For the average computer user, it seems perfectly natural for their computer to crash once per day. But is this really normal? Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME (and still with Windows XP), Microsoft's mainstream operating system, frequently reports cryptic error messages or hangs on its user. In contrast, many other operating systems rarely crash more than a few times in a year. This is the result of using an operating system originally designed in 1975 for a different computer and for a command line text interface, and applying patch after patch to it for the past 23 years. Although Microsoft would have you believe otherwise, even they know that Windows NT, Microsoft's industrial strength OS, is less stable than most flavors of its primary competitor, Unix.
What's worse, Microsoft charges several hundred dollars to upgrade most of its products. But these upgrades are mandatory. Try opening an Excel 97 file with Excel 95 and you'll see what I mean. And what merits the spending of this fortune? A few bug fixes (with many more new bugs) and some more features you'll never use.
Despite Microsoft's lousy products, technical support costs $95 "per incident," and usually Microsoft will end up claiming that either you have done something wrong or that it's the hardware's fault. Good luck.
I've got to give Microsoft credit for its advertising, however. Bill Gates knows that most people don't buy good products. They buy good marketing.
Today, Microsoft's lust for power reaches far beyond an operating system monopoly. Witness their countless recent investments in media companies, their involvement with banks, and their aggressive movement into the Internet. Microsoft is attempting to control our media, commerce, and communications of the future.
Bill Gates will insist that Microsoft is only a software company, with no interest in media, banking or other markets. Several years ago, he made that same contention about the Internet, but today Microsoft claims that integration of the Internet with the rest of its products is a "natural step in software innovation." How can we believe Microsoft now when they claim that they intend to expand no further?
We can't. Microsoft is investing everywhere: Comcast, Hotmail, Real Networks, WebTV, MSNBC, Firefly and the list goes on. Microsoft, although it did not earn its position in the market place, now has the ability to ensure its dominance for years to come simply by investing in every new technology that emerges and leveraging its Windows monopoly and excessive advertising budget to gain share in other markets.
The API (application programming interface) of an operating system is the part of it which determines how application developers write their software. Microsoft has been known to incorporate features into the Windows API without telling other companies, so that they can prevent them from competing by improving their programs in certain ways. Furthermore, Microsoft is notorious for using its "control of the battleground" in which the application wars are fought in order to "break" its competitors' products. Take, for example, the infamous alteration of the "WINSOCK.DLL" file, which controls how programs communicate with the Internet. After installing the Microsoft Network, America Online mysteriously fails to operate correctly, or after installing the Windows Media Player, RealPlayer no longer launches when opening Internet media files.
As if this wasn't enough, Microsoft also uses their operating system monopoly to make consumers take other products, such as their forced bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. Consumers, having no choice but to purchase Windows because of its monopoly, must also take Internet Explorer.
Microsoft can now prevent virtually any company from achieving an important role in the market place by leveraging its pre-existing monopoly. They are using that monopoly to grow into other markets, and achieve a monopoly of those markets too. What will follow if Microsoft gets its way is that software will become mediocre while carrying a large price tag, every Internet transaction will include a Microsoft tax, and innovation and competition in the computer industry will be non-existent. Microsoft must be stopped.
Some Anti Microsoft Links
KMFMS - What's so bad about Microsoft?
Microsoft's dirty tactics against Linux
Open4Success - Linux vs. Microsoft issues.
Halloween Documents - leaked information about anti-open source tactics.
Humor - Microsoft Purchases Evil From Satan
NetAction - Audrie Krause's consumer choice campaign
Microsoft Crash Gallery
The Evil Empire