The dishonesty cited in this NYT article and the recent lying about the iLoo by Microsoft gets under my skin. I’m not so naive as to believe corporations are altruistic, but I do expect them to not be outright liars, especially when their marketing budget used to push the lies exceeds the GDP of many countries.
The Microsoft employees posing as non-Microsoft employees at conferences reminds me of the time I went to a Netscape conference in 1997 as a Microsoft employee. I attended a talk about Netscape’s mail server product with another Microsoft employee and during the Q&A period, my coworker took off his badge (that said “Microsoft” on it), asked me to take mine off, and then he got up and asked a question intended to imply to the audience that Netscape was lying about their product. He knew and I knew that Netscape wasn’t lying, but the audience probably was less sure. I’m not purporting that this is the reason Netscape died as a company, but it was one of the many things I was involved with at Microsoft that just left a bad taste in my mouth.