Thank you Microsoft for giving me the weapon to shoot you with!

We’ve talked about Microsoft on Libervis.com enough. It’s not all about them and Ballmer is an idiot, so why take anything he says really seriously? We should be attentive, but not obsessive.

Well, that’s why I am relegating my comment to Ballmers latest outburst to my blog, and allowing myself to have an outburst of my own.

I feel that groklaw has it right and that it really does make sense. There is no such thing as a changed Microsoft as long as a guy like Steve Ballmer is on top of it. Leaders define the organization more than its other members, especially when we are talking about an organization based on principles so far from appreciation of freedom. So when it becomes, yet again, evident that the leaders’ intention is to pretty much crush the competition they perceiv, even if it be the last thing they try to do, then damn it that’s what we should see them as and treat them as.

So, in other words, Microsoft is out to get us, or they think they are at least.. but this is a not a reason to fear, nor a reason to avoid Free Software to those who have been considering it. In a contrary! It is a reason to embrace it wholeheartedly.

Yes, with its stupid threats, empty regardless whether they will be acted upon or not, Microsoft, while hoping to create fear and uncertainty in some people, induces an incredible amount of motivation in others – just about enough motivation to destroy them. Isn’t one of the biggest things fueling the passion behind a large body of the Free Software movement, no matter how some want to resist that fact, its animosity towards Microsoft?

Who would argue that competition isn’t one of the best, perhaps the best ways to motivate incredible progress? Well, that’s where the key lies. Microsoft says they are competitive, but I don’t think that their view of “competitiveness” even begins to compare with the competitiveness of the Free Software movement.

Microsoft may think they can outsmart the movement, but I don’t think they comprehend the level of wit that is involved with the Free Software movement.

And as Microsoft’s leader, in all his glory and backed by all his illusions about the power that lies beneath him, dares to threaten the movement, I think we should only laugh at it as a puny little attempt of making themselves appear important. Isn’t it all that there is to it anyway? In a world of today, perceptions is what molds the reality of the day.

But they are puny and laughable because they can’t begin to realize that all their money, all their power and all their so called “intellectual” (omfg haha that was funny) property is NOTHING in the larger scheme of things compared to something as simple as a genuine passion for freedom, passion that simply knows of no petty boundaries that Microsoft leaders find their comfort in.

So while they feel all important and powerful making such obviously stupid threats, do they realize that by making these threats they’ve just helped motivate their perceived enemy (and in fact a REAL enemy at that) even more?

They certainly provoke me. And I think that’s about enough to prove a point.

So you see friends, while it’s not all about Microsoft, they have the unique power to provoke the world changing competitive passion (or anger you could say) which combined with a genuine concern for freedom amounts to a weapon that is ultimately going to be deadly for Microsoft as we know it.

And this makes me, in a sense, thank Microsoft for playing the role of this great motivator, for they just gave me the ultimate weapon against themselves. The trigger is in our hands.

I had the audacity to put this rant to digg.  Why? Because I feel there are many people who would identify with the feeling I expressed here. Let’s call it a fun experiment. :)

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  • Chiron613

    I really don't think that animosity against Microsoft is a wholesome or a particularly productive incentive.

    I would argue that competition isn't necessarily the greatest motivator. The problem with competition is that all you have to do is beat the other guy; you don't necessarily have to do your best. Moreover, you divide effort into groups, so people often have to reinvent the wheel because others won't share previous work. How dumb is that? It's Microsoft's way.

    Cooperation is what makes FOSS work, using what's already out there, building on it, fixing what's broken or awkward, and doing your best work for the joy of making something fine and useful and, often, beautiful.

    Personally I think Microsoft will self-destruct with Vista, driving otherwise complacent, apathetic users to seek other options as even the least interested people begin to realize how badly they're being ripped off and abused. The timing couldn't be better, with the release of Ubuntu 7.04, and now 7.10. Finally, a distro that a non-geek can use without much hassle – no more than installing Windows on a machine, anyway…

  • reptiler

    I think you got one thing "wrong" here.

    Let me put it the way I see it

    You say:

    "And as Microsoft’s leader, in all his glory and backed by all his illusions about the power that lies beneath him,…"

    I'd say:

    "And as Microsoft’s leader, in all his glory and backed by all his delusions about the power that lies beneath him,…"

    Illusions are basically dreams, which are a good thing. Don't we all dream of a free future? And isn't this so far not much more than only a dream, an illusion?

    But delusions on the other hand are a strong believe in something that's definitively wrong, which is the case with Mr. Ballmer.

    Having seen a few clips from his shows about Windows, I actually am worried that MS deliberately has put a total lunatic (just look at the photo on the linked site) at it's top. And if he's not a lunatic then there must be something seriously wrong with his brain (given that there is one). We all know the 70s were a different time, but if you do too much of something it can really damage you…

    Okay, back to the topic.

    I don't think that MS will ever really have a chance to bring out that "almighty hammer of god" and just crush Linux and all FOSS. Even the most stupid politician (which represents a level of stupidity nobody with a right mind would ever be able to comprehend) has to see that total monopoly just cannot be good.

    I do sincerely hope (but not really believe) that the US decides to make software unpatentable again and declares all currently valid software-patents as void.

    Then Senior Embalsamero (a little joke for our Spanish speaking friends) finally has a good way to use all that paper; he can wipe his … with it!

    But if this would really happen (which would be about right after hell froze over) this could really set a mark for other nations, which considered making software patentable, because of the big american idol…

    Well, I could go on and on like this, but then it would get insulting… ;-)

  • admin

    Good points.

    I think competition can make you really do your best if you know that the opponent is doing their best too. That would be what we could call a "genuine" competition and not just a war by all means including scheming and all kinds of shady activities.

    I realize that "competition" against Microsoft therefore may not be the best thing to motivate our growth.

    However I have to acknowledge that, regardless of whether this is really desirable or not, animosity towards Microsoft has significantly helped fuel the motivation behind the growth of the Free Software movement. And as Ballmer continues with their threats, in people who believe in Free Software this does provoke a reaction that Ballmer probably doesn't like.

    When saying that Microsoft will self destruct there are implications of reasons why would that happen, and I would pose that this would happen exactly because of the adverse reactions to Microsoft's arrogant moves, which is basically what my point in this blog entry was. :)

    However I agree that this animosity and competition in general, regardless of how useful it may sometimes be, should not be the main driving force. We should be motivated by the desire for freedom and all the exciting things that come out of being a free human being able and allowed to pursue his dreams without someone's unfair intrusions.

    Reptiler, you're quite right about "illusion vs delusions". I think that's a very good point too. I would actually myself defend "dreaming" and imagining, living in an illusion for certain moments..

    Of course, what I meant was "delusions". :)

    About Ballmer, I think the guy certainly has a brain, just perhaps not the one functioning the way a brain of a good CEO should be. ;)

    I think he is just extremely temperamental and quite a bit arrogant. Why is he like that should probably be left to psychologists to determine…

    Cheers!

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