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Market bullying

I wanted to find out what Microsoft Expression Media — or, as Microsoft puts it, Microsoft® Expression® Media — is, so I did what any red-blooded Netizen would do: I googled it. The top hit is Microsoft’s home page for it. It wants to show me videos, but I don’t want to sit around while being slowly pummeled with Microsoft’s marketing messages. If I’m going to be marketed to, at least let me skim. So, I clicked on the “Why Buy?” link, thinking I’d get a features list. I just want to know what the product does.

Nope. That loads a popup that asks me to install Silverlight (oops, I mean Microsoft® Silverlight®)The popup conscientiously informs me that once installed, Silverlight “updates automatically,” where “update” means I am giving Microsoft the right to load stuff onto my computer without asking or informing me. In addition, the privacy statement says Microsoft will only transfer information it gathers about me and my computer to third parties if it really wants to. (The privacy statement puts it a little more formally than that.)

So, here I am, trying to find out about a Microsoft product, yet I’m being required to install software I don’t want in the first place, and that has the right to mutate itself without my knowledge. And to get this authorized virus, I have to agree to a privacy-violation agreement that scares me.

Can you imagine the snorting that would occur if a start-up company insisted on this?

So, take this as an example of either inept marketing or implicit bullying by a dominant force. Or both. [Tags: ]

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