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Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

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dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08

I'm wondering what your opinions are on Microsoft's hardware such as mice and keboards and so forth.

Is it ethical to buy their hardware products?
One could say it is unethical to buy their hardware products since the money helps fund a monopoly in the tech market. On the other hand you could say it's hardware, freedom and hardware are not realy connected and thus it's not unethical to buy MS hardware.

Please comment;


User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

There also exists some free as in freedom hardware (sparc!!!). But for most of our hardware we have no choice but to buy hardware with proprietary designs. Then there are still two possibilities: hardware that is documented, and hardware that is not documented (so developing free drivers will be more difficult). I don't expect microsoft will be very willing to share the documentation with us. Of course a lot of their hardware just happens to comply to known standards (mice and keyboards are much more standardized than video cards).

If you buy ms hardware, that doesn't always mean you're funding ms. AFAIK at least the old XBoxes were sold cheaper than possible (which made building linux clusters out of XBoxes ten times more fun :ange3: )
I think if you buy an ms mouse or keyboard you are funding ms, though. You're not buying their evil software, but you are giving them extra money to develop DRM and force it on other people. Definitely not ethical.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

Anyway, do you really want to have anything with the word "microsoft" on it on your desk? It can destroy your good creative mood Laughing

User offline. Last seen 10 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-29
Re: Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

What about using MS hardware that you had before? One of my mice is an MS mouse.



User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

The point of a boycott is not to throw away things you already have, it is not to buy from a company. FWIW you might have replaced your ms stuff with apple stuff, and now you have to replace it again... Binning hardware you already have only hurts you, not the companies that made it.

If you already have a microsoft mouse, and don't want to see the word "microsoft" anymore, just put a sticker on it or something Wink .

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: Is MS Hardware ethicly bad?

Interesting topic. :-)

Just buying and using Microsoft's hardware in itself isn't unethical, but considering the consequence of you choosing to give them money for a piece of hardware like a keyboard or a mouse does pose a question, especially when there's alot of choice of providers of that same kind of hardware with at least good enough quality (it's not like MS is known for great quality).

I'm not sure really what stance to take on this. There might be another way of looking at it. We are against proprietary software and we therefore don't use and discourage use of Microsoft's software because of that. However, if any piece of Microsoft's hardware is well documented and working fully on GNU/Linux then it is not restricting anyone. In that area, Microsoft is doing nothing bad. Now we could refrain from boycotting MS in those areas at least to show that we're not here to hate MS, but to promote Free Software. I mean, noone would then be able to dismiss us as "just zealoted MS haters" when they see us using products that they have produced fairly (if there are such).

Well, that is at least to prolong this discussion. That argument is admittely a bit bent over. :-)

Personally, I definitely wouldn't buy anything that has a Microsoft label on it because I don't want to support it's monopoly (as said already), but if I were to wind up with a piece of MS's hardware I wouldn't necessarily feel pressured to get rid of it.

I'm all for MS boycott (as in not buying any of their products).


Daniel Memenode signature

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