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Microsoft The Courts

"Microsoft Killed My Pappy" 742

theodp writes "A conversation with an angry young developer prompts Microsoft Program Manager Scott Hanselman to blog about 'Microsoft Haters: The Next Generation.' 'The ones I find the most interesting,' says Hanselman, are the 'Microsoft killed my Pappy' people, angry with generational anger. My elders hated Microsoft so I hate them. Why? Because, you wronged me.' The U.S. and Japan managed to get over the whole World War II thing, Hanselman notes, so why can't people manage to get past the Microsoft antitrust thing, which was initiated in 1998 for actions in 1994? 'At some point you let go,' he suggests, 'and you start again with fresh eyes.' Despite the overall good-humored, why-can't-we-get-along tone of his post, Hanselman can't resist one dig that seems aimed at putting things into perspective for those who would still Slashdot like it's 1999: 'I wonder if I can swap out Chrome from Chrome OS or Mobile Safari in iOS.'"
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"Microsoft Killed My Pappy"

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  • by marsu_k ( 701360 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @12:46PM (#46316331)
    Reading comprehension WTF - he was talking about Mobile Safari/iOS. While it is true that you can have alternativish-browsers on iOS, they must use the underlying Webkit component and a markedly inferior JS engine. So there's an element of truth in the statement.
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @12:49PM (#46316355)

    I will admit that Microsoft's security is no longer the joke it was back in the 9x era, when they had only ineptly bolted multi-user support onto a single-user OS and suffered from their devotion to software backwards compatibility. But their business approach seems to have hardly altered. They still make heavy use of deliberate incompatibility, backroom deals and promotion via bundling. They are reluctant to support any technology they don't have the patents for (witness the h264 debacle, or the continued lack of native Vorbis support, or their pushing of the patent-encumbered exFAT filesystem, or IE's inability to handle animated PNG) and will support open standards only when they are so dominant as to leave no other option. The company is just very aggressive and underhanded in their approach to business.

  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @12:57PM (#46316409)

    You don't know the definition of what a monopoly is. Perhaps YOU should read the letter of the law. The fact is Microsoft forced manufacturers in Asia to drop BeOS and Linux desktops and laptops because if they did not do that their Windows licensing costs would increase. In fact that is the reason some people think Sony dropped their laptop business altogether. They just don't want to bother dealing with Microsoft anymore if they can avoid it.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:10PM (#46316519) Homepage Journal

    People understand that corporations are amoral. The rational position towards a large, powerful corporation is distrust. That's the baseline from which a corporation has to work up from.

    On top of that most people don't get a *choice* of Microsoft or something else; Microsoft is chosen *for them* by the corporate IT department or by the IT departments of people they have to work with. That's raises the bar for user experience, somethign MS is not particularly good at. It's like the food you get on a college meal plan. The fact you're forced to eat it means that if you're assigning it a letter grade you automatically deduct two letter grades: an A becomes a C and a B becomes a D.

    Now consider Apple. There's a lot to dislike in their trying to position themselves as content gate keepers especially. But there are offsetting virtues: innovation, design, and build quality. On top of that most people who use Apple products choose to do so, which means they get a better evaluation.

    Unfair? Maybe; but that's reality.

    Now this is not to say that Microsoft has no virtues as a corporation, it's just that those virtues aren't experienced by *users*. Microsoft has consistently provided a mediocre user experience in its core products, and undermined the main value of their products to the user -- familiarity -- by pointless fiddling with user interfaces.

    Microsoft's big sin was abusing its market position to achieve a monopoly with a mediocre product. To be forgiven of that sin, they've got to start producing products people love and look forward to, and don't feel let down by.

  • North Korea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:11PM (#46316529)

    Better analogy. We've got them pushed back behind a DMZ and there hasn't been any shooting for three years now. But with every change in illustrious leaders, we all wonder what sort of belligerent crap they'll pull next.

    There is a lot of software talent and good ideas at Microsoft. And like North Korea, they can't get out and will probably starve to death inside.

  • It's about Trust (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:12PM (#46316543)

    Well, lets see how Microsoft insists on treating me:

    -You are a dirty pirate, let us ransack your system and install our rootkits, hope all your software is legal

    -Want that update? Let us check if you are 'genuine'

    -Not genuine? it's probably our mistake, but lets disable your system anyway.

