Friday, June 26, 21:33 EDT
I'm in Williamsburg, VA. Irrelevant, I suppose, but so is most of this
Well, as the entire world knows by now, Windows 98 is on sale.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I've no intention of paying
$100 US for what's basically an upgrade to Win95. Actually, I'm
planning on installing Linux. It's an excellent OS from everything I've
seen, and its very existence is an act of defiance against
I know it's somewhat fashionable at the moment to dislike Microsoft,
but there're real reasons for that. Microsoft has more power than it's
safe to allow any one individual or institution, and it consistently
abuses this power. And how many people are really doing
anything about it? Sure, some will grumble, but they'll still shell
out $100 for Win98, or in the case of a manufacturer, acquiesce quietly
to whatever demands Gates makes. The mainstream media will continue to
give Microsoft all the free publicity it wants, ignoring whatever
alternatives exist, and leaving the sheep we refer to as the general
public believing that there aren't any alternatives.
Read, for example,
article on ZDNet. Bill Gates'
sheer arrogance shines through every word he says. He knows that
OEM's will install Internet Explorer, and be grateful for the
privilege, and he knows that Win98 or its successor will
dominate (read: gain a crushing stranglehold on the market), just as
Win95 does now.
The question of whether Microsoft is a monopoly is laughable.
("So, in your opinion, is Microsoft a monopoly?" "Well,
let's see, they have a 90% or better market share, and use this to
instantly crush anyone who might represent competition... Nah...")
Whether it's illegal or not is another matter. I cringe every time I
see the US government come anywhere near the computer industry (witness
what's happening to encryption), but it's clear that Something Needs To
It's not as if I'm saying anything original here. The simple truth
is that Microsoft has too much power, and that too few people care - or
know there's anything to care about.
Ok, I feel better now.
:: write in the margins