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Why Doesn't Microsoft Have A Cult Religion?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hats-would-be-really-weird-looking dept.

Microsoft 535

rs232 writes "'Apple has one. So does the Java community, Oracle, IBM, and Google. Lord knows anyone who uses Linux or free and open source software is dedicated to spreading the gospel of St. Linus Torvalds and St. Richard Stallman. But does anyone really worship the Gods of Redmond?' While many Microsoft employees are pumped to work there, article author Michael Singer explores why even enthusiastic Microsoft-watchers acknowledge that customers and product developers are unenthusiastic about the software giant. He theorizes that it comes down to passion: Microsoft lost that a long time ago, he says, and so passionate people gravitate to other projects and products."

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Microsoft Is Like America. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097939)

Microsoft is like America. The biggest, the baddest, and the best. And everyone hates them for it.

Re:Microsoft Is Like America. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098041)

Microsoft is like America. They are forever telling everybody else what to do, their latest escapade was a complete disaster and they are very likely to implode up their own arse. And everyone hates them for it.

Man! Was that trolling or what?!

Re:Microsoft Is Like America. (5, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098175)

Microsoft does have a cult religion, it's just that it's so large and pervasive that nobody notices it, and think it's just normal. It's kind of like Catholics during the Inquisition. Nobody would have thought that the truly evil organization was the one that was so pervasive, nobody even thought about it as a cult.

NNNOOObody (3, Funny)

JamesGecko (797637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098419)

expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:Microsoft Is Like America. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098081)

Funnily enough your point is very true, though not in the way you think.

Softies are like Americans all right. Biggest, sure. Baddest, yup. But not the best anymore, not by a long shot, but admitting that would destroy their whole self-image so they're living in the past.

Totally ignorant about the outside world. Always trying to rewrite history. Bound like Hannibal the Cannibal in middle management and red tape. Arrogant, obnoxious, untrustworthy. Sticking its greasy fingers everywhere it thinks there could be a dollar. Enjoying their last few days in the sun. Will be totally, utterly and completely fucked by China.

So yeah, MS is like US all right. About the only difference is that MS is filthy rich, and the US has a trillion dollars foreign debt. To China. lol.

Is that what you meant?

Re:Microsoft Is Like America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098171)

I didn't mean anything. I was blatantly trolling for replies.

Re:Microsoft Is Like America. (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098193)

If you had had the fun I had last week with Exchange 2003 I don't think you would be calling MS the "best". It certainly wasn't an adjective that could be found in my vocabulary at that point in time.

by definition (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097941)

Part of the definition of "cult" is (from Wikipedia): ..., term designating a cohesive group of people..., devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be outside the mainstream . In that context it would seem self-fulfilling Microsoft not have a cult... like it or not (I don't), Microsoft is mainstream.

As for the question,

But does anyone really worship the Gods of Redmond?,
I don't recall anyone ever worshipping the GoR. Heck I even worked there, and it was about being smart, it was about being competitive, but I don't ever remember it about being about customers. Microsoft's idea about good products has typically been:
  • really geekily cool (pretty much most Microsoft employees)
  • really makes lots of money (most Microsoft Management)
  • was made by someone else and can be purchased (Microsoft Management)
  • corrupts mainstream standards (Gates and/or Ballmer)

These attributes are hostile for creating cult followings, there is hardly anything there -- just a juggernaut of an industry bully.

Re:by definition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098005)

Microsoft's actions more resemble the actions of the devil than any kind of god.

Re:by definition (3, Interesting)

Detaer (562863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098007)

I assume the author has never had any experience with a small ISP attempting to sell microsoft small business server. In that market you will find the people that worship the juggernaut.

Re:by definition (5, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098215)

By the same token, a lot of OSS projects aren't released by people who are fanatical about the GPL. Claims of the article's author to the contrary, there are plenty of open source projects that are just hobby applications that weren't worth charging for, and the creators wanted to see their work survive and be useful to a larger group of people.

Life Under the Dominant Cult. (-1, Flamebait)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098239)

If you redefine your group to be Computer professionals, M$ is an abhorant, abusive and dominant cult. Using the Wiki definition you so kindly provided,

beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be outside the mainstream

and realizing that:

  • OS experts abhor the ugly kludge that is winDOS.
  • GUI experts abhor the winDOS GUI
  • Security experts abhor the security practices of winDOS.
  • and so on and so forth through filesystems, busses, storage, search and every other atom of Computer Science.

