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Assessing Media Bias: Microsoft Vs. Everyone Else

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the smallest-violin dept.

Microsoft 364

snydeq writes "J. Peter Bruzzese questions whether Microsoft receives unfair criticism in the media, while Apple, Facebook, and Google seem to get away from missteps unscathed. 'I've noticed an unfair, ongoing trend: If Microsoft does something a little off, it gets bashed into the ground for it. But if Google, Facebook, or Apple (all three of which can be categorized, like Microsoft, as The Man in their own rights) missteps, it generally gets mild reprimands and even support from the media and those drinking the Kool-Aid.' Do you feel any inherent media bias in its coverage of the tech industry?"

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There is a huge positive bias (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650717)

towards Apple.

Re:There is a huge positive bias (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650803)

I'd say they're polarizing. Having owned both an iPhone and (presently) a nice Android handset, I never understood why people get so up-in-arms over a cellphone.

Facebook gets TONS of hate (and outright bullshit) over privacy issues. Yes, they make money by knowing everything about you. No, they don't sell your information.

Google gets a bit of free pass everywhere, except for the odd privacy gripe. They seem to be the punching bag du jour in the courts though.

Microsoft, we all just love to hate, even if they're not in a position to deserve it anymore. They certainly did though. We'd be years ahead of where we are with the web, if it weren't for them and their (former) antics.

Re:There is a huge positive bias (5, Interesting)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650933)

Their former tactics are still at play. They've just learned to hide them better. Like getting surrogate companies to do their will (may I direct you towards the SCO vs IBM and Oracle vs Google cases? Form your own opinion of course...)

Media vs tech media (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650925)

In the media, sure. Apple is always launching new gizmos and the media eats it up like a child on Christmas morning. They can't help it if it's a slow news day.

But do tech publications have the same bias? Seems unlikely to me; there's always stories on Slashdot criticising Apple (and Google, and Microsoft.) Same goes for any other tech news site I've seen, baring 9to5mac and such.

Re:Media vs tech media (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651179)

Not even in the media. When is the last time you heard about the labor practices that go into making Android handsets? Despite the fact that Apple seems to be the only company willing to try to improve things, and that the Foxconn factory that made Microsoft Xbox parts was the subject of the threatened mass suicide recently, it was all reported as "Apple's supplier". Or environmentalists railing on Apple over their "disposable" culture when Apple's products are some of the most recyclable and their programs some of the best at doing so?

Apple is definitely not getting a free pass lately. If anything, Microsoft's foray into cellphones is getting a free pass, as is Android's attempts at a tablet. They're treated with kid gloves because they're not Apple.

Re:Media vs tech media (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651327)

The media always goes after the biggest target. For much of the last two decades that has been Microsoft, but now as they're browser share slips badly and their latest foray into the smartphone market still isn't lighting fireworks, well, Apple is the guy to beat on. Google and Facebook get a lot more heat in Europe than here, maybe because everyone here has already sold their souls to those particular privacy devils already.

Frankly, I'm seeing a lot less negative MS stories on Slashdot these days. To some extent, I'm seeing a lot less Microsoft stories period. Desktops aren't sexy things any more, nobody really gives a crap about the next version of Windows. Windows 8 buzz lasts exactly as long as the space between the latest story on Google being bashed by German courts or Apple being nailed for the number of Chinese get buried for every thousand iPods produced. Microsoft is a middle aged company now, and it really isn't doing anything terribly interesting or even inflammatory, or at least nothing that's nearly as interesting as Apple getting nailed as part of an e-book cartel.

Re:There is a huge positive bias (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651213)

Not sure I agree. I'm not an Apple fan, but I observe that they took a lot of heat for the "grip of death", and for dropping calls frequently on earlier models. (And incidentally, deservedly so.) Moreover, I just yesterday read an article dissing the ipad 3 for a number of factors. I think there is perhaps a huge positive bias from certain sources, but it's by no means a blanket condition.

Nor do I believe that there is a huge negative bias from the media against Windows. There are sources that will always rag on M$ and (admittedly fewer) sources for which Balmer can do no wrong. I think an argument can be made that the negative press they get, they deserve.

Microsoft Deserves It (5, Insightful)

wrightrocket (1664871) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650745)

If Microsoft hadn't already alienated the world by trying to bully them, then I might care.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650829)

May zombieTaco come back and mod this up to +1,000,000. MS has so thoroughly pissed me off with their offensive behavior that there is no way in hell that I would give a shit how much they are bashed in the media or anywhere else. They deserve it.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651159)

MS has so thoroughly pissed me off

I think that is the crux of it right there, but for most people, perhaps not so much the /.'ers but rather mainstream media, they get snitchy with Microsoft because they are associated with "My Computer crashed again, damn Microsoft!". Microsoft does get a big bunch of bad press - or rather stories that they are involved with might get a bit more of a sour take due to their association with problems, lets face it, if a PC crashes right before the sales rep finishes putting that sales presentation together - and then has nothing to show, the sales rep will remember that and blame Microsoft. Google, Facebook and the likes don't have this problem. It might be argued that they offer a better service then, but that would be comparing apples to oranges.

