Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Why I Hate Microsoft

technology

Why I Hate Microsoft

One of the common complaints whiners leave in my comments is that M$ is just a business doing what businesses do so it is unreasonable to hate them. I disagree and here are my reasons, each being sufficient to make hatred of M$ reasonable. Hatred can be reasonable or unreasonable. One has plenty of reason to kill a dog or a bear that is chewing on a child in a family for instance. Without hatred, one would be left with fear or respect for the beasts and let them do their thing. That would be unreasonable.

  1. The first reason I began to hate M$ was that their software did not work for me or my students when I was blessed to have a cluster of PCs in a multi-grade/multi-level classroom. I needed those PCs to work trouble-free every class so that my students would be able to have intelligent learning interactions on schedule. I had Grades 9, 10 and 11 in one room and I had a range of students from quite illiterate to very literate. I needed them to do small group activities often just to get the job done. PCs were totally useless if they didn’t work. They were a potential blessing denied because M$’s software would crash/freeze hourly. The PCs took 5 minutes we did not have to reboot. Before 2000, I just re-booted and did not give it another thought. After I started using GNU/Linux and had 5 PCs run six months without a forced reboot, I looked for every chance to liberate more PCs and I did a lot. I hated M$ then a lot more than I loved GNU/Linux but I grew.
  2. Eventually, I read US DOJ v M$ and realized that not only did M$ produce bad software, they deliberately arranged the markets to exclude competition in browsers and operating systems from nonIndependent Software Vendors, OEMs and retailers by leveraging the monopoly granted by IBM for DOS into the GUI versions. If they could sell whatever they produced with no competition they had no motivation to produce good software and worse, they introduced non-open standards file-formats and protocols to ensure every other operating system on the network delivered a “jarring experience”. Why the courts allow such a crime is beyond me. If there is no respect for the law good people must take action, another reason to hate M$, sufficient to motivate me and millions of others to boycott M$ and businesses that exclusively deal with M$. I have not bought a PC with that other OS installed since. I have taught thousands of students to read the GPL and the EULA of M$ and make up their own minds. Not one student has ever told me M$’s EULA seems generous. Instead they found it mean/cruel and certainly intended to deprive users of their freedom to use hardware they owned any way they wanted.
  3. M$’s EULA explicitly limits what people can do with PCs. That’s unconscionable and worthy of hatred just as it is reasonable to hate a slave-master or pimp. e.g. Limit of 15 networked machines on a LAN. They do that to sell server-licences whether there is a need for a server or not. e.g. Licence expiring with the PC (OEM licence). M$ does not own our PCs! The OS is not a part of the PC. This is a crude attempt to force people to buy another licence with their next PC, something unjustified technologically and it reduced performance/$ for technology we buy. M$ has no right to interfere with IT that way. If you love being beaten savagely every night just because a bully can do that, you are a sick puppy. Stand up for freedom. Fight back!
  4. Then there’s value for money. Since GNU/Linux can do the job for $0 + installation, there’s no way M$’s OS is worth ~$100 that OEMs and retailers tack on to the price of hardware. That’s propping up the Digital Divide, making unjust profits and basically robbing people just as a mugger might do. Want a PC? Pay M$. Want to live? Pay the mugger. I hate muggers. I hate M$.
  5. Then there’s interfering with other businesses. Not content to have a monopoly on desktop/notebook PCs on many retail shelves, M$ spends $billions spreading FUD about competing technologies and businesses. See the recent Scroogle campaign. Before that it was Get the FUD. That is illegal in many places: illegal advertising and interference with trademarks etc. but M$ has been doing it so long the courts seem not to recognize it. Businesses cannot afford a decade in the courts with M$. More reasons to hate M$, a bully.

There is light on the horizon. Every year more people use FLOSS and love it. In the last few years, the EU has slapped M$ pretty hard and GNU/Linux and FLOSS is now thriving in Europe. Governments and schools are setting employees and students free. The battle has been long and hard but the end is in sight. M$’s market share has fallen precipitously now that new OEMs shipping ARMed devices are in play and most OEMs do ship GNU/Linux if customers demand it and more are demanding it.

It’s still not time to treat M$ as a normal business. They don’t yet work for a living, making $hundreds of thousands per employee per annum doing little more than shipping licensing agreements to OEMs. Certainly their OS is not worth what people are paying for it and M$ still attacks other businesses, most recently spreading FUD about Google at FTC, which dropped the matter after Google agreed to make a few changes. Google makes far more per employee per annum but they do work for it making huge server-farms do much of the work. That’s smart and does not harm competition. It’s time the rest of the world became smarter and dropped M$ as a “partner” in anything.

