Microsoft creative director "doesn't get" why always-on DRM upsets people, mocks rural internet users

We no longer need to point out that DRM is an expression of contempt for one's own customers—Microsoft's own employees take care of that task all by themselves. [CNET]


    1. I really only pull out the console when 2 factors come together
      1. The internet is down 
      2. I’m bored with my PC games
      If the new XBox does indeed require a permanent internet connection, I suppose Sony and/or Nintendo will be getting my money.

      Adam Orth is a fine example of the problems with the MS culture. They seem to think they know what’s best for their customers and will do what they want without regard to the rest of us. Take Windows 8 & 8.1 for example. Despite the overwhelming rejection of Metro in Win 8, they are pushing it even harder with 8.1. 

      1. I think I’ll stay with Nintendo for a while… WiiU looks cool without crappy “always on” and “no used discs” thing. It will be my next console

        1. I’m leaning that way myself. Nintendo has done a great job of avoiding many of the pitfalls MS and Sony seem to get themselves in – over and over.

          The reports of Wii users not being able to move downloaded content to the new WiiU is disappointing but understandable. Nintendo ties accounts to consoles rather than user accounts.Besides, Mario Kart is all kinds of fun.

          1. Sony does some terrible stuff, but really Nintendo is worse.

            Tying accounts to consoles is a terrible anti-consumer thing. They are still enforcing region locking on *all* their titles (one of the few things Sony almost gets right, and MS certainly has a better policy than Nintendo). And there was the firmware update bricking fiasco, although I suppose we can put that down to gross incompetence rather than malice. Oh and the power supplies on the Wii U don’t accept a wide range of voltage, unlike almost every single other modern device.

          1. Couldn’t help but laugh a little.  You’re right, of course. That would be a huge overgeneralization.  But, lord, there sure are a lot of them.

          2.  There’s probably more who aren’t.  About 40% of the US has at least an associate’s degree.  If we’re going to describe 20-40% of this country as “elitist” then it would seem to me as though the word has ceased to have any meaning at all.  I’d suggest checking yourself for confirmation bias on this one.

          3. I got to agree with wysinwyg, not just because I’m deep in the bowels of academia myself (and am therefore, admittedly, deeply biased) I have to say, at least in the humanities/social sciences, quite a few people I know are upstanding human beings full of compassion for others. There are some elitist jerks, who think an advanced degree makes them better than others, but that has not been my experience for the majority of scholars I know – in fact the smartest ones tend to be the most humble, at least in my experience.

            Of course, that’s just my experiences at a big public university. I can’t speak for more elite institutions, but even my dealing with at least other grads over at our private uni neighbor here in town has proved to me many good folks who are far from elitist.

            Besides, getting at least an associates, if not a BA is becoming  more necessary.

            Oh, and everyone here suffers from “imposter syndrome”, so there is that too.

          4. Woah, there. Simmer down, gents. Wasn’t a personal attack. Living in a college town, I’m just stating my experience with “elitists” and how they happen to very often be [more specifically] college students. The two just happen to go very well together, not that they are exclusive nor are they requisite. Very similar to my experience with “self-righteousness” and evangelicals, for instance. 

            No need to get tetchy or defensive. The poster’s comment just made me smile is all.

            [BTW “a lot” ≠ “all” OR “most”.  I stand by my purely personal and subjective statement because it is true.]

          5. There was no “tetchiness” or “defensiveness”.  There is no need to “simmer down”.  There is nothing remotely vindictive in my comments or mindysan33’s.

            But now you seem to be getting defensive with this “simmer down” stuff.  Why is that?

            An accusation of “confirmation bias” is not one of some deep, moral failing.  It is the normal human condition.  Based on your comments, you seem to have it out for college graduates.  I don’t see where you found any kind of “tetchiness” in my previous comment. Though it does make me a little “tetchy” when people read emotions into my comments that weren’t there in the first place in order to make long, specious “simmer down” comments.

          6. Truthfully, I don’t have it out for college grads. I never indicated that whatsoever. How do you know that I myself am not a college grad? That doesn’t change that nearly every person with an elitist attitude I’ve met has been one. No bias there. It is a fact of my experience in life, not a commentary on the educated masses. Remember, I can tell you that a square is a rectangle but that doesn’t mean I’m saying all rectangles are squares.

            I’m also unclear how saying “simmer down” was or could be specious. Also, a critical suggestion that I needed to “check myself” because of a simple innocuous comment is not typically devoid of emotion. This comment would appear to confirm that observation. Just sayin.

          7. Really I would like to thank wysinwyg below for including us folks with an Associate’s degree as ‘having gone to college’.

            Because nobody else in the world seems to. 

          8. To you’re below comment… It’s probably hearing the constant drum beat of “east coast liberals” from some quarters (I actually had someone request via official channels, my syllabus, because I assign a particular book that she thought was “too liberal”). It probably depends on which college town you are in that dictates how “elitist” the college students are. I don’t think anyone at the Uni I’m at is particularly elitist acting… maybe some, but not the majority. 

            As for being “defensive”, I don’t really think we are being so, but if we were, it’s because it just kind of sucks to have people make assumptions about you and your attitudes based on something like education. Such as the assumption that we look down on people because we gots us some “book learnin”. I fully respect people who do other kinds of work that do not require a college education. There are plenty of things I can’t do that people with no college education can… I don’t think I’m particularly smart, I just am learning a particular skill set, that’s all.

            Also, I’m not gent… but a nice lady, thanks! ;-)

          9. In support of mindysan33 and wysinwyg, I thought I might as well point out that I’m a fairly elitist S.O.B. myself, and I have no credentials fancier than a high school diploma.

            So I suppose I must not move in genuinely elite circles if I feel like I’m the biggest snob in the trailer park.

