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An Open Letter to Steve Ballmer: Didn't Your Mother Teach You To Say "Thank You?"

Date/Time Permalink: 10/07/09 10:58:47 am
Category: Humor

Seriously, Mr. Ballmer, your lack of gratitude to your best friend in the Linux community is appalling.

I am talking about Ken "Helios" (named after the Greek god of the sun) Starks, who has recently helped defeat your main competitor a little further this year. I know that Linux sometimes worries you, though you may laugh it off in public.

This year, Mr. Starks pulled off a real coup. He collected money as donations from the Linux community, then paid big bucks to a radio station to run a scratchy, echoey, low-fi "radio commercial" for Linux. But hold on! Not just any radio program, but the commercial slot during Kim Komando's show - a long-time Microsoft advocate. So the ad dollars literally went into your pocket - straight from desktop Linux users all over the world! Isn't that sweet for you, Mr. Ballmer?

But that's just the beginning. By collecting money, time, and resources out of the limited reserves of the Linux user base, Starks has ensured that funds which could have gone to worthy causes like the Free Software Foundation or the Electronic Frontier Foundation - or even the donation jar of a SourceForge project - went into his pocket instead. He has also kept Linux proponents busy "marketing" Linux when they could have been busy improving it, so it would have been more competition for you, and from teaching more people how to use Linux, which could have taken more customers away from your company.

Now, I know what you're worrying about, Mr. Ballmer - you'd think this business of running Linux radio commercials would carry the risk of converting a user to Linux. Fear not! This is Ken Starks we're talking about - he couldn't sell icewater in Hell! As reported by his right-hand mouthpiece, the ads produced a smashing windfall of just four people who showed up wherever it is Starks sent them - to a cow pasture in Austin, perhaps.

There were a few more who called and emailed - relax! That was less than 200, not enough for you to worry about. You can get more responses than that by having a garage sale and nailing cardboard signs up by the road. And just in case some of those people might be intrigued enough to investigate the blog behind the ad, they will get to Helios' site, where he baldly tells them to their faces that they "Should never be allowed to touch a computer without professional on-site guidance." Now see, he puts himself forward as the face of Linux, boldly proclaiming himself to be the entire Linux community every time he opens his mouth.

So don't worry about your market share dwindling by a bit, not with Starks insulting people the minute they answer his call. After all, it isn't like he's going to teach people what to do with Linux or anything! That would be follow-up, without which marketing Linux is useless. Now, when IBM advertises Linux, they put up a whole wing of their site teaching people how to use it. See the difference?

All in all, Mr. Ballmer, this was a pretty sweet move by Mr. Starks on your behalf. Like I said, he really outdid himself:

  • Wastes Linux user's money, time, and resources.
  • Gives Linux a bad name.
  • Makes sure that the money went to you.
  • Advertises in a market that has no hope of finding a convertee.
  • Dumps people right back out in the cold if they do happen to answer the call.
  • Insults them on their way out.

He wishes "spontaneous combustion" upon the people who responded to his ad wanting to run Linux. Surely, that detail brought a smile to your hammy face?

The least you could do is publicly thank him! Nothing fancy, just bring it up at your next stockholder's meeting. He deserves to be recognized for shooting down your enemies - with their own money, no less! Certainly, a plaque, a trophy, a handsome signed certificate of appreciation?

People like Starks are out there working miracles, undoing a year's worth of my own time and effort in the blink of an eye. And if you need proof of the ill will he generates towards the REAL Linux community, just watch what his Austin pals have to say in the comments when they come 'round this post. Truly, if I knew where to make a swap, I'd gladly trade one of him to deal with for two of you.


Update OK, Helios cult members, if you can't take a joke, then get the hell off this site! Adios! Go huddle in your little troll den on LXer. The rest of us have lives to live. I've been very patient with you in the comments below, and then I remember that manners, like common sense, is a foreign language and a waste of time to a Helio-tard.

You know, I could point out that Ken Starks, for all of his posturing and preaching against corporations, himself has a company. It's called Helios solutions. All this spam and asstroturf and bullshit you people sling just so you can sell free Linux distros for $50 and thumbdrives for $75. You're not a non-profit, you're not a charity, you're not doing anyone any favors - you're phonies, you're crooks, you're scam artists, you're robbing the public and wearing a Tux mask while you do it just to be assholes. Any two-year-old can see through it. That's why Helios got raided by the FBI a few years back.

There, is that better than the light satire I posted above?

You Helios employees are the Scientologists of the technology world, and as you should know by now, the harder you push, the harder I DO fight back! You should also know that when I post about SunGod, I deliberately look for several of his choir boys to show up and piss about it. Just for entertainment for the rest of us, until I wave them away again. You Helio-tards even keep falling for the same trick, and then wonder why I don't respect you.

And on a final point... for now... may I note that the post is addressed to Steve Ballmer, and yet no Microsoft apologists, astroturfers, or plain trolls showed up to complain that I'm razzing Microsoft too. When you out-do Microsoft at evil, you're RE-E-EALLY being a heel. No wonder the rest of the tech world hates Helios and his brainwashed cult.

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