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Nine Reasons To Boycott Microsoft

Evil Things That Microsoft Has Done

Note

Info Toast is not a political site. However, all subjects are interconnected, and Computer Science and Politics tend to connect a lot in different areas. This article discusses some political topics.

It’s safe to say that I’m biased on this subject. Most of the time, bias is a good thing. However, bias is only bad if it covers up the facts. An entirely unbiased report is either written by a robot or written by somebody who neither knows nor cares about a subject and will wind up sounding like a sixth-grade book report.

Bias encourages critical thinking, and I encourage readers to come up with their own opinions on this issue. I do not want people to take my word on this subject and not think about it at all. That can turn any good writing into unhealthy writing.

A Diagram of Critical Thinking
A healthy amount of bias can assist the critical thinking of the author and the users.

With that being said, I will open up the comments section for this post as a way to discuss your opinions on this matter. For this post, I will approve all comments unless they are inappropriate or spam, even if the posts do not agree with my ideas. I

Introduction

I have decided to boycott Microsoft. What that means is that I will not be buying any new computers with Windows installed on it. I will also not be buying Microsoft products, and I will not be spending any money on things where the money goes to Microsoft, such as Minecraft Realms or The Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Marketplace.

Screenshot of Bedrock Edition on a Chromebook
The Minecraft: Bedrock Edition marketplace is the button on the bottom-center.

However, I believe it is fine if you have any pre-existing computers with Windows installed on it, as long as the payment has already been made, and there is not a subscription. I understand that switching Operating Systems is a giant ordeal, and this boycott needs to be done within reason.

Options Instead of Microsoft

There are several options you can go to instead of buying a Windows computer. The first and most obvious is buying a Mac instead. However, Macs can be expensive and are not the best computers for gaming, and so there are other options.

The second option is to get a computer from System76 or another company that manufactures Linux computers. This is not a paid endorsement by System76. I believe that System76 makes incredible computers and their Operating System, Pop! OS is a fantastic Operating System and is one of the very few versions of Linux that are easy to work with. For more information on Pop! OS, go to A Review of Pop! OS.

Pop! OS Logo
Pop! OS by System76

The third option is to buy a computer from a computer manufacturer that usually makes Windows machines, and buy it without Windows preinstalled on it. You can install Linux on it when it ships to you, and still have a fabulous computer. Dell, for example, will even install Linux on the computer. Head over to https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/overview/cp/linuxsystems if you want to get a Dell computer with Linux installed on it.

Dell Linux Page
The Dell Linux Page in the link above.

 The List

Without further ado, here is my list of reasons to boycott Microsoft.

1) Immigration & Customs Enforcement Ties

Microsoft has deals with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the branch of the US federal government responsible for deporting immigrants. This would be okay if ICE had simply been using Windows Enterprise or something along those lines. However, Microsoft has been building Azure software specifically for ICE, so that they may deport immigrants. There are many heinous things that ICE has done in the past. I’m not going to talk about all of them because that would be a tangent that could anger some people.

Family Seperation at the Border
One of the Most Famous Atrocities Committed by ICE: Separation of Children from their parents at the border. Image by Metro.

2) Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

This is Microsoft’s business model. It has been exposed in court. Microsoft they have gotten in a lot of trouble over it in the past. It works like this: Microsoft puts somebody else’s functionality in their software. Then, they make it better. Then, they make it so good that it becomes incompatible with the old version of the software. This is monopolization at its finest.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. Image by htguk.com

3) Secure Boot and Vendor Lock-In

With the addition of Windows 8, Microsoft forced vendors to add a UEFI into their systems. Then they made them create something called secure boot. Secure boot does nothing to enhance the security of the system. All it does is force Windows to be run on the computer.

Luckily, after being sued several times, Microsoft told vendors that they would make a switch to turn of secure boot. However, this still made it more difficult for people to install Linux on their computers.

Secure Boot option in the CMOS
Secure boot option in the UEFI

Also, they made deals with vendors that created it, so they charge vendors for any computers that they sell that don’t have Windows preinstalled on it. This meant that if vendors wanted to install a different OS, they would have to make Linux computers more expensive so they couldn’t compete with Microsoft

4) Targetting of Developers

Microsoft set a booby trap for developers. Some of their software is shared-source. However, if you download the software, Microsoft will identify you as somebody who had been exposed to their code. Then, if the developer that has been identified goes to work at a competing company, Microsoft will see that, and they will sue the developer.

5) Windows EULA & Return Policy

The Windows EULA forces users who buy computers with Windows preinstalled to return the computer if they do not want to have Windows on the computer, instead of installing Linux or another alternative Operating System. This means that users cannot install Linux instead, and may be forced to return the computer for only a partial payment given back to them. This is what the Windows 7 EULA says:

By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed.

The Windows EULA
The Windows EULA. Image by brucebnews.com

6) Blacklisting Journalists

Microsoft has created a blacklist of journalists who have spoken out against Microsoft. They rate journalists as “Okay,” “Sketchy,” or “Needs Work.” Then, they “encourage” (I say that in quotes because I mean use sneaky business practices to virtually force), their employers to terminate them.

7) Censorship

Microsoft has implemented a system of censorship in collaboration with the Chines government. This is an American company whose very existence depends on freedom and a free-market system. Yet, they are working with a hostile foreign communist government to create a network of censorship.

8) NSA Collaboration

Microsoft willingly collaborates with the NSA’s PRISM project. PRISM is a project where the US government attempts to spy on its people. They can see practically everything you have if you are on a Windows computer. The whole Windows Operating System is essentially spyware.

Diagram of NSA Data Collection
Diagram of NSA data collection. Image by The Verge

9) Discrimination against LGBT users on Xbox Live

The word “gay” and other words related to homosexuality are banned on Xbox Live. You cannot use the word gay or other related words in your profile or your username, even as a surname. Also, they banned “Teresa,” a lesbian gamer, after she was harassed and bullied for being lesbian by other users.

Conclusion

Well, I hope you enjoyed my list. This is somewhat of an unconventional article, and I encourage you to comment below and if you agree with me to join my boycott of Microsoft.

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Frank
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5 Comments

  1. I didn’t like #7 🙁 I’m a Chinese-American from Shanghai and “This is an American company whose very existence depends on freedom and a free-market system. Yet, they are working with a hostile foreign communist government to create a network of censorship.” I don’t agree with censorship at all but there are so many people in China so there’s no overruling figure in every city. Only large things are really controlled since laws are more based on the way people act (their morale/culture based on their home city). So essentially I’m saying every level of government in China is not hostile, being foreign is not bad because we live in an interconnected world, and the most populous parts of China are socialist. Once again, censorship is bad and we should always allow for open and free education 🙂

    1. This is a good point. I am not somebody from China, but I did take a trip there. The local government in many areas is probably not bad. I am more speaking of the Federal Chinese government or whatever the proper term is for this. I believe that China is definitely an authoritarian country whose federal policies are definitely not free-market and are not in line with American ideas that allow Microsoft to exist. However, the majority of Microsoft’s work with China is regarding censorship. Microsoft created a version of Windows to specifically cater to China’s policies on censorship.

  2. Windows 10 is the last straw. I will never buy anything made by Microsoft, or anything which contains something made by Microsoft (such as a computer with Windows OS) ever again. Microsoft is nothing except a criminal organization. Microsoft should be forced to close down permanently and all of those in charge (owner, CEO, board members, everyone in charge) should be imprisoned for life without parole. They are nothing except criminals.

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