“People everywhere love Windows.”
“There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no-one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft.”
A couple of days ago we mentioned concerns in the US about China's development of its own standards in isolation (i.e. Microsoft style, because
great connected minds think alike). Andy Updegrove has posted a link to this good article.
The United States warned China Thursday that it risked “technological isolation” for developing unique technical standards of its own that also are shutting out foreign competition.
“…the choice of names like “Open XML” is no coincidence; it’s nothing but a mastery of deception.”Going by the same type of logic but without the geographical discrimination, shouldn’t the United States also warn about Microsoft in the same way that Europe already does, sometimes comparing it (in private) to a “Scientology cult”? The important point to be made here perhaps is that Microsoft projects its own beliefs onto other people, who can no longer see anything wrong. It’s a case of hypocrisy.
As we explained before, the choice of names like “Open XML” is no coincidence; it’s nothing but a mastery of deception [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft employees were tamed to believe their company’s own lies, which transcend doors and penetrate other people’s heads to form false perceptions. And here you have another fine illustration of cases where this deception works.
This is doubtless happening all over the place in science, which means that many simply forget that there are alternatives to Microsoft’s products. Instead – quite understandably – they concentrate on the science. But what this implies is that however open that science may be, however much it pushes forward open access and open data, say, its roots are likely remain in the arid soil of closed source, and that Microsoft’s money has the effect of co-opting supporters of these other kinds of openness in its own battle against the foundational openness of free software.
A lot comes to mind at the sight of blind acceptance, including shameless deniers from Microsoft and ISO. Last night, a reader sent us a somewhat relevant old link that you might find interesting in this context. It’s about Microsoft’s attempts to rewrite history.
On October 1, 2004, at an appearance at the Computer History Museum in northern California, someone asked Bill Gates about a possible threat from Linux and Gates replied: “Microsoft has had competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document this stuff.”
But during the frantic days of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Defendant, Mr. Gate’s employees at Microsoft corporation put together an argument for the court that made a tiny group of companies look like a threat – even a competitor.
Linux advocates believe Microsoft employees and contractors disrupt forums and discussion groups. They believe that Microsoft advocates use fictitious names to post unfavorable comments about Linux. They refer to people who may do that as “astroturfers”.
Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries made an observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. He’s quoted as saying, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Is that a true statement for all people or does it tend to generalize? I don’t really know the answer. It somehow feels right.
I have a lack of trust in our current Administration’s ability to regulate Microsoft. In fact, I’m concerned that a lack of motivation and/or interest exists to protect us from Microsoft’s monopolistic grip. I don’t know from where the resources would come to investigate them in the civil sector. Microsoft just doesn’t appear as a priority in the administration’s agenda.
I believe that the US has slipped technologically in the last five years as investment in start-ups has slowed and our technologist have migrated to other professions. I lay the blame on our government’s inability to show the fortitude to stop monopolies from thwarting innovation. Hopefully this article will provide some incentive for someone to take a look at how one company could change the internal landscape of the Internet and distort history.