I present this article as my take on the hypocrisy of Microsoft and in particular Microsoft PR v Real world experiences. After you have read this article I would ask you to consider (in respect of the bold claims of Microsoft) who on earth believes this stuff? What type of user reads the Microsoft site and think “ahhh” (and gets a warm fuzzy feeling all over)?
Users visiting Microsoft’s website can see the section on “Trustworthy” computing and I thought it would be interesting to look at what Microsoft says versus the reality of what users say and what we have read on the same subjects online.
You can find all the bold Microsoft claims over at http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/twc/default.mspx in context, so lets start with what Microsoft says about their business practices:
We strive to maintain the highest standards in our business conduct, to ensure integrity and transparency in all of our business practices, and to address society’s ethical, legal, and commercial expectations.
and now lets look at the reality of it. Lets consider the Plurk incident where Microsoft is alleged to have “stolen” code from another and used it in their own product. You can read more about that here and in respect of the “integrity” Microsoft mentioned above make your own mind up. Transparency in all their business practices? I would suggest we look no further than Comes V Microsoft exhibits for examples of that.
Great business practices there. I could go on and mention the seemingly complete denial that there was anything wrong with Vista (until of course, 7 was released and they wanted you to buy that)
Moving on, lets see what Microsoft has to say about security (and since this is a subject which often crops up with a Windows user it makes a good second example)
The security of our customers’ computers and networks is a top priority, and we are committed to building software and services to better help protect our customers and the industry. Our approach to security includes both technological and social aspects.
Oh this is good. Where do we start? Lets look at recent security issues regarding a Windows update:
Or we could look at the armed services that found their machines allegedly taking on a mind of their own.
Yep, thats great security. Since there are so many security warnings, updates, victims and blaming I will leave this one here. You don’t have to look far to find a report of security issues of Windows and/or Microsoft products.
Well after that security claim by Microsoft (which will take some beating) we jauntily move on to another claim of “Trustworthy computing”
Without further ado its reliability up next and as expected Microsoft doesn’t disappoint with more bold claims:
We are committed to improving the quality of the technologies, products, and processes that customers need for systems that are reliable and that perform as intended and expected.
To which I would remark, if they are comitted to it they are certainly no good at it. Lets give some examples of this reliability by starting with the XP security patch that caused some machines to BSOD. What of the XP owners left with a hosed machine? Dig deep and buy Vista 7?
Lets look at one user explaining his experiences of Vista “performing as intending and expected”:
So what do we end on? Lets look at their “privacy statement” because a big deal was made when it was alleged Bing had a better privacy agreement than Google and privacy is certainly a subject in the media at the moment:
We believe that people have the right to not receive unwanted communications. We also believe that people need to be able to trust that their personal information is used appropriately—and that any use of that information provides specific value to them.
Well I’m certainly reassured by Microsoft’s words ;). I had many examples I was going to give here, however that was not needed because tragically for Microsoft, on February 17th 2010, it was reported that some Hotmail users were able to view other users in-boxes. You can read more detail about this here. Ars Technica reported:
Users with the problem describe being presented with an inbox that was not their own; subsequent logins presented a different inbox each time.
Priceless. You couldn’t make this stuff up. So if you have a hotmail account you may find your in-box is in safe hands…….just someone elses.
I have made no secret of my issues with Microsoft and its “products”. Reading articles like “trustworthy computing” just highlight to me the hypocrisy of Microsoft and how out of touch it was with my needs and my experiences. Of course you have to keep in mind that Microsoft wants to make money from you and many of its advocates fear Linux/FOSS merely because its “horrible” idea’s like Linux/FOSS which take away their revenue stream. Forget having freedom of choice, just do it Microsoft’s way and stop complaining…everyone uses Microsoft products…
Do you buy into the unfunny shoe jokes or Village of the damned-esque super children claiming “I’m a PC”. What about the Windows 7 party ads where I saw more humanity/personality in a piece of petrified wood? Think Im exaggerating or being harsh? Check out these comments:
Vista is a gift to the world.
Vista is loved.
Its a shame Michael Jackson didn’t live to see Windows 7.
These are comments, which Ive challenged on this site in the past (and are some of the tamer ones!) are just a selection of what some Microsoft advocates will spout. But ladies and gentlemen, keep buying Microsoft products (and in particular Windows) like Steve Ballmer says, its Linux that is the cancer. ?!?!?
Speaking personally, if there is a cancer in the IT world, it comes from Redmond and it wants you to buy its products.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.