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Why Does Everyone Hate Microsoft? 1540

MrSplog asks: "I'm doing a short project on Microsoft and its impact on society. A considerable part of this project has been looking into people's perceptions of Microsoft and the heavily negative bias of that perception. Since Slashdot is one of the world's forefront leaders on Microsoft hatred, I wanted to know: just why do you hate Microsoft? Please be as descriptive and as thorough as you like. Counter arguments and positive comments are also appreciated."
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Why Does Everyone Hate Microsoft?

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  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:43PM (#17249216) Homepage Journal
    Oh, I don't *hate* Microsoft. In fact, I have friends who work there and have made money off of Microsoft stock. I still use Word (although Pages is coming on strong and if I could get EndNote compatibility, I'd switch entirely) and Excel and root for the company on occasion. Where I object to Microsoft is in their shoddy products. Almost every product I've used of theirs that came out at version 1.0 has royally sucked. Their whole concept of bringing products to market is date/deadline driven rather than quality or product driven, much less consumer driven. Classic cases of abysmal products were Windows v1-3, Win-98 and ME, the Zune, Bob, that first tablets and the ultra portable systems I've previewed (error messages that were too big for the display for instance), and of course their always changing interface standards and poor security issues.

    Saying all that, I actually had a pretty good Micron PC running Win 95 that was remarkably stable. Of course upgrading it to Win98 was a unmitigated disaster. Win NT was a very stable OS, that was just cryptic to use and administer. Win2000 was pretty decent, and it almost made me switch my home system from MacOS to Win200, but like most products they have simply used their monopoly status to make the right changes very late in the game if ever. How long did it take them to adopt all characters for file names?

    Where I really started getting disgusted with their business was after I saw company after company run out of business due to business practices that bordered on illegal and in some cases blatantly crossed the legal line. I always tended to prefer the MacOS, but was fairly platform agnostic (using Windows, Solaris, Linux, Irix, MacOS) for whichever task needed the appropriate platform, but with the advent of OS X, I've become a strong advocate for the Macintosh platform which brings up another issue entirely.... Microsoft has for decades now used Apple as their R&D lab. It's an obvious and well known joke, but if you are familiar with OS X, just wait until you get to play with Vista. Come on now, there are some very smart folks at Microsoft, so why can't they come up with ideas and products on their own? My take on it is that it is an efficiency issue combined with a management issue with too much oversight at the early and mid stages of the game. For instance, how many programmers are there on the Windows development team? Its in the thousands for sure, perhaps tens of thousands all told. For OS X, the number of full on programmers numbers in the hundreds. Under 300 for sure last time I checked a couple of years ago. The whole Quicktime team numbers around 30-40 whereas the Microsoft Media Player team is well into the hundreds. We could go on and on here, but to answer your question, this scientist at least does not hate Microsoft. I've just watched the company for years, purchased some of their products and have found a product from another company (Apple) that meets my needs and does not get in the way of my work the way Microsoft products tend to do.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:54PM (#17249376)

      Oh, I don't *hate* Microsoft. In fact, I have friends who work there and have made money off of Microsoft stock.
      Big karma hit incoming, ouch!
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15, 2006 @04:57AM (#17251980)
        While people complain that microsoft lacks functionality and treats its users like idiots, they miss the fact that they're successful *because* they lack the functionality that will confuse users. We technocrats have a tendency to think that just because we can manually configure network settings everyone else can too. Microsoft makes a product that does what everyone needs it to and they keep the market cornered because of it. The 80% that still use IE use it because they don't have (or don't believe they have) the technical skills to use firefox.
        • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @07:00AM (#17252700) Homepage Journal
          Huh? I'd go so far to say that Microsoft products try to incorporate too much functionality at the expense of time spent fixing bugs and achieving stability. How else can they get away with releasing new versions of Office every couple of years unless they try to implement 'new functionality'. You could argue that they only get away with it because of their monopoly status, of course.. people don't like Windows because they like it, they use it either because they don't know any alternatives, or just because everyone else is already using and developing for it, and it's a hassle to switch.

          If people knew there was an OS they could get easily that didn't crash as often, had all the same functionality and games, and didn't have to run antivirus,antispyware,blah blah, they would switch. In fact if they developed Linux for my Wii then that could be my main machine - most of the reason I don't ever stick with Linux is that I want to play the latest games (without any annoying glitches), or even last year's games - I tried for days to get GTA: SA working properly on various versions of Cedega and WINE..

          I've not tried Mac OS recently, maybe I should? I think more games are being developed for Mac OS these days, unfortunately I consider a lot of games to not be worth my money these days too [/crabbity old youth]
          • by Branko ( 806086 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @09:00AM (#17253474)
            Bjarne Stroustrup once said: "There are just two kinds of languages: the ones everybody complains about and the ones nobody uses." ( n-c-and-why-software-sucks/1310 [])

            This might easily be reworded as: "There are just two kinds of software: the ones everybody complains about and the ones nobody uses."

            • by lpcustom ( 579886 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @09:55AM (#17254082)
              That's true. We do complain about Microsoft because we use the software. I mean that's gotta be it right. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that a lot of us are forced to use Microsoft products daily.

              I think a better question for this article would be...Why do people defend Microsoft so often? What exactly drives Windows fans. It's not their freedom. It's not the stability of their system. It's not it's ease of use. Maybe they steal Windows on torrents, because surely no one is just backing something because they paid for it. Wait maybe that's it. Could it be that the reason a lot of people are defending Windows is because it's the product that they bought. Hell I don't know, but this has been a question on my mind for a long time. I can see the drive behind defending Open Source Products. I can see why Linux and BSD people can be proud of their OS. I can even understand why Mac users are proud. I could just never understand how anyone could be a Windows "fanboi".

              Some possible causes that I can think of would be:
              1.) User didn't have a computer before 2001 and has only used XP(possibly used 2k and XP only).
              2.) Purchased MS product so feel the need to justify said purchase.
              3.) Stole MS product and is under the disillusion that the product was free.
              4.) Has never even attempted to use anything else.
              5.) Believes everything they were taught in school.

              I could probably add to this list.

              I'm currently attending an online class where we were comparing Linux and Windows. Only two people in the class had tried Linux. Everyone else had only used Windows. Those who had only used Windows kept going on and on about how user-friendly Windows is. I'm thinking, "compared to nothing, I can see your point." Windows is user-friendly only if you know how to use it. In a lot of cases, if you really know how to use it, you don't want to use it anymore. Most people really don't even know how to use it. Yet they'll stand up for it. It amazes me that they believe they are computer savvy because they can log into slashdot or digg and post their comments.

              Keep in mind that I'm not talking about all Windows users. Some people have a legitimate reason to use Windows. GAMES. That's right it has games. That's the biggest selling point I've heard so far. Most of these gamers have a Wii, an Xbox360, and a PS3. Hey here's a thought. Play games on your consoles, and stop using that as a reason for using Windows.

              There's a fair amount of Windows fanbois on slashdot these days. I'd say they probably outnumber the Linux fanbois even. So all of you, instead of asking us why we hate Microsoft so much, why don't you ask yourself what it is you love about it? They have way more money than you. They could probably sue you for a license agreement you have broken at one point. Their software phones home and reports on you without you knowing. The new flagship OS, Vista, is sluggish to say the least. You'll love your new computer you are forced to buy just to run it at a medium pace. But hey, you'll finally be able to enjoy those visual effects that Mac and Linux users have been enjoying for years. Oh and it's supposed to be the most secure version of Windows ever. So maybe it's not as secure as Mac and Linux, but at least you can rag XP users once you switch.

              This may sound like one large flame, but really its just an honest question. Why do you love Windows so much? Explain why it's so much better than Linux and FreeBSD. Try to do it without mentioning games, cause we have consoles for games. You should be the one justifying to us why we should spend 150 bucks on an OS. We shouldn't have to sell "free" to you.
              • by IIsMeYouIsNot ( 991014 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @11:04AM (#17255178)
                Just a Few:

                1. As a college student I paid under $20 for my copy of WinXP, but would have had to pay ~$45 for MacOS X. Although this doesn't tend to defeat your argument, it sure does lower one of the reasons not to use Windows and makes OS X the one which needs to prove itself.

                2. I know how to use Windows. These were skills I built up before ever owning my own PC, mostly when I was living at home using my parents PC, and my Dad used Windows because it was built on DOS, the earliest OS he knew. What you say above is right once you get to know how to use Windows you don't want to anymore, but alas I've already paid for it and have a box which does pretty much everything I call on it to do, so there isn't any reason to need another PC or to switch.

                3. I have very rarely been called on to know/learn a piece of software that doesn't run on Windows. I have on the other hand been called on to know/learn Power Point, Word, Excel, InDesign, and many others. This is excluding text editors run on Linux machines for my CS classes, but then they haven't cared which one I use so on WinXP at home I use Notepad++, and in lab on Linux I use nedit.

                4. If I want a Linux box I'll build one and will be able to do it on the cheap. So I'm not worried about getting one right now, when I'm college style poor, I'd rather have steak once in a while.

                5. My friends/relatives/co-workers/group-members know how to use Windows and thus I don't have to try and explain Linux everytime they want to do something on my computer; this happens quite frequently I might add.

                6. The games, I know you tried to blow this off with consoles but thats not a valid argument, because as a cheap/poor college student I can't afford to buy an XBox 360 or a PS3 or a Wii or whatever. And I don't enjoy console gaming as much either so atleast let me have my own preferences in that realm, without just telling me that my preference doesn't matter. I don't own any consoles and don't really plan on buying one for a good while.

