Friday, May 15, 2009

Intel's Turn at Monopoly

It's about time. I've been wondering where all the competition watchdogs have been the last few years. Surely the recent dominance of Intel-based computers over AMD wasn't due to product superiority!

At last, the European Union has woken up and taken Intel to task for abusing its monopoly. And how! 1 billion Euros should hurt even a company raking in monopoly profits.

I hope that with increasing regulatory oversight, prices of hardware and software will fall even lower.

Microsoft had better take note, because there's surely a similar level of monopoly arm-twisting going on in the Netbook market. At price points like $300, there's no way a Windows Netbook can be cheaper than a Linux-based one when taking into account OS licence fees. In a competitive market, OEMs would be scrambling to shave off every possible dollar from the price of their offerings. Yet, it's very rare to find a Linux-based Netbook even today. Surely it's not the lack of user-friendliness of Linux. Check out Ubuntu today. Surely it's not the lack of applications for Linux. Take the most popular application, the office suite. Linux comes bundled with OpenOffice. You have to pay extra for MS-Office. How do Windows-based Netbooks even sell? How? How??

I'm waiting for the new US administration to follow the EU in returning to a tough stand against monopolies.

When the playing field is level and fair, I believe we will soon see $50 Netbooks running either Intel or AMD chips. And Microsoft will go bankrupt.

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