Essays and discussions

Microsoft Rant

Right, Bill Gates and Microsoft... no no, don't go away, come backsmiley, I'm not going to spend this page slagging off Micro$oft (well, not very much, anyway!)
Right, Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world, so why is he so defensive? He (and/or MS) continues to try and homogenise the entire computing world by amalgamating every company that threatens to provide some competition. He doesn't need to; Microsoft could be so much more. According to a survey (coming from an uncredited source from Amiga Format magazine), 91.4% of the world's computers run Windows, with this kind of influence, MS could become a force for "good" in the computing world instead of being the hated giant that it is now. This attitude of Microsoft was exemplified recently by the much publicised court case regarding the anti-trust law in America coming to the conclusion that Microsoft broke the law in bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, in particular by tying IE so closely to the operating system.

Microsoft could use it's influence and wealth to help ratify standards, not just for it's own benefit, but for the benefit of the entire computing community. It could become a spokesman for the computing world. But the question is why would it do this? Well, my answer would be because it can. MS really doesn't need any more money,so it could start using the money that it has to help others – including non Windows platforms such as the Amiga, by developing software for these systems. I'm not suggesting that MS should stop making money, we in the West live in a capitalistic society, if Bill can make money then good for him, but he should start giving something back to the community that that supports him.

There are some aspects of MS that I like a lot, for example it's student discount programme, the retail price of MS Office 97 (Professional Edition) is well over £400 Sterling, under this scheme, I was able to buy Office for about £100. Only a really big company such as Microsoft could afford to give a discount this big, and I'm glad that they do, but they should take it further, do as I've suggested above and maybe make the world a slightly better place...

– December 1998

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