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Microsoft On List of Most Ethical Companies

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the a-nicer-domination dept.

Microsoft 465

walterbyrd writes "Microsoft is among the world's most ethical companies, according to a list put together by the Ethisphere Institute in New York. Overall, 110 companies made the prestigious list, including Microsoft and 35 other newcomers. The complete list was reported by Forbes."

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Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511292)

says it all.

Re:Wow (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511320)

I love it. White is Black and Up is Down.

Re:Wow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511800)

You know, I'm a touch younger than some of the people on this website. At 29 years old, I have seen Microsoft do a lot of shitty things, but recently, I have enjoyed a lot of their offerings. (C#, Zune, XBox, Win7).

Before the flame war starts, C# is basically Java with a few ups and downs. Zune is like iTunes except I enjoy the subscription aspect. The XBox is pretty solid, I think most would agree with that, even if you are a Playstation diehard...and Win7 is a nice operating system.

When I (me personally) look at Microsoft, I see an angry little kid who used to take everything from everyone and was a giant dick. Then along the way they started to learn how to play fair. Whether by Government regulations or getting their ass handed to them. But over time, they became less evil.

Microsoft is like your dickhead nephew. You might think he's a total ass, but since I am a CS major, Microsoft is part of my family. After a while, maybe I saw the good inside them, and they're not a complete evil monster anymore. But maybe that is what their PR team is paid to make me think.

Either way, I feel pretty educated in the Technology world, and whether they are playing fair because they are afraid of becoming obsolete, or because they see the errors of their ways is irrelevant to me. My stuff works with MS stuff, and I enjoy their offerings.

Re:Wow (2, Offtopic)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511784)

In other words, one member of the circle jerk is complimenting the size of another member's penis.

Re:Wow (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511836)

How the fuck is my comment offtopic? Flamebait, to be sure, but off topic? Who the fuck is getting mod points nowadays, fucking crack addicts? I mean, the mod that did that is so fucking retarded that his mom probably prays that he fucking chokes on his own snot.

You can thank.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511304)

...WIndows Genuine Advantage for that.

Re:You can thank.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511314)

I thank the creators of Linux that I don't have to worry about bull shit like WGA...

Re:You can thank.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511532)

Linux creator here. You're welcome :) Of course, if you really want to thank me, I wouldn't turn down a mustache ass ride...

"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Insightful)

Eric S. Smith (162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511308)

The bar, after all, is so low.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (4, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511386)

Holy shit... Accenture, eBay, NYSE, Symantec...

Even among large companies, you can find much, much better ones.

The list lacks Google too -- they have evil sides too, but they are at least trying, unlike most.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (2)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511480)

I was just wondering about that too, if Google wasn't nominated, or just didn't make the cut

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511720)

I was just wondering about that too, if Google wasn't nominated, or just didn't make the cut

Google had "significant" legal action against them in the past 5 years. They nixed their chances by accidentally capturing WiFi data while riding around in their privacy-violating google vans.

And they probably didn't donate enough to *cough* sufficiently worthy causes (such as the organization making the list)

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (3, Insightful)

OttoErotic (934909) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511516)

Not surprisingly there are a lot of negative comments here, but to play devil's advocate: what practices of Microsoft's are really unethical? I mean that as an honest question. Maybe there's a huge list that I'm forgetting but I can't think of a lot offhand that really make me think of them as really evil. I don't always like their approach, but most of the time it seems like legitimate competitive behavior. When I think 'unethical', I think bribery, hidden agendas, employee abuse, poor environmental practices, etc, none of which springs to mind when I think of Microsoft. They're obviously a capitalist company looking to make as much profit as they can, and I suppose that can be considered unethical in it's own right, but in that case a list of 'ethical companies' seems moot anyways. And I never hear about child labor pumping out (legitimate) Windows DVDs or Bill Gates throwing parties with strippers for the employees.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511592)

I think the whole OOXML thing was unethical. Buying off members of a standards body.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511684)

what practices of Microsoft's are really unethical?

Nice troll. That's a really tough question because the list of answers would be so long I'd have a risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. A far easier question would be: what practices of Microsoft are actually ethical?

