Notes on monopolies that are restrictive of co-evolution around them

If you want to proliferate across the world, then every key field of contribution needs to be as open as possible to talent, capital and so on, so that capabilities develop.  In addition, the results of the field need to be made to serve a wide range of use cases, because “one size does not fit all” in the real world.

The problem with restrictive monopolies is not that they keep prices up.

The real problem is when they restrict the amount of resources that can enter into the particular field of contribution, and that they restrict the diversity of forms that can be produced in the field of action.  As a result, the possible positive effects on the world are artificially limited.

Microsoft is the personal computer world created the false idea of the “killer app” being essential is consumer software.  They worked hard to make this “true” by systematically obstructing the development of third-party packaged application software.  They manipulated operating system interfaces and underlying capabilities to advantage their applications.  They bundled applications and operating systems, and sold them pre-installed on hardware, undercutting the development of independent software distribution channels and inflicting predatory pricing–free and mandatory–on competitive applications.

They promoted the false idea that only a few companies could pull together the resources to develop good application software.  Then they used their monopoly returns to hire many more software people than they technically needed in order to deny them to competitors.  And finally, having assembled a large number of developers, promoted the false idea that serious apps required such armies.

On the customer side they fought against diversity and promoted the notion that “one size fits all” in apps, and that app customization should be a service provided by local “value added resellers” and consultants trained and licensed by Microsoft.