Roblimo asks on slash.dot, Is Microsoft Still a Monopoly?. It's a pretty good summary of how monoply power is slipping from Microsoft's frantic grasp. Subheads include:
- Microsoft (Slowly) Moves Away from Monopolistic Behavior
- Microsoft Explorer No Longer Rules the Online World
- 'The Network is the Computer'
- Hundreds of Thousands of Competitors
- Competition has Forced Microsoft to Improve its Products
- The Age of the Software Monopoly is Over
Quote from the article:
Neither you nor I nor Google's management nor Microsoft's management know what might be going on right now in the mind of a brilliant Saudi woman with a computer science degree who can't work outside her home because her country's laws keep her from mixing with men who aren't related to her.
The sign that a company has (or thinks it has) a monopoly: its products are lackluster. For example, American-made automobiles of the 70s and 80s. GM, Ford, and Chysler didn't have monopolies, but they acted as if they did. When Office 12 is released, it'll be interesting to see if it just has surface gleam (like American automobiles of previous decades) or if it contains useful innovations.