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511792)

Maybe they buy really soft toilet paper.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (3, Insightful)

OttoErotic (934909) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511834)

Honestly not meant as a troll, I guess my eyes just glaze over most of the time the topic comes up so I haven't paid much attention. I see a couple other responses with some actual examples, which certainly do seem unethical at a glance (and at the very least should make for some interesting wiki browsing for me tonight at work) that I'm looking forward to reading more about. But assuming your question was legit too: it does seem to me (again, just randomly sampling the wiki) like there are more than a few areas where they've made some positive efforts. Good environmental policies, good stance on LGBT rights, producing some notable philanthropists (not strictly speaking a commentary on company ethics, I suppose, but speaks towards a decent corporate culture in my experience).

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1, Informative)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511702)

paying contracted partners to join an industry standards organization committees around the world, give them instructions on their talking points so they vote in a Microsoft document as a standard. Oh and these Microsoft partners overwhelm the committees such that after the MS project vote they didn't continue their duties on the committees and progress all but stopped in the standards org.

Then there's the bit about assigning no less than 12 Microsoft employees in a controlled effort to direct the product article being written about a Microsoft product. That review was finally assigned after Microsoft hounded the magazine editor to do the review and of course provided the Microsoft contact(s) the author should contact. From what I recall, they had psychologists on the team helping to direct those interfacing with the article author with responses to questions and other ways to direct the author and the information provided to the author on the product.

There's also the running around the globe chasing all the OLPC partner countries and paying them millions to not use OLPC products and lock them into using only Microsoft products.

Not something a company should be listed on a high ethics list IMO.

LoB

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511774)

Maybe there's a huge list that I'm forgetting but I can't think of a lot offhand that really make me think of them as really evil. I don't always like their approach, but most of the time it seems like legitimate competitive behavior. When I think 'unethical', I think bribery, hidden agendas,

Unethical != Evil

So called "legitimate" competitive behavior might sometimes be unethical. For example, lying, renigging on agreements, deception, are some unethical actions; misperceptions. Many marketing activities are deceptive, and Microsoft is no stranger to zealous marketing, remember the "Get the facts" campaign against OpenOffice?

An example of deception would be hiring a bunch of people on the street to post fake reviews praising a product, or to write letters (eg "fake grassroots campaigns").

Giving awards/money/items to members within a privileged position, such as a standards organization or regulatory org and encouraging them to vote in your favor.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Informative)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511840)

bribery, hidden agendas, employee abuse, poor environmental practices

Did you even try googling any of those? Perhaps you've been so poorly bribed that, abused by Microsoft though you may be, your hidden agenda is to astroturf on tech news sites, polluting them?

Bribery:

Hidden Agendas

Employee Abuse

Poor Environmental Practices
Did you mean to suggest Microsoft is a hardware company?

Or can we count all the useless trash they have pushed out the door, forcing users to reformat their machines as soon as they buy them so they can downgrade to a decent OS [crn.com] , Vista ending up straight in the landfill?

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511694)

Symantec? REALLY? At least microsoft actually improves their product from version to version; Symantec looks for ways to make it break worse, and then spends 80% of their budget on marketing to convince every mom and pop that they need Norton, despite the fact that it is consistently one of the WORST pieces of software to install on a computer.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511802)

I'll vote for that. Symantec has put out nothing but trash for well over a decade, and have turned Norton into another RCA, a legendary name relegated to selling trash.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (2)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511406)

Agree. Most corporations these days are so reprehensibly evil, it's not worth really talking about the few that haven't eaten any puppies this week.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511550)

The great majority of corporations are small businesses, I don't think there are as many puppies as you think there are.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511456)

Kinda like having a "Most Delicious Feces" competition.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511698)

Are you volunteering to judge?

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (4, Funny)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511494)

In related news the very same list was in another list of most unethical lists.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511502)

The bar, after all, is so low.

Yeah, I was thinking it's a bit premature to visualize the Devil ice skating.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (0)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511520)

Forget Microsoft. I remember reading one of those lists around a year ago. It mentioned Honeywell. When the A-bombs start flying, be assured that the guys making them were real swell guys.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511554)

Shut up, you dirty fucking hippie.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511864)

Go fuck yourself, you braindead zombie redneck.