I am not taking the side of Microsoft here, they piss me off as much as the next guy, but more for the fact that they abused their power greatly, they acted in amazingly un-ethical ways, especially in the early days, their (in my opinion) abuse of their operating system to push out other inferior products (Hello IE, I'm looking at you!). When it comes to the Windows side of it, I have to say that I am both in awe and loathing over the product. It is terribly unstable, though getting better with Win 7, the security is poor compared to *nix - but when you look at just how much hardware they support, and how well it works, any techie will have to say that it is amazing that it works. Slap any old or new hardware together and you can load Windows. It might not be terribly efficient, and bloat up, but it fricken works.

So, to sum up, I agree with They deserve it but not for the reasons that most people do.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651831)

Dismissing whether bundling a free browser with the operating system was or wasn't actually unethical...

What people seem to (conveniently?) forget is that at the time the browser bundling complaints were relevant (Netscape 3/4, IE 3/4), IE was NOT the inferior product. Netscape was a steaming pile of poo, and Microsoft came along with a better replacement.

Even IE 6 was good when it was released. The problem is that Microsoft stopped working on IE and in the meantime the alternatives stopped sucking so much.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651489)

PAGE 2 of the FA

"Why Microsoft is such a target for bashing"
Microsoft is bashed so often (unfairly, in my opinion) because of past issues and the perceptions surrounding those issues, including:

â-Microsoft was embroiled in antitrust matters. That's old news for Microsoft, but it may be novel for Apple, which is coming under government scrutiny, not that you hear much about it.
â-Microsoft products are criticized for security holes -- that Vista filled in. Thanks to 10 years of its Trustworthy Computing effort, Microsoft is a leader in teaching the Secure Development Life Cycle methodology to other companies.
â-Microsoft was criticized for not being innovative -- although the Xbox and the Kinect are two of the many areas showing just the opposite.
â-Microsoft was criticized for being closed and guarded, and for not playing nice with other ecosystems -- despite, in recent years, the amazing amount of open information through MSDN blogs and an open source forum called Codeplex. The fact that Microsoft releases software for other platforms like Mac OS X and iOS should dispel this critique.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651581)

Microsoft IS closed and guarded! They are PROVING it with Windows Phone! A closed ecosystem, no ability to "jailbreak" or run custom software, no loading ANY software that doesnt go through their own App Store (with their 30% cut, of course!)...and they are promising to bring the app store to Windows 8 now! Locked bootloaders on all ARM tablets (they were trying to get this on ALL Windows hardware, and the Linux community had kittens, so they backed down, reluctantly!). Yes, they have their hands in open source, and yes, the release software for Apple's locked down platforms, but in EVERY respect, they are trying to copy Apple's business model, and TRAMPLING the idea of general purpose computing and user freedom in the process! IMHO they deserve EVERY BIT of hate the internet has on tap!

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650919)

During the 90's, Microsoft supporters were super-quick to bash, deride, and mock anything that Apple came out with, or anything in the open-source world, while corporate publications poured endless praise on Microsoft itself.

Now the situation is reversed and Microsoft wants to complain about bad press? Maybe they should sit down, shut up, and watch as what goes around comes around.

(Alternately, if you don't want bad press, don't ship bad products. If Microsoft wants to stop a flurry of articles about how awesome their competitors are, maybe they should ship products that are clearly, measurably better than their competitors.)

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650975)

What's more, that bullying behavior spanned most of its lifetime. Combining that with an generally artless approach to technology, it creates a business that many of us loathe.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651091)

One of my favorite is against OS/2 in the early 1990s. The JDA was not particularly good, but the alternative MS chose ended up being much worse (look up "Microsoft Munchkins" for one example). What is worse, MS was also attacking DR-DOS, and OS/2 did not depend on DOS.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (3, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651033)

If Microsoft hadn't already alienated the world by trying to bully them, then I might care.

Nobody cares anymore that we nerds get off on watching Microsoft begin pounded into the bedrock for even minor transgressions. Hating Microsoft is almost part of the definition of a Nerd these days. That article asks the much more interesting question: Why are you willing to let Google get away with monopolistic behavior that Microsoft gets crucified for? They have a 90% share of the search market and nobody is pounding them into the ground over it. Do people really think that Google are bunch of kindhearted philanthropists who only have the best interests of mankind at heart and don't care about profit? Yeah RIGHT! Of course they are... (sarcasm)...

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651079)

Oh...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...when can I buy your DVD?

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651409)

>>>Why are you willing to let Google get away with monopolistic behavior that Microsoft gets crucified for?

no idea.

But I definitely don't let them get away. They all suck. Google, Apple, etc might write better software than Microsoft but they still engage in similar behaviors I find objectionable. (And then I get modded down for saying it.)

