The list does not include specific employees or ex-employee, the reason is that I want to show the whole picture and individual stuff like this is too much to list here. I make one exception because the case went up to supreme court.
Actions of some individuals normally do not reflect the whole company unless they represent them directly like CEO etc.
Microsoft itself tend to kill all of their own products, first they buy their competition and then after some years when they see there is nothing more out from it to gain, they close their project and repeat the process.
Keep in mind that copyright laws vary wildly across countries and jurisdictions. I only list the stuff that is proven and one example – DOS – that cannot entirely confirmed nor denied, this case in history is a special and the reason why it got listed.
Microsoft took the idea from Apple and later Google who integrated ads into Apple Music, Apple Fitness and iCloud.
- Windows 11 File Explorer Might Have “Ads” (2022), see here. This is another attempt and the story goes back into 2017.
- Windows 10 ads in lock screen (2015)
- Windows 10 ads in start menu (2016)
- Windows 10 ad pop-ups (2017)
I cannot list all 1000+ antitrust cases, some of them also never made it public because Microsoft handled them internal which means they paid the victim or Corp. before it went ever public.
Microsoft is committed to the highest standards of business ethics, including fair competition and compliance with antitrust laws.
This is taken from their own Antitrust Homepage.
- An oral history of the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit (2018)
- Apple-Microsoft Lawsuit Fizzles To A Close (1993)
- China ditches Windows in the next three years due to antitrust (2022)
- Design company Bing sues Microsoft over trademark (2009)
- European Commission fines Microsoft $613M in antitrust case (2004)
- Gates testifies in $1B lawsuit against Microsoft (2011), $1B lawsuit against Microsoft Dismissed
- Getty Images sues Microsoft over new online photo tool (2014)
- IP Antitrust Issues in The Microsoft Case (2000)
- Judge orders Microsoft to stop selling Word (2009)
- Microsoft Corp. v. Commission + United States v. Microsoft Corp.
- Microsoft Federal Litigation Filings (History – Upcoming lawsuits)
- Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit (2018)
- Microsoft Gender Discrimination and Unequal Pay Lawsuit Investigation (2019)
- Microsoft Software Class Action Settlement (2021)
- Microsoft and TiVo call truce on patent lawsuits (2012)
- Microsoft faces lawsuit over Silverlight (2008)
- Microsoft hit by patent lawsuit over Skype (2013)
- Microsoft joins Epic Games lawsuit to stop Apple’s antitrust behavior (2022) and Apple suggests Microsoft could be behind the Epic Games lawsuit (2021)
- Microsoft joins group seeking legal immunity from climate change lawsuits (2019)
- Microsoft litigation
- Microsoft, Amazon and Google violated Illinois face recognition privacy law (2020)
- Supreme Court rules against Microsoft in retaliation lawsuit by ex-employee (2018)
- The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher (2020)
- US government opposes Microsoft in Supreme Court patent lawsuit (2011)
- Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension (2009)
- Windows Phone 7 also spies on you, according to lawsuit (2011)
- Windows 11 Officially Shuts Down Firefox’s Default Browser Workaround (2021)
- A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm (2002)
- After a lawsuit with Microsoft, Katie Moussouris is fighting for fair pay (2021)
- Competition Killer: European Commission Documents 20 Years of Microsoft Anticompetitive Behavior (2009)
- E.U.’s Anti-Microsoft Vendetta Finally Provokes Consumer Backlash (2006)
- How LinkedIn exfiltrates extension data from the browser, since 2016 LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.
- How Microsoft Appointed Itself Sherrif of the Internet (2014)
- Microsoft Takes Fight With i4i Over XML To The Supreme Court (2010)
- Microsoft behind Google’s anti-trust lawsuit with Tiny TradeComet (2011)
- Microsoft blocks EdgeDeflector to force Windows 11 users into Edge (2021)
- Microsoft changes the way windows 10 updates after lawsuit (2016)
- Microsoft plans to use license agreements to prevent class action lawsuits (2012)
- Monopoly and Anticompetitive Practices of Microsoft’s, Essay Example (2008)
- Original Halo composers sue Microsoft over unpaid royalties dating back 20 years (2022)
- Windows 11 Pro to require internet connection and Microsoft Account (2022) starting with Insider Build 22557, previously only Home Builds were affected.
