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[ossig] The Microsoft Apologist Trilogy, Part I : The Psychoanalysis Of The Microsoft Apologist

Greetings. Today we will try and understand the inner workings of the psyche of Microsoft apologists. A Microsoft apologist is someone who is fanatically devoted to all things Microsoft, an unthinking, slobbering sheep fed MS propaganda and regurgitates it to anyone who may be in earshot, whether they want to hear it or not. Now this does not in any way refer to people who have to use Windows in their daily lives, or even people who like and prefer it for whatever reason. I am talking about the zealots here, the ones who do "Microsoft envangelism" and try to tell the entire world that any other alternative to Microsoft sucks, and that you are unprofessional losers who don't live in the "real world" if you have Linux installed, and that resistance is futile; you will be assimilated into Microsoftland… eventually.

So what makes the MS apologist tick? Now I've had the opportunity to study these curious creatures in their natural habitat, and have dropped little provocative statements to make them reveal their true state of mind (yeah, I know, it's called trolling - but I troll with a purpose).

From my observations, I have come to the conclusion that MS apologists dogmatically cling to several beliefs which they regard as immutable truths. They are:

  1. Everybody wants to use Windows.

    We mean everybody. No exceptions. All the poor sods using Linux (or some other OS) really just secretly fantasize about using Windows, but they don't because they're stingy or they don't know how to prioritize spending so they can afford the precious gift of Windows. There has been a bold claim saying "if Windows were free, Linux would be completely extinct". The thought that some people might actually prefer Linux is unthinkable. In fact, if anyone were to sincerely say that they like using Linux and prefer it, they'll be branded "Linux zealots".

  2. It's only a valid technology if Microsoft (re)invents it.

    When Java came out, did the Microsofties care? Nope. It was technology from a non-MS company, therefore it didn't matter. Now MS comes up with a Java rip-off called .NET, and the apologists are sprouting rhetoric on how it's miraculous technology from outer space which Microsoft pioneered, and that it's going to be the wave of "the future". Right. That's a recent example. We can go further back to when Win NT was released, touting features other operating systems had had for ages, and pretending that it was "new technology". Microsoft stuff has always been the inferior imitation, yet they get all excited about it. It's inexplicable.

  3. Windows has the best user interface in the universe

    The more fanatical ones will add "and all user interfaces on Unixlike systems suck". Microsoft zealots cling onto this particular belief like an axiom which cannot be denied. As a result, any crappy GUI that MS throws at them, they'll just gobble it up. Witness Windows XP. Someone once commented that the default theme looked as if "some kid ate a box of crayons and threw up all over the screen". WinXP looks like crayon barf. Don't tell that to the zealots though, they'll fume in a fit of rage. Perhaps some of the more diplomatic ones will go "but you can change the theme!". Yes you can. But with billions of dollars in the bank, that was the best default they could come up with? It hurts the eyes. Don't talk about usability or consistency either, Microsoft has neither (they change the interface layout of the menus with every UI overhaul, you call that consistent?). The only reason people are comfortable with Windows is because it's ubiquitous. People like what they are used to.

  4. There's some nasty catch to Free Software that they're not telling us

    In the movie Finding Forrester, Sean Connery's character commented that people fear most what they do not understand. Microsofties do not comprehend free software, or that people really don't mind giving away their programs and sharing it with like-minded associates. The whole thing runs against the indoctrination that Microsoft has been drilling into their craniums since day 1: "Copying is piracy, piracy is immoral". Now this upstart operating system threatens to undermine their precious Microsoft's empire in which they've been living so comfortably in. It's only natural that they think "What's the catch?". There is no catch. People write software for many reasons: fun, fame, money, or simply to make something useful. Open source and free software can get you all of these if you're willing to put an effort into it. The Microsofties won't believe that of course, but they do so at their own peril.

This has been a long rant, but it had to be said, even if some people don't want to hear it. Microsofties love pointing out how "fanatical" open source "zealots" are, but there's also the Microsoft brand of zealot which few care to discuss openly. Well, I have. Let the flames begin.

Remember folks, when you meet a Microsoft apologist who make nonsensical, illogical remarks, apply the 4 rules and see things through their eyes.