Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Disagree strongly.

By killing Netscape he set back the computer industry by a decade or more. If Gates hadn't used anti-competitive tactics, and he had just accepted, say, a 60% share for Windows, we would have reached where we are much quicker.

We benefit immensely from the presence today of multiple strong operating systems, Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux, and Chrome are all great offerings that force the other players to be better.

Windows languished during its monopoly decade, and we were all stuck with it. Why did it even take until iPhone 3G for there to be a widespread online software store? Because Microsoft profited from Office being the biggest, most profitable box on a shelf with a bunch of other boxes, and having that boxed software be the only place you could direct your attention on a PC. Steve Jobs could start an online software store because Apple was barely selling any software. They had nothing to lose. Gates had the world to lose.

Look at where peoples' attention goes today. That's what Netscape was promising. Now imagine if Gates had let that happen in 1995.

And Word and Excel were clones of existing software. Microsoft had about as much positive impact on the tech industry as Baidu is having now. Baidu probably has more users than Gates ever had.

1. Even a monopoly provides social value, though not as much as competitive market. See: http://www.csun.edu/~hceco008/c11d.htm

2. I'm sure Microsoft's competitive tactics had something to do with it, but it also sounds like Netscape had it's own problems: https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Netscape-lose-ground-to-IE

Almost every comment you're leaving here seems based on a Just World Fallacy, which is very close to survivor bias. It's easy but misleading to look back at the good aspects of the past and derive a teleological theory that ignores opportunity costs.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact