Consumer demand ‘skyrocketed’ Windows – Microsoft

Computer manufacturers overwhelmingly chose Microsoft products because they were ‘innovative, affordably priced and in high demand by consumers’, the company’s attorney argued yesterday as he continued his opening statement in the Iowa antitrust court case.

Consumer demand 'skyrocketed' Windows - Microsoft

David Tulchin spent the second full day of Microsoft’s opening statement showing the jury documents and depositions from customers and competitors that he said showed that it was the high quality and low prices of the company’s software that drove consumer demand.

Among those quoted in Microsoft’s evidence was an unnamed executive at WordPerfect who said his company was ‘scared to death’ by Microsoft’s Office suite and a former executive who described Microsoft’s prices as ‘an unbelievable deal’.

As evidence of consumers’ preference for Windows, he noted that when IBM took over the sole development and marketing of OS/2 – after Microsoft withdrew from the project – it continued to install the Microsoft OS on the ‘overwhelming majority’ of PCs that it shipped.

‘The reason was the same as that of other computer manufacturers: customer demand,’ Tulchin argued.

Tulchin returned to his argument from the day before – that it was Microsoft’s decision to bet on the graphical user interface in the development of applications for both Windows and the Mac that ‘skyrocketed the company’s products ahead of the field’, not unfair or anti-competitive practices.

Tulchin argued that the plaintiffs’ claim that Microsoft prices were unfairly high was based only on the retail prices of Microsoft products, which make up only a small percentage of overall sales: 4.9 per cent of operating system sales and 14.7 per cent of applications sales.

The case continues.

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