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Microsoft Uses Sentimental Blackmail, Kickbacks to Promote IE8, Shoves it Down People's Throats Regardless

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Summary: Ultra-aggressive tactics by Microsoft show true determination to restore browser monoculture

Sentimental blackmail is evidently a recurring theme in Microsoft's business strategy [1, 2, 3] and so are kickbacks, which Microsoft is now offering to people who ditch rival Web browsers.



This move is not so radical considering Microsoft's search engine bribes [1, 2]. The company is simply trying to buy some market share. Silverlight is another good example of this costly strategy.

Anyway, Microsoft does not get enough from all the tactics above, so there is also a Twitter AstroTurf for IE8 and even this PR trick:

Users looking to take part can travel to Microsoft's "Browser for the Better" site, and download IE 8. For each download Microsoft will donate $1.15, up to a total of $1M USD.


This is also covered here and here, but it remains clear that it's the same old IM (Microsoft Messenger) scam where people were sold a "feel good" value in exchange for ditching or avoiding Microsoft's competition. In this case, it is also sentimental blackmail.

Aggressive marketing, eh?

Well, that ain't enough for Microsoft. Regardless of this "PR offensive" -- to borrow Nathan Myhrvold's expression -- Microsoft is also "pushing IE8 down people's throats," to use the words of IDG.

In its effort to get users onto IE8, Microsoft might end up alienating its intended audience instead. For starters, Microsoft pushed out IE8 as a critical security patch via AutoUpdate, which caused some users to install the browser when they didn't want it. Plus, the standard settings make IE8 the default browser, as has been Microsoft's custom, so some users not only ended up with a browser they didn't want, that browser became their default.


Earlier this month we learned that Microsoft was even steering IE6 users away from Yahoo! and Google -- pushing them to use Bing instead. This should become an urgent matter for antitrust regulators to handle. Microsoft is, as always, totally out of control. On the Internet -- without a doubt -- Microsoft is making itself many enemies; Marc Benioff is more outspoken than most and here is his very latest:

Salesforce CEO jabs at Microsoft cloud moves



[...]

Marc Benioff, a former Oracle Corp (ORCL.O) employee who founded Salesforce.com 10 years ago, rarely misses a chance to bash Microsoft as he spreads his gospel of cutting out software installed on users' computers and getting companies to use applications over the web.

"We are all about no software and they are all about software," Benioff said at a lunch in Seattle, when asked about Microsoft. "We are all about creating a whole new movement of cloud computing to move companies away from Microsoft's proprietary technology and monopolistic business practices."


"Monopolistic business practices" indeed.

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