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Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

[Bug] [Education] [Government] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Security Hole] [MSN Hotmail] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS IIS Webserver] [MSN Instant Messenger] [License] [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [MS Outlook] [Piracy] [Privacy] [Virus/Worm] [MS XBox] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!]
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These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

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  • Microsoft's masterplan to screw phone partner - full details (The Register, 2003.01.05)
    [Monopoly] Until November, Sendo was Microsoft's flagship phone OEM. It then announced that its four-times-delayed Z100 Stinger phone would be canned, and threw its lot in with Nokia, terminating the Microsoft agreement. ... The claim alleges ... misappropriation of trade secrets, common law misappropriation, conversion, unfair competition, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, two counts of negligent misrepresentation, two counts of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement and tortious interference.

  • Colleges Signing Secret MS License Agreements (Slashdot.org, 2002.12.24)
    [Education] [Monopoly] [License] Microsoft is requiring colleges wanting cheap licenses to keep their license terms secret [...] in direct contravention of state public records and Freedom of Information laws.

  • Group urges limits on open source (CNet, 2002.11.27)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [Government] The Initiative for Software Choice, which counts Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Intel among its backers, said in comments filed Tuesday that the department should 'avoid crafting needless and potentially detrimental IT policy to promote the use' of open-source software. The initiative, [chaired by a group that has close ties to Microsoft], is worried about a recent report that concluded the Defense Department relies on open-source software and recommended its further adoption.

  • Microsoft Unveils Licensing Discounts To Counter Linux (Yahoo! News, 2002.11.27)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] Microsoft has unveiled a new policy to discourage its business customers from switching to Linux or other open source alternatives. Called Open Value, the new offer is part of the software giant's Licensing 6 volume licensing program. '...Microsoft sales reps have been instructed to be on the lookout for any businesses that are migrating some of their machines to [Linux].' ... [I]n some cases, the discounts could be as high as 50 percent. ... [The new licensing program], which requires companies to pay up-front fees to ensure access to upgrades, has the effect of committing customers to Microsoft's products and upgrade schedules for a multiyear period.

  • Microsoft shows 85% profit margins for Windows (The Financial Times, 2002.11.17)
    [Monopoly] Microsoft has revealed for the first time that it has made profit margins of 85 per cent on its Windows system while four of its businesses made losses, raising questions about the benefits of the group's costly efforts at diversification. ... The disclosure of its profitability, released in an SEC filing late last week, will infuriate many rivals. Microsoft was found guilty of illegally maintaining its monopoly in personal computer operating systems in 2000.

  • Microsoft SEC filing shows hideous losses except for Windows (The Register, 2002.11.15)
    [Monopoly] The mysterious shroud surrounding Microsoft's revenues was dispelled yesterday, when the company revealed that it is losing shedloads of money on everything bar client Windows, server and Office software. In these, naturally, it's making even bigger shedloads, but it's abundantly clear who's paying the rent, and financing the assaults into new areas. ...it's clear who's paying the rent for these expeditions, and it's also clear that Microsoft is the dominant force in the PC market, and only the PC market. It can afford to shoulder big losses in the areas where it wishes to be the dominant force for a very long time.

  • Microsoft's Political Lobbying Record (Slashdot.org, 2002.Oct.27)
    [Government] [Monopoly] [A] website focusing on 'Responsive Politics' recently published lobbying and donations info for the 2002 elections (to date). [It points out that Microsoft is 'One of the biggest campaign contributors in Washington-an astounding fact when you consider that Microsoft is a relatively new player on the political scene. Prior to 1998, the company and its employees gave virtually nothing in terms of political contributions. But when the Justice Department launched an antitrust investigation into the company's marketing of its popular Windows software, things changed.']

  • Microsoft: No Xbox for You! (Slashdot, 2002.Oct.18)
    [MS XBox] [Monopoly] [Government] Microsoft is very concerned about a man having been acquitted after allegedly selling modified chips... So concerned in fact, that they are saying: change the law, or they will have to reconsider selling the Xbox in Australia.

