M$ has abandoned all pretense... (4.28 / 7) (#84)
by shimatta1 on Fri Mar 23, 2001 at 12:33:07 AM EST
M$ has abandoned all pretense of being on the side of the consumer. Sure, they claim they're fostering innovation and productivity, but frankly, from the looks of their "innovations", they're really just trying to herd the mass market like so many sheep. They should change their motto to "Where would you like to go today out of our pre-selected list of destinations? And please be sure to obey all guidelines and restrictions on your journey."
Let's look at the "innovations" in XP...
Innovation: Simplicity. Simple is not always better. Simplicity, taken to extremes, curtails flexibility and versatility. "Make it simple enough that a fool can use it, and only a fool would want to use it." (Largely expemplified by AOL).
Simplicity is great! People will know how to use Win XP without having to know anything else about a computer!
This cannot be a good thing.
The average user nowadays knows more about what goes on inside their car than what goes on inside their computer, despite spending more time with the latter. If, say, a legal issue arises that would affect driving, most drivers would be qualified to give an opinion backed by experience or knowledge. If a legal issue arises that would affect computers, many casual computer users would not have the experience necessary to provide a valid personal opinion (i.e. one that they aren't just repeating from someone else). Part of the problem is that the topic of Computers has gotten too broad for most people to have had experience with a broad portion, but, more disturbingly, a significant percentage _refuse_ to learn more than absolutely necessary about their computers...as long as it works, that's all they care about. (If you doubt me, try working Tech Support for a few years).
A simpler-to-use Win XP wil broaden the computer appeal to the more technophobic groups, and those technophobic groups are much more likely to provide people who will remain willfully ignorant of everything outside of their minimum necessities.
Now, between an experienced user who is intimitely familiar with computers and a technophobe who voluntarily wears blinders, which one do you think would make a better sheep for Microsoft?
Innovation: MS (Insert well-known app or service made by another company but now cloned and appearing in Windows). MS Winsock! MS Internet Explorer! MS Media Player! MS Quisinart! (Hey, it could happen). All this wonderful value bundled with Microsoft Windows!
Let's face it, this isn't innovation. It's copying something that someone else found out first that customers would want. 'Cept now it's worse. In the old days, these clones had to be at least adequate. If MS's Winsock hadn't been decent, Trumpet Winsock would have walked all over it. Internet Explorer, at its inception, actually had competition. Now, the Media Player that comes with Win XP better be at least adequate, 'cos nothing else is going to work for a while! Probably a short while, but during that update time, MS gets the full attention of any Win XP users, and there's a dire advantage in that.
With the swarm of dubbed, censored, and sometimes severely mangled Japanese animation (aka "anime") appearing on cable lately, I've noticed that, no matter how much better the subbed, uncut, unmangled anime is, some people will prefer the mangled version, apparently on the grounds that it's what they saw first. Quality is irrelevant, it's all a matter of what you're used to. So, give a large number of new users (who will, coincidentally, more closely resemble sheep than any previous wave of new users) a week exposed to Microsoft's solutions to all their problems, well, why would they want to go anywhere else? "Four legs good! Two legs bad! Four legs good! Two legs bad!"
Innovation: Copy Protection. This is the most blatently non-consumer-oriented "upgrade" to the OS. The consumer has extensive rights to "fair use" of copyrighted material; unfortunatly, MS and others have decided to make it impossible to exercise those rights. Copying a CD can be used to make illegal copies for piracy; therefore, irrespective of the possibility that what you are copying may be legal, you will not be allowed to copy CDs. Oh, sure, they'll include enough exclusions that it may _appear_ that your fair use rights are uncurtailed, but no program that even _pretends_ to protect copyright would be able to properly allow all fair use; in order to "protect copyright", significant chunks of fair use will be sacrificed.
And you know what? They'll get away with it. Those new sheep will assume that if their OS doesn't allow copying CDs, then copying a CD that way _must_ be illegal. They won't look up the law to find out otherwise. Therefore, anyone using an OS other than Win XP to make copies _must_ be pirates. Even if someone explains to them the concept of fair use, they'll still look at non-Windows users with suspicion. And one word from anyone remotely resembling an authoritative source (such as the media, or Microsoft) that reinforces their belief that copying CDs is illegal, they'll be convinced that Linux users are pirates. "Four legs good! Two legs better! Four legs good! Two legs better!"
Well, this is just my hopefully-non-sheeplike opinion about this developement. It's probably irrational; I'm feeling rather sick right now, and my head hurts more ways than I care to think about right now (thinking about it is #16 on the list, btw). And if any of this turns out to be even remotely true, I'll go conquer Antarctica if it means regaining my rapidly disappearing freedom.
Jon "Shimatta" Baxter; gotta go catch my running nose.