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RE: Consider this
On Mon, 10 Nov 1997, David E. Y. Sarna wrote:
> I agree. This forum is definitely a place where one can and
>should express social criticisms of MS. In fact, I believe that if the
>discussion were more focused in that area, Microsoft might be more open
>to listening. When the discussion is so legalistic, then it becomes a
>war of legal words and the validity of an argument tends to be lost in
>the zeal to avoid legal action.
It warms my heart to see you respond to the substance of a post of mine. Maybe
we're getting somewhere? Nah, probably not.
I will say, however, that you seem vastly more optimistic about the likelihood
of MS responding to these kinds of criticisms, which, by the way, I think of
as moral, not social (a small but real difference).
Maybe your greater familiarity with MS gives you ground for optimism, but I
don't share it.
They have been really ruthless in the last few years about laying off and
outsourcing just about anyone they can. In a draconian age they've been
especially ruthless about this.
The only other shred of evidence I know of that could possibly be used to show
that MS has any hint of a social consciousness is a huge lie: MS and Bill
``donating'' software to schools for IT/infrastructure upgrades.
That's about as socially-conscious as heroin dealers ``donating'' smack to
addicts in the name of good will and charity.
Even you won't defend this as altruistic, will you? It's a fairly
transparent---even though no mainstream newspaper reporter can evidently see
through it---ploy to increase the use and familiarity of MS products among the
I submit that if MS were truly interested in helping schools, they'd donate
cash. Then schools could make their own determination about what they should
use and what they should teach. That would be ``empowering'' (God, I hate that
word) freedom of choice.
It makes me ill that the mainstream media in this country can't see all of
this for what it is. The notion that MS and Bill, personally, are
socially-conscious because they donate (do they deduct it from taxes, I
wonder?) MS software to schools is amazing.
Notice: this isn't a criticism of business practice per se but of hypocrisy.
If MS and Bill would be very honest and upfront about what they are doing when
they do this, I would still disagree with it, but they wouldn't be the
hypocrites that they are now.
It's funny that Bill is the richest guy in the world, more or less, and he is
one of the least philanthropic, especially when you aren't impressed by these
school ``donations.'' The only thing I've heard him do recently is give some
money to finance a gun-control measure in Washington, which was soundly
defeated last week.