                As a note I would not consider myself a Windows "fanboi" but I do feel Windows is right for me, right now, and I feel anyone telling me I'm wrong is really in no place to say so. Your choice of OS really boils down to circumstances and that is all there really is to it.
              • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:08PM (#17256354) Journal
                "My Ford will outrun your Chevy any day." Seriously, some people just take brand loyalty too far.

                I don't hate Microsoft, but I can tell you three reasons I like Microsoft a lot less than I could: I've been in the computer hobbyist scene heavily since the early 90's, I've been working in the field full time since 1998, and I have a good memory.

                There was a time when you had more than one solid, corporate-backed choice for an OS on your PC. OS/2 version 3.0 was solid as a rock and it was reasonably easy to port software between OS/2 and Unix-based OSes. It ran DOS software, and even ran Windows 3.x software. Digital Research had a good alternative DOS version. What did Microsoft do? They told whitebox computer stores that if they wanted to preload DOS and/or Windows on any systems, they had to have a license for every system they sold. So if you bought a box with OS/2 preloaded, you paid for DOS and OS/2. If you wanted DR/DOS, you paid for two versions of DOS. That trick is not just dirty, but patently illegal. They also signed a cross-license deal with IBM on MS-DOS & PC-DOS and Windows & OS/2. They pretty much committed to IBM that OS/2 would replace Windows 3.1 and that they'd both profit from it. Then, at the height of OS/2's rise, Windows 95 came out using much of what IBM taught Microsoft and its programs were conveniently incompatible with OS/2.

                Microsoft loves to spread FUD about other companies and about Free Software / Open Source projects. They've been so busy telling people that other products won't meet their needs that Windows, Office, IIS, and Internet Explorer had security almost totally neglected until Slammer, Nimda, and other widespread problem attacks made non-techie news. They have a habit of buying small companies "for their innovative products", then canceling all of their products or keeping just one product out of a broad catalog (Visio, anyone?). They make gratuitous changes to file formats and network protocols without any technical merit just to thwart compatibility efforts by the competition. Meanwhile, their upper management talks about Linus Torvalds being anti-competition, suggest Richard M. Stallman is some kind of Trotskyite, and says that small businesses having access to less expensive software will _hurt_ the economy.

                Microsoft has some real quality products. They have some people there who really know what they are doing, and I'm sure many of their employees are willing to coexist with other sources of software. Their operating systems, office suite, and web browser have traditionally been their poorest quality software while they really should be some of the highest. Their management should focus more on making Microsoft's products better and their operations more lean while spending less time attacking others. It would probably help them more in the long run.

                Besides, it's just downright distasteful for the biggest player to resort to such desperate tactics all the time. They haven't been the underdog in about 30 years, but they act like they are guerrilla freedom fighters doing their business in back alleys. It's time to stop being the bully and to show some confidence in your products, Mssrs. Ballmer and Gates. If you make your software so much better than the competition as you claim it is, you'll have nothing to fear.
    • by arifirefox ( 1031488 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:55PM (#17249380) Homepage
      one could argue Microsoft products are shoddy because they support a mind blowing number of hardware configurations. Apple's job is much easier...but do you want to be restricted in what kind of computer you want? If it was up to Apple, they would be still on slow powerpc chips but it was the competition in the PC world that finally made them see the light. And you have to thank Microsoft for at least part of that.
      • by Smeagel ( 682550 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:11AM (#17249608)
        if several other OS's didn't exist which run perfectly fine on tons of hardware (*BSD and Linux). And the sad part is, M$ has all the vendors producing drivers SPECIFICALLY for their operating system. All they have to do is provide a stable kernel and easy/efficient module system for these drivers, and they'd be golden -- every advantage is on their side there. This opposed to Linux and *BSD, who are still more or less reverse engineering many of their drivers.
        • by Nexx ( 75873 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:19AM (#17250410)
          Part of the reason why their job is mind-numbingly complicated is because they need to support legasy software. A whole lot of 16-bit DOS apps written 15 years ago still run on current versions of Windows. These are not ports, or recompilations, but the same binaries. I doubt the same can be said of Linux or MacOS, especially with the latter so efficient at cutting off support of applications with major release.
          • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:25AM (#17250478) Homepage Journal
            I doubt the same can be said of Linux or MacOS, especially with the latter so efficient at cutting off support of applications with major release.

            Mac OS X does the smart thing. Rather than screw up the OS with legacy support, it provides an emulator for the "classic" Mac OS to run applications inside of. Thus you get the best of both worlds.

            To put it another way, Super Wing Commander works fine on my Mac. The DOS WC games either fail miserably or need tweaking to get working. (Obviously, both require a slowdown utility.) IMHO, the Mac ends up having superior backward compatibility.
          • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @03:35AM (#17251516)

            Part of the reason why their job is mind-numbingly complicated is because they need to support legasy software. A whole lot of 16-bit DOS apps written 15 years ago still run on current versions of Windows. These are not ports, or recompilations, but the same binaries. I doubt the same can be said of Linux or MacOS, especially with the latter so efficient at cutting off support of applications with major release.

            I guess you've never heard of DOSEMU [], a program that uses the Linux kernel call "vm86" to run 16-bit DOS programs in the vm86 mode of 386-compatible processors ? Most 16-bit DOS applications I've tried on it have worked just fine.

            Or you could use DOSBox [], which is a complete emulator (meaning it emulates the processor too, unlike DOSEMU). The odd DOS app that didn't work under DOSEMU works fine under DOSBox.

            It's the support for Windows applications (via Wine []) that is less than perfect under Linux, but it is improving. Then again, it could hardly be getting worse ;).

        • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... minus city> on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:23AM (#17250466) Homepage

          And the sad part is, M$ has all the vendors producing drivers SPECIFICALLY for their operating system. All they have to do is provide a stable kernel and easy/efficient module system for these drivers, and they'd be golden -- every advantage is on their side there. This opposed to Linux and *BSD, who are still more or less reverse engineering many of their drivers.

          This is actually what's causing the damn trouble. Many companies who build hardware apparently can't code drivers worth shit.

          Yeah, there are the certification things that MS has started giving to drivers, but often times they drivers aren't certified, and what are you supposed to do?

          MS is such an absurdly large company, I don't know why the hell they can't have a 'drivers' division.

          You know, in the real world, the purpose of an OS is to talk to the hardware. It's mildly ironic that MS includes all sorts of junk in an OS that doesn't belong there, but doesn't bother writing actual hardware drivers, which, you know, is something like half of the actual 'OS', with managing access to devices being the other half.

          Now, OSes tend to come with a bit more than that, like shells and lots of APIs, but the real 'operating system' part is 'this is a hardware device, this is how I talk to this specific thing, this is how programs talk to me to get me to talk to it'. The fact MS is slacking on the 'this is how I talk to is' is just hilarious. It's how to write an OS without writing half the OS, I guess.

          Of course, MS also doesn't include all sorts of other pieces of standard OSes, like CD and floppy imagers and image writers and image mounters, or network sniffing utilities. You know, actual hardware tools that OSes should come with. Even their text editor sucks.

          They're too busy throwing in crippled applications like WordPad and Windows Movie Maker and Paintbrush. Not to mention various network clients like IE and Outlook. Almost always to target some competition.

          • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:55AM (#17250730) Homepage Journal

            They're too busy throwing in crippled applications like WordPad and Windows Movie Maker and Paintbrush.
            Hey, I was with you up to here, but I won't hear you dis Paintbrush, it's the best application they've ever written. Gotta be the only app they've not kitchen sinked.

            • by EtherMonkey ( 705611 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @02:27AM (#17251016)
              I won't hear you dis Paintbrush

              I agree enthusiastically. Maybe Paintbrush isn't the best app Microsoft ever wrote, but I can't imagine life without it. It is absolutely the right size for 90% of my drawing needs, especially since it now can handle GIF, JPG and PNG's in addition to BMP.

              What else would I use to edit, crop and save screen shots when I'm writing documentation?
            • by CJSpil ( 166214 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @03:04AM (#17251312)
              The reason Paintbrush is the best application they've ever written is because Microsoft didn't write it.

              I've got installation media for Windows 2.03 kicking around somewhere which came with my first Microsoft mouse and it's actually ZSoft PC Paintbrush which was bundled with the mouse.

              The mention of ZSoft was dropped in Windows 3.0 and apart from support for things like GIF and JPG now, the application has changed very little since Windows 2 (Well if it ain't broke...)
          • by Foolhardy ( 664051 ) <> on Friday December 15, 2006 @04:00AM (#17251678)
            Microsoft writes lots of drivers. They have drivers for all sorts of standardized hardware with open specs, like OCHI USB controllers. What Microsoft doesn't (and can't short of reverse engineering) write drivers for are pieces of proprietary hardware. The same reason that the only good Linux nVidia video drivers are a binary from nVidia is the reason that Microsoft doesn't write nVidia's video driver either.

            Of the 118 driver modules currently loaded on my system, 100 of them are (C) Microsoft Corporation. The others are 5 for VMWare, 2 for my nVidia video card, 1 for the nVidia nForce MCP net adapter, 1 for the Realtek 650 sound, 1 for the OpenVPN virtual TAP adapter, 1 for the crappy Macromedia safedisc copyprotection driver, 2 for Daemon Tools, 1 for Process Explorer, and 4 for the cd burning software. Of the non-Microsoft drivers that are supporting real hardware, that's 4 drivers for 3 devices. There are only three devices on my system that Microsoft didn't write drivers for. If Linux were running on this system, I'd want the binary nVidia drivers for video and networking (AFAIK nForce2 networking still isn't supported in the mainline. It definitely wasn't when I built the machine).

