Let’s Bash Microsoft Today

AtStake’s firing of Dan Geer for his authorship of a report that Microsoft’s worldwide monopoly on desktop software makes it easier for worms to flourish (aside: was the report for Duh magazine?) serves as a useful reminder that “free speech” is a right only for publications that don’t depend on support from advertisers and for individuals who don’t depend on their employers’ paychecks.


Complaining about Microsoft is about as useful as complaining about an atmosphere that is 80/20 nitrogen/oxygen.  You might not like it but that’s what you get on Earth.  You could escape the ratio and Microsoft’s monopoly by moving to Mars but the trip would be more expensive than the license fee for Windows 2005 or whatever.  A company focussed on medium-term profits would probably not want its workers wasting time complaining about something that isn’t going to change.  (My own lame attempt was to encourage the federal government, which created the monopoly to begin with and sustains it as Microsoft’s largest customer, to switch to open source software.)


So in solidarity with Mr. Geer, let’s fill the comments section with Microsoft hatred.  I’ll start off with the things that I hate about Microsoft, some big and some small…


1) I hate the fact that Windows doesn’t support JPEG2000 files with 16 bits of luminance information per color (instead of the standard 8-bits-per-color old-style .jpg files that always have washed out highlights and no shadow detail).  Some of the fancier digital cameras put out “RAW” files with 10 or 12 bits of scale but they can’t be processed or viewed except with proprietary software that nobody has.  Because Windows doesn’t support this format directly in MSIE and the file explorer, none of the digital camera companies bothers to make cameras that output the new standard.


2) I hate the fact that Microsoft copied Ninetendo and Playstation with Xbox.  For a company with infinite money to sit and say “Here are all these teenagers getting fat sitting on the sofa working their thumbs with Playstation, let’s make an exact copy of the device” is an outrageous parody of what the electronics industry is supposed to be about.  Where are the Microsoft-approved exercise bikes and other fun fat-burning machines that interface to Xbox?  Why can’t you play a Microsoft game with your whole body instead of your thumbs.  (I think some of the Japanese folks, including Sony, are actually moving in this area, but they’re not the ones with infinite cash.)  The most ironic part here is that, after delivering zero innovation to the market, the Microsoft executives fret that they aren’t making a huge profit off Xbox.


3) I hate the fact that the file formats for Microsoft Office aren’t documented.  (It would be nice to see a little tiny bit of competition in desktop software and it will never happen until a public programmer has free and full access to Office file formats so as to build extensions and maybe competitive pieces for components.)


4) I hate the fact that, after all the hype about .NET, the only languages that you can realistically use with .NET are C#, VB, and maybe COBOL.  .NET had the potential to eliminate the language wars that have disgraced computer programming as a profession (nerds calling each other losers for using [Perl, Python, Java, Lisp, whatever] instead of solving a customer problem).  You were supposed to be able to use Language A and invoke methods on classes defined in Language B.  I guess this works for VB and C#.  But the runtime isn’t sophisticated enough to support dynamic languages such as Common Lisp Object System and Microsoft isn’t reaching into its cash pile to pay third-party language vendors to stand behind .NET versions of the really nice computer languages (ML, Haskell, Lisp).


5) I hate the fact that PCs are all so ugly and noisy.  In a market with 1000 vendors you might expect that 995 of the products are cheap, nasty, and ready for the shelves of Walmart but you’d expect at least 5 vendors of products that would cost $250 extra and (a) be cooled with liquid and heat sinks (i.e., be silent), and (b) look reasonably nice in a home setting.  But just as with my posting on why aren’t there a handful of single fathers to go with the single moms, it seems that we end up with a Gaussian distribution, centered on “ass ugly and friggin’ noisy”, with a standard deviation of 3 dB on the noise and 0.05 ass on the aesthetics.  It might seem unreasonable to blame Microsoft for the ugliness of hardware that they don’t, after all, manufacture.  But one of the burdens of monopoly is that people blame you for everything!  (And I bet if Bill Gates said to Michael Dell “would you mind building me a silent not-too-ugly PC” it would happen.)


