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04.22.10

The Microsoft Who Cried “Wolf!”

Posted in Antitrust, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We will really behave this time, we promise!”

Alaskan malamute

Summary: Mozilla Firefox and other Free/libre Web browsers are discriminated against in Microsoft’s ballot due to yet another “error”

Yesterday we showed that IBM's Rob Weir had pointed out yet another Microsoft ballot error. This is not the first time that Weir spots and/or reports such an issue; he is not alone, either. Just watch the wealth of previous examples found and accumulated in:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft’s Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim

The latest ballot error (or ‘error’ with scare quotes) is now being confirmed by Microsoft, which will be “kind” enough to address the problem.

But there’s a glitch in its Polish language page, wrote Rob Weir, an ODF (Open Document Format) architect with IBM, who wrote on his personal blog that he was tipped off to a problem.

[...]

Microsoft acknowledged the error.

Microsoft keeps making errors and “fixing” them. How many times? Like 5 times already? How come so many failed attempts? How hard is it to just make a simple screen with selections. This is the type of JavaScript exercise that can be assigned to a high school student. The headline says “Microsoft agrees to fix error in Polish browser ballot screen”; barring the possibility of inaccuracy in reporting, it’s like saying “Toyota agrees to fix faulty brakes”.

Microsoft keeps talking about “the new Microsoft” or use the above ballot as an example of fairness (it’s not fairness, it’s compliance with the law, which Microsoft is repeatedly failing to comply with). Are any more “oops moments” over Microsoft’s horizon?

“When people understand what Microsoft is up to, they’re outraged.”

Tim O’Reilly

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