The Micro$oft Monitor

CobraBoy! (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 19:37:23 -0700

The Micro$oft Monitor
Published by NetAction Issue No. 10 September 13,
Repost where appropriate. Copyright and subscription info at end of message.
* * * * * * *
In This Issue:
Fax Congress
The Microsoft Threat
About the Micro$oft Monitor

Join the Virtual Speak Out: Fax Congress

Join NetAction's Virtual Speak Out and help convince Congress to schedule
public hearings to put consumer concerns about Microsoft on the record.

Between now and September 19, 1997, NetAction is empowering citizens to
educate Congress about the Microsoft monopoly and the threat it poses to the
development of the Internet. To participate in the Virtual Speak Out, visit
NetAction's Web site < and send a
fax to one or more of your representatives in Congress.

The Virtual Speak Out is part of NetAction's Microsoft lobby day.
Volunteers will be in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 15, 1997, to
tell Congress about the threat of a Microsoft monopoly of the Internet, and
to support NetAction's request for Congressional hearings to put consumer
concerns about Microsoft on the record. If you're concerned about Microsoft
but you can't be in Washington, D.C., on Monday, the Virtual Speak Out is
your opportunity to participate.

It's easy to participate. You'll find a letter on NetAction's Web site,
along with instructions on how to send the fax. If you support NetAction's
request for Congressional hearings, we hope you'll take a moment to fax the
letter to your representatives. Remember that you have two Senators and one
Representative. We encourage you to send separate faxes to each of your


The Microsoft Threat to Consumers in Cyberspace

For those who want more background on NetAction's request for Congressional
hearings, we've prepared the following three-point briefing:

1) Today: A Stranglehold on Software

Microsoft Windows has captured more than 90% of the market in operating
system software, giving Microsoft control of the standards and architecture
that control the design of all other types of software. As a result,
Microsoft today owns 89% of the market in word processors, spreadsheets, and
other popular types of application software. Microsoft Windows and
Microsoft applications come pre-installed on virtually all of the personal
computers sold to consumers today. And the company continues to capture
market share, buying up its competitors when necessary.

2) Tomorrow: Seizing Control of Cyberspace

The Internet is an increasingly important segment of the U.S. and global
economy, and Microsoft's recent investments and acquisitions are geared
toward gaining control of the gateway to the Internet, along with Internet
content and commerce. Microsoft's Internet strategy is similar to the
strategy that led to its software monopoly -- control the standards. To do
that, Microsoft is seeking to dominate the market for Internet browsers,
Internet servers, and E-mail, along with secure electronic transactions,
digital television, and convergence technology.

If Microsoft is successful in its quest to control cyberspace, citizens will
end up without choice, forced to use Microsoft products to get online and,
once there, forced to do business with Microsoft. The company will collect
a "vig" off every electronic transaction, use its control of Internet access
gateways to collect personal information on consumers, and use that personal
information to target their marketing efforts to the interests of individual

3) The Public Needs Help from Congress to Stop the Microsoft Monopoly

The Justice Department, and before that the Federal Trade Commission, have
been investigating Congress for years in response to complaints from
business competitors. But very little has come of these investigations, and
they have always been conducted in secret. Individual citizens have not had
an opportunity to put their concerns on the record and get them addressed.
Congress can provide a forum for citizens and consumers to get their
concerns addressed by scheduling hearings before the Antitrust Subcommittee
of the Senate Judiciary Committee (or another appropriate committee). It's
time to bring Microsoft's actions out into the open by listening to what
consumers have to say about the need for choice in the technology marketplace.


About The Micro$oft Monitor

The Micro$oft Monitor is a free electronic newsletter, published as part of
the Consumer Choice Campaign <
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.

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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

To learn more about how activists can use the Internet for grassroots
organizing, outreach, and advocacy, subscribe to NetAction Notes, a free
electronic newsletter published twice a month.

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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.


The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining
armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological
chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling
second-rate technology, led them into it in the first place.
-Douglas Adams, on Windows '95

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