"I know how to use Windows properly, so it's not my fault."
With that declaration and the particular stress on the possessive adjective, Mr. Valmers started his testimony before the inquiring eyes of a judge and the jury members, who began whispering and shaking their heads in disapproval. They had listened to the technical report of a software expert before the afflicted average computer user sat in front of them.
Sensing the effect that his initial words had on the atmosphere of the room, Mr. Valmers paused timidly and cleared his throat before the microphone, causing listeners to tilt their heads for a second that became awkwardly long. Pierced by the prying eyes of the prosecutor, the fifty-something owner of an infected PC wished he could have uttered something like: "I know how to use Windows. I took courses to learn how to use my Windows computer, you know, so do not patronize me, techie." However, he just sat there, mute, as a target for the questions that, sooner or later, would dart from the mouth of the implacable man in front of him.
Mr. Valmers thought for a second. How could he prove that he did nothing wrong according to what he learned in those Windows courses he took? In spite of the fact that the expert had made it clear that such action was a pre-requisite for a secure Windows computer, no instructor had ever told him that he was supposed to disable autorun. Darn pedantic guy! But then, why was it that the stupid autorun feature was enabled by default in Windows if it was so dangerous? Mr. Valmers had done what he was told in four courses to be safe from malware: he bought an expensive antivirus (what a poor investment!), he had that software installed along with MS Security Essentials, and he made sure that the Windows firewall was on as he browsed the Web. Religiously, the man had downloaded antivirus updates and the traitor software never gave a warning of the infection that had him sitting as a fool in front of all those people that looked down on him.
"This is not fair," he heard himself say, "if autorun is so dangerous, or Windows is insecure, I am not to be blamed. I did not do anything to make my computer any more vulnerable than it was when I bought it."
How he wished that Microsoft's CEO, that bad-tempered bald guy, had been there in his place! This guy was actually the one who was responsible for all computer infections...He was the careless person that approved the release of such a defective product for mass consumption!
"It was your negligence that caused the infection. It was your computer, Mr. Valmers, which was spreading viruses to several Government institutions," charged the prosecutor, assuming a stance of superiority. "Your computer," he stressed with poorly-concealed satisfaction.
The possessive adjective lingered for an additional second on the thick air of the room and echoed inside Mr. Valmers' head. "Your computer, your computer," repeated a hypnotic voice while the man felt as an insect pinned on a wall.
All of a sudden, that simple four-letter word opened his heart with hope in a Joycean epiphany.
"Yes, sir, it was my computer," he replied. "But, according to the EULA, Windows is not my software. I do not own it. I did everything in my power to secure my computer, but I cannot do anything to improve the condition of the software".
Murmurs of the listeners grew until they became a tidal wave of noise that forced the judge to demand silence... (to be continued)
Yes, this is a piece of fiction I am working on. However, it can turn into a reality if people are dumb enough to accept Microsoft's newest trickery: a call for banning sick computers from the Internet. Read about it here.