What do we mean when we say "competition?"

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Windows * prices -> $???

Slackware in 98 -> A few hours downloading.

The problems most people have with microsoft's
monopoly status have nothing whatsoever to do with the
price of the software which forms the basis of their
monopoly (windows + office), but rather their
willingness to use the profits from them to subsidize
other losing ventures to drive out other competitors.

My qualm with Microsoft's software scheme is just that the pricing
breakdown on a business level coupled with the fact that I still can't get
over an MS salesgoon telling me that if I purchased exchange I would have
to purchase "additional space to use it". Additional space? "But I have a
1/2 tb array?"... "Well" (said the salesgoon) "Doesn't matter how big your
drive is you're only allocated X amount of space..."

Thankfully I was able to use great stuff like Dot Project and a slew of
other OpenSource products to get things running without having to sell my
soul for broken windows.

Assertions that "monopolies do X and they're bad, and
we know that Y will eventually do bad because they're
a monopoly" are circular.

Studies have already shown the evil that m(en)onopolies do:

The standard economic case against monopoly is that, with the same cost
structure, a monopoly supplier will produce at a lower output and charge a
higher price than a competitive industry. This leads to a net loss of
economic welfare and efficiency because price is driven above marginal
cost - leading to allocative inefficiency.

Outside of that, most people as history has also show have the tendency to
only stay kicked for so long before something kicks them out of their rut
leading into some form of "revolt" (for lack of a better word on 3 hours
sleep). I'm more concerned with Oligopolies creeping up slowly than I am
with MS nowadays (Yahoo+eBay+Google+INSERT_BANK_HERE). Oligopolies go
unnoticed for quite a while until damage is far more heavier than anything
I can envision MS doing.

Level3 + Cogento + Focal + TimeWarner + Cox = Nightmare

That would be a A bigger nightmare than anything MS would be able to spit
out of their Redmond stable. What ILEC's and CLEC's have to offer cannot
be replaced by screaming geeks hooked on too many Starbuck's Grande Black
Eyes, writing code for free under INSERT_YOUR_LICENSE_HERE.