Microsoft is building the best products says Techdirt

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30:  (NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’d never imagine I’d see this argument by anyone, especially by someone who aims to be an authority in tech sector reporting but it seems that ideology trumps facts. See Techdirt’s Mike’s (I assume Masnick?)  latest quote:

And, for that matter, I’d suggest that you’re wrong in your initial assessment. Microsoft beat all of the companies you listed above by creating a BETTER PRODUCT.

Lolwut.

Now let’s see

  • MS Word VS Wordprerfect
  • Exchange VS Lotus Notes
  • Internet Explorer 6 VS Opera
  • MS-Dos VS DR-Dos
  • Active Directory VS Novell Netware

There’s a lot of other products that suffered the same fate because of the way MS “competes” which has nothing to do with building better products. Indeed all tech experts were scratching their head how an upstart competitor with a clearly inferior product could be winning market share against his well entrenched opponents.

The answer of course is by anti-competitive tactics, which is to say, by doing anything else except building a better product. If there’s anything to be said about Microsoft products is that they have always been second class with a lot of bugs features that nobody wanted. And yet, they win.

Still, Techdirt seems unable to recognise this fact. This can only be because free market idealism has clouded their minds so much that monopolies and shady practices don’t even register. No, everything is fair competition as far as they’re concerned. But this is of course a fallacious reasoning as their argument goes like this.

  • Products/Companies  in the free marketwho  gain market space do so by building better products
  • Microsoft is gaining market space
  • Therefore Microsoft must be building better products.

Of course this is patently ridiculous, as the very first premise is wrong. Companies have many means in their disposal to gain market space that don’t involve building better products. From using your monopolistic market share to strong arm your allies to drop the competitor’s products, to setting fire to the other’s stores.

Wether Microsoft is gaining or losing market share is does not tell us anything about the quality of their products or their tactics from the very simple fact that correlation does not equal causation. To find out what is causing this, you need to look deeper into practices and product comparisons, something which Techdirt is apparently unwilling to do and much prefers the lazy way out.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

12 thoughts on “Microsoft is building the best products says Techdirt

  1. Ha! Very funny.

    No one said they were building the best products at all, but, you know, why let what I actually said stand, when you can take it out of context and throw around insults. Why that's sooooooooo convincing.

    What I said (clearly, though… apparently not clearly enough for some) was that Microsoft did a better job of delivering what people felt was GOOD ENOUGH. In many cases they VALUED the bundle of products together, such that they didn't have to go out and find the disparate pieces themselves. So as long as they're happy with it, so what?

    And, what you left out (oh so conveniently, despite my pointing it out to you… gee… wonder why…?) was that plenty of companies HAVE been able to beat Microsoft by building better products. So the prima facie case that Microsoft simply uses its monopoly powers to wipe out competitors is false. Plenty of other competitors have beaten Microsoft in the market by creating a better product designed to serve customer needs. If Microsoft were really so powerful, why wasn't it able to do the same thing to all of them?

    1. Instead of whining about some perceived insult, why don't you answer what the gist of the article was? Explain why your reasoning (which you repeated in your comment) is not fallacious. Again you say that people chose MS products because they were good enough but you base it on circular reasoning. People stuck with MS products because they were good enough because people obviously stuck with MS products.

      You mentioned that anti-competitive tactics are those were in the end consumers are better off. Well it's very obvious now that consumer did become worse off after MS tactics managed to defeat the competition (again a comment I left for your already). But with your fallacious reasoning, it is not possible to do any tactic that can be considered anti-competitive because in any case people simply "valued" something as "good enough" and thus they must be "better off".

      was that plenty of companies HAVE been able to beat Microsoft by building better products.

      What you left out, (oh so conveniently) is that this post was written before your latest answer, in which I've already challenged you to name all those companies..

      In any case, you've missed the whole point of this article which is to point that you and your team are stunningly lazy in looking behind the correlations and find the true reasons MS has dominated the market in all the products relying on their OS where they chose to compete.

  2. I agree with Mr. Masnick. Sure in short run spurts companies which hold a near monopoly can "abuse" their power and put out sub-par products but it will eventually ruin them, and Microsoft is not immune to this. They sat too long on their reputation as the only player in the game and other companies came up and began taking market share back (Firefox, Linux, Mac, and most importantly Google). Now Microsoft is struggling in many ways and attempting to get back the small company agility it enjoyed long ago (i.e. Windows 7 and its beta).