6) I hate the fact that Windows XP doesn’t tolerate hardware failure or flakiness.  I only see the blue screen of death once every 6 months or so (flakier than Solaris, better than GNU/Linux in my experience) but WinXP machines seem to freeze if something isn’t quite right with a PC Card slot, a CD/DVD drive, or whatever.  As long as the CPU is still alive, why can’t it log something and then tell me “you really need to check the cabling on Disk F:”?


7) I hated the iPaq PocketPC for the month that I had it and for the 15 minutes of function that it provided between overnight battery charges.


8) I hate the fact that capable people who want to build end-user oriented software basically have no alternative but to work at Microsoft.  Among big companies in a sprawling suburb where it rains all year, Microsoft might not be that bad, but not every capable person will thrive in such an environment.


Okay, that’s all the vitriol that I can summon, typing as I am on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard using a Microsoft any-texture optical mouse (invented in Redmond in 2000; copied by Tom Knight at Symbolics in 1984) in MSIE on XP…  To keep this focussed, I’m going to delete any comments that aren’t on-topic.  It is okay to say “I hate MSFT because they don’t have Feature X from the Macintosh” but a comment that is primarily about the Macintosh or Unix will be liquidated.

158 thoughts on “Let’s Bash Microsoft Today

  1. I hate the fact that, while their monopoly gives them the power to force the adoption of better standards, to innovate, to effectively push the industry forward, Microsoft often chooses to play it safe, never supporting new technologies until they’re obviously needed (Bluetooth, Firewire, Wi-fi).

  2. I hate the fact that many years subsequent to the release of Windows, Microsoft still hasn’t figured out how to write meaningful error messages. More recent versions of Windows don’t break quite so often as the older ones, but it’s still just silly to think that any error message(s) displayed might be related to the actual root cause of the problem.

  3. I hate the fact that I’m going to have to wait until 2005 for “Longhorn” in order to use 64 bit unless I get a Mac. In other words, I’ll be waiting until 2005. Though this I guess is also partly Intel’s fault.

  4. I hate that when I install software I still have to reboot, losing the state of my desktop. I hate that installations also get confused if I’m trying to run other applications while they churn away to register all of their components.

    I hate that FireWire is better supported under the Linux kernel than in Windows XP, causing no end of debugging hassles to try to figure out what’s connected where.

    I hate that Visual Studio is still trying to catch up to “make” in terms of flexibility, and that I spend way too much time setting the wrong flag and then trying to figure out why something’s happening (or not happening) because of their hierarchical option system.

    I hate that in their umpteenth attempt to lead us from “DLL Hell”, they’ve only made the process worse. And that I rarely have shared object clashes of that magnitude on my GNU/Linux machine.

    I hate that the .NET forms framework is still trying to catch up to Tcl/Tk, let alone modern GUI environments like Glade designing Gtk+ apps, in terms of laying out windows that resize intelligently.

    I hate that Office XP still randomly corrupts files, leaving me to manage an intelligent backup/renaming strategy so I don’t lose work.

  5. I hate the fact that Microsoft monopoly is really harming developping countries, as their waste of money in licenses is preventing them from taking real, effective measures to extend ITs. I hate the fat Microsoft is widening the digital divide accross the world, thus contributing to world poverty.

    I hate the pressure Microsoft puts on these countries, or the way it blackmails them to keep them from switching to Free Software solutions (like with Peru in the summer of 2002).

  6. I love Microsoft because they’ve
    brought the price of capable GUI
    computers down below $1,000.

    I love Microsoft because they sell
    me their OS and let me use all kinds
    of interesting hardware in the machines
    I build to run it.

    I love Microsoft because they smoke
    out the self-acclaimed geniuses who
    hate them because MS is successful
    and the s-a’d g’s are not.

    Stan

  7. 4) I hate the fact that, after all the hype about .NET, the only languages that you can realistically use with .NET are C#, VB, and maybe COBOL. .NET had the potential to eliminate the language wars that have disgraced computer programming as a profession (nerds calling each other losers for using [Perl, Python, Java, Lisp, whatever] instead of solving a customer problem). You were supposed to be able to use Language A and invoke methods on classes defined in Language B. I guess this works for VB and C#. But the runtime isn’t sophisticated enough to support dynamic languages such as Common Lisp Object System and Microsoft isn’t reaching into its cash pile to pay third-party language vendors to stand behind .NET versions of the really nice computer languages (ML, Haskell, Lisp).

