Well, there are certainly some regulations to follow in regard to "copying", but i still believe that M$ actually has little or no of products that they made on their own, from the very basics, from scratch, at least not of their major products such as windows os. Windows was based on DOS and DOS was written in Basic. Basic is the improved version of another programming framework which Mr. Gates simply took because he could. It was free software in university's.
I agree we should give them a credit on popularizing the information technology, bringing it to every desktop. But i am sure it would have been done even if they didn't existed. Maybe it would have been done in a way of free software movement.
The founding basics on which all of todays including Microsofts information technology products were founded are the technology's evolved on university's. So, again, they are the ones to give credit for starting it all.
And here is another discusting thing i heard about M$ and their "fair" copying. According to this
from linux today, they patented a prior art, the unix "sudo command". Not only that it is a clear of example of stealing innovation made by others and an example of how patents office functions (when they let something like this slip through), but it also shows the obvious intentions of Micro$oft. It may very well use that command agains linux community.
After all, software patents shouldn't exist at all.
And what can i finally say about all that, let the freekin' Microsoft goes to hell. It'll be a happy day when it falls apart. And WHO would really care.
Now, call me an stupid free software advocate hating M$, could you blame me? Could you blame us?