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Assessing Media Bias: Microsoft Vs. Everyone Else 364

Posted by samzenpus
from the smallest-violin dept.
snydeq writes "J. Peter Bruzzese questions whether Microsoft receives unfair criticism in the media, while Apple, Facebook, and Google seem to get away from missteps unscathed. 'I've noticed an unfair, ongoing trend: If Microsoft does something a little off, it gets bashed into the ground for it. But if Google, Facebook, or Apple (all three of which can be categorized, like Microsoft, as The Man in their own rights) missteps, it generally gets mild reprimands and even support from the media and those drinking the Kool-Aid.' Do you feel any inherent media bias in its coverage of the tech industry?"
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Assessing Media Bias: Microsoft Vs. Everyone Else

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:51PM (#39650717)

    towards Apple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'd say they're polarizing. Having owned both an iPhone and (presently) a nice Android handset, I never understood why people get so up-in-arms over a cellphone.

      Facebook gets TONS of hate (and outright bullshit) over privacy issues. Yes, they make money by knowing everything about you. No, they don't sell your information.

      Google gets a bit of free pass everywhere, except for the odd privacy gripe. They seem to be the punching bag du jour in the courts though.

      Microsoft, we all just love to hate, even if

      • by sgrover (1167171) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:07PM (#39650933) Homepage

        Their former tactics are still at play. They've just learned to hide them better. Like getting surrogate companies to do their will (may I direct you towards the SCO vs IBM and Oracle vs Google cases? Form your own opinion of course...)

        • by Altrag (195300) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @03:48AM (#39654805)

          They've just learned to hide them better.

          Their rampant and sudden(ish) adoption of HTML5 + Javascript for Win8 kind of screams E&E to me. Maybe not yet, but I suspect it will come. They have plenty of home-grown technologies that could easily be extended to provide support for all the new Metro flashies, but have chosen to roll their ball down the HTML5 slope under the slogan of "openness".

          Which is great, until they decide to slam the door after a large portion of the user base has gone through it.

          Think how much strife web devs have gone through over the years trying to make their sites compatible with both IE and FF (and all of their various incompatible versions.. and nowadays Safari and Chrome as well)? Well take that, and consider how fun it will be when all of those same issues apply to standalone, local applications?

          And of course they've got no short history of explicitly adding proprietary extensions to open standards. They got slammed for trying to do that with Java, and hopefully that will set some precedent, but HTML5 and JS are, as far as I know, not yet legally protected from MS' tactics.

          Consider how this will play out. They take a truly open standard such as HTML5, implement it as perfectly as possible. And then add something.

          MS products will be able to accurately display web pages developed on Linux or OSX or any other system you care to name that follows the HTML5 standard. So it doesn't matter what the back-end is running, the front-end works beautifully.

          Now add something. Doesn't have to be much, and almost certainly will be based in the client side and transparent to the server. MS products are still compatible with 100% of all HTML5 websites out there, but non-MS browsers are no longer compatible with any website that happens to use MS' extension.

          Doesn't even have to be anything breaking or even terribly complex. Something like a fancier hook to the Metro UI for example -- add a start page link when IE is your default browser? Get realtime updates for.. whatever. With FF as your default browser? Get a static icon. In both cases and with both browsers, the website itself would work fine.

          But those little bits of flair can add up. Imagine the usability difference it would make for something like Twitter or Facebook (or heck, Slashdot) if you had a basic feed on the desktop and didn't need to ever load up the full page unless something caught your attention?

          Oh well. We can hope and pray that MS will avoid being evil this go-round, but my guess is that retrospect will eventually show a continuation of business as usual.

          • by hb253 (764272)

            Another example of their drive to get their products entrenched:

            My company is looking to go away from our current antivirus product to Forefront. We don't use SCCM. According to Microsoft, you need SCCM to manage Forefront. So, we are expected to dump our current inventory/software deployment system and set up an SCCM infrastructure just to use their antivirus product.

            Brilliant.

          • by Deviate_X (578495)
            You the perfect example of error, you talk about microsoft implementing HTML5 perfectly while ignoring the fact that chrome, firefox, safari have implemented broken draft specification's of HTML5. It turns out that sites are breaking in IE because they are non-standard, but the same sites are "working" in other browsers. http://wmpoweruser.com/twitter-fix-mobile-twitter-css-bug-for-windows-phone/ [wmpoweruser.com]
      • by Jeff Hornby (211519) <{ac.ocitapmys} {ta} {ybnrohtj}> on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @11:56PM (#39653719) Homepage

        Of course Facebook (and Google) sell your information. The only difference between them and other companies that are gathering and selling information about you is that Facebook and Google are selling your information retail instead of wholesale. The information is still being used to do the same thing: target advertising at you to convince you to act in ways that you would not have otherwise and might well be detrimental to your own interests.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:44AM (#39655891) Homepage

          target advertising at you to convince you to act in ways that you would not have otherwise and might well be detrimental to your own interests.