            Microsoft definitely has a drivers division.
            I do agree about Microsoft fixing the wrong things most of the time in their OS, though.
      • by Niten ( 201835 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:13AM (#17249640)
        If it was up to Apple, they would be still on slow powerpc chips but it was the competition in the PC world that finally made them see the light.

        While we're arguing hypotheticals, I'll point out that if it were really up to Apple, IBM would have put the necessary resources into developing low-power and high-speed PowerPC chips, the lack of which being what drove Apple into the Intel transition. If there were no Microsoft, and as a result, the same level of R&D going into today's x86-derived processors were instead used to develop the PowerPC line powering Apple's presumed monopoly, then the Intel transition would not have been desirable.

        You're right in that competition is a good thing; I'd be just as concerned by an Apple monopoly over the PC market as I am by the current Microsoft one. But I think the parent was saying (and I agree) that they are Microsoft's anticompetitive behaviors which earn that company such widespread disapproval.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by arifirefox ( 1031488 )
          I would argue that it was AMD that forced intel to be much better. It was the new intel that forced apple to switch. ironically, all 3 game consoles now use IBM cpu's.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

            And why is AMD considered a competitor, while IBM and Motorola are not? Because Windows (and all the software that runs on Windows*) only supports AMD's chips!

            *This is where the "but NT ran on PPC!" argument fails.

        • by Quevar ( 882612 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @02:15AM (#17250914)

          I'd be just as concerned by an Apple monopoly over the PC market as I am by the current Microsoft one
          I totally agree. There should not be a dominant OS. I'm a huge Apple fan, but I wouldn't want them to dominate the market with 90% market share, like Microsoft has now. With one dominant OS, all computers are susceptible to those bugs that let viruses spread like wildfire. If MS had less market share, none of those self-propagating viruses would have been able to do the damage they did. They would have been slowed down massively since a larger proportion of the computers would have been immuned. All software will have bugs, but different OSes will have different bugs and very few will overlap. Given this, I can't believe some companies have standardized to using the exact same OS for everything. Very scary. Diversity is a good thing.

          Without a dominant OS, issues of compatibility would be a thing of the past. Even different versions of Word have incompatibilities. If different OSes ran different software, they would all have to decide on a common format, like ODF, and the documents would be interchangeable. As it is now, MS changes things around in it's proprietary Word format and doesn't let anyone else in. MS stifled web development over the past 5 years because they stopped developing Internet Explorer. They beat the competition (Netscape) and then had nothing to push them (or copy from). Now that Firefox has revitalized the browser wars and Google is fighting on the internet front, we are suddenly coming upon Web 2.0. Applications online are the beginning of an OS agnostic web, which is should be.

          MS has been declared an abusive monopoly by the US government. Yet, they are still continuing the same business practices pushing their way into markets based on power, not good products. This is the main reason I stay clear of all MS products. I will not give my money to a declared abusive monopoly. I try to push alternatives in every case I can in the hopes that one day, MS will not be able to abuse it's monopoly because it will no longer be one.
          • It's not dominant that makes Microsoft bad, it's dominant, abusive and anti-competetive. -- that, and throw in the inability to get software anywhere near right on the first (and sometimes the second, third and fourth ...) -- that makes Microsoft bad.

            Microsoft's (illegal) monopoly means that

            • They don't have to compete on quality (The emergence of Linux has finally forced them to put some effort there).
            • They can ignore community wishes (IE between the death of Netscape and emergence of Firefox is an example),
            • They can force absurd prices for their software.
            • They can prevent hardware manufacturers from releasing specs (that would allow Linux to build drivers)
            • They can ignore bugs, and know that you're not going to the (what?) competition.
            • They can do things like trying to force Israel to drop the Mac by not supporting Hebrew
            • they can completely change how the internals work and just assume that people are going to scramble to support the new system (Me -> XP, and even XP-SP2)
            • They'll sometimes break things just to trash their competition. The fact that it causes problems for customers is irrelevant.
            • They can cause your system to self destruct if they decide (retroactively!) that your activation code wasn't so good after all.
            • They can make it all but impossible for you to find a distributor that also sells competing products.
            • . . . .
            It's not the name Microsoft that people hate, it's the nasty things that they do in the name of ever-increasing profit and widening monopoly (while mouthing platitudes about innovation, competition and customer care) that people hate.

            There's nothing bad, per-se with dominance. At any given time there are likely to be a couple of dominant players. If those dominant players played fair and were dominant solely because of good products and service (which would probably also include interoperability), there would be no problem with them being dominant.

            • by ShadowBot ( 908773 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @08:23AM (#17253206) Journal
              The origin of bad feeling for microsoft was never it's size but it's actions.

              Microsoft was one of the first company to realise that user friendliness may be the single most important aspect of software design in the eyes of the consumer. For example, previously when using various text editors you had to remember loads of different key combinations for each of them to perform common commands like copy and paste.
              I remember when I first used MS Edit, I had copied something to the clipboard and was trying to figure out which shortcut keys would paste it. The first one I tried (Shift-Ins) worked. I thought I'd been lucky only to find out a few weeks later that a friend, who was used to using a different text editor had found a different shortcut key to do the same thing. MS had included all the different shortcut keys combinations it could so, whichever software it's users came from, they would feel comfortable in MS Edit.
              This is the kind of innovation (aestetic rather than technical) that made MS grow to such a huge size today.

              Now, while having such a large percentage of any major global resource controlled by a single company is enough reason to cause a bit of discomfort, in this case of MS there have been many cases of that power actually being misused. Which serves to justify and multiply that discomfort into distate.

              Some examples:-

                      Mis-use of wide customer base:
                      In the days of MS-DOS 4 it was said that if you wrote exactly the same program in Microsoft C and in Borland C and ran them on an MS-DOS machine, even if they both compiled into the same machine code, the one written in Borland C would run slower. This is becuase each of the compilers sign the executables they create differently. MS-Dos would simply look at the signature and decide whether to slow it down or not. The result would be that, since most people used MS-DOS, people would assume the MS C compiler was better.

                    Mis-use of deeper pockets:
                    One tactic that was very popular with MS in the early days of windows was to add "free" software to windows which the competition was already selling. Since every one with a windows operating system will already have the software, only a tiny fraction of users will bother paying for the one the competitor is selling (no matter how much 'better' or 'more efficient' its product was). Once the competitor has been driven out of business, MS can jack up the price of windows to compensate for the price of the new software plus a whole LOAD of extra profit since, as the Parent said, there is no other option left for the consumers.

                    Mis-use of inside information:
                    A third party inspection of MS Office 95 and 97 showed that they were using a lot of undocumented functions in Windows. This is the equivalent of a company that built all the roads and roadmaps in a city, opening a pizza delivery company which constantly arrives with hotter pizzas becuase it's drivers use shortcuts which are hidden to other drivers and don't show up on any of the company maps.
              This will, of course, give an unfair advantage to it's own pizza delivery company. Not becuase they are better at delivering pizzas, but becuase they have a totally unrelated, and unfair, advantage.

              News of breaches like this were all too common in the early days of windows. Now though, most of these have been forgotten but the animosity remains. And it's not helped by the fact that MS seems consistently less interested in producing good software as it does in producing good-looking software.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Simon80 ( 874052 )
        If that's the case, then why is Linux able to support a variety of hardware configurations without having fundamental design issues the way Windows does?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          "If that's the case, then why is Linux able to support a variety of hardware configurations without having fundamental design issues the way Windows does?"

          There are plenty of fundamental design issues with Linux. Lack of true HID support for one.
    • by stevesliva ( 648202 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:58AM (#17250194) Journal
      Where I really started getting disgusted with their business was after I saw company after company run out of business due to business practices that bordered on illegal and in some cases blatantly crossed the legal line.
      As an MS intern in the summer of 2001 I had the chance to attend the Windows XP RTM celebration, and the company meeting at SafeCo field.

      The company meeting was especially interesting. My memories of it are fading, but IIRC, before all the individual product groups made their presentations Ballmer had to get up and say a few words about the ongoing monopoly trial, and how they were getting unduly harassed by the feds. That was followed up by a demo of the brand-new XBox, which was going to crush Sony and Nintendo. And a presentation about CE, and how that was going to crush Palm. And discussion about how Outlook had just surpassed Notes. Etc etc. You just got the impression that every business they delved into they intended to crush the competition. Which is really the rational thing for a business to do-- and individually can you really fault each team for trying to outdo the competition? But on the other hand, you saw them throwing more money than innovation at getting a foothold in the console market, and using the Windows brand to purchase credibility the Palm market.

      So do I hate Microsoft? No, because I try not to be a hypocrite. I believe they can dominate markets without even trying, and certainly by being only adequate. In that position, what do you do? Intentionally fuck up? Vista will show that the fuckup threshold is effectively impossible to surmount. But I dislike Microsoft. Microsoft is too powerful. The prevailing attitude these days amongst IT buyers must be "You don't get fired for buying Microsoft" ala IBM. I believe that nothing will break Microsoft's stranglehold on non-distributed computing. The only solution to that is to make that stranglehold irrelevant.

      But man do I HATE it when they kill progress like with MSIE. Thank god for Firefox. Maybe they will kill progress with overboard DRM in Vista. That doesn't mean Vista will fail any more than MSIE failed to maintain 80% of the browser market...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarkMantle ( 784415 )

      I think the parent hit it on the head. However, I would like to add to it. So do comments below like MacOS X running on limited hardware

      Microsoft has the market cornered. It is their business practices that most people don't like. For example. Embedding IE into the OS so that it cannot be removed (Windows 98 and newer,) as well of the slow adoption of new ideas. How long was IE 6.0 out before we got an update. And the update is basically Firefox [] with ActiveX.

