Microsoft

Loving technology and hating Microsoft

We're so dependent on technology companies that anytime something goes wrong, it engenders fear, which then turns into anger and hatred.

We all have our own likes and dislikes, loves and hates. Something I hate is the term "haters" -- it has always seemed like the epitome of irony that those who apply the word to others are doing the very thing they claim to, well, hate. Too often, it's used to describe someone who simply disagrees with a pet belief or who dares to not embrace a favorite of one's own.

In the tech industry, in particular, it seems a bit silly to waste such strong emotions on companies or gadgets or conglomerations of code. Yet many folks get very passionate about their technology, and "hate" seems to be the only word that fully captures their ire, whether it's aimed at a piece of software that doesn't work right, a computer or device that's giving them fits, or an entire business entity that makes the bothersome products.

InSights: a retrospective

I sit in my office, writing this on the second day of a brand-new year (a day when many people I know have the "holiday" off) and thinking about some of the commentary that this column has inspired since I started doing it eight months ago. I've received lots of "thank you" emails from readers, along with a few "you're full of <expletive deleted>." A few times I've gotten both from the same person, in regard to different installments.

The public comments on TechRepublic are all over the board. They've ranged from "You're not fair to Microsoft" to "You're nothing but a Microsoft shill." Some say my criticisms of Microsoft's decisions and products are nit-picking. Perhaps, but I believe some of those nits need to be picked. Some have accused me of getting paid by Microsoft to say positive things about the company. I don't.

I took this assignment with the hope that I could bring some unique perspectives to the table in the ongoing discussions that revolve around one of the world's biggest and most influential technology companies. I have an understanding of the insider point of view, not just as a Microsoft family member, but also through my own previous work as an independent contractor for the company and my eight-year status as an MVP (something that I offered, when taking on this job, to give up if it created a conflict).

More than all that though, I am also a decades-long user of Microsoft products. I've experienced the same frustrations (and the same delights) as others who depend on the company's operating systems, applications, and occasional hardware devices to get my work done. And my background encompasses that of an IT pro, not just a consumer. Unlike some tech industry commentators, I've actually worked with the server components and am intimately familiar with the challenges involved in deploying and managing them.

Fandom and objectivity in tech writing

Something I learned early on in my career was that there is a difference between reporting and editorial/opinion pieces. Journalists dealt in "just the facts." Commentators and analysts gave their opinions. This line has become blurred today, and as a consequence many readers don't know or understand the difference. Here's a hint: Most columnists and bloggers are commentators. They may research their stories extensively and provide reference documentation (I do), but ultimately they're writing their opinions.

In the context of commentary and analysis, "being objective" doesn't mean having no opinion; it means examining both sides of an issue before forming that opinion. It means listening to the opposition and presenting facts to back up your side of the argument. It means disagreeing in a reasonable and thoughtful manner, and acknowledging that others have the right to their own (differing) opinions.

There is a lot of "fandom" in tech commentary, and that's pretty inevitable. Writers who study, use, and delve into technology will have preferences based on their experiences and personalities. Few commentators are truly vendor-neutral.

The folks who write about Macs and the iPhone/iPad tend to be Apple fans. The ones who write about how to get the most out of *NIX-based products tend to be Linux fans. Is it really so surprising that a person who chooses to write every week about Microsoft would be something of a fan of that company?

Apparently, to some readers, it is.

Microsoft-bashing: a national pastime

My last column of 2011 addressed the almost obligatory end-of-year "What might happen in 2012" topic. Based on some of the things that have happened in 2011 and some rumblings within the industry (which I documented with links to the sources), I opined that some recent good decisions, very positive sales trends for Windows 7 and Xbox/Kinect, and other factors could result in a comeback for Microsoft after a few years of being hit hard by the competition.

Many of the comments posted to the site were thoughtful, whether in agreement or disagreement. But one reader called the article "pure rubbish," insinuated that it was "directly sponsored by Microsoft," and noted that she was "seriously considering unsubscribing." And it's that kind of post that puzzles me.