          I bought a TV recently. 20 years ago I would have been forced to go to various shops and try to view it in-store. I actually did that and most of the examples were badly set up and of course shop lighting is always terrible and not representative of home viewing, and you can't really evaluate the sound.

          20 years ago the only other source of information was magazine reviews, which of course were often biased. If you were lucky a friend might already own one. That was it.

          These days I can use Google to dig out vast amounts of information about any model, including people's experiences posted on forums and dozens of different professional reviews. So while it is true that Google subjects me to marketing as well, I am definitely better informed and less prone to marketing hype and paid reviews. In fact I see less advertising now because I don't have to wade through ad-laden magazines or watch so much TV.

          There is a trade going on but I think we came out much better than the advertisers. If your product sucks the internet is going to find out pretty quickly and a random person stood in a shop can access that knowledge from their phone to counter all your flashy displays and slimy salesmen.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @01:23AM (#39654129)

        Nevermind that Microsoft invented the basis of AJAX, XMLHttpRequest, which other browsers ended up copying to start the entire Web 2.0 era right? And they changed a web browser from something you had to buy to something that was free and shipped with every operating system.

        Other than that, Microsoft has done nothing but hold back the web.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sootman (158191)

          Wrong and wrong.

          1) People were already doing AJAX-y stuff like make sequential menus (i.e., you pick your state from one menu, then another menu appears with a list of the cities in that state) with JavaScript and regular old CGIs for quite a while before MS put out XMLHttpRequest. All MS did was specify some things. Someone else invented the idea, and another someone else (Google) made it famous.

          2) Netscape was made free for "individual, academic and research users" in 1994. http://home.mcom.com/info/newsr [mcom.com]

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:07PM (#39650925) Homepage

      In the media, sure. Apple is always launching new gizmos and the media eats it up like a child on Christmas morning. They can't help it if it's a slow news day.

      But do tech publications have the same bias? Seems unlikely to me; there's always stories on Slashdot criticising Apple (and Google, and Microsoft.) Same goes for any other tech news site I've seen, baring 9to5mac and such.

      • by samkass (174571) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:24PM (#39651179) Homepage Journal

        Not even in the media. When is the last time you heard about the labor practices that go into making Android handsets? Despite the fact that Apple seems to be the only company willing to try to improve things, and that the Foxconn factory that made Microsoft Xbox parts was the subject of the threatened mass suicide recently, it was all reported as "Apple's supplier". Or environmentalists railing on Apple over their "disposable" culture when Apple's products are some of the most recyclable and their programs some of the best at doing so?

        Apple is definitely not getting a free pass lately. If anything, Microsoft's foray into cellphones is getting a free pass, as is Android's attempts at a tablet. They're treated with kid gloves because they're not Apple.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:34PM (#39651327) Journal

          The media always goes after the biggest target. For much of the last two decades that has been Microsoft, but now as they're browser share slips badly and their latest foray into the smartphone market still isn't lighting fireworks, well, Apple is the guy to beat on. Google and Facebook get a lot more heat in Europe than here, maybe because everyone here has already sold their souls to those particular privacy devils already.

          Frankly, I'm seeing a lot less negative MS stories on Slashdot these days. To some extent, I'm seeing a lot less Microsoft stories period. Desktops aren't sexy things any more, nobody really gives a crap about the next version of Windows. Windows 8 buzz lasts exactly as long as the space between the latest story on Google being bashed by German courts or Apple being nailed for the number of Chinese get buried for every thousand iPods produced. Microsoft is a middle aged company now, and it really isn't doing anything terribly interesting or even inflammatory, or at least nothing that's nearly as interesting as Apple getting nailed as part of an e-book cartel.

          • by tgeek (941867)

            The media always goes after the biggest target. . . .

            Perfectly stated! Whether the target merits the negative attention or not matters little to the media. The leader in any industry is going to have a big bullseye painted on their back. Pick any industry: Fast food? McDonalds. Brick and mortar retail? Walmart. Online retail? Amazon. Desktop Software? Microsoft.