BTW I thought this article was interesting - Why Google is not the most-used browser. " Microsoft on Sunday posted an analysis of the web-browser usage-share measurement, noting that StatCounter's metrics are seriously skewed because of pre-rendering and other factors. As a result, Microsoft claims, StatCounter can't be trusted as a reliable source of information." http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/microsoft-chrome-number-reports-142638 [winsupersite.com]

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (5, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651439)

Google didn't spend decades ignoring security, stability, quality, and performance all while strong-arming providers into using their product. They didn't start a "software alliance" that focuses almost exclusively on piracy of MS products and provides incentives for people frame their employers for fun and profit. Apple didn't file lawsuits against open source projects trying to give people viable options.

While MS is somewhat better behaved these days, and arguably focusing more on delivering a quality product than using questionable methods to achieve and maintain dominance, they still have a long and sordid history that doesn't just magically go away because they decided to start playing a bit nicer. Google has plenty of faults, but those who would compare it to MS in its heyday are either ignorant of the facts, or viewing history through rose colored glasses.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (5, Informative)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651809)

Google's dominance in the search market is/was largely based upon technical merit. Also, Google has fairly limited lock-in to end users. You can switch to Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc., very easily if you so choose.

Re:Microsoft Deserves It (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651127)

It's called "burning bridges". If other big co's burn enough bridges, the same fate will await them. Oracle's Java burning will subtract a big a chunk from their Karma, for example, such that another attack on open standards may push their reputation over the cliff and they will join Microsoft.

People are approaching them wrong (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651713)

It's about offering due respect and approaching the Redmond giant with the proper posture. Here is an article from Redmond Channel Insider on minding your Microsoft manners [rcpmag.com] that will be instructive in the proper approach.

You will find that when treated in this civilized way they will treat you about as well as can be expected. Be sure and mention Vista. A LOT. They love that.

Witness the power of competent PR! (4, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650755)

What you're describing is the difference between a giant, scary company with a good PR department, and one that has no idea how to sell their brand. I think it's that simple.

Re:Witness the power of competent PR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650853)

And I remember that people used to say Microsoft was only big because they had good marketing.

It's almost as if it's more than just PR, for long-term success you actually need to make a product that people want and can use.

Re:Witness the power of competent PR! (1, Funny)

svick (1158077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651479)

Are you really implying that Microsoft makes "a product that people want and can use"? Are you sure you're at the right place?

Depends where you are (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650757)

I find it varies by the quality of the website. Half-assed tech sites that make no attempt at accurate reporting (Slashdot, OSnews, etc) tend to be pretty heavily anti-Microsoft. More reputable outlets tend to focus more on facts and less on bashing or praising a company. Really, it varies a lot from one site to another.

Meta (0)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650763)

Very meta

There are reasons for that bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650775)

Reasons Mr. Bruzzese either does not remember or does not want to remember.

No, Microsoft just ships shit n/t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650777)

n/t

Ignorance (1)

janimal (172428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650783)

The predominant bias is to avoid details, backround information or anything that could consitute basis for an informed opinion based on presented "facts". While local media and stations may be biased toward one manufacturer or another, they are all biased against providing news in context.

$lashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650785)

New Micro$oft product?

Seriously? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650787)

Are we really entertaining the topic of Facebook getting a free pass on PR? They get slammed every time a privacy issue comes up;

Likewise Apple gets hammered every time there's an iphone glitch or IOS issue effecting battery life.

Google? You mean the near universal punching bag for reasons why "do no evil" cannot be their motto?

Microsoft = white, others = minorities (0)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650815)

Microsoft was on the scene and making big noise in the 90's while the the others, Google, Apple and Facebook are big this decade or so. So as they were budding companies, Microsoft force a lot of Microsoft line of thinking down the throats of Americans. I equate this to the when the white man had all the power. Now these three companies and more have grown up in size, similar to the minorities of other races, in this country, and they are demanding to change the rules. So people have had Microsoft around a long time and hold a lot of grudges, and honestly, Microsoft tends to take some extra blame where they shouldn't, similarly so to the actions of whites by all minorties.

Sure you may think my comments are a bit far fetched, but if you really think about it they aren't. I'm not trying to invoke a race discussion, but there are similar correlations metaphorically speaking.

Taulk amongst yer-selves

Re:Microsoft = white, others = minorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651379)

Microsoft was on the scene and making big noise in the 90's while the the others, Google, Apple and Facebook are big this decade or so. So as they were budding companies, Microsoft force a lot of Microsoft line of thinking down the throats of Americans. I equate this to the when the white man had all the power. Now these three companies and more have grown up in size, similar to the minorities of other races, in this country, and they are demanding to change the rules. So people have had Microsoft around a long time and hold a lot of grudges, and honestly, Microsoft tends to take some extra blame where they shouldn't, similarly so to the actions of whites by all minorties.

Sure you may think my comments are a bit far fetched, but if you really think about it they aren't. I'm not trying to invoke a race discussion, but there are similar correlations metaphorically speaking.

Taulk amongst yer-selves

Well, that would explain why Facebook stole my data.

Are you kidding me? (5, Insightful)

dell623 (2021586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650819)

Microsoft has been left relatively alone while Google and Facebook and Apple have faced the most severe scrutiny of late. Also the fact that conversation about the patent wars is dominated by Florian Mueller and people quoting Florian Mueller has meant Microsoft has got off very lightly, even in its extremely dubious attempts to collect royalty for Android based on software patents, and attemps at bullying smaller companies like BArnes and Noble: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2011111122291296 [groklaw.net]

Or the fact that despite anti trust rulings, we still get Windows bundled with all non Apple laptops with no option to avoid paying for it, and IE is still bundled?

