Competition is great for the consumer: it keeps products cheap, provides choices and encourages innovation. Remember when Microsoft’s omnipresent Internet Explorer browser reigned unchallenged for so many years? They dropped the ball. Without any competition to keep the IE department on the cutting edge, the browser stagnated, becoming a breeding ground for insidious exploits.
When Firefox made its glorious debut, what did Microsoft do? They beefed up IE’s security and added tabbed browsing—not much of an innovation, but at least it got them off their backsides. Where’s the incentive to keep the Windows lineage from becoming a complacent heap of code? What’s to motivate Microsoft to keep their flagship OS avant-garde? More and more, Linux is looking like an attractive alternative to the computing population.