An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Delaying the Release of Windows XP

Competition Policy and Antitrust

Article Snapshot


Robert W. Hahn


AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, September 2001


This paper asks if Microsoft should be forced to delay the release of a key product.

Policy Relevance

Regulatory actions taken to penalize a business can also hurt its customers and other economic players.

Main Points

  • In 2001, some argued that Microsoft should be prevented from releasing its new product Windows XP, because Microsoft was too powerful.
  • The author notes that stopping Windows XP would not help any firm make an operating system likely to challenge Windows.
  • Delaying the release of Windows XP would hurt
    • Consumers who use computers.
    • PC manufacturers.
    • Software developers, including some of Microsoft’s competitors whose products run on XP. 

  • Microsoft’s competitors used the legal system to get an advantage in the market. 

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