Readers’ Input Wanted, Regarding Microsoft (Updated)

Posted in Microsoft, Site News at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman voter

Summary: Poll time – deciding on this site’s focus

On the right hand side (menu) we have a new, single-question poll (scroll down a bit to see it). It says: “Should Techrights reduce focus on Microsoft?”

Techrights currently looks at Microsoft very closely because Microsoft actively works against software freedom. Should Techrights instead be more focused on other threats to software freedom, at the expense (but not exclusion) of Microsoft?

Voting ought to take just 5 seconds and the majority vote really will determine this site’s direction.

As side news, last night we created an identi.ca group. If you have an identi.ca, feel free to join us.

Update: We have a little problem with the poll because caching makes all visitors’ requests be funneled through the same IP address. The only apparent way around this was to make the poll open to registered users and registered users only. We apologise for this.

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  1. satipera said,

    June 27, 2010 at 5:27 am


    I can understand why it makes sense to reduce emphasis on Microsoft but I still voted no. The reason I voted no was because this a campaigning website and needs to reach people who are presently unaware of why we need software freedom. I came to Linux and then became a supporter of software freedom because of Microsoft abuses that were apparent and obvious to me because I used their software. Reducing the emphasis on Microsoft will mean that much of the coverage will not seem relevant to the average Microsoft computer user and they will not then become interested in the wider issues of software freedom.

    slave5tom Reply:

    I have a similar experience as satipera. Dealing with many designed “limitations” on software features, such as one outlook account per computer and tedious searching for device drivers for older printers, I switched to GNU/Linux because it just worked. Only after using GNU/Linux did I discover the long list of Microsoft abuses. Keep up the good work on this site. People need to know the intensional acts to disrupt free software, bully hardware and software vendors and Microsoft’s unethical (and sometimes illegal) business practices.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    To tell you the truth, I considered stopping coverage of Microsoft (with as much emphasis) not because I lost interest in scrutinising it but because it takes a lot of time researching. I mean, a lot of time (to ensure accuracy and breadth).

    So far I can see that most people are in favour of keeping this focus, so unless the poll results change, there will be no change to the current focus and tomorrow I will post in high volume about Microsoft.

  2. Jose_X said,

    June 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm


    Roy and other contributors, you all should consider your needs and what motivates you. That’s how this game works.

    My opinion on software:

    Software is used everywhere. It runs society. It runs research (in advanced technologies and at today’s speed). It runs the Internet. Etc Etc.

    This is why software patents, for example, are such an important class of patents to get eliminated: they affect all of society and will have an even greater impact tomorrow. If we care about competitive access to business, competitive access to drugs, competitive access to schools, competitive access to government, competitive access to art/multimedia, competitive access to xxx…, and freedoms in general, then we will find ourselves constantly bumping up against software.

    Microsoft+friends’ ambitions, skill (in particular in deception), and current power/influence are too great to downplay relative to many of their peers and to other less related groups.

    All of this said, I don’t think an effort should be made to force news or to ignore other news. And as stated at the top, one should follow his/her heart, needs, nose, etc. We don’t need more slaves. And changing times will require changes in focus and approach. Humans will always love drama, but it can wear down and sometimes even slow down solutions.

    I voted “no”, but that should be taken more as an expression of whom or what I consider to be a very important threat to many things today.

    More importantly, at least as concerns software, I’m for growing the awareness of the negatives of proprietary platforms and of the value of Linux, FOSS, GPL, etc, and for improving FOSS relative to the alternatives.

    Can the effort put into news best be used in say creating advocacy games and marketing/letter-writing/etc efforts?

    Of course, there are many important issues beyond software, issues that more directly and immediately affect a lot of people. Addressing these through FOSS solutions would be ideal!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:


    You contributed a few popular articles before. Is there any way you can contribute more (even if just copies)? My problem is that I already have my hands full but there is enough space for more.

    For that matter, anyone who reads this and wants to post an article can mail it to roy at schestowitz dot com for publishing. It’s a community site after all.

  3. pinguinpat said,

    June 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm


    Respect for the Techrights project in the first place!! I’m not really surprised that the research takes a lot of time.

    To the point: I think that Microsoft will play the game even more dirty because the further evolves , the more they are positioned with they’re back against the wall.

    It will be very interesting to see what elements of the Microsoft pack will do what.

    I’m not into violence at all but when you have a fight with a group of persons, it’s always wise to stick with one of them!


    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’m not a big fan of campaigns, petitions, and protests. I don’t find them to be as effective as exposing the perpetrators and spreading the word; it leads to change in behaviour (embargo/boycott, scared perpetrators, company policy changes, brand value erosion).

    Companies don’t like bad publicity; people with signs in the streets have a limited reach and no targeting of audience (e.g. arbitrary bystanders vs. people who search the Web for a particular topic).

    The Web has changed the dynamics of backlash, research, and general exploration (cooperation and idea sharing). You mentioned “violence”; that’s what people in the uncivilised world/underworld still do.

    pinguinpat Reply:

    The violence part is only a bad translation of a Dutch proverb free interpreted by me of course :)

    Although exposing those perpetrators could be summarized as a battle between Gandhi and multinationals!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    At one stage, activists in India did wage a protest titled “Boycott Novell” (inspired but not organised by us).

  4. Agent_Smith said,

    June 27, 2010 at 5:32 pm


    No way, expose M$, crApple, IBM, OiN, Novell, Google. Name the cows, expose their wrong doings. People has to know what happens down the table. Go on Mr. Schestowitz

  5. twitter said,

    June 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm


    Keep after Microsoft, they deserve it and you know how to give it to them. You should not veer away from an area that you have developed an expertise in. While it might take a long time for you to back up what you say, others will take longer or may be so drowned in Microsoft PR that they can’t form the thought in the first place. The company is still the biggest impediment to free software use and worst violator of software user’s rights and privacy. Thanks for all the hard work.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If I’m left with less time, then I’ll need to reprioritise.

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