    -I trusted Microsoft in the DOS days, and my trust was not broken. My system did not tattle on me, me software could not be revoked at any time.

    -I trusted Microsoft in the early Windows days. Most of my software did not tattle on me. I had to type in keys and stuff, it was a small inconvenience.

    -Come Windows XP, my software tattled on me, Microsoft decided not to trust me, Microsoft thought it knew what was best. Microsoft wanted control of my machine, and wanted me to pay for it.

    -Its getting worse, not better, so I upgraded to Linux.

    Trust can not be bought, it is earned. Break that trust, and it is very hard to get it back again.

  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:13PM (#46316547)
    Okay, I'll burn what's left of my karma and point out the reason why we can't get along...because Microsoft HAS NOT CHANGED. They are still the price-gouging, competition stifling, astro-turfing, anti open standards, monopolizing enterprise that they have always been. What HAS changed is the rise of Mac OS X, iPad, Google Chrome, etc. that have created some real alternatives to Microsoft.
  • by gilgongo ( 57446 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:17PM (#46316571) Homepage Journal

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that comparisons to the Holocaust and world wars are in fact quite appropriate when discussing the magnitude of what Microsoft did to the history of computing, and by extension to human history overall.

    The reason for this is simple. The effect of the Microsoft monopoly lasted so long and was so stultifying that it meant we will never know what a different word processor might be like. We will never know if spreadsheets or email might be more usable or efficient. We will never know (at least not in our lifetime) what an operating system or software might be like that doesn't use the conventions laid down by a company that had no incentive to make anything better, no need to design anything more than barely adequate, or to listen to its customers. Yet all these things are of fundamental importance to our lives - far, far too important to have suffered under a brutal, money-grubbing monopoly.

    Despite (very) small innovations, Apple was not and is not a counter-balance because they were forced to ape the conventions that the Microsoft juggernaut had laid down with it's 95% market share. Jobs knew as well as anyone that it would be suicide to create anything that the market place was not already at least partially familiar with.

    In the final analysis, the Microsoft era was a massive failure of free market capitalism that left us all driving Trabants while thinking they were the best that we could have. The blame lies of course with politicians and industry regulators who had no clue what an immense influence personal computing would have on society until it was too late. But it is too late. The die has been cast for personal computing for generations to come, and that is an utter and maddening tragedy for all of us.

    The issue is of course far bigger than just one man, but holy mother of god do I hate what Bill Gates did to all of us.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:21PM (#46316593)

    Antitrust case not even on my list

    1. artificial price tiers for various levels of crippling the code
    2. bug ridden bloated code with poor source control
    3. malware friendly due to constantly repeating the same basic amateur coding mistakes
    4. malware and spyware friendly due to design to accommodate marketers rather than end users, the large corporations and marketers are considered the true customers
    5. lack of basic functionality that other operating systems have built, money must be spent
    6. ignoring user needs while flying off on weird tangents and working in vacuum to produe rubbish UI (e.g. ribbon, metro)
    7. ignoring industry standard API, protocols and inventing inferior incompatible alternatives
    8. monopolistic and lock-in practices continue in the present

  • by X!0mbarg ( 470366 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @01:30PM (#46316669)
    Nothing sets a mind into cement like being forced into something painful repeatedly.

    It's called a "Conditioned Response" and becomes automatic. Hence the term "knee-jerk reaction".

    People tend to teach their kids to avoid something that they had to learn the hard way in an attempt to spare them the suffering they had to endure themselves.

    "What have they done?", you ask? Pushed flawed OSes out, forced upgrades that slow or break older systems, actively discontinued support for decent hardware (like printers and scanners) to force more purchases, yank support for older OSes that have been working in the industry in some capacity for years in a vain attempt to generate revenue, forcibly downgrade or out-mode existing suites of software that at least work (now that people have been forced to use them for so long) so that they will have to retrain in something completely different so they can simply continue to work, "bundling" software together in ways that make it obscenely difficult to remove without knocking down their house of cards...




    Windows ME was a seriously flawed OS.

    Windows Vista was as well.

    Windows 8 has so far shown many of the same trends as it's failed predecessors, but M$ still pushes it out as if everyone never had to break the bank for the last two serious failures on their part, and wonders why people are slow to adopt anything new from them.

