Multi-billionaire Bill Gates and Democracy Now! Productions funder Rob Glaser's Microsoft had enriched both businessmen, personally, during the 1980s period, when Microsoft partnered with the transnational corporation, IBM, for 9 years; and when Microsoft apparently also engaged in monopolistic business practices. According to Gary Rivlin's 1999 The Plot To Get Bill Gates book:
"IBM and Microsoft weren't that different. At Microsoft they were still company men... IBM... had taken Gates's measure and deemed him... its kind of man... The chairman of IBM knew Gates's mother because both served on the national board of United Way... So eager was Gates to remain on good terms with IBM that in 1985 or 1987 he offered Big Blue a 30 percent stake in Microsoft. Executives at IBM brushed aside the offer... "
James Wallace and Jim Erickson's 1992 book, Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire also recalled:
"... IBM chief executive John Opel... knew Mary Gates, having served with her on the national board of United Way... Whether this United Way connection helped Microsoft get the IBM deal is not clear. Opel... won't talk... In early November of 1980, the corporate... couple officially signed the paperwork. Microsoft would develop the `software for IBM's first personal computer and supply the vital disk operating system or DOS... Chairman Bill sold 5 percent of Microsoft for a million dollars to Technology Venture Investors, a venture capital firm in Menlo, California... David Marquardt, a general partner in TVI, was made a director of Microsoft's new board... The company went public... in 1986... As the IBM PC gained in popularity, more and more programmers wrote software for that machine and for the operating system Gates had acquired... "
And according to Randall E. Stross's 1996 The Microsoft Way book:
"The great stroke of luck that provided Microsoft with 10 very good years came in 1980 when it signed a contract with IBM to provide the operating system that would be used on the IBM Personal Computer, introduced the next year... Microsoft, which itself did not have an operating system to offer, bought another, still smaller company's operating system software to adapt for the project. The contract... worked greatly in Microsoft's favor. The terms permitted Microsoft to sell the operating system to other companies and to consumers, but IBM, effectively could not... Microsoft's rivals have raised questions of monopoly that staff members of the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have largely accepted... Gates is remembered as the precociously outspoken advocate for commercializing the distribution of software."
James Wallace's Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race To Control Cyberspace book also noted in 1997:
"... Microsoft and IBM... in August of 1985... signed a long-term joint agreement that guaranteed the continuation of DOS and IBM... At the time, Gates said it was `the biggest contract' Microsoft had ever signed... Microsoft had become the computer industry's Standard Oil in the late 20th century... During... November 1989... Microsoft and IBM had jointly issued a... news release, titled `IBM and Microsoft expand partnership... '... FTC staff believed that the agreement between IBM and Microsoft smacked of anti-competitive collusion, and the investigation was on... "
The Microsoft Way book provided an example of how Democracy Now! Productions funder Glaser worked with IBM during his 10 years as a Microsoft "company man" and as Multi-Billionaire Gates' "trusted lieutenant" during the 1980s:
"In late 1988, IBM executives told Microsoft they wanted to try once again to crack the home personal computer market... Gates suggested that the machine be equipped with an integrated CD-ROM drive and sound card... IBM accepted the suggestion... Gates assigned a team of Microsoft software engineers to work with IBM... Gates had assigned Rob Glaser to be his principal multimedia advisor... He was given senior responsibility by Gates soon after joining the company... Glaser suggested to Gates that Microsoft should launch what Glaser called a `virtual standard' for multimedia that could be used in all-IBM compatible personal computers... Gates gave his approval... Gates... sent Rob Glaser... off on assignments to learn about new strategic problems--go figure it out' was the injunction Gates would use—and then report back to him... "
Charles Ferguson's 1999 book, High Stakes, No Prisoners, described how Microsoft had apparently increased its profitability and power during the 1980s and early 1990s, when Democracy Now! funder Glaser was a Microsoft vice-president:
"The ultimate source of Microsoft power is its monopoly control of the software platform used by PC applications—Windows... Microsoft even owns an equity stake in Apple, has rights to all of Apple's intellectual property... and holds at least 50 percent market share in application software for the MAC... Microsoft... exploits its monopoly positions ruthlessly... Microsoft's predatory behavior... , false dealings, and strategic use of monopoly power are integral to its ability to create further monopolies... "
And James Wallace and Jim Erickson's Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire book had noted in 1992:
"... By mid-April of 1991, Microsoft was forced to acknowledge... that the FTC was looking into allegations that the company `has monopolized or attempted to monopolize the market for operating systems, operating environment, computer software and consumer peripherals for personal computers'... Microsoft has become notorious... not just for capitalizing on the technological advances of others, but, as some claim, for predatory pilfering. They complain that Microsoft repeatedly approaches small companies promising new products, ostensibly to talk about a partnership. After Microsoft is given a glimpse of how the software works, it suddenly loses interest in the deal—only to announce later that it has been working on surprisingly similar, but competing software... At the heart of the FTC probe is... whether or not Microsoft's dominant position has chilled competition and thus hurt consumers... " (end of part 16)