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This is all there is. There is nothing else. We trust you still have our account number.

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The IDG people are good people. They have many branches in many countries and they don't seem to dictate editorial policy. Everybody gets to write what they think is best with ostensibly no interference from head office.

And IDG.se is Sweden's branch of IDG. And when in Sweden do as the Swedes - ta seden dit man kommer.

But there's got to be a limit. There has to come a time when the same old silly stupid giddy sheepishness doesn't cut it any longer. There has to come a time when being stupid can't be excused because everyone else is. There has to come a time when you have to stop licking boots and go out and help people.

Journalists take a lot of courses in ethics because that's the one thing they'll never warm to. Journalists will write anything - and sometimes hurt anyone - to make a story. That has to stop.

Once upon a time few people outside Scandinavia knew anything about the western hemisphere and what would be called the 'Americas'. The Scandinavians knew of course because they were daring adventurers and sailors. But in the courts of Europe in medieval times such thoughts were laughed at. The world is flat. And you, Chris Corombo, are plain out of your mind.

There is nothing else. This is all there is. You have a minimal ability to choose between a few items of lesser evil. But you can't expand your horizons, you can't get outside the box, because this is all there is. There is nothing else.

And we all know who keeps the pressure on and who benefits by all this.

Invest! It's Superior!

In what can only be described as a beställningsjobb (commissioned assignment) an anonymous Swedish journalist choosing to be identified only by a 40x40 pixel photo told the known world in Sweden on 6 February that the next OS from Microsoft is something to 'invest' in and is 'superior' to previous versions of Microsoft's product.

It's faster, it's more stable, and it has better functionality, suggests the paid shill. The sidebar on the right has much larger colour photos of five individuals who'd never place in Leifr Eiríksson's crew lavishing praise on this latest monstrosity. Some of them should know better; none of them do (or dare say so).

Leifr Eiríksson would toss them in the Atlantic Ocean without hesitation.

And in all this long painful article with all the boot licking going on there's nary a mention of security - a topic so sensitive given the way the 'OS' continues to be clobbered - most recently by Confucker - Bill Gates was forced in 2002 to apologise to the world at large for the misery and suffering his products cause. Has anything changed? Of course not. And none of these people are going to mention it or remind you of what's really going on.

They'll dance around it instead. They'll do anything to distract you from the one thing that's really important.

That's their job.

Microsoft Automotive

Sit back a second, close your eyes after reading this section, and imagine the following.

Imagine Bill Gates branches out into automobile manufacturing. But soon after his wobbly cars saturate the market thieves discover you can force the locks on any of these vehicles with a simple paper clip. Now imagine Bill announces he wants to hunt down this new wave of car thieves. Imagine further automotive engineers protest against Microsoft's reluctance to do anything about their locks. Imagine this goes on for years and years and years.

You know full well people are going to be pissed. That they're going to sue Bill Gates for strangling the market with such an insecure and crappy product.

You know it. So close your eyes now and picture it. And then it's OK to open your eyes again.

Achieving Ideals

We've really achieved the ideal of what I wanted Microsoft to become, quipped Bill Gates in June 2008. They've achieved an ideal? Whatever. If Bill Gates and Microsoft have ever had ideals - which is doubtful - then their achievements can possibly show us what these are. Can these ideals include any of the following?

  • Using 'FUD' to scare people out of using an OEM-sponsored alternative to MS-DOS. OEMs tired of Gates turning a deaf ear to their suggestions and requests and went out on their own and contracted to get a 'DOS' they wanted. Gates' official reaction? Not to improve his crappy product and compete again but to introduce the sophomoric 'AARD code' to scare people out of using the alternative. This was very idealistic of Bill.
  • Summoning the heads of Mosaic/Netscape to Redmond to tell them point blank they can't release a version of their browser for Windows. And then when they went ahead anyway throttling OEMs and ISPs worldwide to bury the upstart. This resulted ultimately in the conviction of Bill Gates as an abusive monopolist. Another great ideal.
  • Getting sued left and right in class actions - and shelling out literally billions in damages - for price gouging. This of course points to another ideal Bill and Microsoft have achieved.
  • Getting chastised time and again by the EU for abusive monopolistic practices and fined half a billion at a time. Another ideal Bill's achieved.
  • Manipulating the market to make it as difficult as possible for ordinary consumers to get a safe alternative to Windows. This is really what it's been about all along. It's not about browsers or anything else. It's about keeping the stranglehold on the market. Gates' success is not as some fools would claim a victory for free enterprise - it's a victory for the opposite: Gates doing all in his power to make sure you don't get the products you really want.

Fill the Coffers!

Microsoft have their tentacles everywhere. They have them in the media. They pay big bucks only they can afford to 'sponsor' influential sources with 'advertising money'. So no one on staff at these companies can come out and tell people the truth.

They cripple OEMs, ISPs, and who knows who else with brutal purchase and reseller agreements that lock the suppliers into pushing Windows and forcing them to pay fines if they sell anything else.

But the word is out. Mozilla received $75 K in donations so they could take out a double page spread in the New York Times. Today Firefox has a 20% market share, over 30% in Europe. People finally know who Mark Shuttleworth is. And everybody has seen the iPod, the iPhone, and the Mac.

Autonomy is great for IDG but perhaps they should at times muzzle their branches. Unless of course this is an official corporate policy that helps fill their coffers all the more. But sooner or later people are going to side with Leifr Eiríksson.

We've really achieved the ideal of what I wanted Microsoft to become.
 - Bill Gates June 2008

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