Kirk Mcelhearn on Mon, 23 Aug 1999 18:27:39 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Hijacking the World: the Dark Side of Microsoft

Hijacking the World: the Dark Side of Microsoft

Roberto Di Cosmo and Dominique Nora
Translated from the French by Kirk McElhearn 
published by

Just as Microsoft is being tried for anti-trust violations in the United
States, a new book is published that presents the case against the leading
software publisher. 

Roberto Di Cosmo, an Italian computer scientist, who teaches in one of
France's leading universities, is interviewed by Dominique Nora, a
journalist specialized in computers and the Internet.  In this book, Di
Cosmo gives a strong, lucid argument as to why consumers need to react to
Microsoft's and Bill Gates' ambitions to control information transmission
and processing in education, banking, old and new medias, and even invade
our privacy. 

He offers simple and efficient technological alternatives to Microsoft
products, which can help lower our dependence on this new big brother. 
Originally published in late 1998 in France, by Calmann-LÚvy in its paper
edition, and by, in a digital edition, this book has become a
best-seller, and has been the object of many reviews, articles and
television reports. 

With this exclusive translation, is enlarging its distribution
to English speakers all over the world, to give them a chance to find out
more about how Europeans view the important question of the future of

How has it been possible for Bill Gates to develop an absolute monopoly,
while bringing down many companies whose products were far superior?  How
has he managed to build up such a huge fortune by selling mediocre
software, with no guarantee of results and no fear of any legal action for
their failure to work as promised, and this at a negligible unit cost,
while never lower the retail price? How has he managed to hijack consumers
by kidnapping their information and holding it hostage in a proprietary
format that changes constantly, forcing them to update all their
applications to merely be able to exchange data with others? How has he
tricked his competitors, by making arbitrary changes to the code of his
products, in order to ensure that competitor's products will not function
correctly? How has he intimidated distributors and misled the medias,
showing himself as the white horseman of the democratization of knowledge,
while he is, in reality, planning new ways to hold us hostage?

There are viable technological alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly: 
the defenders of open source software, many of whom come from academia,
are getting together to how people that this solution works.  Major
computer vendors are starting to offer systems with Linux pre-installed,
and there is a growing movement among consumers who use open source
software to get refunds from Microsoft for copies of Windows they were
forced to buy. 

The future of our computers is at stake.  Don't pretend you weren't
warned.  Read this book to find out exactly what Microsoft has planned.

                              vice | versa    

        Translations from French to English, English to French
            Traductions francais-anglais, anglais-francais

Kirk McElhearn | 91 rue de la Mesangerie | 37540 St Cyr sur Loire | France

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