Microsoft Windows XP: What Does It Really Mean for Consumers and the Economy?
Leading Economist Available for Comment,
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert W. Hahn, director of the AEI- Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, is available to comment on issues raised this morning, Wednesday, September 26, 2001 by Consumers Union concerning Windows XP. Hahn can be reached at 202.862.5909. Hahn's recent paper, An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Delaying the Release of Windows XP, (available in full online http://www.aei-brookings.org/publications/abstract.asp?pID=164) argues that: -- Microsoft's critics say that the company's new operating system threatens competition in much the same way earlier versions threatened the Netscape Navigator Web browser - and thus Windows XP's features should be regulated as part of the remedies imposed in any antitrust settlement. However, in the antitrust case, the court's concerns focused on Windows' challenge to software that could undermine Windows' role as a platform for other software. No new features of Windows XP compete directly with potential software platforms. -- Windows XP will actually increase competition in a variety of software niches ranging from electronic photo processing to instant messaging. The positive impact on competition is likely to be particular important in instant messaging, where AOL Time Warner now dominates and has bitterly resisted attempts by Yahoo and Microsoft to crack its near-monopoly. -- Regulation that delayed Windows XP's distribution in new computers or undermined its acceptance by consumers would further harm an industry already reeling from the collapse of sales in the information technology sector. Computer makers and retailers are depending on XP to stimulate sales of the more powerful hardware needed to take advantage of the operating system's new features. Similarly, other software companies are pinning their hopes on Windows XP to create demand for new or improved products. Robert W. Hahn is director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a research associate at Harvard University. He also served as a senior staff member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers for two years. Mr. Hahn has written numerous articles and frequently contributes to general- interest periodicals and leading scholarly journals including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and the Yale Law Journal. He has served as a consultant to government and industry on a variety of issues involving regulation and privatization. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X47234432
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