Re:"Most" doesn't mean "very". (-1, Troll)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511870)

Not mention that they don't have much choice anymore, since they getting absolutely no traction with any product besides their Windows/Office combo, (Zune anyone? Bwahaha... How bout one of those phones from Nokia? <Snort>)

What about Apple? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511318)

I would have thought that refusing to license patents, demanding 30% of every purchase, and generally behaving in an anti-competitive fashion would have earned Apple a top spot on the list.

Re:What about Apple? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511692)

I would have thought that refusing to license patents, demanding 30% of every purchase, and generally behaving in an anti-competitive fashion would have earned Apple a top spot on the list.

You forgot, kicking in the front doors of journalists.

Godwin agrees (4, Funny)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511322)

Don't worry, Hitler received many similar awards too,

Re:Godwin agrees (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511360)

Don't worry, Hitler received many similar awards too,

Really? Hitler reference?

Re:Godwin agrees (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511708)

Godwin's Law.

Re:Godwin agrees (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511664)

Wasn't he Time Magazine's Man of the Year [time.com] in 1938?

Re:Godwin agrees (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511814)

Yes but they weren't at all saying he was a good person, just that he had the greatest impact on world news that year; a perfectly valid point.

Re:Godwin agrees (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511888)

That was back when Time was much more intellectually honest about that process and standard.

Osama bin Laden was not Man of the Year for 2001 because they didn't have the courage to go through the firestorm of having to explain every 0.00005 seconds that it's recognition of impact, for good or ill, not necessarily an honor or endorsement.

Re:Godwin agrees (2)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511690)

Henry Kissinger won the Nobel peace prize.

Re:Godwin agrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511758)

So did Obama.

Re:Godwin agrees (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511826)

And Yasser Arafat, and also one of the israeli leaders that was also formerlly a terrorist

Re:Godwin agrees (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511852)

Don't worry, Hitler received many similar awards too,

[citation needed]*

(*) Despite that any publication showing an ethics reward received by Hitler is likely to have been banned in Europe and any copies been burned. Without a cite, it's at best speculative

Clearly (4, Insightful)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511338)

Clearly this is a different meaning of the word "Ethical" than I'm familiar with.

Re:Clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511392)

there is a variety [wikipedia.org] of them.

.~.

Re:Clearly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511458)

Note that the Ethisphere Institute did NOT make the list. Hmmmmm....

Re:Clearly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511626)

Indeed. Who the hell are they? Why do they get to say who is "ethical" and what the hell does that even mean?

By the way, the "Ethics Quotient" has been pulled out of the air and means nothing. Quoting:

Ethisphere's proprietary rating system, which it calls the Ethics Quotient, is based on a series of multiple-choice questions in a survey that is designed to capture a company's performance in an objective and standardized way. The winnowing process includes reviewing codes of ethics and litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

In other words, stand back everyone, we're doing PSEUDOSCIENCE.

Re:Clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511602)

Ya, your definition probly does not include all the humanitarian and ethical things microsoft does that places like apple do not.

Re:Clearly (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511872)

Ya, your definition probly does not include all the humanitarian and ethical things microsoft does that places like apple do not.

Doing a lot of very good things -- if you also do unethical things, is just a sign of a guilty conscience.

You can cure cancer, mass produce the cure, and give the cure away to the world for free out of pocket, but if you also cheat on your taxes, you are no more ethical than the rest of them.

Re:Clearly (5, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511616)

Clearly this is a different meaning of the word "Ethical" than I'm familiar with.

Yes. This is "ethical" in the same sense as the word "standard" is used to describe OOXML.

"Programs" (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511718)

Indeed.

Ethisphere selected the companies for having "leading ethics and compliance programs".

Having a program has as much to do with being ethical as being in a program has to do with being sober.

I wonder... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511340)

I wonder how much they paid to get on that list.

American Express (2)

certsoft (442059) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511346)

Is the only one on the list that tried to screw me. After a year of them trying to get me to pay for the same airline tickets twice I finally had to get a lawyer after them.

Makes me wonder about other companies (2)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511348)

To me this says more about the companies that aren't on the list than it does about Microsoft,

Re:Makes me wonder about other companies (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511568)

It says they didn't nominate themselves.