    Did you really expect Microsoft to play nice with languages they didn’t invent? All of us ADUni folks were a bit surprised you were so positive about .NET. Fool me once, shame on me… etc.

  8. I hate the way Microsoft caters to the lowest common denominator regarding user intelligence, with no global “I am not a dumbass” setting. Example: The Windows XP search interface pops up an animated dog, and there are similar “assistants” all over the place. They have to be disabled one-by-one, and it’s a pain to figure out exactly where the checkbox is to turn off each annoying “feature.” Windows is now an OS designed for children.

    I have a great deal of loathing for Outlook. The setting which defaults to sending HTML email is very annoying. The filtering system is completely brain-dead; when you’re setting up filter rule, you can only use logical AND; there is no OR. This can only be corrected by using an external program interfaced with Outlook (I tried writing a program to do filtering via OLE one time, what a pain…) Also, Outlook’s built-in search function is very stupid. It doesn’t do any indexing, and when you try to search >1,000 messages or so, it takes forever.

    Stan — As Phil pointed out, Microsoft does not manufacture much computer hardware, aside from peripherals like mice, keyboards, joysticks, etc. One might argue that Microsoft’s software has enabled market growth and thus caused prices to drop, but I don’t think it’s accurate to say that they brought the prices of computers below $1,000.

    In fact, now that the Windows license is becoming a more significant portion of the cost of the computer, one might argue that they’re /raising/ the cost of a PC – since the same hardware with Linux preinstalled would cost $800-900 (hopefully I’m not way off the mark with the cost of a Windows license to OEM’s these days).

  9. You liquidate comments?

    “…but a comment that is primarily about the Macintosh or Unix will be liquidated”

    I knew there was something fishy about all the articulate, polite, and on-topic comments.

  10. I hate this kind of ranting post- it just doesn’t make any sense.

    The comment about XBox just shows that you don’t know anything about game consoles- there is quite a bit about Microsoft’s console that is better than what was available in the market prior to its release.

    Your comment on .NET languages is off base as well. MS released a development framework and a set of specifications that would enable other vendors to target this platform. There are tons of languages that implemented, including Ruby, Python, Perl, etc. Why should MS pay for other vendors to take advantage of this framework?

  11. I hate that despite what the Internet offers, the collaborative writing/editing/proofreading method of choiche for pairs and small groups of people is to email word documents around.

    If a business plan that included releasing innovative solutions to the M$ Office dominated market niche for computer aided office “productivity tools” had not been the equivalent of a corporate suicide note, due to the M$ track record of stamping out threaths to the status quo for that market, then people could instead be enjoying the benefits of:

    CVS like merge/conflict resulution for structured documents – nice when 4+ people are collaborating on the same document simultanously 😉
    versioning and branches
    the ability to “edit once publish anywhere” (sorry sun, couldn’t resist :-]) to pdf, laser printer, website, XML feed etc. due to an underlaying structured format and stylesheets describing the layout for each output medium

  12. I hate the fact that Micro$oft is so successful that you can’t point out the obvious superiority of the Mac and/or Unix (now together in OS X!), without getting censored by Philip.

  13. I work at Microsoft. This is great feedback.

    A few things, though. You say we copied Sony. Oh, really? Does a Playstation have an ethernet port? Does it have a hard drive? Does it have Halo? Does it have an NVidia card?

    Also, you obviously haven’t had a Tablet PC. I’m using one right now, and it neither is ugly or noisy. My home PC, though, is ugly and noisy, of course it cost less than a Macintosh, so there’s some good tradeoffs there as well.

    As far as WinXP’s failures, I agree there. My friends often have crashes and I don’t know why, but my Tablet has literally never crashed.

    Wanna have my HP Pocket PC? I don’t use it since getting my Tablet and the battery lasts a lot longer than 15 minutes.

    I just visited Laszlo today. They have 35 people working there. None of whom are working on Microsoft-specific stuff.

