Microsoft is more ethical than Google, Apple, Facebook

By on March 18, 2011, 3:00 PM
Ethisphere Institute has released its list of the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies. There is no set number of companies that make the list. Almost 3,000 companies were nominated – or nominated themselves – to be considered this year, but only 110 were honored, the largest number since the award's inception in 2007.

In the computer software category, five companies were named: Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Symantec Corporation, and Teradata Corporation. Only Hitachi Data Systems was present in the Computer Hardware section. In Telecom Hardware, three were listed: Avaya Inc., Cisco Systems, and Juniper Networks. Under Electronics and Semiconductors, the three picked were Freescale Semiconductor, Premier Farnell, and Texas Instruments.

Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Google did not make the list. Neither did Intel, AMD, or Nvidia. Frankly, more tech companies that we know did not make the list than companies that did.

"At the heart of the evaluation and selection process for Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies is Ethisphere's proprietary rating system, the Ethics Quotient (EQ)," the Ethisphere Institute explains. "The framework of EQ is comprised of a series of multiple choice questions that capture a company's performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected is not intended to cover all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance or ethics, but rather it is a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies. The EQ framework and methodology was determined, vetted and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere's network of thought leaders and from the World's Most Ethical Companies Methodology Advisory Panel."





User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

Uh? Most ethical or least unethical? Appears to be the same, but it is not.

Raswan Raswan said:

"comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies." Guess I'll have to check out the actual report to see wth this means. Can no one speak specifically anymore? Or are we all hamstrung by the fear that something we say might be used against us?!?!

ansh1993 said:

This is correct because Microsoft hasn't violated any major laws . Google on the other hand is being accused of all sorts of things. Facebook has been accused of privacy and partner dispute. Apple is accused of hurting the music industry by selling Itunes instead of real disc's .

Guest said:

Antitrust laws in the EU regarding IE?

I would need to agree with Raswan though, the entire last paragraph seemed like some buzzword list off of Microsoft's latest product's home page.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Each Microsoft employee generates 1.52 Ethic Units (EU) per day, which was used to calculate the company's overall Ethics Quotient (EQ). This fits into the greater project, called the Ethics Interpersonal Evaluation Integration Operation (EIEIO)

Guest said:

Adobe is so ethical that they release crappy flash, leave tons of security holes behind and refuse to patch in time. Yes, it's not violating any laws. And it's user's choice to use flash (let's assume that). Taking less responsibility seems to be a good way to be on this list.

Guest said:

Giving an ethics award to Microsoft is oxymoronic. Presentation of the award to the most voraciously unethical software developer of the late 20th Century destroys its meaning. The awarding destroys the award. Ouroboros.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Ethisphere Institute", is That Euphemism for "Grant Money Pit"?

Giving an ethics award to Microsoft is oxymoronic. Presentation of the award to the most voraciously unethical software developer of the late 20th Century destroys its meaning. The awarding destroys the award. Ouroboros.
You're supposing that this award had any meaning to begin with, which is very doubtful.

I have some distinct ideas about what exactly are the qualifications prelude to "employment" at "Ethisphere Institute"!

1; You must be an effete dilettante with no less than $100,000 in outstanding student loans

2: You must be totally adverse to manual labor or getting your hands dirty at the level of fanaticism.

3: You must have no salient skills that would permit you access to gainful employment.

The only other group that I'm aware of taking this much interest in the behaviour of others, is any group of haggard old biddies sitting on the stoop, talking about their neighbors.

And as a matter of fact, they're a bit more altrustic, since they do it without the aid of contributions or governmental grants.

Do you really need a college degree to realize that Google, Apple, or any given governmental agency is unethical? If so, they should revoke you student loans. Maybe Google will give you a "scholarship", as a "special needs future employee".

vangrat said:

Wow...the rediculous amount of doublespeak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak) the fact that they gave an ethical reward to Microsoft (http://techrights.org/2009/06/16/business-unethical-ms/), and the fact this reward is about ethics (http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/what-are-ethics-faq.htm), all lead me to the conclusion this is a load of utter 8U11$4!7!