How far back did Ethisphere Institute look? (0, Troll)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511362)

Did they look into the "per-processor pricing" days of Microsoft?

Re:How far back did Ethisphere Institute look? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511620)

They still bill you per socket. Which is almost as bad. I still think that Oracle bills per core. MS is still doing this with it's server line though. Want more than 32 GB of RAM? Upgrade to the enterprise version.

Re:How far back did Ethisphere Institute look? (2)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511710)

How can that be "unethical" if it's what all vendors do? The only time MS got any criticism is when processor makers started producing multiple processors per socket and their software wasn't licensed with that idea in mind. How can you blame them for following the status quo for personal computers since their inception? Now MS, like all the vendors, has per-socket pricing.

Re:How far back did Ethisphere Institute look? (3, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511790)

How can that be "unethical" if it's what all vendors do?

Because popularity and ethics are orthogonal concepts?

IOW, that says more about "all vendors" than it does about the ethics of the action.

Re:How far back did Ethisphere Institute look? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511886)

Did they look into the "per-processor pricing" days of Microsoft?

Those days are not over. Windows Server 2008, Exchange, SQL 08, and others are still licensed per physical CPU.

With Friends like Microsoft who needs enemies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511368)

Microsoft On List of Most Ethical Companies

This doesn't say much good on corporations in general then.

Seems fair enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511384)

It seems that Microsoft should be on the list. After all, Best Buy made the list too. If Best Buy made the damn list - Oracle, Microsoft, hell Sony should make it too.

You mean "companies" (1)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511394)

"Companies" is the plural of "company." "Company's" is the possessive form.

Well.. (2)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511400)

After reading the actual list and seeing some of the other alleged ethical companies in there, it's really not much to be proud of.. eBay??

Coincidence (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511410)

I was attributing this to Forbes malice, then i noted the message at the bottom of the slashdot page: Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

I felt a great disturbance in the Force... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511416)

... as if millions of geeks suddenly cried out in objection and were suddenly silent.

Man! (2)

NortySpock (1966236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511418)

Who do I have to pay off to get on that list?

Re:Man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511766)

Have you tried sponsoring the Ethisphere Institute? I wish I was joking, but that's exactly how this works. You sponsor them, they tell you how to be "ethical", you satisfy their requests and bang, you're on their list as "ethical".

Must have cost.... (5, Funny)

engineerofsorts (692517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511430)

Must have cost a lot in bribes for M$ to get on the most-ethical list.

PayPal? (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511434)

Where's paypal? Oh hi eBay!

Wow... (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511440)

I honestly thought there was a tie with Ethisphere and Microsoft but after looking at every one of their board members and ties...

...they must have done a good job of hiding the connection. :)

M$ is bad, but others? (-1)

tuxrocks1 (2015818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511446)

In my opinion, all corporations as they reach certain size, became evil. Wikipedia has nice article [wikipedia.org] on this.
Google is maybe an exception.
So microsoft is evil, so is for example IBM,Oracle,Sun, Even Red Hat recently made not so nice move.

Article link is VERY NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511474)

The link in the parent post is VERY NSFW (and very gross)

Re:Article link is VERY NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511580)

Man. That would have been the first time I fell for a shock image in ~10 years. I'm glad the Wikipedia admin deleted it.

Re:M$ is bad, but others? (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511770)

In my opinion, all corporations as they reach certain size, became evil.

Microsoft was already evil when it consisted of just Gates and Allen (Gates provided enough evil for both at the time, but later Allen tried to make up for lost time). Then Microsoft grew up to become way more evil that most of the companies you are thinking of.

Forbes is very biased. (2)

russ_allegro (444120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511448)

Forbes has been pro-Microsoft, anti-Linux for years. Someone with some weight at Forbes has a conflict of interest I imagine.

Re:Forbes is very biased. (4, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511654)

To be fair, Forbes did not compile the list. I think the so-called "think tank" is more to blame.

