In fact, in areas where Microsoft faces strong competition, it’s reverting to some of the behaviors that got it sued in the ’90s—namely, bundling. Microsoft and Amazon are essentially a duopoly when it comes to cloud services, the highly lucrative business in which companies rent space on gigantic networks of physical computers and internet services rather than build their own. (In many cases, the companies paying Amazon and Microsoft for these cloud services are actually their competitors.) Microsoft offers its big business customers an “integrated ecosystem” of Windows, Office, and its back-end cloud services; some analysts even point to this as a reason to keep buying Microsoft stock. That’s just smart business, right? Yes, unless you’re at a disadvantage by not taking the bundle. Some customers have complained that Microsoft charges extra for some Windows licenses if you’re not using its cloud-computing business, Azure. In 2019, the FTC started looking into problematic business practices at Amazon Web Services, Azure’s chief competitor, but there’s nary a peep in the direction of Microsoft thus far.
Source: The Atlantic