Is little Billy the life of the party?

This party was held at Billy's home, so Billy was able to secretly wire the pi¤ata with 20,000V. He handed each of his friends a metal rod. The first child stepped up to the task and took a swing. When the rod made contact, the boy's body convulsed, began to smolder, and then burst into flames.

Fortunately for Billy, most of his friends were rather stupid. Despite this frightful scene, it took about half the kids to step up to the pi¤ata and meet a similar fate before the rest of them began to think this was not such a good idea. Billy anticipated this mo-ment, however. So he pulled out an AK-47 and mowed down the rest of his competition with hot lead. Because Billy was in control, he easily switched off the power to the pi¤ata, took a swipe, and collected all the candy. He shared some of it with a few close friends who helped him rig the pi¤ata.

Today Billy is heralded as the world's most successful, candy-rich boy. He is widely regarded as a hero, known for his ruthless competitive spirit as well as his mastery of electricity and firearms. Although Billy credits himself with innovating the idea of an electric pi¤ata, few people know that he really copied the design from the boy who was first electrocuted at his party. The government wants to put Billy in jail for his actions. But Billy thinks the case against him is irrelevant at this point. After all, most of the victims' families have gone on to have other children.

The story of Microsoft's anti-competitive behaviour has obviously been much less graphic and dramatic than my intentionally strained allegory. The exaggeration is meant to illustrate a point: sure, Microsoft is a very successful company that has made many people rich, most of all Bill Gates. And few people would contest the fact that Microsoft's competitors were often stupid enough to walk knowingly into a trap.

But to admire Microsoft and Bill Gates for their success is to consider only the ends and not the means. Granted, business ambition and morality rarely mix well. And public opinion is largely what it is because most people don't know or understand how Microsoft got to where it is today, or what Microsoft is doing to manipulate the market so that it can remain in a position to murder its competition.

In view of Microsoft's success in manipulating public opinion to its advantage, I couldn't help but get my sense of outrage off my chest.

Having done that, I'd like to speculate on how the Microsoft trial and potential outcome may affect the future of Linux.

In my view, the trial and its potential outcome are two very different things. The trial has already done wonders for Linux. At best, the potential outcome probably will be meaningless to the future of Linux. Microsoft already owns the office productivity suite market. The application company wouldn't need Windows anymore to maintain that monopoly.

People speculate that Microsoft would port Office to Linux, but the application company would have no reason to do so unless Linux captured a significant portion of the desktop.

Microsoft the operating system company will attempt to capture the greatest server market share by infecting open Internet standards with proprietary features that only work on Windows.

If Microsoft is successful, it will use its server market share to maintain its hold on the desktop. Microsoft the applications company will continue to sell its wares only on Windows, while leveraging its Internet Explorer market share to make Internet Information Server the standard.

Conclusion? Unless open Inter-net standards can maintain a lead on Microsoft standards, we'll be living in an all-Microsoft world for many years to come.

So what's wrong with that, as long as the stock for both Microsoft companies remains healthy and more people get rich? Nothing, I guess, as long as the ends justify the means - and you're not stupid enough to attend one of Billy's parties.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?