The M$ practices are uniformly considered dated, wrong, dangerous and anything but mainstream. Nothing they do has ever been accepted as excellent and apologists always have to point to some ugly piece of hardware or software lock in to justify their choice, the rest being "good enough". The acceptance of the sum of these things AT ANY COST, against all evidence of efficacy, by many of the same experts who then inflict it upon the ignorant masses is the hallmark of an irrational cult member. It is doublethink.

The damage done by this cult is beyond that done by most religious cults by far, and second only to Communism in modern times. The more zealous members have an intolerance found only in those who have confused their faith for science. Simply mentioning alternatives in front of them is unpleasant enough to enrage them and torrents of abuse soon follow. They demand that people modify their morals to accommodate their obsolete business and software development models, which would otherwise perish. They engage in character and economic assassination, but such individual damage pales in comparison to the damage done by the inadequacy of the "product" they have such blind faith in. winDOS was a virus and worm infested pit from the beginning, using it for control systems was unethical and connecting it to networks has been a dissaster that has cost us all plenty.

Re:Life Under the Dominant Cult. (5, Funny)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098291)

The damage done by this cult is beyond that done by most religious cults by far, and second only to Communism in modern times.
Couldn't agree more--just the other day in fact, my computer jumped up and strangled my sister--how much longer are we going to put up with this yolk of oppression? How many must die?!!

The more zealous members have an intolerance found only in those who have confused their faith for science. Simply mentioning alternatives in front of them is unpleasant enough to enrage them and torrents of abuse soon follow. They demand that people modify their morals to accommodate their obsolete business and software development models, which would otherwise perish.
Yes, this too. The last time I mentioned linux in public an angry mob of microsoft enthusiasts formed and chased me out of town.. these people are utterly astonishing.

Oh, and kudos on thinking up "winDOS" and "M$" -- BRILLIANT!! Man, that really shows those bastards whos boss!

Irony. (-1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098395)

The last time I mentioned linux in public an angry mob of microsoft enthusiasts formed and chased me out of town.

You should do like me and stand your ground, but thanks for the example of derision.

Re:Life Under the Dominant Cult. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098307)

The M$ practices are uniformly considered dated, wrong, dangerous and anything but mainstream.

Can you name any fully-featured file systems for Unix that provide transparent compression? How 'bout any Unix that provides transactional file system behavior? Alternate streams/extended attributes that can be read and written as files?

How many versions of Unix have case insensitive file systems? (Personally, I feel that case sensitive file systems should be considered a dated practice.)

MS didn't get all of this right; their implementation of streams and extended attributes I think is lacking from just the FS point of view, and even moreso from the UI point of view, and I could go on a bit of a rant about that. Reiser4 provides what I think is a much better model for how to handle that sort of thing.

But the others are things that I wish that Linux had. And that's just looking at the file system.

Re:Life Under the Dominant Cult. (0)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098361)

Can you name any fully-featured file systems for Unix that provide transparent compression?

Knoppix has been using such a file system for years. The Linux kernel also has built in support for encrypted file systems.

I feel that case sensitive file systems should be considered a dated practice.

I can't think of a less mainstream idea. Thanks, you made my day.

Re:Life Under the Dominant Cult. (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098413)

Knoppix has been using such a file system for years.

Really? Does it support writing?

I can't think of a less mainstream idea. Thanks, you made my day.

I bet if you carried out a survey of users you would find that case insensitivity is *exactly* mainstream.

For added evidence, I point you to OS X, which despite having some of its roots in Unix, still keeps case insensitivity by defeault.

Re:by definition (5, Funny)

Invidious (106932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098257)

Exactly. Apple has a cult. Linux has a cult. Microsoft is the equivalent of Catholocism. ;)

At the risk of sounding trollish... (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098283)

At the risk of sounding like a troll, it comes down to: fanboy cults develop around the underdog, not around the big 800 pound gorilla who is winning anyway. Or rather, fanboys/zealots/cultists seem to have this need to, pretty much, save the world. Or at least they need something to defend, some cause to champion against all odds, some us-vs-them theme where "them" can be perceived as a credible threat. They have to be the (messiah of the) minority, even in a perverse minority-inside-a-minority way, or at least the unsung defenders against the barbarian hordes. They have to feel persecuted, looked down upon, but know in their heart that they're the Luke Skywalker against the might of the Empire, or one of the outnumbered hoplites at Thermopilae against the Persian hordes.