    Robert Scoble
    Microsoft Corporation

  14. Anonymous, I know a few people involved in Crossgain. We didn’t try to put you out of business. We just held employees to their employment agreements. Or, am I wrong? Please explain how.

  15. Dan, agreed. Linux is better in a number of areas. It’s hard to pull along an installed base, as Linux will find out in another five years or so. Linux was started in about 1990. Windows was started in 1984. Newer software, in my usage at least, is almost always nicer than older stuff.

  16. Ion, I don’t get how you think Microsoft can blackmail countries from using open source stuff. All you have to do is download it and use it (even governments can do that). How is blackmail going to be effective against that? I just don’t buy the black helicopters view of Microsoft.

  17. A student from Texas: an OEM version of Windows is far less than $100. I’m now seeing PCs complete selling for less than $600. In fact, there’s a Linux PC selling at Fry’s for $149 and I could add Windows to it for less than $100, making it less than $250.

  18. Davis: I’ve heard Ballmer speak many times, and he might come of that way once in a while, but most of the time he doesn’t. And if you don’t like his style, there’s 55,000 other employees here, many of whom also speak. See ya at the PDC.

  19. anonymous coward: good point, but there’s lots of stuff coming that’ll help you. Plus, I rarely edit Word docs anymore. Ever hear of Wiki’s? (Does a Microsoft employee really need to point out that there are competitive approaches to Office? Not to mention, Sun Microsystems is doing a quite capable competitor to Office. Oh, and ever hear of Groove?)

  20. I hate that VS.net (as wonderful as it is), is so frickin bloated.
    I hate that as much as I love SQL Server 2000 it goes crazy whenever it takes more than 384MB of ram on a 1-GB ram box (but at least restarting the service is enough)
    I hate that MS did not figure out a way to avoid ASP to be able to run with MS Access data files.
    I hate that it takes hours to reinstall the OS in a Windows XP box even if you have OEM disks tailored to your specific hardware. I can do a clean install of OSX 10.2 on my Powerbook with one lousy DVD that has everything that shipped with the laptop.
    I hate that the html export utility for MS Word is literally useless unless you have access to Dreamweaver MX, which has a Word cleaner (and also costs as much as MS Office itself).
    I hate that it is too easy to get a bluescreen by running nvidia detonator drivers (which are supposed to be better) but the crappy default driver shipped by microsoft runs like a champ.
    I hate that IE doesn’t have a pop up blocker.
    I hate that my clients won’t take a hint that IE6 is used by the overwhelming majority and making ammends for Netscape 4.7 users is both retarded and a waste of money.
    I hate that all the previous negative behavior from Microsoft in regards to browsers predisposes people to not notice when they do things right. For example, IE will try to display a broken HTML table, and any experienced web designer can troubleshoot it based on whatever is rendered. Netscape and Safari, on the other hand, ignore the broken HTML.
    I hate it that Microsoft to this date makes it pure hell to tell IIS where certain folders should go, like for example where to put the working folders for the smtp server that is part of IIS.
    I hate that Microsoft can’t write a help site like php.net
    I hate that Microsoft does not make room for non-Windows based programmers that develop for Microsoft web platforms (I develop for asp and sql server from a mac, but I have to manage my sql servers from Virtual PC or thru a terminal services window, and I can’t manage IIS unless I use terminal services)
    I hate that Microsoft did not push harder with the XML gateway to SQL Server. It’s like they forgot to tell their Marketing that the feature even exists.
    I hate it that Microsoft has not figured out the Xbox would make a kickass NAS device.

  21. Top 10 things I hate about Microsoft:

    * Running Linux and Mac OS X on my own machines but having to help my wife with her Win XP box that she’s always stumbling with no matter the software – from Dling stuff for her Sony CLIE or Outlook snafus or MS Office help. My total computing technology illiterate Mac fan friends seem to have no problem accomplishing tasks like digital photo uploads, creating web sites, etc…. they just plug the stuff in and it works.

    * Cleaning and removing the viruses from my wife’s Win XP box, despite the existence of anti-virus software and repeated admonitions to not open attachments or click on links in emails.

