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.
- 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.
- 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$’s EULA seems generous. Instead they found it mean/cruel and certainly intended to deprive users of their freedom to use hardware they owned any way they wanted.
- M$’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!
- 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$.
- Then there’s interfering with other businesses. Not content to have a monopoly on desktop/notebook PCs on many retail shelves, M$ 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.