I’m neither a programmer or developer, but as a consumer I’ve observed Microsoft behaving like the proverbial 500-pound gorilla using its weight to move markets. The US Justice department characterized Microsoft’s strategy as EMBRACE, EXTEND, EXTINGUISH.
This strategy was applied to HTML where Microsoft-proprietary ActiveX extensions were included in Internet Explorer (and bundled in Windows.) As web developers began to take advantage of the features, we began to see notices “This web site requires Microsoft Internet Explorer to function properly.” The premier web browser at the time was Netscape Navigator – I paid $80 for my copy, and a month later Netscape became freeware as Mozilla to compete with IE.
I also remember that Microsoft Office applications claimed to support Open Document Standards for interoperability, but in practice document conversions to non-Microsoft Office applications were full of problems because of proprietary code embedded in Office documents – ruining the Open Document Standards (I experienced this in Word and Excel formats.)
Microsoft’s strategy for gaining market dominance is complex and long-range. Any spot-analysis would only be speculative. I’d like to add here, however, that I don’t consider Microsoft “evil” as many people feel. I believe that this is simply the natural behavior of corporate entities, much like what we see in the biological world. FWIW, the E-E-E strategy might provide an interesting insight applied to the Open Source industry.
BTW, thanks to Abhishek Prakash of It’s FOSS for the Wiki link.