Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Next 25 Articles
- The Anti-ODF Whisper Campaign
Groklaw is examining the possibility of an anti-ODF [OpenDocument Format]
whisper campaign and the effects it has had on the ODF and OOXML
[Microsoft's Office Open XML] Wikipedia articles. In the ODF article, Alex
Brown [convenor of the OOXML BRM] bends the truth to make it seem like no
one is supporting ODF, and that it is a flawed and incomplete standard.
- ECIS Provides A History of Microsoft's AntiCompetitive Behavior
'Once Microsoft had achieved wide distribution for its own browser
through these tactics, it then moved to "extend" (in effect,
customize) industry standards for HyperText Markup Language ("HTML")
and Cascading StyleSheets ("CSS") to ensure that users would become
reliant on Microsoft's own web browser. Microsoft also introduced its
ActiveX technology extensions, which allowed software written much
like traditional computer programs to run in the Internet Explorer
browser, but that only worked on Microsoft's monopoly operating
system.' ... 'Even when Microsoft claims to be implementing a standard,
the reality is that Microsoft's implementations routinely either only
partially conform or else somehow extend the standard, so that software
developed to work with Microsoft's version of the standard will not work
with other vendors' implementations of the same standard.' ... '"We
need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger....If you're going to
kill someone, there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and
angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste
of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."'
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- How to Get Your Platform Accepted as a Standard - Microsoft Style
In the section of an internal manual on effective evangelism, written
in 1997 by James Plamondon, Technical Evangelist, he lays out an
elaborate series of steps to get Microsoft's platforms accepted as de
facto standards. Among the steps listed are working behind the scenes
with supposedly independent but actually pliable and supportive analysts
and consultants. There is a section on evangelism steps to take to
build support, which he calls guerilla marketing, or "The Slog" and
and that's the section that includes using supposedly "independent"
analysts and consultants... "'Independent' analyst's report should
be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or
ignoring them). 'Independent' consultants should write columns and
articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels,
all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology,
available for just $200/hour). 'Independent' academic sources should
be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). 'Independent'
courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement
in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought
and turned to our advantage.")
- UK schools at risk of Microsoft lock-in, says government report
(Computer Business Review Online,
UK schools and colleges that have signed up to Microsoft Corp's
academic licensing programs face the 'significant potential' of being
locked in to the company's software, according to an interim review
by the [British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, the]
UK government agency responsible for technology in education. ...
For a typical secondary school the cost of buy-out for desktop products
alone would be the equivalent of a new teacher's annual salary, the
report stated. Consequently most establishments surveyed did not believe
that Microsoft's licensing agreements provide value for money.
- Quickest Patch Ever
If you really want to see Microsoft scramble to patch a hole in its
software, don't look to vulnerabilities that impact countless Internet
Explorer users or give intruders control of thousands of Windows
machines. Just crack Redmond's [Digital Rights Management]. ... No user
is ever going to say: 'Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for
my PC on my Mac. I must install a patch so I can't do that anymore.'
- Rotten Effort
It's bad enough when Microsoft strong-arms other software vendors into
submission as a means of thwarting competition. But when it engages
in underhanded tactics to intimidate users in order to land a software
deal, we have a very disturbing situation on our hands.
- The Microsoft malaise - Eight signs that the software giant is dead in the water
Microsoft should have abandoned MSN a decade ago. There is a lot
of talk about Microsoft becoming more of a publisher and selling
advertising. ... This is not a media publishing company; it's a software
publishing company. ... Microsoft has been unable to cope with Open
Source except to complain about it.
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints at possibility of Microsoft litigating against Linux
In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft?s CEO Steve Ballmer stops
short of announcing patent litigation against Linux.
- Microsoft bent my Danish prime minister
[A Danish newspaper alleges that] Bill Gates told the Danish prime
minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen that 800 jobs would go if the country
opposed the European Union's proposed directive on software patents.
- Dell, prisoner of the Beast of Redmond
One can surmise that Dell's closeness to Microsoft has something to do
with it, but one now has less reason to merely surmise... Microsoft
soft money 'kickbacks' ... could account for up to $200 million,
'or more than 25 per cent of Dell's profitability.'
- Microsoft adopts IronPort anti-spam 'whitelist'
Microsoft's Hotmail and MSN e-mail services, which together claim 170
million regular users, will require marketers to put money up front if
they wish to ensure their messages aren't mistaken for unwanted spam.
- Microsoft risks 'alienating' users
Microsoft's controversial software licensing scheme has delivered little
value and many users will not renew their agreements when they expire this
- Seeds of destruction: Agriculture epidemics may hold clues to Net viruses
In studying the effects of last summer's MSBlast worm, some security experts
turned to an unlikely source in search of clues to the prevention of computer
epidemics: plants. ... Like Dutch Elm [Disease], MSBlast was a single foreign
entity that infected extremely susceptible hosts of an entire population--in
this case, of Windows computers.
