THE PC OPERATING SYSTEM MAFIA at Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of Windows' dominance of the market this month.
Let's be clear about how it got there and has maintained its hold on the market for consumer PC software. It's not a pretty story, if you can look at it objectively.
Many information technology professionals may pause a moment to rue the day that Gary Kildall failed to reach an agreement with IBM to provide his CP/M operating system for its then new Personal Computer.
That deal, if done, would have stopped Bill Gates from buying the CP/M clone 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products to launch both Microsoft and what would eventually become Windows.
Others might reflect on the lost years of their youths that were largely misspent shuffling DOS floppy diskettes and trying to get a few utility TSR routines to load successfully into 'high memory' above 640KB. Many of us have lots of bad memories about Microsoft DOS and the insecure and bug-ridden hair-ball that became and still is Windows.
The secret abandonment of OS/2 in favour of Windows NT, some settlements of lawsuits to avoid trials, some expensive losses in court trials and "cutting off Netscape's air supply," for which Microsoft lost an antitrust case in US federal court, means the company does not have the best of reputations.
The many, arguably, dodgy dealings over these long years that are too numerous to note here and now represent a sordid history that has rightly tarnished Microsoft and Windows with an air of 'something of the night' about them.
This is not a company that those of good will would want to be dealing with, ever. It is just that simple. Like most corporations Microsoft is always out for itself, period. That is just how the Vole works and it will make sure that it comes out on top in every one of its transactions.
If you deal with Microsoft in any way, you'll forget this at your peril. It will screw you blind and sideways, if it can, not only routinely, as an individual or even a large corporate customer, but also and especially as a so-called 'partner'. There is an extensive history of court cases to support this observation, if you care to investigate it. As with many things, Google might be your friend, sometimes.
The list of Microsoft's sometime former 'partners' that ended up suing it is long. So, as a mere user of its software, you can just imagine how few rights it thinks you have, in Microsoft's Eye of Sauron view of its unlimited domain.
But Microsoft is rapidly becoming an old and obsolescent brand, overtaken by the Open Handset Alliance and Google, which have taken the high ground for mobile and PC tablet operating systems, and which Microsoft can't counter with its PC centric obsession. That's not even to mention Linux on servers, which has always overshadowed Windows, or on the desktop, which is gaining, albeit stealthily because people just pay the 'Microsoft tax' on a PC and then install and use Linux instead.
Yet Microsoft offers us only the tired old client-server world, whereas the Internet offers us all a world of wonder that Microsoft cannot even begin to encompass, despite all its ravings about its recently discovered 'cloud'. Don't make us laugh.
This is the company that almost missed the Internet entirely, that has pretty much blown its chance to play in the mobile game, and it wants us to now believe that it is on top of 'cloud computing'? Give us freakin' break here.
And, by the way, nor can Steve Jobs with his Apple walled garden do so, much as he might wish to lure in people willing to pay over the odds for his always low-specifications, basically crap technology that 'just works", as he always says.
So Microsoft is just a dead, old and broken software company, yet it just hasn't found this out yet. It will though, as its software sales slowly fall. It has no future in PC software. It will fail, so I have to advise that one should not invest even a PC purchase or software download in betting that it will succeed, long term.
Microsoft has worn out its welcome by abusing its partners, and especially its loyal customers. I can't think of any part of the IT industry that's not dependant on it that likes Microsoft.
Excepting, of course, those among the always cheerleading PC industry press and Wall Street banksters and investors who could see a good long term pyramid scheme coming when they saw one and piled on early. But even they might back off from buying more of Microsoft's smoke and mirrors as it's massive capitalisation overhang becomes more visible.
There is much more, of course, but this should give you some idea about why I believe that the Vole's leadership will need several more lifetimes to work off the bad karma that they have incurred while running Microsoft. They know who they are, and what they have done.
It also suggests why I would not ever trade places with them and their obscene Faustian bargain for any multiple of the billions that they and their many minions have made.
Made, by giving people all over the world their extremely bug-laden, insecure and simply lame-ass, sloppily cobbled up willy-nilly software designed only to churn money with worthless software 'updates' that only obsolete older formats.
China, Russia and other countries have already figured this out years ago, and they have been working on their own operating systems based upon the open source Linux. The US, UK and EU should finally wise up and reject Microsoft's lame proprietary software that only sucks money out of their economies without providing any lasting benefits to either the governments or the peoples of their countries. µ