For those of you who think Microsoft is still honestly OK both in standing and in business practices, I submit to you the following information. Microsoft was found to be rigging votes on zdnet in favor of .net opposed to java. I first read a summary of this on slashdot, and the following italicized text was on zdnet.

ZDNet UK logs reveal rather obvious vote rigging, and prove that it originated from within Microsoft:

- A very high percentage of voters are from within the domain.

- There is a very high incidence of people attempting to cast multiple votes, even though the poll script blocked out most attempts at multiple voting. The one that wins the prize made 228 attempts to vote. This person was from within the domain.

- Several of the voters evidently followed a link contained in an email, the subject line of which ran: "PLEASE STOP AND VOTE FOR .NET!" We know this, because our logs include the Web address where visitors browsed from; when people click there from a Microsoft Exchange email message, Exchange helpfully gives us the subject line and username. The people who followed that link all had email addresses in the domain.

- There is also clear evidence of automated voting, with scripts attempting to post multiple times.

- This is not the first time Microsoft has been caught using dubious practices. Last August, lobbyists acting for Microsoft went beyond the grave and dispatched letters to US states' attorneys general from two deceased people as part of a campaign to persuade government prosecutors to lay off the company in the antitrust case. US lobby group the Campaign Against Government Waste (CAGW) posted the letters as part of an attempt to convince attorneys general there was a grass-roots campaign against the case.

The natural response to this has been that if Microsoft had a good idea going, they wouldn't need to rig a poll. I'm not sure who they were trying to fool.

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