A Survey of the Economic Role of Software Platforms in Computer-Based Industries
David S. Evans
University of Chicago Law School; University College London; Global Economics Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management
Harvard Business School - Strategy Unit
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1314
Software platforms are a critical component of the computer systems, underpinning leading-edge products ranging from third-generation mobile phones to video games. After describing some key economic features of computer systems and software platforms, the paper presents case studies of personal computers, video games, personal digital assistants, smart mobile phones, and digital content devices. It then compares several economic aspects of these businesses including their industry evolution, pricing structures, and degrees of integration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: software platforms, hardware platforms, network effects, bundling, multi-sided markets
JEL Classification: L11, L15, L8
Date posted: November 13, 2004
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