I've often wondered why Microsoft is so villified for their downstream so-called "monopoly" over their operating system/office suite software. Or, better still why is Apple so sactified by folks when they in fact excercise considerable monopoly power in their own segment of the market. (In fact, Apple's monopoly may in fact be more insidious to competition and consumers because their protected "trade secrets" extend not only to software, but also to hardware, which is proprietarily owned by Jobs' company. PC hardware is public-knowledge and mostly reproducable.)
The latest chapter in the saga is phones. The iPhone was supposed to be revolutionary, and Apple knew it had (for the time being) a tidy little monopoly, so they priced it at $599. Sorry, Steve-O, but I can get a laptop PC with Windows pre-installed for that! Now we can all thank Microsoft and that dirty greedy Bill Gates for offering competition. Initially, the Windows Mobile Phones are retailing at around $600 as well, but the Windows be offering a mobile operating system for phones and PDAs that will rival Apple's, and will also be compatible with a wider range of devices, which should ultimately lead to a lower price for the consumer. So all you suckers for the latest technology go buy yours now while I wait for competitive pricing to begin to take hold of the market.