Gaining the Whole World

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Maybe one of the greatest success stories in the history of the Information Technology world has been Microsoft Corporation and one of its founders, one Bill Gates. His father was William H. Gates, Sr., an attorney who specialized in SEC work and whose firm was very influential, both in the Pacific Northwest, and in Washington, D.C. However, the company Bill Gates III is famous for actually got its start in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was incorporated in that state on November 26, 1976.

Young Bill Gates

Mr. Gates got his start programming BASIC for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), an early manufacturer of Microcomputer Systems. However, as MITS went towards the defense industry, Microsoft worked out an agreement with IBM which results in the PC-DOS operating system. While they only got $50,000 for developing this system for IBM, they were permitted to retain the rights to their operating system allowing them to eventually license their operating system software to other Personal Computer manufacturers and their end users. It turned out, there were a lot of manufacturers, government contracts, and end-users, in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Consult an old Computer Shopper magazine and it becomes very apparent, Microsoft Corporation had a lot of customers!

Attorney General Janet RenoMr. Gates would remain president of Microsoft Corporation until 2006 when he "retired from the day to day operations." Through that time, he weathered the storms from the U.S. Justice Department and from the European Union (though he was out of the day-to-day operations of the company when the European Union case was in court). To be honest, the late Janet Reno's Department of Justice had no idea how to pursue a court case against Microsoft Corporation. In Ms. Reno's Socialist outlook, she would have preferred that the government take over Microsoft, install Al Gore as its president (even though he has been a member of the Board of Directors at Apple Computing for years), Al Gore and mandate that every computer user install Windows 98 on their computers. This was not going to happen, so they went after Internet Explorer, not realizing that most computer users at the time, installed Netscape Navigator or Mozilla Firefox on their computer ten minutes after they finished installing Windows 98. While the government "won" their case against Microsoft, the computer consumer lost and continues to lose. (United States of America, Appellee v. Microsoft Corporation, Appellant, 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001))

Windows 95 Logo

The real issue was that Microsoft Corporation owns around 70% of the operating system market and has done everything it can to keep every potential competitor from bringing a competitive operating system into the market. Some lawyers cite the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, and the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 to accuse them of being involved "restraint of trade" activities. (15 U.S. §1) Even Apple, Linux, Solaris, Sun, and Google have not penetrated the PC market to any degree. Instead, we have been subjected to Windows 3.11 and its 640K stack, Windows 95 and its stack overflows (resulting in the unappreciated "blue screens of death"), Windows 98, which users were required to pay to fix Windows 95's buggy algorithms. Windows Vista LogoWindows 2000 which over-promised and under-delivered in a lot of areas. Windows XP seemed to work all right, but Windows Vista was a disaster, Windows 7 was OK and Windows 8 was still buggy. Windows 10 has been around almost a decade and Windows 11 arrived, but does not work well on machines with AMD processing chips.

However, when you evaluate the computer market, you begin to wonder why Microsoft Corporation keeps putting out marginal operating systems, but why has not had someone entered the market with a better product? Traditional business history tell this story. When Ford Motor Corporation President Henry Ford said, "You can have any color of car you want as long as it's black," General Motors bucked the trend and rose to the top of the car market by offering an array of colors on all their models. They stayed at the top of the car market until the 2000s when the Japanese car makers Toyota, Honda, and Nissan made products that people really wanted, when General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler failed to adjust to a changing car and truck market.

Right now, because of the business conditions in the Information Technology field, companies cannot sell an operating system, even for free (as Google has tried to do with their "Android" Operating System), because every software maker develops their products to accommodate Windows and Apple. The out-of-market operating systems simply do not operate Windows programs without problems.

When you consider this situation from a spiritual angle, the first question to be asked: Why does Microsoft Corporation live such a charmed life, despite all of its problems? To learn more, click on this link to read the next page and see the Bible Code.

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