Friday, 08 December, 2000
Ranting at the Microsoft Haters
I've been stewing on this one for a while. I had let it go, but then somebody pushed my button.
I guess it started with this article on ZDNet about an option in Whistler (the new consumer-level OS from Microsoft) that will block any software that doesn't have a valid digital signature. The conspiracy theorists are all up in arms, and some "developers" are concerned that this is yet another way for Microsoft to control the desktop. What a crock! First off, most of the "developers" who are screaming are loudmouth idiots who, even without Microsoft's market dominance, couldn't capture any significant market share, yet they presume to speak for the developer community. And what's the big deal, anyway? So get a digital signature. You do it for your ActiveX controls. Why not for your shrink-wrap software, too?
And then there's Microsoft's plan, described in this press release, to offer "Office 10" (or whatever they end up calling it) on an annual subscription basis. Conspiracy theorists and stupid developers started screaming again about Microsoft taking over the world. What's the big deal? Let Microsoft price themselves out of the market. The anti-Microsoft faction should love this move, because it's obvious where the company is heading: it wants to be your one-stop software shop. IBM tried this in the 70's and 80's, as have other companies. Sure, some corporate IS managers will take the bait. Let 'em! This move leaves the home desktop market wide open. So stop bitching and figure out how to take advantage of Microsoft's move.