Re: Singularity: can't happen here

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 00:54:24 MDT

On 9/9/01 2:02 AM, "Charlie Stross" <> wrote:
> Given that Microsoft are trying to get into the home entertainment centre
> market with HomeStation (aka XBox2), my guess is that in addition to
> being a copyright fascists' law, it is also Microsoft's exit strategy
> from the conventional software biz -- become the main distribution
> channel for audio/video/e-books, and protect their monopoly by teaming
> up with the film and music industries to create a legislated lock-out
> on the competition.

Your guess is mostly correct; I am far more familiar with this than I want
to be.

About a year ago I was in a position to get an "inside track" with a Very
Senior MS Exec. I have been aware of their core business strategy for a
year now, and I thought it was pretty disturbing at the time, but events
make it timely to actually mention it for the purpose of discussion.
Normally, I don't like starting idiotic MS arguments, because I don't care
about them.

It goes like this:

They do not care about Windows. They do not care about Office. These are
disposable and are being used as straw men for the activists (Linux, DoJ,
etc). For the last few years, their one and only goal has been to become
*THE* mediator of all content world-wide. They have never anticipated being
in the commodity software business forever. It has taken several years of
very slick strategic maneuvering to put themselves in a position to make
this happen, all without anyone really noticing how things were being set

Many people complain about the "Microsoft tax" on personal computers.
Peanuts. If they get their way, you will *literally* be paying a fee to MS
for every transfer of information or content, and in many different forms of
media. This isn't my interpretation, but the way it was actually explained
to me. Their core corporate strategy is to control all access to all
information by everyone, and to charge you for the privilege.

A year ago, I didn't see how it could come together so I filed it away for
future reference, but I am getting a bad feeling that I *am* seeing it come
together, even if it doesn't have Microsoft's explicit stamp on it.

That said, I have to grudgingly admire the sheer magnitude of evil genius it
takes to have the balls to attempt something so extreme. I don't like it,
but it *is* impressive.

-James Rogers

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