    Seriously? We need to look at this with fresh eyes?

    I'll be checking mine for a M$ logo before I adopt anything like that wetware into my body.

    Heck, I don't think I'd want a Google logo on it, either...

  • Re:Change (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Will.Woodhull ( 1038600 ) <> on Sunday February 23, 2014 @02:17PM (#46317019) Homepage Journal

    The Linux distros continue to make significant headway, by any measure you care to apply, except dollar measures. So long as they stay healthy, which looks like a very long time, there will be no duopoly.

    There is, though, a group of people who ignore the Linux distros while talking loudly about the health of the digital markets. While this group is diminishing in number it remains quite loud, because it can talk about dollar value, which has a way of catching everyone's attention. The thing is, the value of a Linux distro cannot be measured in dollars, so a good number of these loudmouths are self-blinded to Linux' existence.

    How do you put a value on my desktop system, which is running Ubuntu Studio and gives me, at no cost other than the download, the equivalent of $10,000 of software for audio, image, and video production, as well as all the office machinery? I am no longer in the market for Maya or Adobe products, so I can definitely say that Linux has an impact on dollar-related measures of commercial goods, but how much impact is that? I have never thought to do anything with audio mixing or MIDI work and I don't even know the terms, but since I have pro-am grade tools to play with I might someday goof around with them. My gain, but nobody selling commercial software will see a penny from my pockets.

  • Re:Change (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23, 2014 @03:17PM (#46317449)

    Microsoft is evil, because the people in it behave immorally. The people behave immorally because of the culture of the company incentifies immoral behaviour. And so the wheel turns. Any somewhat larger company will behave itself as an organism because of group dynamics.

  • Re:Change (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Sunday February 23, 2014 @03:57PM (#46317663) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft have engineered a situation where the majority of people have little chance of finding a PC without Windows

    Chromebooks and Macs are widely available. My girlfriend said she wanted a "PC" but what she actually wanted as a tablet, because people consider them to be computers too.

  • Re:Change (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @07:44PM (#46319239) Journal

    The Microsoft of old doesn't seem to be any worse than the Apple of today. Windows at least lets you run anything you like on it, while iOS is locked down to only run Apple approved apps.

    If Microsoft can figure out how to swing it, they will do the exact same thing. It already happened on WindowsRT, even if no one owns that.

    That was a serious motivating factor Valve made SteamOS.

  • Re:Change (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @07:59PM (#46319327)

    "The landscape has changed. And some people want to be optimistic about it. "

    Give me a break. The MS "landscape" hasn't change a f*ing bit, except that their UI designing seem to be far more incompetent than in the late 90s.

    As discusses here on Slashdot just the other day, Microsoft is trying to get political over OOXML again with the government in the UK.

    If that's a "changed landscape", I'm a baboon.

    They still try to muscle, bully, and bullshit their way into your pocketbook. They still do just about everything they can to get around any real competition in the market.

    I'd like to be optimistic, too. I just don't see much of anything to be optimistic about. Except maybe Internet Explorer. After a decade and a half (or maybe more), they're finally starting to work with (and catch up to) standards, rather than trying to dictate those standards and stifle progress. But... 15 years is an awful long time to read the writing that has been on the wall the entire time.

  • Re:Change (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @08:02PM (#46319343) Homepage

    You aren't Google's product. You are the value in Google's product. It's a subtle, yet vital, distinction.

    Google's products are, from a general perspective, business intelligence services. They sell search appliances to help companies manage their documents. They sell mapping and location services to help manage logistics. They also sell ad-placement services to put ads in places where they're most likely to result in a sale.

    All of those products rely on understanding human behavior, to varying degrees. Of course, since humans love to lie so much, the best way to get that understanding is by direct observation. Google watches what you search for, what roads you prefer, and what your purchasing interests are. You are not the product. Google doesn't give a damn about you personally. Google only cares about your behavior patterns, at a statistical level, to improve its real products.

    Personally, I prefer this to Microsoft's usual extortion tactics, and I also prefer it to the competitive ideal of many small companies, where each one provides only a small part of a viable solution. I'll start to worry when Google starts buying competitors just to shut them down, but until then I must admit I like what I see.

Why won't sharks eat lawyers? Professional courtesy.