Ethics are something people do and follow, they cannot be quantitatively defined by a number, or "process." As defined by Aristotle "There are some whose very name implies wickedness, as for example, malice, shamelessness, and envy among emotions, or adultery, theft, and murder, among actions." However, how these relate to business? Granted if a business were doing any of these things as a whole there would be reason to doubt their "ethics." None-the-less business ethics, and true ethics are in completely seperate ball parks.

All this article sums up to is a bunch of upper-class feather fluffers fluffing the feathers of potential employers/sponsers.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I actually have to agree. They are more ethical than the aforementioned companies. And for all of you anti-Microsoft fanboys, disliking a product doesn't make them inethical. Conduct is different than product quality.

Leeky Leeky said:

"comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies." Guess I'll have to check out the actual report to see wth this means. Can no one speak specifically anymore? Or are we all hamstrung by the fear that something we say might be used against us?!?!

I'm not, I live in the UK!

It is somewhat of a mouthful though really, and makes absolutely no sodding sense as to its meaning or application.

Guest said:

@wagan8r, MSFT is the most UNethical company ever to populate the software space. The fact that most MSFT software is crap is evidence for this conclusion. In a free market, with ethical business practices and truthful product information provided by all competitors, few would ever have bought MSFT's rubbish. Your statement to the contrary suggests that you are too young, or have remained too oblivious for too many years, to have serious knowledge of MSFT's long, troubled history of UNethical and illegal activities. Go do some research, so you'll feel comfortable when you finally know enough to retract your previous uninformed statement.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

@wagan8r, MSFT is the most UNethical company ever to populate the software space. The fact that most MSFT software is crap is evidence for this conclusion. In a free market, with ethical business practices and truthful product information provided by all competitors, few would ever have bought MSFT's rubbish. Your statement to the contrary suggests that you are too young, or have remained too oblivious for too many years, to have serious knowledge of MSFT's long, troubled history of UNethical and illegal activities. Go do some research, so you'll feel comfortable when you finally know enough to retract your previous uninformed statement.

What are you talking about? You actually just made his point - disliking a product doesn't make the company necessarily unethical. I tend to agree that Microsoft is probably more on this side of the line when it comes to ethical treatment of customers. At least when compared to Google who is on the corner of my street photographing my house for their stupid maps, or Facebook who automatically opts me into wide open sharing of my user information and places tracking software on my computer from Score Card Research without my consent.

I can't speak to Apple products because I don't use them, but Steve Jobs is probably one of the best BS artists of our age and you can't tell me that he hasn't done his fair share of spin on shoddy products (anyone remember the iPhone that wasn't working because people were just "holding it incorrectly?). Yea, that's ethical.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Each Microsoft employee generates 1.52 Ethic Units (EU) per day, which was used to calculate the company's overall Ethics Quotient (EQ). This fits into the greater project, called the Ethics Interpersonal Evaluation Integration Operation (EIEIO)
Oh goody, so this means there's a global network of drones, er, I mean ethicists?

Or are we all hamstrung by the fear that something we say might be used against us?!?!
You stole that line from, "The Childrens Guide to the Communist Manifesto", didn't you?

Or was it from, "Pseudo Social Activism for the Learning Impaired"?

But really, it also sounds like it could be from, "1984, The Musical"!

But, in direct answer to your postulation, I think the answer is a resounding, "yes"!

TJGeezer said:

gwailo247 said:

Each Microsoft employee generates 1.52 Ethic Units (EU) per day, which was used to calculate the company's overall Ethics Quotient (EQ). This fits into the greater project, called the Ethics Interpersonal Evaluation Integration Operation (EIEIO)

Don't forget the double-recursive root-power integration algorithm invented by Stanford's Edwin Yee and Univ. Washington's Howard Haa. EIEIO wouldn't be possible without the Yee-Haa contribution.

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