Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Businesses

Microsoft On List of Most Ethical Companies 465

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-nicer-domination dept.
walterbyrd writes "Microsoft is among the world's most ethical companies, according to a list put together by the Ethisphere Institute in New York. Overall, 110 companies made the prestigious list, including Microsoft and 35 other newcomers. The complete list was reported by Forbes."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft On List of Most Ethical Companies

Comments Filter:
  • by Eric S. Smith (162) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @08:50PM (#35511308) Homepage
    The bar, after all, is so low.
  • What about Apple? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @08:50PM (#35511318)
    I would have thought that refusing to license patents, demanding 30% of every purchase, and generally behaving in an anti-competitive fashion would have earned Apple a top spot on the list.
  • Clearly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mmmmbeer (107215) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @08:52PM (#35511338)

    Clearly this is a different meaning of the word "Ethical" than I'm familiar with.

  • I wonder... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @08:52PM (#35511340)

    I wonder how much they paid to get on that list.

  • Coincidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @08:57PM (#35511410) Homepage Journal
    I was attributing this to Forbes malice, then i noted the message at the bottom of the slashdot page: Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity
  • by OttoErotic (934909) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:08PM (#35511516)
    Not surprisingly there are a lot of negative comments here, but to play devil's advocate: what practices of Microsoft's are really unethical? I mean that as an honest question. Maybe there's a huge list that I'm forgetting but I can't think of a lot offhand that really make me think of them as really evil. I don't always like their approach, but most of the time it seems like legitimate competitive behavior. When I think 'unethical', I think bribery, hidden agendas, employee abuse, poor environmental practices, etc, none of which springs to mind when I think of Microsoft. They're obviously a capitalist company looking to make as much profit as they can, and I suppose that can be considered unethical in it's own right, but in that case a list of 'ethical companies' seems moot anyways. And I never hear about child labor pumping out (legitimate) Windows DVDs or Bill Gates throwing parties with strippers for the employees.
  • by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:16PM (#35511592)

    I think the whole OOXML thing was unethical. Buying off members of a standards body.

  • Re:Clearly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:19PM (#35511616)

    Clearly this is a different meaning of the word "Ethical" than I'm familiar with.

    Yes. This is "ethical" in the same sense as the word "standard" is used to describe OOXML.

  • by dido (9125) <dido@@@imperium...ph> on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:19PM (#35511618)

    I do not think it means what you think it means. For a convicted monopolist with a track record of betraying their partners, subverting governments and standards bodies, and all around ruthless behavior to make the list, I wonder if the word 'ethical' means something to them other than what my dictionary says it does. Oddly enough Google, with their 'don't be evil' motto, doesn't seem to have made the list. I know they have committed their share of sins over the years, but it seems that what they have done so far does not hold a candle to even what Microsoft has done over the last decade.

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:26PM (#35511684)

    what practices of Microsoft's are really unethical?

    Nice troll. That's a really tough question because the list of answers would be so long I'd have a risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. A far easier question would be: what practices of Microsoft are actually ethical?

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:27PM (#35511692)

    I would have thought that refusing to license patents, demanding 30% of every purchase, and generally behaving in an anti-competitive fashion would have earned Apple a top spot on the list.

    You forgot, kicking in the front doors of journalists.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:29PM (#35511720)

    I was just wondering about that too, if Google wasn't nominated, or just didn't make the cut

    Google had "significant" legal action against them in the past 5 years. They nixed their chances by accidentally capturing WiFi data while riding around in their privacy-violating google vans.

    And they probably didn't donate enough to *cough* sufficiently worthy causes (such as the organization making the list)

  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:35PM (#35511774)

    Maybe there's a huge list that I'm forgetting but I can't think of a lot offhand that really make me think of them as really evil. I don't always like their approach, but most of the time it seems like legitimate competitive behavior. When I think 'unethical', I think bribery, hidden agendas,

    Unethical != Evil

    So called "legitimate" competitive behavior might sometimes be unethical. For example, lying, renigging on agreements, deception, are some unethical actions; misperceptions. Many marketing activities are deceptive, and Microsoft is no stranger to zealous marketing, remember the "Get the facts" campaign against OpenOffice?

    An example of deception would be hiring a bunch of people on the street to post fake reviews praising a product, or to write letters (eg "fake grassroots campaigns").

    Giving awards/money/items to members within a privileged position, such as a standards organization or regulatory org and encouraging them to vote in your favor.

  • Re:Wow (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:38PM (#35511800)
    You know, I'm a touch younger than some of the people on this website. At 29 years old, I have seen Microsoft do a lot of shitty things, but recently, I have enjoyed a lot of their offerings. (C#, Zune, XBox, Win7).

    Before the flame war starts, C# is basically Java with a few ups and downs. Zune is like iTunes except I enjoy the subscription aspect. The XBox is pretty solid, I think most would agree with that, even if you are a Playstation diehard...and Win7 is a nice operating system.

    When I (me personally) look at Microsoft, I see an angry little kid who used to take everything from everyone and was a giant dick. Then along the way they started to learn how to play fair. Whether by Government regulations or getting their ass handed to them. But over time, they became less evil.

    Microsoft is like your dickhead nephew. You might think he's a total ass, but since I am a CS major, Microsoft is part of my family. After a while, maybe I saw the good inside them, and they're not a complete evil monster anymore. But maybe that is what their PR team is paid to make me think.

    Either way, I feel pretty educated in the Technology world, and whether they are playing fair because they are afraid of becoming obsolete, or because they see the errors of their ways is irrelevant to me. My stuff works with MS stuff, and I enjoy their offerings.
  • Re:Godwin agrees (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:39PM (#35511814)

    Yes but they weren't at all saying he was a good person, just that he had the greatest impact on world news that year; a perfectly valid point.

