Microsoft might still be using EEE

Microsoft’s history is varied. They started in software, then moved in the OS game with MS-DOS. Throughout all of this, they have kept an eye on expansion. Not always through savory means. Microsoft had a strategy known as EEE: Embrace, extend, and extinguish. They would first embrace a technology and create their own software to support it. Then, they would extend the technology with new features and functionality, pushing people to use their version of the software. For example, they embraced the web browser by creating Internet Explorer, which directly competed with Netscape Navigator, the dominant browser of the time. They then extended Explorer with technology that would put it ahead of Navigator. The last E is exterminate: once the Microsoft tool becomes the de facto standard, they look to force out their competitors entirely. In the case of their battle with Netscape, Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer for free with their operating system. They used EEE to take over industries that they saw as threats this way, and it got them in trouble during their antitrust lawsuit.

Microsoft had a dominant place in the industry built on a one-two punch: Windows and bundled software. Microsoft used their control of Windows to reduce the effectiveness of their competitor’s software while leaving their own intact. This forced Netscape out of business and got the US government on their backs. Microsoft lost that anti-trust lawsuit and had to stop making their competitors crash. They didn’t stop EEE, though. They shut Lotus out of the spreadsheet market and got sued in another anti-trust suit from WordPerfect. It looks like they’re trying to do it to this day.

Microsoft integrated the Linux kernel into Windows. They have contributed to Linux development, and to cloud development. It looks like Microsoft is at the Extend phase with Linux.

This post is part of a larger article, Microsoft threatens to eat the whole gaming industry.

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