Summary: Microsoft accuses Google of doing exactly what Microsoft did; WebsiteSpark is introduced as a dumping technique to battle against Web standards
A LOT of people do not remember that Microsoft pushed its .NET extension into Firefox without permission [1, 2]. Microsoft was using Windows Update for competitive reasons alone, which was an abuse of its power, as we mentioned shortly afterwards [1, 2]. But Microsoft is a total hypocrite and this would not be the first time that Microsoft accuses others of doing exactly the same things Microsoft is doing all the time. Microsoft complains about other companies pushing stuff into its Web browser and to make matters worse, Microsoft ignores the benefits (Google wants to force Microsoft to finally embrace SVG as it should) and instead characterises this as a danger. Yes, it’s a danger… to Microsoft’s business prospects.
Microsoft Using Scare Tactics For Google Browser Extension?
Is Microsoft really concerned about the security of its users in this case, or is it just trying to dissuade people from using a competitor’s plug-in? If the latter is the case, perhaps they should get in gear and support the latest technologies. Browsers are one market where Microsoft still dominates over Google. They don’t want to lose that share.
There are many flippant responses to it. Savio Rodrigues, for instance, judges it without trying it and Mary Jo Foley — like many others — fails to express her thoughts about the positive sides of what Google is doing. Microsoft successfully changed the subject of debate and it seems to have no particular issues with other extensions to Internet Explorer, toolbars included. It is only acceptable if it helps the ‘master’, Microsoft.
In other news, Microsoft’s attack on Web standards continues. Korea is already a prisoner of ActiveX and Microsoft is trying to encourage more of the same trap by paying — not charging — Koreans. Now there is this from the BBC about Web-based games:
Games firms in South Korea are getting a funding boost from Microsoft.
South Koreans are also known to be a nation of very heavy Microsoft users and Internet Explorer is used by more than 95% of web users. By contrast in many other nations IE’s market share has dropped below 70%.
The above neglects to mention just why so many Koreans use Internet Explorer. They have no choice because Microsoft attacked Web standards so brutally in this nation that those without Windows and Internet Explorer are unable to access banks and use government sites. To encourage more of the same, Microsoft’s anti-LAMP and anti-Free software initiatives go up a notch with the introduction of another *Spark, among others. We wrote about these initiatives in:
- Poor Microsoft Gives Poor Software to Youngsters, Hoping to Remain Relevant
- Microsoft’s Anti-Linux Dumping Crusade: Chapter 11.1
- Microsoft Tries to Fight Libre with Gratis
- An Open, Gentler Microsoft: The Best Illusion Only Novell Can Buy
- Microsoft’s Last Breath: BAD (Bribing, Addicting, Dumping)
- Microsoft’s B.A.D. (Bribing, Addicting, Dumping) Comes to the Philippines
- Down with Microsoft… in India (Updated)
- Microsoft Takes Dumping Tactics up a Notch
- The EDGIfication of the Philippines
- Microsoft Dumping in SXSW, Barnardos, and Samsung
Microsoft now has this thing it calls “WebsiteSpark”, which is about increasing dependency on Microsoft. “WebsiteDump” is a more appropriate name for it. It is a trap, but more docile Web sites — including Mary Jo Foley’s blog — market it as “free”, whereas others realise that there are strings attached.
If accepted into the program, developers get access to various Microsoft Web design and development tools, including three licenses for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition, two licenses for Microsoft Expression Web 3, and one license for Microsoft Expression Studio 3.
Microsoft tries to spin the open-source LAMP alternative as disjointed, and further argues it is a more expensive development path, and even that Microsoft offers better Web performance than LAMP-based development.
But this isn’t the way the Facebooks of the world see it. They view the open-source LAMP stack as the proven, scalable winner in Web development. Microsoft can’t match that with a price tag.
Web developers should know better. Under the WebsiteSpark programme, Microsoft’s software is free like a free puppy. It does not cost anything initially, but as Bill Gates once put it so epically, “they’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.” Microsoft’s software leaves a mess on the carpet (downtime) and costs a lot of money in the long run. Microsoft is not a charity, even when it pretends to be helping startups and the underprivileged; it’s all just part of the business plan. █