- Windows 8 EULA Prohibits Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft (2012)
- Since Microsoft took over more accounts got flagged than ever which is a nice way to get rid of competition as well as people who dare to speak against Microsoft.
- “Women at Microsoft are sexualized by their male managers,” lawsuit alleges (2018)
- Moderators who had to view child abuse content sue Microsoft, claiming PTSD (2017)
- Meet the Microsoft Pluton processor – The security chip designed for the future of Windows PCs (2020), years later Intel isn’t using Microsoft’s Pluton security in Alder Lake (2022).
There is an entire forum for Microsoft, regarding manipulations, see here.
- Calculator function of Spotlight.
- Continuity Continuum.
- Free upgrades in eg. Windows 7, 8, 10, 11..
- Microsoft Store, which is copied from Linux and or macOS.
- Right-click using two fingers.
- Screen Sharing, also known as Remote Desktop Connection, or shall we say NXHost and it was in NeXTStep long before Microsoft or Apple had it.
- Siri becomes basically Cortana and is integrated into the OS, later Microsoft decided to make it an App.
- Spotlight renamed to Search box in the bottom left corner and integrated into Cortana.
- Track pad that perfroms multiple functions.
- Windows 2.0 borrowed several elements from the Mac user interface.
- DOS, which might never revealed if this story is real or not (2012).
- KDEs emoji selector
- Google: Bing Is Copying Our Search Results (2011)
- KDE Connect (2018)
- KDE Plasma (2021)
- KDE Weather widget (2021)
- Microsoft Ripping Off KDE 4.2 For Windows 7 (2009)
- Microsoft is bringing stickers to Windows 11’s desktop (2022)
- Stolen ad from the KDE community (2021)
- Stolen from Brave, Transparent ads (2022)
- Stolen XBOX One concept ad (2018)
- Web widgets (2014)
- Winget packaging ripoff (2020). Microsoft asked the original inventor some questions, sherlocked his software, even didn’t thank him later, only after huge media pressure.
For more criticism check out the Wikipedia entry.
After Microsoft got busted they said it was a Bot who automatically adjust licenses for forks, for employees. Which is weird, they let it stand for weeks and months.
- GitHub Arctic Code Vault Project (2020) stole older members project source code, made is closed, which then violates the licenses because you must show the code at all time. God knows what they really do with the code, maybe they train their AI to make money out of it, we will never know since no one gets access to it nor is there a website which shows the code.
- GitHub Copilot is trained on public GitHub repositories of any license without asking users.
- Microsoft forks MIT licensed repo, and changes the copyright to them (2021), which seems not be the first time, Microsoft manipulating licenses by replacing original licenses with their own.
- Azure Event Hubs – Cloud-scale telemetry ingestion (2018)
- Microsoft .Net Core telemetry is not opt-in (2018)
- Microsoft Office Telemetry (2020)
- Microsoft adds Telemetry to Windows 7 and 8.1 with an update (2014)
- Microsoft collects telemetry in onnxruntime Python module (2019)
- Microsoft repo secretly installed on all Raspberry Pi’s Linux OS (2021)
- Microsoft shares Windows 10 telemetry data with third parties (2016)
- Microsoft’s Software is Malware (2011)
- Microsoft’s Windows 10 breaches privacy law, says Dutch DPA (2017)
- Microsoft’s new Edge shares “persistent” device identifiers to back end servers (2020), see Microsoft Edge has more privacy-invading telemetry than other browsers
- Microsoft/.Net Foundation added telemetry to the dotnet command line last year (2017), see What We’ve Learned from .NET Core SDK Telemetry
- Reviewing Microsoft’s Automatic Insertion of Telemetry into C++ Binaries (2016)
- VSCode still sends search keystrokes to Microsoft with telemetry disabled (2018)
- Windows 10: HOSTS file blocking telemetry is now flagged as a risk (2020)
- Windows Server and System Center 2016 Telemetry Whitepaper (2016)
- You still can’t turn off Windows 10’s built-in spyware (2017)