Sun/AOL/etc are not monopolies.
Linux vs. Windows is a stupid debate. People who typically carry them out are completly idoitic and have no understanding of Linux. Linux is not meant to be a desktop. It would suck for a desktop. It's meant to be a server. Those who want to chat, play mp3s, etc, Linux is a waste of time. Why? Because that's stuff for personal use not a server (running your own dns, services, etc on a secure/stable envorniment) Why people have this debate I'll never know. I use Linux often in the server envorniment and I have Windows 2k on my personal computer. Both are equally great in their own right. I'd never use 2k to run as a server and I'd never run Linux to be a desktop.
mIRC demand in Linux is not popular for many reasons:
1) Look how bad fwaggle/etc got treated for merely replying? I'd steer clear also.
2) Not many people use linux for personal usage as people do for Windows. If they do, they prefer simplicity (as Linux is quite simple ... there's no lets open 50 dialogs to change a setting) -- xchat, bitchx, etc are fine for them.
3) Most Linux users dislike mIRC. Not all, but most I've met do.
4) There's many, many, many more ...
How's AOL/Sun a monopoly? They do not force you to use their stuff, cut out compatability of others products in their own. I can name atleast 20 instances where microsoft has tried to make it virtually impossible for their mainstrea marketting products to work with nothing else (Netscape Navigator, for example)
As far as "Including a rip of IE" I would hope you're not calling Netscape a rip of IE. They're totally different. If that's the case you're clearly mistaken ... I could even provide you a lot of facts to prove that it's completly not IE related at all.
That is the funny thing about Windows. .EXE executables hide who is really ripping what. As far as monopolozations go no one you mentioned is guilty but Microsoft. Last I heard they're even trying to shutdown various contributors of the open source movement (like getting PHP eliminated, etc). I've also heard that MS is going to be working with people like Intel to develop chipsets/software that makes it virtually impossible to leech/warez stuff but the way I read about it (on some news site months back) it's going to be a burden for anyone using a computer who isn't running Microsoft products. Could this happen? It could, MS could easily toss Intel 25 billion dollars and make them do whatever they want. Technically, it wouldn't be a monopoly then because MS Does not own Intel.
Back to topic though ... Windows is Windows, Linux is Linux, completly different and intended for completly different things. I agree it should not be ported at all. It would lose a lot of functionality I'm sure and take ages to port (by Khaled that is) considering all the API would change.
Out of simple logic, Khaled killed 16 bit because he wanted to write one program ... I think asking for two versions is a bit harsh. C/C++ is a GOOD language to learn, and certainly if people can sit on IRC and chat away or come here and debate with people for long periods of times they could easily learn it, write their own for Linux, and be happy.