This isn't just about tech fanboys, but a more general phenomenon. You don't get many zealots when you're the one religion, you get them when it's 12 apostles vs the whole world. When it's the mainstream religion _and_ under no credible threat, you just get sheep and wolves in sheep skin. To get people all worked up there has to be a threat, a battle against all odds, where they're the few saving the world from a(n imaginary) threat it doesn't even acknowledge.

You can see that in Christianity too. Most of the spark it retained past a point was not because it was already the winner, but because it fragmented and ended up its own enemy. Arians vs Catholics vs Nestorians, Orthodox vs Catholic, Catholic vs Cathar, Catholic vs Protestant, and protestant factions against each other. That's what got people rallying to be the bleating champions of it: the credible us-vs-them setup, where "them" might just win if someone doesn't gather a (self-)righteous mob against it. When it didn't have such a challenger, it just ended up a court intrigues game where noone really gave a damn about the church. And occasionally it had to invent its own challenge, e.g., the Crusades.

It may sound like rehashing your first paragraph, but it's not. The definition of cult you give, is pretty much cult as opposed to religion. You're a cult if you're non-mainstream, you're a religion if it's mainstream. That's really all that that definition says.

But look at it this way: all mainstream religions got there by first being a cult. You don't get a religion directly formed around the mainstream thing in the first place. If something is already the undisputed 800 pound gorilla without a credible challenger, it already lost the chance of getting its own army of zealots. That's what I'm saying.

And Microsoft simply happens to be at that point, really. Apple is an underdog, it gets zealots. AMD used to be a major underdog, and it had some very rabid zealots, but then it became mainstream and now noone cares. Intel was always the big dog in CPUs, and it pretty much never really had zealots, it at most had some mild fans. IBM didn't use to have zealots either as long as it was _the_ big gorilla. Microsot is _the_ big gorilla and it has no zealots. Whop-de-do, big surprise there.

Re:At the risk of sounding trollish... (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098331)

If that were true there would be no hardcore Yankees fans because well, they win almost all the time(by virtue of having the most money, which shows that fans are giving them said money to spend, but I digress), and yet there are a ton of hardcore Yankees fans.

Being an underdog might inspire some people to become devoted to something, but the big dogs have doting fans as well. Just not Microsoft.

Huh? What about the unpaid shills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098375)

People like No_axe_to_grind or John Zern (heck, most of ZDNet)? The hoards on here who love anything MS and hate anything not MS (ZDNet's stance and the constant "ABM" waved around caused me to come up with the term NBM Nobody But Microsoft: it seems to have taken off...) would cound as far as I can tell a "Cult of MS".

Sophistry: define cult so that MS doesn't have one and then ask why MS doesn't have a cult...

Goatshe! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097943)

Goatshe! [goatshe.cx]

Re:Goatshe! (4, Insightful)

Detaer (562863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097955)

I assume the author has never had any experience with a small ISP attempting to sell microsoft small business server. In that market you will find the people that worship the juggernaut.

Re:Goatshe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098251)

That shit was hot! Nice little coochie she has got there.
Yummy.

right (1, Funny)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097953)

This is the stupidest fucking summary I've read since I've been at slashdot.

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097977)

I believe its "on" slashdot because the website itself is not a physical place in the world.

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098017)

I'm betting you're glad you paid to see it early now, aren't you?

FYI, "stupidest" isn't a word, but you didn't really strike me as the intelligent type to begin with.

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098203)

"stupidest" isn't a word
Oh yes it is! [reference.com]

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098243)

This is the stupidest fucking summary I've read since I've been at slashdot.

Hey whattup, Bill!

almost right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098255)

"that's the dumbest fucking idea I've heard since I've been at Microsoft." see http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/06/142322 3 [slashdot.org]

Found a cult! (3, Interesting)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097959)

Here ya go [xbox360fanboy.com] .

True, it's not for Windows, but you take what you can get.

Ha! (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098187)

That's the best you could find? Then consider what MSN's store [msn.com] is selling. NOW you know why nobody talks about it... ...if they know what's good for them.... Bwahahahahahahaha!

Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19097971)

Ask why AT&T don't have a cult following. Ask that about any monopoly.

They do have one... (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097975)

but it is a Hate Cult.

News to me. (4, Funny)

Hobbs0 (1055434) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097979)

I know plenty of really passionate Microsoft fanbois. In fact they are the only people I know who have copies of Vista Ultimate.

