After taking note of how the general public perceives the Microsoft Antitrust
Suit (of 1998) and from what my friends, students and clients have asked me, 
I started thinking of a better way to explain the story in that arena.  Thus 
came about, the saga of ...


By "Tarry Faster" Once upon a time, there was a young man named Billy, who liked to play with digital choo-choo trains. Most of all, he liked to sell digital boxcars. He was very good at selling boxcars and his reputation rapidly spread throughout the land. One day, a Mr. Blue came by to see Billy about providing some boxcars for his secret, new railroad. Mr. Blue wanted to make the biggest and best digital railroad in the country and he wanted to do it in a hurry. He asked Billy if he would sell him some of his boxcars and since Billy was very excited and anxious to please Mr. Blue, they rapidly made a deal. Then, as Mr. Blue was getting ready to leave, he mentioned that they were having trouble finding someone to make a steam engine for their train. Billy, knowing of some teenagers who were trying to make a copy of an already famous steam engine, told Mr. Blue that he thought that he could get a steam engine for them. The very next day, Billy went around the corner to see the boys who were building a copy of the really good steam engine and bought as much of the copy as the guys had completed. Now, the steam engine wasn't even close to being finished, as it had a lot of missing parts. For example, it didn't have all of the wheels or lights and many of the handles didn't work at all. However, since everyone was in a hurry (and Billy's mom had spoken with Mr. Blue to make sure that Billy was not being taken advantage of), Billy made a deal to provide Mr. Blue with not only several boxcars, but the steam engine for Mr. Blue's new railroad, as well. Because Mr. Blue was in such a hurry, he didn't take the time to notice that the steam engine was faulty and missing a lot of parts. Mr. Blue, with much fanfare, started up his railroad and it was very successful. Because of Mr. Blue's very good reputation, everyone in the land was anxious to get on his new railroad and ride around. Billy was having a lot of fun playing engineer, buying and selling boxcars and keeping the cranky steam engine running. Everyone pretty much liked the boxcars, but the steam engine seemed to have problems and was always in need of a lot of tending to. When problems with it occurred, everyone usually just looked to each other (and Billy) and then kind of shrugged. They just thought that was the way that new steam engines worked and in time, the problems would work themselves out, since Billy kept running around trying to making small improvements on it. He couldn't make any major repairs, because he really wasn't a qualified engineer, as he had dropped out of engineer school in order to play with his new digital choo-choo train. Then one day, Billy's friend Steve announced that he was going to start a brand new railroad with a new engine and boxcars. Billy got very excited and went to Steve to ask him if he could try out his new railroad. Steve said sure and Billy took a ride. He really liked Steve's new railroad. It had a revolutionary, well-designed, diesel engine with coordinated boxcars that easily connected together. And, everyone who rode on it liked its smoother ride, much more than Billy's steam engine powered choo-choo. When Billy asked Steve if he could buy his new railroad and Steve said no, Billy just left in a huff and went to work trying to make his railroad run like Steve's. However, rather than starting from scratch and building a whole new railroad (which most any fully trained engineer would have done), Billy could only do some remodeling to his cranky old steam engine and then give it a new name. Now years before Billy and Steve started in the railroad business, Mr. Blue had put down a lot of railroad tracks. When Mr. Blue and Billy made their original deal, they agreed that whenever anyone wanted to buy a ticket on Mr. Blue's railroad, they were only to be offered one for Billy's digital engine. Over the years, everyone got used to riding on Billy's and Mr. Blue's railroad and began to forget about Steve's railroad. Since it seemed that everyone was buying tickets to Billy's choo-choo, Steve didn't think that it was fair that Billy had copied Steve's new railroad design. So Steve went to the Railroad Commissioner and complained. Now the Railroad Commissioner (who was very old and quite out of touch with what had been going on in the railroad business) announced that it was quite okay for Billy to steal Steve's design, as it looked to him like everyone in the railroad business was stealing designs from everyone else, anyway. Steve, in disgust, just walked away from his railroad and left it for the employees to run. They didn't manage it very well and in a few years, it fell into disrepair and abuse. After Mr. Blue went into semi-retirement, Billy pretty much owned the whole railroad, which was becoming even more popular. He was having more fun than ever running his railroad and playing engineer, now that there seemed to be nobody around to bother him. To avoid having to deal with someone like Steve ever showing up again with a whole new train, Billy became very careful