What did Microsoft ever do to you?

Story: Intel® Linux™ versus Microsoft® WindowsTotal Replies: 32
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Nov 06, 2005
10:49 AM EDT
I don't understand all this propaganda.

How does this further IT?

UNIX people seem to hate the company that made the PC available, popularized it, took it to other countries around the world, made it user friendly, gave people an opportunity to make a living, simplified programming and made it possible for Linux to exist by giving Intel a market.

Personally, I think Linux is OK and I'm using Suse 10, but you people are so hyper-sensitive or obsessive compulsive hanging on every word written in some obscure document for OEM's.

Do you really think Intel will abandon Microsoft? Not ever.

If they're smart, they'll know who buttered their bread.

Intel has done dumb things in the past and Microsoft always forgives them.

Also, the business world represents a much bigger user base than governments. They won't give up in Microsoft. They never have.

I write all my code on my XP Pro workstation and load it up to this LAMP + tomcat that my client has. What does he care if I use Linux to write code or not?

I'm glad you have something to obsess about. What would you do with all your free time anyway?

PS - I don't mean to be rude, but you have to admit something's wrong with this picture in the Linux part of the open source world.

Nov 06, 2005
10:58 AM EDT
The two biggest things Microsoft has done to me, personally:

1. Put a lump of crap operating system on my (work) desktop, whose shortcomings I have to work around many times every workday. For starters, FOCUS DOES NOT LOGICALLY IMPLY THAT THE WINDOW COMES TO THE TOP, you moh rons. Get a realy window manager. After that, the "MDI" model really, really sucks. What were you thinking?

2. Either told director- and VP-level people outright, or implied very strongly, that minimum wage codemonkeys can use MSFT products and come up with something just as good or better, and faster, than educated and experienced programmers. Don't lie to me, you've encountered a manager who has had this lie told to them, and MSFT salesdroids have told him or her this lie.

If you do lie to me, admit to yourself that some other group or system you've had to interface with is the direct result of putting $10-an-hour Windows Codemonkeys on a complicated task. They did something half-vast at best, and your system had to make up for the dramatic shortcoming of the "Windows Codemonkey Sacred Cow".

Nov 06, 2005
11:04 AM EDT
avenger, if you were really reading all these stories you're criticizing us for, you'd already have the answer.

Nov 06, 2005
11:07 AM EDT
I do not know any $10 an hour code monkeys, sir. I work on a lot of projects and the people make a signifcant hourly rate - usually a minimum of $35 an hour after the body shop takes their cut.

But, I don't know everything or everybody working in the world. I just know the people who I work with.

I don't get the argument about putting a lump of crap operating system on my desktop. Isn't it a matter of preference. It's like sexual preference or a political preference. We live in a free country and we all have the right to vote. People vote with their pocket books. If Windows was such a lump, how come so many people overwhelmingly choose it.

Further, the fact that Linux is marketed in third world countries means it can't win the hearts and minds of the more sophisticated computer buyers who live right here in the US!

Nov 06, 2005
11:09 AM EDT
I spent a lot of time reading the stories and I still don't get it.

I've read your articles too, Ms. Schroder. You seem very intelligent and I have learned a lot from you. In fact, I am able to make a better living because of the materials you produce.

Basically, though - it's really just what I said before. It's a matter of preference.

Nov 06, 2005
12:54 PM EDT
It's not a matter of my preference, at least in the workplace. I would have nothing to do with any MSFT product, as they've proved time and again as inadequate to the task, any task.

I've done unix develpment exclusively for maybe 15 years. Time and again, I have to do my documentation for a perfectly pure Solaris system in "Word". No choice - this is dictacted.

I have to lie to my telephone company, who provides DSL: "Yes, I use Windows XP Home edition, just like your script says I do." Otherwise, I get no support for my DSL line, even problems that are obviously on the central office side of things. I have no choice there...