        • by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:36PM (#39652669)

          You've got that right about Microsoft cellphones. I never hear of them outside tech blogs.

        • by Xeranar (2029624)

          The problem I see with this argument facing labor issues is that Google has next to no authority over the third party corporations that produce the handsets. I'm an outspoken supporter of fair trade and better labor practices. I'm frustrated that all of our electronics are produced in near-slave conditions but Apple as a direct manufacturer (sub-contracted or not) has a much greater hand in the dealings of Foxconn than Google ever did. I give you once the Motorola acquisition is complete they'll be as re

      • by Benaiah (851593) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:20PM (#39652511)

        Between 98 and windows xp Microsoft was probably at the height of their power. They were on everyone's PC, everyone's laptop. There wasn't a viable alternative because they had all the Apps! Fast forward to Vista and you see that Microsoft squandered their position. They lost touch with their market, fed them hype and shit and delivered a product that didn't work... then we had a failed phone, a failed zune and whatever else that never saw the light of day... Windows 7 is an improvement over Vista but really that's not a comparison that even Microsoft wants to make. With windows 8 and the tablet market heating up there really is potential for Microsoft to "innovate" and develop an O/S that runs the same application on a Arm tablet all the way up to an i7 desktop.

        So do they deserve the bashing they get? Damn right they do. Do evil was there motto there for a while, as well as charge more for less. Buy out a product just to destroy it, charge outrageous prices for licensing and just generally piss everyone off. On the other hand look at google maps. what a brilliant tool that we all rely on that got released for free... Google mail offering 1gb instead of 1mb at Hotmail. Facebook hasn't done anything of note yet, but Apple (which I do bash constantly) releases a new and evolutionary tool every year that is compatible with old. Playstation should be taking notes and following in their footsteps. So yeah, Microsoft is the herpes of the world.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          The last M$ trigger for hate was them charging more for some truly off patent licences on Android phones than they were charging for Windows phone OS. Now that is about as anti-competitive as it gets.

          Apple is simply better at manipulating it's marketing dollar that M$. Note, positive Apple stories often appear with Apple advertising, this is not by accident, Apple has paid for those stories by buying the associated advertising space.

          Google is very subtle in it's advertising, your don't really see it bu

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Not sure I agree. I'm not an Apple fan, but I observe that they took a lot of heat for the "grip of death", and for dropping calls frequently on earlier models. (And incidentally, deservedly so.) Moreover, I just yesterday read an article dissing the ipad 3 for a number of factors. I think there is perhaps a huge positive bias from certain sources, but it's by no means a blanket condition.

      Nor do I believe that there is a huge negative bias from the media against Windows. There are sources that will alw

    • Because hating on MS is cool and fawning Google/Apple is the in thing.

  • by wrightrocket (1664871) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:53PM (#39650745)
    If Microsoft hadn't already alienated the world by trying to bully them, then I might care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      May zombieTaco come back and mod this up to +1,000,000. MS has so thoroughly pissed me off with their offensive behavior that there is no way in hell that I would give a shit how much they are bashed in the media or anywhere else. They deserve it.
      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:23PM (#39651159)

        MS has so thoroughly pissed me off

        I think that is the crux of it right there, but for most people, perhaps not so much the /.'ers but rather mainstream media, they get snitchy with Microsoft because they are associated with "My Computer crashed again, damn Microsoft!". Microsoft does get a big bunch of bad press - or rather stories that they are involved with might get a bit more of a sour take due to their association with problems, lets face it, if a PC crashes right before the sales rep finishes putting that sales presentation together - and then has nothing to show, the sales rep will remember that and blame Microsoft. Google, Facebook and the likes don't have this problem. It might be argued that they offer a better service then, but that would be comparing apples to oranges.

        I am not taking the side of Microsoft here, they piss me off as much as the next guy, but more for the fact that they abused their power greatly, they acted in amazingly un-ethical ways, especially in the early days, their (in my opinion) abuse of their operating system to push out other inferior products (Hello IE, I'm looking at you!). When it comes to the Windows side of it, I have to say that I am both in awe and loathing over the product. It is terribly unstable, though getting better with Win 7, the security is poor compared to *nix - but when you look at just how much hardware they support, and how well it works, any techie will have to say that it is amazing that it works. Slap any old or new hardware together and you can load Windows. It might not be terribly efficient, and bloat up, but it fricken works.

