One article I read indicated something along the lines that Britain took 200 years to industrialise, the USA with import of technology from Britain took 100 years, and Japan with technology imported from the USA took 50 years. After the second world war, redevelopment took 25 years, nations with the help of Japanese industry have taken 15 years to become industrialised. Developing technology requires people and time. With technology development takes less and less time, as all existing technology is a foundation and building block for future technology.
Population doesn't need to move if local town provides for its needs. So protecting diversity also includes protecting the survival of local towns. In Greece and Italy I believe some towns have become ghost towns, where only the retired remain: the younger generation have left leaving the retired behind. The big cities stealing the population. So the 20% limit can apply to the population of cities, to the employment of people by business.
As for companies like Microsoft. Their upgrades are not upgrades they are different products, we are held to ransom, forces to adopt new product, and new way of doing things. But there are people attempting to create alternatives like FreeDOS to keep old software going, others attempting to replicate Windows XP. The propaganda machine says such software is a security risk: well it wasn't when we first bought it, and it was operating perfectly fine for the majority of people. So no real need to change.
So here's an idea. If Microsoft no longer wishes to sell or support MS DOS or Windows XP, it doesn't have to. On the other hand it shouldn't be permitted to prevent others from supporting such software. So it could be required to release its source for its abandoned software, thus FreeDOS doesn't need to reinvent the operating system: rather it can develop it in another direction. In other words microsoft releases products (it can license) development of its old products until usage of any given product drops to 20%.
... interrupted for tea and telly. [17:47]
Would Windows be a prime target for attack if it only represented 20% of computer users, and another 4 systems were available for attack. Currently has I understand the majority of users are on Windows 10, then earlier versions of windows, Apple, and various distributions of Linux: all largely determined from connections to the internet. Computers however do not need to be connected to the internet, and such computers do not need need security protections. So MS DOS is perfectly fine for crunching numbers, writing letters, as is CPM/80.
SunOS used to be able to spawn an MS DOS process in its own window. As far as I know it was not a virtual machine, it was an independent process. Early MS DOS installed on 720 kb, 3.5" floppy disks, whilst CPM/80 installed on 360 kB 3.5" floppy disks. Gigabytes of data are not required for the operating systems: so Windows 10 should be able to run separate windows with any of the earlier versions of Windows and all prior software should still be able to run. But it doesn't, and since software ceases to run when replace hardware and operating system: the software is not an upgrade it is a different product.
So amongst first things to do is impose the 20% on the types of licenses. For example could restrict OEM licences to 20% of licenses, or require at least 20% of licenses are NON-OEM. But would need to split market into sectors. If not split into sectors likely to have the suppliers declare that the 20% has been reached by supply to governments and large corporations, and so no need to supply to individuals. By separating business from personal, the 20% limit can be imposed on each sector.
Similarly can require that 20% of hardware is supplied without any operating system, and is capable of having any operating system installed. Can require that the hardware is suitable for at least 5 different operating systems, that there are at least 5 different operating systems available.
Here the limit is placed on the product not necessarily the business. So Microsoft can license its earlier operating systems to be developed and maintained by others, so that there is a greater diversity of products in the market. It doesn't necessarily have to license or provide access to the source code. So MS DOS can be licensed as a foundation for building variants. For example FreeDOS is not entirely capable of running all earlier MS DOS software. On the other hand FreeDOS can be installed and operate on hardware which wasn't available when MS DOS was originally available. Many of the original external commands in MS DOS could be replaced by Linux tools. Linux operating systems could run MS DOS in a separate process.
Historical cars can be kept going because the parts do not require any significant infrastructure to fabricate. People can machine parts in a small workshop. Computers and other electronic hardware however are more complicated to build than is possible with tools found in the family garage. But with 3D printers, then maybe it will one day be possible to fabricate digital chips in the home.
Any case markets can comprise of products, and should protect diversity of products. Cars for example there should be at least 5 manufacturers. And following what I said for computers, each component should have 5 potential substitutes. So 5 different, independent suppliers of tyres, 5 suppliers of spark plugs, think of a component then that component should have 5 suppliers: not just suppliers 5 different manufacturers.
If there is a definable market, and a business holds more than 20% of that market, then its share is too high. A business doesn't necessarily have to do anything, since next week, it could hold a smaller proportion of the market. The big issue is when a business holds more than 50% of the market, and other businesses hold less than 20%. In such situation may have diversity, but the situation is heading towards monopoly with the other players potentially being removed from the market. Such situation doesn't necessarily represent what people want, but rather what they can get. The other players just don't have the resources to produce quantities large enough to flood the market: they don't have the distribution network and therefore people have neither knowledge nor access to alternative products.
It is not just a matter of reducing the 50% dominance of the market down to 20%, it is a matter of boosting the other players so that they have nearer to 20% of the market. Rather than manufacturers being the problem in such situation, it maybe the wholesalers and retailers who are the problem: they are not giving other manufacturers the opportunity.
So the supermarket shelves have to have products from at least 5 different producers in each and every product category. This doesn't mean one box from 4 suppliers and a 100 boxes from one dominant supplier. The stores product mix has to include 5 suppliers with near equal demand quantities. Unless there is clear bias in the local community. In which case it can cater to the bias, but it should otherwise seek to break such bias. It should break the bias because such is not good for the future survival of the community and not good for the survival of the store: shouldn't have all eggs in one basket. To ensure security of future supply, should have a diversity of products on offer, and individuals themselves should also use a diverse range of resources rather than relying on one.
Economy of scale maybe efficient, but it is not secure. Economy of scale gives greater importance to efficiency over effectiveness. A system cannot be efficient or economical if it is not effective. The system will not be effective if it is not secure. Diversity provides security because if loose one resource there are 4 alternatives to take its place. If only have one resource and lose it, then lose everything.
It's the problem with energy. Fossil fuels are not so much the problem, the problem is that such fuels dominate the market. Adopting solar power or wind power in the place of fossil fuels will just create a different set of environmental and economical problems. We need a diversity of energy sources with no single one permitted to dominate. Coal, Gas, and Oil are not 3 independent fuel supplies, so having these 3 supplies isn't adequate diversity: we need independent alternatives. Solar and wind are likewise related, both driven by the Sun.
Whilst the 20% rule may not be entirely practical to implement, it does give a guideline to direct investigation. Smaller business doesn't need to grow to dominate the market, but it does need to prevent others from dominating the market, it does need to help ensure diversity is sustainable.
- [04/02/2018] : Original