John McGowan's AVI Overview: Business and Economics

Business and Economics of AVI

Practical Business Uses of AVI

ADVERTISING Probably the most practical use of digital video on computers is for short advertisements such as movie trailers on Web sites and packaged with other materials. Short means in the range of 30 seconds to a few minutes. Bandwidth restrictions and the discomfort of watching video on computer monitors at short distances for extended periods of time probably insure that relatively short video clips that contain a recognizable story will dominate the successful use of digital video on computers and especially Web sites. The common practice of putting movie trailers on promotional Web sites for motion pictures provides a good illustration of this trend. Movies have tended to use QuickTime, most prominently with the highly successful trailer for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, rather than AVI or ASF (Windows Media). Such advertisements could also include product demonstrations. Talking Heads video is rarely interesting and entertaining although inexpensive to produce.

Business and Economics of Standards

AVI is a de facto industry standard. Standards in general, and de facto standards in particular, play a big role in the business, economics, and politics of information technology and Microsoft and Intel (WinTel) in particular. GTW Associates is a consulting firm specializing in standards and related issues. As of May 6, 1999 their Web site contained many excellent papers and resources on business, political, and economic issues of standards. GTW Associates clients, according to the Web site, include Microsoft, the colossus itself." W. Brian Arthur is an economist who has written extensively on increasing returns for adoption, standards, and related topics. Standard Based Monopolies and Near Monopolies: The WinTel Example (in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format) is my personal opinion about how Microsoft and Intel, and many other computer related businesses, function as near monopolies. Get Acrobat Reader


Reason Foundation which publishes Reason magazine has substantial coverage and links on the Microsoft antitrust saga. Reason is a libertarian organization with a distinct anti-antitrust or pro-Microsoft bias, depending on how one looks at it. The Consumer Project on Technology maintains an extensive Web site with extensive information on the legal, political, and economic issues of technology. This includes a large section on Microsoft and the antitrust cases against Microsoft. Despite an obvious political agenda, this is a very comprehensive site. Return to Top

© 2000 by John F. McGowan, Ph.D.