My, how soon we forget. Recall that Microsoft had bundled IE into Windows effectively killing every other browser because IE was free
, thus making cost a central issue. That included manipulating its APIs so that IE worked on sites when using the Windows OS when others would not. IE was soon blessed with that wonderfully insecure
called ActiveX and then promptly stopped the world on IE6 in 2001. Oh, and then there was that whole OEM/licensing thing that still exists today, where even if a big vendor like Dell WANTS to sell you a different OS or a computer without an OS, you still have to pay Microsoft for the privilege of not installing Windows. During the trial, Bill Gates said, "I don't recall" so often that the judge literally laughed out loud.
I call those behaviors simple robbery, not "most people could care less."
How many sites would only run on IE back then? And then when you read Barry Ritholtz' post
on how the Venture Capital world waited for Microsoft rather than investing in new, small businesses (of which many were swallowed under Microsoft's "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" policy), then we all sat around for half a decade waiting on the Vista debacle followed by the MS-OOXML debacle, and that's just software; I won't mention a dozen other failures from Zune to the Kin phone.
Now that people have a choice among net apps, Apple, Linux, etc., I'm pretty sure Apple and Linux users aren't clamoring to return to the days of Windows and MS Office. Many businesses are looking to get away from the same old Microsoft products with the same old Microsoft license agreements because they cost more than they're worth in time, money, and hassle. As the world goes mobile, Microsoft becomes ever more irrelevant. Sure, buy it and use it if you want, it will get you online and print your letters and papers and spreadsheets.
But so with everyone else.