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Hi, it's me again

Week of November 14, 2001

Dear Mr Microsoft,

Hi, it's me again. I never got an answer to my last letter. I wonder why you don't reply. Don't you listen to your customers? I am one of your customers, Mr Microsoft! And I want to ask you something else while I'm at it, and when you finally get around to answering my emails (as you inevitably must), you can answer both my questions at once, and that will save you time, and I know your time is very valuable, Mr Microsoft.

My question this time concerns your new Product Activation. People say you don't like dishonesty and don't like people who steal, and that is why you are making doubly sure that people don't lie to you or steal from you ever again. But forgive me if I am wrong, but didn't you get your first operating system by stealing it? Didn't you steal this Quick and Dirty Operating System from Tim Paterson? And when he asked you why you wanted it, didn't you dodge his question? And didn't a court later award him a princely sum - $400,000 - because you had lied to him and stolen from him?

And when David Cutler came to town to work on a new operating system, didn't you lure him over to your company and steal that operating system too? And didn't David Cutler's company sue you, Mr Microsoft? And didn't you again have to pay because you'd been dishonest and stolen from them? Isn't that true, Mr Microsoft?

And Tim's operating system - you never did anything with it, did you? For it was not your operating system, was it? And so you really didn't know how to make it any better, did you? And when computer manufacturers the world over wrote to you and asked you to improve it, you just ignored them, didn't you, Mr Microsoft? And when they finally got another vendor to make it better, you started lying and cheating again, didn't you? You got your engineers to put a fake scare in the PC to keep their customers away, didn't you? And you did all this knowing full well that nothing at all was wrong with their product, other than that it was better than yours and that the other vendor was willing and competent to make the effort that you were too lazy and incompetent to make? And you were taken to court again, weren't you, Mr Microsoft? And again the court found you guilty of lying and cheating and stealing, didn't it? You lied to the entire world, didn't you, Mr Microsoft? What did your parents think when they read this? They must have been very ashamed.

And when this fellow meditating to his oak tree started making a platform independent browser language, again you played against the rules, didn't you? You signed an agreement with this gentleman's company, promising to uphold their standard, you signed that agreement together with over one hundred other respectable companies who'd never dreamed of lying or cheating or stealing - and then who was it, Mr Microsoft, who broke the rules, who broke the agreement - who was it who lied again, Mr Microsoft? And again a court found you guilty of lying and cheating and stealing - isn't that so, Mr Microsoft?

And when one day the mosaic of your future looked less happy than ever, you blackmailed your business partners into lying to their own customers so your competitors would be destroyed, didn't you? You were mean to your business partners, and you forced them to lie to their own customers! What sort of person are you, Mr Microsoft? And you found yourself in court again, didn't you, Mr Microsoft? And the court said it was sick and tired of you, didn't it? Sick and tired because you were what is called a recidivist, or a psychopath, a person who lies and cheats and never stops, never ever stops, never becomes a good person like everyone else?

Don't you have children, Mr Microsoft? What do you want your children to think? That their father is a lying cheating thief?

Mr Microsoft, you've got a lot of nerve. You're one of the most dishonest people in business today and you've been found guilty so many times of not just stealing copies of an operating system, but of stealing the operating systems themselves - and then trying to make money off what you don't even legally own.

Your poor parents... And your poor children growing up to learn who their father really is... Your Product Activation won't win their love back.

Respectfully Yours,
John Q Microsoft-(L)user (the 'L' is silent)

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