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Monday, January 15th, 2007, 10:26 am

Capitalise, then Demoralise

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

LET me make a seemingly spurious statement: Capitalism is about rival vendors competing with one another for the betterment of society (e.g. advancement in science and technology). It is not about monopolies that eliminate any attempt to compete, or simply absorb every threat to hinder advancement. Which leads me to discussing Windows Vista and monoculture…

There’s a certain arrogance in Vista. Yes, there’s a certain vain statement therein: what we implement will become the rule, or the ‘standard’ (de facto or otherwise). If case you have not heard, Hollywood and Microsoft have decided the control the users. This endangers our most basic rights. Never mind the backlash that conflicts with the “if you build it, they will come” field of dreams, which relies on a monopoly.

This whole scenario making of the rules reminds me of people who say “PowerPoint presentation” instead of “presentation” and limit format choice in conferences to just one proprietary (could be patented also) format that’s pricey to use, prone to breakage, insecure, etc. That gives me a compelling-enough reason to never say “use Google” but to suggest “Web search engines” instead. By limiting our choices at will we restrict improvement and punish ourselves in the long term. We naively hand over power to monopolies. And all evil empires begin small and rely on innocence and undeserved trust.

2 Responses to “Capitalise, then Demoralise”

  1. Computer Guru Says:

    There is no decent alternative to PowerPoint. None, at any rate, that have even half the features, capabilities, and ease-of-use that Microsoft PowerPoint has.

    I think from the entire Office Suite, Microsoft has the very best Spreadsheet software (Macros!), Email client (Thunderbird doesn’t come close), and Presentation program.

    There’s a reason whey they’re a monopoly. Vista’s crap, I agree, but Office is wonderful.

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    CG, my main concern is to do with formats and lockin. I want my data to remain accessible (and its format/s properly documented) even 20 years down the line. Open Source is needed for digital preservation.

    Thanks for reminding me to add you to the blogroll (see menu).

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