Microsoft Sword or Shield? Essay

3551 Words15 Pages
Contents MicroSoft: The Legal Battle Beginnings 2 The Netscape Navigator Issue and Litigation 3 More Trouble for Microsoft 5 April 2000 Ruling 7 The Restrictions Placed on Microsoft 8 Is Microsoft a Monopolist That Deserved What It Got? 9 A Breakdown of the Charges Brought to Microsoft 11 In Conclusion 12 Bibliography 14 MicroSoft: The Legal Battle Beginnings In 1980, Microsoft still a relatively unknown company to those outside of the computer industry purchased the rights to a software package called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System). It was soon after this that IBM approached Microsoft about implementing the operating system in their new IBM home PC’s that they planned to launch in 1981. After modifying QDOS for IBM they renamed it MS-DOS. It was soon successful, so much so Microsoft became the premiere operating system engineers and by 1992 they were in 80% of all system software that came with any personal computer sold in the time period. A couple of short years after and Microsoft had sales and assets in the billions. Microsoft becoming such a huge success sparked the ire of rival software companies who claimed Microsoft was monopolizing the industry with special contracts and pricing structures. It was this that lead to the first anti-trust investigation into Microsoft. In 1990 the Federal Trade Commission started to investigate into the business practices of Microsoft. No charges were formally brought to Microsoft during this time but the FTC had many voting session which ended in ties and deadlocks over whether to investigate further. Just as these votes were bringing the issue of investigating Microsoft to a halt, Novell Inc. brought an anti-trust complaint against Microsoft with the European Union’s Competition Directorate which again piqued the interest of the FTC into joining with the European Union’s Competition

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