As I posted on the site: Ethisphere Institute is one of those so-called "think-tanks" that makes up reports to "prove" anything it's sponsors want "proven." Microsoft makes sizable donation to many such "think-tanks" and all of those "think-tanks" are Microsoft friendly - what a surprise. Just one of the many super ethical things that MS does for us.

www.buylouisvuittonoutlet (-1, Offtopic)

nancy110 (2011906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511450)

[url=http://www.buylouisvuittonoutlet.org] Louis Vuitton outlet store [/url] is a French fashion house specializing in luxury trunks, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. Known the world over for its LV monogram and logo, [url=http://www.buylouisvuittonoutlet.org] Louis Vuitton outlet [/url] is one of the World's most recognized brands. LV has recently launched an online store, through its main website, as an authorized channel to market its products. Welcome to [url=http://www.buylouisvuittonoutlet.org] buy louis vuitton [/url].

Re:www.buylouisvuittonoutlet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511512)

Nancy, you're not getting another handbag for your birthday. Stop dropping hints already.

Forbes? (3, Funny)

orangebook (924303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511492)

A list of ethical companies released by Forbes? What will be next, list of best people released by Hannibal Lecter?

Re:Forbes? (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511530)

Best, like ethical, could be subjective. Best as in best with fava beans and a nice Chianti?

Sure, they're ethical (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511538)

You have to be when you are reporting in to your parole officer weekly.

And in other news... (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511564)

Ethisphere Institute rockets to top of the list of least ethical research institutions displacing former champion Mindcraft.

No, co's that most WANT you to think them Ethical (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511578)

There's a difference.

Nearly 3,000 companies were nominated--or nominated themselves--to be considered this year. The record-high number of nominations and applications demonstrates companies' desire to be acknowledged for high ethical standards.

See... companies nominate themselves... I wonder how much money under the table to the think tanks or people paid off it takes to be listed as most ethical? Is it as many as it takes to get OOXML a rubber stamp as an "open" standard?

Ethisphere reviewed nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries. Ethisphere's proprietary rating system, which it calls the Ethics Quotient, is based on a series of multiple-choice questions in a survey that is designed to capture a company's performance in an objective and standardized way.

Ah, it's proprietary. That means first and foremost "We won't tell the specifics of how this was determined" That's what proprietary means, right? The exact details are secret, and therefore magically valid?

The winnowing process includes reviewing codes of ethics and litigation and regulatory infraction histories

Because unethical companies always have successful litigation/regulatory infractions against them, and ethical ones don't? There's no such thing as a regulatory agency being in bed with a corp. Judges are never corrupt. What's unethical is never legal and always breaks regulations, and what's ethical is always legal and never breaks regulations?

evaluating investment in innovation and sustainable business practices

Because innovative companies are automatically ethical and companies with "unsustainable" business practices are automatically unethical?

Any company that has had significant legal trouble over the past five years is dropped.

Because getting billion dollar fines in 2008 and being found liable for patent infringement is not significant legal troubles?

Companies that focus on alcohol, tobacco or firearms also get the boot.

Because it's arbitrarily declared unethical for Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms, to exist, or what? That alone totally undermines Ethisphere credibility.

Firearms are essential for the preservation of human life.

So is Alcohol.. first of all Alcohol is one of the first antiseptics humans made, has important medical scientific uses; has spurred many innovations. The product is not a bad one, and also, many "green fuel" producers are Alcohol companies (also referred to as Ethanol)

Microsoft? Ethical?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511582)

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-ad nauseum

Forbes doesn't do ethical (4, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511594)

I was a subscriber for a while, until they sent me a renewal notice written to look like a collections notice. A prior orkplace used to routinely be named on a "Best Places to Work" list (not by Forbes, though) to the collective dismay of all who worked there. These sorts of lists don't mean what you think they mean, unless you think they don't mean anything.

My shit... (1)

FunkyRider (1128099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511610)

My shit is on the list of most delicious foods too!

Ballmer said (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511614)

"I don't want part of any club that would have me as a member".

Ethical. You keep using that word... (5, Insightful)

dido (9125) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511618)

I do not think it means what you think it means. For a convicted monopolist with a track record of betraying their partners, subverting governments and standards bodies, and all around ruthless behavior to make the list, I wonder if the word 'ethical' means something to them other than what my dictionary says it does. Oddly enough Google, with their 'don't be evil' motto, doesn't seem to have made the list. I know they have committed their share of sins over the years, but it seems that what they have done so far does not hold a candle to even what Microsoft has done over the last decade.