No, they still get off too lightly.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651603)

Agreed. I wonder what press he is seeing that coddles everyone but Microsoft! I think Microsoft often gets coddled by the press. Heck, I don't see ANY news articles about what is fixed on the monthly patch Tuesday, but I hear plenty when Apple has something that needs to be fixed. Heck, you'd think the world ended with the latest Mac malware, with no mention of all the infected Microsoft machines.

While we are at it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650825)

Where did the borg Gates logo disappear from /.?

Re:While we are at it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651207)

That's the real reason CmdrTaco left. His resignation letter actually said "No Borg icon? Then no Taco for you!"

Did Fox News write this? (4, Insightful)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650827)

This reads just like one of their whiny op-eds about the liberal media only focusing on republicans (and of course they're all lies or exaggerations).

Re:Did Fox News write this? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651095)

Did Fox News write this?

J. Peter Bruzzese [twitter.com] did. He's simply a

Microsoft MVP, Triple-MCSE, MCT, MCITP: Messaging. J.P.B. is the Enterprise Windows columnist for InfoWorld and an avid Windows and Exchange advocate.

Why wouldn't he be fair and balanced?

Poor little Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650831)

Another paid shill telling the world the story about poor, poor misunderstood little Microsoft. Well guess what, there are a lot of people these days who have been along for a long time, and know very well what kind of crooks they are. And if they get some hate, that's probably no more than what they deserve for all the pains, problems and corruption they have caused through their existence. Kill 'em with fire, I say.

Cry Me A River (4, Insightful)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650837)

It is the circle of life.

Once upon a time, it was IBM who had every misstep reported as evil and Microsoft was the could-do-no-wrong company,.

Twenty years from now, No one will talk about Microsoft at all, though they will still be in business. Everyone will jump on the evil that Google does, and no matter what they do, OCP (or the current new kid on the block) will do no wrong.

Re:Cry Me A River (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651021)

>>>Microsoft was the could-do-no-wrong company

I don't remember that.
I've thought PCs and their MS-OS have sucked for as long as I remember. There was Commodore, Atari, Apple..... and then that boring beast called the IBM/Microsoft PC that everyone associated with work (slow, no music, almost no color, and definitely not cutting-edge).

Re:Cry Me A River (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651449)

He's talking about media coverage, not the personal opinions of people who know things. Back in the early 90s Microsoft got almost entirely positive press. Of course, I've heard that was partly because they blackballed anyone who dared criticize them. It wasn't until the anti-trust lawsuit and Windows ME that I started to see any significant negative press about Microsoft.

I Concur (2, Insightful)

deweyhewson (1323623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650845)

I have my issues with Microsoft, and enough of them to preclude any possibility of me ever becoming a fanboy no matter how much I may like a certain number of their products, but I agree with the assessment in this article.

Apple gets a pass because they have better marketing than God, and, as a result, a more loyal religion. Facebook gets a pass because they are everybody's favorite virtual hangout spot. Google gets a pass because they've long been thought of as almost an interchangeable term with "the internet" and they're constant, but undeserved, refrain of "don't be evil". But Microsoft? They're like the tech world's Yankees. They've dominated for so long, and in many ways so unfairly (at least in the past), that it doesn't matter how good of a show they put on because everybody is just showing up to boo them.

I suppose every story needs a villain, though. IBM is too far removed from consumers' minds to fill that role, anymore. Perhaps it is the inevitable karma of their past monopolist actions catching up to them, but it certainly seems as though Microsoft have become the pariah at the party these days.

Re:I Concur (4, Informative)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651543)

I don't really see it. It looks to me like a Microsoft partisan is pulling the old "liberal media" trick of accusing everyone else to be biased so that he'll look less biased. The guy making the complaint is intricately tied to Microsoft (he's Microsoft VIP, and MSCE, a Microsoft Partner...), these are facts that he neglected to mention in the article because they might lead people to rightly believe that his reporting might have a pro-Microsoft bias.

Also I've never heard of the controversy he claims gets "so much attention". It's biased reporting of the worst sort.

That some serious myopia (4, Informative)

IQGQNAU (643228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650851)

Exactly how far back does your memory go? For decades while Microsoft held power over all computers that mattered the press was overwhelming pro-M$. A big part of that was of course because they poured an enormous amount of money into the publishers' coffers. Even whole publishers owed their existence to M$ and never would be heard a discouraging word (ever heard of Ziff-Davis?). Then there was this little thing of being convicted of illegal antitrust market manipulation and a few folks woke up to the idea that it is possible that not everything M$ puts out smells all that sweet.

Microsoft is the only ex con in the bunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650857)

Once people know you've been convicted of something, they have a negative bias. You have to work twice as hard to prove yourself.

Now that to see media bias... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650867)

pay attention to the obama cocksuckers in the media. That Kool-aid has been around for years supporting the communists in America.

