The largest characteristic of the software industry that allowed Microsoft the opportunity to become monopolistic was the way that “standards” are introduced and used. Once any piece of software becomes the industry standard, it becomes poised to dominate the market. Examples: Microsoft, Netscape, hypertext transfer protocol (http), etc. Microsoft had an even better position because it was an operating system which presents the industry with a market that is much more difficult to enter.
There are many issues involved with Microsoft’s position in the market. Many see the total benefit (utilitarianism) of the situation as more beneficial that if there were no Microsoft. Yet others see the situation as stifling competition and therefore having a damning effect on progress and development of newer, better, and more reliable applications.