    * The total dependency of business office communications on Office – clogging bandwidth with bloated documents that won’t format properly if a version number is off.

    * The ubiquitousness of MSIE that leads a small contingent of commercial web developers that ignore standards and any OS not running on Windows. I really detest the capture by M$ of what should be a platform/machine independent architecture.

    * Present and future embedded DRM in M$ applications.

    * That despite being the most popular browser, MSIE has no option to block popups and folks resort to DLing add-on spyware applications to accomplish what is a standard feature in all of the competing browser suites.

    * That despite repeated incidences and outbreaks of worms and viruses, M$ default settings encourage and enable security hole exploitation.

    * Microsoft Messenger – thanks for enabling unsolicited pornography advertisements.

    * That in MSIE accidentally hitting backspace and then hitting forward page loses all of your input data and textbox data entered – again, every other browser gets this right.

    * The existence of Powerpoint that allows masquerading of sales flyers as training material and/or knowledge transfer.

    * DLL hell.

    * That their OS is shipped minus a C compiler and minus any development tools. Yes, I’m aware that some UNIX vendors don’t supply development tools either (i.e. Sun) but *nix tools are freely available for the price of bandwidth needed to DL.

    * For DirectX/DirectPlay that inhibits multiplatform development of games and other graphic applications.

    * For making IT much more costly yet adding little benefit in my view. I’ve been working in IT (or data processing as it used to be called…) for over 20 years and I don’t believe the modern office environment is any more efficient and/or productive – in fact, I believe it’s been degraded. Workers spend more time fumbling with the office suite and yet I see very few utilizing the tools in an efficient manner. The percentage of folks who have email filters set up to channel priority mail from non-priority mail is one example – or the setup of LAN folders for documentation that is separated from the application code and where nobody can access or find as it’s moved or deleted because of space overflow conditions.

    * For turning the clock back on computing technology advancement about 10-15 years.

  22. Howdy Student from Texas

    Apple had short-term greed. Buy
    the boxes from us, only from us.
    We won’t sell anyone else our OS, for
    any price.

    Microsoft had long-term greed.
    Buy the boxes from anyone. Pay
    us $35/$50/$100/$150 for the OS.

    By selling the OS to anyone, MS
    fostered the conditions that got
    computer prices where they are today.

    Long-term greed, by the way,
    shades into altruism.

    stan

  23. It is funny how Apple brags of producing the first 64 bit personal computer with the G5 model, when my home Indigo2 with its 64 bit MIPS R10000 is from 1997 and there has been relatively inexpensive (at least as compared to high end mac prices) personal computers with 64 bit address busses such as the Alpha, the UltraSparc, and the Mips family available since the early 90-ties.

    That is 64 bit “personal computers” were available to the general public at mac like prices 4-5 years before M$ started to make its users benefit from the fact that pc CPUs starting with the 80386 had had 32 bit address busses for a decade.

  24. Hi Robert

    Re: the price of XP for OEM’s: for small
    builders like myself, XP Home for a new
    machine is around
    $100, XP Pro’s around $150. I’m guessing
    that for large builders, the HPs and
    Dells of the world, prices are roughly
    half that.

    Personally, I still consider it a fine
    deal. The hardware’s a hunk of junk without
    an OS; add XP, and it meets the needs of
    a huge percentagel of folks.

    Stan

    Stan

  25. I forgot to add that I hate how inconsistent Microsoft applications store their user data. Just try to find all the files you need to move Outlook settings between machines. Also, installing MS Office on a mac involves dragging a folder to your hard disk, while doing it on Windows can easily take 20 minutes regardless of cpu speed and ram.

  26. Hi Phil

    Regarding error messages: yeah, they suck.

    Do you have examples of ANY computer’
    operating system whose messages don’t suck ?