25 Comments

  1. Mark Longridge

    Hey folks, hey Robert,

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents and say I reviewed Windows 2.0 in the 80′s and I didn’t like it. It was slow. I told everybody I liked Desqview and Xenix better (remember this was before Linux was even created). I also thought Topview from IBM sucked :)

    Old foggies like me knew there was a long history of computers before windows and microsoft existed. It’s good to remind people about this every once and a while!

    Mark

  2. bw

    I personally have no idea as to why merchants do what they do. Presumably it makes sense to the merchant. I do buy what makes sense to me though. I have bought a Windows PC and, more recently, an iPad. I paid the $39 to update my laptop to Windows 8, mostly just to see what the fuss was all about. I don’t know if I like it better or not. It takes getting used to, that is for certain.

  3. Adam King

    The illegal money uses bribes and other secret tactics to keep stores in line. Its mission is to exclude every other operating system and competing product.

  4. Robert Pogson

    bw wrote, “You are plainly unsettled that many others do not share your dislike for Microsoft”.

    I could not care less whom others hate. What really gets my goat is that retailers in my area continue to offer little or no choice in desktop/notebook OS despite the clear suitability and existing demand for GNU/Linux. What retailer would not be glad to sell product X that was as good or better than product Y and at a lower price? That’s sound business. Being a slave to M$ is not. The customer is always right, not the supplier.

  5. bw

    Also, it is not such a terrible thing to relentlessly pursue sales. There is a guy on the TV here who seems to sell virtually every brand of auto from a bout a dozen area dealerships. He is always showing up with his promises to provide the lowest price. Apparently it works because others go out of business and he takes over the lot, selling yet another brand. That is obnoxious, but hardly criminal. What law is being violated?

    You have been able to find alternatives easily enough, if I read your words here and in some other threads correctly. You are plainly unsettled that many others do not share your dislike for Microsoft, but that is really not the fault of Gates. Instead, it is clear evidence that others do not have the same low opinion of those products as yourself and perhaps also do not have the knowledge or motivation to pursue any such alternate avenues.

    It is a matter of necessity, I think. If their needs are satisfied to the point where it is wasted effort to seek an alternative, they will not bother. At that point Microsoft will have obtained their maximum coverage of available sales and competing products will have reached their limits as well.

  6. bw

    lol, you fellows are as over the top about everything it seems! Buying stock in a blue chip chemical corporation is world domination and working for charitable health organizations is eugenics. Do you people often find yourselves home alone or set off at the corner table in the room for social gatherings?

    I suspect that you are all Republicans.

  7. lpbbear

    “Then, too, as synonymous as Microsoft is to Bill Gates, Gates himself is far from any sort of evil person. His largesse is legend and his fortune itself is not so tied to Microsoft as it once was.”

    The vast majority of Gate’s efforts in spreading his wealth out to those less fortunate have been tied to companies he is invested in and have been used to promote those companies and their products over better and often more environmentally safer alternatives. His investments have included big chemical corporations, big pharmaceutical, software, companies like WalMart, McDonalds and others.

    I wonder what kind of sick twisted personality it is that upon becoming the world’s wealthiest person would continue the pursuit of even more money and then use that wealth to try and force his will and ideas on the general public as in his attempts to force charter schools upon US taxpayers.

    With that kind of wealth he could REALLY make a difference by simply writing checks for million bucks for the rest of his life to whoever he thought needed it as long as he wrote the check with NO strings attached. That is what I would do were I lucky enough to be in his position.

    His generosity is a front and is meant to promote his investments and allow him to force his wacky ideas on the rest of the world. He is still the same weasel that squirmed in front of the DOJ’s cameras and lied his ass off.

  8. Robert Pogson

    Relentless pursuit of sales is criminal. Business has to respect the law and compete on price/performance only. It is a crime to prevent competition in the market which seemed to be ~80% of BG’s game-plan. He should be locked up as a dangerous offender.

  9. bw

    Your “fatal flaw” described for Gates is what most people see as a necessary and desirable characteristic of all effective and focused entrepreneurs. He believed in his products and was relentless in pursuit of sales.

    The products did not fit your needs, apparently, and you looked elsewhere, but that is just natural. One size never truly fits all and if any mistake is made, it is in having IT managers try to force fit Windows into situations where it does not belong. That is a deficiency in those IT managers, not in Windows products or Gates character. It is clear to everyone that Windows is a viable solution for hundreds of millions of users.

    Windows is slowly losing its universal popularity as personal devices give way from classic personal computers to the iPhone and iPad style of use. PCs are still major market items, though, and are likely to remain as such for years to come. Apple is now enjoying the same sort of universal success as did Microsoft in the past and will likely continue to dominate the new products. That is no slur on Microsoft, though, just the natural order of change.