Re:Now that to see media bias... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650911)

I guess not too many people are drinking that Kool-aid then. They're all ready to vote Reagan's corpse back into office again.

I think it's getting better in fact (2)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650877)

Slashdot finally got rid of the Borg Gates image after all and people who still type M$ are openly mocked.

The Official Slashdot Hate List (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650881)

1. Apple
2. Sony
3. Facebook
4. Microsoft (or as people say here hilariously: Micro$oft...get it? It's Microsoft with a dollar sign!)
5. President Obama
6. Geek Squad
7. Monster Cables
8. Me
9. You
10. Themselves

Re:The Official Slashdot Hate List (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651083)

7. Monster Cables

I was with you up to "monster cables". Now, that's utterly BS: how can one hate monster cables? (I gotta love them, e.g. no geek would be able to blame superluminal neutrinos on Tuscan milk).

Re:The Official Slashdot Hate List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651727)

Monster cables are WAY over priced, if you think your going to get a better picture/sounds/whatever out of them than regular cables then your retarded. everything on they packaging is PR bull.

You ask Slashdot about this?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650889)

Slashdot is famed for having an anti-Microsoft bias, so asking here is a waste of time.

Slashdot folks will explain how, in the case of Microsoft, they deserve the bad press, and in the case of the others, they were trying to do the right thing but just made a (correctable) mistake.

Microsoft earned their bad reputation the hard way (3, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650891)

And they haven't really done anything that dispells that reputation. Their recent attempt at bullying with patents is a case in point.

But I still agree with the article. But that's because I don't think Apple or Google are appropriately taken to task for some things they do that are wrong. Particularly Apple.

Selection Bais (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650895)

It all depends on who you listen to and which negative coverage you 'notice'. Microsoft gets tons of praise and has an army of fanboys, just like Apple and Google and Facebook, each of which seems to feel that their brand is under constant attack while the 'others' get off easy.

Media bias? (2)

SpaceCracker (939922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650897)

I don't know if the media is biased against MS or not . I know I am.

Yes (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650907)

Yes, although the article sucks and isn't worth reading. Microsoft does get more than its share of bashing, but then Microsoft has been at the top of the game for a longer time than any of the other companies mentioned. Google and post-iPod Apple have been seen as the trendy upstarts among those only skin deep in the tech world (which seems to describe the tech reporters/editors for most news outlets), and haven't been subject to the same amount of abuse - though this is changing.

Of course, Microsoft generally deserves the bashing it gets, so the real problem is that the other companies aren't bashed enough, not that MS is bashed too much.

self biased resistor (2)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650915)

I think this article is itself media bias. Apparently the author forgot about the epic lawsuits and class actions both google and apple faced for their handling of wifi logging for location services, google's street view wrist-slaps, and the very recent '4G in Australia' issue apple is currently being litigated for.

People don't 'bash microsoft into the ground' and more than they do the other 'The Man's. And to claim they do is itself dishonest, pro-microsoft bias.

Re:self biased resistor (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651551)

Poverb - If you look for evil, you will find it.

Naomi Klein's book No Logo is still relevant (1)

shmorhay (781528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650917)

Naomi Klein's book "No Logo" (ISBN-13: 9780312429270) is still relevant regarding corporate branding, and is a rollicking good read if you are an economics nerd: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-logo-naomi-klein/1102326802 [barnesandnoble.com]

Bias thy name is Gartner (5, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650923)

Gartner couldn't be any more insanely pro MS if they were branded a subsidiary of MS.

Because no one want them to win (3, Interesting)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650927)

They are no longer seen as tech leaders but as a company that forces you buy from them.
While they get lucky with a few products their innovation generally appears as incompetent and poorly implemented (such as Win 8).
Most people don't like having to buy an updated version of windows and office every few years and start to think another company might be able do a better job.

Heinlein summed it up best (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650941)

Heinlein summed it up best: "Everybody hates the fat kid." Microsoft was a media darling in the early '90s when it was a growth company; the little scrappy newcomer fighting against big bad IBM and their bloated, overpriced systems. Once they were #1, press coverage gradually turned against them and they became the new IBM: big, bad M$ and their bloated, overpriced software.

Some of you may have noticed the same thing happening to Google over the past few years. I see more and more negative news stories on them every year. Soon, they'll be hated too.

Re:Heinlein summed it up best (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651173)

Some of you may have noticed the same thing happening to Google over the past few years. I see more and more negative news stories on them every year. Soon, they'll be hated too.

The anti-Google bias on many tech sites is a lot of manufactured controversy [digitaltrends.com] .

Bullies (4, Insightful)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39650953)

Bullies have to work extremely hard to loose their reputation as a bully. Non-bullies who mess up are worthy of more lee-way.

until passe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650959)

Apple is the new MS
Facebook is the new Myspace
Google is the new AOL etc. etc. etc.

There will always be a newer, bigger, better in the information age. As the information leaks, and everyone is on the edge of the new trend, when a new trend comes along the sheep follow and now EVERYONE feels cool and edgy until THAT becomes passe. I can't wait until it's all done and we move along into the disconnection age and EVERYTHING is a surprise.

