Grinding Noises

Why Microsoft is like McDonald's

There's a conspiracy theory waiting to happen here, I swear...

  • Both companies built their fortunes on products developed by someone else (QDOS and the McDonald brothers' burgers);
  • Both have annoying mascots (Clippit; Ronald McDonald);
  • Both make products with features nobody wants ("You look like you're writing a letter"; pickles*);
  • Both have taken a relatively lean recipe and created a version with twice the fat (Internet Explorer; French fries);
  • Both tailor their creations to local markets while still retaining their universal flavour (different language editions of Office; the McOz/KiwiBurger/etc.);
  • Both have taken freely-available and much-loved recipes and twisted them to their own ends (Java/JavaScript/HTML; apple pie);
  • Both seek complete and utter domination of their markets;
  • Both enjoy near-complete-and-utter domination of their markets;
  • Both induce a vague sense of guilt among many of their customers;
  • Both have successfully out-competed a range of cheaper, more nutritious alternatives that are better for you.

*Nobody outside North America, that is.

20 April 2000
©2000 Rory Ewins