Microsoft has repeatedly surfaced inward conspiracy lore, particularly amongst the increment of the Internet. Since its 1975 founding yesteryear Harvard dropout Bill Gates as well as his high-school friend Paul Allen, Microsoft has steadily occupied a larger as well as larger spell of the software market.
The company’s initial coup came amongst winning a contract for what eventually became MS-DOS, as well as hence arranging amongst IBM to operate out on the rights to the operating arrangement software. The introduction of Microsoft Office as well as Windows inward the early on 1990s cemented the company’s dominant manufacture position.
Soon subsequently September 11, an e-mail circulated alleging that Microsoft had built a undercover code into its Microsoft Word Wingdings font, predicting the attacks on the World Trade Center.
When the characters Q33NY—incorrectly alleged to live on the flying number of i of the planes—are converted to Wingdings inward Microsoft Word, the effect is a plane, 2 symbols supposed to resemble buildings, a skull-and-crossbones, as well as a Star of David.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 similar rumor had surfaced before nearly the characters NYC, which allegedly had an antisemitic important when converted to Wingdings: a skull-and-crossbones, Star of David, as well as raised thumb.
In both cases, Microsoft had to number official statements denying the coincidence.
Microsoft has likewise been the discipline of government-spying fears (akin to those surrounding Inslaw’s alleged spy software, PROMIS) inward connectedness amongst a safety substitution built into its software. In September 1999, Andrew Fernandez, the primary scientist at a Canadian software work solid called Cryptonym, announced the beingness of an unaccounted-for safety substitution inward Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5, mysteriously labeled “NSAKey.”
Rumors abounded on the Internet every bit to whether this was something Microsoft had built into Windows safety inward social club to let the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Windows users. The same rumor resurfaced inward 2002, amongst the unloose of the company’s Palladium safety initiative.
Microsoft has likewise been the discipline of much conspiracy parody, including articles claiming to link it to the Illuminati as well as numerogical analyses of Gates’s name. In 2002, Los Angeles filmmaker Brian Flemming released Nothing So Strange, a “mockumentary” that investigates a JFK-style conspiracy closed to the assassination of Bill Gates.
The celluloid alludes to names familiar from the Kennedy assassination, including Alex Hidell (one of Oswald’s aliases) as well as Debra Meagher (a reference to Sylvia Meagher, an early on researcher).
So what makes Microsoft a target for conspiracy theories? First, Gates’s monolithic presence, legendary competitiveness, as well as paranoia bring made him a nationally known figure on the scale of Nelson Rockefeller.
As the Justice Department investigation of Microsoft indicates, it is a large, successful enterprise that has non hesitated to utilization its success to expand its dominance. Within the technology industry, Microsoft has a reputation every bit a companionship that steals other companies’ ideas as well as turns them into mediocre simply wildly selling products.
Software companies similar Netscape, Norell, WordPerfect, as well as Lotus bring all felt the fiscal sting of competing amongst the behemoth based inward Redmond, Washington, as well as novel companies know that they bring alone a modest window inward which to succeed before Microsoft releases a competing product.
On the flip side, Microsoft itself has made accusations that its Justice Department prosecution results from collaboration betwixt Microsoft’s competitors, including Netscape (now purpose of AOL/Time Warner), Lord's Day Microsystems, as well as Oracle Corporation.