Michael W. JacksonA02-92-6779Warren 11B1 February 2000Microsoft: Beneficial Monopoly in Harsh CompetitionWhen Microsoft or Bill Gates is mentioned the normal response by thecomputing public of the United States is one of disgust and disapproval of an industryleader with what appears to be endless wealth. This is a common feeling shared notonly by the consumer but as well by the computing industry, which must devote manyof its resources to competing with Microsoft in hopes of besting the prominent leader in consumer recognition. The term applied to Microsoft is a monopoly, which istraditionally understood to be a company that controls a market and in doing so doesnot allow any competition to challenge its power. The development of Microsoft'scurrent position in the computing industry, however, is not the result of monopolisticsentiments comparable to that of the robber barons of the latter nineteenth century butin fact a result of the unique dynamic of the computer industry itself. The factors thatform this dynamic are intellectual property, rapid change in product requirements, andcompetition in a diverse marketplace.The first distinct component of the computer industry dynamic is the unlimitedscope of intellectual property as a resource to product development. The messageconferred by this statement is that a monopoly such as Standard Oil had a finiteproduct (oil) to control whereas the scope of the human mind is limitless. Thecomputer industry is one in which the next great advancement is just over the horizon.