In The Armchair

Microsoft and Evangelism

Posted in Computers by Armchair Guy on November 9, 2008

What does Microsoft have to do with Christian churches?

Nothing, except that they both exhibit a certain behaviour: aggressive evangelism. Both operate in ways that tend to reduce freedom of choice and make it hard for people to choose alternatives. Their behaviour on this count is similar because their motivations are similar. Both wish to monopolize society.

When Google became popular in search, Microsoft tried to beat Google at search. When Google began its mail service, Microsoft tried to beat Google at mail. When Google began getting into maps, books, Microsoft put some serious effort into the same fields. This is reminiscent of church planting in Indian villages.

When a Hindu temple undertakes a major activity that might get people interested (such as renovation of a temple or appointment of a new priest), Christian organizations often rush to plant a church and engage in a publicity and incentive blitz to attract villagers.

Microsoft has been doing the same thing in the tech domain. If there’s any tech development that attracts people, Microsoft tries to enter it in a big way in order to attract customers to the Microsoft fold.

Both Microsoft and church have practically unlimited financial resources compared to their competitors, and both are extremely resistant to the existence of alternatives.

It’s no secret that I’m on the side of Freedom here: freedom as in free software, and freedom of religion. Makes me wonder: do Microsoft vs. open source and evangelism vs. freedom of religion have the same solution?

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