Re:News to me. (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098067)

....yeah, but have they installed it.

Re:News to me. (1)

aidan folkes (740086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098085)

I know plenty of really passionate Microsoft fanbois. In fact they are the only people I know who have copies of Vista Ultimate.

I've got Vista Ultimate.

Got it free for attending the UK Developer's Launch of Vista and Office.
...ah, I guess that does make me a fanboy!

Re:News to me. (1)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098167)

I read all the glowing articles about Vista. I even read a Mac OS X to Vista switch article. So there are certainly some people who think highly of that operating system and Microsoft in general. Given the buggy state of that operating system it can only be assumed that they are the equivalent of a cult.

]{

PS. I speak from experience about the buggy state of Vista. I installed it on 2 systems with all 'Vista certified' hardware and both systems have problems tangible, very visible problems.

M$ is like a bad drug. (5, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098317)

I know plenty of really passionate Microsoft fanbois. In fact they are the only people I know who have copies of Vista Ultimate.

I know lots of less passionate Microsoft fanboys. They are like drunk people who don't know they are drunk. The very idea of anything but M$ on their networks is unpossible to them. They don't know how anyone can get along without M$ and treat them suspiciously like a witch or nija. Because M$ is closed source, you have to take it on faith, but they confuse M$ with science. Their OS and software choice is a constant source of irritation and dissaster for them but they refuse to seek alternatives. They consider themselves perfectly rational and normal. These are more dangerous than those who realize their own passions and irrationality.

You must be new here (2, Informative)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097981)

Microsoft does have a cult religion, it just doesn't involve glorifying Microsoft. Look at the billg borg icon for this article, for example. Microsoft:Slashdot::Satan:Christianity.

Passion (0, Redundant)

scooviduvoctagon (801935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097985)

I, for one, have a passion for Microsoft.

A passionate HATRED! HAHAHA

Ofcourse! (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097989)

Of course people worship at the altar of Microsoft. It is a very large secular religion, too large to even be a cult, its one of the big religions! Next, Eddie Izzard will be making jokes about the teachings of cathol and the gospel of Bill Gates.

Great question. (5, Insightful)

KnowledgeKeeper (1026242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19097995)

Even Satan has devoted followers. Perhaps Satan is lesser Evil :')

Positive choice (4, Insightful)

lewiz (33370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098001)

The answer is obvious: Microsoft isn't the underdog and Microsoft doesn't require a positive choice.

Chances are you're running OS X, Linux, Solaris, etc. because you made a decision to do so.

Re:Positive choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098043)

I totally made a choice to run Vista. It's just that if ever tell people that I actually like Windows they point and laugh as if I'm some sort of misguided idiot.

Re:Positive choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098245)

That's because you are.

They Did (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098009)

They called it MSCE. You got one, and you got yourself a $20+/hr job. Then the suits engineered a surplus of techs and outsourced every job they could, and that $20+/hr job became a $9.50 an hour job, and low and behold people weren't so happy with Microsoft anymore. Especially since a lot of them where still making payments on student loans.

Yeah, some of the blame goes to paper MSCEs, But not nearly as much as you think. And besides, paper MSCEs don't really care enough to bother proselytizing. OTOH, those ninnies do drive down the value of real techs.

Easy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098023)

There already is a Church of Satan.

They Do... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098027)

...but you dont see them on slashdot because whenever one of them mentions Microsoft in a good light on here or goes against the group think, they get modded to oblivion and/or called a paid corporate shill (because its against the laws of physics to have a good opinion of Microsoft).

Re:They Do... (4, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098083)

Yes. I am a good example of that. I like microsoft products. They are much better and easier to use than Linux and Apple products.

One of my comments:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=226327&cid=183 31685 [slashdot.org]
(Sorry I'm not a subscriber anymore so I can't find any of my older comments... I've just given up on saying MS is good since no one will read my comments when they are rated at -1).

Re:They Do... (2, Insightful)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098285)

Just like most cults, Slashdot readers hear what they want to hear. If you utter anything positive about Microsoft you are deemed computer illiterate. It is ironic that Slashdot has a topic about cults. Have you ever tried having an intelligent conversation about religion to a cult member? It is just like talking to an OSS zealot about software that the developer has the audacity to charge money for. Just watch how this is rated. Well, gotta go, Mormons are at my door!

