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04.27.08

What Ever Happened to the Boycott Microsoft Web Site?

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell, SCO at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Bill Gates looks at everything as something that should be his. He acts in any way he can to make it his. It can be an idea, market share, or a contract. There is not an ounce of conscientiousness or compassion in him. The notion of fairness means nothing to him. The only thing he understands is leverage.”

Philippe Kahn

As you may or may not know, the official Boycott Microsoft Web site has been inactive for about 10 years. In the week to come we will present some of its old yet invaluable findings. We ought to share them in order to demonstrate how little the company has changed since the more brutal antitrust era (before change in administration, which has turned a blind eye to bad behavior since).

We previously highlighted some disgusting stories of intimidation and abuse intended to silence Microsoft critics. Examples include:

Show Us the Code gagged by pressure through employers (seemingly imposed by Microsoft-sworn shills like Dan Lyons); Groklaw gagging attempts by SCO; well-documented intimidation of important figures that ‘dared’ to disagree with OOXML; Novell&Miguel's subtle threats are not forgotten, either.

Watch the story about the Boycott Microsoft site.

Now I’m asking myself, how does this Microsoft employee come to be calling my place of business? I certainly don’t post my company phone number on the Boycott Microsoft site.

Simple really — he’s noticed that the Boycott Microsoft directory is set up as a subdirectory to another web site. “Ah-ha,” he’s probably thinking, “this account belongs to a business. I’ll bet some employee of this company is camping out on this account without the boss knowing about it!” So he follows the directory backwards, finds the company phone number, and calls asking for the webmaster.

[...]

At first, this entire incident made me furious. How on earth could this be any of Microsoft’s business? And what astonishing insolence to call a place of business with the confidence that, on Microsoft’s tip-off, we would take some sort of action against one of our employees. Good Lord, who do these people think they are?

Does this kind of petty harassment of critics constitute official Microsoft policy? That’s doubtful. But would an employee of any other company even consider taking unilateral action to silence a critic by tattling to his boss? Official policy or not, this employee thought it was the right thing to do, and that alone is telling.

So in retrospect, infuriating as this incident was, I did learn something useful about the corporate culture at Microsoft. Unfortunately, it confirmed my worst suspicions: intimidating, meddlesome and arrogant activities in the service of the company are entirely legitimate.

So there you have it. Microsoft identifies critics and then turns to peers for pressure in silencing attempts. I’ve personally had my share of abuses too. The above just makes further validation in the form of hard evidence.

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