          10. I thought college was where you went to acquire a piece of paper that says you’re employable in certain industries that don’t actually require as many employees as the colleges produce, and also a barrelful of debt. Doesn’t exactly sound like a breeding ground for elitism.

          11.  Ha!  I think you might be right there. The job market for 20th century American historians isn’t particularly pretty at the present moment. Not many of us feel “elite”… okay, maybe Eric Foner feels kind of elite, but really that’s probably it.

    2.  Another Sim City-type clusterf*ck in the making. Well, I guess MS can afford one now that Windows 8 is such a runaway success.

    3. That’s certainly been the rumor.  Given the percentage of current-gen consoles that have never been connected to the internet, I thought that was too stupid a move on Microsoft’s part to be likely, as they’d be alienating a significant number of their current customers.  I’m now reassessing how stupid the people working for Microsoft are, however…

      1.  I worked there for a few years, and Robert, you have no idea.  The decisions made there were bone chillingly stupid.  It took months to do anything, of course, and the end results were always laughably out of date and out of touch.  There are good people working there, but none of them- NONE of them- are in any management position to affect change.

  1. He also seems to miss the point entirely why people hate it. The consumer might have an internet connection that always works, the game/console publisher certainly does not. Their end always breaks and breaks hard, resulting in the customer no longer being able to acces the game they paid allot of money for.

    1. It is a very good thing that he is a ‘creative director’ rather than one of MS’ datacenter people.

      If party A says “Failure mode #1 exists”, the argument “Failure mode #2 also exists” IS. NOT. A. REFUTATION. Rather, it tells us that there is even greater risk of service downtime over a given period.

      I can only hope that a couple of MS operations geeks grab their rack rails, take him into the hot aisle, and explain in blunt terms that “Your downtime is the sum of all the times any system-critical component failed. Adding an additional system-critical component will always make your expected downtime worse”.

      1. You know what creative directors do right? They make absurd and posturing statements and their staff have to “deal with it” I really don’t think he was out of character, just now everyone online has an equal opportunity to spill their own bile…hence, ME. =[~)

    2. They should consider reorganizing their infrastructures for sure…I think any downtime or outages seriously need to become a thing of the past #ConvergedInfrastructure

    1. Bigotry isn’t limited to city folk.  The guy is a jerk; he probably has equally offensive views on other topics, and if he’d grown up in Janesville, WI or Blacksburg, VA he would probably be saying the same jerky things about big cities instead.

      1. Take it from someone born and raised in Darwin’s Sorrows, OH… If he’d grown up in Janesville or Blacksburg, he would’ve probably been saying the same jerky things about Janesville or Blackburg. Sometimes a wasteland is just a wasteland and a jerk is just a jerk. ;)

    2. Nah, they’ll probably just fulfill their Manifest Destiny, “They say, ‘we’ll kill them off, take their land and go there for vacation!'” (Darkness, Rage Against the Machine)

    3. I live in a city and completely agree that “always online” requirements are fucking ridiculous.  If I want to air gap and play for 12 hours then I should be able to.  If I can’t then you’re not actually selling me anything — you’re at best renting it to me, and if that’s the case I don’t want to play your game at all.

      If I thought MS was a good company I’d say they should fire this tool but as it is I’m fine with MS making decisions based on this guy’s “expertise”.

      Anyway, don’t judge all “city folk” by this asshole’s example.  That’s not much different from stereotyping “country folk” as illiterate hicks.

  2. And how much crap is being sent back and forth? Someplaces have extremely low bandwidth caps.

  3. Wow, what a load of steaming privileged bullshit. That’s NOT the world “we” live in, Adam Orth. It’s a position of privilege, and you’re a total tool for not realizing that.

    1. I think you might be differing in your use of “we”.

      “We” can be used as shorthand for referring to an actual, empirical population(and, in this context, statements about ‘we’ can be incorrect); but it can also be used in the ‘We, as in me and other people who are almost as important’ sense. Here, non-inclusive statements are not false; but rather intended to define the population that ‘we’ refers to.

      Do you think that this guy includes hicks and poor people in his ‘we’?

  4. If we say “it’s awesome” and “not an issue” long enough people will buy into it and come to accept it.  Just look at what it did for 3D TVs!!!!

  5. there are simply to many people using twitter to make complete and utter dicks of themselves, yeesh

      1. I mean “real” people, not avatars, real people making utter fools of themselves on a daily basis, like this guy, he works for MS for gawds sake, it;s not like he can even cite lack of technical knowledge as an excuse for posting something dumb for all the world to see (at least, hopefully)

  6. It’s actually only a position of privilege in some countries of the world. There are some countries on Earth where there is inexpensive crazy fast and reliable Internet for everybody. Though, I guess you could say those countries themselves are privileged. 

    1. Even in those countries, there are probably people too poor to afford the connections that are available. Unless the countries in question provide broadband as a public good freely available to all, that is.

      1. Those people are probably too poor to buy an Xbox too, so I don’t know what point you’re trying to make, aside from the fact that poor people exist.

  7. Somebody tell this idiot that the world we live in today also has tech that’s so rich that there is very little margin between different consoles; ergo people will not miss by buying an Xbox competitor console that suit’s their internet connection better.

  8. Why on earth would I buy from Microsoft? And who on earth will hire Adam Orth in the future?

    1. That’s why game makers are running away from always-on systems as fast as they can. It’s why SimCity has been a failure for EA. Because there are so many people like you! Keep fighting!

      1. I get plenty on GoG, the big publishers ignoring me means no sales to me, and I still have plenty to play. I’ve purchased well over a thousand games over my gaming life. If they want to stop taking my money, they’re more than welcome to.
        I think SimCity has been a failure, how many chargebacks were there?