Re:They Do... (1)

niteblade (764045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098411)

I'll agree with you on the Linux side but I dont know if you can say that about apple products. Finally another person who appreciates that MS can actually do some good things. I have been involved in .Net development for 3 yrs after developing Linux apps for the Telecom industry in C for 4 (before that embedded). I personally feel that MS has done so well not just because of their dirty tricks (which I admit they do), but their products aren't NEARLY as bad as some on here would lead to you believe, in fact, many are pretty darn good.

My first REAL (non-Commodore 64) word processor was Wordperfect 5.1 - I couldn't believe how unintuitive that product was (any product requiring a paper sheet to be taped above the function keys so you remember what each key in combination with shift/alt/ctrl is just plain bad imho). I then had the pleasure of trying word 2.0 on the Mac. Night and day. And I won't go into some of the messes I've seen with non-techies and Linux, I'd probably get tarred and feathered on this site.

-NB

Isn't it obvious? (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098039)

When He extended a Noodly Appendage to Bless Microsoft with his Divine Wisdom an unbeliever cut it off and shaped it into the form of Clippy, the Anti Christ.

One day He will Overcome the Satanic Forces at work by dripping his Holy Meatball Sauce onto Clippy, softening what was once hard and Unyileding. And Lo, Microsoft shall become as like IBM and One True Followers of the Way.

Thus it is written.

Frantz Fanon said... (1)

versiondub (694793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098047)

"Fervor is the weapon of choice of the impotent."

Slashdot is Microsoft's cult (4, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098049)

Slasdot is obsessed with MS, everything they do or say is subjected to unending speculation here, albeit negative. Outside of Slashdot I dont know a soul who really gives a rats ass what MS do and would never in a million years even consider discussing MS in the sort of emotive language used here.

They Suck. (1, Insightful)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098053)


Because they suck?

They do, sort of... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098059)

I considered replying with a snide "Gee, I wonder..." comment.

But in a way, MS does have a cult-like following. Not the company itself, but some of the products. Consider:

  • People who have all of one or two (regularly scheduled) meetings a week, but couldn't possibly remember or know when they occured without Outlook telling them.
  • Executives who "need" Outlook + Exchange. [They aren't in the Slashdot/Geek crowd, but I assure you they exist.]
  • Similarly, those who "need" Word to write a document. Not "a word processor" -- nope, its gotta be Word.
  • Finally, people (even technical folks) who blindly assume that every computer user on the planet runs Windows.

Its not the kind of company worship that Apple or Google have, but from where I sit it is a cult-like following.

Because MS has a much broader focus (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098105)

MS is a massive company with a lot of different projects. There are cult followings for some products, but not so much for the company as a whole. I think its analagous to Sony, there are people who are members of the cult of Playstation, but there is no cult of sony. Companies like Apple and Google have a much more narrow focus, so its not much of a leap to go from being a google search fanboy to being a google fanboy.

The open source thing mentioned in summary is a little different, it isnt a single company that people are loyal to.

That being said I think there is a lack of passion at MS. It seems like everyone who goes there to work as Program Manager (the folks who control the direction of the companies products) isnt tremdously passionate about technology or knowledgable, they tend to be the more 'good at playing big corporate politics' type. They have got a ton of great engineers who are very passionate, but those arent really the guys who control whats going on. Personally, I have always thought that PMs should be mostly made up of engineering types, those guys just seem to be more passionate about the technology in general.

No grassroots for Microsoft (5, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098107)

Bill Gates killed a potential hobbyist movement pro-Microsoft on its very beginning, just look at his open letter to hobbyists [wikipedia.org] . Apple and Linux, on other hand, since their foundation had a big appeal with the amateur/hobbyist audience. The first place Woz showed his first machine was a Homebrew Computer Club, and Linus posted his newborn kernel in a newsgroup, for public evaluation.

That's how you get cult followers, appeal to the hobbyists, coders, enthusiasts, people that understand what is going on behind the scene.

Use or abuse? (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098109)

Lord knows anyone who uses Linux or free and open source software is dedicated to spreading the gospel of St. Linus Torvalds and St. Richard Stallman.


Dunno about that. I happily USE open source stuff because it generally means I never have to PAY the poor souls who spent lifetimes developing all the free and open source software I use for fun and profit. I'm happy to see other people work for me for free, but I can't say I'd ever try it the other way around.