      Office is just cluttered. Too many things most p

      • by nachoboy ( 107025 ) * on Friday December 15, 2006 @04:11AM (#17251732)
        Office is just cluttered. Too many things most people don't use. [...] A simple setting in options for "Basic", "Intermediate", and "Advanced" layout would allow people that want basic use (my Mother) to find what they want quickly, but I change a setting and get the Advanced user interface when I use her PC, then I can put it back just the way she's used to.

        This is possibly the worst solution I could imagine to the problem of complex software that is intended for normal users. Can you point to any examples of general-use software (open or closed source) that have successfully implemented a basic/intermediate/advanced toggle switch for its main interface? This idea gets brought up frequently by those with technical experience but who don't design software interfaces for a living (or in their free time, as the case may be). It's an awful idea that only serves to promote the notion that the more complex functionality of the software should be locked away from all but the lords of technology, unavailable to the unwashed masses who are just too unskilled to touch the powerful resources of truly great software.

        The reason this idea is bad is that it's impossible to define the subset of software functionality that will never be used by the users you brand as basic or intermediate. While everyone needs the core functionality (for a word processor, things like open, save, copy, paste, print), a large number of basic users need to regularly use functionality you might logically put in the intermediate bucket (headers and footers, tables of contents, tab stops, tables), and a not insignificant number of basic and intermediate users occasionally need the most complex features (mail merge, document comparisons, tracking, and versioning).

        By removing these features from the software interface when in intermediate or advanced mode, you're not solving the problem at all. You're postponing and worsening it. As soon as Grandma Mae wants to send out her Christmas letters, or Nephew Ted wants to type out his term paper, you have to preface all your instructions with "turn on advanced mode" at which point they're presented with the mind-boggling array of features that is ostensibly causing the problem in the first place. All of the sudden, the software is unfamiliar again; it's like a whole new program. One can get to insert picture or number pages all right, but where the heck did copy and paste go? And you're back to square one, having accomplished nothing but turned a single software program into three.

        If complex software is to be used by inexperienced users, we as software designers must first accept the fact that the users are neither dim-witted nor incapable of understanding complexity. They are simply not intimately familiar with its every nook and cranny. The duty of the software designer is to make complex functionality usable. Be smart about context: only display options that are relevant to the situation. Choose smart defaults and explicitly highlight common configurations. Help shouldn't be an afterthought or even solely contained in an external help file; the software be clear what will be the result of a particular choice. Account for bumbling or exploring users and mistakes: make every action reversible. Error messages should be descriptive and actionable, suggesting probable resolutions.

        We have so far to go in software design. Let's not simply route around hard problems, dismissing common users with a switch. Our goal should be to make software accessible to everyone. This is often a very difficult task to design and implement effectively. Accept that this difficulty in software development will always exist, but will pay off many times over in the form of productive and satisfied users. But don't simply turn away common everyday users, they by definition greatly outnumber the skilled technicians, and they deserve the absolute best experience software can deliver.
    • The Windows operating system is like a skyscraper built on a weak and swampy foundation. It sways and it creaks, and it requires massive amounts of labor to make it stable. Windows is overly complicated spaghetti code built on ancient legacy structures (eg. the registry in XP). The amount of money spent on maintaining this monstrosity of an operating system is a drag on the high tech economy. Microsoft employs a huge number of brilliant programmers, who labor to hack windows into a usable structure. Th

  • Three Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davecarlotub ( 835831 ) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:44PM (#17249224) Journal
    • by tfinniga ( 555989 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:58PM (#17249428)
      Another useful wikipedia article is Criticism of Microsoft [].

      Personally, I think most of the slimy stuff is due to business decisions. I know a lot of people that work there, and they are generally hard working, intelligent people that sincerely want to impact people's lives for the better, and see Microsoft's large market share as a way to actually make a difference. If the devs were in charge, or if they had scrupulous and competent businessmen, it would be a much different company. The fish rots from the head.

      The recent change in leadership is promising, but I'm definitely in the "wait and see" camp. You know, the "buy a mac while I wait and see" camp. Hey, Disney is turning around. It could happen.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *
        Hey, Disney is turning around. It could happen.

        I'll believe that when Steamboat Willie becomes Public Domain, and does so without any protest from Disney -- not before.

        Similarly, I'll believe Microsoft has changed if and only if Ballmer gets fired, Microsoft stops trying to subvert open standards and abandons its proprietary ones, and stops spreading FUD against Linux.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by symbolic ( 11752 )
        The *only* way Microsoft could gain my respect is to realize that they are *a* player in the market, that customers have a right to their own information regardless of which software was used to produce it, and finally, they realize that vendor lock-in is evil.
    • Thats a symptom (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Catskul ( 323619 ) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:59PM (#17249436) Homepage
      Embrace, extend and extinguish, is only a symptom of the real issue. The real issue is that Microsoft fails to subscribe the culture that most geeks subscribe to which is simply: Technical freedom. We want to be able to do whatever we want with technology, and we dont want anyone getting in our way. Microsoft is constantly getting in the the way of technical freedom as it tries to bully its way into being important instead of innovating its way into importance... Microsoft refuses to be in a support role and wants to be the center of the technical world regardless of technical merit. That getting in the way and self centered attitude is the reason everyone *I* know hates Microsoft.
    • Re:Three Words (Score:5, Informative)

      by EtherMonkey ( 705611 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:26AM (#17249818)

      Why do people hate Microsoft? In a word: Greed. Microsoft is consumed by a rampant, unrepentant, no-holds-barred corporate ravenousness for consumer dollars. At least this is how it looks to individual consumers, small businesses, and even most other large enterprises.

      Some examples:

      • Microsoft was among the first major, mainstream software publishers to charge paying customers for technical support on legally-owned Microsoft products.
      • Microsoft was one of the first major, mainstream software companies to increase upgrade fees from what was a standard 20% of the original software price to what is now 50%, if you are allowed to upgrade at all.
      • Microsoft was the first major, mainstream software company to deny upgrades to customers who don't pre-pay the 50% upgrade fee up-front when the original software purchase is made, with no refund if an upgrade isn't released within two years.
      • Microsoft bemoans the cost of software piracy, but each time Microsoft has implemented technology to reduce piracy, it has doubled the price of the better protected software.
      • Microsoft adds features to its software that puts competitors out of business, then removes those features and sells them as add-ons or upgraded versions.
      • Microsoft talks reduced enterprise TCO benefits on the one hand while making each new release significantly more difficult to deploy, maintain and support.
      • Microsoft claims that it's not predatory or monopolistic, while using its overwhelmingly dominant position in the OS market to drive out competitors to its application and development tools marketplaces.
      • And yes, Embrace, Extend and Exterminate.
      I could give more specifics, but I'm under non-disclosure.
  • Spyware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wheatwilliams ( 605974 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:46PM (#17249260) Homepage
    Tieing the web browser to the operating system and creating Active X controls, and then putting no security on them, ushered in the era of spyware and caused tremendous suffering for users and the tech support people scrambling to try to stamp out the spyware.
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:48PM (#17249282) Homepage Journal
    Before the DOJ case we all used to wonder why they produced such poor quality software at such high prices. In fact, we all felt kinda pissed off and betrayed by this. Then the anti-trust litigation put it all into perspective. No mystery anymore, that is, so long as you have even a basic understanding of microeconomics. Monopolies produce poor quality products at high prices - that's what monopolies do. So yeah, no reason to hate Microsoft anymore, we know what they are. Of course, a number of people are still pissed at Microsoft for their abuse of their monopoly, that's fine. But all those people who are pissed off at the government for handing Microsoft this monopoly they have, well, go be pissed off at the government.

    Besides which, they'll be gone in 10 years anyways. That's not a rimshot. Shit, it's not even an original thought. It's just the way things are going.
    • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:58PM (#17249432)
      Monopolies produce poor quality products at high prices - that's what monopolies do. So yeah, no reason to hate Microsoft anymore, we know what they are.

      Yeah, that makes about as much sense as saying "murderes leave a hell of a mess - that's what murderers do. So yeah, no reason to hate OJ Simpson anymore, we know what he is."

      It must have escaped my attention when it became the case that the simple realization that a person or company has committed a crime somehow excuses it.

      Microsoft is a convicted monopoly. There is no more reason to hate them required. They will always be a convicted monopolist; you don't somehow get un-convicted after a couple of years. The penalties they had to accept (at least in this country) may have been little more than a slap on the wrist... but that doesn't change what they are. And it's something they only share with a few other companies in the history of this country.

      I mean, why hate Enron? Why hate the tobacco industry? Why hate any company?

      When it's not just your opinion that they've hurt people, but when it's in fact been proven that they hurt people, then I'd say that's a pretty good reason.

      (That doesn't mean I hate Bill Gates; I think he's done a lot of good things. But he has not surrounded himself with the most scrupulous people, and he himself has not always acted scrupulously in business.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ajehals ( 947354 )
        Not intending to take anything away from your post, I would just like to say that Microsoft's monopoly position is not the problem, nor is it a legal issue (as such). Its the leveraging of that monopoly to gain market share in other markets. (also possibly the use of that monopoly to maintain their monopoly, - I'm pretty sure that's an antitrust issue).
  • by Announcer ( 816755 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:52PM (#17249332) Homepage
    One of my biggest complaints is how they FORCE people to upgrade to increasingly fragile, vulnerable versions of Windows. They make it so that software vendors mush move along, thus leaving odler versions behind, and ensuring that new versions do NOT run on older versions of Windows.