    Stan

  27. Pedro:

    1) I’m learning C# and using Notepad. Is that bloated? And who cares about bloat when a gig of RAM is less than $100?
    2) Don’t know about that one. Ask over on http://sqlblogs.com
    3) Don’t know about that, you should start a blog and post over at http://weblogs.asp.net.
    4) I agree. I have to reload my OS every few days (I work in the Longhorn team). It’ll get easier. Apple is definitely better here.
    5) There are other Word cleaners. FrontPage, for instance, has one. Search Google.
    6) Hmm, not my experience here, but video drivers definitely need to get better.
    7) Ever hear of the Google Toolbar? Heh, and there’s always Mozilla. I use both — even though I work at Microsoft.
    8) Ouch, and people think we have the power to get everyone to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
    9) Thank you for noticing. I’m sorry we behaved badly in the past.
    10) Agreed.
    11) Hmm, will pass that along to MSDN folks. Personally, I think Weblogs and Google are taking care of this problem.
    12) Sorry.
    13) Good point, see ya at the PDC.
    14) Hmmm.

  28. It’s curious why the state of PC design aesthetics is so poor. After all, since PCs are a commodity, you would expect companies to try and differentiate using non-technical factors like support or design. Dell did the first successfully, but only gamer-oriented companies like Alienware seem to have tried the latter (I personally loathe Alienware’s Giger-inspired design, but they are certainly not beige boxes).

    What I am sure of is that this sad state of affairs has nothing to do with Microsoft (Windows XP’s nauseating molten-plastic look notwithstanding). Whenever a major vendor like Dell, HP or Gateway tried to introduce some innovation in design, it bombed in the marketplace. There is a certain risk aversion and tendency to look for the safe mediocrity of beige boxen on the part of both buyers and sellers.

    Some companies do manage to come out with semi-decent machines. Sony has some pretty innovative designs like the Vaio W, albeit crowded with erraticly proprietary hardware and software. IBM’s desktops are pretty elegent in a euro-design Braun minimalist black sort of way.

    Part of this may be due to cost. Quality materials like aluminum or glass are more expensive to source and process than plastic. Designs made from cheaper materials like the silver-colored platic used on Gateway machines just looks tacky. Often, the designer PCs got part of their design budget by skimping on other specifications like CPU, RAM , video cards and the like, making them comparatively unnatractive.

    Apple users have been prepared to pay a premium since the days of the Apple ][, and workstations from Sun or SGI usually have decent design as well, but in the cutthroat PC market, it seems buyers are not willing to put their money where their mouth is.

  29. Imagine that you have a laser printer with a PostScript interpreter implemented in hardware. (This means that when the bits of a PostScript file reaches the printer, it will get printed. PostScript interpreters are common on price > $1000 laser printers.) Imagine that the printer is connected by means of a parallel cable, ethernet or USB to a PC running any model of windozz (or to a mac running MacOS <= 9). Imagine that on the harddrive of the windozz PC there lies a valid PostScript file.

    Excersize for the reader:
    How does a user of that PC print the PostScript file on the attached printer using the PostScript interpreter in the printer?

    On OS/2 and any flavour of Unix the print system will simply transport the bits of the PostScript file to the printer, no matter if you print from within an application, by dragging a file icon to a printer icon or are using the command line. On Windozz and the Mac you are basically out of luck.

  30. Ruby, Python, Perl

    Maybe Perl runs OK on dotnet. I’m not sure. I know there is an implementation.

    Python sure doesn’t run well at all on dotnet as of today, September 27, 2003.

    I have not found a Ruby implementation. I am open to references to goot dotnet implementations of Python or Ruby.

  31. I also hate that in 2003, owning by wide margins the office suite of applications, Microsoft has still not figured out a simple way to integrate a spreadsheet or chart thereof into a Word document.

    Oh, maybe you can fiddle and get it just so, and it may print OK. But then don’t you dare touch anything or the formatting is all out of whack again.

    If you can’t get the easy things right, give up the monopoly to someone who can.

  32. Naum,

    I’m sitting here with one of the engineers of the Macintosh. Agreed. Macs are ahead of XP.

    * Get the latest Outlook. Make it impossible to get attachments. Turn off everything in the browser. If she can’t surf responsibly, make everything impossible. Then if she cares, turn it on.

    * Sorry about that. Wait until Linux takes over the world. Then you’ll have many distributions to choose from.

    * Hmm. I don’t agree with your conclusions there. I surf the Web with Mozilla and most sites work fine.