Re:Use or abuse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098423)

While I'm perhaps a tad more enthusiastic about open source development than the parent poster(I'd certainly consider licensing personal development projects under open source licenses), I share their general sentiment of taking issue with the Linux user = fanatic assumption at work here. I use Linux. I get as tired of the "evangelist" crowd as the next guy. (Sometimes these are especially annoying to the non-fanatic Linux user because they tend to provide a constant chorus of "there are no technical problems, only stupid users" when one is, in fact, having a technical problem.)

People don't worship... (1)

tommyj1986 (1004101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098113)

bad products. Elite products have fan boys like Tivo and Macs. People don't worship products that they get stuck with. Most of the people who use Windows use it because it is what came with there computers, they frankly don't care.

You cant be a cult when you are on top (4, Insightful)

deft (253558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098127)

You cant need a "cult" when you are the dominant entity by far. There is no function for that sort of entity to the current "winners".

It's also true in religion. The only reason the major religions arent called cults is they have established themselves at high enough #'s. Still same religion, ideology, etc. The only difference? #'s.

So, the massively dominant group of people that run windows/MS products sort of "are" the cult... but have already reached critical mass.

In some other reality where apple became dominant... then you could see a MS cult. But not happening... most of apples success if playing to the idea they are somehow an underdog little comapny that is cool.

analogy (0, Flamebait)

escay (923320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098135)

Microsoft is like Christianity. It's been around for a long time - though there are older religions that are much more revered. It has its own quirks, its not without fallacies though the head proponents like to believe otherwise, and its almost a fashion for 'educated public' to poke holes into it and blame everything on it - although many of the very same people refuse to switch to a new religion when given the opportunity. In spite of its wide and well known drawbacks, it continues to be the most popular religion by far.

Above all, the most striking resemblance is that blind faith seems to be only thing that's holding it up.

can we be real.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098139)

of course the honeymoon is over.......

a group can only be giddy about being a part of things until the leviathan has so clearly become a festering boil of a corporation that has clearly attempted to screw over every other business and every user in every possible way.

M$ has become a member of the elite group that has all-encompassingly screwed everybody over and by and large gotten away with it.

I believe in the afterlife. I believe satan gets the kind of wood that makes diamond feel inadequate as a material whenever he imagines what he will do with billy when he gets there.

Pod people aren't religious (4, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098141)

Once absorbed into the corpus of Microsoft, the need for religion is extinguished. The only goal is to assimilate.

Common like cola (coca or pepsi) (1)

tovarish (746937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098147)

The only comparable thing i could think of as well spread in its sector like windows, office and exchange (in enterprise) is cola in the sector of drinks. Probably the same reason why drinks like single malt, champagne etc have a much better fan following than cola. Everyone consumes cola but no one i know swears by them.

They have a cult (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098159)

They are not the benign god of apple that people worship for their beauty and good effect on their life (freya, Venus etc...) they are the vengeful hatefull god which is capricious (loki, cthulhu, satan, my cat, just kidding for the last one) you know, the one you hope never look at you and ignore you compeltly. "please do not blue screen please do not blue screen" or "please do not make an error while i save my word document with my thesis" or even "oh pretty please, play what I jsut brought without an "exception"" or even "please do not eat my first born" etc...etc... In other word Microsoft is prayed at, every seconds at this moment. Although maaybe not in a nice way.

Open your eyes! (5, Insightful)

bdemchak (1099961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098161)

Uhhh ... you've never been to a PDC (Professional Developers Conference)???

You've never heard a gillion programmers chanting "cool"?

"Cult" isn't quite the right word ... it's too negative. If you want to find the faithful throngs, go right to the developers.

Years of reputation (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098179)

I was a Microsoft fan when I was young, but a decade of uncouth behavior and poor products has removed the veneer on the company's reputation. People are passionate for companies like Apple and Google because they're pushing the envelope and leading the industry to new things, and that's an exciting thing to be passionate about.

In fact, I used to feel the same way about Linux until nothing ever came of the "year of Linux on the desktop" claims every year.

Year of Linux on the desktop? (4, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098279)

> In fact, I used to feel the same way about Linux until nothing ever came of the "year of Linux on the desktop" claims every year.

Linux got on my desktop a couple of years back.

Dell (the company that always only ever sell Windows to get better contracts with Microsoft) are now selling Linux to home users.

Last Thursday Uruguay started distributing Linux computers to kids.

So when will your Linux on the desktop be?

mod Up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098181)

Worthw4ile. So I If *BSD is to goodbye...she had incompatibilities

Number of People Queuing at Launch! (1)

Ageing Metalhead (586837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098199)

To gauge the number of people committed the cult GoR, look at the number of people waiting this time for Vista, at midnight at Best Buy's.