Ethics is so hard to measure (1)

dfcamara (1268174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511632)

I doubt a respectable source would attempt to do such list. No surprises here.

Ethics vs Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511732)

Consider the ISO 9000 quality standard. It's like the measure of ethics in the story. It is not what quality you have, it is how well it is documented and checked. A well documented 50% failure rate can be perfectly ISO9000 certified. If Google has a simple 'do no evil' ethic, and Microsoft has a team of lawyers writing great tombs on exactly how much dicking-people-over is allowed, then Microsoft has a better documented ethics program. When looking at ethical conduct, you need to specify GOOD ethical conduct, not just consistency.

Wonder how much they paid (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511738)

to get on the list

The key is what the criteria are (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511748)

If I control the criteria for judging, I can name any company ethical or unethical, which is why lists such as this seem completely useless to me.

Medicis? (1)

LukeWebber (117950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511772)

I'm pretty sure that the Medicis were total bastards. And why is an Italian family even on this list?

Just a few facts ... (1)

xkr (786629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511810)

Microsoft repeatedly changed agreements with developers. At one point, they required developers to pay thousands of dollars for a two-year membership, and then less than a year later simply discontinued that program and replaced it with a similar program that required new payment.

Microsoft sold Microsoft Money, claiming that it could import Quicken data. In fact, the box was empty but they promised a download in less than 60 days, which was repeatedly delayed. By then, it was too late to legally return the empty box to the retailer. And, finally, it did not import Quicken data. The entire product was a fraud.

Microsoft sold versions of Office, at the same time, which were different. We needed to standardize, and complained to Microsoft. We were told that “the version in each box was the version we purchased,” and that “version control was not part of the product.” In fact, Microsoft has admitted that they have no idea what versions they produce or ship and are not able to replicate builds.

Microsoft has an effective monopoly on Word. As a result they have terminated development work to fix bugs, and Word has many of the same bugs it had 15 years ago (such as tables not formatting across page boundaries).

Microsoft simply overpowered the Justice Department in their monopoly probe, paying about 100 times as much in legal expenses as the Justice Department could afford.

Europe has not been as scared to reign in Microsoft’s illegal competitive practices as the US. As a result, Microsoft is the most fined company in the world. Yet, the delay every time and consistently pay more fines for refusing to comply with ruling.

Microsoft charged PC vendors for a copy of their OS for every machine they built, even if the machine shipped did not include the OS. This requirement was built into their contract, and PC vendors could not negotiate.

Microsoft made retailers eat the entire cost of product returns, unlike every other software company. Retailers could not survive if they didn’t carry Microsoft software, but most retailers’ broke even or lost money because of the onerous return policy.

Microsoft required Intel to write all of the BIOS and low-level CPU code and give it to Microsoft for free. Microsoft then sold it. One year Intel objected and Microsoft refused to support Intel’s latest processor, causing sales to go close to zero. Intel had to immediately capitulate to the blackmail.

Microsoft consistently and purposefully damages the Macintosh user interface in their products so the GUI experience is not superior on a Mac compared to a PC.

IMHO, Microsoft should be awarded the LEAST ethical company of the last century.

Paying SCO? (1)

OFnow (1098151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511818)

Would an ethical company pay another (SCO) so SCO could continue to try to derail Linux with lawsuits (based on, AFAICT, nothing)?

Paid? (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511846)

Microsoft PAID for this right?

HP Ethical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35511892)

Ethical in regards to what? Ethical to whom?
HP is one of the worst companies I have ever worked for. They treat employees like shit, employ brain-dead project managers and never give raises to anyone.
They've had several major lawsuits in the past year, including failure to deliver and another against their former CEO.
They hire prejudiced people who are very vocal about it and project managers who don't even know what field they're managing.

I'm calling bullshittery on this list.
Ethical must mean who didn't kill the most babies this year.

Forbes just lost all credability (1)

hilather (1079603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35511898)

I for one, won't take anything they say seriously after naming Microsoft as an ethical company...
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