I'll say exactly what I believe right here: Microsoft pays off director and vice president level corporate people to make Microsoft the corporate standard. It's cheaper to pay off a few execs than it is to advertise and evangelize to the technocrats. Microsoft also pays off journalists more-or-less directly, and pays off editors and publishers in the form of massive advertising dollars.

All of this takes away my choice.

You basically don't have a point, avenger. You're either trolling or you're not honest with yourself.

Nov 06, 2005
1:50 PM EDT
Quoting: We live in a free country ... If Windows was such a lump, how come so many people overwhelmingly choose it.

Exactly, if we have choice why does MS dictate that Windows must be on every pc? When many users have no idea what an operating system is, why do you think the consciously choice was Windows? Moreover, these same enlightened individuals may think that Bill Gates single handedly invented the internet, does that make it true? Or is that another false fact?

If you really believe Windows succeeded either due to technical superiority or by overwhelming user informed choice I will find it hard to any set of text you compile has any creditability. Hence, I am not surprised at all that you just get it!

A less suspicious reading of your comments may mean that you are a recent arrival that had not observed directly how Microsoft gained its hegemony in the pc operating system market. If the latter is the case, let me inform you that the hysteria began with the supposed tech. writers swooned at the rapidly rising market of Windows 3.x as it was being routinely installed by nearly every OEM pc assembler. Those numbers were taken as significant despite general knowledge that the early versions of that environment were essentially unusabe. Note two issues, at this stage the operating system was still DOS, which even Windows 95 still sat upon albeit with the former hidden purposely. Still impressed at how the ignorant literati pulled a fast one? Do you still do not get it? Then don't be proud.

Usually I am not this nasty, but I have better things to do than write on such a trivial topic. Moreover, I have been living with the expectation that the fan bois of Microsoft will make their presence felt here as they have so effectively on slashdot. That is, once they discover this site too has some nasty words on all things wonderful about Microsoft.

Nov 06, 2005
2:05 PM EDT
"Further, the fact that Linux is marketed in third world countries means it can't win the hearts and minds of the more sophisticated computer buyers who live right here in the US!"

You can't be serious... Now I know you have never even tried Linux.

Go play flamebait elsewhere.

Nov 06, 2005
2:16 PM EDT
I started working on Java in 1998, I seem to remember the SDK was 1.2 and it ran on my Windows box at work. I knew of the trial. But, if they were so guilty, why didn't the Justice department break them up? I think that you would agree that after an appeals court heard the case, Microsoft settled, the penalties reversed and the fines were not that bad.

Sure, they were a monopoly. If anyone has over 80% of a market, that's the definition. Monopolies are not inherently bad. Hey, they won the battle of the competition. People have the sovereign right to complain. But, at least admit that they won.

Linux has done well and I have to deal with it. So, I want to learn it. I just don't see why some people have to make accusations. No one can do anything about the past. So, work on building a future and forget about Microsoft.

I still don' think I have seen anyone say directly that Microsoft did anything to them individually.

I don't work for Microsoft if that is what you are implying. I don't read slashdot. I'm not interested in reading news for nerds because I'm not a nerd. That's a trashy web site.

If anything, I'm a contarian because I still program in Java. The main Microsofties want everyone to go to .NET and I have tried their product. I don't like it and as long as plenty of work remains for Java, I'll use it.

I still haven't seen a single comment that answers the original question: What has Microsoft ever done to you.


Nov 06, 2005
2:40 PM EDT
Quoting: Further, the fact that Linux is marketed in third world countries means it can't win the hearts and minds of the more sophisticated computer buyers who live right here in the US!

Error: Bad equation. How much IS Linux marketed in the US? (almost NOT!)

