The largest software company in the world, producing a variety of software programs for a few operating systems, though mostly its own: Windows. Microsoft has also gradually made inroads to the hardware market. They originally appeared as the software developer for IBM's entry into the PC Market. Their former Chairman and CEO, now CTO, Bill Gates, was until recently the richest man in the world. In this pissing contest he has been passed by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad.
Platforms such as Microsoft Windows for global internet usage are not a good solution, with non-stop security concerns, license fees and usage conditions. For many computer users, Open source development is far superior while Microsoft dominates exclusively by good usability testing and its harmful monopoly.
Microsoft is a hinderance to the free market because it witholds key information which enables normal operation of software on the windows platform. Therefore Microsoft prevents innovation and competition in software development. This is a prime example of failure of markets to benefit individual and its no wonder many countries are adopting open source rather than proprietary products, including Microsoft.
MS also has a terrible record of not donating products to charity organisations, although the "Bill and Melinda Gates" charity - a separate organization - is quite active. Microsoft often ignores requests from charitable and community organisations for assistance in the provision of free software for the needy.
Furthermore their software, even bug fixes to their software, is notoriously unstable. (i.e. WinXP SP2, which crashed 3 out of 5 machines it was installed on). Before installing any MSFT software or patches, scour the web for info about important bugs (random features).
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