        So, to sum up, I agree with They deserve it but not for the reasons that most people do.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:45PM (#39651489)

        PAGE 2 of the FA

        "Why Microsoft is such a target for bashing"
        Microsoft is bashed so often (unfairly, in my opinion) because of past issues and the perceptions surrounding those issues, including:

        â-Microsoft was embroiled in antitrust matters. That's old news for Microsoft, but it may be novel for Apple, which is coming under government scrutiny, not that you hear much about it.
        â-Microsoft products are criticized for security holes -- that Vista filled in. Thanks to 10 years of its Trustworthy Computing effort, Microsoft is a leader in teaching the Secure Development Life Cycle methodology to other companies.
        â-Microsoft was criticized for not being innovative -- although the Xbox and the Kinect are two of the many areas showing just the opposite.
        â-Microsoft was criticized for being closed and guarded, and for not playing nice with other ecosystems -- despite, in recent years, the amazing amount of open information through MSDN blogs and an open source forum called Codeplex. The fact that Microsoft releases software for other platforms like Mac OS X and iOS should dispel this critique.

        • by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @09:40PM (#39652707) Journal

          Kinect was outright bought from another company if I remember correctly (PimeSense?). XBox I might give you but it's just a console running Microsoft Software... I would call it more evolution than innovation

          • by exomondo (1725132)
            The innovative part of kinect is the software, if you've tried the SDKs you'll find the one from microsoft is significantly better for gaming-related tasks than the OpenNI one, such as occluded joint estimation, head/hands/feet rotation, need for calibration, etc...
          • by mystikkman (1487801) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:39PM (#39653209)

            Android was bought, so was multitouch technology in the iPhone and Siri and lots of other things. But you pick on MS, which is really proving the point of the article.

            • by Maestro4k (707634)

              The article gives Kinect as an example of Microsoft's innovation. If it was bought, then it's not innovative from within MS. It may be innovative for the company they bought, but not for MS themselves. The same would (and does) go for Android, the iPhone, etc. (And the person you replied to didn't suggest otherwise, or even mention those products, that was your own suggestion.) Pointing this out is not "pick[ing] on MS", it's simply pointing out a problem with the facts of the article.

              On the other hand,

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:06PM (#39650919)

      During the 90's, Microsoft supporters were super-quick to bash, deride, and mock anything that Apple came out with, or anything in the open-source world, while corporate publications poured endless praise on Microsoft itself.

      Now the situation is reversed and Microsoft wants to complain about bad press? Maybe they should sit down, shut up, and watch as what goes around comes around.

      (Alternately, if you don't want bad press, don't ship bad products. If Microsoft wants to stop a flurry of articles about how awesome their competitors are, maybe they should ship products that are clearly, measurably better than their competitors.)

      • In the 90s, MS didn't care about open source because it was a different market segment. You used Unix or (more rarely) BSD or Linux where you needed mainframes or Internet services (both of which were themselves rare during the 90s). In the 90s MS was focused on the goal of getting a desktop computer in every home and on every desk. They cared about ubiquitous computing for everybody (because they wanted to sell software to them), which is not at all what the open source community cared about (which care

    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:15PM (#39651033)

      If Microsoft hadn't already alienated the world by trying to bully them, then I might care.

      Nobody cares anymore that we nerds get off on watching Microsoft begin pounded into the bedrock for even minor transgressions. Hating Microsoft is almost part of the definition of a Nerd these days. That article asks the much more interesting question: Why are you willing to let Google get away with monopolistic behavior that Microsoft gets crucified for? They have a 90% share of the search market and nobody is pounding them into the ground over it. Do people really think that Google are bunch of kindhearted philanthropists who only have the best interests of mankind at heart and don't care about profit? Yeah RIGHT! Of course they are... (sarcasm)...

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Why are you willing to let Google get away with monopolistic behavior that Microsoft gets crucified for?

        no idea.

        But I definitely don't let them get away. They all suck. Google, Apple, etc might write better software than Microsoft but they still engage in similar behaviors I find objectionable. (And then I get modded down for saying it.)

        BTW I thought this article was interesting - Why Google is not the most-used browser. " Microsoft on Sunday posted an analysis of the web-browser usage-sha

      • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:40PM (#39651439) Homepage

        Google didn't spend decades ignoring security, stability, quality, and performance all while strong-arming providers into using their product. They didn't start a "software alliance" that focuses almost exclusively on piracy of MS products and provides incentives for people frame their employers for fun and profit. Apple didn't file lawsuits against open source projects trying to give people viable options.