Huh, US PC-buyers more sophisticated? Those people watching MS commercials all day sitting in front of the TV and eating pizza? Who even don't KNOW it is possible to run a PC without Windows? Who are so stupid of producing .doc documents, after which they can't read their OWN documents in a right way without software of MS? The people paying over $80 for Windows? The people who go to the supermarket for buying a PC? The people paying for a virusscanner and spyware-removal tool, or more generally (MIT quote), paying for software of which two thirds is needed to control the other third, which does the same thing in three different ways? The people thinking visiting astalavista.box.sk for downloading cracks is always involved in the task of a sysadmin? The people who can't control a computer without a mouse?

Should I go on (more generally about 'sophisticated' people in the US)?

Hint: don't make me to, because I WILL mention stupid mistakes like the Florida elections, the flooding of New Orleans because cuts, & Iraq)

Nov 06, 2005
2:48 PM EDT
hkwint, and don't forget "Pat Boone In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy"

My ears are still traumatized.

Nov 06, 2005
2:55 PM EDT
Ok, had to look that one up, but I immediately believe you.

Nov 06, 2005
3:24 PM EDT
avenger -

To violate antitrust law, it is not sufficient to have a monopoly. You must unfairly exploit the advantage that the monopoly gives you in a way that forestalls competition.

At to Microsoft's legal history, you need to examine the facts. Microsoft was found to violate the law at the trial level, and that finding was upheld by a unanimous Court of Appeals.

The unanimous finding is significant. Usually, a unanimous finding means that some horse-trading was done by the judges. Some close issues may be dropped from the final opinion in order to get consensus, so long as the finding itself stands.

Why would that happen?

It happens when the court is going to find a certain way, but with dissents. If the dissented issues don't affect the final holding, they may be given up for the unanimous opinion. The power of a unanimous opinion in a case like this -- by the Washington DC Court of Appeals -- is that the Supreme Court is nearly 100% certain to let it stand without review.

As to the vacated penalties, the judge in the trial court pulled a couple of bone-headed maneuvers outside of the court room that affected the appearance of impartiality.

The Appeals Court did not forbid a breakup of Microsoft -- it assigned the penalty phase to a new judge. While all this was going on, the Bush administration was elected and the new Justice Department refused to prosecute the case as they should have. The administration's behavior in this case was absolutely reprehensible, and I say that as a conservative who voted for Bush twice.

Sigh. If only the opposition had bothered to put up a candidate instead of nice threads and good hair.


Nov 06, 2005
3:46 PM EDT
"Pat Boone In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy"


Imagine how we Americans with even a hint of sophistication feel about that one :)

Nov 06, 2005
3:49 PM EDT
"Should I go on (more generally about 'sophisticated' people in the US)?"

Hey hkwint, stop picking on our smallest minority!

Nov 06, 2005
9:53 PM EDT

Nov 06, 2005
11:49 PM EDT
Microsoft were in the right place at the right time with a cheap windowing shell over cheap DOS available for cheap hardware. UNIX at the time needed hardware costing about ten times as much to run, so was only used industrially. Microsoft's had very little competition for graphical systems in the home and that competition was destroyed by various practices which have been proven in court.

As for programming. I ran away from Windows 3.1. It's programming interface was terrible in comparison to Linux's at the time. Linux was true 32 bit where Windows 3.1 was 16 bit. Linux had sensible division of responsibility between the shell and the program, where in Windows the program did everything leading to inconsistency between different programs. Linux had powerful scripting languages for simple tasks.

As for programmers - there are too many who don't have the knowledge they really need. Too many just happy to wire up controls in Visual Basic. I wonder how they're dealing with the conceptual shift to VBdotNet, though I think I have some understanding how. I've met programmers who don't understand recursion or other simple algorithms. I've met managers who are afraid of recursion. I've also met programmers who develop programs as single big classes with lots of global statics.

Yes the programmers are cheaper, and the development can be more rapid, but with the increased complexity of DotNet the end result seems full of problems and maintenance is a nightmare. I am always pleased when code I design or write responds to the inevitable change in requirements or additional features without breaking its model or needing a rewrite.

The following quote from the first reply:

"Do you really think Intel will abandon Microsoft? Not ever. If they're smart, they'll know who buttered their bread. Intel has done dumb things in the past and Microsoft always forgives them."

