Inderscience Publishers

Technology standards and increasing returns: Microsoft versus Nokia and Linux

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The purpose of this article is to advance theory on the concept of increasing returns by reviewing different strands of literature (Arthur, 1994; Liebowitz and Margolis, 1990; 1994; David, 1990) and to develop the concept of a ‘critical mass’ strategy which incorporates both technological effects and important social network and interaction effects, which also need to be part of the business strategy in an increasing returns environment. Such concepts are further developed on the basis of an apparent conundrum in the case of mobile phone software, where the operating system standards of Symbian and Linux are part of the competitive struggle between Nokia and other vendors and Microsoft, despite their invisibility to the end user.

Keywords: Nokia, Microsoft, Linux, Symbian, open source, increasing, returns

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