What can a small software company do in world smothered by forces like Windows 95? The traditional conception is that a monopoly always hinders the onset of a new idea, and a new player in the market. A dominant system software like Windows 95, however, counters this conception in three important ways.

First, Windows allows software authors to dispense with much of the usual tedium of software development. Before Windows, large software producers had a distinct advantage over small developers because of the enormous costs involved with writing hundreds of drivers for every printer, video card, etc. Creating menus, windows, dialog boxes, and other desirable elements of an interface is both safe and easy when programming under the Windows environment. Before Windows, the cost involved with intergrating such elements into a program was prohibitive for the individual software developer. Windows allows a software author to create a powerful program by allowing the author to concentrate on the program itself.

Second, a dominant system software allows software developers to concentrate their efforts on a single environment. The benefits described above would be meaningless if such software only worked on a small subsection of the computing world. With five competing system softwares, for example, only a large software developer would be able to create a product for all five systems. Small, upstart companies could not easily develop for a checkered global village.

Third, a stable software environment allows for a stable software world. With a dominant system software comes the security that what one programs will work on the computers of the future. If Windows was in serious competition with another (or several other) systems, which system would be the leader in the future would always be in doubt. Such a situation would hurt small software companies due to the increased risk in software development.

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