I disagree completely with you about Microsoft being a monopoly: while Microsoft was hardly improving Windows (3.0 3.11 95 98 NT 2000), Apple did not change anything (besides cosmetic changes) to improve its product and compete! Only with MacOS X will Apple have the same features Windows NT has had since 1994 ! It's unfair to say it is a monopoly just because the competition did not have competence to see what was happening with their competitor and improve their products !!!
The gas station example is wrong. This is better: Imagine 5 car companies improving their cars for years. Four of them were just changing the colors of the car each year, while the other one were improving the engine, brakes, suspension and sound system. Ten years later the 4 companies claims the other one is a monopoly because the majority ofconsumersprefers to buy the other car ! Is this fair?
You should read the judge's determination. Microsoft has an OS monopoly and had it all the way back to DOS days. They use this monopoly illegally to enter other markets like the Web browser market and to exclude other companies from these markets. All the innovation that can possibly occur in these cases has to be attributed to them, as they don't allow others to do a better job. This is what my car example was. Your example is all wrong and has nothing to do with illegal monopoly power. In fact, there's no way that Microsoft could have used their OS monopoly more illegally than they did in their effort to secure a browser market share that they couldn't have come close to achieving on a level playing field.
At least Microsoft had the good sense to see what Apple had and copy it.