    They have also really upped the "Big Brother" role, where in some instances, perfectly legitimate installs of XP have been shut down by MS's update servers, claiming that they were bootleg or pirate copies. Then just TRY and get MS to unlock your system...? Have your credit card ready. NO THANKS!

    There are still a lot of systems running under 98SE that are working just fine, thank you. I don't need or want to spend $200 for a version of windows that is more likely to "break" my currently running software, and won't run on otherwise perfectly viable/functional hardware. I also do not like the "phone home" and "Big Brother" aspects that are built into XP and the new Vista. My 98SE runs everything I need.

    Oh, and don't even get me started on their super-vulnerable browser and e-mail clients.

    That's my 3c worth.
    • Do you really expect Microsoft to continue to support old versions of Windows indefinently? Heck, they finally cut Windows 98 off of extended support this year. Those of you running Windows 2000, a 7 year old OS, have nearly 4 years of extended support left. How many other desktop OS's from 1998 were supported in 2006? (Though in defense of Linux and BSD, it's not like the upgrading costs you any money).

      Besides, your Windows 98SE systems will still run until the hardware gives out. You'll probably find
  • by bunyip ( 17018 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:53PM (#17249342)
    Here's an example...

    When NT was first announced, I thought it was the coolest thing since bottled beer. The protected mode subsystems looked like a way to consolidate the APIs of multiple systems. As smoebody who'd already programmed Unix, PDP-11 (RSX), VAX-VMS, MVS, Univac, CDC, etc in the years prior, I thought NT was going to totally rock. It had the potential to subsume everything around it.

    Little by little, the OS/2 compatibility evaporated, X-Windows was declared "brain dead", it went beyond embrace and extend, it became Microsoft's way or the highway.

    I still wonder - if MS had supported POSIX / UNIX APIs in a protected mode subsystem, would Linux have really "happened"?

  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:53PM (#17249358)
  • 2 Reasons (Score:5, Funny)

    by Marty200 ( 170963 ) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:54PM (#17249372)
    A) Because the products aren't that good... They are often buggy and insecure,

    B) They have way more money than me.

    Either one of those is reason enough for me to hate them.
  • by Thaidog ( 235587 ) <`slashdot753' `at' `'> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:56PM (#17249402)
    They would be gone... the fact is that Microsoft's marketing & legal practices keep them moving. It gets to the point where it has nothing to do with how good their software is.
    • by elronxenu ( 117773 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:36AM (#17249934) Homepage
      No, I think everybody hates microsoft at some level.

      I hate Microsoft's products (except Project), their business practices, their monopoly, their DRM, their lack of ethics, their EULA which forces you to give up your freedom of speech, their proprietary file formats, their Microsoft Word specifically, and perhaps more reasons.

      Regular computer users hate Microsoft for making them vulnerable to spyware, spam, viruses, being pwned, and so on.

      Business users hate Microsoft for locking them in, for the BSA license compliance audits, the security holes, the endless patch/upgrade cycle, the high maintenance costs of their applications (like extensive downtime when machines need to be rebuilt due to some software failure).

      Vendors hate Microsoft for releasing loss-leader products designed to kill the market (think Netscape, Windows Media, and soon antivirus products, BeOS) until Microsoft is the only one left standing.

      Investors hate Microsoft (now) because their share price has nowhere to go but down (MSFT will not be able to continue growth unless they can find a new market to be in).

      Music fans hate Microsoft for releasing the terminally broken Zune - and inventing the concept of squirting music files to your friends (3 plays or 3 days!);

      Developing countries hate Microsoft for raping their economies (to the extent that the software isn't just pirated) because the funds flow to the USA. In many of these countries there's a visible shift towards open source and open standards.

      I expect even Microsoft fanbois hate them for some reason, although I'm so different from the typical Microsoft fanboi that I can barely guess why, perhaps they got excited about some feature Microsoft trumpeted would be available in Vista (some feature so new and powerful that it will blow away the competition, like the advanced WINfs file system or the virtual folders) and then broke their promise before release date. I'm sure the fanbois hate when that happens.

      • To followup my own comment ... Microsoft's lock-in is very effective; whether people hate Microsoft or not, they still keep buying the products (or buying computers with Windows preinstalled).

  • by mustard ( 23354 ) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:59PM (#17249442)
    MS conducts themselves as a bully.

    Nobody likes a bully.

  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <> on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:00AM (#17249450) Homepage Journal
    They became a giant by stealing other people's ideas, establishing a status quo of mediocrity, and squashed innovation.

    It is frustrating knowing that better products exist that will never get a chance because of their hegemony.

    However, I do really like certain Microsoft products. I think Defender is a great idea, perhaps a few years late in the game. MS Office is a great product. Their development tools are good.

    And Microsoft has become considerably less evil in recent years, but they have no regards for standards and make life unduly difficult for a great deal of people. Sometimes it doesn't even serve a financial purpose.

    Look at their history with Sun and Java. Microsoft clearly has no respect for other's rights or licenses. And they want the internet to be something proprietary that they control, again even if it costs them money, and they don't gain anything from it. They just want to control things. By pushing for browser-specific tags, and refusing to conform to web standards, every webmaster on the planet is put out to design around both standards and Microsoft.

    Does Microsoft make money of IE? No. They give it away for free, while throwing butt-loads of money developing it. So why continue to spend money fucking the entire internet over? Because they are bullies who like to remain the king of every hill they can find, even if it means forcing customers into inferior products.

    That's why.
  • Simple (Score:5, Informative)

    by complete loony ( 663508 ) <> on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:01AM (#17249470)
    It's MY Computer. It's MY Data.

    Microsoft's goal is to own and control everything on my computer, in the server room, eventually perhaps in my lounge room and anywhere else they can imagine. And they try to keep it that way by deliberately avoiding existing open standards and interoperability with existing applications. They adopt new standards with reluctance, and even then they break them.

  • by drenehtsral ( 29789 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:06AM (#17249558) Homepage
    I don't really _hate_ Microsoft per se, but I find that they don't really have my needs in mind (as a developer and long-time computer user). My gripes are really pretty simple:

    I don't like being crammed into an unnecesarily GUI environment. I like the simplicity of scripting and automation that comes with a real command line environment.

    I don't like giving up control of my computer. Microsoft is always pushing one thing after another which all take control away from me, the user, in the name of making things easier or safer or some other nonsense. Things that fall under this category are the following: DRM / Trusted Computing, Hiding of system files, Hiding of file extensions, animated toolbars, the fact that IE takes any web server error (40x, 50x, host not found, connection timed out, etc...) and puts up the same uninformative dumbed down error message up. I really want to know the details, and it hides them.

    I don't like their pushing of various fad programming models in their development tools. I remember when I upgraded from Visual C++ 5 to VC6 they had taken the raw win32 calls out of the table of contents, so if you looked things up that way, you'd see the MFC way first, unless you knew the calls already, in which case the index could turn them up. When I upgraded again, they had taken the calls out of the index too, but a full text search of the help turned up some examples... There is NO EXCUSE to EVER hide documentation from users, much less DEVELOPERS. I recognize that they are trying to wean people off of win32 so they can go to a more hardware independent .net stuff, and that may be cool and all, but part of my job entails maintaining a large (30,000+ line) code base written in pretty much all straight C that uses a lot of win32 calls, and it really sucks that the best documentation on all of that is Google's translation of the chineese version of Visual C 5.x's help files.

    So, yeah, basicly I have largely negative feelings about Microsoft because they don't do a terribly good job of meeting my needs, which wouldn't be such a big deal, except that as a near-monopoly they try very hard to stamp out competing systems that may actually meet my needs quite well. They aren't stamping them out to keep my dollar, they're just doing it in case any of those competing solutions actually turns out better than Windows and draws mainstream users away. As such, they are definitely pissing on my [figurative] corn flakes.
  • by dircha ( 893383 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:08AM (#17249576)
    Microsoft is a convicted illegal monopolist.

    Microsoft was let off the legal hook by a fortunate change in administrations - more like a fortunate failure to honor the democratic will of the people.

    Microsoft spends billions of dollars around the world lobbying for initiatives that restrict and suppress open standards and free software, guaranteeing expansion of its monopoly worldwide and into emerging and developing markets.

    Bill Gates may be attempting to use his money to make a positive impact in this world in order to whitewash his legacy in his old age, but had governments and businesses and people invested in open standards and free software instead of the monopolist's products, we would still have Bill's money in our collective pockets, developing our economies, educating our children, and feeding our families.

    The insecurities of an aging robber baron are little consolation for the great human and natural resources he has squandered through ruthless malice, contempt for law, personal aggrandizement, and cronyism.

