Re: "But you guys-and with all due respect-are considered evil bastar

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar (
Sun, 7 Dec 97 08:43:18 -0800

I'm probably going to regret joining this thread, but...

> > Oops! I'm sorry, I goofed! Instead of typing in the Toddler Property
> > Laws, I've been typing in Bill Gates' Primary Business Plan.

Joe, was that cutting edge enough to be funny? I mean, yes, it was a
cheap shot, but there was a certain eerie familiarity about the whole

David Crook <> wrote:
> To me it seems that Microsoft always wants the entire
> market, there is no room for other competitors, they must be assimilated
> or destroyed and up to now it seems they will use every legal and
> illegal, ethical and unethical means that they have in order to wipe out
> any possible competition.

Mike Masnick <> wrote:
>Ah, (and I can't believe that I'd ever be defending Microsoft...
>but...) Microsoft is dealing with somewhat different economic
>parameters with the software they produce. Getting 100% (or nearly
>100%) market share for Microsoft has much more significance in
>terms of their bottom line, than just being "satisfied" with where
>they are.

I think I would half-agree with Mike. Sure, it is the capitalist dream
to own a monopoly business and reap extraordinary profits. I'd be
lying if I said that Apple didn't want the same thing (though I think
lately we've been forced to acknowledge that won't happen :-).

The reason I think Microsoft is so despised is not merely that they are
trying for 100% Market Share in everything, but that they *only* seemed
to be concerned about that. They don't seem particularly concerned with
innovation or standards (though somewhat surprisingly they are quite
capable of that, when prodded by fear of Netscape). They also don't
seem particularly concerned about open competition or fair play, based on
chatting with people in the Valley.

As Steve says, "they have no taste." If they were on some sort of
crusade to computerize the world, then perhaps their megalomaniacal
dreams would have a certain nobility and higher purpose. As it is, it
just seems like Bill wants to own the world for the sake of owning it,
and isn't very particular about how he goes about it. Intel at least has
a vision of faster, cheaper chips. Bill's only vision seems
frighteningly close to the Toddler Laws...

I'm not saying whether Microsoft is "right" or "wrong." But I think
that is why they are "considered evil bastards." There are hundreds of
companies and individuals in the Valley with dreams of how to improve the
world through computers, and many of them are afraid to do anything
because Microsoft could destroy them with pure vapor, without ever
shipping a product (anyone remember Cairo?).

If Microsoft had a clear technological vision - like the robber barons
did - one could respect it and work around it. As it is, their goal
seems to be merely to club everyone who stands in their way. Who can
respect that?

-- Ernie P.
Speaking for myself