Imagining a day without Microsoft

I have been praising Infoworlds Ephraim Schwartz, and then he does “Imagining a day without Microsoft”. At first I thought this was done tongue in-cheek because the consequences were bizarre – Star Office being inundated with downloads ; but Word such a great thing because at least it was a standard everybody could rely on. Ephraim – Star Office and Lotus Workplace and Corel Word Perfect all support ODF as well as Word fomats better than Word itself (try opening or writing a Office 95 Word in Vista Office). And as for Linux and Apple doing security fixes – neither held up their community to hostage like Microsoft did this past New Years with a critical flaw only being covered and then fixed after the blog and trade press raised it “loud and clear”.

But then there were the omissions – no comments on how Microsoft lead the way on the fight for reliability, security and interoperability and that there efforts would be sorely missed. Or thousands of third party software vendors large and small would miss the “Win-Win” co-operation and marketing Redmond displayed in expanding new markets and getting mature ones to produce even more revenues. And IT shops would miss the Software Assurance folks who come by and offer their timely help on how to get the most out their Microsoft wares and make sure shops are getting “the best deal” from Microsoft. Too bad.

About the only distinctly intelligent line in the column was the last:

If Microsoft didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.

That is a ringing indictment of the IT community which is greatly complicit in letting Microsoft constantly tilt the IT playing field to their advantage at great cost to the whole community by tolerating a line of reliability, security, scalability, interoperability, availability challenged Operating Systems and Applications. Hell third time charm has become if “we are close, that is good enough – we win”. Maybe the Red States are right – there is a moral slide that results in the “Barry Bonds” phenomenon – winning is everything, how you got there really does not matter. Or in the words of Pogo – “we have met the enemy, and they is us”.

(c)Jacques Surveyer 2006

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