Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I admit it. I occasionally look at Slashdot during the course of the day. It will generally have something interesting at some point during the day. However, some of the people that comment there make my head hurt.

Granted, you have sane people, and they’re probably in the majority, but then you have the rabid [insert non-MS operating system] fans who can agree on one thing – that Microsoft sucks and needs to die.

This is not a view I share. Granted, that could be because I’m not a fanatic or it could be because, like a large portion of the business world, I do most of my work in a Microsoft environment, but the fact stands that I don’t think their products are horrible (despite my dislike of Vista based on the limited experience I currently have with it) and actually like more than a few of them.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think they’re a big fluffy bunny of a company. In fact, I think they have a number of problems that they need to resolve (as do a lot of tech-related companies), but I don’t go around decrying them as the great evil which Linux must vanquish (which is a rant for another time. I like and use Linux too. I just don’t like the fanboys).

Earlier today, I saw on a different site I keep on my RSS reader that MS was giving away copies of various pieces of software in exchange for running a usability monitor. They were even up front about it. The page at Microsoft basically said “let us see how you use Windows and Office for three months, and we’ll send you the software of your choice when it’s over”

It’s closed now. They ran out of the software they allocated earlier today, so I’m not going to bother linking to it.

I passed on it for two reasons – I didn’t need any of the software they were offering and I didn’t feel like being monitored though I can see where it would be a good deal for some people.

Slashdot got wind of this and the anti-MS crowd came out in droves. You got comments from them running the gamut from “spyware!!!!” to “free? How *dare* they call their software free!!??” (also another rant for another time) to “I’d get it just to smash it”

In other words, they showed more than a couple of reasons why so many businesses and people refuse to take open source, or technical people for that matter, seriously. Whether they realize it or not or like it or not, they are part of the problem. Technology is meant to solve problems, not be a religion.

That’s right. Microsoft is evil because they’re offering to give people software for no greater cost than monitoring their PC usage for a few months. Sounds well and truly evil to me alright. (Please note the sarcasm)

Then again, they’d probably think that my only having to pay $10 for Visual Studio 2005 was evil as well. After all, it means I’m not using Linux or Mac exclusively and that I might actually be doing something productive besides saying how MS needs to die.

(Say what you want. I *LIKE* Visual Studio. It’s a very full featured, responsive IDE and I love having the ability to graphically lay out my user interfaces. It saves so much time.)

Part of me says “I’d say the technical community needs to grow up, but I realize most of the people on there aren’t actually in the IT field” but then the other part of me reminds myself how many people like that I’ve met who *are* in the field.

Current mood: amazed
Current music: Killing Heidi - Mascara

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