Microsoft Won’t Listen

Dave Winer: Killer apps and blockbuster OSes. I’d like to recommend XP. Can you take out the phone-home features, and just ship a no-nonsense OS that isn’t all about DRM and doesn’t crash and supports modern Internet apps?

The answer is surely No. An OS that doesn’t assume users are thieves is not in the cards from a company that has adopted control-freakery as one of its core tenets.

Microsoft is well down the path to controlling tomorrow’s digital dial tone. From all appearances, it plans to put that domination into service of its own metasticizing businesses, the ambitions of which grow all the time. Microsoft is also becoming a key ally for the control freaks in the entertainment industry and, I’m convinced, government.

Ease up? That would seem to violate the very foundation of the uber-strategy.

Microsoft always listens. It occasionally does the right thing, but only when that fits comfortably into the larger plan.


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