  10. Robert Pogson

    THR wrote, “Google blocking services for Windows Phone 8 users? “

    Well, that saves M$ from blocking Google Maps… How many millions of websites has M$ wrecked all in the name of selling IIS?

    Google is not responsible for the twists and turns of M$’s browsers which call themselves Mozilla, for instance… Perhaps Google feels the market for phoney “8″ is just too small…

  11. THR

    By the way, Robert, as you’re always so eager to point out how Microsoft behaves terrible anti-competitive:

    http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/01/05/calling-shenanigans-on-googles-windows-phone-8-maps-narrative/

    What’s that? Google blocking services for Windows Phone 8 users? They do that from the bottom of their hearts, I suppose. God bless them!

    Robert is caught deep in cognitive dissonance, like the fly in the spider’s web which does not realize it’s caught in such a contraption. He has invested so much belief in Google that any capacity for critical thinking has long since left him.

  12. d.

    Mats, you should look up something called the “sunk cost fallacy”, aka. “commitment bias”. It’s an interesting phenomenon, that works in many areas of life and explains many seemingly crazy behaviours.

    It’s like, you have this piece of junk car, and at some point, keeping it operational is getting so expensive that it would be cheaper to just buy a new car. But you keep fixing the old car, because you don’t want all of your earlier investments to go to waste. It’s irrational, because the money you spent earlier is already wasted no matter what you do now, but most people don’t see it that way – they feel “obligated” to keep using the old junk because they’ve already invested so much money in it, they feel they should at least get as much use out of it as they can.

    Then there’s another very interesting phenomenon, called “post-purchase rationalization”. It means after you pay a lot of money for something, you immediately start justifying the purchase to yourself, making excuses for all the flaws of the product, and so on. It’s because it’s easier to tell yourself the flaws in the product don’t exist or are non-important than admit that you made a bad purchase. No one wants to feel cheated, or stupid, so they try to tell themselves they made a good business decision.

    I think, both psychological effects together explain very well why some people are so adamant in defending windows, and so blind to all its flaws. They are too emotionally invested in it to admit to themselves that they should just cut their losses, which makes them lash out at anyone who threatens to break their illusion. It’s very much like creationists shutting out all evidence of evolution, they’re being wilfully ignorant because admiting the truth would be more painful to them.

  13. THR

    It’s not idiocy to be conned by expert liars.

    Now you’re making excuses for idiots, Robert! If his (Mr. Hagglund’s) friend has been constantly disappointed by Windows, but continues using Windows, then he is an idiot. He apparently even possesses the skill of self-reflection. Yet he continues to use Windows which (according to Mr. Hagglund) doesn’t work for him at all. Human nature? Please!

    Also, your statement is completely senseless as it is, Robert. Almost all advertising consists of expert lies. Every yogurt nowadays is advertised as being super-healthy thanks to some bacteria even if it also contains tons of sugar to make it taste good. There’s a powerful weapon against that: common sense. There’s certainly the corpus delicti of false advertising, but that doesn’t mean that your own stupidity can just be ignored.

  14. Robert Pogson

    Mats Hagglund wrote, “It’s hard for him to admit he has been so long fooled by Microsoft. It’s a stubborn attitude of certain kind of people, but it’s just human nature. Nobody wants to admit being an idiot.”

    It’s not idiocy to be conned by expert liars. The fundamental lie is that M$ innovates. The truth is their reverse-compatibility locks folks in to stuff that never did work right. The truth is that M$ sells licences, not new and better operating systems. I have used most of their stuff since 1985 and never saw dramatic improvements in IT until I switched to GNU/Linux. The difference was awesome and immediate. Selling Vista-almost-debugged as “7″ instead of a recall with an apology was a crime of monumental proportions, probably amounting to ~$100billion. Imagine if Toyota produced a generation of lemons but charged the price of a new car to fix their mistakes…

  15. Mats Hagglund

    There are some positive aspects of Microsoft and people using Windows. It has taught me a lot of society and human behavior. When i was young i used to believe that folks are behaving rational. Now – after seeing so many people banging their heads on wall of miserable Windows OS – i finally understand that there are lots of human behavior based on believing myths, legends and hype.

    A good friend of mine have had quite brutal and painful history using Windows. He might have tried ten pcs with Windows. And they all have sucked. Latest Windows 7 with no exception. But still he hopes and tries Windows. Partly because he don’t want to confess that i made right decision when i moved to Linux. It’s hard for him to admit he has been so long fooled by Microsoft. It’s a stubborn attitude of certain kind of people, but it’s just human nature. Nobody wants to admit being an idiot.

  16. Robert Pogson

    bw wrote, “Gates himself is far from any sort of evil person”.