- Microsoft's Integration Strategy Is Costly For Customers
[S]ome enterprises may end up paying 10 to 40 percent more to stay with
[Microsoft software]... Companies should be prepared [...] to increase their
Microsoft software budgets by as much as 40 percent for the 2006-07 time
frame, when the architecturally-revamped Longhorn line of products release.
- Israel slams the door on Microsoft
The Israeli Ministry of Commerce has suspended all governmental contracts with
Microsoft, and indicated that the ban will last throughout 2004. The de facto
suspension means no upgrades for the duration, at a time when Microsoft is looking
to roll out its Office 2003 upgrade; and the Ministry is said to be examining
OpenOffice as an alternative.
- Microsoft's big role on campus
Bearing gifts of cash, software and computers worth $25 million, Microsoft
Corp. came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, saying it
wanted to jointly develop educational technologies. Some scholars expressed
more suspicion than gratitude. ... Aeronautical design classes now use
Microsoft's Flight Simulator computer program. Electrical engineering and
computer science professors are putting their courses online using
Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software. The university's educational
computer network is being overhauled to use Microsoft's .Net architecture.
Video games, hardly an MIT priority but a strong commercial interest of
Microsoft's, have suddenly become a subject of scholarly inquiry.
- The quiet war over open-source
[Microsoft] is lobbying furiously in state, national and international
capitals against laws that would promote the consideration or use of
open-source software. [T]he World Intellectual Property Organization
[(WIPO)] ... was intrigued by the growth of the open-source movement and
welcomed the idea of a meeting devoted to open-source's place in the
intellectual-property landscape. ... In short order, lobbyists from
Microsoft-funded trade groups were pushing officials at the State
Department and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to squelch the
- How Microsoft Warded Off Rival
(New York Times,
[The person] in charge of worldwide sales at Microsoft... sent an e-mail
message ... to senior managers laying out a company strategy to dissuade
governments across the globe from choosing cheaper alternatives to the
ubiquitous Windows computer software systems. [The] message told executives
that if a deal involving governments or large institutions looked doomed,
they were authorized to draw from a special fund to offer the software at
a steep discount or even free if necessary.
- Microsoft logo scheme means Office Depot won't sell non-compliant
[C]ompanies that fail to join a logo scheme will find their XP products won't
appear on store shelves unless they've been certified by [Microsoft]. ...
[Some suppliers] believe the primary goal of Microsoft is to push digital
rights management (DRM) through the back door.
- Europe finds MS guilty, but wonders what to do about it
There are two basic areas the Commission wants to tackle - server software,
and Media Player. It's concluded that Microsoft is giving itself preferential
treatment in links between desktop and server operating systems, and that it
should therefore order Microsoft to give its rivals more information. ...
The Media Player issue differs in that the argument is really the old
bundling/integration one we saw over Internet Explorer. From the consumer's
point of view there clearly are conveniences and benefits offered by having a
standard player come with the OS. Some - The Reg included - might argue there
are associated inconveniences related to the ultimate ownership of what you
thought was 'your' record collection, but the initial convenience is still
- Microsoft and the SPAM Game
Microsoft is pushing for Washington State Senate Bill 5734 which will
overturn most of Washington State's laws that specify monetary penalties
for companies who send out spam. This will completely exempt ISPs from
current Washington spam laws, which Microsoft just happens to be.
- Microsoft faces new complaint
'Microsoft's overwhelming dominance and its abuse of that dominance reaches
into every corner of Europe and harms virtually every business and consumer
who uses a computer.'
- Microsoft loses showdown in Houston
The people who run [the city of Houston] recently heard a familiar pitch
from Microsoft: Sign up for a multiyear, $12 million software licensing
plan or face an audit exposing the city's use of software it hadn't paid
for. ... Microsoft also sent letters to 500 school districts in 30 states
giving them 60 days to produce receipts accounting for every copy of
Microsoft software being used. Failure to do so could result in an audit
and penalties, the letters warned. In the same envelope came a sales
brochure about the new licenses.
- Nimble edge slowly erodes for Microsoft
(The Seattle Times,
Microsoft's monopoly, remember, was not really cemented until Windows
servers took hold over corporate networks, starting in the mid-1990s with NT.
Until then, Novell, WordPerfect and Lotus were still options to an
all-Microsoft solution. ... [It's] hard to lead from the front, especially
for a company that built its success on folding in others' innovations. At
a recent briefing, a senior Microsoft executive derided open source as a
'collection of clones.' The irony appeared to be lost on him.
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