    * Absolutely correct. We must fix our security problems. We’re working on it. The approaches we’ve taken so far have not been adequate. More news coming soon.

    * I have hundreds of people on my MSN Messenger and never have gotten a porn advertisment. Can you take a screen capture and send that to me?

    * I agree. I hate it when IE bites me during blogging.

    * Heh.

    * DLL hell? Yeah. I agree. But, that architecture was chosen back when 80MB hard drives were standard and RAM was $400 a meg. Look at .NET, solves most of that.

    * Good feedback.

    * Sorry, we are in the business of making a platform that can do things that others can’t.

    * Geez, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this point.

    * Let’s see, 15 years ago was 1988. Oh, fun, that was when I got my first Mac. With 512KB of RAM. An OS that crashed every hour at minimum, had no preemptive multitasking, a small black and white screen, etc. Come on.

  33. And I hate the semi-hidden “formatting characters” in Word that, when I backspace over some hidden formatting character, causes all sorts of formatting from hell to take over.

    If you can’t get the easy things right…

  34. Fazal,

    There are a range of PCs. Have you seen Alienware’s PCs? Yes, it’s all due to cost. There are TONS of different designs available. When I built my own PC a year ago, I had about 30 different cases to choose from.

  35. Patrick: hmm, I’ll have to play with that. I do wish integration would be nicer and more consistent in Office apps.

  36. Rant on. Just too bad you struck out on all points. Xbox, is half a mini-PC, Xbox Live is far far beyond anything else in the Console market. And far from fretting, MS is long-term outlook, ho hum. iPAQ early models were not battery savers, true, 2-4 max, but made by Compaq and now HP. How is that Microsoft’s fault? HP Jornada with extended battery pack is an all-day Pocket PC, and then some. Running SAME OS. .NET is a development framework, pay attention to the word, “framework”. File format issues are granted certain rights per the maker, the way the system works. Ford doesn’t get to see Chevy’s future engine design plans. Think real world. JPEG2000 is a political rats nest, you cannot lay that all at the feet of Microsoft. A mass market system with HUGE market share, with thousands upon thousands of hardware OEMs, will always have more hardware glitches. But XP’s Driver Cert’ing helpful in this regard. No cool PCs? Oh yeah? Tell that to the Alienware guys, and Sony and HP’s R&D designs are way cool. And, hey, Dell DOES make a Blue Case tricked-up cool Game Machine. And what of Tablet PCs? Those are darned cool, by me. Furthermore, case-modding and PC modding is an entire SUB-CULTURE. No alternative? Sure you do. But why risk it, when the market-share is so strong? A simple matter of basic Economics, they teach that at Harvard don’t they? 🙂

  37. Some common day-to-day tasks a windozz box cannot help you with unless you locate, evaluate, download/receive-in-the-mail and install extra software, but any Linux distribution aimed at desktop users can help you with out of the box:

    Make a screendump of a window, edit it a bit, draw some arraows on it, attach a note, turn it into a png/gif/tiff/whatever
    View a 50 MB tiff file for instance from a 35 mm slide scanner, crop it, apply USM, and produce a low resolution 100 KB jpeg from it while keeping moir

  38. Anonymous Coward,

    *Um, you haven’t seen Snipit for the Tablet PC, have you?
    *Photoshop?
    *One thing we’re about is coming up with new software and selling it. Sorry, but you can’t do new things on old software. Can you get airconditioning added to a Model T?
    *I open PostScript files in Adobe Illustrator, where they print just fine.
    *Then the DOJ would accuse us of trying to put Adobe out of business.
    *Adobe Acrobat reader is free and lets you do that right now.
    *Visual Source Safe does that.
    *We make FrontPage and ASP.NET and SharePoint and all of our new Office apps save in Web formats (and there’s plenty of others).
    *WinFS in Longhorn does that.