  9. “Always on DRM” is like buying a book but only being able to read it if you call the publisher first and leave that connection open while you’re reading.  If the publisher is busy, too bad for you.  If the publisher is closed for the weekend, too bad for you.  If the publisher changes their phone number and you don’t have the new number, too bad for you.

    1. I like this analogy. 

      Ever console (I know of) to date still works if you can find one. I have a Colecovision kicking around in storage somewhere, and I know if I can find a proper adapter to plug it into a modern TV, it’ll work! And I can play the games still. Ditto my NES, Genesis, SNES,  Saturn, Playstation, Dreamcast, etc. A hypothetical always on Durango would work for exactly as long as Microsoft is willing to keep the servers on for it, and only after that if DMCA-violating cracks are released and available. That sits poorly with me even though I am “always on” most of the time.

      1. You made me want to play Intellivision’s “Utopia”, that which hooked me on god games. Thanks! 

        Now I just need to go back to 1984 and fail to throw that stuff out…

      2.  Well, you can’t play any of the old Super Famicom radio games without a crack, because you could only play them during radio broadcats I believe.

        But that was an interesting experience with actual arguable customer value, and was always intended to be transient. This, though…

      1. If comparisons had to make sense across all axes in able to be used we would never be able to make comparisons, the concept of “metaphor” would not exist, and we would be an intellectually impoverished race of boring, overly-literal assholes who are incapable of any form of artistic expression.

        But technically yes — all digital circuits are also analog circuits.  When we talk about “digital” we’re simply abstracting out some of the details of analog implementations to be able to discuss what’s immediately relevant to us. 

        markdotnet’s analogy is apt in every relevant sense.

  10. Note to the internet: do not engage in “two friends at a bar” style banter over TWITTER.

  11. If this is as creative as MS can get no wonder they keep screwing up so hard.

  12. I loath the ‘That’s the world we live in’ school of argument when it is being used by people who aided and abetted making it that way.

    Adjusting to conditions that are not within your power to modify is pragmatic and necessary.

    Modifying the conditions and then sitting back as though matters are purely in the hands of inevitable fate and telling everybody else that they should just be realistic, and pragmatic, and stuff, man, about what you just did is smirking, fallacious, bullshit.

    If Microsoft wants to not have any customers outside of well-connected and comparatively wealthy areas(Have any of their market-research flacks considered the fact that video games, per hour, are now quite cheap entertainment, and console games, in particular, are both widely available and crushing PC games in poorer and less connected areas, since many of the virtues of a PC are really tied to decent internet access, while having a console has historically been more like having a DVD player?), it’s their market to lose; but pretending that some kind of historical inevitability, rather than their own choices, forced their hand is just bullshit.

      1. You certainly do.

        Why do you think you get to tell other people what they should care about?

    1. I think I hate the argument more because it just isn’t true.  My cell phone is not “always on” when I go somewhere that it can’t get service I can still use it as a calculator or even play a game if I had any on it.

      There are extremely few devices that require a persistent internet connection to have any function at all.  Nearly everyone who builds devices realizes that they should only require an internet connection (or a cellular signal) for those functions that actually use that connection.

      1. Damn straight.  “This is the world we live in” is ridiculous.  As far as gaming consoles that you can actually go out and buy today, how many of them require an always-on internet connection in order to perform basic game-playing functions?  As far as I know, none of ’em do.

        So maybe that’s the world MS would like for us to live in, but we currently do not, and there’s no good reason at all why we should feel we need to.

        I’m not too terribly invested.  I was looking forward to the new Xbox, but if it’s going to require an always-on internet connection to play, screw ’em.  I have plenty of current-gen titles I have yet to play, and MS can do without my money.

        I’m not particularly mad at them for doing this; I just won’t play that game with them.

    2. Many years ago I worked on a cell phone project that also involved a base station at your home. The base station had to be connected all the time. We discovered that the test market had frequent power outages and so ended up putting a big sticker on all the base stations with the instructions for reconnecting to the system after a power outage (press a couple of buttons).

      Fast forward a month or so to a meeting with another vendor for a similar phone, and when asked how they’d handle a power outage, they had no capabilities to deal with it. It never occurred to them and they thought we were asking about some theoretical situation. That killed the deal…not just their lack of the feature, but that they did not understand the need to fix it.

      Okay, fine, you can’t always know in advance how things play in the real world, but if your customers are telling you it’s a problem, it’s possible to program work-arounds. Instead of telling them, “there’s no problem here,” it’s the job of the engineering team to fix the problem. Maybe Microsoft can’t fix the internet service in rural America, but they can fix their own machine.

        1. We added the sticker for the test market products. For the to market version the feature was changed to auto-dial in.

          Some of the Dilbert stuff (back when it was good) was so relevant. I used to keep one on my wall about how the workers would do all this research and make these informed suggestions, then the managers would just make shit up and tell everyone to make that product instead. In the final frame the main manager guy was using the boss below him as a  footstool.

      1. Maybe the other company designed their product such that the first thing it did upon receiving power was to reattach itself to the network. Thus, they would not understand the problem you posed. Not because their product didn’t address it, but because with a properly designed product there would be no need to address it. Perhaps they thought you were asking how they would provide connectivity during the power outage.

  13. I bought a used Xbox 360 last summer, solely to play Halo 3, after accepting that MS was never going to port it to PC. I’ve only had it connected to the network for the last month, to play a few demos.
    I was looking forward to the next Xbox, and the next story set in the Halo universe, but crap like this makes me step back and question that interest. Microsoft, I am disappointed.

