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Monday, June 20, 2005

Evil Microsoft

Wired News:

Twenty-eight floors above the traffic-choked streets of China's most wired city, blogger and tech entrepreneur Isaac Mao sums up his opinion of Microsoft and its treatment of the Chinese bloggers with one word. 'Evil,' says Mao. 'Internet users know what's evil and what's not evil, and MSN Spaces is an evil thing to Chinese bloggers.'
I am not a Microsoft hater, indeed I have defended Microsoft in numerous conversations with my friends, although I certainly have always felt the company (not to mention it's software) has failings. I have been following the MSN Spaces/China controversy with interest:
Last week that partnership plunged Microsoft into the long-standing controversy surrounding the Chinese government's internet censorship policies, after Asian blogs and news reports revealed that MSN Spaces blocks Chinese bloggers from putting politically sensitive language in the names of their blogs, or in the titles of individual blog entries. The words and phrases blocked by Microsoft include "Taiwan independence," "Dalai Lama," "human rights," "freedom" and "democracy."
I am not a huge advocate of the corporate responsibility meme. Corporations exist to provide profits for their shareholders. There are limits however, and Microsoft has, in my opinion, crossed the line on this one. I believe I will make it a point not to buy Microsoft products as long as MSN Spaces is contributing to censorship in this fashion. On the plus side, that confirms my decision that my next computer will be a Mac Mini, although Tsykoduk's enthusiastic review had pretty much sealed that decision anyway.

2 Comments:

Blogger Patrick said...

David,
Don't buy the mini just yet -- I bought a 12" iBook recently (similar power, I think) and it is pretty good for email, browsing, etc, but slow for most other things (including medium level word processing, such as accepting/rejecting tons of comments). If you can wait, I'd recommend holding on until the Intel-powered machines come out.

Re: this post -- I agree. Microsoft doesn't _have_ to do anything really, but they certainly lost a lot of respect. I think companies should, in at least a small way, exist to "do good" in the world, otherwise there may be no world left to sell to :)

Patrick

6/20/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger tsykoduk said...

Well, the Mini with a gig of RAM just screams. :)

6/21/2005 10:23:00 AM  

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