I am retired from IBM. I've always felt IBM to be an ethical company, but in observing with 20-20 hindsight, I can see that others had difficulty in accepting that, because of their dominant position in computer industry in the 60's and 70's. IBM had guiding principles that we all believed, and operated under. But IBM was heavy-handed at times, and eventually had to abide by a consent decree.
Microsoft has also had a dominant position in the software world with Windows, and has operated in a heavy-handed way, also. I strongly believe that they deliberately harmed competitors, on purpose, to maintain a "monopoly" position. The federal government did not apply sufficient anti-trust measures against Microsoft.
But, now Microsoft appears to be losing their monopoly position, with strong competitve action. I also see that their actions appear to be more ethical than before.
To me, they have debatable ethics, and they manage their business in a "heavy-handed" manner. By that I mean, Microsoft makes decisions in their own interest, above that of their customers. However, they seem to be "mellowing" towards their customers more now.
They have become much more security conscious, and with the "free" Security Essentials", they are better aware of customer needs. After their fiasco with Vista, they are listening to their customers much better with Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Their current trend is good, and they can be a big winner, if they can win customers minds and hearts! It worked for Apple, it can work for Microsoft.