Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Just wondering if there is any policy towards the use of M$ in place of Microsoft. If you're editing another user's answer, do you change it or leave it as is?

share|improve this question
You'd certainly be doing them a favour by removing it - making them sound less like a retarded 13 year-old. – U62 Jul 16 '09 at 17:02
If you're already editing it, go ahead and change it. But I wouldn't bother if it's the only thing that needs to be changed. – Kyle Cronin Jul 16 '09 at 17:02
@Kyle: I would ;) I do that all the time. Whether I should or not is debatable - I'll edit just to fix one capitalisation error. – Lucas Jones Jul 16 '09 at 17:52
Thinks, what would be a good equivalent for Google? :) – Benjol Nov 10 '09 at 8:00
@Kyle I fully disagree. If I see M$ in an answer that is otherwise correct I will edit it without hesitation. It is childish and immature, and has no place in a professional community. I've seen M$ used twice in an ACCEPTED answer and referenced as an OFFICIAL acronym, which is just plain wrong. – Greg Bray May 10 '11 at 16:55
To be using stackoverflow which is a Microsoft MVC site and be saying M$ seems like an Microsoft hating person. To not like Unity, VB.NET, or another product of Microsoft seems like fair game to me. Thomas Jefferson was all for Dissent, and I am to a certain degree with software. Seems that the Open source folks are big with the M$ , but why use it on stackoverflow?? Perhaps , M$ entries are automatically posted as MS or MSFT or Microsoft. Yawn. – Tom Stickel May 10 '11 at 19:59
And what do we do with the comments with M$ 'hate-speech'? – GrzegorzOledzki May 11 '11 at 9:56
@GrzegorzOledzki: flag them as nois/spam/offensive, they get deleted if enough others do so too (three or five I think) – Tobias Kienzler May 11 '11 at 10:27

It's childish and immature. We're all adults here, right? If somebody doesn't like Microsoft, fine, but they don't need to act like an imbecile in the process.

Definitely edit it.

Note: I wasn't as clear as I could have been when I initially answered this question years ago. I'm making a minor edit today to better communicate my response. In the spirit of honesty, it's worth noting that I am presently employed by Microsoft; this was not the case when I originally answered.

share|improve this answer
I'm not. :) (15 char) – Lucas Jones Jul 16 '09 at 17:54
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Adults. Here!? – perbert Oct 7 '09 at 15:45
The question is should we edit it? – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 10 '11 at 17:03
@George take a look at this list and tell me where you would draw the line:… - Allowing M$ today leads to App£e, Orac£e, ¢om¢a$t, and eventually ₩indo₩$. If you don't like Microsoft that is fine, but this really lowers the level of professional discourse. – Greg Bray May 10 '11 at 22:49
@George Edison: Yes, of course. – Time Traveling Bobby May 11 '11 at 10:49
@Greg Bray: only if '₩' was a currency symbol (great list)... thank you for educating the rest of us on the symbol for South Korean won. – smci Jul 17 '11 at 20:44

I think questions and answers should strive towards that encyclopedia-like neutrality.

In other words an answer should state the facts without adding social commentary on the side.

"M$" to my mind adds the connotation that Microsoft is an evil corporation that cares about nothing but money. Whether you agree or disagree with that view, it doesn't belong in an answer.

I think this is a perfectly good reason for editing an answer.

share|improve this answer

I wouldn't consider it a reason to edit a post, but I would probably change it if I happened to be editing anyway.

share|improve this answer

I would change it to Microsoft. It has a negative clang to it, plus there's no need for brevity; it just makes the post less readable.

share|improve this answer

I've made edits to answers in the past to remove M$ for the same reasons listed here. Some users have changed their answer back, thinking that M$ is an official acronym (citing this as a reference), in which case I leave a comment with a link to this meta question as well as this article on Wikipedia. If I think it is degrading the quality of the response or harming the community I will also flag it for a moderator to review.

I'm not saying we need to use all of the official product names (Sidenote: see this great list of official Microsoft product names), but even Wikipedia would not accept M$ when referring to Microsoft in an article. If you want to use it on Slashdot, Meta, or in chat that is your choice, but answers should be a bit more professional.

share|improve this answer
Official acronym? That's... wow. – Pops May 10 '11 at 16:46
Exactly... MS, MSFT, and Microsoft are the only names used officially by Microsoft. Using M$ in your answer degrades the quality of your response and reflects poorly on our community. I fully support editing answers to change M$ to the correct nomenclature. – Greg Bray May 10 '11 at 16:52
M$ is ignored my most search engines because they can't handle the "$" as a letter. For more details, see my answer below. – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 9:00
That M$ is ignored by search engines is kind of the point - it makes it harder for people to search for your answers. – Blowski May 11 '11 at 9:11

I personally do not believe that any immature anti-[insert company here] content should be allowed. If I run across things like this I will quickly fix it and be done with it. I don't mind people having negative opinions, but you could voice them in a way that doesn't look incredibly petty.

share|improve this answer

Since I'm the guy who is being downvoted here, I feel I should present my view as well, no matter how much anyone else dislikes it.

I hate Microsoft. They made many years of my life miserable with their products and no amount of niceness they may have adopted in recent years is ever going to remove the stains from my soul. Having strong emotions is something that helps me get my job done and I can't simply switch that off. I'm me and me thinks of Microsoft as M$.

Childish? Sure.