      1. I believe the sentence structure was invoking the assistance of teh Jeebus in dealing with the evil bung monkey, not equating them.  Just like your sentence was addressing the poster, then making a statement. 

        Also it is a common tag and caption phrase…know your memes. You must pay penance…and hopefully lighten up.

      2. Is that the royal Our?

        May you find the enlightenment that comes from being touched by his noodlely appendage.

  14. In fact, Maxxis’s always on policy cost them a sale.  I have fond memories of the original sim city, and I was ready to buy the update when I heard about their DRM.  One place where single user games shine is when you are stuck in seat 19F, and its 3 hours till you land.   Yea some planes have WiFi, but lots don’t, even if you were willing to pay for it.

    So you don’t have to live in flyover country, just be flying over it.

    1. Yes, but it made them so many sales.  I mean, every single person who would have downloaded it illegally *must have* instead purchased a legal copy because of their DRM.  That’s how it works, right?

  15. “There are 47 percent of the people who will want to play console games disconnected from the internet no
    matter what … who are dependent upon the game producers, who believe that they
    are victims. … These are people who pay no yearly licensing fees. … and so my job
    is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they
    should take personal responsibility and care for their gaming experience.”

  16. Forgive me, but to do anything on the Xbox without an internet connection is completely useless…how else do my achievements get posted with the correct dates? I’m supposed to use many completely separate machines or devices to communicate and watch with my friends ONLINE?? I have to follow the trend of stupid idiots who blindly hate for no good reason??? #FirstWorldProblems

    1.  Some of us just play the GAME and don’t give two stinks about how our achievements stack up against others.  If I want to play with my friends I choose an online game.  If I just want to kill time on my own in off-line mode, I want the freedom to do so.

    2.  Not everyone cares about achievements. We use our Xbox for games but rarely play online because our household internet is too spotty. We also use it for Netflix. I enjoy having the console, but on a recent weekend when our internet company completely cut off our internet due to their own bad policies/service… yeah, I spent the majority of that weekend playing Zelda on Wii, because it didn’t matter whether the internet was off and on.

      Of course, the majority of our games are also purchased second-hand, often years after the original release date, because none of our household makes enough money to buy $60 games all the time when they come out. If the next Xbox has this kind of DRM always-on crap, I won’t buy it. I’ll be disappointed, because I generally like the system, but it’s not enough to overcome that kind of stupidity.

  17. Torn on this.  I live in a place more rural than Janesville, and during the summer months my Internet service is more likely than not to be out of service.  Having said that, I have a PC hooked up to my TV for MythTV and Steam, and because the PC is running 64-bit Mythbuntu, we get Netflix through our Wii (we don’t have high-enough bandwidth for HD.)  Steam requires a high-speed Internet connection, but it at least has an offline mode, and many games work just fine without an Internet connection.   We can only hope the Steambox will be as polite about it.

    I don’t mind guys like this not wanting to live here. I guess there’s fun things to do where he is, and I’m sure his rate of pay is higher than the average around here, but OTOH I can have the simple pleasure of sitting on my back porch with a Schlafly (beer) and watch the whitetail graze in my yard.

  18. Microsoft itself has shown a high level of contempt for what users actually want, as a corporate culture. Users are dumb – Microsoft exists to *show* them what they want. When the users say they want something else, Microsoft just buys another company that does it – then gradually makes that company more Microsoft until people don’t want it any more.

    Fortunately their contempt for users extends to their generally rather easily evaded DRM.

    This could be viewed as a lack of empathic connection, that is a problem with working at Microsoft. It’s just not always on.

    1. Arguably, their consumer division is rather worse. MS-Enterprise costs a lot, and has some weird and wonderful bugs; but Microsoft isn’t dumb enough to mess with its bread and butter(most of the time) if enough customers grumble. Volume Licencees have downgrade rights for years after the little people can no longer buy older software, enterprise support periods are also years longer, and MS tends to recognize(albeit resentfully, and with a hungry eye toward devouring and assimilating them) the need for 3rd-party software and in-house development among their enterprise clients.

      On the consumer side, though, Microsoft is slightly less clunky; but appears committed to learning all the worst traits of Apple to supplement their own foibles.

  19. i’ve been waiting weeks to get hooked up to the net (using 3g atm) due to Openreach’s incompetence. it is not because i am in outer mongolia or some hillbilly.

    I have been using my XBOX offline and it feels crippled (i am on live a lot) but at least i can play SP games. XBOX 3 would not work in this situation so i (as a previous owner) would not buy one (let alone the horrendous DRM issues/dead servers) so good one MS one customer down.

    I sympathise with producers RE:piracy (online keys in boxes suck but you could argue servers cost money and it doesn’t affect single player you could buy secondhand and still play something)but this is a joke.

  20. “Why on Earth would I live there?”

    If that’s supposed to be funny, I’m sure it’s not for the folks who live in those places. 

    That is, he’s dodging an important point with a remark that is either snide, poorly timed, or indicative of a real lack of understanding about where the bulk of his customers live.

    If he’d just take the time to play out the conversation, maybe we’d all learn something useful.

  21. it would be hard to find a single real gamer that WANTS always-on. It can only be a detriment to game play and never a benefit. The corporations want it, because of imaginary pirates and dreams of micro-payment gold.

  22. I propose we get #dealwith it to trend on Twitter. (For Canadians, the idea would be similar to last year’s #tellviceverything). 

    “I don’t get the big deal about Hurricane Sandy. Hurricanes exist, that’s the world we live in. #dealwithit”

  23. I live in the Bay Area.  We are very progressive here.  Unfortunately, my Comcast cable connection must be from the rural South because it keeps dropping randomly.

  24. Oh, the power can go out? Well then, it should be okay to just hook up all the lights in town to a DRM server. And the elevators. And the hospitals. Oh, hospitals have backups… is there a localized backup for your DRM?


