Why Netscape Has No Case Against Microsoft

from the they-lost-fair-and-square dept

A very well done article at Salon explaining why Netscape has no real case against Microsoft. The points do make a lot of sense. Basically, the article says that Netscape lost because Internet Explorer became a better product for less money (in this case, free). While Microsoft may have done other bad stuff, Netscape never would have been able to keep the market share they wanted anyway, and thus the case is a waste of time. While I’m no fan of Microsoft, I think the author is probably right on this one. Most people I’ve spoken with who were in a position to know what was going on, believe that Netscape’s management team hurt themselves more than Microsoft ever did.

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Comments on “Why Netscape Has No Case Against Microsoft”

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Carter Rabasa (user link) says:

give me a break

The author makes the point that Microsoft’s IE software eventually overtook Netscape Navigator in terms of quality, and that this lead to Navigator’s demise in the narketplace.

I guess I’m astonished how anyone could think that a company like Microsoft, with its tens of billions of dollars in the bank and army of programmers, could fail at making a better HTML browser and give it away for free to boot.

Microsoft, with its Windows cash-cow, utterly wiped out a promising start-up company, and this is wrong no matter how you look at it.

Victor says:

A better mousetrap

>But what’s illegal about making a better product?

There is nothing wrong with making a better product. However, at the time when this started, I feel that MicroSoft did not have a better product. In the shop we called it MicroSoft Exploder. These days I find Explorer to much better than Netscape

Anyway there is more to the MicroSoft monoply case than who had the better product

Mike (profile) says:

Re: A better mousetrap

It’s true that there’s a LOT more to the case than that, but we’re not talking about the Microsoft monopoly case. We’re talking about the Netscape case. In that case, I don’t think Netscape has much of an argument.

Yes, the early versions of IE sucked. I was one of the longest holdouts in sticking with Netscape until I just couldn’t deal with it any more and had to switch to IE (though, now, I split time with Opera a lot).

The point is, though, that Netscape’s argument for damages is weak, because there’s not much in the way of damages, since they wouldn’t have kept the market no matter what they did – since their product just wasn’t as good (eventually) as Microsofts.

The Misanthrope (user link) says:

Re: Re: A better mousetrap

I too was a long-time holdout, even sticking with NS when they were clearly losing ground – but how couldn’t they? When both browsers were $40, anyone you spoke with – who had a choice – chose Netscape. But people are people; give then something for free, even if it is a bit inferior, and they’ll take it. That Microsoft could afford to do that – and strongarm OEMs into offering IE only with systems – is why IE is where it is today, a typical “works well enough” product from MS, with MS having little incentive to make it work perfectly. What we’re losing sight of here is, should there be only one browser? (Or word processor, or…?) When I finally gave up on Netscape, I went over to Opera – which beats the pants off both. Standards are great, but let’s don’t confuse standard with monopoly. The 240/120 VAC mains allow you to bring your appliances from one side of the country to the other. But you aren’t forced to buy them from Westinghouse.

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