Posted by Deliverator on August 10th, 2005
After a conversation with Matt Westervelt yesterday at hacknight, I have decided to try out Ubuntu Linux. I have been playing around with Fedora for a while now in VMware, and have been running OS X Tiger pretty regularly in PearPC. This is all part of an effort to become more proficient in non-microsoft OSes in anticipation of an eventual switch.
Despite being a long time advocate of Microsoft based solutions (and having worked there for 3 years), I have become more and more displeased of late with Microsoft’s heavy handedness towards consumers. In particular, I greatly dislike Windows Genuine Advantage, Paladium related initiatives and a general trend I see within Microsoft of not looking at what individuals actually want, but instead treating consumers as “The Product.” This is much in the same vein as media companies, where individuals are seen as “The Product” to be sold to advertisers, and not the reverse. A number of previously *Rock of Gibraltar* stable XP machines (and yes, they are legal licensed copies) have started bluescreening and displaying other distressing behaviour since the forcible installation of Windows Genuine Advantage a few weeks back. To prove that WGA was indeed the cause of these problems, I restored several of these boxes to disk images (I image the OS partitions of my most crucial machines regularly) taken prior to WGA and immediately turned off windows update, even going so far as to disable the service entirely. Unsurprisingly, these boxes returned to their previous high level of stability. I have just about had it with XP. Microsoft’s increasing attempts to exert control over users (DRM, Paladium, Windows Genuine Advantage, etc.) and post-sale crippling of features (like raw sockets support in SP2) has lost them my support as a user and more importantly, as an advocate. I am in the process of migrating several boxes back to W2K Server in the interim, but my longterm plan is for a much less Microsoft-centric infrastructure.
Microsoft still has time to regain my trust, but as it stands, I will not be purchasing Longhorn (recently rechristened Windows Vista) or any other Microsoft products that dares to disrespect the customer. This will be a difficult transition for me. One can tolerate a little malfeasance, but when push comes to shove, I vote with my wallet and am vocal about it. If a business does something you dislike, call them on it. Make sure the decision makers know the reason for you ire. Equally, make sure to let them know what you value about their business/product/service. All institutional power ultimately stems from the consent/acquiescence of individuals. It is often easier to let things slide and let some small portion of your life be governed/controlled by others, but at some point you have to fight for what you believe. To not do so is inhuman.