Sounds like the kind of racket that Microsoft are associated with.

Nov 07, 2005
6:09 AM EDT

"UNIX people seem to hate the company that made the PC available, popularized it, took it to other countries around the world, made it user friendly, gave people an opportunity to make a living, simplified programming and made it possible for Linux to exist by giving Intel a market."

The company that did that was Compaq.

They reverse engineered the proprietary BIOS of the IBM PC.

This allowed for cheap clones to enter the market place.

Before the clones an IBM PC would cost you about $2,000.00 US, had almost no third party software, and ran some obscure clone of a clone of CP/M called 'pc/dos'.

In comparison, a APPLE ][ + cost $1,200.00, supported more memory, had tons of after market software titles, and about 90% market share for micro computer sales.

After Compaq reverse engineered the BIOS it was a different story. The hardware market was open to competition. Market economics lead to commoditization, standardization, and lower prices for consumers. Each IBM PC sold used to result in a big profit margin, after the clones profits were much slimmer, and have continued to fall as commoditization has continued.

This is very similar to the process happening in software due to F/OSS. The high profit margin vendors that depended on proprietary software lock-in are being competed out of existence by standardized low-cost commodity software. Profits for the new guys are razor thin, so there won't be any more software billionaires, but the consumers will see lower costs and higher profits for themselves and for their own businesses.

Microsoft did not give Intel a market, any more than Shell Oil gave Ford cars a market. People didn't buy cars because someone started building gas stations on the corner, the gas stations were built by competing fuel supliers trying to supply the car owners with fuel. Its important to remeber that those car owners could buy fuel from one of many suppliers, not just one monopoly!

The hardware came first creating a market for software. Without the cheap Intel based clones, there would have only been a small proprietary market for Microsoft. The creation of cheap "open" architecture Intel clones resulted in a much larger market for Microsoft to sell its goods in. That openness spurred creativity and innovation as well as doom for many closed hardware vendors. I think Apple is the only survivor from a field of over a dozen.

The same openness is now reducing the margins in the software market. There will be lower margins in the future, and many current vendors will cease to exist.

Sheesh, talk about revisionism, you really take the cake avenger. I hope you are a shill, because if you think that Microsoft created the market for Intel, you really have a very warped sense of reality

Nov 07, 2005
4:03 PM EDT

I'm not totally sure why a lot of people are like you in that you always tend to stereotype the rest of the world outside of America (and probably G-8 countries) as non-sophisticated. What grounds do you have in saying that? You do not judge a certain society as simple based on their gross national product (which is in my country, rice) or their per capita income. Just because most of my countrymen or people from other countries similar to mine have not owned computers for the most part, it does not make them stupid or so base as to not know how to operate one.

In my case, I have had to install and configure my Linux PC without the benefit of a local user group or computer guru. Being one of the early adopters, I can only rely on a dial-up connection, Linux forums, and Google for help. A trip to IRC channels in freenode.net is futile, as most chatters there only talk amongst themselves and noobs are totally ignored. Even getting the dial-up modem to configure correctly is a hard task already (we mostly have winmodems in this country). Surely there's some semblance of computer sophistication in me somehow, right?

If you wanna know, Microsoft still markets in our "simple" country. It even takes pains to kill off software pirates and businesses using pirated software in preparation of Vista. Would you want to reconsider your analysis now?

I'd rather think that Linux is a more sophisticated OS than Windows. To be familiar and comfortable with the command line in itself takes a lot of learning and skill to understand (of course, I'm referring to casual PC users and not programmers). But if you wanna think that most G-8 citizens are, by birth, sophisticated, I respect that OPINION (I shudder at the thought of the sophistication level exhibited by a lot of forum posters with spelling like "dependancy" and "realy" and their most thought-out post would involve a flame on another poster), but I digress. In fairness, there are also other well-mannered people in forums.