    How'd I do?
  • by hackus ( 159037 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:12AM (#17249634) Homepage
    1) A company that charges $150 per phone call for problems with its software, has no incentive to create decent software. In fact, they get paid to write poor software.
    2) Standards in Web Design cost the industry Billions just to write specific Mikeysoft Explorer Code.
    3) The free Virus/Malware kit features since 1998 that this company just can't seem to fix with all the PhD's it hires and fundamentally, doesn't understand why LINUX, SELinux are going to become the defacto standard in CIA and Corporate computing security.
    4) The Endless nights of pages way back when I was a Mikeysoft dork admin, just to reboot a computer at 3AM, EVERY night for 2 years. Some things never change.
    5) The balls this company has to push the industry .net as a "Business Solution" as if we are all just stupid and don't recognize it for what it is: A bloated Framework designed to sell more Microsoft servers and software and a feeble attempt to kill java. NOT a software framework to solve your business problems.
    6)The whole Microsoft Office thing. Gad where do I start? How about Incompatible with Itself, specifically designed so that Excel 97 Macro's don't quite import perfectly into 2000.
    7) DICTATING to everyone that Windows 2000 is no longer supported, we refuse to fix bugs in our software unless you upgrade. If you don't we do not care if 2000 meets your business needs, our shareholders demand you buy licenses for all your stuff AGAIN.
    8) Reboot the OS everytime you make a friggin change. Reboot! Reboot! Reboot! Reboot!
    9) Trying to Kill Linux with the whole trusted computing thing and working on proprietary BIOS'es. How SAD.
    10) And last but not least....creating legions of Idiot Admins that can't do anything unless they are lead around by a OK or CANCEL button. God help them if they don't have a setup Icon someplace! One company who single handedly has put the US back into the Dark ages while the rest of the world MOVES ON without us.

    Thanks Mikeysoft for all the fun and thank god I left that fun to everyone else 12 years ago when I switched to Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      A lot of good points in general.

      5) The balls this company has to push the industry .net as a "Business Solution" as if we are all just stupid and don't recognize it for what it is: A bloated Framework designed to sell more Microsoft servers and software and a feeble attempt to kill java. NOT a software framework to solve your business problems.

      I'm sure its intent was to kill Java and sell MS servers. Doesn't change the fact that many of us who have written plenty of Java and plenty of C# still like C# a lo
  • by roca ( 43122 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:13AM (#17249636) Homepage
    I don't hate Microsoft. I think their products are often very good, given that software from any vendor tends to suck in various ways.

    I *oppose* Microsoft because they have a monopoly position in markets with high barriers to entry. In this situation, competition suffers, and without competition we get stagnation. It is a good thing for me to spend my efforts towards increasing competition rather than decreasing it, which generally requires opposing Microsoft.

    How we arrived at this situation is not very relevant. It's partly Microsoft's doing, partly not. The computer industry suffers from structural network effects that drive the marketplace towards monopolies; that's not Microsoft's fault. But Microsoft certainly did (and does) many ethical and unethical things to reach and maintain its position.

    People tend to think that if you oppose Microsoft, you must also hate them, but it's not so.
  • Examples... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:13AM (#17249642)
    I was working in Japan, near Tokyo, for a company that manufactured medical imaging equipment - MRI, CT etc. At one point I had to create a small team to work on technical documentation, which found us setting up several PC's with Windows. One of the people I had on the team was a Chinese gentleman, who had left China where he was a college professor.

    One day, his computer had a typical Windows lock-up & bluescreen and he asked me for help. As the box rebooted, I held down the keys that let you bypass the initial splash screens and go right to the desktop. He was surprised and I asked why? He said he didn't imagine you could avoid the splash screens if you wished and I told him, sure, why not...they don't do anything but advertise MS Windows. He thought for a moment and then smiled and said "Ah...brainwashing!"

    I had to laugh, of course. After all, who better to cut to the truth of why those screens were there, than someone who had left his homeland in an effort to avoid a lifetime of such treatment.

    MS is for MS...never customers. This has always been the situation and one many of us are not comfortable accepting.

    Other reasons:
    - MS makes a habit of rewriting history (Gates did not write DOS, etc).
    - Investing in MS is risking having your own money used against you in the marketplace.
  • Stagnation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alphager ( 957739 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:15AM (#17249672) Homepage Journal
    Basically, my "hatred" (*hate* is such a strong word... i would prefer disgust) stems from several different things:

    -stagnation: Microsoft is responsible for a stagnation of innovation on the pc. Ranging from the _very_ late adoption of technologies (example: USB) to the complete ignorance of standards(html, css), they have hurt innovation

    -interoperability/lock-in: the small changes in the SMB-protocol from version to version are jsut there to block interoperability. same goes for NTFS.

    -sucky products: none of their releases are good. Almost every single product they have released begins to get useful a year after the release, when the most annoying bugs have been fixed. I could tolerate that with a small software-hut which _needs_ the money NOW, but Microsoft as enough money to wait till the product is really ready for the market.

    -sucky products/bloat: I don't think that luna should eat away 140Mb of my RAM. I don't think that Word 2004 offers enough new features to warrant a tenfold increase of RAM-usage compared to Word 97

    -lies: Microsoft lies. See their FUD about linux. See what the "great business deals" and "alliances" have gotten the companies Microsoft partnered with: every single company that worked with Microsoft lost.

    -Content industry's bitch: DRM in every format, downscaling of videos, etc. _I_ am the customer, not the MPAA.

    -arrogant CEO: Balmer must go.

    -arrogant company: A company that want's to crush and kill everybody else is mad. Competition yes, killing for the killing's sake: NO.
  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:18AM (#17249726) Homepage Journal

    ...It's contempt. 8^)

    Okay, I jest. There are number of very good reasons the like Microsoft - their office automation products do make life easier - but it's just not enough for me. The fundamental problems are threefold:

    There's no way to guarantee my work. (This is actually a complaint about proprietary software in general, but Microsoft is the worst about this.) On two or three significant occasions, I have been completely burned after commitments that I made to a client based on technical assurances I'd received that proved to be false. I've been forced into unsustainable situations because there was a huge gap between what the product promised to do and what it actually did. Dealing with the last 20% of any task is difficult at the best of times, but the number of times on Windows that I've been forced to accept that things are never going to run as designed because of shortcomings in the technology... they're too many to count.

    Ultimately, the only way I could maintain my professional reputation (and my pride) was to walk away from the Microsoft Windows platform completely and to live with Linux and FOSS. It's not that it's better, per se, but at least I can make things work exactly as they're designed, without being completely at the mercy of someone else's market research and development cycle. In the worst case scenario, I can always keep a client happy by paying someone to provide a patch expressly for them. I may lose my shirt on that contract, but I'll never have a pissed-off client, and in my business, that's golden.

    They're holding us back. I did a back-of-the-napkin calculation the other day, to see how much time I'd spent that week dealing with Windows' shortcomings instead of actually improving our systems. It was a fairly direct equation, because I was working on developing a really cool network monitoring toolkit that week. Every hour I spent at someone else's desk cleaning up crap delayed the arrival of this very useful tool by an hour. I calculated that I work 30% slower than I could do if I didn't have to deal with spyware, trojans, spambots etc.

    That's insane. Seriously. People who don't know anything besides Microsoft will tell you that exploits happen to everyone, that if it wasn't MS, it would be someone else. But it just ain't so. Today's Word exploit is stunning evidence that Microsoft practices... whatever the opposite of security is. No I don't mean 'insecure'; they're apps are that, but their design is more like 'anti-secure'. I mean, who in their right mind stores pointers for memory move operations in a word processing file?

    They are trying to break the Internet. The first points disappointed me, as a geek. But this point makes me angry. For Microsoft, dominance is not sufficient. They don't play to win; they play to destroy. And the tactics they use are bad for everyone. They oppose open systems, protocols - anything that makes it easier for people to share. This selfishness of spirit is manifest in every aspect of their business, and it impacts directly on my ability to do my job.

    I don't mind having to explain the relative merits of a FOSS solution to an MS-only one. But when I have to respond to lies that are spread about my stock in trade, I get upset. When I spend more time countering FUD than actually talking tech, I get upset.

    This is not competition. This is the opposite. It's playing dirty. It's cheating, and I'm tired of it.

  • by redwoodtree ( 136298 ) * on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:25AM (#17249810)
    I'm a sysadmin... in a previous lifetime I had to run Windows.... why do I hate windows?

    * The six days in a row in 1997/1998 I had to battle hackers that had figured out how to reboot our windows nt 5.1 server from the net (firewalls weren't what they are today).
    * The countless weeks I lost because of Exchange server disk becoming full;
    * For exchange sucking such major ass ( before version 6.0) and failing when a disk filled up
    * The countless hours I lost when SSL suddenly stopped working in NT one day,
    * The unbearable and unthinkable number of times I've had to re-install windows when it became corrupt,
    * The countless hours at christmas, thanksgiving and every other trip home I had to spend on the number of spyware and viri I've had to remove on my parent's computers (Because they have an app they need that needs activex)

    And while I'm at it...

    * Because of ActiveX and other closed systems,
    * Because every OS upgrade requires new hardware, unlike Mac OS where ever OS Upgrade runs FASTER on older hardware than the old OS

    And speaking of OS...

    * Because of the registry, fuck the registry and fuck all the fucking registry hacks I've ever had to do,
    * Because of the way they code their apps assembly line style in Redmond,
    * Because of Bill Gates, and his hate of everything open and open source.

