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The Dirty Story of How Microsoft Took Down Netscape!


Let me tell you a story about how Microsoft, one of the biggest tech giants today, once took down Netscape, a pioneering web browser, by playing dirty.


Back in the 90s, Netscape was the big fish in the pond when it came to web browsers. It had a market share of over 90%, and its co-founder, Marc Andreessen, was hailed as a tech god. However, all that changed when Microsoft entered the game with its own browser, Internet Explorer (IE).


At first, IE was a mere add-on to Windows 95, which meant users had to download and install it separately. Netscape didn't take it seriously, assuming it would fizzle out. However, Microsoft was determined to make IE the default browser for Windows. And they did just that with the release of Windows 98.


Now, here's where things get sneaky. Microsoft made changes to the operating system that made it difficult for users to remove IE and install another browser. And if that wasn't enough, they also started bundling IE with other Microsoft products, making it difficult for other browsers to compete.


But that's not all. While Netscape charged users $49 for its browser, IE was free. And since it came pre-installed with Windows, most users didn't even bother looking for alternatives. This resulted in a steep decline in Netscape's market share.


Of course, Netscape wasn't going to take this lying down. They sued Microsoft for anti-competitive practices and won. The court found Microsoft guilty of monopolizing the market and using unfair tactics to kill off Netscape's business. As a result, Microsoft had to pay out over $750 million in damages.


The case did have some lasting effects. For one, it put Microsoft on notice that they couldn't just use their monopoly power to kill off competition. And for another, it helped pave the way for other companies to enter the web browser market, which ultimately led to the rise of Firefox, Chrome, and other popular browsers.


So, there you have it, folks. The story of how Microsoft killed Netscape's business and ended up in court for antitrust violations. It just goes to show you that even the biggest companies in the world can't always get away with everything they want to do.


This story highlights the cutthroat nature of the tech industry, and how even the biggest players are willing to use dirty tactics to gain an edge. It also underscores the importance of fair competition and the need to protect consumers from the effects of monopolies. Today, Microsoft is a very different company, and has since embraced open-source technology and collaboration with other companies. But the lessons from the past remain relevant, reminding us of the need to uphold ethical practices and ensure a level playing field for all.


References;

Here are some source links related to the story of Microsoft and Netscape:

  1. The New York Times: Microsoft Violated Antitrust Laws, Judge Rules - https://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/04/business/microsoft-violated-antitrust-laws-judge-rules.html

  2. Wired: How Microsoft's Dirty Tricks Conquered Web Browsers - https://www.wired.com/2011/06/microsoft-browser-choice/

  3. How-To Geek: How Internet Explorer Became the World's Most Used Browser - https://www.howtogeek.com/126299/htg-explains-how-internet-explorer-became-the-worlds-most-used-browser/

  4. CNBC: Netscape vs. Microsoft: How the First Browser War Shaped Tech - https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/netscape-vs-microsoft-how-the-first-browser-war-shaped-tech.html

  5. The Verge: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the Browser Wars - https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/19/18270952/netscape-browser-history-mosaic-mozilla-chrome-internet-explorer-microsoft

  6. NPR: Microsoft's Internet Explorer: Requiem for a Web Browser - https://www.npr.org/2015/03/17/392720524/microsofts-internet-explorer-requiem-for-a-web-browser

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