It's laughable, Doug, that people are always predicting the demise of Microsoft over the silliest things. Gee, $6 billion in net profits against $20 billion in revenues? Wow, that's only a 30 percent profit margin. Most companies would kill to have a 5 to 10 percent net profit margin!
As long as Microsoft's online sales are breaking even, it should be laughing all the way to the bank. Every license it sell online is a licensing fee it doesn't have to share with an OEM or retailer.
The critics ARE too mean to Microsoft, just like the bullies are too mean to the smartest guy in the class. There will always be people jealous and critical of the person the teacher picks who gives 'the right answer' or a short guy picking a tall guy for a bar fight. It's just the nature of the lowest common denominator.
The fact is that Microsoft brought a unification and commonality to the PC user experience successfully and made a lot of people jealous, envious and downright eager to see Microsoft fail. They are not the average person, however.
I for one am happy to see its success and am not envious of Bill Gates -- I'm pleased by his philanthropic outreach to others of excess wealth to help those with less. I wish the little machines at checkouts had the same interface like Windows does world-wide.
Microsoft -- like any company -- is subject to controversy, is not perfect and can't patch every hole in its APIs that hackers constantly exploit. But it's done a better job than anyone else, in my opinion. Period.