    Thank you, you bastard troll for making me type this.
  • vague question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:33AM (#17249896) Homepage
    Like most Ask Slashdot questions, this one is vague, and doesn't come with enough context to allow anyone to give a reasonable answer. What is meant by "hate?"
    • Some people might "hate" MS the way they hate Hitler or Stalin.
    • Some people might "hate" MS in the sense that they wish them harm. They'd get a little thrill of pleasure if they saw MS's stock take a nose-dive.
    • Some people might "hate" MS in the sense that they hate getting spam from 0wned Windows boxes, or they hate it when their bank's web site only works in IE, or they hate it when people send them Word documents that could just as well have been sent as plain text, or they hate it when they're required to provide a resume in Word format.
    • Some people might "hate" MS in the sense that they don't like Windows, but it's the one they have to use at work.
    • Some people might "hate" MS in the sense that Windows would be their third or fourth choice of operating system, but they're perfectly happy running their first choice. (That would describe me.)
    If the OP had bothered to tell us what this project was about, we might be able to help him more. Is it a school project? A business project? Is the vagueness because the OP didn't bother thinking carefully about the definition of the project, or because he has thought it through carefully, but didn't bother telling us? Are we interested in negative attitudes towards MS from the point of view of someone in the advertising business? Someone in the software business? Someone doing a case study for business school?
  • Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ktakki ( 64573 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:36AM (#17249948) Homepage Journal

    Well, I've been using Microsoft products for the last 15 years, and for the last three years I've been working for a company that does support for small- to medium-sized businesses that use Microsoft products. At my office we use a mix of Windows and Linux and at home there are Windows, Mac, and Linux boxes under my desk. I have issues with all of them, to be sure, but here's my Microsoft litany:

    • The Registry. Number One pain in the ass. Easily corrupted, hard to edit and restore.
    • Every point covered in the Findings of Fact released during the anti-trust litigation, including vendor lock-in, strong-arming the OEMs, and anti-competitive practices.
    • Windows Genuine Advantage, which is buggy as all hell. I added a DVD burner to my system at work and had to re-activate, which meant a call to their Bangalore call center ("Good gracious no, kind sir! I have not installed this on another computer!)
    • Lame disk management tools like scandisk and chkdsk that haven't progressed since the late '90s.
    • Word: I find myself fighting Word's formatting tools and eventually give up and end up using InDesign instead for something as simple as a letterhead template. I've been using Word since version 2.0. It has always sucked sweaty balls.
    • SBS2003: crippleware, what with its domain controller and non-workgroup restrictions (and yes, I know about that Registry hack. See #1).
    • Security: Arguments about being a big target aside, there are some security holes that just should not exist. That big 2002 code audit did nothing.
    • Patches that break things: The first that comes to mind is the verclsid.exe patch from earlier this year that broke Explorer for users with HP printers. Word and IE were also collateral damage. That patch needed more testing before release. Workaround was to rename verclsid.exe to verclsid.exx. That allowed the client to open Word documents and enter URLs in IE's address bar.
    • Let's go back in time: Windows ME. Worst. OS. Evar.
    • Back to the present day: logging and error reporting on XP (and the Server products) leave much to be desired. Tell me more. Give me more google-fodder. Don't tell me that "the data is in the packet" in the error message. That packet is long gone.
    • Heisenbugs. User settings that revert to something other than what you set. Bugs that can only be resolved by changing permissions on a single Registry key. See #1.
    • XP/2000 default settings: Let's mount every shared printer and folder by default. Let's hide extensions. Let's hide "hidden" and system files. Dumb.
    • Trivial shit, like that stupid animated dog in the Search function. Not professional, but I understand that this and Clippy are holdovers from Microsoft "Bob", which was Melinda Gates's project before she married Bill. Kill Clippy, kill the puppy.

    Now, a list of what I like about Microsoft products:

    • Excel: It's done everything I've thrown at it, including some fairly hairy VBA scripts. I have zero problems with Excel. Im my opinion, it's their best product.
    • XP's (and ME's) System Restore. This actually works on occasion, but only if the problem is minor.
    • Server 2003 (full version, not SBS): I think MSFT finally got something right. Every Server 2003 install I've done has been behind a NAT router, so I haven't had security problems so far. Easy setup, fairly easy to configure, dead easy to integrate with an office full of XP boxes.
    • VPN and RDP. As long as you're connecting from Windows to Windows, these work pretty damned good. I depend on these and haven't been let down.

    I could probably go on all night but I've had a few drinks and need to crash.

    Welcome to my world.

  • by originalhack ( 142366 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @12:57AM (#17250186)
    For those of us old enough to remember writing VxD's in C in Windows 3.1, the only 32-bit flat compiler available was Watcom, which suited us just fine as it was far superior to the uSoft compilers if its day. When Win32 came out (mandatory in Win95), Microsoft wanted that market and had their own barely operable 32-bit compiler. They required "Dynamically loadable" VxDs for all 32-bit apps. The new Microsoft linker (required to build VxDs from already-compiled object files) accepted the same COFF object files as the old linker as well as the new proprietary object file format produced by Microsoft's compiler.

    "Somehow," the new linker had all sorts of bugs in its handling of COFF but handled the proprietary format just fine. EVERYONE writing windows drivers had to switch. Don't forget that writing drivers usually requires a lot of compiler pragmas that have to be redone to port from one compiler to another.

    Now, perhaps this was a mistake rather than an abuse...

    1. Up to that date, even Microsoft had been using the Watcom compiler. (You don't really think they wrote all their drivers in assembly)
    2. The choice to make the old VxD format inoperable in the new systems was totally elective and synchronized to their theft of the compiler market. In fact, for a few product releases, we actually had a Watcom-based driver with 90% of the code and a "proxy" built with the Microsoft compiler just to trick the system into allowing it to work.

    This is one of many many stories where Microsoft has used their dominance to bully their way into a business, notwithstanding the competitors who were cleaning their clocks on a previously level playing field. They did this to the detriment of their customers for sure as well as to the people that had built a legitimate business with a superior product.

  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:25AM (#17250488)
    Irritation is a big factor. I got talked into installing XP Pro on my latest machine, I'm still mostly using several copies of Win 2000 I have. Well every time I boot up it starts harrasssing me about security. The machine isn't on line so it of coarse constantly harrasses me about updating. I just bloody want to be left alone. I just built a machine for my parents and they aren't on line yet so now they are dealing with the constant harrassment. DOS was a good straightforward OS. The last stable OS from Microsoft I used was NT 3.51. I only had to hard boot it once from a crashed piece of software. That's more stable than my Mac. Now I have software crash constantly I deal with spyware and zombing with my on line machine. I tried Office after not using it for years. In less than an hour I had an Excel file get so messed up I called tech support and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I went back to Open Office which solved the problem and I never went back. On the machine I built as a Christmas present I wound up having to enter a 50 or so number activation number then less than an hour later I installed the Microsoft Flight Simulator and wound up yet again entering a rediculously long activation number.

    Microsoft products as a rule aren't stable, are expensive, Aren't secure inspite of draconian security, often aren't compatible with other Microsoft products, are often hard to configure(couldn't get the new machine I built on line, did I mention I hate XP?), and they always love to harass you constantly about how important and how much it's to your benefit to update which is a pain if the machine is off line. I can go on but you can get the picture. Compared to Microsoft I find Macs a joy to use. The downsides are they aren't nessaccarily stable with Windows ported software, although they tend to be rock solid with native software. Limited software availible, it's what keeps me using Windows. And limited options for upgrading, can't build your own. Granted their stock machines tend to be pretty sweet so it's not that painful. They used to be expensive but for prebuilts they have gotten quite reasonable. Did I mention they are actually fun to use?

    Am I dumping Windows? Wish I could. They are threatening again to go totally internet based after Vista. That may be the final straw to get me to dump Windows. Gee we can't make it secure on the internet so lets go internet only! That's a trainwreck I'd prefer to avoid. The real reason to go internet and subscription based is profit. Already people have been questioning for years why upgrade when the current version does what I need? Hey I'm using a three year old version of Open Office and I'm happy. Other than graphics and security there aren't many reasons for most to upgrade. They'd like to lock everyone into a pay as you go model. Look at it this way. Say $80 of your computer purchase is OS, Vista is more but I don't know the numbers on it. Okay that's a one time $80 you make off a customer who if you are lucky will upgrade on average every two years. Let's change that to a flat $20 a month. Well within that same upgrade cycle they just paid you $480. You don't have to be an accountant to see why Bill Gates is so desperate to switch to pay as you go. Even at $10 a month they'd tripple their revenue on new systems. Add Office and other products into the mix and the average user could find themselves paying $50+ a month to uncle Bill instead of say a average of a couple of hundred a year. If they pull it off make sure you own Microsoft stock. Personally I hope people revolt and refuse to accept the pay for life model they want. Personally why I switched from Office is there's too much garbage I don't need so why do I need constant upgrades?. Everytime I slipped, I'm a lousy typist, and hit the wrong set of keys it would do something I didn't want. Open Office just plain works and no stupid paperclip or the godawful red type showing me every "mistake" I made including proper names. Drove me nuts. I think the latest version of Open Office has the red type but it's easy to turn off. Some people love Microsoft products but most of us see a lack of options. They have an army of programmers and they still can't write a stable secure OS? I have no sympathy.

  • by Desmoden ( 221564 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:43AM (#17250626) Homepage

    For years now that company has gotten away with some of the most slapped together, rushed and verbose code on the planet. (Some VERY good code too, it's not all bad) They flat out abuse us, and take advantage of an uneducated market.

    What really started it for me was back in 1996. I was building a website for my company at the time. I was "instructed" to put 3 features on the site that was ONLY supported by IE and not by Netscape. Else risk our M$ relationship, which was critical to us (video cards company).

    I was so upset. Not, "only use features support by both" but they must NOT work in Netscape. I was beside myself.

    Still bothers me :)
  • EULA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HiThere ( 15173 ) * <<charleshixsn> <at> <>> on Friday December 15, 2006 @01:54AM (#17250718)
    Other people have other reasons. Mine begin with and revolve around their EULA. I tend to take agreements seriously, so I read the bloody things (unless they purport to be standard, e.g. I always assume that something which claims to be GPL v.2 actually IS GNU General Public License version 2 as released by the FSF).

