NetAction Alert: Don't Be Soft On Microsoft. :)

I Find Karma (
Tue, 13 May 97 10:45:52 PDT

[From NetAction, and I figured I'd pass it on... I'm not sure it's fair
to compare Bill Gates to Rockefeller or Carnegie, because those guys
donated a lot of their money back to the communities they robbed in the
first place... -- Adam]

Act Now to Stop Bill Gates From Becoming the Robber Baron of the Internet

Like John D. Rockefeller and other Robber Barons of the late 19th
Century, Bill Gates is ruthless in his quest to control an industry.
Microsoft's operating system and software are already installed in the
vast majority of personal computers on the market today, and because
Microsoft controls the standards and architecture that control the
design of software, the company has a tremendous competitive advantage.

If we don't act soon, Microsoft *will* become a monopoly.

>>>>> Support NetAction's Consumer Choice Campaign

NetAction has launched the Consumer Choice Campaign to mobilize
cyberspace consumers to demand stronger enforcement of the anti-trust
laws that were enacted to prevent monopolies. To join the mobilization,
learn more about the issue, and find out what you can do to help, visit
NetAction's Web site at:

Here's how you can help:

*** Tell federal officials you want our anti-trust laws fully enforced.
Use the E-mail links on NetAction's Web site, or send messages to: and Tell them: Don't be soft on

*** Learn more about Microsoft and what you can do in your community and
in cyberspace by visiting the Consumer Choice Campaign on NetAction's
Web site: <>.

*** Subscribe to the Micro$oft Monitor to keep informed of developments.
Use the form on NetAction's Web site, or send E-mail to: In the body of the message, type: subscribe

*** Contact NetAction if you can help with the mobilization. Send
E-mail to:

>>>>> Why is a Microsoft Monopoly a Threat to Internet Users?

Microsoft is already a threat to the millions of cyber-citizens who use
personal computers to communicate over the Internet. Most Americans
value the entrepreneurial spirit, and nowhere is this spirit more
apparent today than in the burgeoning computer industry. Vigorous
competition by computer entrepreneurs has sparked innovation and brought
a breathtaking array of new products to the marketplace. Consumers
benefit from a competitive marketplace because it gives us real choices
in products and services. But if Gates succeeds in his quest to
dominate the computer industry, competition, innovation, and
entrepreneurship will vanish.

It seems to NetAction that Gates will stop at nothing to control the
computer industry.

Controlling the standards and architecture that control the design of
software is only way of the ways in which Microsoft gains a competitive
advantage. Microsoft also takes choices away from consumers -- and
market share away from competitors -- by constantly adding new features
to its operating system. Developers of competitive products are at a
disadvantage because only Microsoft knows in advance what changes are
being planned for its operating system.

For example, by adding the Internet Explorer Web browser to its
operating system, and also configuring the system so that Netscape's
Navigator won't work properly, Microsoft effectively prevented Internet
users from using its competitor's product.

Wouldn't you rather decide for yourself which Web browser to use? Why
let Bill Gates make that decision for you?

>>>>> What the Consumer Choice Campaign Plans to Do About Microsoft

The goal of the Consumer Choice Campaign is to mobilize cyberspace
consumers to send a message to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government agencies responsible
for investigating anti-competitive business practices and enforcing
anti-trust laws. We're asking you to tell the government: Don't be soft
on Microsoft! To contact the DOJ and FTC, send E-mail to: and

Monopolies are illegal in the United States, but officials at DOJ and
FTC aren't enforcing our antitrust laws as vigorously as they should be.
Although the government has been looking at Microsoft's business
practices for several years, so far their efforts have resulted in
little more than a slap on Gates' wrist. And it hasn't had *any*
noticeable effect on his relentless quest to dominate the industry.

NetAction's Consumer Choice Campaign Web site includes additional
background information on Microsoft's anti-competitive activities,
suggestions for grassroots action by cyberspace consumers, links to
other Web sites with information on the issue, and E-mail forms to use
to contact the DOJ and FTC.

As part of the mobilization, NetAction is launching the Micro$oft
Monitor, a free electronic newsletter that will bring you periodic
E-mail updates on federal anti-trust activities involving Microsoft, and
action alerts when it's especially important for federal officials to
hear from cyberspace consumers.

With your help, we can stop Bill Gates from becoming the Robber Baron of
the Internet. Join the mobilization, and tell the government: Don't be
soft on Microsoft!

>>>>> A Special Message for NetAction Notes Subcribers

This alert has been sent to inform you of the Consumer Choice Campaign.
If you wish to receive future alerts about Microsoft, please subscribe
to the Micro$oft Monitor. NetAction Notes will continue to address a
broad range of Internet organizing issues.

>>>>> About NetAction

NetAction is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to educating
the public, policy makers, and the media about technology-based social
and political issues, and to teaching activists how to use the Internet
for organizing, outreach, and advocacy.

NetAction is supported by individual contributions, membership dues and
grants. For more information about contributing to NetAction, contact
Audrie Krause by phone at (415) 775-8674, by E-mail at,
visit the NetAction Web site at:, or write to:
NetAction * 601 Van Ness Ave., No. 631 * San Francisco, CA 94102

Copyright 1997 by NetAction/The Tides Center. All rights reserved.
Material may be reposted or reproduced for non-commercial use provided
NetAction is cited as the source. NetAction is a project of The Tides
Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Quality is a characteristic of thought and statement that is recognized
by a non-thinking process. Because definitions are a product of rigid,
formal thinking, quality cannot be defined.
-- Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance