Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stating the Obvious: Yahoo! vs. Microsoft

I have stayed away from the whole Yahoo! vs. Microsoft w/ Google story so far because it keeps changing - pretty much by the day, if not by the hour - no sense in writing 34904739 posts when half of them will be "updates" and changes to posts already made.

But a recent article concerning billionaire, Carl Icahn, made me want to state the obvious:

Microsoft taking over Yahoo! is terrible for the Web and we Netizens, but excellent for investors.

If you did not know that, then very little else I have to say is going to make much difference.

Microsoft, like Google, is a monopoly that does not care about customers, end-users, or people, in general. Microsoft has a long-standing and unswerving record of poor customer relations, terrible performance, unfair trade practices, and basically... Evil. The thing about corporations is that they are legally recognized as individuals, yet never held responsible as such.

While America convicted Charlie Manson of murder - though Charles Manson never actually committed any of the murders for which he was imprisoned - no corporate CEO or president has ever been convicted of murder because of the corporate policies they dictated while in charge. In effect, corporations and those that run them are above the law and do not answer to anyone; they can do whatever they want and they always do. Doing whatever you want without regard for how it affects others is Evil - that's the very definition.

Doing whatever you want when you know it will negatively affect others is a crime, yet corporations are exempt from committing crimes because they, as individuals, are simply "killed-off" (closed). Were the laws applied to the people who "told [the corporation as an individual] what to do" in the same fashion as they were to Charles Manson, almost every CEO, President, and boardmember of almost every corporation in the world would be forced to stand trial for the most heinous of crimes, including murder, torture, trespassing, embezzlement, extortion... if you can think of a crime, most every corporation has committed it. But, again, corporations are individuals with total immunity; the law does not apply to them.

Now all of that is not really an aside, but it also isn't the thrust of this post. I want to get back to this Mr. Icahn, who knows exactly dick about the Web, the Internet, Cyberculture, or anything else - and does not care. All Mr. Icahn cares about is making money and he does not care who is hurt, what advancements are retarded, nor how much damage he causes so long as he makes money.

If Microsoft overtakes Yahoo!, you will be forced to purchase a computer with Microsoft software pre-installed. You will use Microsoft's Internet Explorer to access the Web (because you cannot remove IE from the Windows OS, even though that is in direct violation of the law), where you will go to Microsoft-controlled websites to search for things that reside on Microsoft-owned servers. Microsoft can then assume ownership of said property specifically because it exists on their servers; sure, you created the content and you "own" the intellectual "rights," but Microsoft just made a few dozen copies of it and those copies exist on their servers, so they are now "co-" owners, because they can be made to remove it from their servers, though they cannot be held responsible for it (read your TOS, people!).

Further, did you know that Microsoft's next Windows "innovation" is for the OS to be completely hosted from their servers? Yes: instead of Windows being installed on your computer (because that's in violation of the Fair Trade Act, but the US government will never actually do anything about it), you will buy a computer with a WinModem that is hardcoded to connect to Microsoft's servers, where all of your preferences, information, files, and data will be stored. For a low, monthly fee (save money by paying annually, or buy a Premiere Lifetime Membership!), you no longer have to pay for Internet access or upgrades! Microsoft Windows is now your computer, OS, ISP, browsing platform, roaming hard drive, search engine, social network, webhost, and part-time lover.

Of course, they're doing us a favor: saving us from ourselves. After all, we're all two stupod to work our own computers, and we're bound to screw it up along the way, so Microsoft is just making sure we can access our information from anywhere without any hassle. Besides, with everyone's data in one, convenient place, it will make searching for it so much easier! After all, Microsoft will now handle all of our SEO needs for us - they come with the ISP/webhosting Premiere Lifetime Membership (but cost monthly subscribers a little extra) - so we needn't worry.

At this point, Google and Microsoft will literally control the Web. They will, by proxy, "own" everyone's content - after all, what good is content if no one can find it, and if you want it to be indexed in their engines, you will need to sign-over a few "rights." But don't worry - just keep pressing "OK" until you're done. And since both companies use proprietary programming which they refuse to share with the public, they will shut-out all competition and we will be forced to "choose" one or the other.

That's going to be tough, since Google software isn't always compatible with Microsoft's platform and until Google starts offering Internet service, we will have to comply with MS, because they are our collective ISP. A (very) select few will remain adamant, working through Linux platforms with direct T1 links or through (very) small, local ISPs, which will further splinter the Web, making much of the world's knowledge proprietary by nature.

Meaning you will have to pay a monthly fee to use your own computer and access your own data, which will be co-opted by a major corporation that has no liability and follows no law.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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