Rivals of Microsoft and even some lawmakers have long alleged that the company is a dangerous monopoly. With Bill Gates’ appearance before Congress last week, it looks like the government is taking a closer look at the issue. The Business Journal Forum asks:
Do you think that Microsoft is too dominant, and if so, should the government intervene?
Fresh Produce Entertainment, Inc.
This is America and the consumer decides, by the product they buy, who succeeds and who doesn’t. No, I don’t believe the government should intervene. I believe the consumer should continue to decide who is profitable and who is not.
Pfeifer Music Partners
I don’t follow Microsoft that much because I’m a Mac guy, but it doesn’t feel to me that there are any unrealistic barriers to entry. I don’t think the government should intervene.
Is Microsoft too dominant? I would say yes. You see it in every single PC, their software is prevalent. One has to keep in mind that one of the main reasons why Microsoft is so big is because of the quality of the product. It’s very, very good. The consumer goes for whatever product is the best. Obviously, you don’t want the government to regulate business practices as long as they stay within the guidelines.
Patricia O’Brien Fine
Markham/Novell Communications, Ltd.
It’s extremely difficult to answer. I have a basic belief in the free market system and I’m not fond of government intervention. However, you reach the point when it’s needed. Abuses do happen. I don’t know if that applies to Microsoft, I really don’t follow them that closely, but I have heard of complaints from other companies that they can’t get into the market.
Dummit Faber & Briegleb
First I think that Microsoft is probably right on the edge of what is allowed. You know, I’m sure their aggressive marketing takes things to the edge, but I do think when it comes to preventing competition from being thwarted, the government has to step in. Otherwise the big guys will keep swallowing up the little guys.
Vice president creative services
I’m certainly aware of Microsoft’s dominance, but my gut feeling is no, they’re not too dominant. It’s a remarkable success that they’ve earned and deserve. It’s not up to us to intrude upon that and we should let the ebb and flow of capitalism take its course. I’m also torn that competitors do have those barriers to entry, that’s a little distressing, but it’s something I believe that could work itself out in a free market. The government should not get involved.