It's mild, though, compared to some email messages I've received about positive comments I've made regarding Microsoft. I've been called names that I can't print here, and some of the rants about Bill Gates (who doesn't even work at Microsoft anymore) make me wonder if the writers are seriously disturbed individuals.

There are barely legible, disorganized rants and there are meticulously structured papers, complete with appendices, laying out all the reasons the author hates Microsoft. There is even an "official place to hate Microsoft," at www.ihatemicrosoft.com, which, by the way, is optimized to produce "bad results" when viewed with Internet Explorer.

I completely understand the phenomenon of frustrated customers venting their anger at spending hours trying to make something work and finally giving up. What I don't understand is pervasive, obsessive hatred of a tech company or the person who represents that company to the public. Is it envy ("Gates has all that money and I don't")? Is it the (mis)perception that Microsoft's business practices are somehow more heinous than those of the other big corporations? Is it the old "monopoly" idea (which is awfully outdated, given all the OS choices we have today)?

It's not just Microsoft

Of course, Microsoft isn't the only tech company that is a target for venomous feelings. In fact, I was a little surprised to see that a search for "I hate Apple" turned up far more results than the search for Microsoft-haters (1,070,000 on Google, 67,400 on Bing). And Google itself turns up 327,000 hits for "I hate Google" (47,800 on Bing) -- although when you go to www.ihategoogle.com, you discover that the owner registered the domain "to protect Google" and also owns domains named iusegoogle.com and ineedgoogle.com.

Maybe the problem is that technology companies are much like utility companies -- we're so dependent on what they provide that anytime something goes wrong, it engenders fear, which then turns into anger and hatred. It would behoove Microsoft and the other tech companies to understand this co-dependent relationship (because, after all, they're dependent on us, too, to buy their products and services) and to reach out more to their customers, even those who profess to hate them.

Also read:

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

75 comments
sh10453
sh10453

Well written article, and I have seen many of the immature responses (to put it politely) in various commentary sections. Unfortunately, some had convinced themselves that their opinion matters more than anyone else's, when it maybe the least valuable (or cared for) of all. I have been using Microsoft products ever since the PC hit the market, when I was just starting college, back in early 1980's. What I hate is not Microsoft, or Bill Gates. [b] I hate the UNPLEASANT surprises that Microsoft brings to me so often [/b]. Examples: - Automatic updates that create disasters, and my peers had already talked about them. - Drastic changes to the software, the user interface in particular. A lot of training went into the various Office versions, and it was not a big issue to upgrade regularly until [b] the disaster of Office 2007 [/b], where the interface required a complete retraining. We decided to shelve Office 2007 and stay with Office 2003, and we are still with it. We have no plans to upgrade to Office 2010 or higher. Microsoft needs to read this: [b] We, and our employees HATE the Ribbon that was introduced with Office 2007 [/b]. Another item of greed from Microsoft that is hated, is the cost of upgrading the OS (for individuals). I believe if the cost was much less than what it is, a lot more people would be willing to upgrade, instead of using hacked versions of Windows. I'm a hardware engineer from the Midwest, so I have no connection with Microsoft whatsoever, but I personally admire Bill Gates and his vision, which has allowed mothers, kids, fathers, grandmothers, ..., etc., to communicate with each other with ease (I know some will be throwing mud, that it isn't his vision, ...., but the OS made things like that work with ease). I had worked with UNIX workstations back in the 1980's and the 1990, when PC's did not have much power, and I had memorized the DOS manual (or 90% of it, at least, back in the 80's and 90's), but I have no desire whatsoever to go back to command lines. I have recently installed UBUNTU64, and it was OK for a few hours of playing with it, until I wanted to install other programs, where I found some information telling me how to install them. For example, to install Google Chrome, I needed these commands: - sudo apt-get install libnspr4-0d libxss1 libcurl3 - sudo dpkg -i './Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb' Now this is just one simple example. Do people really expect such an OS to become a common household OS, and that it is a threat to Windows? If so, they must be teenagers. Personally I believe this OS will remain for the UNIX lovers (in it's various names and forms). The real threat to Microsoft's Windows, in my humble opinion, is only from Google, the Chrome OS, and it's arrival is most welcome (I have downloaded a copy quite a while back, but have not had a chance to play much with it). Once I find it able to meet my [b] engineering needs [/b], I'm willing to switch & say Goodbye to Windows. Perhaps that will humble Microsoft a bit, especially when their Windows share goes down to 60%, or lower.