        While MS is somewhat better behaved these days, and arguably focusing more on delivering a quality product than using questionable methods to achieve and maintain dominance, they still have a long and sordid history that doesn't just magically go away because they decided to start playing a bit nicer. Google has plenty of faults, but those who would compare it to MS in its heyday are either ignorant of the facts, or viewing history through rose colored glasses.

        • by celtic_hackr (579828) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @10:09PM (#39652967) Journal
          Perhaps it can be explained this way.

          1) MS has been historically a bully and no one likes bullies.
          2) MS is still a bully, but now a bully with a gang of surrogates. Rather than doing the bullying out in the open they send their legions to do it.
          3) MS has been two-faced. "Do as I say, not as I do".
          4) MS is still two-faced.
          5) MS has been a thief, stealing other people's code. There are many lawsuits proving this. Stacker compression being just one case.
          6) MS has been petty to companies and yes the members of the press.
          7) Members of the press have long memories.
          8) This is getting to be a long list. you get the picture, I hope.
          9) There are lots of features in MS products that are there, because exactly one person asked for it. Making programs bulky, and error prone.
          10) MS products are millions of lines of code maintained with patch after patch over decades and reused, based on a design that lacked vision (which is admittedly a difficult thing to have, Steve Jobs was one of those few visionaries).

          The lesson we learn here is if you do evil, lack vision, are too greedy, and don't play nice with others, people won't like you. Hence MS is only reaping the rewards of decades of arduous planting of seeds they have sown. Or you reap what you sow.
      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @08:12PM (#39651809)
        Google's dominance in the search market is/was largely based upon technical merit. Also, Google has fairly limited lock-in to end users. You can switch to Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc., very easily if you so choose.
      • by sjames (1099)

        The answer to that question is that unlike MS, Google has never been caught using dirty tricks to kill a competing search engine or to leverage their dominance in search to lock out competition in other products. They don't (for example) make it impossible to use Hotmail if you use Google for searching.

        If they did anything like that, they *WOULD* become the IT presses favorite pinata.

      • by starfishsystems (834319) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @03:40AM (#39654765) Homepage
        Why are you willing to let Google get away with monopolistic behavior that Microsoft gets crucified for?

        Google has market share because it provides services that people want to use. It's not above criticism, and it bears watching if only because it's got fingers in so many pies. But so far, I haven't seen compelling evidence that Google is evil. And neither have the courts.

        Microsoft has market share because it historically used every means, fair and foul, to lock customers into its products, intimidate vendors into incorporating its products, and crush, absorb, or threaten competitors to its products. Not only did Microsoft make crappy software, it did so strategically. Microsoft still threatens Linux with unspecified patent violations. Oh yeah, and stacking the ISO standards committee so it could get its bloated and patent-encumbered XML standard ratified. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist in both the US and the EU.

        What was your point again?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      It's called "burning bridges". If other big co's burn enough bridges, the same fate will await them. Oracle's Java burning will subtract a big a chunk from their Karma, for example, such that another attack on open standards may push their reputation over the cliff and they will join Microsoft.

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:54PM (#39650755)
    What you're describing is the difference between a giant, scary company with a good PR department, and one that has no idea how to sell their brand. I think it's that simple.
  • The predominant bias is to avoid details, backround information or anything that could consitute basis for an informed opinion based on presented "facts". While local media and stations may be biased toward one manufacturer or another, they are all biased against providing news in context.

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:57PM (#39650787)

    Are we really entertaining the topic of Facebook getting a free pass on PR? They get slammed every time a privacy issue comes up;

    Likewise Apple gets hammered every time there's an iphone glitch or IOS issue effecting battery life.

    Google? You mean the near universal punching bag for reasons why "do no evil" cannot be their motto?

  • by dell623 (2021586) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:59PM (#39650819)

    Microsoft has been left relatively alone while Google and Facebook and Apple have faced the most severe scrutiny of late. Also the fact that conversation about the patent wars is dominated by Florian Mueller and people quoting Florian Mueller has meant Microsoft has got off very lightly, even in its extremely dubious attempts to collect royalty for Android based on software patents, and attemps at bullying smaller companies like BArnes and Noble: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2011111122291296 [groklaw.net]

    Or the fact that despite anti trust rulings, we still get Windows bundled with all non Apple laptops with no option to avoid paying for it, and IE is still bundled?

    No, they still get off too lightly.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      No, they still get off too lightly.

      I agree. Why did not one of the Lumia 900 reviewers have problems with data connections? Why did so few reviews mention the terrible Browsermark and SunSpider benchmarks? No, they told us that, despite its single-core processor, the Lumia is smooth and fast. Normal use apparently doesn't include using the browser.

      The reviewers told us how the chassis of the Lumia 900 is wonderful to behold, despite the ugly protruding screen.

  • by gatfirls (1315141) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @06:59PM (#39650827)
    This reads just like one of their whiny op-eds about the liberal media only focusing on republicans (and of course they're all lies or exaggerations).
  • Cry Me A River (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fwarren (579763) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:00PM (#39650837) Homepage

    It is the circle of life.

    Once upon a time, it was IBM who had every misstep reported as evil and Microsoft was the could-do-no-wrong company,.

    Twenty years from now, No one will talk about Microsoft at all, though they will still be in business. Everyone will jump on the evil that Google does, and no matter what they do, OCP (or the current new kid on the block) will do no wrong.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>Microsoft was the could-do-no-wrong company

      I don't remember that.
      I've thought PCs and their MS-OS have sucked for as long as I remember. There was Commodore, Atari, Apple..... and then that boring beast called the IBM/Microsoft PC that everyone associated with work (slow, no music, almost no color, and definitely not cutting-edge).

      • by tbannist (230135)

        He's talking about media coverage, not the personal opinions of people who know things. Back in the early 90s Microsoft got almost entirely positive press. Of course, I've heard that was partly because they blackballed anyone who dared criticize them. It wasn't until the anti-trust lawsuit and Windows ME that I started to see any significant negative press about Microsoft.

  • I Concur (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deweyhewson (1323623) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:00PM (#39650845)

    I have my issues with Microsoft, and enough of them to preclude any possibility of me ever becoming a fanboy no matter how much I may like a certain number of their products, but I agree with the assessment in this article.

    Apple gets a pass because they have better marketing than God, and, as a result, a more loyal religion. Facebook gets a pass because they are everybody's favorite virtual hangout spot. Google gets a pass because they've long been thought of as almost an interchangeable term with "the internet" and they're constant, but undeserved, refrain of "don't be evil". But Microsoft? They're like the tech world's Yankees. They've dominated for so long, and in many ways so unfairly (at least in the past), that it doesn't matter how good of a show they put on because everybody is just showing up to boo them.

    I suppose every story needs a villain, though. IBM is too far removed from consumers' minds to fill that role, anymore. Perhaps it is the inevitable karma of their past monopolist actions catching up to them, but it certainly seems as though Microsoft have become the pariah at the party these days.

    • Re:I Concur (Score:5, Informative)

      by tbannist (230135) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:48PM (#39651543)

      I don't really see it. It looks to me like a Microsoft partisan is pulling the old "liberal media" trick of accusing everyone else to be biased so that he'll look less biased. The guy making the complaint is intricately tied to Microsoft (he's Microsoft VIP, and MSCE, a Microsoft Partner...), these are facts that he neglected to mention in the article because they might lead people to rightly believe that his reporting might have a pro-Microsoft bias.

      Also I've never heard of the controversy he claims gets "so much attention". It's biased reporting of the worst sort.

  • by IQGQNAU (643228) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:01PM (#39650851)
    Exactly how far back does your memory go? For decades while Microsoft held power over all computers that mattered the press was overwhelming pro-M$. A big part of that was of course because they poured an enormous amount of money into the publishers' coffers. Even whole publishers owed their existence to M$ and never would be heard a discouraging word (ever heard of Ziff-Davis?). Then there was this little thing of being convicted of illegal antitrust market manipulation and a few folks woke up to the idea that it is possible that not everything M$ puts out smells all that sweet.
  • by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:03PM (#39650877) Homepage

    Slashdot finally got rid of the Borg Gates image after all and people who still type M$ are openly mocked.

  • And they haven't really done anything that dispells that reputation. Their recent attempt at bullying with patents is a case in point.

    But I still agree with the article. But that's because I don't think Apple or Google are appropriately taken to task for some things they do that are wrong. Particularly Apple.

  • Selection Bais (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:04PM (#39650895)
    It all depends on who you listen to and which negative coverage you 'notice'. Microsoft gets tons of praise and has an army of fanboys, just like Apple and Google and Facebook, each of which seems to feel that their brand is under constant attack while the 'others' get off easy.
  • I don't know if the media is biased against MS or not . I know I am.

  • by demonbug (309515)

    Yes, although the article sucks and isn't worth reading. Microsoft does get more than its share of bashing, but then Microsoft has been at the top of the game for a longer time than any of the other companies mentioned. Google and post-iPod Apple have been seen as the trendy upstarts among those only skin deep in the tech world (which seems to describe the tech reporters/editors for most news outlets), and haven't been subject to the same amount of abuse - though this is changing.

    Of course, Microsoft genera

  • by anomaly256 (1243020) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:06PM (#39650915)
    I think this article is itself media bias. Apparently the author forgot about the epic lawsuits and class actions both google and apple faced for their handling of wifi logging for location services, google's street view wrist-slaps, and the very recent '4G in Australia' issue apple is currently being litigated for.

    People don't 'bash microsoft into the ground' and more than they do the other 'The Man's. And to claim they do is itself dishonest, pro-microsoft bias.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:06PM (#39650923) Homepage Journal

    Gartner couldn't be any more insanely pro MS if they were branded a subsidiary of MS.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Perhaps. And maybe that's their public stance. But I can recall a few times when I worked at Boeing and the IT department swore by the Microsoft solution. I'd whip out one of the Gartner reports we (Boeing) subscribed to which basically said 'Steer clear of that MS crap. It's not ready for prime time.'

      It didn't do much good. In fact, I submitted an employee suggestion to the effect that if IT kept recommending MS solutions contrary to Gartner (and other) s/w research firms' advice, they should save the mo

  • by nzac (1822298) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:07PM (#39650927)

    They are no longer seen as tech leaders but as a company that forces you buy from them.
    While they get lucky with a few products their innovation generally appears as incompetent and poorly implemented (such as Win 8).
    Most people don't like having to buy an updated version of windows and office every few years and start to think another company might be able do a better job.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Heinlein summed it up best: "Everybody hates the fat kid." Microsoft was a media darling in the early '90s when it was a growth company; the little scrappy newcomer fighting against big bad IBM and their bloated, overpriced systems. Once they were #1, press coverage gradually turned against them and they became the new IBM: big, bad M$ and their bloated, overpriced software.

    Some of you may have noticed the same thing happening to Google over the past few years. I see more and more negative news stories o

  • Bullies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sgrover (1167171) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:09PM (#39650953) Homepage

    Bullies have to work extremely hard to loose their reputation as a bully. Non-bullies who mess up are worthy of more lee-way.

  • Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook.

    I don't know how mainstream media covers these companies, but other than google, I can points out all of these companies being run by people that feel that they are better than their customers. Google may mainly hire PhD's to work for it, but I still get the opinion that they value the people that use their productions, I can't say the same for any of the others. Perhaps I'm wrong on the google part, but I know the other companies are just trying to get my money and o

    • ...but I still get the opinion that they value the people that use their productions...

      With google, YOU are the product.

      (Assuming you meant products, instead of productions.)

  • ...someone who expects 'the media' to be 'unbiased'. Here's a clue for you: there is no such thing as an unbiased news report.
  • Apple - you had to invite them in and then a cult like upgrade cycle makes the cash flow.
    Google - an advertising company with 'open' cover to welcome in developers - track most users most of the time.
    FB - an advertising company with 'generational' cover.
    MS - the first hit is OEM/educational pricing and they have your boss on an upgrade cycle.
    The idea that "something a little off" does cover the path of arrogance left by MS over its long twisted history.
    MS wanted the OS, fonts, productivity, the home ha
  • Troll story. Nothing else to say. I wish I could vote for a tag, but it's already there.

  • by sk999 (846068) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:26PM (#39651191)

    If anyone thinks Microsoft is being criticized unfairly, the cure is easy. Just head over to Rob Enderle's website: www.enderlegroup.com. Here are some recent articles:

    "Is Google Facing the Beginning of the End?"
    "The New iPad: Apple lowers the bar"
    "Windows 8 vs. OS X Mountain Lion -- why Apple Suddenly Sucks"

    Your esteem for Microsoft will return to an all-time high.

  • It's a bitch.

  • A telephone that can't reliably place or receive calls (thanks to an exclusive partner, AT&T).
    An Internet/multimedia tablet that doesn't support Flash. Or has USB/HDMI ports.

    Yes, Apple gets away with a lot. Right now, they can sell a fridge to an eskimo.
  • by Phantom Gremlin (161961) on Wednesday April 11, 2012 @07:32PM (#39651301)

    Which of the following four companies is a convicted monopolist?
    a) Microsoft
    b) Apple
    c) Facebook
    d) Google

    The correct answer is "a" (Microsoft). The leadership that festered that predatory behavior is still at Microsoft. Bill Gates is Chairman, Steve Ballmer is CEO. That's why Microsoft's actions warrant careful scrutiny.

