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multi billionaire Life and Legend of Howard Hugh

By: Katie
E-mail: KatieKat1@aol.com

The Life and Legend of Howard Hughes Throughout the 20th century, it has been the medias job to pinpoint what events and people would prove to be an effective story. This was certainly the case for Howard R. Hughes. Son to the wealthy Howard Hughes Sr., Howard became the interest of the American people and newspapers for most of his life. Being deemed one of the most famous men of the mid-20th century was greatly attributed to Hughess skills as an industrialist, aviator, and motion-picture producer combined with his enormous wealth, intellect, and achievement. The media thrived on Howards unusual and sometimes scandalous life, especially in his later years when newspapers would frequently front large amounts of money to get stories on Hughes. Howard was also associated with what has been called one of the greatest publishing hoaxes in history. Howard Hughes Sr., commonly known as Big Howard, was a graduate of the Harvard School of Law, yet never once appeared before a court of law. Big Howard spent the first 36 years of his life chasing money across the Texas plains, as a wildcatter and a speculator in oil leases, working hard enough and earning just enough to move on to another, hopefully more fortunate gamble. In the year of his marriage, Big Howard sold leases on land that proved to have $50,000 in oil beneath it. He promptly took his new wife to Europe for a honeymoon, and returned exactly $50,000 poorer. In 1908, Big Howard turned his ingenuity and his hobby to tinker into good fortune. Current drilling technology was unable to penetrate the thick rock of southwest Texas and oilmen could only extract the surface layers of oil, unable to tap the vast resources that lay far below. Big Howard came up with the idea for a rolling bit, with 166 cutting edges and invented a method to keep the bit lubricated as it tore away at the rock. Later that year, Big Howard produced a model and went into business with his leasing partner, Walter B. Sharp, forming the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company. Rather than sell the bits to oil drillers, Hughes and Sharp decided to lease the bits out on a job basis, for the tidy sum of $30,000 per well. With no competitor able to duplicate this new technology, Sharp- Hughes Tool possessed a profitable monopoly over oil extraction. So quickly was the invention successful that in late 1908, the partners built a factory on a seventy-acre site east of Houston. On 1915, Sharp passed away and Big Howard purchased his shares in the corporation, thus becoming the sole owner. Cash flowed freely into and back out of Sharp-Hughes Tool. Big Howard became a first class socialite, and began to spend increasing amounts of time and money on parties, automobile racing and travel. One of his amusements was to charter a railroad car, fill it with friends, and conduct a rolling party between Texas and California. In the spring of 1921, Mrs. Hughes past away and Big Howard died as abruptly as his wife, willing his three- fourths of his estate to his only son, Howard Robard Hughes. Big Howard left an estate appraised for tax purposed at $871,518. As a less attractive part of his legacy, he left behind $258,000 in unpaid bills, including $2,758 to Brook Brothers Clothiers, $5,502 to Cartiers in New York, and $3,500 for a grand piano. Howard Hughes Jr. was born on Christmas Eve, 1906 in Houston, Texas. He was commonly known as Sonny, or Little Howard, despite the fact that he was 63 by the age of 16. Hughes was the student of 7 different schools, of which he graduated from none, excelling only in mathematics. As a young man, Hughes had a penchant for all things mechanical and was known to spend hours tinkering on various different devices. Little Howard had only one friend, the son his fathers business partner, Dudley Sharp. At the age of 6, Howard Hughes Sr. presented his son with the gift of a workshop, where his son could always be found playing with various bits of wires and pieces of metal. At the ... more

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Why Microsoft is a monopoly

Through a combination of tactics that many people would consider monopolistic Microsoft is now involved in almost every aspect of the computer and computer-related telecommunications markets and is emerging as a major player in Internet commerce and on-line media ventures.
As of March 1997, 87% of all the software developers were actually developing the Windows bit 32 platform, which is the operating system for Microsoft. Fifty three percent of 2.4 million US Professional developers use Microsofts visual basic program as their primary development language(1) Microsoft is playing an increasing role in their technical education, forging commercial partnerships with both commercial and academic training institutions.
Microsofts Internet Explorer desktop browser has overtaken Netscapes software for navigating the Internet.  Microsoft also has made many alliances with banks and its financial software, Money and Personal Investor, along with its financial server software, Microsoft is emerging as a key player in shaping the on-line financial transaction system of the future. Its ownership of the Microsoft Network(MSN) and its partnership with NBC, which has created MSNBC venture has given Microsoft strong distribution outlets for its emerging range of media content. Its investment in Dreamworks gives it a position in Hollywood movie and music production that can be assembled into its on-line ventures involving interactive multimedia as computers and television combine in coming years.
Also Microsoft is working to control the way people connect to the Internet from work and home. Its $425 million purchase of WebTV gives it control of a major avenue for non-PC internet access. Its $1 billion investment in the cable company Comcast and proposed investments in US West cable now make it a major player in designing standards for accessing the Internet over cable. Microsofts Bill Gates is in partnership in a $9 billion venture to create a low-orbit satellite system called Teledesic that could give high-speed Internet access to anyone anywhere in the world, an investment supported by the US government through a massive free giveaway of radio spectrum to the company.
Microsoft has used that financial clout consistently over the last few years to acquire companies and their software and human assets, while sealing financial alliances with a range of partners. While many of the financial details have not been made public, Microsoft spent an estimated $1.5 billion between 1994 and 1996 on acquisitions.(3) Microsoft has purchased many companies buying or investing in over twenty companies in 1996 alone. Its investment have not only been with the $1.5 billion spent on WebTV and Comcast, the $150 million invested in Apple, and the hundreds of millions invested in additional Internet-related companies, including its key investments in audio and video streaming. It has been acquiring key strategic technologies at a rate of over one per month.  Surprisingly Microsoft is not at the peak of an industrys size but at an early stage in markets that are expected to explode in the next decade. If unchecked, there is a real possibility of Microsoft becoming a financial and technological mountain dominating more markets and industries than any monopoly has ever dominated.
The nature of high technology makes each individual market linked to other markets through a combination of software standards, training skills, development tools and physical architecture that must all be able to work in combination.
The key to the economics of networked technology is that products and markets do not stand alone in these high-technology markets but instead reinforce one path of innovation versus any alternative path. An operating system attracts software developed around that operating system, which discourages new competition since any alternative faces not only the challenge of creating a better operating system but competing against a while array of already existing software applications. Businesses train employees in one technology and are reluctant to abandon that investment in training, while the existence of a pool of people trained in that technology encourages other businesses to adopt that technology. And as desktop software has to be able to work with client-server networks and an array of other technologies, it becomes nearly impossible to abandon an established set of technology standards that tie those different parts together. These so-called network effects give an incredible anti-competitive edge to companies like Microsoft that ... more

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