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[ba-unrev-talk] Freedom to Innovate? ... CITRIS-kickoff: The New Economy (incl. Journal & Repository)

Freedom to Innovate?
(excepts from Prof. Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal)    (01)

"Lurking behind the legal case that is now Unsettling States v.
Microsoft has always been a whispered sotto voce claim by Microsoft that
competition--in the market for PC operating systems, for office
productivity suites, for browsers--is a bad thing. Technological
innovation needs a single, strong, dominant, monopolistic firm to set
the standard, and to tell the industry when it is time for the standard
to change. " ....    (02)

"I have never been able to evaluate this argument satisfactorily. But
last week something happened to one of its biggest boosters. Keith
Teare, CEO of Real Names, who had favored the maintenance of Microsoft's
monopoly in web browsers as pro-consumer because "without Microsoft [to
set the standard, and make sure that Real Names's products are included
in the standard set of browser capabilities] it could take years to
deliver [Real Names's] Internet Keywords globally." With Microsoft as
monopolist standard-setter that had "embraced our open standards-based
architecture in March 2000 because it makes perfect sense for consumers
to use Internet Keywords within MSN and Internet Explorer," Teare was
looking forward to a rapid real-time test of whether internet users
would prefer Real Names's way of finding things on the Internet to the
(badly broken) URL-based way.    (03)

But while Real Names's information technologies were impressive, and
while it did seem that Real Names had a chance to catch on, it turns out
that it will never get that market test. Last week Microsoft decided to
remove support for Real Names's products from its web browser, Internet
Explorer. Since Real Names's way of naming web sites requires the
permission and help of the browser manufacturer to work, and since
Microsoft appears to have decided that Real Names's success would
diminish Microsoft's share of some future market in Internet searching,
Real Names is now gone." ...    (04)

.... "Two years ago Real Names's CEO Keith Teare thought that they had
simple answers: keep Microsoft in shape to keep maintaining its monopoly
no matter what the violations of antitrust law that it had as a matter
of fact committed: "It seems to us that the American dream of working
hard and prospering is being called into question by the treatment
Microsoft is receiving. I came to the United States because I believed
it supports entrepreneurs and I still believe that America wants
entrepreneurs to succeed. And although the government and the court seem
to be sending an opposite message, I do not believe that ordinary
Americans should allow one of the country's most successful
entrepreneurs to be effectively neutralized because he  was 'too
successful'."    (05)

Today Real Names's ex-CEO Keith Teare sees things somewhat differently:
his "...naming technology... is being killed at birth - before it
succeeds and becomes "out of control". A small private company is being
denied an audience--not because of money--but because of [Microsoft's]
fear of losing control.... I am bitterly disappointed by the lack of
vision... the defence of search and the URL against a truly global and
multi-lingual naming platform with built in directory services....
Naturally I'm pretty unhappy about this. Microsoft seems to be playing
the role of the referee who decides whether any innovations succeed ...
they've just brought innovation in internet naming to a grinding halt -
and the internet *really* needs innovation in naming. RealNames will not
be the only victim - there's a whole ecosystem that stretches all around
the world that Microsoft is turning off. CNNIC in China, Forval in Japan
and other companies in Belgium, Holland, France, Finland, Sweden,
Denmark and Norway. There are more than 100 registrars of Keywords and
they in turn have thousands of resellers. There are more than 100,000
customers..."    (06)

More info: see Keith Teare's Home Page    (07)

CITRIS-kickoff: The New Economy (by Prof. Brad DeLong)
... "Projects like CITRIS promise the benefits of government
research--the wide distribution of knowledge and the acceleration of
cumulative research--and the benefits of private entrepreneurship--the
willingness to take risks and investigate large numbers of potential
development projects rather than just those that have won the stamp of
approval of a single central committee."
< http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/TotW/citris_kickoff.html >    (08)

An Economist's Repository & Multimedia Simulation
< http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Index.html#anchor4212447 >
<  http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/multimedia/Multimedia.html >    (09)