Microsoft Corporation is the most outstanding and profitable software company in the world. The corporation also deals in hardware products however its dominance in software production is what gives it its lion's market share. Most of its popular software includes Microsoft windows and Microsoft office (Cusumano, Michael A, Selby & Richard W, 1995). However this is far as it goes as the company has received criticism on its business practices. Microsoft business behaviors and strategies have also led to a floodgate of lawsuits from various quarters.
Among the various criticism, the corporation has come under is its predatory behavior towards its customers and other organizations. Microsoft has continued to monopolize by way coming up with business restrictions that prevents its competitors or upcoming business in using its software or entering the market altogether. The corporation also relents in engaging in business with other companies. This is both a tactic that ensures it dominates and faces little competition from its competitors. For Instance the corporation was found to be in violation of antitrust laws by both the European Union and the USA Department of Justice. Microsoft has also over the years acquired various companies that were competitors and bought them out.
This is something it continues doing to date. Most of these takeovers have many times been called hostile since they are often against the smaller companies wish. When the corporation finally takes over the competing business they simply rebrand the products produced by the earlier companies as theirs. Thus their market monopolization continues. Microsoft also ensures that most computers that are manufactured come with its software's. This by extension forces the consumer not to choose from other competing companies. The customer's freedom of choice and even desire is curtailed. In turn Microsoft pays these companies in term of rebates once they sell computers with their software.
Microsoft is one of the leading and high-ranking companies. Their employees get handsome and admirable packages and benefits. However this is not to say that all its employees enjoy the same. A substantial amount of its employees actually do not qualify to fit this class and status. For instance the use of temporary employees is both wrong and immoral in the sense that the company aims to make a fortune from them yet give little in return. This is so because once the temporary employees don't stand to gain benefits such as medical among others. Moreover when they outlive their purpose they are often fired and without a decent package. For its permanent employees who have handsome packages they are in turn overworked. Thus in a few years they are suffering from burnout and rendered dysfunctional. This goes to show the company's infringement of peoples labor rights.
Microsoft Corporation also uses its immense resources to sway and manipulate public opinion. Microsoft pays out substantial amounts to renowned think tanks for them to give the perception and opinion that Microsoft products are much better than those of its competitors. This think tanks and organizations appear to be neutral to the outside world but are actually not. This has the effect of putting competing companies such as Linux on a negative light and in turn improving that of Microsoft although this would not be necessarily the fact on the ground. It is evident that many writers have been enticed with substantial amounts of money to write articles that are favorable to Microsoft. The writers who failed to accept this offer were discredited and their articles ranked as very poor and thus would go unnoticed. Those who are deemed uncooperative are often than not blacklisted.
Microsoft has come under severe political criticism over its decision to comply with Chinas censorship regulations and sanctions (Guan 2009). Therefore cannot deliver or even receive information that portrays the government in a negative light. This thus locks the passage of information by various sites such as Face book, twitter, Wikipedia and Google just but to name a few. Microsoft depends on freedom of expression and communication and it s therefore hypocritical that an entity that depends on these very fundamental rights would censor and regulate them. This decision to censor by Microsoft has led to worldwide criticisms from all fronts. Governments around the world, Human rights agencies, prominent personalities and common man have all castigated this move. This shows that Microsoft is willing to play ball with a regime that has no respect for human rights. One is inclined to believe that Microsoft stands for the same values as the Chinese government.
A lot of evidence has been brought to support the claim on Microsoft censorship. In fact the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has come out openly to defend his company's position on censorship. He stated that censorships from government should not stop companies from engaging in business with China. For example Guan, S (1995) argues that the Chinese government has come up with various offences related to the internet. These crimes have been documented down in their statues books and various punishments given for breaking this rules. There also have been massive crackdowns on so called cyber activists. Journalists to have not been spared and they continue to languish in jail. Access to data centers is kept in a bare minimum with only authorized personnel getting access. The Chinese government has frequently said that these measures were meant only as security ones but nothing can be further from the truth.
Criticism directed towards Microsoft is in order and this should continue in order to reverse this trend. Microsoft markets itself as being founded on the core values of integrity, honesty, self criticism and the act that they are willing to take up challenges and conquer them. However in connection to censorship in China these core values they claim to cherish a lot are thrown out of the window. Microsoft is located in the USA, the land of the free and home of the brave and thus it should also be a reflection of this attributes. The manner in which Microsoft monitors people's accessibility to the internet and web content is also an infringement to personal space.
However I do agree with Microsoft that some kind of information should be censored. This is information that is demeaning, insulting, harmful and offensive. I also concur that local and domestic laws should also be respected .It is a question of obeying the laws of the country you are in or not obeying. However clear guidelines should be arrived at on what is to be constituted as insulting or even harmful. In the other hand Microsoft should not restrict this internet accessibility and censorship in some countries out of fear of losing out on their business interests. Instead equal measures should be introduced globally and not in selected few countries.