Genuine Disadvantage

Although many people will put up with a lot of guff, there
comes a tipping point in which an avalanche of change is
precipitated by a single event. I don’t know if this is that event, but it could

First, MS included a non-security related program to be part of the critical automatic
security downloads, but said next to nothing about it.  Then,
when word about it got out, MS admitted the program was actually what
is commonly referred to as betaware. That is, it was still being tested
so, by definition, the program could cause problems for users. Although, it
appeared to MS, that it was safe to release to millions of people without informing
them of its pre-release level of finish. Then it came out that this
program “phoned home” each and every day. Some people questioned
whether this behavior didn’t mean the program is
what is commonly referred to as spyware. The company then
admitted that yes, it did phone home but that the EULA was sufficient consent and, in any
case, it wasn’t spyware. Then it came out that no, the EULA said no
such thing and that there was no informed consent.

From all this I can only conclude that Microsoft is clearly at war with itself and its
customers.  One part of MS (I’ll call them the Scobletarians)
want to be good cyber citizens. But the part that is winning
(I’ll call them the Others), and seems to be in control, is the part
that talks out of both sides of its mouth (as it were). 

The Scobletarians want to create trust, because it makes good business sense, by being
transparent and honest. The Others want to be secretive and to treat
their customers like cattle to be rounded up and herded in the
direction of their choice because, they apparently believe, this will
ensure their continued dominance in the field.

The Others are wrong. Making it more and more difficult for their customers to do their jobs only
drives these same customers to alternatives. In addition, rather than
raising prices for its next version – called Vista, or adding more DRM,
or adding more hoops to put their customers through to prove
to that they have not stolen what they have already
paid for, does not make for satisfied customers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in my opinion, MS peaked years ago and has, since then,
been in a slowly decaying orbit. As the decay increases, I believe
MS will institute more and more egregious examples such as
this program. Hence, it seems just a matter of time before the
avalanche begins, marking the end of MS (to mix metaphors).

+ + +

Praise God from whom all
blessings flow. I’ve been promoted
to be the administrator of the Planning and Program Evaluation Division
(which is where I work). It is, however, a temporary position as the
current incumbent has also taken a temporary position (so she has the
right to return to her old position at any time). Still, I’m happy and
honored to have the opportunity to lead the division that I’ve been
working in for the past eight or nine years.



3 responses to “Genuine Disadvantage

  1. Congratulations, Dan. I always thought you were a smart guy. It also seems that you are well respected by your management. Good for you!
    John V.

  2. Frank Fitz

    Hoʻomaikaʻi ʻana, I hope. Looked it up in a Hawaiian/English dictionary online. Best wishes for your new job.

  3. Congrats with the job-title change. I hope she likes her position well enough to stay there giving you the chance to show your capabilities. 🙂