graeme_p - 8:06 pm on Mar 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
MS also held back Opera (easily the best browser back then), blocked BeoS (probably the best desktop IS at the time), deliberately stopped Windows from running on DR-DOS and slowed down a host of other technologies.
The evidence is that a competitive free market is best for competitors, rather than a centrally controlled monopoly (which is why the Soviet Union failed). Making a market uncompetitive can be assumed to be bad for consumers unless proved otherwise (which rarely happens)
Far from bringing the internet to the masses MS regarded it as a fad and MSN was originally meant to be an ALTERNATIVE to the internet. We are lucky MS failed or there would be no websites for us to discuss.
I can remember people in the 90s arguing that most users did not need the internet because MSN was enough for them.
Personal Computers were appearing in every home without MS. Lots of people and organisations played their part, many key pioneers of are now forgotten (although some, like Apple, are still around). MS largely just did what everyone else was doing anyway.
OSes would have advanced much faster if there was more competition. Remember the complete lack of progress in the years IE was dominant? It took MS about a decade just to copy tabbed browsing from Opera! Have you noticed that office software advanced very rapidly while there were three major competitors, but did not change very much for a long time after MS came out on top (although its started moving again thanks to emerging threats).