It's bigger issues as well, all drawn from mistaken perceptions and media slant. If Microsoft bids to buy patents, it's a patent troll, but if Google does it, it's protecting the great open source Android OS. Or take Google's new privacy rules -- ZDnet's Networking blog says get over it already, with a summary that makes me cringe: "Do you really think that Google, along with everyone else on the Web, hasn't been collecting your data for years now? Deal with it already." Seriously? Deal with it?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Microsoft was criticized for not being innovative -- although the Xbox and the Kinect are two of the many areas showing just the opposite.
- 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.
You hear the negative but typically never see the positive. Microsoft is constantly questioned about its ethics over decades-old disputes. But just last month, Microsoft won Ethisphere's "most ethical" award -- Google, Facebook, and Apple weren't even on the nominees' list!
I'm not saying you're mistaken to praise other companies about their products. But when it comes to product flaws or any wrongdoing (including privacy issues that should worry us all), they should be treated equally. Microsoft is not treated equally.
This article, "Microsoft in the media: Unfair and unbalanced," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.