Compare that to the number of people waiting outside stores for XP and '95.

A diminishing cult at that.

Gods of Redmond? (1)

somegeekynick (1011759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098205)

Surely, you must mean Devil worshippers.

hell has frozen over (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098227)

slashdot wonders aloud why there is no cult of microsoft, undoing a decade of stereotypes and prejudice as to the many "obvious" reasons why microsoft is the devil

news at 11

Religion is for the Weak (4, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098231)

Ever notice how those that have religion are very weak about their belief in it? It's as if a word spoken against it so threatens them that they must defend it vocally and almost violently. In fact, some get very violent about it. Their religion apparently cannot stand up on its own, it always needs the believers to prop it up.

Religionists want their religion to change their world, and they want to change the world to force it to accept their religion.

Many religions have missionaries. Most of them, the missionaries are as obnoxious, if not more so, than the religion itself. And, in many cases, the religion seems to survive in spite of their missionaries.

Now, that was about the OS wars. But, the same could be said about the theological religions as well.

It's very simple (1)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098235)

You don't have a cult of something you need to pay 100$ for every software they make.
Also, you don't have a cult for something which isn't better then others.
Also, You don't have a cult for a company which isn't for the open source community which is by far the people's interest.


Take all of the above, and think why Google has a cult, and you'll see all of the above are the opposite answers when we're comparing Microsoft and Google

Microsoft does have a religion.. (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098241)

..and here [slashdot.org] is its lone adherent.

yes they do (2, Interesting)

pikine (771084) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098247)

If you ever came across an underground blackhat site where malware and crackware authors collaborate and exchange information about the internals of Windows and reverse engineering, it's actually pretty cult-like. These sites have the stereotypical white or phosphorous text over black background design.

You can find such site by Googling for keywords like softice OR disassembly tutorial [google.com] . Search terms like dll hook tutorial [google.com] also returns several underground sites because it's an essential technique used by spyware authors.

why doesn't Stalin have his own religion? (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098267)

Apparatchiks everywhere seem unenthused about the Soviet giant. Could it be that he has lost his mojo?

In other news, how does Bill Gates maintain his good looks?

Three words. (3, Informative)

docotron (799894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098275)

Bill Gates Centerfold. [myspaceantics.com]

A Rose By Any Other Name.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098277)

I know that Microsoft owns bungie, and xbox- they have a cult following, and i can't think of any others off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure, quite a few subsidiaries of microsoft have cults, just not really under the name MicroIAMEVILIWANTTOKILLYOURCHILDRENsoft ;)

wha? believe me, it does (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098293)

I've known some MS cultists. Hard to believe that a /. submitter wouldn't have encountered them.

Re:wha? believe me, it does (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098327)

Indeed. Microsoft has fans, people who love their products and defend them online.

Those folks just get lost in a sea of people who either don't care or actively dislike MS.

/obvious (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098295)

So flambaiting trolls can ask idiotic questions like the OP did.

Same reasons Mercs... (4, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098297)

have a historical reputation for fleeing battles once things start getting ugly. I believe this was cited as a significant factor in early American wars where oponents employed German mercenaries, but it has been a while since I studied all that.

As a developer who primarily targets MS platforms I can tell you that most of my peers are in it for the money just like the mercenaries. More tellingly, I know many MS developers who get as far away from tech as possible during their weekends/time off. Doesn't sound like a recipe for inspiration or the creation of products that inspire cultish fandom.

As for me? I am into MS because I am a niche programmer, and most all of my customers are locked in with proprietary niche market apps. They couldn't just switch accounting systems and migrate to Linux... they would have to identify and migrate to numerous small specialty apps to match their current level of functionality.

BTW, I was really pissed about the mudslinging directed toward the Mono project on a recent thread. There are plenty of us out here who want to see Linux make inroads in small markets where MS has ruled for years, and Mono is the best hope we have.

Regards.

No Microsoft Cult? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098313)

No Microsoft cult? Rubbish!! What about all the shareholders?

We have a Microsoft cult right here in Slashdot. Wait until there is a story about a vulnerability in Linux.

MicroCult (1)

Orbital Observer (828290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098335)

Microsoft is the kind of cult that ends in mass suicide.

