The Halting Point

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Don't Be Evil?

It seems that Microsoft have found a way to look like nicer guys than most people think. They're considering pulling out of China because they don't agree with China's oppressive regime.

Remember when Google got all that heat for moving in to China? When they bent over and censored search results themselves? Remember how they argued that giving the Chinese people some information, no matter how slanted, was ethically better than staying out in protest to the heinous human rights violations of the communist government? Remember how so many people said that it really came down to how much money they were missing out on because they hadn't moved in to China yet?

Google always had their good guy image, and faced with a tough decision, they caught a lot of flak and were really put under a microscope because people tended to have such a positive view of Google. Now Microsoft, which has a much more sinister reputation, stands to look like a bunch of really nice(r) guys because they're going the other way.

I remember an old tactic to making friends and managing expectations in a new social group:
Start off being as discourteous and rude as you can get away with. Then, after everyone expects you to be a jerk, start quietly being nice to people. Generally, they'll really appreciate your courtesy, instead of taking it for granted as they otherwise might.


  • They are likely doing it because some bean counter decided it wouldn't be profitable for them. It would be financial suicide for MS to give up the China market just for a bit of PR.

    By Blogger Halting Point, at 11/04/2006 11:59 AM  

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