[Icon] Effable Commentary: Boycott Microsoft

Legal Opinions | Editorials | Grass Roots Action

Much of our economy, culture, and lifestyle in the future is going depend on software. Software will be involved in providing your news and entertainment, facilitating your banking and shopping, and controlling your communications with others. How would you feel if that software came from a single dominant, arguably unethical, and largely unaccountable source? Or would you rather have a plurality of equally viable competitors, each struggling against each other to bring you the best value at the lowest price?

We argue that Microsoft has effectively become that single software monopoly depicted in the previous paragraph. Indeed, many people now feel that they have no choice but to buy Microsoft products. Microsoft has mastered public dishonesty, deceptive marketing, manipulation of standards, and business practices well outside what most consider ethical in order to monopolize the most profitable segments of the entire software industry. Indeed, in Microsoft's current position, they don't have to offer superior products or technologies -- they just have to keep sabotaging their competition from their monopoly position.

But many people don't realize how strategically Microsoft has positioned themselves to gain control over a significant portion of our mass media, cultural resources, and economic system. You can already see the influence they have on the computer press, where serious journalists avoid discussing the issues explored on this page, and exposing the mediocracy of Microsoft's products, for fear of damaging their careers.

"Microsoft's goal is domination of the global information business, which is to say all business. Phone companies, cable television companies, post offices, stock exchanges, banks, treasury departments -- all of these are viewed by Microsoft as future competitors."
-- Robert X. Cringely, from PBS Online

There are plenty of sites on the web expressing hate and other negative opinions about the company. Hopefully this one attempts to focus on stuff that actually has some factual value.

Legal Opinions

Information about legal actions against Microsoft.

Journalistic Opinions

Editorials about Microsoft's (lack of) ethics and its position in the computer industry. In order of the editor's impression of their value.

Grass Roots Action

What individual people can do to help save the dwindling alternatives in the software business.