Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Case is Made Clearly

The only time I personally owned MSFT stock was just after Thomas Penfield Jackson’s second break-up ruling, when there might have been an upside.

I sold it shortly after the Appeals Court nixed the only good idea—breakup—in favor of “let them pay a fine to be determined, and let them dawdle long enough that the incoming Administration decides the fine, just so they’re really disincented from making money by developing good products.”

Barry Ritholtz Explains It All to You.

Tags: , , Comments (3) | |

Reasons Market Share Declines

Michael Swanwick explains how a monopoly can destroy itself:

Nowadays, times are much easier but a lot scammier. Last week I had to buy a new palmbook/laptop. Which, I discovered on my first and only day of possession, was preloaded with Windows 7 Starter, a not-fully-functional OS. When I tried to change the image on my desktop, I learned that doing so required that I go online and buy Windows 7 Home Premier. After getting my refund, I talked to salesfolk at various stores and learned that all the new palmtops have the cut-down version because they don’t have memory enough to run W7HP.

Well, each new version of Windows is written far too memory-hoggish for the current hardware. So it only makes sense that the new OS would have fewer features. Still, it was pretty cheeky of them to have it automatically try to sell me an OS that my device couldn’t run.

Apple doesn’t play that kind of game, so if I’d been willing to wait for the iPad to come available, I probably would’ve spent the extra money for it. But I have work to do, so I scrounged around until I found one of the dwindling number of netbooks still running on XP.

As I’ve noted before, they did this on laptops with Vista as well. There is no better way to destroy your reputation that to put out something that doesn’t work.

Tags: , , , , Comments (16) | |

Charlie Stross Explains It All to You

The rest is details:

The reason I choose to pay through the nose for my computers is very simple: unlike just about every other manufacturer in the business, Apple appreciate the importance of good industrial design.

but they’re nice details.

(posted from my daughters’s “new” G4, which needs a new keyboard, but has a right shift key)

[Apple ticker symbol corrected in tags. Thank you.]

Tags: , , , Comments (4) | |

Maybe Songsmith isn’t Completely Useless after all

After the first round, I was convinced that Microsoft’s songsmith was at best, a way to produce mash-ups for the tonally impaired.

Kieran Healy has convinced me otherwise, with this piece: capitalism in action, set to music:

I believe this is what we meant when we talked about “creative destruction,” back in the days when economists weren’t just trying to eviscerate the safety net to “balance” the budget (and whose previous efforts worked so well we should certainly have faith in their current proclamations).

Tags: , , , , , Comments (0) | |

I Wish I TA’ed Monopolistic Competition instead of Economic Development

Everyone should read Joe Wilcox’s update, based on the release of more court docs, on the ongoing saga of Why Vista Sucked on Release. (Short version: because Intel asked.)

Teaser quote, which would look fine in Mankiw or Krugman’s next Macro text:

Based on the available information, I come to an easy conclusion: One monopoly colluded with another for economic gain—and in this instance causing harm to Microsoft, its partners and customers. Matters were even worse than intended, because Microsoft delayed Vista:

  1. Vista-inferior chip sets stayed in market longer than they otherwise should have.
  2. More consumers bought PCs incapable of fully running Aero Glass.
  3. Notebooks were disproportionately affected, because the state of the art was even lower than for desktops.

So if the guys at Compaq wonder why I will never buy one of their products again, they may have a legitimate argument that it wasn’t all their fault. But it doesn’t change the reality—or, if you prefer, the Externality.

Tags: , , , , , Comments (0) | |