Letter: Be fair to Gates

Letter: Be fair to Gates

Sir: Microsoft should be judged on its record. For several years, the company deserved its reputation for producing sub-standard products which, aggressively marketed, took market share from superior, more elegant rivals. Microsoft's main rival for mass-market PC operating systems, Apple, produces superbly engineered products which are objectively superior to Windows in Apple's key markets - but markets them ineptly. As software developers for most sectors tended to favour the Windows platform, the competition has atrophied.

Adrian Gilbey (letter, 14 May) expects Microsoft to produce even more rickety, ill-conceived software now it has no effective competition in key areas. However, Microsoft's record has been the exact opposite: in the last two years its software has improved dramatically - in innovation, ease of use, stability and cross-platform compatibility. I don't think Microsoft is at all a pleasant company, but their record is confounding standard economic theory.

TOM SAUL

London SE26

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