Bias is definitely there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650967)

What most of the technical press has not fully absorbed is that Microsoft no longer has Monopoly power to throw around.
Not surprisingly, once they hit a certain market share Microsoft realized that acting like a bully could not help them increase
that market share further. Meanwhile they market they dominate is becoming less important. The only way they can get attention
now is by actual technical innovation. The reason why Windows 7 was the best Windows to date is because it *had* to be.

Meanwhile the newer 800-lb gorillas (Apple, Google, ...) are throwing their weight around just as heavily as Microsoft ever did.
Eventually this will be noted in the blogosphere. But as pointed out in the "Cry Me A River" response, these things tend to lag
behind reality.

Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39650971)

Years of forcing consumers to pay high prices for suckage have created pent up rage, looking for an excuse to lash out?

One of these doesn't belong. (1)

Lando (9348) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651015)

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook.

I don't know how mainstream media covers these companies, but other than google, I can points out all of these companies being run by people that feel that they are better than their customers. Google may mainly hire PhD's to work for it, but I still get the opinion that they value the people that use their productions, I can't say the same for any of the others. Perhaps I'm wrong on the google part, but I know the other companies are just trying to get my money and or control of what I do.

Re:One of these doesn't belong. (2)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651107)

...but I still get the opinion that they value the people that use their productions...

With google, YOU are the product.

(Assuming you meant products, instead of productions.)

How quaint... (2)

namgge (777284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651027)

...someone who expects 'the media' to be 'unbiased'. Here's a clue for you: there is no such thing as an unbiased news report.

CONVICT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651049)

Only M$ can accurately be referred to as "Convict" and they continue to behave that way ever since.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651077)

I like the Kool-Aid!

Heres a clasic example in todays press (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651085)

This is the typical type of story out today being refered to:

Death to Microsoft Word [smh.com.au]

This quality of Jornalism is driven by the need to compete with the average blogger, and the average blogger ain't to bright

I'm beyond bias into prejudice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651103)

In the sense that prejudice means I've pre-judged Microsoft. I'm not saying other companies don't do wrong, but Microsoft *always* does wrong in my book.

Google doesn't get a free ride either (1)

javascriptjunkie (2591449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651109)

Just this morning, I was reading the Wall St Journal, and there was an article bashing Google for the Moto purchase. It's was pretty hard on them. The first paragraph of the article mentioned that it was a bad idea, and the rest of it was spent going over every possible reason it was a bad idea, droning over and over again about how Google is probably not a company that actually wants to make stuff. This isn't the first one I've seen either. The coverage of Google+ has been brutal. The coverage of the patent wars has been so incredibly mean spirited at times, that it borders on unprofessional.

And don't even get me started on the totally illiterate, comments from people who didn't read any further than the headline.

You can't compare the coverage Microsoft gets to the coverage Google gets, and say that Google gets a free ride. The argument just doesn't make sense.

Not saying they're going easy on Microsoft, but let's face it. Post Gates Microsoft isn't especially interesting.

There's only one thing MS is good for... (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651125)

The one thing MS is good for is to force me to find replacements for their lousy, bloated, slow products.

If I hadn't gotten sick to death of using Word, I'd never have found LaTeX. Now, as the world's biggest fan of LaTeX, I have taken an oath never to create another Word document as long as I live!

And, of course, I never, ever do anything serious on Windows. It's Unix or Linux for me.

Oh God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651155)

Where do I begin...

Is this article a late April Fool's Joke?
Seriously, the company which practised the most brutal business practices in the world?
The company that tried to derail innovation and standardizations by always doing it their way (the wrong way most of the time).
The company that has the most lax security attitude towards their software?

Really?

Think long term (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651157)

Apple - you had to invite them in and then a cult like upgrade cycle makes the cash flow.
Google - an advertising company with 'open' cover to welcome in developers - track most users most of the time.
FB - an advertising company with 'generational' cover.
MS - the first hit is OEM/educational pricing and they have your boss on an upgrade cycle.
The idea that "something a little off" does cover the path of arrogance left by MS over its long twisted history.
MS wanted the OS, fonts, productivity, the home hardware with its OS, servers, security, the safe cloud, media, games, telco, ads, the web - and once the trust with users, their data, developers, the press, start ups, small and large rivals, standards is gone - its gone for generations.
No amount of very public charity work, tame press, "open information" bait, almost free offers, discounts, cute new products and toys can bring a brand back.

Pretty much BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651161)

Confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias everywhere.

Microsoft has cleaned up their act quite a bit since the bad old NT days. Nobody bashes Microsoft for having crappy, buggy, crashy software anymore. They don't! (For the most part) They still have plenty to answer for and their past behavior makes many wary. There's a lot of nasty stuff MS was up to in the "bad old days"

Right now they get trashed for their inability to execute outside of their established markets. If it's not server software, windows on the desktop, office software, or (More recently) the xbox then they really dont' do all that well. Worse, they do it very inelegantly. Microsoft seems to pick a market at random, announce their entry, then enter with unguided brute force and money. Failure is the most common result.

