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RE: Consider this

  I think the comment on Microsoft donating technology to libraries is
  mean-spirited. Surely you don't think that Gates should donate someone
  else's technology! Remember, Gates believes that computing is the great
  equalizer, and it is a way to get disadvantaged kids an opportunity.
  Perhaps you don't, but he really believe it.
  Also, Microsofties are not dumb; you'll grant me that. They are not
  unaware of this forum and others like it, and they are very sensitive to
  But unlike many firms, Microsoft actually changes things in response to
  criticism, especially when thoughtfully conveyed.  Up to know, most of
  the criticism has been directed towards products, so they have changed
  and improved products. Now that there is so much criticism of their
  business practices, you can be sure that they are re-evaluating the
  trade-offs, thinking of doing things differently, and perhaps even
  maturing as a company (remember, they are only 11 years old, and have
  has to absorb 22,000 people in a short time). Microsoft does want to
  compete hard, but they also want to be loved, and they do not think of
  themselves as bad or evil people.
  Therefore, I am optimistic that Microsoft will respond to thoughtful
  criticism of its business practices, and it will discard those that
  engender too much criticism, even when they offer economic advantage, in
  favor of others that better balance the economics with the appearance
  and reality of fair play.
  David E. Y. Sarna       davids@objectsoftcorp.com
  ObjectSoft Corp. (NASDAQ:OSFT)    http://www.objectsoftcorp.com
  433 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, NJ 07601
  Tel.: (201) 343-9100    Fax: (201) 343-0056
  > -----Original Message-----
  > From:	Kendall G. Clark [SMTP:kclark@computek.net]
  > Sent:	Monday, November 10, 1997 6:31 PM
  > To:	Multiple recipients of list
  > Subject:	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.
  > David,
  > 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
  > younger generation.
  > 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. 
  > Best,
  > 	Kendall Clark