the history shows that Microsoft opted for a franchisee-type 
arrangement for much the same reason Burger King does. They want their 
company name to have value and bring in customers. To do this, they have to 
prevent their company name from being associated with products that don't 
provide the experience they want associated with their name and they have to 
prevent companies that draw based on the popularity of Windows but then 
switch people to other products.

    Because Burger King corporate doesn't want a person to see the golden 
arches, walk in, and get a crappy burger or be told that a competing burger 
is cheaper and better, they only allow their branded products to be sold at 
any business that can draw using their name and products. Microsoft, for 
much the same reasons, resticted people's ability to modify Windows or sell 
both Windows and competing products.

    DS





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