People are wary of this approach for good reason. In the past they'd simply announce and FUD up a market and make a bunch of noise to disrupt competitors that they didn't even yet compete with! Remember windows CE? Windows CE existed for one reason only, and that was to destroy palm. Once palm was a non-player, CE development halted. Same for IE. They don't really do that anymore because now they have actual competetors.. But the fact remains that Microsoft enters markets not to compete, but to disrupt and dilute. Web based office, azure cloud computing, windows phone, windows on tablets - All of these are examples of this.

Apple gets trashed plenty too, along with Microsoft's other "Contemporaries". Each gets plenty of flack when something goes wrong. They also get a lot of praise when the do something right. Microsoft's strange hamfisted strategies don't earn them much praise from anyone.

Foxconn makes Microsoft products!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651175)

Yeah, I can't get over how much Apple has been skating by with zero criticism as the media vilifies Microsoft for using Foxconn to make Xboxen and being responsible for the suicides of Chinese workers.

Troll story (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651177)

Troll story. Nothing else to say. I wish I could vote for a tag, but it's already there.

The Cure For Media Bias (3, Funny)

sk999 (846068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651191)

If anyone thinks Microsoft is being criticized unfairly, the cure is easy. Just head over to Rob Enderle's website: www.enderlegroup.com. Here are some recent articles:

"Is Google Facing the Beginning of the End?"
"The New iPad: Apple lowers the bar"
"Windows 8 vs. OS X Mountain Lion -- why Apple Suddenly Sucks"

Your esteem for Microsoft will return to an all-time high.

Karma? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651249)

It's a bitch.

Big time. (1)

N!NJA (1437175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651259)

A telephone that can't reliably place or receive calls (thanks to an exclusive partner, AT&T).
An Internet/multimedia tablet that doesn't support Flash. Or has USB/HDMI ports.

Yes, Apple gets away with a lot. Right now, they can sell a fridge to an eskimo.

Not the Seattle Times (1)

afgam28 (48611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651271)

Their stories always seem to have a pro-Microsoft angle to them. Here are a few examples:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017860635_microsoftmundie01.html [nwsource.com]
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017932842_inpersonkrumm09.html [nwsource.com]
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/microsoftpri0/2017939774_microsoft_starts_its_marketing_for_the_nokia_lumia.html [nwsource.com]

It's nothing to do with supporting a local company either, because they've been doing a round of very anti-Amazon articles too...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017883596_amazonintro25.html [nwsource.com]

pop quiz, Mr. J. Peter Bruzzese (4, Informative)

Phantom Gremlin (161961) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651301)

Which of the following four companies is a convicted monopolist?
a) Microsoft
b) Apple
c) Facebook
d) Google

The correct answer is "a" (Microsoft). The leadership that festered that predatory behavior is still at Microsoft. Bill Gates is Chairman, Steve Ballmer is CEO. That's why Microsoft's actions warrant careful scrutiny.

It's unfortunate that the "editors" allowed themselves to be trolled this way.

Because they got caught before (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651443)

Microsoft is under particularly intense scrutiny by the public because of the monitoring and threat of a break-up of the company many years ago. Once you've been accused of monopolistic practices, you are forever branded as a monopolist at heart. Your company may survive unbroken, but the public trust is permanently dead.

The only company to ever protect their image in the face of such an investigation was IBM. Even AT&T was never as respected post-breakup as they were prior to being labelled "monopolist", "competitive market place" or no.

Apple has only escaped "unscathed" in the sense that no one has been willing to put it on the table: Apple's predatory supplier pricing is what forces slave-like conditions on their foreign employees. Local market value is irrelevant when the foreign provider is not complying with generally accepted international human rights standards. Buying from such suppliers is unethical and immoral, and Apple is being pressured heavily for it.

But even condoning wage-slavery is not as "evil" in society's eyes as being branded "monopolist."

The only thing that gets an 'merican more ticked off than an abusive monopolist is a "Godless Communist" or "Socialist" (like us Canajuns.)

Re:Because they got caught before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651891)

Microsoft was Convicted NOT accused
From the wikipedia article
Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft's dominance of the x86 based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly, and that Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to that monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, Real Networks, Linux, and others. judgment was split in two parts. On April 3, 2000, he issued his conclusions of law, according to which Microsoft had committed monopolization, attempted monopolization, and tying in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Microsoft immediately appealed the decision. On 2000-06-07, the court orders a breakup of Microsoft as its remedy. According to that judgment, Microsoft would have to be broken into two separate units, one to produce the operating system, and one to produce other software components

Easy (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651457)

Microsoft has the longest history of dishonesty and is still running on the big and monopolistic advantage of having the OS _and_ applications developed under the same roof.

And - I it's unknown who had to be "convinced" that the judgment to split OS and application development into two companies.

The thing with US courts is that they are not cut dry cases - this are the facts and based on that, this happens. There are other considerations (or were with the MSoft case besides the judge apparently making errors) - it would harm the economy and stuff like that. A lot of it is political. Justice is not blind - it opens an eye under the blindfold to one or the other side....
 

