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Unfortunately, an antitrust case was filed by the US Justice Department. The government argued that the customer must have a choice to choose products in a competitive market. It was not right on Microsoft’s part to monopolise not only the operating systems market but also plan to do the same for browser by porting their browser to the operating system.
” Microsoft’s share of the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems has stood above ninety percent. For the last couple of years the figure has been at least ninety-five percent, and analysts project that the share will climb even higher over the next few years. Even if Apple’s Mac OS were included in the relevant market, Microsoft’s share would still stand well above eighty percent.2″
Microsoft was set up as a company to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, a microcomputer design from 1975, based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold as a mail-order kit through advertisements in hobbyyist magazines. The rise and popularity of home computers is attributed to Altair 8800.
This was a turning point for Microsoft. With the growing popularity of home computers, Microsoft had started to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s. Microsoft has been a real wealth creator for its employees and share holders. Statistics show that subscribing to shares of Microsoft has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.
Microsoft has footholds in other markets besides operating systems and office suites, with assets such as the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia3. Besides developing operating systems and software, Microsoft is also known for its hardware. Popular products include the Microsoft Mouse, and home entertainment products like Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune and MSN TV. Microsoft is known to encourage its software developers and employees. It has also given customer support over Usenet newsgroups and the internet, besides awarding Microsoft MVP status to volunteers who are deemed helpful in assisting the company’s customers. The company’s official website is one of the most visited on the Internet, receiving more than 2.4 million unique page views per day according to Alexa.com.
With its innovative hardware, software and futuristic views, Microsoft enjoyed a near monopoly in the world of computers, especially home computers. Though very unlikely to be true, it was charged with an antitrust case in 1998 by the Government of America.
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