January, 1998

To the editor

MICROSOFT: The giant has rights too Imagine how your computer would work had the DOJ got involved a few years back. First, you remove the sticker that covers the on/off button. “Although this system will run on regular power, you still must install batteries because otherwise the battery companies would sue us for hurting their business.” When you try to install a word processor from a CD ROM a message comes up, “we can not install new programs off of a CD because the floppy manufactures would sue us for hurting their business.” You slide in floppy 1 of 400 and a message comes up, “you do not have a file manager program because programmers of file managers would sue us if we included one.” Every step you take you have to buy this, install that, configure the other just so you can write a letter to the editor. Even then you will still need to buy an e-mail program so that you can send it. Of course, that program will not be from Microsoft — they never got off the ground because the only thing their operating system was allowed to do was display a message, “please go buy another company’s operating system.” It is hard to imagine not being able to access your floppies and CDs because these are such basic tasks. The Internet is just another place to store files, and in fact, some of my files are stored there and I would like to be able to access them without having to buy another program to do so. A browser is just a file manager — a file manager to the world. The point being that the Internet has become for many — and will become for most — a basic task. Just as Microsoft does not prevent you from installing a different file manager, it does not prevent you from installing a different browser if that is your choice. The ONLY crime being committed now is trying to stop Microsoft from building an operating system that, out of the box, can access the Internet. Microsoft has the right to — and indeed we would not buy their products if they did not — make an operating system that works with current technologies. I for one, like being able to access the world when I first turn on a computer. Our freedom of choice comes from the fact that we could always use that access to download other programs — even another browser. Respectfully, Matt Carpenter http://www.skyrunner.com The Mining Company’s December 1997 Best of the Net for Jogging/Running

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