It really irks me when someone writes that people who do not like and/or appreciate Microsoft just have a bad case of "sour grapes." Having seen plenty of state-of-the-art software drown under the MS tidal wave, my problem with Microsoft is very simple -- employing some of the greatest computer scientists on the planet, they do not make stable and easy-use products. Microsoft products alone can keep "For Dummies" books on the market because of their complexity, and almost no one can tell you about a Microsoft product that doesn't crash on a regular basis.
I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe that simple and stable software design at this stage in the computer era is not possible. Several years ago, I was a user of GeoWorks Ensemble, an award-winning operating system "shell" that never crashed in all of the time that it was on my system. At the same time, businesses and OEM's were flocking to Windows 1.x and 2.x shells, both of which were absolutely pitiful when it came to stability. On top of that, Ensemble was easier to use and had much smaller memory requirements than Windows. A star was born, right? Wrong.
Due in large part to Microsoft's licensing agreements with OEMs and media ambivalence, the GeoWorks OS is barely surviving. Still ultra-stable, light, and easy-to-use, it has been forced almost completely out of the market by slower, fatter, more complex, and less stable Windows OSs.
I'm not anti-monopolistic. As a matter of fact, I can name one near-monopoly that I support a great deal: Intel. Its advancements in computer hardware design have helped the PC platform steadily become easier to use, more stable, less expensive, and more powerful, so much so that other platforms have had a hard time competing. And not because it jacks-in the latest technology half-assed, but because the technology that it creates works properly.
I can't recall one person saying that his/her computer suffered a meltdown because the Pentium microprocessor didn't work; the problems usually start when Windows kicks in (I'm not saying it never happens but I've never heard about it). For the most part, Intel is on top because its technology works, something that Microsoft's does only some of the time.
I'm not saying that Microsoft has not been good for the computer industry in general, I'm just saying that it's products are shoddy. Microsoft has done an excellent job of increasing the overall pace of technology but at what cost? Plus, it's gotten to the point that companies won't even compete directly against Microsoft for fear of being singled out and crushed, not with superior technology but with deep pockets and industry pressure.
That's counter productive. Should we let Microsoft off the hook because it's an economic icon but a technological misfit? I don't think so. Wealth and power should not be the barometers for accountability. If that's the case, then, as consumers, we all stand to lose.