I came across ruurd’s post the other day (probably found it on planet KDE originally). It’s all good, and it’s really hard not to just copy and paste the whole thing here, but I’ll try…. The following quote from this NewsForge article about Microsoft’s shady dealings with the state of Massachusetts is very well-worded and very accurate, from my experience in IT:
Alan Yates’ letter reveals the worst of Microsoft’s behavior and signals their limited recourse when competition is enabled. The letter betrays many of the company’s flaws of character, its propensity to lie, and its petulant entitlement to customer fealty.
And, as ruurd pointed out, the following excerpt from a letter from Microsoft gives a nice example of just this very thing.
The draft policy identifies four products that support the OpenDocument format: Sun’s StarOffice, OpenOffice.org, KOffice, and IBM Workplace. In reality, these products are slight variations of the same StarOffice code base, which Sun acquired from a German company in 1999. The different names are little more than unique brands applied by the vendors to the various flavors of the code base that they have developed. In essence, a commitment to the OpenDocument format is a commitment to a single product or technology. This approach to product selection by policy violates well-accepted public procurement norms.
To which ruurd eloquently pointed out:
LIAR! LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE!
I agree. I saw this exact same treatment of lying to customers and potential customers by Microsoft’s elite team of “experts” when an employer of mine asked Microsoft for their proposal for our Internet solution. Bunch of lies, nothing but.
You see, in this situation, it was convenient for Microsoft to mis-represent the truth so that it would make itself look better than it is. (No, wait, isn’t that always the reason?) They were trying to say “hey look, the solution you’re looking at still isn’t any more open than ours is, since all of the solutions you’re looking at are really coming from the same basic product, so you might as well use our one available solution than that other one solution (with various flavors)”. Unfortunately, Microsoft was lying here since there are more providers (more than one code base) for the requested solution than just the OpenOffice.org code base. But the truth wouldn’t have been helpful here, would it?
The above, combined with some golden nuggets from ESR’s really scathing reply to Microsoft’s attempt to hire him, pretty much sum up for me what is so infuriating about dealing with Microsoft. They make no apologies for lying, twisting the truth, spinning the propaganda machine, whatever you want to call it. And why should they? Who’s going to call them on the carpet for it?
From ESR’s blog (which I won’t link to directly here since he uses certain “sentence enhancers” that I don’t happen to want to encourage in my progeny….
This didn’t surprise me. Microsoft’s profit margins require a monopoly lock on the market; thus, they’re stuck with being predatory evil bastards. The moment they stop being predatory evil bastards, their stock price will tank and their options pyramid will crash and it will be all over.
That being the case, negotiation is pointless. Microsoft is not reformable. Jeering at offers like this is actually the most constructive thing we can do.
Oh, and I find particular humor in this too:
On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.
But I must thank you for dropping a good joke on my afternoon. On that hopefully not too far distant day that I piss on Microsoft’s
grave, I sincerely hope none of it will splash on you.
LOL. Okay, back to work, Borg. And for the rest of you, don’t forget your aluminum foil hats….