Whether you love or hate Microsoft, you can't deny the tech giant's presence in the IT industry. From security concerns to product releases to competition with Google and open source software, Microsoft continues to make news headlines daily. Perhaps it's the IT community's love/hate relationship with Microsoft that makes water-cooler and discussion forums about the company buzz with such fervor. That's exactly what happened when TechRepublic's Trivia Geek posted the following prompt in the Discussion Center: "In ten words or less, complete the following sentence: 'I really wish Microsoft would...'"
In true community form, many TechRepublic members played along. Some of them played by the rules (sticking to "10 words or less") while others were compelled to say exactly what they wanted to say without following the word count restriction. First, let's take a look at some of the responses of TechRepublic members who played by the rules. A few of them also included longer explanations, which they appended to the end of their original quotes.
In 10 words or less… "I really wish Microsoft would…
- ...build a super-lean version of Vista for old PCs." (The Trivia Geek) – "Just once, I'd like to see a Windows release aimed at the existing install base, rather than designed to force an upgrade to bigger and better hardware."
- …build in driver support for existing products." (netadmin1@...) – "Build in driver support for existing products of the previous 5 years."
- …figure out how to boot the OS in 5 seconds." (TaskMan!) – "If you had told me 20 years ago, when I was running a 4.77 MHz 2-floppy drive (no hard drive) 640KB RAM PC-XT with a 7.14 MHz Turbo Switch (Wow!) that we'd be running stations now with multiple GHz CPUs and a typical 512 MB of memory and 120 GB of storage, and YET, we'd still have to wait 3 minutes for the darn things to finish booting, — well, I would have said you were crazy. Silly me."
- …release all its software under the BSD license." (apotheon)
- …provide a 'One User Option'" (Ol_Red) – "My current installation of WinXP requires two 'Administrator' accounts, a 'Default User' account, and an 'All Users' account. I'm the one and only user. Why do I need all these @#% files and/or shortcuts cluttering up my hard drive."
- …turn everything OFF by default." (RoyC-Qld)
- …make Windows OS more affordable!" (USBPort1)
- …build a world class ERP system." (trevorhunter@...) – "I really wish that Microsoft would build a world class ERP system to compete with the likes of SAP and Oracle. Their serious entry into this arena would encourage some real competition in what is currently a stagnant field. Their customer focus would also be appreciated here. TCO of ERP systems should also come down.
- …go back to Windows 95 and refine it." (jardinière)
- ...patch the OS without needing a reboot." (mandrake64) – "Most of my UNIX systems can sustain patches to filesets without needing a reboot/IPL. Many patches can be applied without having to shut down any applications, even on a production system. The first thing you get told when installing most things on a Windows system is to save your work and exit all applications."
- …stop using the Registry for Application Settings." (turbinepilot)
- …demonstrate an understanding of IT reality." (sr10)
- …provide more features for power users." (gbentley@...)
- …shrink baby shrink." (rsalazar@...) – "I just need a little user interface like my iPod."
- …stop putting US IT workers out of work." (aiguy@...)
- ...be considered as just another business entity, looking for profits." (onbliss)
- …focus on improving and securing its OS." (dr.lowenstine)
- …release something worth using." (Jaqui)
- …go ahead and take over the world". (DimBulb)
- …make a concurrent licensing model available for all their products." (jon@...)
- …put user data in a separate volume." (George Ou) – Editor's note: While this blog post wasn't included in the TR discussion, it answered the prompt perfectly. TechRepublic's George Ou asks Jim Allchin why Microsoft can't change the default location of "Documents and Settings" to a data partition or data drive. No legacy applications use "Documents and Settings" via absolute addressing, and everything that uses relative addressing won't be affected anyways.]
Here are a few of the TechRepublic community responses from members who didn't quite play by the rules. Obviously, they had more to say while creating their Microsoft wish list.
In more than 10 words… "I really wish Microsoft would…
- …make replacement CD's available at NO CHARGE once you've purchased original software. (secretgeekygirl)
- …make an OS where one could easily find out, and any given time, what apps are currently running (or loaded on start up), how to get those apps that are not necessary to quit running and how to know which apps are important and which are not." (davideyoungmd@...)
- …make something that works the way that they claim it will. (HAL 9000) – "I'm so sick and tired of Undocumented Features what any other decent company would call Faults that I find them very hard to live with."
- …stop branding new versions of the OS for every conceiveable installation scenario (e.g. the almost dozen proposed Vista editions)" - (Daniel.Muzrall)
- …STOP charging extortionate prices for software, when most free OS software is much better." (Username_Pending_Approval)
- …realize 'Yes to all' AND ‘No to all' can BOTH be choices." (zaferus) – "Wouldn't it be nice if they let you easily replace 8 files missing out of 2,500 in a directory without CLI. While I like CLI's - try explaining them to the average user. Would you like to overwrite existing files? Buttons: ‘Yes to all' ****AND**** ‘No to all' So simple and obvious - must be why they missed it - they were too busy working on ‘Microsoft Bob'."
- …get rid of the backwards compatibility all the way back to the days of DOS 1.0. Keep Windows 2000 & XP compatibility, but I bet you could shrink the size and resource requirements of Windows Vista by 2/3 if you did that." (FirstPeter)
- …slip off the edge of the planet and give some honest companies a go…" (Morleychuffer)
- …allow students to download Microsoft Office 2003 Pro to their own PC for free." (fastnfurious2k2@...)
As you can see, this Microsoft wish list is fairly lengthy, and it includes some legitimate concerns as well as some blatant bashing. Did you see your biggest Microsoft peeve on the list? Drop by the forum to view all of the responses, discuss any comments that you agree or disagree with, or even add your own Microsoft recommendations.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.