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Re: Nation piece
In reply to Scott K. McGrath's message sent 11/23/97 4:15 PM:
>Consumers are -not- going to rise up in revolt against Microsoft in -my-
>lifetime. Hell, if you ask someone what word processor they use, they'll
>likely say "Windows 95"...
>They do not know the difference between an application and an operating
>and, frankly, they don't care... The fact that some company has an illegally
>obtained stranglehold on the market means zip to them. -If- they decide to
>change their word processor, and that is a -BIG- -if-, they'll have to
>their operating system.
Don't be so certain. At least, I am not so completely pessimistic. The
American public's brand loyalty runs about a mile wide and and nearly an
inch deep. It is frustrating, to be sure, that the vast numbers of
computer consumers are so bloody ignorant and sustain Microsoft's
hegemony by their default choice-making. That's certainly on the deficit
side of the ledger.
But the awful truth is that even the best of our technology is pretty
dysfunctional, and Microsoft's technology certainly isn't counted among
the best. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before the general
public begins to feel oppressed by the pervasive and often pernicious
impacts of technology on their lives, especially bad technology, and will
begin to openly resent its purveyors. Add this to the cumulative effects
of 20 years of corporate downsizing, and consider that we may just be on
the verge of a major change in national psychology. For historical
precedents for this sort of cultural earthquake, look to the progressive
movement that was created a century ago partially as a result of fighting
the railroad monopolies.
My sense is that there's genuine dissatisfaction growing out there, and
it will only spread with each effort Microsoft undertakes to pretend it
out of existence.
I think a lot.
-- Bill Gates
Boycott Microsoft ** http://www.vcnet.com/bms