If there's something Microsoft is definitely guilty of, it's making bucket loads of money. Of itself, there is nothing wrong with making money in our capitalism economic system. What irks many people is the manner in which Microsoft make their money. Many consider the way they go about their business, to be dirty business. In fact, even the courts nearly agreed. I don't think it's necessary to go into the details of the 1999 Anti-trust suit against Microsoft. Nor do I think it's necessary to detail numerous attempted and successful takeovers.
I don't intend for this to start a Microsoft versus everyone else debate, or another Linux versus Windows war. They have already been done to death.
What is also transparent to many is the originality of software produced by the giant. It is for the most part obvious that many of Microsoft idea's are based on products or ideas belonging to other parties. What Microsoft do is take ideas and add improved marketing, and often, improved functionality (even if many call it bloat).
Microsoft, through their marketing and brand recognition, make software more accessible. Linux variants may be better products, from a technical viewpoint, but are they more usable? It is also more than likely that because Microsoft was the major player when PC's (and the internet) really boomed in the 90's, we've all become accustomed to Microsoft's standard shortcut keys and UI layouts, making a transition to a variant seem more trouble than it's worth to casual users, or those only wanting to "get the job done". Although I could write thousands of words on how good the UI's of Microsoft products are, products like Visual Studio, in comparison to competitors.
I think I've waffled on long enough that it's time to actually get to the point. I was inspired by this thread. Microsoft has a new HD Photo format they hope will replace JPEG. Microsoft has a "tendency" to implement de-facto standards, those not ratified by the ISO or other standards body, potentially causing cross platform compatibility issues or worse, hampering progress.
If Microsoft's main aim, as tycjo102 suggest, get the patent and then make squillions from this new format, is this a bad thing if the state of the art progresses?
When does the good done by open software knowledge become mitigated by software stagnation caused by a lack of financial incentive? Are speculative concerns of possible damage that might be incurred to future knowledge or progress enough to thwart Microsoft's attempts to introduced yet another new "standard"?