    It's unfortunate that the "editors" allowed themselves to be trolled this way.

  • Microsoft is under particularly intense scrutiny by the public because of the monitoring and threat of a break-up of the company many years ago. Once you've been accused of monopolistic practices, you are forever branded as a monopolist at heart. Your company may survive unbroken, but the public trust is permanently dead.

    The only company to ever protect their image in the face of such an investigation was IBM. Even AT&T was never as respected post-breakup as they were prior to being labelled "mono

  • by no-body (127863)

    Microsoft has the longest history of dishonesty and is still running on the big and monopolistic advantage of having the OS _and_ applications developed under the same roof.

    And - I it's unknown who had to be "convinced" that the judgment to split OS and application development into two companies.

    The thing with US courts is that they are not cut dry cases - this are the facts and based on that, this happens. There are other considerations (or were with the MSoft case besides the judge apparently making error

  • Microsoft has changed their act as of late. They are making better products, and spending less time bullying everyone around. But you can't honestly expect their reputation to be clean overnight, they've got two decades of bad behavior that people need to forget about.

    Besides that, their name is old fashioned, and it reminds people of the man from back in the day when we all still hated the man. It's you fathers company. No one today can love a tech company that has more than two syllables in it's name. "Mi

  • I would have thought the opposite, honestly. Both Facebook and Google have been drug through the mud over privacy issues on numerous occasions and as the new, biggest tech company, Apple is a lightning rod for all matter of attention, such as recent reporting surrounding Chinese manufacturing. Nearly all of the reports focus on Apple even though companies like Foxconn make products for other major companies.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, is largely ignored. They're still a huge company, but they really ha
  • Microsoft's entire market, especially these days, is in the business sector. When they misstep, professionals complain that they are losing real dollars. When apple, google, or facebook missteps, those markets are recreational. They've built entire businesses on the concept that users are just having fun. So if your fun breaks, or changes, meh it's no big deal. So there's no one left to complain about anything significant.

    That's how you know that no one's really using those things for anything legitimat

  • As far as I can tell, MS has by far the longest record of illegal activies [wikipedia.org], even if only for the fact that they are the oldest company (which I don't believe). The face of IT is mared forever by severe and serious illegal pratices on behalf of MS, especially in the anti-trust dept.

    They actually got - and still get - away pretty cheap, if you ask me. The antitrust cases in the 90ies didn't harm them much and outside of their evil grip on PC computing they have a relatively untarnished reputation, like, for i

  • How much money have you had to pay Microsoft to license its products, directly or indirectly, over the past 10 years? Did you ever change from Windows to Linux (or whatever) even after having been forced to pay the Microsoft fee in the computer's price? How about to Google? Facebook? Apple?
  • It's the syllables. 3 is so 1900's and too many.

    Not that they simply stole money from me. To license their product on hardware that is 1) still running today and 2) never ran Windows, but still runs Linux. I can easily think of ~$4K they got from me -- money that I would have rather bought more ï£ stock with. That's roughly an additional $285,000 Bill Gates owes me I believe. Of course their antics are the reason I started looking at other companies and choosing the red or blue pill I'll leave fo

  • When all these companies do something obviously bad, the media is all over them - Microsoft isn't singled out in that regard.

    What Bruzzese is really complaining about - whether he realizes it or not - is that the other companies all offer a product that's decidedly popular among the population at large. They all are "cool", to use my out-of-date old guy parlance. Microsoft is no longer cool; and, having lost their mojo, they have no idea how to recapture it. Companies that have captured the imagination of t

  • by Tom (822)

    That's a question? Why of course there is a bias. Two equally two answer to "why":

    a) because nobody likes a bully, especially after he starts stumbling

    b) that's what 20+ years of fucking everyone you can get your hands on over does to your reputation

    On the contrary, I would say that despite their fairly good track record in recent years, MS deserves everything they're getting and the bill is far away from being paid.

  • Is not like Microsoft weren't caugth in the past 3 decades doing things like bribing, hardcoding to disable competing products (like when in Windows 3.something to not run in DR-DOS), offering vaporware, claiming the "most secure operating sytem ever" each year, forcing to exclude alternatives from hardware makers and sellers. Apple, Google and Facebook could had their hits and misses in the past few years, but Microsoft has been this evil the entire lives of a lot of columnists.

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