    Uh huh. BG wrote, on May 21, 1995, “Intel has to accept that when we have a solution we like that is decent that that is the solution that wins. Unfortunately our wide open Vxd architecture is causing us immense problems and its just going to get worse in general.”

    There, in a nutshell, is a fatal flaw in Bill Gates’ character. He did not accept that M$ was a normal business but one which had the right to interfere with other businesses and not just to compete with them in the market. He was willing to force crapware on the world to accomplish monopoly rather than actually shipping a good product. His “immense problems” were mine in my little classroom in the Arctic. Fortunately, GNU/Linux came along to save me and my students. Thank Goodness.

  17. Robert Pogson

    MK wrote, “What has hatred achieved for you? Did it get your wife to use Debian?”

    No. I am not a superstar but I did get thousands of students and teachers to use GNU/Linux. The little woman, too, enjoys reliable IT thanks to GNU/Linux. I could have just sat down and done nothing but I was motivated and did my part to make the world a better place.

  18. MK

    Well, that was pretty detailed. I can better understand why you hate, and yet, this set of mind is completely strange to me. Why waste time hating, if you are confident, that you can do something about the problem? In fact, …are you confident?
    For example, instead of hating, RMS created FSF, Linus – Linux, Ian Merdock – Debian, Google – Android, etc.
    What has hatred achieved for you? Did it get your wife to use Debian? Is she a hater too? Do you have 1984 hating session together?

  19. bw

    What occurs to me first is the idea that you should just say no to any sort of product that doesn’t fit your needs. You plainly seem to have found one that does suit your fancy. You should trust in your fellow man to do the same.

    Then, too, as synonymous as Microsoft is to Bill Gates, Gates himself is far from any sort of evil person. His largesse is legend and his fortune itself is not so tied to Microsoft as it once was. There is an article being widely cited that discusses this issue:

    http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/01/04/despite-giving-billions-away-bill-gates-getting-richer/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=email-2013-01-05&utm_medium=email

    Of course he does support gun control in the US which probably puts him on your bad list.

  20. Robert Pogson

    Mats Hagglund wrote, “Owners of those laptops were youngsters and the best part of the story is that these young people will send a good message about Linux to other youngsters.”

    Yes. If an OS has few salesmen, getting into the education-system is a great way to go. Think of it. Linus as a student actually started Linux. Young people are very accepting of new technology and can pick it up rapidly. That still does not guarantee world-domination (probably a good thing) but it does guarantee some reasonable share much greater than 1%. People who first encountered GNU/Linux in schools are now in a position to influence purchasing decisions of governments and businesses. They well be working in retail or OEM businesses generating systems on the supply-side.

    He also wrote, “M$ FUD is still doing great harm to Linux and FLOSS. People with computers are absolutely too scary”

    I think “scary” should be replaced by “scared”. I like people even though they seem to be unpredictable and prone to following fashion rather being rational. That actually works for Android/Linux because OEMs and retailers promoted it. The reason everyone should hate M$ is that M$ actually intended their technology to displace and replace all others by fair means or foul and they chose mostly foul means to accomplish that. Fortunately, almost everyone has heard/seen Android/Linux so the FUD about M$ being wonderful is now a joke to most. M$ is spending huge bucks advertising “8″ and few are buying. Another OS works for millions, MacOS, iOS, GNU/Linux and Android/Linux. In the face of that the old beliefs spawned by the devil, M$, are laughable.

    M$’s latest campaign, “Scroogled”, makes me laugh. I just typed in “double boiler” into the search/address window on Chrome browser and the first hit was Wikipedia whereas M$ is warning folks about the evils of paid advertising… as if OEMs and retailers throwing money at M$ was not evil…

  21. Robert Pogson

    Amen. Hatred of M$ is widespread. I used to hear nothing on that subject from ordinary users until Vista came along. Where I last worked, we used XP but it was squashed by malware. Several teachers there told me they hated “7″. They welcomed GNU/Linux because they were finally free of malware and had the performance of which the hardware was capable for doing their work. The only problems they had with GNU/Linux was due to M$’s lock-in and the playing of video DVDs. That was easily overcome.

  22. Mats Hagglund

    During this Christmas holiday season i installed Linux Mint to two computers. And they were not Windows XP-machines but Windows 7. Lesson is clear: Windows 7 is as unstable and insecure OS than its predecessors. Owners of those laptops were youngsters and the best part of the story is that these young people will send a good message about Linux to other youngsters.

    Another lesson and not the most impressive one: people are too scary to try Linux. They move to Linux always little bit too late. They have already payed Windows license. Sad thing but M$ FUD is still doing great harm to Linux and FLOSS. People with computers are absolutely too scary.

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