The only reason Microsoft chooses to center its efforts on G-8 countries more is that people of those countries have the buying power. We in other less-developed countries would not have pirates in our midst if we also had money to buy original software. We also get our PCs usually by buying parts separately and assemble it, so there isn't much Microsoft can do to preload our PCs with Windows. Yes, there are still entities like HP and such who sells prebuilt PCs, but I highly doubt that they make a killing in that endeavor.

To answer your question about what Microsoft ever did for me, I would have to say that while Microsoft first introduced me to graphical computing in Windows '95, for which I am grateful for, there's not much else they did good for me.

I can only recall the many times I've had to retype large portions of my work due to the BSOD I get every so often (and that's even with the Autosave option ticked). It could be my own fault for not saving often, but do I really have to save my work every 5 minutes or so? That certainly puts a crimp on the groove you get into when you're typing. I can also point to the oh-so-many trojans and malware that has infected my system, causing me to reinstall Windows (as well as other programs) every once in a while. And to think I don't even go to porn sites or warez sites. Also, Windows runs slowly for me compared to Linux. On the same system, Linux runs faster, even with all the eye-candy configured, to Windows with only the base install. And maybe it's because of the "bloat" people talk about, an equally-capable Linux install with the programs I want and need would take only around 4 gigs of space as opposed to the 20 gigs I need for Windows and the programs I want and need. Those 16 gigs would certainly be useful to archive photos and videos instead. And lastly, the unethical business practices of Microsoft also affects me and other end-users.

While you may think that only other software companies Microsoft has annihilated/bought off are those affected, I'd like to think in terms of what could have been. And those what-could-have-beens may certainly turn out to be better software for us users. Good thing there's open source now.

Nov 07, 2005
5:59 PM EDT
I do not know if I am prepared to respond to your statement. I don't generalize and say "people like you". I cannot explain why you have any anger at "people in G-8" countries for your circumstances. I do not believe that "other people" caused your situation.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you should do whatever you can to find social mobility. I'm a black man in America. My parents graduated from college, found jobs and worked and saved so I could go to college. I had to work and financed my education. I paid off my loans early. I have no idea what it was like for my grandparents becaue by the time I was born, segregation was over in the US.

I expect that with the growth of technology and the charity of countries like mine, that people in countries like your own are only a generation or two away from being out of poverty. I just believe that you have to take personal responsibility for your situation and do what you can to rise above the circumstances.

I find it difficult to associate your circumstances with mine because I live in an industrialized nation. My family and friends live in the same culture. I can't identify with you and I suppose that a large American corporation like Microsoft cannot identify with you. Then just sell computer products.

If Linux makes it easier to learn to use a computer, then I can't argue with that. I'm not selling Microsoft. I still don't know what they did to you.


Nov 07, 2005
8:55 PM EDT
Microsoft don't have to have personally hurt me in order for me to strongly dislike them. Their tactics, behaviour and attitude are quite sufficient. They tell lies, they're not the only company that does so and they're not the only company I dislike. I think that any company that influences policy for it's own ends should be disbanded immediately. Just like any company that out-sources overseas should be punished severely. This isn't about service. Microsoft et al wouldn't p*ss on you if you were on fire, they want your money, they want your children's money and they'll break laws, tell lies, run smear campaigns and threaten and bully anyone in order to continue collecting that money.

Take the XBox. It has 5.1 sound - that doesn't work without the special adapter available from Microsoft for an extra charge. It has a DVD player - that also doesn't work without the special adapter - available for an exra charge. It's internet ready - but, yes you guessed it, more money for Microsoft for the special adapter. You can play with other people - if you go and buy an extra controller. So we see, it's not about providing people with anything, it's about Microsoft modularising everything and charging extra for each module. If you are happy with this as a business model then there's something wrong with you. If Microsoft made cars you'd get a chassis, bodywork and maybe some windows but you'd have to pay extra for the engine and the wheels and you'd have to pay Microsoft per mile every time you went out in it.

