For some time now, Microsoft Corporation has had a stronghold over the computer industry. Because of its dominance, Microsoft has the power to make tactical moves that will benefit itself and possibly hurt the people that buy the products. Microsoft Word is the most commonly used word processing program. Word 5.1 is the most popular version, even though Word 6 has been available to the public for close to two years. This latest version is interesting to analyze because it is a product of a monopolistic market share.

While it has many interesting new features such as Equation Editor and AutoCorrection, it also comes with some severe extra baggage. In fact, in a Yahoo Internet-based survey rating both Word 5.1 and 6.0, the latter averaged about 5.0 (out of 10, 10 being best) and the former about 7.2. People dislike Word 6.0 because of the time it takes to open, the space it needs to exist on a computer, the memory it requires to run, and the excess of features that are useless to nearly everyone. Word 5.1 takes approximately 7 seconds to open, whereas Word 6.0.1 takes about 29 seconds to open. These conclusions were reached from an average of twenty tests, each one on PowerMacintosh 7100/66 computers. Furthermore, Word 6.0.1 uses a lot more disk drive space, up to 12 megabytes more, and nearly two more megabytes of RAM. Why did Microsoft release a product that compromised so much simply to have a better interface and some new features that the majority of people never use?

To answer this, a look at Microsoft as a company with a monopoly over the computer market is necessary. Microsoft has the power to make and sell such products. The company continues to make products that are very expensive, sometimes requiring additional software or hardware. Even though the software is often inefficient, both time-wise and space-wise, the public still buys the products because of the Microsoft name and newer is supposed to be better. Unfortunately, many consumers believe that Microsoft and other companies of the sort know what is best for them. While Microsoft Word 6.0.1 has many features that make it more desirable than its predecessors, its disadvantages outweigh these benefits and make it a poor choice for most users.

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