Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Age of Transparency As the Age of Sinking Brands

If you do the crime, you'll do the time

To repeat something we alluded to at an earlier stage, Microsoft's brand name has sunk like no other brand name, according to one among very few trackers which are based on large, industry-wide surveys. It is indicative of one of two things (or both):

  1. Microsoft's product are no longer as satisfactory as they used to be, compared to self or compared to their competition
  2. Microsoft's image as a company has degraded


“...Microsoft's brand name has sunk like no other brand name...”Arguments can be made to suggest that Microsoft has suffered at both levels. With regards to (1), find examples in our off-beat posts about Windows Home Server and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. In order to avoid excessive and immature bashing, which leads to degradation of reputation, we tend to concentrate on Microsoft's ethical behaviour, which refers to point (2). We could provide many other examples to support point (1).

You will find an interesting new post that is somewhat of a rant right here. The reason why it's interesting is its focus on Microsoft as the example of bad behavior and the "do not imitate" model. It's mildly amusing.

Yes, it is still about Microsoft



[...]

So yes, Microsoft is still very much a factor in the development of Linux. Microsoft is the benchmark of what not to do, where not to go, and what to be better than. Microsoft is still a very large factor in where Linux is going today, and tomorrow.


In reference to the news about the Microsoft brand, Bill Beebe has put together a comprehensive summary of Microsoft's abuses over the years. Although it is not very broad or compelete, it is digestable enough to inform the reader of Microsoft 15-year-long abuse of the system -- an abuse so great which at the moment culminates in the ISO fiasco. Here are some portions of interest.

1993 - In August the Department of Justice opens an investigation into whether Microsoft is abusing its monopoly in operating systems.

[...]

Judge Jackson in turn responded by saying that "[Microsoft executes] proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. ... Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support spurious defenses to claims of its wrongdoing."

[...]

2008 - February is a bad month for Microsoft. The Windows Vista Capable lawsuits are granted class-action status. The emails released due to discovery are damning to both Microsoft and Intel; they show that Microsoft executives knew they had a problem with Vista, and that even for them Vista was a sorry excuse. The European Union fines Microsoft a record $1.4 BILLION for defying sanctions imposed on it by the EU for anti-competitive behaviors. It's just the end of March, but 2008 is turning into a banner year for Microsoft bad news. Who knows how low their brand power will sink?


Needless to say, the abuses and total disregard for the law predate 1993, but scope was deliberately limited.

Now that Novell and Microsoft openly describe themselves as partners, one has to pause and wonder. Novell's business is poor enough as it is and Novell's brand might be affected in a similar way, particularly among those who matter the most, namely Linux professionals or enthusiasts. The deal with Microsoft may have pissed off all the people closest to procurement process. Affiliation with Microsoft was the last thing that Novell, a long-time Microsoft rival, actually needed. From fighting SCO they came to inherit a similar role. So, to summarise, Novell ought to learn here from Microsoft's brand dive. It could be pulled down by the weight of the partner.

Microvell



"The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two."

--Government official

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