    Mike's comment reminded me of this blog, which used to put out information which I found interesting because it produced a "good enough" bundle of information which I wanted to learn about, but has now turned to overly defensive tactics and ad hominem attacks against any opposing viewpoints.

  3. Instead of whining about some perceived insult, why don't you answer what the gist of the article was? Explain why your reasoning (which you repeated in your comment) is not fallacious. Again you say that people chose MS products because they were good enough but you base it on circular reasoning. People stuck with MS products because they were good enough because people obviously stuck with MS products.

    You mentioned that anti-competitive tactics are those were in the end consumers are better off. Well it's very obvious now that consumer did become worse off after MS tactics managed to defeat the competition (again a comment I left for your already). But with your fallacious reasoning, it is not possible to do any tactic that can be considered anti-competitive because in any case people simply "valued" something as "good enough" and thus they must be "better off".

    was that plenty of companies HAVE been able to beat Microsoft by building better products.

    What you left out, (oh so conveniently) is that this post was written before your latest answer, in which I've already challenged you to name all those companies..

    In any case, you've missed the whole point of this article which is to point that you and your team are stunningly lazy in looking behind the correlations and find the true reasons MS has dominated the market in all the products relying on their OS.

  4. The point is not that balance will not be restored, the point is that MS deserves to be punished for following such underhanded tactics.

  5. I'm curious, how is it that we are "lazy" when your post is blatantly incorrect. We never said that Microsoft had the best products. You claimed we did. You are wrong. We are right. Who's lazy now?

    You are also wrong in saying I conveniently left out the names of companies that beat Microsoft in the market. I did not.

    http://techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20090224/1240

    Who's lazy now?

    You are also wrong in saying that customers were worse off after MS "won". Why? Because that resulted in Mozilla and Firefox. If Microsoft hadn't won that initial war, we'd still be dealing with Netscape — which was a piece of incredibly useless bloated crap by the time Microsoft "won." If you knew anything about the history of Netscape, you'd know that Netscape totally took their eye off the ball on the browser, and tried to focus on the server/collaboration business, leading the browser to become nearly unusable. So, Microsoft "won" by creating a cleaner more usable product… but out of that came NEW COMPETITION in the form of Firefox and others. So, in the end (once again) we were all better off.

    So who's lazy now?

    You seem to have gotten everything in your comments wrong. It's difficult to take anyone seriously when they do that.

    I see no point in continuing a conversation with someone who prefers to blatantly lie, take statements out of context and mislead.

    Finally, as for your comment below, you have revealed your true goals: you are more focused on "punishing" a company for their tactics than caring about whether or not users are better off. Stunning.

    1. If Microsoft hadn't won that initial war, we'd still be dealing with Netscape

      Please don't try to foresee the future. It's not as if Open Source browsers wouldn't exist if Netscape didn't provide their source. If Netscape hadn't lost we would probably have a very open and standards-compliant internet 5 years earlier.

      So, Microsoft "won" by creating a cleaner more usable product…

      Aaahahahaahahha, what can I say Mike, just repeating yourself does not make it true. Unless you missed it, Netscape won the Anti-trust trial against Microsoft. But I guess that was simply because the government was greedy and wanted to punish that poor innocent corporation. Nothing to do with facts and proof.

    2. I see no point in continuing a conversation with someone who prefers to blatantly lie, take statements out of context and mislead.

      I haven't lied once. I haven't taken anything out of context (I provided links to all your quotes) and the most I may be guilty of is a sensational title, which easily follows from your comments.

      But if you can find a quick excuse to avoid arguing your point, be my guest.

    3. you are more focused on "punishing" a company for their tactics than caring about whether or not users are better off.

      I've already explained how people are worse off. And yes, I am focused on punishing a company who has blatantly abused their power and engaged in the worst kind of anti-competition. I see that as a good thing as it would send a message to current a future companies to not follow the same path.

      You still have not answered my main points. Your argument still stands fallacious.

      1. Anyone is free to read my original statements and your replies and realize for themselves who is telling the truth and who is taking things out of context and lying.

        1. That is true. It is the reason I linked directly to you comment on the very beggining of this post.

    4. You are also wrong in saying I conveniently left out the names of companies that beat Microsoft in the market. I did not.

      Yes you did. Have you even read my reply?

Comments are closed.