Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Freedom is just another word, that means you're not using Microsoft...

This should give anyone who dislikes Microsoft a heapin' helpin' of affirmation. Mr. Gates, are you comfortable finding yourself as a lowered pikestaff across the road to freedom?

UPDATE: Chinese blogger reaction. [Thanks to the Instapundit]


Blogger tempus42 said...

Hmm. I'm all for freedom, but that does mean different things to different people. I don't think I really see blame for Bill Gates in this. It's just business, right? Customer says, "I want the product to screen certain words." Vendor says, "Ok, send us the list and a check." This is the exact same argument the NRA applies when it says "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Or "Microsoft doesn't ban freedom, the Chinese government bans freedom." If you side with the NRA (as I know Major John does), I think you also have to side with Microsoft on this one. What are we supposed to do? Prohibit Microsoft from selling its products and services in China or any other country that does something we don't like? That grates on my Libertarian leanings in a huge way.

Ok, I know I said I'd lay off the political stuff, but this actually involved business too. :)

10:32 AM  
Blogger Major John said...

My problem with Microsoft is that this is a freely made decision to sell the Chinese this product. They know exactly what it will be used for. Hence, Microsoft has made a voluntary decision that helps one of the last totalitarian regimes left. I am certainly not advocating bans or restrictions - I just want to know if they feel good about their decision. I guess it is more of the "selling your soul" argument. Microsoft benefits by being in the US, a place that has rule of law, property rights and freedom of expression (and they rightly deserve these - they have product and services the market wants, Mr. Gates took the risk, and he desrves the rewards too). However, they would sell a modified product to those who would make sure none of their own citizenry have the same opportunities and freedoms as Microsoft and Mr. Gates enjoy.

Oh, and don't assume I would back the NRA in too much - I let my membership lapse 20 years ago...

11:21 AM  

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