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Microsoft FUD Alert

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MATT Asay and the usual trolls from ITWire continue to show their utter contempt for desktop GNU/Linux. It's the usual suspects and, suffice to say, the latter case is deliberate provocation that had us pondering a 'link embargo' on ITWire (or particular writers from there).

Elsewhere on the Web, what seems like Vista 'advertising' is almost disguised under the teaser headline "Hasta La Vista, Microsoft Vista." It tries marketing the unwanted operating system using the "inevitability" tune. This relates to a former Microsoft tune, which goes like: "computers are only desktops, and therefore Linux is not important." It's total nonsense and a case of aligning one's statistics to suit an agenda [1, 2, 3].

Another noteworthy item is Microsoft's choking of Xandros at ASUS, having tied them up [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], brought back XP, and begun selling it for very little, some say $0 (i.e. anti-competitive dumping).

One of our readers, Slated, remarked on such tactics yesterday:

> The plundering of the Earth by those that we call "businessmen" is a > fact that more people should be aware of. It seems that all sorts of > immoral, selfish, back-stabbing behavior is forgiven, if the result > is money made.

But just to be clear, I'm not anti-business. I'm anti-monopoly and anti-Corporatist, certainly, but I have nothing against legitimate business. In fact, as I've pointed out many times before, it's the Corporatists who are anti-capitalist, since they seek a state of monopoly which suppresses the Free Market Economy. This is nothing more than State-endorsed racketeering, just like any other form of monopoly (e.g. patents).

Microsoft are not unique in this regard, in fact they are not even the worst culprits, but in the context of Free Software they are the biggest threat to the kind of equal opportunities conducive to Freedom and choice.

> Could it be denied that Bill Gates and his cohorts "zealously" > perused their goals of dominating the markets that they participate > in?

Given that a "zealot" is merely a derogatory term for someone with absolute intolerance for others' ideals, then yes, it is perfectly accurate to describe right-wing extremists like Microsoft (or even any other Corporatists) as zealots. Their goals and principles are the antithesis of the Free Software community's, and they (Ballmer in particular) have made it perfectly clear in word and deed, that they utterly despise everything we stand for.

The flip-side of this is, of course, that since I am diametrically opposed to Microsoft's goals, and absolutely committed to opposing their right to pursue those goals, then it is technically accurate to describe me as a zealot too. But, as I said, it is a derogatory term, so I'd only expect to be denounced as a zealot by anyone who opposes my ideals. Given that those ideals are just the opposition of something immoral, it's highly inappropriate to describe such a position in a derogatory fashion, unless those making such comment are themselves immoral. Hence my assertion that "zealot" is a term which is only used in a derogatory sense, since intolerance is not in and of itself necessarily wrong, if that which is not tolerated is immoral.

And Microsoft's goal of monopolistic dominance is most certainly immoral, since this is not merely about making money; but they aim to make that money by denying others the opportunity to do so, and they accomplish this unworthy goal using the most depraved methods the law will allow (and even break those laws on occasion). That's not business, it's racketeering; totalitarianism; Corporatism. And worse still, having achieved this position of dominance, they then abuse it to force others to buy their products. This precludes the need for them to compete at all, and so they become complacent, to the point that their products become grossly substandard, but they have a captive audience who must accept these substandard products without choice. This situation may be improving with the emergence of products like Netbooks, but this tends to be an exception to an overwhelming rule of pre-installed Windows systems; bundled by OEM vendors who are bribed to do so, then bribed again to lie that the "[Vendor] Recommend Windows". Again - that's not business, it's an immoral means of securing profits; synonymous with racketeering.

There's business ... then there's "bizniz". I'm not opposed to the former, but I am certainly opposed to the latter. If that makes me a "zealot" then so be it. I suppose the EU Commission; the US DOJ, and I, all bear the the same "zealot" hallmark.

Thoughts are as welcome as always.


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