Re: Dear Apple...
Yes, Microsoft were a monopoly, but were quite good at hiding it.
PC manufacturers who wanted to pre-install Windows on *any* machines they shipped out to customers had to pay to license Windows on *every* machine they shipped out, whether it had Windows on or not.
That meant companies supplying corporate customers, or even just box shifting high street stores, included the cost of a Windows license in every sale.
Someone buying 10,000 machines doesn't want to go to the trouble of installing an OS on all of them, they want it pre-installed and that's easiest using big old disk duplication devices that can do hundreds of installs at once, but the drives go bare into the device - so you either dismantle all of your new machines or install them one at a time.
Now it was possible to get a refund if you didn't want Windows, but you had to buy a machine and then apply for a refund from MS (about £30) after removing the OEM installation.
As a result, pretty well everyone bought a PC and just used Windows; it had something like 93% of the market at one point.
Internet Explorer was so entwined with the OS that you could not cleanly remove it without trashing the system; if you did uninstall the frontend bits you left a good chunk of the security problems that the integration caused *and* Windows would keep suggesting that you should install the latest version at every opportunity.
If anyone looked to have a technology that could seriously rival an MS product they were either bought and absorbed or MS would more or less give away their own product until the competition went bust.
Microsoft was very much a monopoly in some quite abusive ways.
Apple are about a quarter of the market for mobiles and something like 15% max for computers. Are they successful? Yes. Are they important? Yes. Are they influential? Yes. Are they a monopoly? In some areas, maybe, but broadly they are not.
Personally I really don't understand why someone who hates Apple and wouldn't buy one of their devices if it was the last thing on the planet can get so hot under the collar about this stuff.