Micro$oft Monitor

Published by NetAction Issue No. 10 September 13, 1997
Repost where appropriate. See copyright information at end of message.


Fax Congress
The Microsoft Threat
About 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: http://www.netaction.org/fax/ 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 representatives.

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 citizens.

  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 http://www.netaction.org/msoft/ccc.html. 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.

To subscribe to The Micro$oft Monitor, write to: . The body of the message should state: subscribe monitor. To unsubscribe at any time, send a message to: . The body of the message should state: unsubscribe monitor.

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: http://www.netaction.org, or write to:

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 The Tides Center/NetAction. 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.