Micro$oft Monitor

Published by NetAction Issue No. 18 November 12, 1997
Repost where appropriate. See copyright information at end of message.


Microsoft's Buying Spree
About Micro$oft Monitor

Microsoft's Buying Spree: From MS Word to MS World

In a comprehensive White Paper released today, NetAction reports that Microsoft has invested an estimated $4-$5 billion in its quest for control of cyberspace and is acquiring key strategic technologies at a rate of over one per month.

The report, "From Microsoft Word to Microsoft World: How Microsoft is Building a Global Monopoly," provides an in-depth look at Microsoft's strategy for domination of the global information technology industry.

The complete report is available on NetAction's Web site, at: http://www.netaction.org/msoft/world/.

The report was researched and written by , Project Director for NetAction's Consumer Choice Campaign.

What is most disturbing about Microsoft's buying spree, according to Newman, is that Internet markets are expected to explode geometrically within the next few years. Financial analysts are predicting anywhere from $80 billion to $160 billion in electronic commerce by the year 2000, so the stakes are high.

The White Paper warns that if Microsoft isn't reigned in soon, there is a very real possibility that it will become an unprecedented financial and technological colossus, reaching into more markets and industries than any monopolist has ever aspired to dominate.

NetAction's research documented nearly 50 Internet-related investments and acquisitions made by Microsoft, most of them within the past 24 months, and the White Paper traces the company's leveraging of these investments into dominance of the global information technology industry.

In addition to a detailed description of the steps Microsoft is taking to gain control of Internet access, content, and commerce, NetAction's report reveals that the company is spending millions of dollars to subsidize developer tools and train software developers and other computer professionals in order to tie them to the Microsoft framework. Microsoft's tactics range from forging partnerships with commercial and academic training institutions, to stealing key employees away from its competitors.

The White Paper is one of the most comprehensive examinations to date of Microsoft's strategy for global dominance. NetAction is distributing copies to key members of Congress and the Justice Department, as well as to participants in Ralph Nader's Appraising Microsoft Conference, which takes place Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C.

Micro$oft Monitor readers are encouraged to print out the chart of Microsoft's known Internet-related investments and acquisitions, and forward it to their representatives in Congress with a brief note urging their support for Congressional hearings to put consumer concerns on the record. Although the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony regarding Microsoft's anti-competitive actions at a recent hearing on computer industry issues, no consumer representatives were among the witnesses invited to testify.

The chart is at: http://www.netaction.org/msoft/world/table.html.

The report includes five recommendations for action by policy makers to restrain the negative aspects of Microsoft's dominance:

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.

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

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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.