What about choice?

Microsoft works hard to make sure their users stay locked into their products.

About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software.

Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it [sic], we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

Standards that change all the time

Sticking to Microsoft standards is not an easy job – unless you can afford to upgrade very often. Ever tried to work on the same .doc file with both an Office 95 and an Office 97 computer? You'll know what we mean.

Microsoft owns the Office file formats: they change them with every new Office version and have no obligation to keep them backwards-compatible. Saved your presentation as a .ppt file? If you give up using Microsoft Office next year, you'll have to rely on other communities to reverse-engineer the format, to be able to access and modify your own work.

There are of course other ways of writing and exchanging office files, the most well-known being the OpenDocument Format. But Microsoft isn't keen on letting Office users exchange files anyone can read and edit. As of Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, Microsoft did add support for the OpenDocument format after being pushed by the European Commission.

Default programs you can't uninstall

Don't want Windows Media Player on your computer? Don't use Internet Explorer anymore? You can't uninstall these programs. They previously worked on a standalone basis, but have been intrinsically linked with Windows – so they come in with every PC and no one can get rid of them.

Even today the Microsoft Edge browser is tightly integrated with Windows and can't be removed without breaking your system. Even if you've changed your default browser to something else, Edge still opens automatically when you perform certain tasks.

Monopolistic practices

Microsoft has a tight control over OEMs (computer manufacturers) who ship their computers with Windows installed. This means that no program competing with Microsoft products, be it multimedia player, web browser, office suite, instant messaging program or other, will come pre-installed on most computers you can buy.

It is a good thing to propose a wide range of software and services like Microsoft do; however, designing and combining them to shut users from non-Microsoft peers is unethical. It's not technically hard to adopt more open formats. But it means your customers are free to choose what they do with their work – Microsoft isn't there yet.