True Believers: Behold The Microsoft User Network, A Microsoft Fan Site

Paul Thurrott has company; or competition, we arenit sure which. Aside from being TMOis biggest fan and most avid reader, Mr. Thurrott operates what we thought was one of the only Windows fan sites, as well as a network of related Microsoft fan sites. It turns out, however, that there is at least one other site operated by Microsoft fans of such zealot proportions as to make Mr. Thurrott, or even the most frothing-at-the mouth, raving Mac zealot, look like a rationale critic in comparison.

Called the Microsoft User Network (MUN), the site is seemingly the successor to what was once called the Bill Gates Fan Network (BGFN). At some point, the creators of the BGFN decided that the Microsoft User Network was a better, more appropriate name. We found the site thanks to San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gilmoreis blog. Mr. Gilmore, long an outspoken writer on noted the following:

A group calling itself the Microsoft User Network has launched this site, to applaud our favorite monopolistis "innovations" and argue against any legal restraints, among other goals.

Hereis a sample:

"Our aim and purpose is bringing to the users all good things created by Microsoft in an handy way, and to fight the prejudice against Microsoft products created by the competition, who showed several times to be incapable to create products that are both innovative and user friendly, and fights with unfair means like fueling hacker activities and bringing Microsoft into useless court trials, forcing them to spend enormous amounts of resources that could have been used in research and development, thus slowing innovation."

No, Iim not making this up. And yes, it appears to be serious. (If not, itis excellent satire.)

Iill be interested to see if a) if itis really not a joke; and b) whether Microsoft decides to defend its trademark in this instance.

We poked around the site ourselves, and found nuggets like this quote from an original member of the Bill Gates Fan Network:

...Some of the others were already big-time players when Microsoft had absolutely nothing but Billis then uncertain dreams!!! IBM, Apple and MacIntosh with Steve Jobs, Xerox, etc. were good mechanics - they built machines and devices - they made tons of money - but they lacked ingenuity, or intuition, or something about how to make them work better - for the "common" people who were not computer "geniuses" (the common people was the majority of the world!). Today, I think that the majority of the world has been elevated and much-higher-educated because of Bill Gates...because of his dreams...because he canit stop trying to be one iota better...and because he put people in his formula for success.

Navigation through the site is somewhat hazardous, painstaking, and unintuitive, but have a look around for yourself. You can find more information on the siteis aims, its background, the latest Windows XP desktop images, and much, much more. Make sure you check out Dan Gilmoreis blog, too.