eWeek Predicts Mozilla will Challenge Internet Explorer

Monday July 28th, 2003

In his latest opinion piece for eWeek, Jim Rapoza tackles a favourite topic of tech columnists recently: are the Browser Wars coming back? Rapoza thinks that they are and says Microsoft's recent decision to only provide enhancements to Internet Explorer via Windows upgrades could leave an opening for alternative browsers. Mozilla, Rapoza argues, is well-placed to take advantage of this opportunity with its up-to-date and innovative technology.

#18 Re: Welcome to free captialism.

by napolj2

Tuesday July 29th, 2003 11:10 AM

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I agree with you that the government should have done more in the anti-trust settlement against MS. From a company's point of view, if it can gain the whole market share by using anti-competitive tactics and then only pay a comparatively small fine later, why not do it? The punishment must be made to discourage the crime. I would have used settlement money to install Linux in many public schools.

I disagree with you, though, about capitalism. Even Adam Smith himself said that monopolies hurt capitalism and that governments should try to prevent them (although they shouldn't interfere much in the economy). Also, if you put too many regulations or fines on businesses, 90% of the cost just gets shoved onto the employees and the consumers. Open source software like Linux is good for the economy as a whole in capitalism because it lowers peoples' expenses and the cost of doing business. Similarly, ridiculous software patents are bad for the economy as they raise business costs.

As for the drug business, remember that it costs an average of 800 million US$ to bring a drug to market, because of the huge costs of R&D and the fact that many drugs are rejected by the FDA. If drug companies cannot make back all that money plus make a profit, they are simply not going to invest any more in making new drugs, hurting everyone. The price controls many countries put on perscription drugs would cause this to happen if it weren't for the fact that drug companies can make up for this loss from US consumers. US consumers are in effect forced to shoulder much of the burden of R&D costs which should be shared more evenly by consumers in other countries. The best way to lower drug costs is to streamline the FDA approval process.

People and businesses alike always think they are being overcharged for things and underpaid for their own services. On average, businesses only make a 6% profit on your purchases.

Part of the blame for the Microsoft monopoly belongs with the end users. In order for capitalism to work, buyers must make rational decisions as to which product or service best meets their needs. If people choose products that are well-designed and useful, those companies that make them will prosper. If people instead buy the product that has the most attractive packaging or was featured in the most commericals, then things won't work out so well (which is another reason I hate ads and marketing). If most users don't know how to or don't care enough to download an alternate browser and give it a try, then that is a bigger problem for us than MS.

In a free economy, if the public does not like the a certain business' way of doing something, they can organize themselves to form a non-profit org to do it themselves. However, this would not work for drugs as you would never raise the billions needed; thus having pharmaceutical giants is the only viable option. As for software, if enough people think it is worth the effort, they will contribute time and money to make Linux and Mozilla a success, and MS will lose market share. If no one really cares, then we're stuck with MS. (in an odd way, I am partly glad MS pissed off so many people, as this contributed to Linux's growth.)