Microsoft as a Multi-level Marketing Scheme?
Posted by: tXbji6lcQw ()
Date: August 25, 2005 08:36PM

Microsoft seems to generate fairly constant complaints from people who have end up buying products, working hard to try to get things to work as advertised but always being told the "next version" will be better or that things will only work if they "standardize" on MS products only. If they pony up, then they are told that the "next upgrade" will get things working or that they must "standardize" not only on MS products only, but only on the latest versions of those products. If they still have money and time to pony up again, then failure is placed on not having enough training, by which time it's back to the beginning of the cycle again because new versions are then on the market. Everything is geared to making everyone involved in a project buy new products and push [i:9b17653480]their[/i:9b17653480] peers and customers to do so as well.

Chairman Bill Gates is provided increasingly as an authority figure credited with special skills and awareness, whereas a decade past he was usually ridiculed for his abrasiveness, arrogance and "nerdiness". Photo ops with thirdworld children are part of any politicians repetoire. Large Group Awareness Training is used to promote the ideology, usually in the form of 'preferred customer' or awareness seminars. Those that adopt or promote the MS viewpoint are given recognition and acceptance in proportion to their devotion. Initially it is small things like free CDs, T-shirts or mugs. Later it is "previews" of upcoming releases. Still later, compensation is larger like junkets and conferences.

The company has had a well-documented history of illegal and predatory business methods in addition to the defective products. Yet, both generate a fair amount of cognitive dissonance and people gradually accept it as both inevitable and the only way, despite other products being more advanced or mature. Usually the MS alternative to the established products are so labor intensive, usually from multiple small crises like worms or viruses, that there is little time for independent action or though and a sense of "us" versus "them" attitude is cultivated.

Indeed, quite often any critique, even technical, gets turned into an [i:9b17653480]ad hominem[/i:9b17653480] attack. Many defenders simply refuse to listen to any actual technical discussions, especially of standards for data, protocols or interoperability with other systems. Renaming common standards and technologies in Microsoft documentation serves several functions, but here it is most relevant that it serves to isolate them in a new language and away from established techincal documentation or external reference points. There is an effort to keep users away from competing or critical ideas. Indeed, it is even prohibited to publish benchmarks or critical evaluations. If you look at the license for FrontPage, it prohibits use in creating web sites that criticize Microsoft or its partners.

What do you think? Does it seem more like a pyramid scheme than anything else?

Microsoft as a Multi-level Marketing Scheme?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 25, 2005 08:42PM


Microsoft would not fit the structure or definition of a pyramid scheme.

See []

Also see []

Microsoft is a publicly traded corp. with some level of accountability.

Microsoft as a Multi-level Marketing Scheme?
Posted by: tXbji6lcQw ()
Date: August 25, 2005 08:51PM

Ok. The second linked clarified that. I think. I was unclear on the distinction between pyramid scheme and MLM. It does seem to have the characteristics of an MLM, despite being publicly traded.

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