A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.


Business: Why I Hate Microsoft

Update: So some friend’s pointed out that people who scan will think that I actually do hate Microsoft. I don’t really. Not on an emotional level or a I hate Brussels Spouts level. I started this posting after reading a bunch of Microsoft bashes which seem to be everywhere. Microsoft NEEDS to be respected. They are a major player and that is a fact. Hating the top dog and cheering on the underdog is the American way; it’s how we watch football games, reality shows, and each other. The under dog only gets those votes of confidence while they are striving to over come impossible odds. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about...rent “Miracle on Ice” about the 1980 US Men’s Ice Hockey team’s quest to win the gold medal. If you don’t get it after that...then there is no help for you.

I’m an ex-OS/2er...so to say that I’m a huge fan of Microsoft’s would be a lie. When the war was waging between Windows 3.1 and OS/2 I was pretty angry about Microsoft’s misleading advertisements and I blamed Microsoft for the demise of OS/2. But I’ve learned over the years that IBM is more to blame for the death of OS/2 than Microsoft. IBM made assumptions and they made mistakes.

Now let’s put this in a hockey context. When you’re playing hockey you work hard to gain possession of the puck and then you work hard to convert your possession into a goal. If two players are scrapping for a loose puck, the player that wins the pucks is going to be the one who wants it more. Not just more at that particular moment but more enough to practice and stay healthy. IBM expected to win the puck; consequently they didn’t stay focused and didn’t put the time in. So the hungrier Microsoft team came in and took it. Now Windows is the dominate OS instead of OS/2. Microsoft deserved that win because they earned it. It sucks that OS/2 software vendors had to go down with the IBM OS/2 ship. But that is competition. I’m learning to deal with it.

Linux vs. Windows. Apple vs. Microsoft. Google vs. Microsoft. These battles will be won or lost by how each of the companies or groups plays the business game. And we, the consumers and users, will decide the winners. We are the referees and judges and we vote with our dollars and our time. I hate Microsoft because they are the best team. And you should always hate the best team and pull for the under dog, it’s more fun that way. As a coach I’ve learned that to win you have to understand yourself and your competition. Hating the best team provides an emotional drive to try to beat them. And if you’re paying attention the best team is going to be the team you learn the most from. They make you better and more competitive.

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At January 12, 2006 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that you see Microsoft as still being the perennial evil company. Perhaps you should look a bit closer at Google to see where real evil lies. We, as consumers (technologically-savvy ones included), can only hope that the "battle" with Google is one that Microsoft wins.

At January 12, 2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

Ironically, your emotional hatred is fueled by a rational respect for Microsoft.

At January 12, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Kim Greenlee said...

Its funny how people put words in others mouths. I don't think that Microsoft is evil. That is just silly. There is no such thing as an evil company. That only happens on TV shows liked Angel. There are laws, reporters, whistle-blowers, SEC, EPA, and the police to see to that. There ARE competitive companies who strive to win and there are companies that just get by. The just get by’ers are going to go out of business. It’s a slow death spiral. Microsoft is a great competitor. We’ll have time to see what kind of competitor Google turns out to be. So far they are looking good. I personally want Microsoft to win every single battle it’s in because theirs is the star I’m hitched to. But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the personal and corporate development advantages that come from trying to beat a savvy technology company like Microsoft.

At January 12, 2006 6:20 PM, Anonymous Chrono Cr@cker said...

Hello Kim,
You have a tremendously beautiful blog here. Excellent articles, great quality though you can broaden your horizons in the Tech Field.

I'm a huge Google fan and believe Google will emerge victorious and bring to us Web 2.0. As for yahoo, we should wait and watch.

~ CC


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