“The European Commission’s report on Microsoft sheds new light on a corporate culture and business practices that led regulators to sanction the company last month for anticompetitive practices,’ Michael Parsons reports for CNET News. “The 300-page document delves in part into internal e-mails that executives of the software maker have written in recent years, often with a strikingly blunt perspective on the weaknesses of Microsoft’s software.”
“In a section describing the way that Microsoft’s Windows operating system has become a ‘must-carry’ product for PC vendors, the Commission quotes from an internal memo drafted for Chairman Bill Gates by C++ general manager Aaron Contorer in 1997,” Parsons reports. “In the e-mail, Contorer outlines why he thinks customers have stuck with Windows despite Microsoft’s shortcomings. He attributes their loyalty to the high costs of switching away from their existing heavy investment in the Windows application programming interfaces (APIs).”
“‘The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional that most ISVs would be crazy not to use it. And it is so deeply embedded in the source code of many Windows apps that there is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system instead,’ the e-mail reads. In the EU report, Contorer’s e-mail says that the API investment is what has kept customers using Microsoft’s software when alternatives were available,” Parsons reports “‘It is this switching cost that has given the customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO (total cost of ownership), our lack of a sexy vision at times, and many other difficulties,’ the e-mail said. ‘Customers constantly evaluate other desktop platforms, (but) it would be so much work to move over that they hope we just improve Windows rather than force them to move.'”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps never before have so many been so abusively manipulated while actually paying for the pleasure.
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Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003