  • Ad fiasco: we will act, says Ballmer (The Age, 2002.Oct.17)
    [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Monopoly] Microsoft may consider sanctions against a public relations consultant who tried to pass herself off as someone who had switched from the Apple Mac to Windows XP in a high-profile US advertising campaign... The software company was forced to pull the advertising, which mimics rival Apple's Switch campaign from Windows XP to the Mac, after [ireegularities were noticed] in the case study of an anonymous woman that was presented on the Microsoft Web site. The indiscretion strikes to the heart of Microsoft's attempts to turn around its unscrupulous image, while it tries to build support for its technical initiative chief software architect and founder Bill Gates dubbed last year, 'Trustworthy Computing.'

  • Critics Say Microsoft Is Up to Old Tricks (Washington Post, 2002.Oct.16)
    [Monopoly] ...competitors contend that Microsoft's actions are reminiscent of the behavior that led to the antitrust case and reinforce their claim that the entire settlement is inadequate.

  • Microsoft embarrassed by satisfied customer who never was (Canada.com, 2002.Oct.14)
    [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Monopoly] Red-faced executives at Microsoft Corp. on Monday pulled a breezy advertisement purported to be by a free-lance writer who switched to using Windows software from the rival Macintosh, amid questions about whether the woman actually exists. An employee at a public-relations company hired by Microsoft ... later acknowledged she was Microsoft's mysterious convert. The Associated Press tracked Mallinson by examining personal data hidden within documents Microsoft published with its controversial ad. ... Trouble erupted after [someone] noticed a photograph showing the woman with a cup of coffee was a stock image available for purchase elsewhere on the Internet. ... Documents accompanying the ad, which encouraged other Windows users to tell Microsoft about their experiences, included hidden references to Mallinson's name, public relations firm, Wes Rataushk & Associates Inc., and personal Web site.

  • Profits from piracy (Salon, 2002.Sep.26)
    [Piracy] [Monopoly] Asked about the glaring lack of a copyright enforcement clause in the new deal, Microsoft president and CEO Steve Ballmer did a quick Nixonian shuffle. 'Certainly, software piracy rates in China are high, but there is nothing in the agreement specifically around that,' [Microsoft President and CEO Steve] Ballmer told a reporter ... shortly after the June announcement [of a $750 million 'memorandum of understanding' between Microsoft and China]. ...[T]here are some who make the case that ... Microsoft might actually benefit from illegal copying. ... The argument for allowing piracy boils down to two words: network effects. Without a critical mass of users, most software products tend to wither and die. Conversely, the more users a software product acquires, particularly a consumer-oriented software product, the more valuable it becomes.

  • Group: MS update violates settlement (ZDNet, 2002.Sep.19)
    [Government] [Monopoly] A computer-industry trade group ... [is] alleging that the recently released Windows XP Service Pack 1 violates the software giant's pending antitrust settlement.

  • UW reconsiders deal with Microsoft (The Record, 2002.Sep.13)
    [Government] [Monopoly] The University of Waterloo made a mistake when it announced curriculum changes using a new Microsoft language before they were approved by various committees ... 'We simply didn't satisfy ourselves that all of the internal consultation had been done that now will be done.' ... if the committees don't approve the use of the Microsoft language, or C # (sharp), in certain curricula ... the $561,000 Microsoft was giving to support [certain projects] would no longer be available. ... Critics charged that the tie between funding and curriculum compromised the university's academic integrity.

  • Linux makes a run for government (CNet, 2002.Aug.16)
    [Monopoly] [Linux/Open Source] Sources familiar with events said that aggressive Microsoft lobbying efforts have contributed to a halt on any further work [on the NSA's version of Linux]. "Microsoft was worried that the NSA's releasing open-source software would compete with American proprietary software," said a source familiar with the complaints against the NSA who asked not to be identified.