  25. Love how his tweets are now protected, it’s twitters equivalent of ‘oh shit I said something really stupid…’.  The one good thing is that MS is getting feedback now that this is not a thing people will tolerate, hopefully the PS4 will not be like this and give us the choice to not be always connected.

    1. Lots of “fourth-wave” feminists hid their tweets after the backlash against their comments. What does that say about the value of said tweets, again?

    2. Fairly certain the PS4 has been confirmed as not having an online requirement.

      Point in their favour – Sony seem to have actually learnt from the mistakes they made this gen. There’s still plenty of time for them to mess it up, but signs are good at this stage.

      By comparison, MS seem to have taken their pointers from 2006 era Sony. Hubris doesn’t make any friends.

  26. The mentality around people and corporations that live in echo chambers and are unable to “deal with” facts that run counter to their preferred vision of reality fascinates me. Which means I want ms or sony to try this, just to see the corporate backpedaling that would ensue when long lines of angry customers formed at return counters, and the second wave of returns after the first time the company’s auth servers went down.

  27. I heard this morning from a mutual acquaintance that he’s a brash, outspoken fellow with heavy use of sarcasm, and was bantering with a friend. That said, I think that what he did was insane in a public forum, and I definitely wouldn’t want to be in his position right now.

    I will say that this was obviously an unofficial communication. I would posit that, historically, partial information disclosure on new technology has usually been met with scorn and suspicion that is subsequently revised when the full official disclosure takes place. If these rumors are true, I opine that Microsoft is taking a gamble on something that they feel will be a net-win.

    Full disclosure: I work in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft. I’ve seen healthy debate on both sides of many controversial features during my tenure, so I can definitely say that decisions at a console level are not made in a vacuum.

    In the end, we’ll see what market forces decide. I think competition is healthy and a win for consumers, and so I certainly hope both Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Valve are successful in the coming years.

    I frequent many social sites, but this is my first & favorite, so it’s the only place I’ll be “shilling” my ‘wait and see’ perspective. All statements here are my own and not necessarily of my employer.

  28. This very much reminds me of Quark’s response to consumers: “You don’t like it? Go buy some other software.”

    Does anyone remember Quark?

  29. Somebody’s going to be out looking for a new job soon… That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit

  30. It’s obviously going to have a 4G connection. This has been in every spec sheet that’s been leaked for Durango. Dumbasses.

  31. Sorry, I don’t get the drama around paying for Microsoft products.  Every MS product has either a free open source alternative or is available as a cracked download or torrent.  That’s the world we live in.  

      1. Wow, yet another person who fawns over Bill Gates despite the fact he plundered far more from society than he’ll EVER give to charity.

        His corrupt, monopolistic, unethical business practices with Microsoft hurt and/or destroyed countless small businesses and consumers. Small businesses and individuals that would have given FAR MORE to charity than King Gates will ever give. In case you didn’t know, small businesses and individuals give vastly more money to charity than large corporations and Bill Gates do combined.

        Luckily for Bill Gates, there are plenty of suckers who can’t critically think their way out of wet paper bags and they end up celebrating this evil idiot and forget all the damage he’s done because they only focus on his charity.

        So of course new megalomaniacs will follow in his footsteps and take far more than they give to society and be celebrated as “heros” in the future… and the sick megalomanic/twit cycle continues.


        Still don’t get it?

        Even more… (Here’s your homework: Calculate an estimate of all the harm to all these businesses and get back with me) (It goes way back, buddy) (It keeps going) (download the PDF there)

        Observe the countless examples here (for you to probably ignore): (download the PDF there) (download the PDF there) (That “liberal” rag.. FORBES mag)

        History of Anticompetitive behavior and consumer harm (a very enlightening read if you STILL don’t get it),0;sid=2001/6/21/61725/2457

        Microsoft entered into anticompetitive and exclusionary agreements with OLSs and ISPs

        I guess if I beat the hell out of someone’s grandmother, steal her purse, then graciously give her back a couple of bucks, you’ll deem me a hero?

        1. Wow, impressive list there. Seriously.

          That Wikipedia article alone covers many of the business practices that got BillG to where he is today.

          Examples include:
          – Spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about their competitors’ products
          – Platform lock-in (the best example of which might have been Microsoft’s adding its own proprietary extensions to the Java programming language, so that it could only be used to create software for Windows — and then having the audacity to start an advertising campaign about the “Freedom to Innovate” when Sun sued them)
          – Copying competitors’ products and buying competitors up wholesale
          – Monopolistic business practices, of which much has been said

          So now BillG can be lauded as “the world’s greatest philanthropist,” and everybody will forget about all the shit he pulled on his way to fame and fortune.

        2. “Wow, yet another person who fawns over Bill Gates despite the fact he plundered far more from society than he’ll EVER give to charity.”

          It’s nice that you’re equating hurting first-world small business to donating billions towards eradicating polio and malaria in the third world…  he’s giving 95% of his wealth to charity. The monster.

          1. It’s nice that you’re equating hurting first-world small business

            Unfortunately, like many apologists who celebrate Bill Gates and lack critical thinking skills, you’re speaking from ignorance.

            If you had educated yourself and READ those links I posted above you would have seen this:

            The effects of anti-competitive business practices on developing countries and their development prospects:


            Also, you’ve seem to missed the part where Bill Gates has TAKEN far more than he will EVER GIVE back to charity. Also
            Go back, read through my links and EDUCATE YOURSELF.

            donating billions towards eradicating polio and malaria in the third world

            The Gates Foundation investments include companies that worsen poverty in developing countries, pollute heavily and supports pharmaceutical companies that don’t sell into the developing world.

