Re: MSFT Chicanery

From: Greg Christopher <stork_at_electronify_dot_com>
Date: Sat Sep 22 2007 - 00:22:26 CDT

It really is a sad state of affairs-
        To be honest, our shop has built mac software since the beginning.
Over the years more and more PC specific stuff has crept into the
building. At this point all AAs and financial and HR people are on
PCs. Of course recently when people are given a choice, they
absolutely ask for a mac now. But there is a lot of momentum behind
the IE culture.

        Internally, we have many web portals that claim to only work on IE.
And you know what? They do only work on IE.

        While the whole purpose of the web was to be open, Netscape actually
set a precedent by "making their own standard". They were the first
to allow a scripting language, image maps, many of the tags commonly
used today, etc. Unfortunately, now the standard is IE because it was
the most popular, available, and best supported browser for a long

        At this point, the best browser is once again mozilla, in its
Firefox incarnation. It's a great browser, much more secure, the
performance is better, and the user features are the best. Any major
commerce web site has to support it.

        When it comes to internal gateways and many mom and pop sites, they
don't have time to figure out the web, let alone get access to a mac
or linux machine to test them. It's unfortunate, and it's not that
easy to remedy. They need a mac, and/or vmware with linux installed.
Or a friend with one of those systems.

        The best thing to do in these situations is to let them know, as you
have done, that they may be misinformed. However, you may be wrong.
Some web sites look like they work in firefox, but when you go to
submit a form it fails because they used some funky substitute for a
button or the javascript is weird.

        BTW, it is really bad to recommend an old browser like IE on the
mac; it is probably full of security holes. In fact, I can't even
find it on machines I've upgraded. I think the OS X installer
actually deletes it- probably because of security holes. I can't
figure out a way to download it either.

        Microsoft indeed uses underhanded tactics and monopolistic means to
"enforce" their dominance. However, we wont' help the cause by
calling foul play every time someone is claiming their stuff is
microsoft only. In many cases, they are either uninformed, don't have
the resources, or a combination of the two.


On Sep 21, 2007, at 4:07 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> On 9/21/07, Fred McLain <> wrote:
> Hi Alan,
> I think you should go back to the folks distributing that flyer,
> (your kids school?!?), and let them know they are spreading *false
> information*.
> I am on the case. I sent the message below on Tues the 18th. No
> response so far. I think they will respond. I will escalate as
> appropriate.
> <<<<<<<<<<
> My wife and I recently attended back-to-school night at Granite Bay
> High
> School where my son, Grant Dechert, just started as a freshman. We
> were
> given a four-page handout about HomeLink. Two pages were dated
> 2/18/2005 (FAQs) and the other two (instructions) were dated
> 12/30/2004.
> I was disappointed to read that we are advised that "Explorer
> running on
> a Windows-based PC is the only software that will provide accurate
> student information online."
> I have two basic problems with this advice.
> 1) It appears to be inaccurate
> 2) It appears to promote the business interests of a company
> continually
> in trouble for monopolistic practices. You are aiding and abetting a
> company with a bad track record -- anti-trust problems as well as
> influence peddling issues.
> The website says that HomeLink will run on Macintosh computers using
> Internet Explorer v 6.0 or later, which contradicts what the handout
> says.
> Furthermore, I see no problem using FireFox with Linux. I am running
> Ubuntu Linux (v 7.04) and FireFox on the PC I'm using right
> now.
> This software is completely free and works great.
> I would like to see public schools -- funded with public money --
> promoting the use of public software rather than lining the pockets
> of a
> company like Microsoft.
> I have Windows Xp licenses for our four main PCs, and have a fifth
> computer running Windows 98 SE, but I am transitioning to Linux.
> You make it a point to tell people to protect against viruses and
> spyware on their PCs. Why not let them know there are alternatives to
> Microsoft's over-priced, bug-ridden, virus-ridden, spyware laden
> software? I am nearly completely converted from Windows to Linux. I
> don't like being told that we're locked into Windows.
> Please stop advocating for Microsoft Windows, and let people know that
> there are free alternative operating systems and browsers.
> The handout hints there may be some inaccurate information if we use
> other browsers that "appear to work." This information may be
> obsolete.
> If you think there is something at your website that may not display
> accurately with a setup like mine, please let me know what that might
> be.
> Thank you in advance for your prompt and thorough attention to this
> matter.
> Alan Dechert
> 9560 Windrose Lane
> Granite Bay, CA 95746
> 916-791-0456
> work 916-772-5360
> cell 916-792-1784
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> Regardless of what their support concerns are, only a
> bit over 60% of people in the US today use IE. IE use is trending
> downward sharply, so it certainly doesn't save cost over time to be
> "IE only", or even claim it.
> That's good to know.
> The "inaccurate results" is an extraordinary claim and almost
> certainly is also false. It's like saying "other peoples software
> may be crap". Unless your local school is in the business of
> marketing Microsoft products, they should not be supporting that sort
> of claim by distributing the marketing materials.
> I agree.
> 'snot just our school ... it appears all their customers help out
> with MSFT marketing. Maybe that's part of the deal.
> From another district
> sectiondetailid=17966&sc_id=1190415375
> "HomeLink runs best on a Windows based machine"
> and
> "Microsoft Internet Explorer is what the vendor recommends. Other
> browsers may display data inaccurately."
> I wonder if CA has any laws regarding public officials engaging in
> competitive marketing actions on public property?
> Regardless, there is plenty to complain about here. There is also
> something called consumer fraud.
> I found some HomeLink schools in Canada. Maybe there are some in
> your state too? Perhaps this is a national problem ... or even
> international.
> Alan D.
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Received on Sun Sep 30 23:17:17 2007

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