bjdodo
bjdodo

I do hate Microsoft, for 1 reason, which is politics. And to justify: MS getting paid for each android device is unethical, and it is not advantageous for anyone except MS. Getting the MS document format to iso was a joke (http://www.noooxml.org/). Politicians for some reasons _always_ decide to use MS in the public sector; the real reason is surely not the usual "cheaper to maintain" answer (politicians should aim to create jobs in their local country, not in Redmond). I am convinced that these decisions are not based on technical grounds. Something is happening in the background. Nowadays it is very difficult to buy a PC without Windows on it. Windows should be an optional feature of any PC, and politicians should force PC sellers to offer options (just like the EU did with web browsers. If that hadn't happened, we'd be still using internet explorer 6.x). The fact that BSA could achieve in many countries that they can operate in ways which is completely against the local law should speak for itself. Like when the black car comes because you have sinned my son against the mafia. Of course MS is driving that thing. Ethics behind software licensing issues is not what I wanted to discuss here. What I wanted to say here is that they can bend the law if they want to. I could continue, the list is long. This is BAD for technology, and for anyone that does not work for MS. Also as a side note, MS is NOT a technology company. Sure its products implement technology in software. But MS is driven by lawyers, and the whole company would not exist if it would not dominate the PC market (and any economics person can tell that 1 company dominating a market is against anything that is good, and it should be politicians that put an end to this) . On the other hand, with these "techniques" they could just as well dominate any other market. These techniques are the real things that define MS for me. Having said all this, I do not hate their technology. MS employs lots of extremely smart programmers, and has lots of good products, bright ideas. But what is happening in the background, at the management/lawyer/politics level is disgusting. MS is a mafia in my opinion, with very far reaching hands.

cito
cito

things will keep changing. apple is good for the masses but only does what it does, microsoft requires continuous tinkering to get it to work but you can get it to anything, and linux does that as well but for the more serious geek. They are all needed, will keep moving forward and don't be surprised for more and crazier things happening in the near future. it might also be the last year for humanity so just relax and enjoy the technology and what it can do.

smatteson
smatteson

... I've become largely disillusioned lately with the quality of their products, support and documentation. There are terabytes worth of arguments out there regarding the unhelpful error messages, support calls that drag on for days or weeks, the illogical and mindboggling setting changes (e.g. hiding useful features under new menus or taking out beloved features) and I will not rehash those. I will simply state that having worked with Apple products as a total newbie in the past year, I am amazed by the following horizon-broadening observation: Apple products seem to go out of their way to understand what I'm trying to do and try to help me do it seamlessly. Microsoft products seem to go out of their way to be obtuse or confusing and try to stop me from doing what I want to do. Enough said. And I was one of the biggest anti-Apple ("These are toy computers/fans are lemmings/closed systems are anti-freedom") objectors around for a long long time...

roamaine
roamaine

Unbelievable, the subjective comments made herein. To me, the problem seems to be that sonsumer users adopt that o;perating system that suits their personal bias, when, in fact, if we are talking about Microsoft, the sompany rlies mainly on corpoarate pruchases for their pri;mary revenues. Sure, their consumer market gets the share of publicity, but the driver of the Microsoft engine is the corporate market. The first version came out in what? 1981? Thirty years ago. Yet is installed on 70+ percent of the worlds computers? It seems to me that it is an enduring brand that eventually lays an egg. What brand hasn't? Look at Apple before Jobs returned. Everyone declared it dead. So, get real everybody. Microsoft is here to stay. Sure, the PC market is on decline, and mobile is the darling of today. But, Microsoft, despite its occasional missteps, manages to garner a major share of each merket it enters. It was late to the internet, but is ubiquitous in its browser penetration. To me, this debate is non-productive and is merely an oopportunity to encourage ranting. .

jlippens
jlippens

Being in support/development, I now know why I end up getting the backlash from end users and managers when technology goes "belly up". Thanks for putting things in perspective as the statements in this article could be applied from the bottom up.