about who he would let build boxcars for his choo-choo. If someone came along with a really good boxcar, Billy would run out and offer to buy it. If they didn't want to sell it to him, he would either change the way that they connected up to his train and/or not tell them about changes to his steam engine (and he was always making changes). The whole process, as a result, made it very difficult for new and unwanted boxcars to connect. Often, he would just buy a really good, new boxcar, put his name on it and sell it as one of his own. Once in a while, he would tell some of the construction people who worked for him to make a copy and let it ride on the railroad for free until the first boxcar was forgotten about and then he would raise the fares. And then sometimes, he would just keep a new boxcar all to himself and never let the rest of the people know about it, much less ride in it. Now one day, while Billy was in his office playing engineer and tinkering with his steam engine, some of the people who worked for him interrupted him by banging on his door trying to tell him about an exciting new boxcar. He told them to go away and went back to work on his steam engine as it was always needing more and more work, the older it got. The next day, his anxious and excited people came back and yelled at him to look out of his window. So, he went to his window and looked up and there, over head, was a new FLYING choo-choo with LOTS of boxcars -- the likes of which he had never seen before! Now this new flying boxcar really caught Billy off guard. One of the first things that he did, was go out and try to buy the new flying boxcar. However, he soon found out that it wasn't for sale. So, he then ran around his office yelling at everyone to stop what they were doing (which was mostly old work on re-modeling the re-modeling of his old steam engine and boxcars), and go to work building one of those flying boxcars for his railroad. As they had done many times before, Billy's workers ended up building a copy of the flying boxcar designed to run on his railroad. By this time, Billy often wasn't even bothering to make workable connections for some boxcars. He decided that since it was his choo-choo train and his steam engine, he could directly connect (or not) any boxcar that he chose to his old steam engine. While they were building Billy's new flying boxcar (Which he named Explorer, because he identified with the word "Explorer" ... but had forgotten that he had already named a map "Explorer" -- which was hidden in one of his old engine re-model jobs.), Billy told his construction people to make all direct connections to his old steam engine that were designed to run on his new flying box cars -- a secret. Over the years, some of the other boxcar manufactures got together, along with some of the people that were having trouble riding on Billy's digital railroad, and began to compare notes. They began to see how Billy was doing business and thought that it wasn't fair. Not only did they think that it wasn't fair, but it was too expensive. They figured out that it was costing way too much to keep the old steam engine running, especially since it couldn't pull very many more boxcars than it was already pulling. They didn't like the way that Billy was making it difficult and often impossible for them to get their boxcars to run on his old choo-choo train. They were upset when Billy would copy their new boxcars and then give his copy away until the original boxcar was forgotten and then raise the fares. And they hated seeing really creative new boxcars being bought for Billy's private collection -- never to be ridden on by anyone else. So, after a while, a bunch of the more brazen boxcar makers (the main one being the first flying boxcar company) got together and went to see the new Railroad Commissioner (the old one had retired). They explained their complaints to him and he said, "Well, seems like you guys have got a case, here. Let me study this situation and give you my answer on it, later." To this day, nobody knows how the Commissioner is going to look at Billy's Digital Railroad.* If he digs down into his bag of wisdom, he may at least come out telling Billy that he needs to open up his old steam engine and show everyone how it works, with all the changes that he has made. Or, he may tell Billy that he can be an engine maker or a boxcar maker but not both, as they are two separate and different parts of the same choo-choo. In the meantime, since most of the people that ride on his railroad have never ridden on another digital railroad, they just stand around and gawk -- not really knowing if Billy's choo-choo is giving them the best ride possible, or not. But one thing can be said for/to/about the people who ride on Billy's digital choo-choo -- they all aren't going to go where Billy wants them to go, as some (in Europe) have decided that they want to go here: European Commission Rules On Microsoft and here. On top of all of that, Mr. Blue doesn't even ride on Billy's choo-choo anymore! *A second "Commissioner" ruled in Billy's favor and today, Billy's trains run worse than ever. Eventually, Billy grew tired of running his rickey railroad and now tries to use his wealth to run the world. October 24, 1998 & Updated May 21, 2021