Doing My Part to Villainize Microsoft

“The state can’t give you freedom, and the state can’t take it away. Freedom is something you’re born with, and then one day someone tries to deny it. The extent to which you resist is the extent to which you are free.”

-Utah Phillips

Those new Vista ads are so alluring aren’t they? The new Microsoft operating system is going to be just like seeing a deer walk by your window! It will be just like that rocket ship to the moon! Dear God it is state of the art. It is so state of the art, most video games won’t be designed to run on it until mid-2008 . Vista is so ahead of it’s time that more than half of the computers in the U.S. can’t even run it! If you want to run the Vista operating system, you had better get a new computer because a study conducted by SoftChoice Corporation stated that 50% of the current breed of personal computers are “below Windows Vista’s basic system requirements” while 94% are not equipped to run on Windows Vista Premium edition Which is fine because computers are disposable, right? It is not as though there are landfills filled with computer junk.

Well, not in this country, anyway. We just send it all to the Phillipines, Thailand, and other places an ocean away from the stench of the dumpsite. I sure hope the next Microsoft operating system is more backwards compatible than Vista because it is supposedly due out in 2009. Fortunately, Vista was six years late because it took so long to fix all of the glitches in Windows XP. Perhaps that will give some of the people in Manila a chance to sort through the wreckage this new software will bring.

Microsoft is not thinking about this. Who can blame them; they are too busy with lawsuits. Anti-virus software makers Symantec and another company named “Vista”. One of the selling points of Vista is that it comes with its own anti-virus software built in. Symantec is claiming that software is theirs, and patented. Just by bundling security products with Windows folks will talk of Monopoly. That is all it took for Internet Explorer to squash the business of far-superior Netscape. But this case is different.

First, an inside source told me that Microsoft didn’t bother to insure that competitors software will actually work on Vista. This could be incompetence: many things don’t yet work on Vista. But it also looks sinister. People that don’t know much about computers will just assume that Vista’s competitors’ anti-virus software doesn’t work at all. They will not assume that the beautiful, (Wow! Look at it!) Vista goddess is the problem.

Second, it is getting much harder to buy computers that don’t come with Vista. I have a friend that was shopping for a laptop at a large, west coast computer store. All of their computers that had WindowsXP were on clearance. The salesperson told her they weren’t supposed to be selling them at all because their contract with Microsoft says they will only sell computers with Vista (if you were considering buying a computer and not building it yourself, best go now while you can still get one with XP). I can’t think of anything more monopolistic than such a contract that forces you to only sell one product. But hey, I’m sure Bill is just thinking off all of those poor unemployed Filipinos that could be staffing dumpsites to hold the brand-new XP computers no one is allowed to sell.


This whole blog is a sham, a set-up. It is nothing compared to what truly makes Vista an evil abomination. The real reason to give Vista the boot is DRM: Digital Rights Management. DRM is the technology that decides whether you have the right to access things on your own computer. You want to watch a movie? Vista will make sure you have a legit version of it or it won’t play.

Presumably, Microsoft has implemented this at the nagging of Hollywood and the record industry. But that’s a bunch of hooey. From the security blog on

“And while it may have started as a partnership, in the end Microsoft is going to end up locking the movie companies into selling content in its proprietary formats.

We saw this trick before; Apple pulled it on the recording industry. First iTunes worked in partnership with the major record labels to distribute content, but soon Warner Music’s CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. found that he wasn’t able to dictate a pricing model to Steve Jobs. The same thing will happen here; after Vista is firmly entrenched in the marketplace, Sony’s Howard Stringer won’t be able to dictate pricing or terms to Bill Gates. This is a war for 21st-century movie distribution and, when the dust settles, Hollywood won’t know what hit them.”
This is not only about mp3s and bootleg videos. DRM can be used on any part of your system. Before Windows even starts, it can ask the computer if this user has permission to use the computer. If not, Windows won’t boot at all.

Few outside of the tech world are worried about this, mostly because they don’t know about it. And many of the law-abiding citizens that don’t have a multi-gig collection of contraband will say DRM makes the internet a safe and legal place to download. These are the same people that smiled and nodded as their civil liberties were Patriot-Acted away. Make no mistake, this is about freedom. If it is not recognized as such, it is only because our computers are one of the only spaces left where people are accustomed to having absolute liberty. It is only because we have never had that freedom taken away.

“I want to resist!” I hear you saying, “But what am I to do? You are suggesting problems with no solutions, like a typical liberal democrat!”

Fear not, gentle reader, there is a solution. Take a look at that slick interface at the top of the screen. You might have thought a transparent 3-D desktop and windows that burst into flames are the hallmarks of Vista. But this “WOW!” factor belongs to Linux. The computer shown here is running Ubuntu Linux. It is free and it is fully supported for free (Microsoft has raised the price of support for their products to $59 per incident). It is easier to install and easy to use. It comes with hundreds of free programs. It is more secure and stable than windows will ever be. And it leaves your desktop with that minty-fresh, non-corporate smell.