I came across this wee thread over on Reddit. A couple of folk are arguing about who is the worst offender for Monopolistic practices. One chap vouches for Google, the other for Microsoft. Sometimes the sheer vitriol of these arguments has to be seen to be believed. This is the sort of thing that only ever happens on-line. Nerd rage. As far as I can tell, none of this guy’s arguments are wrong, just very angrily put. It’s the sort of stuff that non-geeks will never understand. The eternal war of geek principles. Arguing over who is more evil, I mean, really? Read on to see the argument in full.
Google’s monopolistic practices are far worse than Microsofts. At least Microsoft only sell software.
The stuff that Google are doing is exactly the sort of thing Microsoft will be doing with Bing. Tracking user habits, gaining data, using it for targeted adverts and such. Don’t for a second think that Microsoft’s intentions are pure. They’re a business. They will be just as cut-throat in the search business as Google are.
Microsoft only sells software, eh?
So when Microsoft modified Windows 3.1 to crash and burn on DR-DOS, it was just selling software, was it?
And when Microsoft made OEMs buy licences for every processor they shipped to discourage them from installing rival operating systems in the late eighties, it was just selling software.
And when Microsoft priced IBM out of the game to kill off OS/2, it was just selling software was it?
And when Intel wanted to make Native Signal Processing chips to play rich media on any operating system and Microsoft threatened to make Windows not work on Intel chips, that was just selling software, eh?
And when Microsoft withheld crucial APIs to make Wordperfect crash and burn on Windows, and then disallowed OEMs from pre-installing it on new computers, it was just selling software, I guess.
Or how about when they offered WISE, a tool to allow programmes written for Windows APIs to run on Unix and Apple computers, and then they extended the API without telling anyone, making sure that the programs people wrote would crash on Unix and Apple machines. I guess that was just selling software too, even when Bill Gates said Unix and Apple users were “fucked”.
Or perhaps that time when Microsoft made Internet Explorer a central feature of its operating system, and made Apple stop installing Netscape by threatening to stop selling them Microsoft Office. Yeah, selling software. Gotcha.
Or what about when Microsoft hijacked Java and tried to make it into some proprietary development platform for Windows, full of Windows-specific code that destroyed the interoperable nature of Sun Microsystem’s original Java. Yup, selling software. Nice.
What about when Microsoft extended their server technology so that only Windows terminals were usable with Windows servers? And then once they’d killed off the competition, they didn’t release another Server edition for five years. Yeah, that’s just selling software. Cool.
How about when Ed Curry, security specialist, was hired to test the security of the Windows operating system for the NSA, and he found it was full of security holes? Perhaps you don’t remember, but Microsoft hounded him, destroyed his reputation, forced him out of a job, and engaged in lengthy legal battles against him to further ruin his claims, which were eventually proven to be completely legitimate. Yeah, he died of a stroke brought on by stress, dontcha know. Selling software, yup.
How about the way they change their document specifications for every single fucking version of Office they release, forcing people to upgrade eventually. I suppose that’s selling software too.
How about the way they didn’t upgrade their shitty operating system for seven fucking years and then gave us Vista, which, among others things, deliberately removed the ability for executables to be run from rival filesystems, screwing up a whole load of people’s back-ups? Considering they’re suing people for using their filesystems now, is that just selling software? Is it really?
What about the FUD campaign that persists to this day about the number of patents the Linux operating system infringes upon. What is it, anyway? 100? 200? I guess that’s just selling software too.
How about when Microsoft bullied, bribed and co-erced the ISO into accepting the OOXML standard, which was a flaming pile of shit that not even they themselves have fully implemented? Is that just selling software?
How about the ODF support in Office SP2 that completely fucks up your documents? Is that just selling software? Considering Microsoft funded the development of the CleverAge plugin, which was given a BSD Licence, and which has zero problems with ODF files in Office, it makes you wonder. They funded it, the code is BSD, so they can just copy and paste it into Office. They have the ability to interoperate with ODF as good as anyone. They haven’t. Why not? Ah, they’re just selling software, of course.
How about the way Microsoft are still gimping the internet with IE8, forcing people to write ugly, ugly hacks to get their sites to work properly. How about Silverlight, which only works in Windows? How about Apple and Linux users and their Moonlight — a shitty rip-off gimped version of Silverlight. Oh whoopee, attempting to make the web bearable only when it is viewed from a Windows machine.
Microsoft have lied, cheated, bullied, bribed and scammed their way to being at the top of the pack. And when they went unrivalled, they harmed consumers, harmed businesses, harmed choice, harmed interoperability, and generally made a balls-up of everything. And they’re still fucking doing it. If you honestly believe that Microsoft are somehow worthier than Google, you really are an ignorant twat.
Sheesh. Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.