The first time I can remember the "evil" concept being thrown around in a big way in the tech world was Superbowl 1984, when Apple released its iconic 1984 ad against Microsoft. Despite the fact that this ad showed only once, it created a shockwave in the industry, and likely contributed significantly to Apple's growth in those early years.
Why? Did anyone honestly think we would become mindless drones if we kept buying Microsoft products?
For as long as I can remember, there has always been a fascination with the good vs. evil dichotomy. It's in the stories we tell (just pick a random action movie at your local video store), and we all draw the good and evil comparisons in our daily lives. Why do we feel the need to always spot out a "bad guy", be it a political character, business, philosophy, religion, or some other group? And why do we blame the mistakes of others on evil intentions (e.g., honking a horn at someone who cuts you off), not simply the product of human error from which most mistakes originate?
In the tech world specifically, Microsoft has received enough virtual damnation to last two lifetimes. Google has received a mix of praise and hatred, depending on who you ask. And now even Apple, one of the most praised tech companies, is receiving a wave of negative press, such as a recent blog post by Jason Calcanis.
So who's evil? Microsoft, Google, Apple? Wal-Mart, oil companies, health insurance companies, or all of the above? I can't solve it all, so I'm going to turn it over to the only quasi-objective judge I can think of: an instant poll.
Vote below on who is evil: