Microsofts History and Ethics

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By: Ron Thompson
Instructor: Roy Prescott
Date: 9/30/2010
Report analysis based on informational article from Business Ethics textbook and CD related to material. My personal evaluations are provided in context to business ethics involved. HISTORY
The definition of a monopoly market is, "the only seller in the market is a single firm, and new sellers are barred from entering." One of the first unethical behaviors Bill Gates did was involved when IBM needed a operating system. He had told IBM that he could provide them with an OS, so he went to a friend that had written on OS that would work. He ended up buying his friends OS for $60,000 without informing him about his meeting with IBM. I found this as being unjust and without care for his friend. In 1987, Microsoft virtually copied Apple's OS, and this resulted in a copywrite lawsuit. Apple lost the suit. In my estimation, I would have considered this unethical in light of breaching copywrite protected material, and stealing. By 2000, Microsoft controlled 90% of the pc operating system market, thus possessing a total, monopoly market ; another unethical business practice. In 1995, Microsoft's monopoly was threatened by Netscape. Netscape refused to accept Microsoft's offer, so Microsoft made it so Netscape was unable to develop a browser for Windows 95. This seemed like an "unjust" behavior towards Netscape. Netscape later acquired the codes, and developed a version of Navigator (their browser) that would work with Windows 95. In 1997, Microsoft again decided to use its monopoly power against Netscape, by making Internet Explorer (Microsoft's browser) part of the Windows OS. This led to manufacturers' being forced to either install Windows on their computers, or they were useless. Manufacturers' were coerced into agreements with Microsoft, and this severely hurt Netscape. In a way, this could have been construed as a form of "bribery tactic." When Sun...
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