The Eurocrats have put Microsoft in the frying pan again with a painfulnormous $1.35 billion fine "for defying sanctions imposed for antitrust violations." This new fine brings the total amount to $2.52 billion. Clearly, Microsoft's recent moves have not convinced the European Union's skepticism at all. Note: the Digg badge in this article is from the original news source. [BBC]
A software 'monopoly' isn't like a monopoly on traditional products. If you need to build something with steel, and I monopolize the steel industry... there's not another 'steel'. You have to buy my steel, or no steel at all.
With software, if you don't like what's out there, or who you have to deal with... you can make BETTER software. There are plenty of competitors to Microsoft out there. There's even one that's named after some sort of fruit, if you can believe that. A 'monopoly' on software is like a monopoly on television programming; it's easy to get around, and the only real barrier to entry into the market is the money and creativity needed to make a better product.
As much fun as it is to beat up on the market leader, Microsoft got where they are today by striking a balance between innovation and price that has best satisfied the demands of the mass market. They are where they are because they're good at it. They could be better, sure, but apparently they're still better than their competition at striking that balance, because they're still outselling them.