Hating Microsoft (was: Rejuvenation of Apple)

Richard Brodie (RBrodie@brodietech.com)
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 12:19:35 -0800

Max More wrote:

>I think the term "MicroSloth" though perhaps emotionally satisfying to
>is truly absurd. If *any* company is the opposite of slothful it's
>Microsoft. And if there is anything Gates and company value more than
>effort, it's high intelligence.

As a veteran of Microsoft since 1981, it was interesting for me to watch
the spread of pro- and anti-Microsoft memes through the general public
during the last 15 years. Howard Bloom, in his excellent book "The
Lucifer Principle," demonstrates that people seem to have an innate
"us-vs.-them" instinct that induces group identification and inter-group

At first, no one had heard of us. Then, when the IBM-PC came out, people
were delighted that a little software company in Seattle was doing the
software for it instead of having to totally rely on Big Blue.

But when Microsoft started getting bigger and bigger, people started
getting worried. Now they said it should have been Digital Research to
do DOS. There was a great letter to the editor in the Seattle Times
suggesting that poor Tim Paterson, original author of DOS, was paid a
pittance for it and is probably somewhere on the streets of Seattle with
a tin cup. Tim wrote a nice letter back, assuring people that he was
happily employed by Microsoft and was treated quite well. To this day,
though, a tin cup hangs from his office door.

(If any of you wants to write a similar letter accusing Microsoft of
evilly growing Word into a billion-dollar business while leaving me, the
original author, to rot in my tiny penthouse apartment overlooking
Elliott Bay, feel free...)

Bloom goes on to say that when a sign of weakness is shown in a dominant
group, the next group in line moves in for the kill, often brutally.
There was an attempt (in the public opinion only, really) to do this
when rumors of bugs in Windows 95 came out. I've never heard so much
anti-Microsoft posturing and vituperation!

One ironic note in the Apple-vs.-Microsoft struggle is that many people
don't realize that Microsoft is and always has been the No.1 vendor of
Mac software! We put IBM software on hold in the mid-'80s to do Mac

It continues to boggle my mind that people have the impression that
Microsoft is (a) stupid, (b) not innovative, or (c) undeserving of
success. It IS quite a harsh place to work, but it's certainly not any
of those others.

>Anyone else using and loving MS FrontPage for creating and managing web

Yup - see the pointer below. Also, if you're interested in The Lucifer
Principle, I have a brief review along with other memetics-related books
at The Amazon.Com Memetics Bookstore which I maintain:

Richard Brodie RBrodie@brodietech.com +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?