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Microsoft's not forcing anybody

In response to the story written by Evan Hansen and Stefanie Olsen, "Microsoft rebuts RealNetworks charges":

In yet another example of a company using the wording "forcing consumers," RealNetworks is now saying it about Microsoft. First, Microsoft does not "force" me or anyone else to use their products. Just because Microsoft has one of their products "bundled" in their operating system, does this mean I have to use it? Of course not, as I am free to use whatever product I may desire.

This is not to say that Microsoft is totally innocent, of course not. But what company is? If Microsoft is guilty, for example, of some patent infringement, then some kind of action is warranted. But to claim that Microsoft is "forcing" and thereby taking away peoples choices is totally incorrect. Microsoft may be or has been guilty of different things, but forcing or taking away consumers choices is not one of them. This is a fabrication, in my opinion, concocted by various companies, passed on to their lawyers who in turn convince various court systems that Microsoft is "forcing" the consumer, when the underlying cause is that these companies cannot compete. If you can't compete, then get out or build a better mousetrap.

Microsoft has not forced me or taken away my right to choose. If I so choose to use some other program, other than one by Microsoft, such as Windows Media Player, than I shall do so. Windows certainly does not stop me! Remember the days of Windows 95 and all the court commotion about the IE icon on the desktop. Well, I chose not to have it on my desktop, and guess what, two clicks later it was gone.

Roger Robinson
Kansas City, Mo.