Dannywowo
Dannywowo

I see most big company do the same thing, like Apple go around the world to sue the Android manufactors, or google buying motorola. They are on that kind of position and have the power to dominate the market. Why they would not do it if this can bring the huge profits. Who can say today's small company with great technology will not become next MS tomorrow? So dont need to hate them, just need to make a good law to ensure the competition is well protected

sarai1313
sarai1313

come on show me where microsoft or apple havenot work off some one else work.

danmartini
danmartini

Bait your readers to have a Micosoft good/evil fight. Typical TechRepublic lameness.

bobc4012
bobc4012

Interesting discussion Debra. Generates a lot of discussion. I particularly liked your comment about journalists and commentators - 'Journalists dealt in just the facts. Commentators and analysts gave their opinions. This line has become blurred today, and as a consequence many readers dont know or understand the difference.' Unfortunately, it is extremely rare today to find a "true" journalist (especially, when it comes to politics). When it comes to technology, it becomes religion-like with the more vocal people (the non-vocal people (also those less technically astute) just accept whatever and go on their merry way, never realizing there may be "better new toys"). But you know you must be doing a good job when you generate a lot of discussion - pro and con.

simon
simon

In the last year I have found my self more and more fed up with this industry as a whole, I have been working with computers for over 30 years and I am finding my self having to spend more time dealing with issues caused by poor design, testing or implementation. I am fed up with customers looking at me like i am an idiot because the funky new server thet I have convinced them to buy does not do what it should because of poor software and I have to spend hours of my time tracking down well hidden hotfixes to patch issues that should have already been dealt with. This is not rant at MS in particular, I am talking about all software manufacturers, they should stop using the room of infinite monkeys and start designing software correctly that does what it is supposed to. I am on the verge of giving it all up to become a monk, it is much less stressful.....

gak
gak

Microsoft does what the market dictates. If the market refused to buy from MS because the design is not consistent and the API is clumsy, then MS products would be great. Looking at MS crap we actually see our own recklessness and, above all, stupidity. It is natural to hate both. MS also reflects the situation where one 100 million idiots with $1 each have more power and influence than 1000 smart people with $10,000 each. You asked for equality? Enjoy! It is also very natural to react emotionally to that, possibly with hatred.

radleym
radleym

who grew up in the industry are reluctant to forgive MS for the negative affect they have had on innovation over their lifetime, engendered by underhanded business practices. With so many companies seemingly using similarly underhanded tactics these days (misleading advertising, frivolous lawsuits etc.) the consumer seems to be getting more jaded - I wouldn't be surprised to see responses about how these are normal business practices these days, and nobody should care. I'm sadder at these trends than I am mad. I for one would be a much happier reader, also, if the flame-bait postings were eliminated.

sboverie
sboverie

I think that part of the attitude comes from bad experience with a product. I have seen wacked out comments that show that the attitude is stuck in the past and not actually addressing the present. I remember working with MS DOS 2.0 and thinking it was great, compared to what was available then. I would suggest that the rabid fanbois get one of the 80's computer with the OS and applications that were available then and see if the experience is as good as what is available with the present state of the art OS and hardware. I would hate to use DOS 2.0 when it doesn't do much of anything compared to anything today.

kathismom
kathismom

I can work in both environments with no problems & Microsoft has some good features/programs but.. I remember when Microsoft didn't follow the standards and Microsoft and Unix didn't (still don't) play well together. I remember software with major security holes in it. That's why I still don't like them. Given the choice, I'll take a Unix flavor any day over a MS box.