And finally, picking on people because they make spelling mistakes is pathetic.

Nov 07, 2005
11:11 PM EDT
avenger: if, after all the replies you received, you still don't understand what Microsoft did to us (to us all, including you, but you seem to be so used to it you don't realise it is *not* normal to be treated that way), you'll probably never understand it. You've been pointed out a number of times that your beliefs about what Microsoft did for computing were incorrect (by people who were *there*, in the industry, when it happened), and yet you refuse to listen. At this point, this is not lack of understanding anymore. It's active refusal to understand. And we have no need for someone who asks questions but refuses to listen to the answers.

And if you really can't fathom our reasons, then you have a big problem, because it means you have no idea what your rights as a consumer and citizen are, and you believe the way you are treated right now by such companies as Microsoft is ethically and legally correct. You're wrong on both counts.

I don't think it's worth carrying on this discussion. I have no interest in talking to someone who doesn't listen. Consider it the last comment I'll have on this thread.

Nov 08, 2005
7:49 AM EDT
Quoting: I cannot explain why you have any anger at "people in G-8" countries for your circumstances.

"Understand" would be a more precise wording.

Quoting:I do not believe that "other people" caused your situation.

Perhaps you were either unattentive or more likely your training in history was deficient at the schools you attended. Your beliefs are not fully supportable without even knowing what former colonial power was in charge (if any, a few nations escaped direct conquest) that skewed historical structure, economy and population solely for that power's benefit.


Nov 08, 2005
12:39 PM EDT

You state: "Whatever situation you find yourself in, you should do whatever you can to find social mobility. I'm a black man in America. My parents graduated from college, found jobs and worked and saved so I could go to college. I had to work and financed my education. I paid off my loans early. I have no idea what it was like for my grandparents because by the time I was born, segregation was over in the US."

If your remarks are honest, then I can only say that you are incredibly isolated from most of world's realities. Would that you had learned more from your parents and grandparents about the struggles they went through to get you to the 'comfy' position you are in today. You might then have a little more empathy or at least understanding of the situations in the rest of the world and in our own country. Some of your remarks are perfect examples of why many justly regard us as ugly Americans.

You then go on to say: "Further, the fact that Linux is marketed in third world countries means it can't win the hearts and minds of the more sophisticated computer buyers who live right here in the US!"

And Windows is also marked there, so, I guess that means they won't want that either? Come on Avenger, I thought you attended College... Missed the logic classes did you? And, The average computer user in the US just buys what he is told to buy. Just tell them that it's the latest, and greatest and that it runs games fast... No sophistication involved. Currently Linux is a much more sophisticated OS, and, the only difference you see is that it costs less, so it can't be any good. Talk about warped logic.

What you need to learn is that while people with more than superficial understanding are rare in any situation or location, the US has no patent on sophistication nor does a narrow understanding of technology and economics equate to any kind of sophistication. It the worst kind of insult to even hint that Americans or 'G-8' countries are the only sophisticated people. Sophisticated people do exist in America, but, you sir are not one of them.

Nov 08, 2005
5:07 PM EDT
I don't see how attacking me personally does anything but allow you to justify or rationalize you own beliefs. This has devolved from a discussion about IT to an attempt to degrade an individual. You have a very shallow worldview.

In two hundred years, who will even care about these insignificant matters. Jim and some of the other people commenting here have convinced me that you have a limited understanding of people. You do not distinguish between the things you can change and the thing you cannot.

I came here to look at technology not have someone insult me. You should consider your own beliefs, behaviors and motives. Take a look at what you wrote. I did and I consider the source.

We've gone from what has Microsoft done to you to how bad and wrong I am. People only make others wrong to make themselves right.



Nov 08, 2005
5:57 PM EDT
Ooops. Avenger: You nailed it.

Each person had a valid point. But the thread devolved from your points about Microsoft to a personal attack.

