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[ba-ohs-talk] The Microsoft Assumption

Just to put everyone at ease, what follows is not an anti-Microsoft rant. It is
not Microsoft's fault that it appears to go without saying that buyers of computer
products and readers of articles about computers are simply assumed to be
usingWindows and Internet Explorer. Or, for all I know, it is.    (01)

I just unpacked a box with McAffee VirusScan version 6.0 and put the CD in my
drive. Soon a screen appeared telling me that "The program requires Internet
Explorer 4.01 with Service Pack 2 or above." Well, it so happens that I am not
using Explorer, but Netscape.    (02)

Should that matter very much? Well, apparently it does because when I clicked the
OK button (there was nothing else to click on!) I was told that "McAffee VirusScan
was interrupted before the install could be completed," etc. No protection for the
wicked.    (03)

Questions:    (04)

Does one not have to worry about viruses if one does not use Windows Explorer?
Why then would anybody want to use Explorer?    (05)

Does McAffee only cater to those who use Windows Explorer? Why then not print that
on the box. Nowhere on the box does the word "Explorer" appear.    (06)

I bought VirusScan v. 6.0 as an upgrade for my VirusScan 5 that I had obtained
from McAffee's website. Have I been blindly using an antivirus program that was
not suited for use with Netscape to begin with? Or have I been using a program
that I did not need at all?    (07)

All of which kind of ticks me off.    (08)

McAffee isn't the only outfit propagating the Microsoft Assumption. Turn to
www.cnet.com and check into the download section. You will find there, after some
clicking back and forth that softwares can be found for Linux and BeOS and for the
Mac, but the intital presentation of downloads is firmly rooted in the Microsoft
Assumption.    (09)

And so I am wondering whether the Microsoft Assumption is a virus accidentally
caught by the community of computer users or whether it is the outcome of a
strategy emanating from Redmond and spread by collaborating software vendors and
publications. Either which way, though, it is important that the Microsoft
Assumption be recognized as an affliction to be gotten rid of. Understanding how
best to use computers is hard enough without that distraction.    (010)

Henry    (011)