The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
Evil Empire n. [from Ronald Reagan's famous characterization of the communist Soviet Union] Formerly IBM, now Microsoft. Functionally, the company most hackers love to hate at any given time. Hackers like to see themselves as romantic rebels against the Evil Empire, and frequently adopt this role to the point of ascribing rather more power and malice to the Empire than it actually has. See also Borg and search for ?Evil Empire? pages on the Web.