    As a result of reading the EULAs, and a bit of thought, around 1999 I started looking for alternatives. Around 2000 I decided that Linux was the best available option, and began moving. Now I have one MSWind95 computer. It's about to die a slow death, due to lack of support for more recent peripherals. If it's replaced by a computer, that computer will run Linux. It may become a free desk space (which would be, perhaps, more valuable at this time). It WON'T be upgraded to a more abusive license. I don't think I need another Mac. Another Linux is plausible...but un-allocated flat surfaces are also quite valuable.

    This is going to cause me considerable hassle, even though I've known this day was coming for quite awhile. One never seems to prepare sufficiently. Their are still captive files, created by some application that didn't document it's file format, and which aren't readily exportable in more than a minimally usable manner. Perhaps I'll get through this bottleneck (i.e., finding a color ink-jet printer that will print to MSWind95 via a centronics port). If I do though, this is just a warning signpost. Obsolescence nears. (The computer isn't obsolete yet...but MSWind95 doesn't handle USB connections. And doesn't handle the CD drive created by VMWare. I can't even re-install the OS in an emulator. [It's GOT to be MSWind95 ... the application doesn't work properly with MSWind98.])

    GPL software goes obsolete just as rapidly...but you can figure out the file formats.
  • by LuYu ( 519260 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @02:51AM (#17251212) Homepage Journal

    This article [] and many others on Groklaw might give you a clue. Microsoft has:

    • Destroyed Netscape and BEoS.
    • Bribed government officials in India and other countries to use their operating system.
    • Funded SCO's litigation against IBM and Linux in general.
    • Bribed Novell into betraying the Linux community.
    • Forced entire school systems to audit their computers and pay "non-compliance" fines.
    • Profited off of Linux and Mac installations without paying royalties by forcing a per computer "tax" on all Licencing 6 customers.
    • Slowed down the Internet with their virus ridden software.
    • Made it impossible for me to buy the laptop I choose without paying them, even if I do not use their software. (The guy at the store laughed at me when I asked if I could just get the hardware.)
    • Supported software patent legislation in Europe.
    • Created the most DRM restricted operating system in existence with plans to extend the DRM to MY hardware and encrypt MY information on MY hard drive and give control of all that to someone else (read: Hollywood).
    . . . and those are just what I can think of off the top of my head. I am sure I missed more than half, and no, I do not have time to provide links to all of those. You are on your own.
  • Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @03:07AM (#17251336) Homepage Journal
    I do not "hate" MS, but I will rather not use their software.

    1) Proprietary software is not transparent. It is therefore intrinsically less trustworthy than open source.
    2) Using MS tends to lead to dependance on MS.
    3) MS's business practices suggest they in particular are not trustowrthy, and more likely to exploit dependence on them to my detriment.
    4) I resent the fact that their software is bundled by everyone - I want to be able to walk into a shop and have a choice of PCs with different OSes installed.
    5) I have found most of their software to suck (with the exception of Excel which is very good) and the OS hard to administer (lack of a single auto update mechanism for all, or almost all, my software in particular).
    6) Their security track record, and their other shortcoming, sugggests that their attitude to theis custoers is "the sucks will buy anythings".
  • here's an analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oohshiny ( 998054 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @03:27AM (#17251470)
    Let's say that all the restaurants and supermarkets in your neighborhood are taken over by, not only fast food chains, but McDonalds. That's the only place where you can eat. To you, it tastes bad, it's bad for your health, there is little selection, but you don't have a choice: you gotta eat. But you have actually eaten good food in your life and know that better food exists. Wouldn't you be kind of annoyed? Wouldn't you start cooking for yourself and try to create alternatives?

    Well, that, in a nutshell is why many people don't like Microsoft and why they are looking for alternatives. It's also why many other people don't mind Microsoft; they don't know anything else.
  • by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @05:43AM (#17252280) Journal
    I have read through all of the comments so far and most of them do not reflect my position. I agree with the contempt that most folks have for the lying, cheating, dirty tricks, etc that Microsoft has pulled throughout their history. Just those are enough, however, here is my list:

    EULA: I may have seen a EULA or two before Microsoft came on the scene but Microsoft pretty much standardized the EULA and lead the entire industry towards using them all of the time. I do not respect EULAs at all. The software is mine once I purchase it and they have no control over what I do with it afterwards.

    Reliability: While their operating systems have greatly improved over time, even XP64 (their most stable OS yet) has crashed on me a couple of times. Linux on the same hardware (dual boot laptop) has never crashed. MS Access crashes on me all of the time without error messages.

    Performance: I have 2 gigs of ram on my laptops. Why do I need to have 200 megs swapped out? Why does a newly loading program need to write out to swap as it is loading? Since the first version of windows, there has been a starfield screensaver. When it runs, every few seconds or so, you can see it hiccup. All of the stars stop momentarily. What is going on that prevents the computer from running so smoothly even decades later with incredibly more powerful processors?

    Control: This a a big one. Why can't I easily turn off the netbios port on my home computer? Why does my computer fail to function without an externally listening RPC port? It is clear that the operating system was designed so that someone other than the person sitting at the keyboard would be in control of the computer. Why can't I tell my computer to stop talking to all of the time? Why are there a dozen ways to start a program running with most of those ways not being easily accessible to me? I own the computer and I own the software. Microsoft only owns the rights to copy it. Stop changing how my computer works when I am supposedly "patching" against vulnerabilities. I can no longer get patches from Microsoft because I know for a fact that Microsoft will change the way my computer works, possibly even shutting it down.

    Security: Microsoft sees security as an added cost and therefore will never produce secure software. Microsoft does not even seem to understand security at all. How does clicking on that godawful popup thing in Vista increase security at all? Applications should only be able to write to their own directories and nowhere else. There should not be a need to grant privileges all the time to every program.

    Quality: Portions of Microsofts software are written really well. All of those portions seem to be put together in a crappy manner.

    Bleh, never mind. This is getting way to long and drawn out. Microsoft sucks and there is no hope for them. They have billions of dollars in reinforcement for their bad behaviours.

  • Caldera subpoenad a large number of Microsoft emails and the attitude displayed in them [] is just reprehensible. They didn't want to compete on merits, or provide a better product. They just wanted to win, regardless of their own merit in the marketplace.
  • by Lproven ( 6030 ) on Friday December 15, 2006 @10:36AM (#17254660) Homepage Journal
    If you know the history of MS, you already know that MS and its senior management are liars, cheats and thieves - it's documented and has been legally proved, in court.


    Bill gates told Paul Brainerd of Aldus to cancel Aldus' nearly-complete "Flintstone" wordprocessor for Windows because, Gates claimed, Word for Windows was about to ship. So Aldus threw away the code, wasted the effort and lost a powerful position in the market: first Windows WP, from the company that produced the excellent PageMaker DTP program. It hasn't been started yet. This is one major corporate CEO personally deceiving another, for personal and corporate gain.

    Ask Aldus - but you can't. Its flagship products were bought out by Adobe and it went out of business.


    MS stole the code of "DoubleSpace" (later renamed DriveSpace) from STAC's product Stacker. MS had been "evaluating" Stacker for inclusion in MS-DOS 6. Stac rejected the offered licensing terms; MS took the code anyway (MS-DOS 6.0). Stac sued, proved the code was copied, and won $200M. MS remove it (MS-DOS 6.21), rewrote the sections that were shown to be direct copies, renamed the product, and kept on going (MS-DOS 6.22).

    Ask Stac - but you can't. It's gone out of business. With an admitted direct copy of its flagship product given away free with MS-DOS 6 and Windows 95, it went under.


    MS compelled Central Point to license CP AntiVirus and CP Backup for inclusion in MS-DOS 6, under the sort of terms Stac rejected. (Do it, or we'll write our own versions anyway. No, you don't get any ongoing payment, but you can sell your version as a premium upgrade product.) Low one-off payment, all rights, no royalties, no comeback. It also knocked together an undelete utility, a defragmenter and a basic graphical file manager/program launcher based on IBM's DOSShell from PC DOS 4.0, thus giving away for free all Central Point's main products - Backup, Antivirus and PC Tools.

    Ask Central Point how good the deal was for them. But you can't. They've gone under.

    Cheats again:

    MS hired the same team to write Video for Windows as Apple had used to write QuickTime's code for video playback in a window. The programmers did it the same way. Apple sued. Apple won.

    Remember MS' $150M "investment" in Apple a few years back? No investment. That was another lie. It was punitive damages.

    Cheats yet again:

    MS wrote specific code into Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups to make it generate spurious errors if run on DR-DOS 6. Windows 3.1 actually worked fine on DR-DOS - better than on MS-DOS - but MS wanted to kill the competition, so it wrote routines to detect DR DOS, obfuscated the code and actively hid it in the Windows loader program, WIN.COM. DR sued and proved this in court. An acquaintance of mine, Geoff Chappel, was an expert witness, deconstructing and showing the code and the efforts to hide it.

    DR went under. The product rights were sold to Caldera. Caldera continued to sue, and eventually won. But it was too late. Windows 95 included DOS, even though Caldera got it running just fine on DR-DOS in the labs, so you couldn't sell people DOS any more.

    And cheats still!

    You know what Caldera is doing now? It renamed itself SCO and is suing, well, anyone using Linux. E.g., IBM. Guess who funds this? Microsoft.

    You could look at the petty, childish efforts to derail Sun's Java by adding proprietary incompatible extensions to the Windows Java Virtual Machine and then encouraging developers to use them (Visual J ). Then renaming the JVM to the MS VM, then dropping it altogether. This is not a company that cares about its customers. It cares about profits and killing the competition by any means possible, fair or foul, legal or illegal. It can afford to be sued, it can afford to buy off aggrieved competitors, and it's so big and so successful that it knows that the US government daren't touch it or