They should change their name. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651469)

Microsoft has changed their act as of late. They are making better products, and spending less time bullying everyone around. But you can't honestly expect their reputation to be clean overnight, they've got two decades of bad behavior that people need to forget about.

Besides that, their name is old fashioned, and it reminds people of the man from back in the day when we all still hated the man. It's you fathers company. No one today can love a tech company that has more than two syllables in it's name. "Microsoft" isn't even relevant anymore. Who even know's what a microcomputer is? And who makes acronyms by attaching the front of words together? They might as well be called spam.

Re:They should change their name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651643)

They have a LOT more problems than their name! Labor practices for one...hiring temp workers on a semi-permanent basis, getting CALLED on it, then to "fix" the problem, they just FIRE the workers before they hit 9 months, then rehire, problem solved! They also like to hire foreign workers on H1B visas, and whine that there arent enough qualified Americans to fill the jobs! BS! They hire foreign workers because they are a LOT cheaper to hire and put up with the BS Microsoft requires of their workers without question! There are PLENTY of unemployed American software engineers out there! Then they have a fragmented workforce, with each department effectively competing against the others...forget about any "harmonious" platform between mobile, desktop and gaming divisions while this culture is in place! Then they have Steve Ballmer leading this group of fools! This is the most unimaginative CEO a tech company could have....he stumbles through the motions, with each product leading them further down the path of failure...and yet he is still in control! The LAST thing they need to worry about is their NAME! Let them fix the OTHER 100 problems in their organization, THEN they can think about re-branding!

I would have thought the opposite (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651515)

I would have thought the opposite, honestly. Both Facebook and Google have been drug through the mud over privacy issues on numerous occasions and as the new, biggest tech company, Apple is a lightning rod for all matter of attention, such as recent reporting surrounding Chinese manufacturing. Nearly all of the reports focus on Apple even though companies like Foxconn make products for other major companies.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is largely ignored. They're still a huge company, but they really haven't done anything new or interesting in several years. All of their recent consumer products are just their version of something that companies such as Google or Apple have pioneered or acquisitions of existing companies. Anything they've done on the business side isn't terribly newsworthy as far as most consumers are concerned, so even if they make the world's best SQL server, no one will care and it won't be reported.

People still bitch about Microsoft around here, but the average consumer no longer cares. They're not in the lime light so it's much better to sling mud at one of the more popular companies such as Apple, Facebook, or Google. I don't have any statistics or a comprehensive analysis of the news surrounding different companies, but to me it just feels as though people are indifferent towards Microsoft.

Re:I would have thought the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39651885)

MS has done a great deal of innovation in my opinion. Lots of stuff coming out of MSR is really cool, such as the Surface, Kinect etc. On the other hand you have the Xbox, though can't be said to be entirely innovative, but did contribute to Online play among other things. The fact that MS spearheaded their way into a saturated market with Sony as the unreachable market leader, and eventually beat them shows that you can't count them out. Win 8, while nothing I'd like to run on my laptop or desktop, is something I would highly prefer over the iPad. They're quite obviously struggling though, and you may be right in that they might go the way of IBM, with less and less consumer facing products.

Apple farts (2)

Right1488 (2614067) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651739)

I notice everytime Apple farts most news outlets will devote half or more their coverage to explaining how Apple's fart is the sweetest smelling thing ever to enter the scene, even sweeter than their previous fart from just two weeks earlier. Maybe Microsoft should be putting more money into the pockets of big media.

Business is Personal (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651835)

Microsoft's entire market, especially these days, is in the business sector. When they misstep, professionals complain that they are losing real dollars. When apple, google, or facebook missteps, those markets are recreational. They've built entire businesses on the concept that users are just having fun. So if your fun breaks, or changes, meh it's no big deal. So there's no one left to complain about anything significant.

That's how you know that no one's really using those things for anything legitimate. Business keeps on going because business was never depending on it in the first place.

MS has the longest record of illegal activies (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39651861)

As far as I can tell, MS has by far the longest record of illegal activies [wikipedia.org] , even if only for the fact that they are the oldest company (which I don't believe). The face of IT is mared forever by severe and serious illegal pratices on behalf of MS, especially in the anti-trust dept.

They actually got - and still get - away pretty cheap, if you ask me. The antitrust cases in the 90ies didn't harm them much and outside of their evil grip on PC computing they have a relatively untarnished reputation, like, for instance, in peripheral hardware and gaming consoles. People were actually cheering them on for spending 6 billion $ to take on Sony and Nintendo in the console market and spice things up with a little extra competition. The XBox is actually the only MS product I've actually considered buying in the last 15 years - aside from maybe my first optical mouse and ergo-keyboard.

But back to the issue at hand: MS deserves all the bashing they get, and more so. For example, just imagine Beos having a fair chance and gaining foothold in the PC market. How much different would the world look today? Just one of the countless examples of damage done by MS crimes in the last 2 decades.

The negative press wouldn't be half as bad if MS had been split into Windows and MS Office by the courts back then - which would've been the exact right thing to do.

My 2 cents.

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