            Also, he’s doing it wrong…

            By pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers, Gates is diverting staff from basic care. This form of “brain drain”, pulls away trained staff from children and those suffering from other common killers.

            The focus on a few diseases has shortchanged basic needs such as nutrition and transportation. Gates-funded vaccination programs have instructed caregivers to ignore – even discourage patients from discussing – ailments that the vaccinations cannot prevent.

            The Gates Foundation harms global health by diverting resources from other important local health care services. The foundation diverts medical professionals from other parts of developing nations’ health care systems; the health care systems’ ability to provide care diminishes (except in the area the foundation funds) and the charities do more harm than good. (This has been backed up by several prominent investigations, look it up yourself)

            The Gates Foundation is also undermining public education and exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable to voters or tax payers. The reforms include closing neighborhood schools in favor of privately run charter schools, forcing standardized tests which have been proven to harm education (just ask teachers, educational professionals, etc.).

            What should you learn from this?

            It’s better to have decentralized sources of charity coming from many sources instead of one collective source. Unfortunately, Gates helped to hinder and in many cases completely detroy entities that would have not only given FAR MORE to charity, but would have also done it in a far more diversified and effective manner.

            It’s ironic as hell.

            Bill Gate’s monopoly helped usher in an era of rampant malware for decades because of the lack of platform diversity. Educate yourself here at this link. This cost average consumers and businesses worldwide in the trillions (many of whom were able to give less to charity because of this by the way). Many businesses and consumers were rail-roaded into using his subpar products and services via his unethical, non-competitive, monopolistic business practices (see the many, many link I’ve already posted if you still doubt this, OK???)

            The sick irony: He’s now using those same ill-gotten profits (that hurts the world in the past, present and future with a lack of diversification ) and giving it to the developing world in an ironically non-diversified manner and hurting them as well (with his know-it-all, megalomaniacal arrogance).

            As Bill Gates was with Microsoft, he’s too arrogant to look at the big picture. Then again, if Gates looks at the big picture, he’d see what a piece of shit he is – so can’t have that…

            Keep kissing the masters feet, AwesomeRobot. But, some of us who are critical thinkers and don’t wallow in ignorance know the emperor’s got no clothes on.

            Sure, I’m glad he’s at least paying a tragically small pittance to all the worldwide damage he’s caused, but please forgive me for not celebrating the megalomaniacal idiot either.

            You sarcastically referred to him as a monster. Rethink that sarcasm. Or, better yet.. just critically think, period.

          2. I guess we can only hope that this collective cynicism creates some sort of wormhole to allow us to travel back and stop him.


            It’s not cynicism, it’s being aware of reality.

            Instead of sticking our collective heads in the sand, maybe we can educate each other on what really happened and that’ll help to prevent more of this deceit in the future?

            I’m sorry I killed your hero.

          3. I don’t think you get how technology works, you’re currently using one of the  things Gates helped evolve into this powerful tool we call the internet and then criticizing it.  For example “Bill Gate’s monopoly helped usher in an era of rampant malware for decades because of a lack of platform diversity.” so if 2 people had different text readers how could they communicate?
            This is a highlight of ignorance “The Gates Foundation is also undermining public education and exerts too
            much influence over public education policy without being accountable
            to voters or tax payers”, remember that we are talking about an educational system that is getting worse and worse while still being run and voted on by tax payers.  At least he’s trying and (ironically) if you had go through some of his educational plans you may understand that you can’t just claim to remove someone’s evil influence while leaving all their good points.

          4. you’re currently using one of the things Gates helped evolve into this powerful tool we call the internet

            You should get your facts straight. While I and others were actively working on the web (I’ve been doing IT for decades, by the way), IE wasn’t even released until late 1995.

            Also Bill Gates didn’t have anything to do with working on the structure of the Internet. Are you kidding?


            I don’t think you know your technology history.

            Microsoft’s horrible implementation of IE and resistance to conforming to standards (from their anti-competive motives) hindered web development for DECADES.

            Did you develop web sites during this time? If you had, you’d know what a costly nightmare it’s been for developers all over the world to figure out workarounds for Internet Explorer. The costs of this has been astronomical over decades. This is common knowledge for developers. If you’re an authority on technology, why don’t you know this fact?

            Internet Explorer has been widely criticized for its security issues and lack of support for modern web standards, making frequent appearances in “worst tech products of all time” lists, with some publications labeling it as the “least secure software on the planet.”

            Observe: PCWorld – Worst Tech Products of All Time, IE6 is NUMBER 8

            Educate yourself:





            IE back in the day was integrated into the kernel so deeply, there were special undocumented APIs only for IE functionality. That meant faster startup times and faster rendering back then. But it opened the system to a whole bank of security holes. There were entire websites dedicated to its security holes that went unfixed for years and allowed full access to to the system. Those holes basically were the reason those first trojans and Internet viruses succeeded so well. And Outlook used to use IE’s engine internally too, so an e-mail was enough for trouble as well.

            And what did Microsoft do? Instead of fixing those bugs… they sued the websites listing the bugs out of existence. Now the only ones knowing about those bugs where the criminals (includes MS). The rest of us had no chance of protecting against them anymore. That went on for years.

            Microsoft intentionally made the engine (Trident) incompatible with the W3C standards, created an incompatible JavaScript implementation and even attempted a incompatible Java implementation (for which they were sued). The point of this is their wel-known EEE (embrace, extend and extinguish) policy. First they implement your stuff, then they introduce incompatibilities, and then, through the power of monopoly, they pushed the original inventor out of the game. They tried to kill Sun. Literally. And to get rid of the W3C. For total web dominance.

