People are up in arms  FEB 27 2000

People are up in arms about Amazon being awarded a patent for their affiliates program. While I agree that this is stupid, what is an appropriate and effective response? I'm an Amazon Associate myself and link to their merchandise frequently. Should I change those links to Barnes & Noble instead? Aren't they just another big, stupid company that would have patented their affiliates program if they would have thought of it first?

And that brings us to Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft is perhaps the largest target of this sort of "boycott", organized or otherwise. People hate Microsoft. Companies hate Microsoft. It's the company you love to hate. Apple, on the other hand, is one of the most beloved companies in the world. People love Apple.

But what if Apple were Microsoft? What if Apple had won the battle of the PC and was the largest company in the world? People would hate them. Why? Because they would be using the same tactics as Microsoft to stay ahead and keep every bit of that advantage in anyway that they could. Apple is the way it is because they are the underdog.

I'll even argue that life would be worse under Apple's rein. Apple controls the OS *and* the hardware: if we were under Apple's boot instead of Microsoft's, we'd be paying too much for hardware as well as the software.

And now several dozen people are going to tell me that I'm full of crap....which I probably am (that's the risk involved with off-the-cuff thinking). It's fun to play "what if" sometimes though. It prepares you for thinking back on your life and your regrets. I'm not looking forward to that. Regret, I think, is part of your life when you're introverted.

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