Big Tech non-compete with developers

This topic is not meant for politics or hating one product or another, but just to get my head around how it might pan out if the given any laws were changed. Also it affects the whole world of IT, not just the USA. Maybe it is a case where people are talking, but knowing it would never get done. Xojo, please lock this topic if it goes off the rails! Here is the article:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-tech/where-u-s-presidential-candidates-stand-on-breaking-up-big-tech-idUSKBN1X811J

There is a wind blowing that ‘Big Tech’ be denied the right in law to compete with developers of similar products (ie all Big Tech products) on their stores. It may seem easy for Apple to stop selling Pages, Numbers, etc and bundle them again as iWork, but this is huge for Microsoft’s Office which, arguably, won its dominant role by parent and its links to the OS.

If Big Tech couldn’t bundle their software with the OS, and couldn’t sell them on their stores (free or paid), would they need to carve their apps into a separate company?

Would this mean Apple would have to remove Xcode and Swift from the App Store since it compete’s with Xojo?

The issue of big tech killing small companies by issuing the same features within the OS has been going on since the eighties.

Who remembers RealPlayer ? When Microsoft bundled the functionality in its Windows, that company went down hill since.

Who remembers the big issue between Netscape and Windows Internet Explorer ? The European Union wanted to force Microsoft to offer a choice between IE and Netscape. Who remembers ?

Who remembers Visicalc, inventor of the spreadsheet, killed long ago by Multiplan and Excel ?

Dozens of small companies were since either driven out of business, or forced to sell to Microsoft.

Yes, there is a very big issue with at least Microsoft unfair practices.

Such practices effectively stifle innovation because nobody can really compete on a level plane field between microscopic companies like ours, and huge corporations.

The issue, mind you, is not so much about development tools such as XCode or Visual Studio against Xojo. It is more about how Microsoft and perhaps Apple kill small business by distributing “for free” applications that could have been purchased. Who would dare producing a word processor today ? Who would dare producing a spreadsheet ? No matter how innovative, it is lost cause.

Actually, I switched from VisiCalc to SuperCalc because it allowed you to change column widths on a per column basis. But then what killed both those off for me was Lotus 1-2-3. Which remained FAR superior to MS Office until at least Office 4.x or so. I also preferred Lotus AmiPro to Word for a long time. But eventually the writing was on the wall.

Prior to Office 4.x, I think the only reason people used Office at all was the fact it came bundled in Windows. In the early days, if Office had to gain market share on their own merits, I think it would have died a horrible death.

See, I even forgot about Lotus 1-2-3. Which was largely killed by it’s own incompetence for not seeing Windows coming. Compiled with Excel, of course.

At one point in the mid eighties, Lotus 1-2-3 was installed on every other PC. They went from 50% of the market, to nothing, in a matter of years…

And only because Office was “free” and already installed. And people didn’t know better. Kinda like IE vs Netscape.

If you compared features, you never would have used Office or IE in the 80’s

(Are we showing our age or what?)

WORDSTAR! and I forget what the companion programs to it were… but those were before GUI was common…

TeX and LaTeX :stuck_out_tongue:
gawd I hated that mark up but you could create much nicer looking documents than anything wordstar, etc could generate

LOL… never used TeX, but did use Wordstar alot. I had a 64K Altos computer with dual 240k drives and some kind of Terminal (don’t recall which one)…

At the time, I thought WordStar was pretty clever in Ctrl key mapping using the “diamond shape” of the E, S, D, and X keys for cursor movement. And the ancillary program that would let you configure keystrokes was really nothing more than it patched the right offset in the binary to the desired keymap. It literally altered the *.com program.

And yes, this was under PC-DOS because Windows didn’t come until much later. And Windows 1.x and 2.x were almost unusable (in my book). Windows 3.0 was barely tolerable, and a Win 3.11wfw (Windows for Workgroups) became nice enough to use instead of DOS shells.

There was an interesting article in The Globe and Mail (Canada) a couple of weeks ago, discussing the anti-competitiveness of huge tech companies, and how the European Union has dealt with it.
https://spon.ca/want-a-competitive-capitalist-economy-choose-big-government/2019/10/18/