Interest (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098337)

Windows fans should cheer Linux and Apple, that's their best chance to get better prices from Microsoft and potentially better support while Linux and Apple fans want more people to use their systems in order to have more 3rd parties support their favorite OS (it's not like Microsoft fans are afraid that vendors and manufacturers will stop supporting Windows anytime soon)

So it's different interest for different groups of people, nothing more, nothing less.

Microsoft has the most fanatic users (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098353)

Many Microsoft users won't even consider non-Microsoft solutions. That is, when you think about it, a lot more fanatic than the Apple or Free Software users who can usually tell you (to annoyingly great length) why they prefer their choice over the alternatives.

The fanatic Microsoft users don't constitute a cult, of course, since a cult per definition can not be mainstream.

Passion fruit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19098367)

"Microsoft lost that a long time ago, he says, and so passionate people gravitate to other projects and products.""

Passionate people also get laid.

I was one... (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098377)

till they started doing Windows... DOS was my everything and i was a real cultist.... until windows came... then i became a Microsoft hater...

They're too big/mainstream to be a cult (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098381)

It's like Christianity fitting the definition of a cult, but nobody calls it that. It's "normal". Perhaps in some countries it's a minority thing to take note of, but in a lot of western cultures it's nothing to care about if a person is or not. MS has so many customers that it's gone way beyond a cult thing. Nothing to worry about it going away, having trouble finding compatible parts if things break, etc. It's everywhere. It's mainstream. Everybody uses it. You don't have a huge ignorant population not using it, so there's no need top obsessively evangelize it or whatever. There's no one to "save" from being an infidel because everyone already belongs. OK, a few people don't use Windows at all, but that's a very small minority in the grand scheme of things, small enough that the larger group can not worry about being overthrown or anything by some large rival group intent to convert everyone not them to their ways. They either use a MS based PC or they have to figure things out for themselves because no one else knows anythign else to help them, and they don't want to be bothered themselves. Take it to the computer store and have them deal with things.

I think only minority groups and up with cult-like mentalities. I'm in the remaining tiny nanoscopic Amiga community. We're crazy, obsessive, evangelical, and all about "Amiga does X and you don't" stuff about features nobody else cares about. My parents and friends know I have an Amiga, but they don't know why or what it is. My family knows there's something called a Mac out there, but have never seen one or know what it is.

And my comment is redicuous. It's a rediculous question which I suppose only deserves rediculous answers. But coming from the Amiga realm, I'm quite accustomed to rediculous. Thanks for making me so comfortable here. :)

Join now! (1)

kalel666 (587116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098389)

Hell, I'll be glad to start a cult for MS. All you have to do to join is drink a big glass of our special Jim Jones kool-aid. Step right up!

The better you know something... (1)

Eesh (50408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098397)

In most areas of life, the better you know something, the better you get at doing it, the more you like it. Like learning to drive a car: When you start, it's hard to notice everything on the road, but as you get better, driving usually becomes fun.

I've observed that Microsoft products usually go the other way around: "Common" users like Windows and Office, more or less. Most of them are scared of anything that works differently. However, as you progress in your level of usage (Get to know the internals of the system, tweak settings, etc.), and use more advanced MS products (Like Windows Server, Exchange, MOM, etc.), and hate Microsoft more, because you notice all the crazy stuff their products do, and the insane complexities and inconsistencies that are hidden in corners of the code, the UI, the data generated, and so on.

That may be why there is no "cult like following" - The users who would be enthusiastic enough to have that attitude, just hate the MS products (that they may be experts on) too much.

I, myself, am an MCP and a Windows network admin, and so are many of my friends, and I noticed that phenomenon in most of them, as well as in many teachers (MCTs!) in courses I've taken, consultants, etc.

Java has a cult? (2, Interesting)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098399)


Having been a java developer for nearly a decade I never knew there was a Java cult. I wonder if I am a member unbeknownst to myself?

Why no cult? (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098403)

Because us Amiga zealots took 'em out behind the barn and "Old-Yellowed" them 20 years ago with pre-emptive multitasking, amazing graphics, and low-overhead. Poor bastards were gone before they could even get a good start. Though rumor has it that their zombified bodies helped flesh out Microsoft's initial Marketing department.

I know why (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19098425)


  I know why Microsoft...err Windows does not have a cult. It is because there is no community. No group of people where everyone knows your name and who you are. Everyone's PCs are too different. And too many people use Windows. It is the STANDARD OS for computers right now.

Cult's start small and grow large.
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