Linux, meanwhile, was much much more stable. While it was possible to crash Linux, crashes were quite rare. This stability came with a price: Linux was very difficult to set up. For example, it took me about an hour to set up dialup networking in Windows 95; the same thing took me about two days to set up in Linux.
Pretty soon, the competitor would be caught in a catch-up death spiral, where they would madly try to implement whatever features Microsoft added to their version of the product, but always falling behind Microsoft. Pretty soon, Microsoft would buy out the company or the company would go bankrupt.
One example of this was Java: Microsoft made their own version of Java, which was compatible with Sun's implementation, but added Microsoft-specific features. Programs using Microsoft's features would only compile and run on Windows.
Another example was how Microsoft handled Netscape: When Netscape refused to be bought out on Microsoft's terms, Microsoft did everything in their power to kill Netscape. One big reason why HTML and the web is such a mess today is because both Microsoft and Netscape were adding proprietary HTML tags to their browsers in an attempt to win the "browser wars".
It was not until Microsoft cheated by including their Internet Explorer browser with Windows that they started getting significant leverage against Netscape. This resulted in Microsoft being investigated by the United States Department of Justice for engaging in monopolistic practices. Netscape could not survive this onslaught as a software company; they ended up having to open source their browser before throwing in the towel.
Pretty soon, I was getting a lot of my comments moderated up to +5, the highest level of moderation available for Slashdot postings, indicating a well-written post which the community really liked. I was a very active member of the Slashdot community.
Continued in Slashdot and the Napster crowd
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