  • by OttoErotic (934909) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:42PM (#35511834)
    Honestly not meant as a troll, I guess my eyes just glaze over most of the time the topic comes up so I haven't paid much attention. I see a couple other responses with some actual examples, which certainly do seem unethical at a glance (and at the very least should make for some interesting wiki browsing for me tonight at work) that I'm looking forward to reading more about. But assuming your question was legit too: it does seem to me (again, just randomly sampling the wiki) like there are more than a few areas where they've made some positive efforts. Good environmental policies, good stance on LGBT rights, producing some notable philanthropists (not strictly speaking a commentary on company ethics, I suppose, but speaks towards a decent corporate culture in my experience).
  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @09:49PM (#35511912) Journal

    More than that, having known people who have worked there, it looks to me like Symantec's modus operandi is to buy companies with successful products, lay off all the staff working on the products, force people to train their replacements at an outsourcing firm in India, and provide the absolute minimum amount of support required in order to fulfill their contractual obligations without getting sued, all while progressively breaking the product with every release through poorly tested updates.

    Ethical? Does ethical mean "will sell their customers' and employees' souls for a dollar?" If so, then they're ethical. If Symantec is one of the most ethical companies on the planet, then I'm Mother Teresa.

    And eBay? The company that took the better part of a decade of complaints before they fixed the problem of power sellers abusing the feedback system to pressure buyers to retract negative feedback? The company whose PayPal arm routinely makes decisions about who to allow to use their service based on politics or even random whims, and freezes people's accounts without warning, leaving small businesses on the hook for thousands of dollars in payments that they can no longer afford?

    If eBay is one of the most ethical companies on Earth, I'm the second coming of Jesus Christ.

    Did the people who wrote this story even do the slightest bit of research beyond reading the corporations' PR blurbs when deciding who to list? Seriously?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @10:00PM (#35512002)

    Bribery:

    • 2005-2010 Bing "Loyalty Rewards" program - widely derided as an attempt to grab customers with bribes. If Bing is as good as they want it to be, why do they need to offer cash?

    Methinks you shouldn't start with one that is hardly criminal bribery. Otherwise my bank bribed me with a toaster. Or Target bribed me with Soda.

    This is why it's hard to believe folks like you, you claim everything, to the point where you end up castigating them at a rate that turns people off, instead of convinces them.

    Stick to real offenses, not trumped up ones.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @10:14PM (#35512098)

    what practices of Microsoft's are really unethical?

    Nice troll. That's a really tough question because the list of answers would be so long I'd have a risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. A far easier question would be: what practices of Microsoft are actually ethical?

    Nice troll. That's a really tough question because the list of answers would be so long I'd have a risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. A far easier question would be: what practices of Microsoft are actually unethical?

    See how neatly I avoided the question there?

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @10:35PM (#35512230)

    It's the little things that make your post stand out as a shill. You almost had it perfect except for a few sections:

    Microsoft is part of my family

    My stuff works with MS stuff, and I enjoy their offerings.

    I feel pretty educated in the Technology world (note the capitalization)

    I have to say, it was one of the better insidious postings I've seen. Empathizing with the target audience by noting historic controversy, then defending their current direction is a powerful rhetoric device. If you didn't make such over-the-top enthusiastic claims, you might have escaped detection.

    Shill rating: 8.5 out of 10.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @10:55PM (#35512392)

    So what is the criteria for being 'ethical'?

    Not getting caught.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @10:58PM (#35512408)

    Looks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Has feathers like a duck. Shits like a duck.

    It's a duck. No names, just quacks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @11:42PM (#35512644)

    Microsoft is more like a guy in a large town who bullied and lied and scammed everybody for decades until he owned half the land and everybody was in debt to him. But their kids grow up thinking of him as the nice rich guy who donates textbooks to the school and gives every family free turkeys at Christmas. Raised on land stolen from the people now having to be smiley and deferential to even just get their turkeys.

    It's easy to be "nice" when you're vastly rich. But nobody with a valid claim to good judgement should EVER forget where all that wealth and power came from. Or the amount that a just accounting leaves them owing to the people they screwed over. Or, crucially, how much those assets would have created if they hadn't been in the hands of a slimebucket. If you mug me and steal my wallet when I'm on the way to pay my rent, you're not "a nice guy" for then giving me a few bucks months later to help me pay the late fees accrued from not having had that money in the first place.

  • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @12:36AM (#35512882)

    So you really want a list?

    Let's see.. Ignore all the antitrust stuff because that's way too easy... There was the permatemp thing. The Linux patent FUD. Funding SCO. Palladium and its offspring. A lot of people credit them with being behind the recent smear campaign against Google. The ISO OOXML debacle. EEE. Need I go on?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2011 @12:58AM (#35512984)

    Many philanthropists are motivated to their generosity as atonement for the sins they committed to gain their wealth. John D. Rockefeller was one notable example, and it seems Bill Gates is similar.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @02:24AM (#35513382)

    This is quite a pathetic list. Cashback programs are bribery? Better not tell the DoJ, or every credit card company on Earth is going to be in deep shit.

    "Microsoft buys patents". Seriously. Buying things is now unethical is the fevered minds of the MS-haters.

    MS adds support for PDF. This is bad because it helps MS Office compete against Open Office. And God knows, trying to compete against FOSS isn't just unethical, it's a crime against humanity!

    The CEO gets angry and throws a chair. Ergo, MS routinely abuses their employees. This is logical your mind? I doubt even you believe this one.

    Christ man, the ONLY thing on that list that's really unethical is their corruption of the OOXML standards process. Next time, just leave it at that. Posting all that other stuff just makes you look like you're grasping at straws.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...