Don't give up on Linux because you did not get your question answered. Some of us don't know how to separate our emotions from rational arguments. That's reflective of us not of the technology.

Microsoft did some things that caused financial set backs, specifically and directly to me.

Now, I am not out for revenge because that's a waste of life force. But, you won't find those kind of hassels if you use open source software and don't have to worry about agreements with vendors, etc.

So, if you are offended and I think you probably are, please have some compassion. You asked legitimate questions and for the time frame I can see where you were coming from.

Let us know if we can help.


Nov 08, 2005
7:07 PM EDT
Can I mod this down as flamebait??? Seriously though, if you really think MS made it because of it's superiority, may I suggest you read the book "Accidental Empires" by Robert X. Cringley. Cringley was a real insider during the 80's and witnessed alot of what went on first hand, and also got a lot of accounts from others who witnessed it first hand. It will give you a real insight into MS and what made them a success, as well as what made the PC big. -hint, it wasn't windows-

Nov 08, 2005
7:12 PM EDT
I have watched this thread long enough, sabre. Moderate it down, please.

Regarding Cringley - this should provide anyone with his background:


I question his credibilty.

Nov 08, 2005
7:16 PM EDT
sabre --

Don't know what Cringely said, but I am real sure it was Lotus 1-2-3...

Nov 08, 2005
7:37 PM EDT
Considering that none of the answers given were good enough for avenger, I hope that they were read by people who were actually interested in what was said, rather than arguing pointlessly.

I will concede that Microsoft has not invaded my home and eaten my food, drank my booze, played loud music, and left a big mess. No one from Microsoft has punched me in the nose, kicked my cat, stolen my stuff, driven across my lawn, painted graffiti on my walls, or badmouthed me to my friends.

Microsoft did not make my car break down, nor taught my horse bad habits, nor borrowed things from my neighbors and never returned them.

What they have done is destroy hundreds of promising companies; destroyed customer choice by locking up hardware vendors to the point that hardware support for Linux and other platforms is reduced to a do-it-yourself endeavor; completely wasted the time and energy of sysadmins and network admins like me who are forced to invest far too much time and resources and bandwidth in dealing with attacks launched from hundreds of thousands of trivially compromised Windows boxes, even when we are not running any Windows boxes. My last year of consulting I calculated that 20% of my total billings was directly related to security problems caused by Microsoft's insecure crapware. I greatly resent being collateral damage in the name of increasing BillG's fortune.

I do not believe that Microsoft's success in the PC business is a good thing- they marketed a complex, difficult, completely insecure product as something that was easy and fun, in effect putting loaded guns in the hands of millions of children. If Windows users would all disconnect from the Internet right now, I wonder how many years it would take for existing exploits to go away. Even worse, they brought the same strategy to IT infrastructure, promising that semi-skilled monkeys could run networks and servers.

They treat customers as enemies. Remember the BSA, Business Software Alliance? A better name would be the BillG Gestapo. Want to cause someone a world of hurt? Fink them off to the BSA. Right or wrong, their business will be disrupted and they will be out a huge amount of money for absolutely no good reason.

In all seriousness and honesty, I cannot think of a single reason to admire or like Microsoft, nor can I think of a single good thing to say about the company. I think they are the worst possible thing that could have happened to computing.

Nov 09, 2005
2:22 AM EDT
Another issue came to my mind regarding the question "What did MS do to you?"

You see, as most of you probably know, I live in Europe. That's also why I threatened to mention Florida elections etc. above, but this was only meant to illustrate to Avenger that American people might not be as sophisticated as a minority of the Americans like he think. So, I apologize to all Americans who don't think they're the most sophisticated country in the world for trolling like this.

(In another topic I already told: What MS does to others is more important than what it did to me. MS likes to put poor 'software pirates' in jail in El Salvador, Honduras etc., but it doesn't do anything about software piracy in the US government. http://linuxtoday.com/developer/2000021100305OP )

Anyway, I was speaking about MS and Europe, and what comes to mind first, are of course software patents. They tried to push it through, thereby putting small SMB's out of business becaue they can't pay millions for trials like MS can, and if they pay the license fees, they will become bankrupt also.

