Microsoft, a Most Ethical Operation

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microsoft_small.jpgADOTAS – Well, this is something I thought I would never hear: The Ethisphere Institute claims that Microsoft is one of the most ethical companies in the Internet and software verticals.

That’s right, the former tech evil empire (wasn’t the government supposed to bust that trust?) is now a goody two-shoes, something Google will likely be the first to scoff at — it was only last month Big G accused Microsoft of stealing its search results to inform Bing queries.

Microsoft was in the good company of ethical outfits such as Adobe, eBay, Salesforce.com and Zappos. No one was ranked more ethical than the other — you just are or you aren’t. Nowhere near this list were morally repugnant firms like Google, Facebook, Apple or Yahoo.

Oh yeah, remember last year when Microsoft created and awarded a scholarship to a college student that got into a email tiff with Apple CEO Steve Jobs? Epitome of ethical behavior.

A company’s “Ethical Quotient” (EQ) is based on a company’s ethics and compliance program; reputation, leadership and innovation (kinda surprised that category didn’t sink Microsoft); governance and “Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility.” Only 110 of 3,000 nominated companies actually made the list. Hey, if you can use an algorithm to judge content quality, who says you can’t use an equation to determine ethical behavior?

Microsoft will certainly wear its “Most Ethical” blue ribbon with pride, especially as its Internet business keeps bleeding cash — over the last four quarters, Microsoft has lost $2.5 billion from its online initiatives. The more successful Internet ventures left off the list will likely laugh at that great punchline — “business ethics” — which has grown all the more hilarious in the Internet age.

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