            And they nearly fully succeeded. It’s what’s called the “web dark ages” between the death of Netscape (which they murdered, using their OS monopoly, too), and the rise of Mozilla. The times of IE 5–6. You will see that in that time, nearly zero progress in both web site and browser development happened. Opera were the only ones improving anything (and nearly all Firefox ideas, including tabs, were from there). They simply didn’t give a fuck, because they had a monopoly. And we all suffered without knowing what we missed.

            Their implementation of the standards was therefore of course horribly bad. By far the most time it took to develop a web page/site was IE workaround time. Making webdev three to five times more expensive for clients. And the bugs. Oh the bugs. I swear to you, that from time to time I still have horrible nightmares from when I was paid to write a real web application (think: OS X mock-up with network file system without the AJAX API, full widget toolkit and video player) for IE 6. Every single developer loathed IE, and many still do to this day.

            Dude, Microsoft hindered the Internet, he didn’t evolve it. He didn’t allow IE to come around until they were FORCED to do so when Netscape, Chrome, etc. leaved it in the dust and IE drastically lost marketshare on their own platform.

            I don’t think you get how technology works

            After your previous statements, I think you should clearly speak for yourself in this regard.

            so if 2 people had different text readers how could they communicate?

            Do I really need to explain this to you? Please go back and read my link from my previous post you responded to and educate yourself on this. Then get back with me after you understand the basic principles of multi-platofrm compatibility and the advantages of not executing the exact, same code in the process and how that diversity thwarts security threats.


            This is a highlight of ignorance “The Gates Foundation is also undermining public education and exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable
            to voters or tax payers”, remember that we are talking about an educational system that is getting worse and worse while still being run and voted on by tax payers. At least he’s trying

            So what’s your point? What evidence are you bringing to the table that all those facts I listed are “good” for education? You make the shrill claim that it’s the “highlight of ignorance” but don’t back yourself up… at all. Nothing.

            if you had go through some of his educational plans you may understand that you can’t just claim to remove someone’s evil influence while leaving all their good points.

            If you had read what I said throughout this thread and actually studied the numerous articles and research papers via my links, you’d see where good things about Gates are mentioned as well (quite a lot, actually).

            The problem is we need to weigh the good with the bad and use facts and research to determine what’s the net effect of all these deeds. The net effect of Bill Gate’s monopolistic, anti-competitive, unethical business practices was one in which it clearly hurt competition, American small business enterprises and was a net drain on charity.

            If you want to go with your gut, ignore facts and rely on “feel good”, faith-based analysis of situations, I suggest you watch Bill O’ Reilly, etc. on FOX “News”. This is apparently causing you cognitive dissonance here.

            I’m sorry I killed your hero.

        3. Just a tip in case you’re curious about the link dump (don’t know why you would be) the last link is irrelevant filler, at least.  I can’t be bothered to check any more of Cowicide’s crap.

          1. That link is there to show how much Microsoft affects others with its poor decisions and ineptitude.

            Microsoft has to change security codes on Xbox machines (because of their own security FAIL) and the chips already manufactured didn’t work with the new codes.  This contributed to a massive drop in stock price for Nvidia and other losses.

            Of course, Nvidia (being terrified of Microsoft’s monopoly) had to walk on its tip-toes even to just mildly complain about it.
            So, anyway, Is that all ya got to bring to the table?  Wow, that’s weak.By the way, you do know that you got the domain name wrong, right?  Could you at least get that fact straight while you are, uh… fact checking?

            I can’t be bothered to check any more of Cowicide’s crap.

            Right, just keep your head planted firmly into the sand.  That’ll help.

            Just call it all “crap” and see if that sticks, huh?  You’re a joke.

          2. Just throwing that out there so people can make their own judgment about your link dump.

            They can read what the article says, then they can appreciate all of the wonderful context and analysis that you added.

          3.  All you do is run down half truths and try an overwhelm with verbal diarrhea.  You have a hate for Gates/MS and IE, you have a lot of knowledge but you are blinded so applying it into wisdom isn’t going to happen.  NONE of you links are germane to the point, I talk about pushing the internet you pull apart IE as evil.  The internet is more than IE, a lot more.  The fact that you don’t get that is an example of a lot of knowledge but no wisdom.  Also the childish insults re-affirm you lack of wisdom and undercut any point you may have inadvertently make.  You seem to be struggling with anger and conflict, I’d be the source of that anger isn’t me, any other poster or even Gates, you’re just lashing out at us.

            Get help, hope you can learn to apply the knowledge so it becomes wisdom.

          4. All you do is run down half truths

            PROVE IT. Show your sources. Put up or shut up.

            You have a hate for Gates/MS and IE

            Correction. I have a hate for ineptitude, corruption and people that hurt other people for their own gain.

            Get it straight.

            NONE of you links are germane to the point, I talk about pushing the internet you pull apart IE as evil. The internet is more than IE, a lot more

            Wow, you can’t even keep track of your own drivel at this point, can you?

            What YOU said was (and I quote) that, “Gates helped evolve into this powerful tool we call the internet”. And then I point how that he hindered it and what have you got? Nothing.

            You seem to be struggling with anger and conflict,

            Let’s see, you start off the “conversation” with me by telling me I don’t know how technology works. Then you add that I’m the “highlight of ignorance” or whatever.

            Quit projecting and read your own inane drivel to yourself. Looks like you just can’t take what you dish out. Your attitude sucks and you don’t back up what you say with research nor facts while blindly dismissing what I bring to the table.

            School’s over.

            Get help, hope you can learn to apply the knowledge so it becomes wisdom.

            Get valid research, facts and the wisdom to look at them and critically think. Otherwise, you’re lost. Ok, “Lord” Insidious?

            Once again. Put up or shut up. School’s over.

      2. interestingly enough, he gave ZERO dollars to charities for years until his wife and bad publicity on this exact subject finally convinced him to.

        she is the real philanthropist.

        to be fair he does seem to be totally on board these days and is doing a lot, so it seems that he had a change of heart.

        i remember an interview where he was asked about this and his answer was something to the equivalent that it just didn’t occur to him prior to when he shifted gears.  it seemed an honest answer.  still for someone who was sooooo rich at the time i find it strange that charity didn’t even occur to him.

        i appreciate all that him and his wife are doing but i certainly wouldn’t call him the world’s greatest philanthropist.

        1. to be fair he does seem to be totally on board these days and is doing a lot

          To be really fair, he’s doing a lot of damage.

          See above.

          i appreciate all that him and his wife are doing but i certainly wouldn’t call him the world’s greatest philanthropist.

          Once again, please see above.  You’re giving them far too much credit.

  32. This is part of Balmers attempt at killing every profitable/good/usable part of Mr. Gates empire.  Damned if he is going to fuel some crap charity, this along with the Zune, Vista, and the Windows phone the new Xbox will help put the last nail in the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations coffin. . 

  33. I live in the mountains of Colorado and gladly pay 39.95 for BLAZING 1.6mip DSL. I’m sure he knows why people live here when he comes to visit his 5th vacation home for a week a year. We’re so quaint and friendly. Sorry our cocaine is so subpar.

  34. I came here to ask if the kids were still saying “Christ, what an asshole.”

    Seriously, that guy’s an asshole.

  35. I don’t think this is so bad.. honestly. He just doesn’t get it.

    Besides its an MS product after 2010… its going to flop.

  36. Idiot.  The question isn’t whether he’d want to live there.  The question is: are there a lot of people who do live there with little better to do with their time than use your product.

  37. this guy seems like the kind of person who will read these comments and think that the entire internet is jerks instead of realizing he is.

    1. Yeah. Sucks for him; he forgets for a second he was on Twitter, and suddenly he’s literally worse than Hitler. :(

  38. Jesus fuck, folks, get a grip. It’s a games machine, it’s not the return of the draft. I’m not the biggest fan of capitalism in the best of times, but this is an example of how the market is supposed to work: if the always-on thing is a big deal, the console will be a bust; problem solved. And I doubt this guy Adam is at a pay level where he ever had a say on the matter.

    1. Hmm, do you imagine this market thing works without social interactions? What you’re looking at is the market at work — a bunch of people getting together and agreeing that they don’t like this shit.

      1. No, what I’m seeing here is a lynch mob at work. The market at work is people voting with their wallets.

        1. Isn’t there something in the definition of The Market(tm) about access to information? You can “see” whatever you want, but what’s happening is sharing of information.

          1. No new information has been shared, other than what was initially gleaned by those tweets. What’s happening is just the Internet smelling blood and whipping itself into a cyclone of vileness, all over a fucking *games console* that doesn’t even exist yet.

        2. Sure, the market is people voting with their wallets. But how do people form the opinions on which their decisions are based? Even if this discussion amounts to a lynch mob (I don’t really agree, but that’s not my point) that’s not distinct from “the market”. You seem to be implying that there is such as thing as a “pure” market that works, or should work, independently of social interactions. I’m saying that this abstract “market” is a myth and therefore your criticism is based on a false dichotomy. Regardless of its tone, or even if the criticisms are justified or not, this is still an example of “the market” at work. So feel free to criticise what people are saying, the groupthink or whatever, but don’t imagine that if people just shut up the market will go ahead and sort things out for itself.

          1. I agree, and people are perfectly entitled to not buy the Xbox because they think Adam Orth is a dick on twitter, that’s their prerogative. But this *is* a lynch mob. Orth has said nothing he deserves to be crucified over, and there is no valuable exchange of information going on here, unless a barrage of entitled, poisonous bile directed from a frenzied mob to an individual qualifies as “information”.

            And, considering we’re talking about a fucking Xbox here, and not someone’s food on the table (except for maybe Orth’s, if he loses his job over this), a call for a sense of proportion is hardly out of place.

  39. They get it. They simply believe that the average person is stupid enough to confuse “always on” for what they really mean… “able to render obsolete”…
    The point is they are counting on ignorance to remove the used peripheral and gaming marketshare from contention while shoring up cash through more forced Xbox Live signups. Is it a coincidence that the new XBL terms state that you can be charged varying (increasing) amounts based on location but they still do not guarantee service? SCAM.
    WHY YOU ASK? If you regularly read any tech blog about Microsoft you’ll read about all the tech they cultivate in attempt to remain on par or in hopes of being cutting edge. But the one thing you’ll notice more so than anything is that 80% of those tech rarely sees the light of day.

    We are unknowingly and forcibly funding those defunct projects.

  40. Also “Always On” has several meanings.

    I have a good internet connection, it is usually 99% of the time “Always On” anyway. So I don’t really have a huge problem with that, unless I want to travel someplace I have no internet connection, then have a big useless paper weight apparently.

    No what makes me angry about these schemes, is that it is more dependent on a company actually hosting servers that are always available, that usually are not, and on the initial launch of anything fail, because they don’t anticipate the popularity or whatever, or were too cheap to buy more hardware or have more server centers, or at some point simply decide that they no longer want to host something anymore as it isn’t worth it to them fiscally so they just turn it all off and give you a big “too bad so sad”. In addition, this is obviously another method of control, in that you can forget about selling used consoles or buying them, or renting them or whatever, because they will be registered to you etc…

    Anyway either this guy drinks his only coolaid and buys into his own PR FUD, or he is a complete idiot. It may well be the “way things are going” however do not expect consumers to be happy about it.

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