Over the last year, we have been treated to a variety of cheap tricks by Microsoft, attempting to hoodwink Windows users left, right and centre in order to get them to upgrade to Windows 10. After that, talking about trust sounds odd. Very odd.
Microsoft does not have the best reputation among tech companies. It is known for predatory practices, for being convicted as a monopolist, and in recent times has been trying to cultivate a softer image as a company that is not as rapacious as it once was.
That has, in large measure, come about as its influence and rank in the world of computing have both slipped, with other companies like Apple, Facebook and Google coming to dominate.
It is something like what Barack Obama experienced when he was elected as US president back in 2008. People liked him just because he was not George W. Bush. In fact, politicians in Europe liked him so much that he was given a Nobel Peace Prize – and nobody knows why. Even Obama is aware of this, which is perhaps why he made a jocular reference to it when he was put through a mock job interview (video above) by the Late Show host, Stephen Colbert, recently.
But I digress. Back to Nadella. We have no idea when or where he made these remarks because the source is not identified. But if anyone takes him seriously, then they'd have to be smoking some pretty strong stuff.
Every tech company CEO makes these motherhood statements from time to time. I've lost count of the number of times that Jim Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat, has parroted on about the openness of his company, painting it as being one rung below the promised land.
But ask Red Hat about why it does business with the NSA, providing official support for the spy organisation to indulge in global surveillance, and the gates are shut. Openness is not anywhere in evidence.
We'll continue to see similar motherhood statements from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet head Eric Schmidt, Apple chief Tim Cook and others. We mustn't forget the man who preceded them all, the co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, now the richest man on the globe.
Anyone who takes them seriously is to be pitied. The depredations that these men (and yes, they are all middle-aged white men) have wreaked on ordinary users of computing devices would take centuries to relate.
Doubtless, while we reside on this planet and work for this company or that, we have to use computing devices for one reason or the other. But being sold on one device or another, coming to believe that they are our salvation – that is a dangerous road to go down.
Everyone is out to make a buck. Have that as a watchword and move on.