kallingham
kallingham

I am definitely not a lover of MS (just bought an new Windows7 machine; I won't bore you with the annoying details). However, we have to give them credit for what they have done. Business document ubiquity. Before MS, sharing electronic documents was anythiong but trivial. Companies had secretary pools ($20,000.00 or more each) whose main purpose was to re-type business documents from outside the company using $100,000.00 Xerox/Olivetti/other machines. Every company had it's own expensive format for electronic documents. Most companies had to deal with this. Now, thanks to MS, it's all done virtually for free (okay, there's the MS Office and Windows licensing costs). You get electronic documents from outside, and you can use them right away. Sure Lotus 1-2-3 was first, along with WordStar (or something like that), but true document ubiquity started with MS with Windows 3.1 and Word+Excel. That's the history, and it was a big deal. Business operation was revolutionized with this change...

Imprecator
Imprecator

I've been tinkering around with computers since 1979. My first MICRO COMPUTER (that's how we called them in those days) was a 4K TRS-80 Model I that used an "el cheapo" tape recorder as storage (with a transfer rate of 250 Bits/Second. Heh, modems were faster in those days). I used my first (knowingly) Microsoft product in 1980 (MS Basic Compiler 5.0 for TRS-DOS). I've done sysadmin work with most known Unixen: AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, True64, NCR, Unisys, Altos (anyone remember those?), Data General, SGI Irix and even (!) SCO. I currently work with a whole bunch of VMs (with Windows and Linux) on VMWare and several Oracle Databases on a Linux Cluster. Guess what? I DON'T HATE Microsoft (nor do I like them), Hell, I don't hate Oracle either (but I sure don't like them either and started with Oracle version 5) nor do I hate Apple (even though I NEVER liked Steve Jobs). As a sysadmin thoroughly disliked Windows NT 3.5 and NT 4.0 because they were inflexible and unreliable (I had the horrible misfortune of managing an Oracle Parallel Server Cluster aka Oracle RAC in 2001 with WIndows NT 4) and even nowadays after using WIndows 2008R2 I must say that I prefer Unix based servers. Yet I really don't hate Microsoft. They DO have some fairly good products (ie. Active Directory) and some really crummy products like anyone else. What I do hate with a passion is when Managers pretend to make engineering decisions based on "white papers",dumbass consultants that have never ever managed production systems in their life and Project Managers that can't even spell PERT/CPM, and THEN expect me to fix the mess they've made for a nickel.

Greg Williams
Greg Williams

Nice opening paragraph on "haters"....what is up with that? It amazes me how much energy people spend on sending out negativity. Somewhere in the history of man, there was probably a caveman that hated the wheel. Regarding your insights on Microsoft - I've been a devoted and loyal user of most Microsoft products for years, but lately I've seen that Microsoft doesn't always fulfill my needs. When I switched from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome it opened up a whole different universe for me. Then I purchased an Android tablet...it's really opened my eyes to exploring different tools to accomplish my computing and technology needs (and wants). The bottomline for me is that you take bits and pieces of what works best for you and build a reilable network where all the parts can communicate efficiently. And it's always a "work in progress" and yes, your going to fail at times - but that's part of the journey. Have fun with it...explorer your options and take a risk now and then (that's why we have system restore), but don't hate.

d_baron
d_baron

and please, without expletives and excess emotion. Yes, I loved that old car but in the final analysis, it was just a machine. I use Debian Linux. I do not hate Microsoft. I believe that the competition among these companies, Apple, Microsoft, etc., makes the technology get better. Apple suing the pants off Samsung does not. The GUI elements are now all so common and generic. Three cheers for Metro, lovely, useful, original? -- I can do all the same things on a KDE4 "plasma" desktop. Novell ported .net to the opensource world. Metro is next since it is already there :-) "Call a lawyer and sue, sue me, shoot bullets through me, I love you ..." (song from Guys and Dolls, showing my age!)

kraabeasa
kraabeasa

This is more indicative of our increasingly intolerant society as a whole than true love/hate for a particular corporation or organization. Just look at our current political climate. There are no dignified or civil debates and dialogues anymore, just a competition for who can deliver the best zinger to intimidate or degrade anyone with a different opinion. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? When did we collectively decide one size must fit all?