  • Microsoft Invests in the University of Waterloo (Slashdot.org, 2002.Aug.14)
    [Monopoly] [A] new joint initiative [between Microsoft and U. of Waterloo] was announced which involves the addition of a mandatory course on [Microsoft's C# programming language] for all electrical and computer engineers. 'Completion of this course will be mandatory for students entering the E&CE program.'

  • Dell unhooks Windows from desktops (CNet, 2002.Aug.13)
    [Monopoly] The new desktops appear to be a slick interpretation of Microsoft's new licensing terms and a way to navigate customer demand for PCs without an OS installed. The Microsoft licensing terms, which were put in place on Aug. 1, specify that PC makers must ship PCs with an operating system. The new policy exists to prevent piracy and to better track OS shipments.

  • Dell No Longer Selling Systems w/o Microsoft OS (Slashdot.org, 2002.Aug.10)
    [Monopoly] Microsoft will no longer allow Dell to sell PCs without an operating system. ... 'New Microsoft contract rules stipulate that we can no longer offer the "NO OS" option to our customers beyond September 1st. ... this effects all of our competitors as well.'

  • MS 'Software Choice' scheme a clever fraud (The Register, 2002.Aug.09)
    [Monopoly] [Government] [A] government site using open standards and avoiding patented software would allow citizens to choose between many different kinds of software to access the site. ... [When] a government uses Open Source, it assures its citizens a choice to purchase both proprietary and Open Source software for communicating with their government. The people's choice will be based on factors like functionality, quality, and convenience, rather than on customer lock-in. ... Microsoft has responded with a clever Software Choice campaign that, read quickly, appears to fight discrimination and call for choice, while actually promoting policies that would lock out Free Software. For example, it promotes the embedding of royalty-bearing software patents into "open" standards. Of course Free Software producers don't charge copyright royalty fees, and thus can't afford to pay for patent royalties, so they would not be able to implement any standard that contains royalty-bearing patents.

  • Norwegian Government cancels Microsoft contract (DesktopLinux.com, 2002.Jul.12)
    [Government] [Monopoly] [A] Microsoft contract to deliver software for government-related systems throughout Norway [has been cancelled]. ... 'We think that the Microsoft agreement in reality has given Microsoft a monopoly in an area where we are better served by introducing competition.'

  • Independence Day (ComputerWorld, 2002.Jul.08)
    [Monopoly] If savvy IT managers play their cards right, they can declare vendor independence and influence the next generation of enterprise offerings and players. ... [When] you think of hot technologies and open-source systems, it's often smaller, more agile companies setting the pace. ... Freedom of choice, freedom of partners, freedom from technological lockdown. That's an independence worth celebrating.

  • Microsoft shows sensitive side (IT World, 2002.Jun.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [An] exhibitor at a jointly sponsored Microsoft and Telecom Business Club event ... was surprised on returning to his stand in the afternoon, having set it up earlier in the day, to find that newspaper clippings relating to Linux had been removed from display. They'd been taken down by Microsoft's small business marketer...

  • Pioneering effort could ban Microsoft on government computers (Yahoo! News, 2002.Jun.24)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] [Monopoly] [The city of Callao] would need [$120,000] just to pay licensing fees for 200 versions of the latest Windows office suite. That alone is about four times Callao's annual computer budget. ... [Peru's congress] is pushing legislation to obligate all public institutions to convert exclusively to open-source software. ... It allows for exceptions only if no open-source solution exists.

  • Microsoft takes heavy losses on the Xbox (Red Herring, 2002.Jun.24)
    [MS XBox] [Monopoly] Beating Sony and Nintendo in the gaming console market is apparently worth billions to the software giant.

  • Microsoft Dismissal Motion Denied (Yahoo! Finance, 2002.Jun.12)
    [Monopoly] [Government] 'The decision confirms the rightful role of state attorneys general to prosecute antitrust violations,' Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said. 'Now we can almost see the finish line in this case.'

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Collection originally created by, donated to LUGOD by, and maintained by Bill Kendrick.

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