Microsoft-Biased Consumerism

A friend of mine, Francesco Sanfilippo, just launched a new site,, and he built it with ASP.NET. In the past, I used sites like Now that I have a Microsoft technology-based alternative, I'll use his site.

I like the idea of turning something like this:

[UPDATE] - I had to edit this post to wrap this URL because it was interfering with my right margin content.

Into this:

As a consumer, I prefer to give my business to the businesses that give me theirs (or specifically, to Microsoft). That is, when given a choice between purchasing an item from Company A or from Company B, I'll choose the company that uses Microsoft software and technologies (especially online). I won't claim that I'm religious about it. I have to admit that here are times when I forget.

Back when I was looking for a site that could produce custom t-shirts I found, which was running on ASP at the time. I don't recall the name of the other company I considered, but I gave my business to CafePress because they were using ASP. A year or so later, they switched to JSP. The site went downhill and became unreliable. Before I could find an alternative, CafePress then switched to ASP.NET. During Beta. The site got better and they retained me as a customer.

Here are some other examples:

  • When I want to buy a book, I prefer to shop at Barnes & Noble. They run ASP on their site. I even give preference to their brick & mortar store over their competitors.
  • When I want to buy electronics, I usually go to They run on ASP, too.
  • When I want to buy office supplies, I prefer to shop at Staples, which runs their site on ASP.
  • When I get to take my European dream vacation, I'll use to book my accommodations (ASP.NET site). I wish JetBlue (ASP) or Alaska Airlines (ASP) flew to Europe, but there's always Continental (ASP) or SAS (ASP).
  • For insurance, I use Allstate, yet another ASP site.
Comments (11)

  1. Don Newman says:

    How much of this is merely coincidence? Perhaps it isn’t the .asp or .aspx vs .pl or .php as much as it is the style that lends themselves to each of those sites is more appealing to you.

    You said cafepress went downhill when they switched to JSP, was it the layout or the performance or merely your opinion? Switching to ASP.Net would have entailed bringing in a new development team that would have architected the site differently for the users than the JSP team.

    I suppose it is similar to my preference for companies with a domain .ca over .com but that would be a small portion of my decision process overall.

  2. Rob Caron says:

    It’s not coincedence, I always try to figure out what technology sites use that I visit. The performance at CafePress along with the reliability suffered under JSP. Granted, it could be they had a lousy implementation.

  3. AndrewSeven says:

    Like attracts like.

    The way something (A) is put together is affected by its components. If you are in the habit of putting those same comonents together into other somethings (B,C and D), then the first (A) will probably seem familiar.

    It is ironic that I as a Canadian do not use any .ca sites (except my dad’s) at all. I refuse to even let google send me to the .ca version.

  4. Don Newman says:

    The main reason I prefer .ca enabled sites is generally that they will quote in CAD and ship from Canada (cheaper). For reference sites I tend to use .com’s. When purchasing books I will use to read reviews and then order through

    I also probably deal with a higher number of MS platform sites than average mainly because those are the technologies I am interested in for content. An article on .Net loses a little value if it ends in .php.

  5. Scott says:

    Interesting. Would you buy a house if you knew they only used Craftsman tools to build it with? What about the car you drive, are the machines used to build it running Windows CE?

  6. Like I said, I’m not religious about it. However, the next DVD player I buy has to play WMV’s and the next car stereo has to play WMA’s. I haven’t bought a new car in 7 years, but I would consider a Ford first since I know they are a large Microsoft customer. They use Microsoft Content Management Server for their site.

  7. Chris says:

    ASP is the most crass web application model I have seen and many would agree with me. I guess only a MS employee would stand by it. One cannot deny the simplicity and elegance Java introduced to the Web applications and ASP.NET has taken it two steps further.

  8. While it is easy to tell who IS running asp(.net) it is not so easy to tell who is not. Many companies have recast their extension mapping to hide the underlying engine (self preservation in the event of a public exposure of an exploit to the underlying technology). While I don’t know of anyone that uses a .pl extension for their ASP.NET pages, it would be quite easy to do. Maybe a double blind test of user acceptance where the publicly exposed extensions are the only difference. Could be embarrassing for the unsuspecting 🙂


  9. Theo Spears says:

    While it is easy to be critical or point out how this would not always work, I have to instead confess I often find myself doing the same thing, only the opposite way around, I will actively support a company based on open source. This isn’t because I hate MS, this is because I like the idea of people putting money into stuff that I can myself use for free. I suppose it is only fair for MS employees to pay money they know will indirectly find its way back to their pockets, in a way it is like getting a discount.

  10. I recently met some people from RDA, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and today they sent me a link…

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