L.Smith
L.Smith

All I have seen since I have been lurking here is the same old thing as, "Which is better, Ford or Chevy?" A bunch of supposedly intelligent people spouting off that, "My OS is better than yours!" BOTH companies are out to make profits. Apple is extremely proud of its income. They should be. The money they charge for a lot of items produced in China, which probably didn't cost much, if any, more than say, Acer or any/all other Chinese produced consumer goods. Apple SHOULD be better. As much as their products cost, they really and truly should be better. Apple and MS aren't even the same TYPES of companies in the fact that, if MS started their own manufacturing/assembling of hardware and quit selling Windows to anyone, lots of 3rd party developers, hardware manufacturers and other people who rely on the manufacture, shipment and sales of "Windows" machines, would be unemployed. Only thing EITHER have in common is they both produce an OS. That's where it stops. Windows is closer to being an open enviroment, because if they restricted us like Apple does, where would we be today? A $2500 laptop being the least expensive maybe? Or desktops still costing $1500 for an in-expensive one? I know the PC(personal computer, not the Windows machine) would not be as widespread as it is today. And lots of IT people would be out of jobs as well.

TACWALKER
TACWALKER

I like Microsoft. They introduced me to a [u]brave new world[/u].

Fravio
Fravio

I met this company wich used to say: "We don't use Microsoft nor PC", but all their iPhones and iPads was using Microsoft Exchange to sync their mailboxes with their workstations.

alfred
alfred

At 83 I have seen all of the development of computing yet I have never seen a comment on the problem of dialog boxes. For many, many years too many, especially by Microsoft are not expandable but have content which cannot be read in full in the size limited box. Try msconfig and look at Startup to see the point.

pbisson
pbisson

At the age 55, every day, I think, "Where is it that I might get updated today?" The author of this blog might take some time and consider there is a new World of younger people who see the World from a completely different eye and she should take into consideration their plight in facing markets before she fathoms hate. Otherwise, given her claims to experience, this author might consider how to give back, whether it is in support of Microsoft or otherwise.

very old techie
very old techie

I remember when the in thing was to hate IBM and love Microsoft.

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

I use Linux. It works best for my uses. This does not mean I have Microsoft and/or Apple. Hate requires effort which benefits no one, particularly not yourself. If you use MS, and hate it, STOP IT!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE There are probably better solutions. If you use MS and don't hate it, MS obviously has a solution which works for you. If you don't use MS, what would be the point of hating something that isn't in your life any longer?

gstrock
gstrock

Its not their products I despise, its their business practices. I hate Microsoft because they are out to destroy open source.

ande151
ande151

My computer time goes all the way back when Analog was the starting point for my training and then after Dec PDP11 main frame learning I decided to have a look at these little computers that were coming out, you know like the Sinclaire 1000, Commodore and others like the 386. Microsoft had been a struggle since I started with DOS 4.01. I can honestly say Microsoft has never been and still is not a very easy or pleasant experience. So in reality it has been a graying hair experience. I still use it but only a few programs that I like and use in the Microsoft environment. Sure am glad Linux and Mac OS X is here. Thats my view and I'm sticking to it, and mild good natured bashing is allowed for those that disagree. TTFN. the Farmer retired....

itadmin
itadmin

If you want to know something, go back in its history and see why they started. I avoid Microsoft if possible. I find my Debian install easier to work with to such an extent that I even have a Debian machine on a MS network at work. I'm on this machine all the time. MS was started with the aim of making money, not to build solid software and logical user interfaces. One has to traverse an ever changing maze of point and clicks to get at some commonly used things. MS is very successful at their primary goal - making money. They had building better software reluctantly forced upon them. Contrast that to the birth of Linux. In 1991 an IT student started building an operating system. He was quickly joined by other IT enthusiasts. It was about creating solid, functional software for computer geeks. There was no thought about making money or the great unwashed masses. All of you most likely know that Linux has penetrated the really demanding market (web, super computers) to much the same extent MS has penetrated the mass market. This means Linux is solid, dependable and can handle demanding tasks. So, both MS and Linux have been successful in their aims. It's like comparing apples with oranges; MS is far better at catering for the vagaries of the great unwashed (of which there are so many) and marketing. As software, purely evaluated for stability and taking care of demanding tasks, Linux is far better.

dogknees
dogknees

Your evidence for every single thing they've ever produced coming from elsewhere. You want us to believe you, you need to show hard evidence, not rumor or "common knowledge", proof.

nzav
nzav

"I believe that the competition among these companies, Apple, Microsoft, etc., makes the technology get better." With all due respect, I humbly disagree with that comment. If anything, this competition between Microsoft and Apple brings to the marketplace unstable and buggy software with each new version. It is common knowledge that every release of Windows is SOLD with countless lines of bad code, which is later constantly patched until and after the next version is released. The rush to get a product out the door before the competition has long ago taken precedence over stability and quality. Apple is just as guilty in this respect. Every version is full of problems despite the updates and patches, and just when the current version has reached a tolerable level of stability, next release comes out and the patching cycle starts all over again. It is like buying a new car that will not start on rainy days, and if two people open their doors to get in simultaneously, the engine stops. Then the dealer tells you that you need the next year???s model, which will be perfect! In reality, it will mostly cosmetic enhancements. With each version, the complications of setting up networks and surprises (one day something works, the next day, it crashes) with hardware and applications just increases. Here we are in 2012 - yet BSODs are still a common occurrence in what is claimed to be an advanced sophisticated OS. Error messages are often meaningless and broad (Google them and you may get over a million hits), I have often wondered what criteria went into the design of Event Viewer. I used windows since the first v1.0 (that was a joke!) and am currently running Windows 7 on a number of workstations and laptops, so I am not hyping Apple or Linux, etc. (though have used Apple's OS), I am just saying the value of Windows is far less than is claimed by Microsoft and its dedicated fans.

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

"the world is neither black nor white, but rather in various shades of grey". This is closer to the facts describing an analog range rather than descrete poles, but this isn't true either, is it? The world exists in technicolor which those who are bound to boolean logic are incapable of seeing.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Everything exists along partisan divides. We approach every facet of our daily lives as if the things we promote define the people we are. What politician we vote for, what political ideals we hold, what our opinion is on faith, what brand of car we drive, what OS or smart-phone we use. People have brought the same fanatic passion they have for their favorite sports team and applied that kind of devotion to every competition in their lives. But keep in mind - it is quite likely that this is simply the vocal minority. The greater body of PC users, statistically - fire up their Windows PCs at home, and their Windows PCs at work, and do whatever tasks they want to get done with very little thought given to what platform they're doing it on. But the greater body of Mac users are probably the same way - and Linux users, and Android and iOS users. It is the vocal minority from each platform that turns it into a win-or-lose competition.

fishystory
fishystory

The truth is that without Apple and other competition, Microsoft would also abuse its power, inevitably start charging more for its operating system and other software. However, I must stress: this is not an attribute of only Microsoft, but of all corporations. Before I leave it out, I will mention that we need Linux and open-source software too because without them, consumers would face a duopolistic market. Linux, itself has brought many technologies to both Windows and OS X, and the most significant that I can think of (at the moment) is 'tabbed' web browsing. It was the Mozilla Foundation who introduced this technology to the masses back in 2002 (http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/releases/0.1.html). Competition is healthy for the tech industry and without it, innovation is stifled.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but I don't think it's a reason to dislike an entire company.

tlhendilstu
tlhendilstu

I remember that too! Makes you wonder what the next evolution will be...

dogknees
dogknees

If you despise them, why do you contribute to their wealth? Would it not be more honest to refuse to have anything to do with them? It's easy to rant online about something, having the personal courage to act accordingly is all that matters. You ethical standards are not what you say, they're what you do.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Dude, all companies have the aim of making money. If they didn't, Apple would be selling their products at cost. Do you work for your employer for the bare minimum it takes to put a roof over your head and food on the table? As to Linux, if you have an option you prefer, must you automatically dislike all other options? If you like vanilla, does that mean you hate chocolate and strawberry?

blarman
blarman

The biggest problem I see is that of complexity. As programming gets more complex, the number of potential errors increases exponentially - not linearly. So every new line of code Microsoft includes into their OS introduces bugs. Some they catch, some they don't. What irritates me is that they keep changing things they don't need to change (increasing complexity and frustration for us sysadmins), and they keep including by default things that most people don't need (see Office for a great example). Having done programming professionally, I understand the need for service packs and updates and the need to get your product to market, I just still can't help but go back to the days of the old HP LaserJets where they took their time and engineered a superior product (original LaserJet II and III took 5 years development - most current LaserJets now are done in

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"The rush to get a product out the door before the competition has long ago taken precedence over stability and quality." I agree, but who is Microsoft's competition? Itself. It rushes to get a product out the door so sales will satisfy shareholder and stock market expectations. I doesn't have to beat any other operating system vendor to the market; for better or worse, there aren't in its league at this time.

alfred
alfred

Palmetto please read my contribution carefully. I did not say I hated Microsoft. I only said that Microsoft had more than others of the dialog boxes I did not like.

sire_tim
sire_tim

But one still needs food on the table - like it or not, businesses use what they want. Either you support/sell/provide what they want, or they go elsewhere. Besides which, did you check whether gstrock actually uses MS himself? I don't see anything in his comment that provides this information, yet you blithely go on to accuse him of being two faced.

itadmin
itadmin

What's your point? Everybody knows that. I compared the reasons for the existence for MS and Linux and how that influenced what happened further down the line. As Linux is not a company, they don't have the same motivation - making money - that MS has. The motivation of Linux is writing good software. Yes, I prefer Linux, but that doesn't mean I "dislike" Windows. I do dislike working with it. It doesn't have a straight-forward, no nonsense approach to things. It tries to think for the morons for whom it was designed (good business decision - there are many times more morons than computer nerds) and always gets in my way. I value loyalty. MS and Bill Gates score marks in my book for not abandoning the inclement weather of Seattle and relocating to a balmier climate. The only similarity MS and Linux have is that they are both computer operating systems with added bits. Their goals are very different and comparisons don't always take account of these different aims.

dogknees
dogknees

They push cloud because it's a new revenue stream. Some years back it was web services, before that .... It doesn't require a conspiracy, just blind greed.

nzav
nzav

While Microsoft may not see Apple as a great competitive threat, it does have a need to stay on top. Their need to dominate drives them to keep pushing new product beyond the saturation point; the only way to do that with Microsoft's market share is to make existing versions obsolete on a regular basis. This is made possible by having a product that is never up to par, so there is always the carrot of "newer and better" to dangle. When Vista was released (remember that great OS?), users in droves switched back to XP and stayed with it. After the numerous service packs, XP was finally stable enough for use, and to Microsoft's dismay, many thought it was as good as it will ever get. All these users sticking with XP certainly did not help Microsoft keep milking them and I am sure Microsoft wants to forget Vista existed. I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories, but it seems odd that the "cloud" is being pushed so vigorously on users. Yes, other software publishers are jumping on it also, but I can't help thinking the lesson from XP may have something to do with that. The cloud computing model would forever make the OS user pay the software publisher - there would not be another XP that users could keep using until they are prepared to change OS. As I said before, I have no choice in using Windows 7, and am running both x64 and x86 versions on several machines, but I have to use XP in Virtual PC mode on a few of these due to planned obsolescence with hardware and applications. The question is, do we need Windows 8 when 7 is still hardly beyond beta? I do not expect much refinement to be made to Wndows 7 at this point, and it sorely needs it.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

My apologies for implying you did. My intent was to point out that dialog boxes were a poor reasons for anyone to dislike MS, not you in particular.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Chick-Fil-A, a US fast food chain, closes every Sunday while its competition remains open. The founder made the decision to sacrifice the potential profits out of respect for his religious principles. Tens of thousands of people sacrifice higher personal income to work at jobs that don't pay as well but support social causes important to them.