But: So what? Microsoft is big enough to withstand some teasing and if you can't stand it how is that my fault? You don't like my style? Well, who is childish/unprofessional then?

How much "political correctness" or "encyclopedia-like neutrality" is healthy? I don't know.

But having fun at what I do is what drives me. I prefer witty answers over neutral ones. My style gave me 50K so far.

The discussion right now upsets me. You are, right now, hurting my feelings. My fingers shake as I type this. My brain says "Don't send this, it'll only cause trouble." But my guts yell "STAND UP AND FIGHT" From now on, whenever I return to Stackoverflow, I will remember that some style nazis are in here, hurting me. That takes a bit chunk of fun out of my effort here. And fun is the coin in which you pay me.

What should I do? Love it, leave it, or change it?

I don't want to leave. I've invested too much in SO.

I can't bring myself to accept those edits. There is nothing technical wrong with my answer.

Change myself? Well, I'm doing that but it takes time. Do I want to be more neutral? Maybe. But that would also hurt my work performance. And I don't buy the reasons. So do I want to change in the way Greg Bray wants me? Not at all. So motivation is low on my side.

Am I being professional about this right now? Absolutely not! But that's also part of the 50K. So how about you love it, leave it or change it? Would be more simple for me.

share|improve this answer
What makes you think that you're the target of this post? Nowhere does anyone mention (or link to) a specific question or mention any user by name. – ChrisF May 11 '11 at 9:15
I find it ironic that the guy who is so upset about Microsoft being all about money is suggesting this kind of thing which is... all about money. – fretje May 11 '11 at 9:19
When I write answers, I tend to do a quick sanity check: Would I be happy submitting my question/answer to a client as a quotation/review/etc. If no, I (usually) clean it up. I don't know of anyone who would be willing to use derogatory terms (which is what this is) in an official document being sent to a client. – Mark Henderson May 11 '11 at 9:33
@ChrisF:… – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 9:39
@fretje: I'm not opposed to making money. I just find it unethical to make 30-50% profit every year when a) everyone else in the same industry only makes around 5% and b) you believe that "There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed" (Bill Gates). They could afford to spend more on quality and they didn't for a very long time. That's a decision and this decision had an influence on my life. – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 9:45
@Aaron: If you feel so bad about Microsoft, why do you even answer questions about it on SO then? I think you will have a happier life if you simply didn't answer those questions as opposed to answering them using childish acronyms. – fretje May 11 '11 at 10:03
@Aaron - I'm sick of seeing quotes taken out of context. They were talking about paying money for bug fixes, which Microsoft don't do. Apple do though. It's also almost 20 years old, time to move on! – Mark Henderson May 11 '11 at 10:25
@Farseeker: The question was "But there are bugs an any version which people would really like to have fixed." They never talked about taking money for bug fixes. They talked about why M$ never fixes bugs that professional users care about. Bill's stance: There are too few professionals so that would not pay so we don't. See for yourself: – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 10:32
@Aaron - soo.... what's my Windows Update doing every week then? The world has moved on. And if you read what Gates was really saying just a few lines later on: No. I'm saying: We don't do a new version to fix bugs. We don't. Not enough people would buy it. Now I'm not really a Microsoft advocate (although we are a Microsoft shop), but really, let bygons be bygons. It's not worth getting angry about. Seriously. – Mark Henderson May 11 '11 at 10:34
@Farseeker: The windows updates mostly fix security bugs; there is a chance you could sue M$ over them if they were not fixed. They usually don't make broken menus in Word work. They don't improve an inane UI that wastes my time. They don't fix bugs in the OOXML format which make my life a pain today. Every day. So I feel every day that this quote still summarizes the attitude of that company very well. Even after 20 years. It sucked when they grew and it sucks now that they are big. – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 10:42
@Aaron Digulla: I'm not trying to sound like a troll or even wisely, heck no, but deal with it! I'm coding VB.NET/C# on .NET for Windows every day and I hate it from the bottom of my heart. I hate the structure of Windows, I hate it's Look And Feel, I hate all those little picky design decisions they made because they thought it was a good idea and I hate that they can squash competitors by their pure size. But until the day I can hop of this train and never look back, I'll deal with it, in a professional, mature and objective manner. I hope you can do the same. – Time Traveling Bobby May 11 '11 at 10:59
@Farseeker: One nice (= annoying) example of a bug never fixed is the analog clock I have on my Vista desktop that moves 3 pixels to the left at every start of the system. – Hendrik Vogt May 11 '11 at 11:33
@fretje: How would that help the victims? I know a lot about the flaws of M$ products and how to work around them. That means I can help and I feel obliged to help when I can. I guess that's the same with you or you wouldn't be here. The difference is that you can swallow the bile better than I can. So my answers are emotionally more expensive. But that doesn't make them wrong. – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 11:55
@Bobby: I understand. It's just not in my system. If it were, I wouldn't have this discussion. That is my dilemma. – Aaron Digulla May 11 '11 at 11:57
@Aaron This was never meant to be a personal attack, which is why I never linked to your answer. My only goal was to correct a misspelling, and when you reverted the change stating that M$ is an OFFICIAL acronym when it clearly is not I choose to voice my support here to prevent the issue from spreading. If you don't like Microsoft that is fine, but abusing their name on this website is not the right approach. Your rep shows that you have been a valuable contributor and I hope you continue, but seeing M$ in an accepted answer on SO hurts me and is against the values of this community – Greg Bray May 11 '11 at 16:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .