A decent review of anti-trust actions against M$ and M$’s fight against competition around the world is on Ars Technica. For those too young to remember or too busy to be engaged, there is a good outline of events from the legal side. If you have time, please read the documents on US DOJ v M$. They will change the way you think of M$. They did so many things to mess with competition instead of making a good product. There is just no other way to view merging the browser with the OS. It wasn’t an application. They made it a necessary component of the OS and they claimed it could not be removed. That was just the tip of the iceberg. Read how they threatened major OEMs with higher prices or no right to distribute the software.
This was all too little and too late. M$ got a solid monopoly that it wanted and a decade or more of obscene profits rolled in. The “final agreement” can be seen as a rubber-stamp of acceptability on the monopoly even though it was illegally gained. M$ was not punished in any way, just told not to do it again. That might work for an innocent child but M$ is a brutal tyranny, ruled from the top down by evil men anxious to enslave the world. If you consider that M$ rakes in tens of $billions annually and the product is basically copies of documents/CDs/permissions the world really has been working for M$ and not the other way around. They have created something worth a few $billion and have arranged to be paid repeatedly for every PC sold. They even force people who use thin clients to pay multiple times for a licence just for connecting to the PC or server running their software. They do nothing to earn that money. The world has been working for M$.
It is past time to free the world of this evil. Use Free Software. Use GNU/Linux, or FreeBSD, or OpenSolaris, anything but that other OS that does not even have a legitimate name. If the courts refuse to see the light, what is your excuse? Be free. Don’t buy any of M$’s products. Find out what you have been missing. I saw the light 10 years ago. PCs that refused to work reliably danced. Students had good use of IT in the classroom. I became a magician in the classroom. Today I had standing room only in my lab as students thrilled at the performance of all their applications running on one PC that would have laboured to please one user with that other OS (and restricts the number who may even try by the EULA). Be free.
UPDATE At the end of an article linked from the one mentioned above, ARS Technica reported in July 2010 that only 63% of their visitors used that other OS and 6% used GNU/Linux. Clearly, they have different visitors than NetApplications counts. ARS shows 26% use MacOS although Apple says they produce only about 3% of PCs.