A company with a near monopoly on personal
computer operating systems, via a system called Windows.
As at 2002, some 93% of personal computers run the Windows
operating system, and this made founder Bill Gates the richest man in the
The fact that Windows has many shortcomings (compared to alternatives like Linux) makes Bill Gates unpopular, but the thing that makes
him so reviled by The Left is that he makes so much
Of course this is not the justification The Left uses. It is usually
the monopolistic practices of Microsoft.
- "Microsoft buys up their competitors." It is actually hard to
see what is wrong with this. Microsoft doesn't actually innovate much, it just
buys technology and assimilates it, much like the
The difference though is that Microsoft doesn't do it though force (though a
threat of having Microsoft compete with you if you don't sell might sway some).
- "Microsoft makes agreements with computer manufacturers specifying
that Windows must be installed on all machines". This is described as 'force, but in fact Microsoft just negotiate a bulk
discount with these manufactures provided the installation is universal.
Some companies (such as Dell) have sold machines with Linux installed instead
- "Windows is so prevalent that it is hard to avoid." While it
is true that Windows is prevalent, Microsoft do not force it on anyone.
The only organizations which force Windows on anyone are
governments. Governments make learning to use
Windows compulsory in schools, and refuse to provide essential information to
their citizens in anything other than proprietary Microsoft data formats.
For some reason The Left blame Microsoft for this,
instead of their governments. Apparently a foreign company run for the
purpose of making money is expected to have greater responsibility for people's
welfare than an organization elected with the charter of helping people.
The best way for leftists to avoid giving Microsoft money is to buy a computer out of
bits (a yum-char computer), which does not have Windows pre-installed on it, and install Linux on it. There are sufficient experienced Linux evangelists to install these for everyone. In
many leftists actually do this, but most are content to just whine.
Later, Bill Gates attempted to buy social status (via charitable donation),
causing him (by 2008) to slip to third place or the rich list. He was still
reviled by The Left, but presumably the many billions bought him enough fair
weather friends to enlarge his social circle to degree acceptable to a computer