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Microsoft restricts choice

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I was appalled by "My View," by Shayne Wissler of L3 Communications, on the Justice Department's investigation of Microsoft. The views expressed are a shallow misapplication of fundamental principles at the very least.

One of the principal functions of our government is to ensure freedoms for each individual. Because of Microsoft, the people's freedom of choice is eliminated. Microsoft got big, not by the superior quality of their products, but by systematically eliminating competition through restrictive, noncompetitive contracts with developers and vendors. The end result is an elimination of consumers' freedom of choice.It is literally impossible to buy a new PC in the United States without getting Windows 95. There is no major vendor of PCs that can provide a consumer with OS/2, Linux or Unix or any other operating system on a new PC.

Microsoft has contracts with several Web content providers that only allow users to connect to these sites if they are using Internet Explorer. Netscape, or any other browser, will not work on these sites. Obviously, Microsoft is guilty of restricting the freedoms of all PC users.

These restrictive, exclusionary contracts have resulted in the decimation of competing products.Consider the decline of WordPerfect, Lotus, IBM (OS/2), DR DOS, and the unabashed attacks on the market share of Novell and Netscape.

If anything, the government is guilty of not doing enough to protect the people's freedom of choice and the freedom to compete fairly from Microsoft's practices.

Douglas Jenkins