Understanding Microsoft

Part 71. Death & Taxes

"There are only two certainties in life: Death and Taxes." -- Benjamin Franklin

Most people have been conditioned from their youth on to accept certain things in life. Sooner or later, everyone dies; therefore, death is considered a normal phase of life. As soon as you start earning some money, whatever government happens to rule at that time will want a piece of the action; therefore, taxes are considered an unavoidable element of human life. These two painful things are so permanently ingrained into most people's minds that anyone offering a solution or an alternative that avoids one of them -- such as a religion, a revolution, or an economic trick -- is usually considered a crackpot. People simply accept things the way they are, and assume that there is simply no possibility that Death or Taxes will ever disappear.

This fact of human psychology shows that once something gets permanently embedded into human culture and belief, it may be extremely difficult to eradicate it, no matter how much people may hate it. Nobody believes in Death or Taxes because they actually *like* them; they believe in them because there seems to be no plausible alternative in sight. Therefore, something as frustrating, as unreliable, as just plain goofy as Windows is becoming a part of standard business and home computing simply as the default condition. Most people do not seriously think of themselves as able to cheat death or to avoid taxes; similarly, most people just do not view themselves as creative enough, smart enough, or daring enough to escape the chain-gang mentality of the Windows monopoly. The result is that few people even bother to investigate the far-superior products such as IBM OS/2.

Therefore, it should be obvious that one of the biggest obstacles that Microsoft is installing in mankind's way is the false perception that there only exists the Microsoft way, not any other, better way, of computing or doing business or being entertained or anything else. Soon there may be an update to the proverbial saying: "There are only three certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and Microsoft."

Most recent revision: December 29, 1998
Copyright © 1998, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.

E-MAIL: os2headquarters@mindspring.com