Now, as you might noticed, MS is crying because the judge decided they infringe on Eolas' patents and should pay big money. Then why are they the biggest proponents of unlimited patentability, like the Eolas patent? When talking about this stuff, I always quote Bill Gates in a 1991 memo:
Quoting:If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today."
Challenges and Strategy Memo.

How does this quote relate to the following article: [url=http://news.com.com/Gates wants patent power/2100-1014_3-5288722.html?tag=nl]http://news.com.com/Gates wants patent power/2100-1014_3-528...[/url] (Bill Gates wants patent power, and is pretty excited about the 10 patents a week MS issues) It means, when MS was small, they were 'afraid' of software patents, because they knew, big companies like IBM could put them out of business by using them, and if IBM had used them against poor Bill, MS probably wouldn't have existed anymore. Not because they infringed IBM patents, but because MS didn't have much money for trials back then. Now they are a big company, and they try to put small innovative companies out of business by patenting everything they can think of, no matter if there's prior art or not (sudo, double mouseclick etc).

They also hired lobbyist, who represented themselves as representatives from the SMB's. (Microsoft ISN'T an SMB!). Furthermore, when Ireland was the 'chair-country' of the EU, Irelands minister McCreevy managed to get MS as the main-sponsor of the Ireland-chairmanship of the EU. Denmark was against softwarepatents, but Ireland didn't allow Denmark to speak. Then, this same McCreevy became the commissioner of intern stuff in the EU. For 'some' reason, he tries to help MS as good as he can now, and is one of the largest proponents of software-patents himself.

Meanwhile, everyone in the EU knows software-patents stiffle innovation, and swpats would mean the EU can almost only import software from the US (because US companies hold almost all the software patents), which is bad for its economy.

If the REAL SMB's hadn't united themselves (economicmajority.org) to let the real SMB's speak out against software patents, I'm sure MS & co would have succeeded in pushing through US-style software-patents in the EU.

At the moment, they are still trying to make this software patents legal via the backdoor in the EU. And if someone sues them for infringing, then they cry and say 'the quality of software-patents' should be 'improved', and there's 'prior art'.

(Where's a bag to vomit?)

BTW what would New Orleans look like today, if MS didn't squeeze that much money out of the US-governments (70% operational profit for Windows/ MSOffice customers like you and me), for example if the US governments switched to Linux, and would have used the savings because of no licensing fees for building dikes in New Orleans?

Nov 09, 2005
3:39 AM EDT
well, sir avenger, if you cannot understand the situation that underlies underdeveloped countries vis-a-vis technology, then i am sorry to say that you also have no right to place judgment as the rest of us having "shallow worldviews". suffice to say that at least in my case, i have full understanding of the workings in developed countries, workings in our poor country (bad politics and rotten apples), and Microsoft.

i have seen how the posts by other people after i made mine have adequately answered the question you posed about what Microsoft did to us. even after so many reasons, you fail to understand and ask the question again and again. if you must be a fanboi (other people: is this the slang term for MS fans in this forum? :) ), i respect that, but please, just as i respect your viewpoint, respect ours.

Nov 09, 2005
7:18 AM EDT
vinzer - clarification regarding the term fanbois: I encountered the term applied almost exclusively as being flung at supporters of Mac, Linux and other Unix based type variants (or more properly run alikes) in the slashdot comments sections. It was the tenor or tone of these remarks and their targets that made me assign such a pejorative term to fans of Microsoft. Moreover, it was seeing comments critical of MS moves moderated to invisibility that made me make the connection even more solid.

avenger - if you are so sensitive to personal, critical comments directed towards yourself, why are you so blithely ignorant of the content of your own comments directed at others? You may take your comments as being patently evident, whereas too many of the counter comments call in question the very basis of your tacit assumptions.

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