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  1. Microsoft metaphor describing Linux and the open source software movement. In reality, the term best describes Microsoft's own products, starting off small and then growing, spreading, and usually having negative effects on its host, often requiring software "doctors" and utilities to restore or recover such problems. Like cancer in the human body, many hosts have been disabled or killed by such organisims. See also "Swap Files" and "Temp Files."

Consent Decree

  1. Court orders requiring a company to behave in a certain manner, usually as part of a court-ordered punishment.
  2. Something akin to a "no-no note" that Microsoft routinely chooses to ignore while proceeding with its overly-aggressive business practices.


  1. Industry standard definition for a product that runs on multiple computing environments (See "Platform")
  2. Microsoft's marketing term used to mean a product that runs on any of Microsoft's 'platforms.' (e.g., Microsoft's Java is 'cross-platform' since it runs on Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, and XP.)

Embrace and Extend

  1. Microsoft term for accepting community standards and incorporating such standards in its products. (See "Standards").

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

  1. Internet community parody on Microsoft's proclaimed "Embrace and Extend" philosophy, particularly in light of how the software giant interprets the term 'standards.' (See "Standards" and "Embrace and Extend")

External Feedback

  1. Microsoft's vague public justification for removing the Smart Tags feature from Windows XP.
  2. Several articles and community statements threatening Microsoft with lawsuits over Smart Tags being used to create derivative works from copyrighted material, and for using its monopoly position to influence (read 'dominate' or 'control') web content. (See "Smart Tags")

Freedom to Innovate

  1. Microsoft's attempt to appeal to the patriotic spirit of the consumer and courts, implying that a failure to "innovate" (see "Innovation") threatens software development, competition, world order, the national economy, and may prevent Bill from building the addition to his mansion next year.


  1. Bill Gates' mantra to the media (e.g., "we'll continue to make great products.....through great software.....etc.) Often used repeatedly and annoyingly in speeches.


  1. Microsoft euphemism for ideas they have 'borrowed' (stolen) or, in rare cases, actually bought from other companies.

Open Source

  1. A generally-accepted software development philosophy (AKA "CopyLeft") where software coded through a community effort, and the software source code is freely viewable and usable by anyone with few restrictions - also serving as a mechanism of providing peer review of software code by the developer community. The result is a community development effort that produces robust and reliable software.
  2. An industry philosophy of software development that terrifies Microsoft.


  1. Industry-standard definition referring to a specific computing environment or operating system (e.g., Solaris, BSD, Macintosh, Windows, AIX are different platforms).
  2. Redmond term used to mean any Microsoft-developed operating system.

Software Piracy

  1. The unauthorized copying and distribution of commercial software by large organized crime syndicates that pose a much greater economic problem for Microsoft, not the individual consumer that they claim. (See "Product Activation Technology" and "Heroin Economics.")

Source Code for Windows

  1. Microsoft's Crown Jewels and most prized and guarded intellectual property. Seeing it is the only true way of really learning how stable, secure, or robust Windows is.


  1. What Microsoft thinks should be the defined baseline for computing and networking protocols
  2. Microsoft's inserting of proprietary code into computing technologies previously-agreed to and in active use by the global computing community (e.g., Kerberos, DNS, RTF) and then proclaiming the bastardized product as "standards-based" though not a true "standard" in the eyes of the computing community.

Viral Software

  1. Microsoft metaphor (attempting to play on the negative connotation of the term computer "viruses") for any software not developed or owned by Microsoft, such as anything Linux, BSD, Mac, or Solaris based.
  2. Security community metaphor describing Microsoft products and their propensity for both acting like and spreading real viruses. (See also "Cancer", "Swap Files" and "Temp Files.")

Reproduced with permission from <>. © 2001 Richard Forno. Permission granted to freely reproduce - in whole or in part for noncommercial use - with appropriate credit to author and INFOWARRIOR.ORG.

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