Why I hate Microsoft - preface
“A personal, lengthy, but highly articulate outburst” by F.W. van Wensveen
“One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them…”
From the title of this paper you may have guessed that I am not very impressed with the guys in Redmond.
One might even say that my dislike for Microsoft is a pet hate gone out of control in an almost quixotic fashion. Why is this?
Of course I have been accused of personal antipathy, of being jealous of Bill Gates and his billions, and of being prejudiced against all things Microsoft without any reason whatsoever. None of this is true. I have nothing personal against Bill Gates. Why should I? I don’t know the man, I’ve never met him. I agree with those who say he might be the most successful salesman in history. And I’ve always thought that even one billion in almost any currency is more than I could reasonably spend.
No. It’s rather his business practices, and that of his company, that I am opposed to, for a large and still growing number of reasons, most of which are plain, verifiable facts. This paper explains why Microsoft is bad for us.
The following represents my own personal point of view. It does not necessarily represent the points of view of my employers, clients, associates, friends, relatives, pets or houseplants. If they want a point of view, they can go and grow their own, so there. If you read this document and a tree falls on your house as a result of any inaccuracy on my part, I shall not be held responsible.
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Microsoft controls the current PC software market and has a de facto monopoly on the desktop. This monopoly has not been achieved and is not being maintained by offering the user community better products than Microsoft’s competitors can offer. On the contrary, Microsoft has earned a reputation for selling unreliable products, thrown together from third-party technology, full of bugs and security holes, and in need of constant maintenance and repair. Windows is a technically inferior operating system with a seriously flawed architecture, a weak security model and sloppy code, while other Microsoft applications are equally kludgy. New Microsoft products are essentially re-wrapped bits of old technology which offer no essential improvements over previous or competing products, and with a Return On Investment between small and zero. In spite of this Microsoft boasts about about being innovative and customer-driven.
Instead of making better software, Microsoft has focused on using brilliant but doubtful marketing tactics to force their products upon the user community in order to establish and maintain their monopoly. These methods include a tight integration of applications into the operating system, the bundling of applications with Windows to force competing application vendors out of the market, the mandatory bundling of Windows with new computer equipment, deliberate limitations in the compatibility of their own software with competing products, contracts that keep third parties from doing business with anyone but Microsoft, and retaliatory practices against non-cooperating vendors. In addition to this, third-party developers are induced, through cheap or free development programs and the sabotaging of alternatives, to develop applications based upon proprietary methods of interfacing with the operating system. This results in third-party applications that are virtually non-portable, which in turn locks both developers and users into the MS-Windows platform.
These methods only serve to further inflate Microsoft’s already obscene profit margins, at the price of the interests of the user community, the IT market and the field of computer technology as a whole.