  39. One added point, no Pocket PC requires an overnight charge. Longer setup charge, sure, but I have had the range of Pocket PCs and none take more than 1-3 hours, if that. Overnight is seriously off kilter. Some HAVE had hardware glitches, where they wouldn’t TAKE a charge, heh. But that is a whole other issue, (semi-rare)hardware defect. Tho the iPAQ 3800s were, oh gosh, near class-action, insofar as poor quality. But still slew of other models. 🙂 But things that do more, require more power. Really a fuel cell issue, not limited to Pocket PCs…and certainly not Microsofts fault, when similar hardware models perform much better.

  40. Robert, thanks for the reply.

    “Snipit for Tablet PC” no never heard of it, but what does the TabletPC have to do with my posting?

    Photoshop does not come preinstalled with windozz, neither does Illustrator, both are really nice programs BTW, that unfortunately has a combined price higher than a good pc. That is a steep price to have to pay in order to be able to print PostScript files to a Postscript parinter, don’t you think?

    A “Model T”?? I presume you mean a Ford T – that is a car???. Well I can buy a nicely restored one for the price of all the add ons and extra software packages that I do not need to buy if I say no to windozz, or I can restore one with all the time I will not be spending locating, evaluating and installing add ons and extra software. BTW. why did you mention it, it looks rather un-connected to my posting?

    “Save in web formats” – I think not. The most recent time I was involved in creating an error tolerating html parser, my teams end goal for the error tolerating part was that it should be able to make sense out of frontpage generated “html”. We never got it to be that error tolerating, but it could make sense of most of the html that the rest of the worlds tools were generating.

    Visual SourceSafe. Please! Are M$ using it inhouse in all their own software development departments, or are you not because you have found it to not scale well up to the scale of your larger projects?
    Ohh BTW. Visual SourceSafe is not preinstalled with windozz, it is something you have to locate and buy seperately.

    Basically what you are saying that all the software is available, if the user will care to hunt it down, spend the time evaluating, installing, playing sysadm when something screws up during install, and of course pay, pay, pay in both money and time spent. That is exactly my point, so you are agreeing with me.

  41. What saddens me most about Bill Gates’ wealth, is that he hasn’t done anything interesting with it. He hasn’t bought us the moon. He hasn’t tried to revolutionize solar energy, commercialize space, ensure the survival of killer whales, or anything that could use the leverage of just 10% of his billions.

    It’s a colossal waste and boring hoarding of money.

  42. Anonymous,

    Tablet PC is a version of Windows XP. I’d expect to see apps for Tablet move from Tablet to regular Windows.

    Most people who care about Postscript already own Illustrator or Photoshop. But, point taken.

    As far as versioning, Word does versioning. I’ve never had a problem with it myself. Just create a new folder and copy it over.

    Ahh, so are you asking us to include new features into the OS? Will you support us in front of the DOJ when they ask ‘where’s the customers who asked for Microsoft to put more features in the OS?’

  43. One thing we’re about is coming up with new software and selling it. Sorry, but you can’t do new things on old software.

    Um, yeah, like take age-old office software designed for a small LAN, at best, and turing it loose on the Internet for hackers to exploit. No, Microsoft is not about that at all.

    8*(

  44. In fact, there’s a Linux PC selling at Fry’s for $149 and I could add Windows to it for less than $100, making it less than $250. — Robert Scoble

    Robert – this is exactly the point that I wanted to make. If we just assume that a Windows license costs $100, then it is 10% of the cost of the system. When the whole shebang costs $250, the Windows license is 40% of the cost. Does this mean that in the next few years, Microsoft will start giving away free PCs with each copy of Windows?

    It seems a bit backwards that, for a casual home user, the OS can make up a significant portion of the cost of a computer. I think that Microsoft is going to have to start rethinking their pricing scheme, or start facing serious competition from open-source alternatives. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t have ridiculously huge profit margin, around 40%? I think they can afford to cut some prices.

  45. Patrick, true on that, agreed. But, two years ago people were yelling at us because we wanted to make it possible to automatically push out fixes. Plus, people don’t want us to integrate features which could put competitors out of business (read antivirus software). So, we’re between a rock and a hard place.

    We’ll have more to say soon.

  46. Sorry, I meant to say “doesn’t microsoft have ridiculously huge profit margins” in that last post. That’s what you get for editing and then not proofreading 🙂

  47. Student from Texas,

    The cheapest Macintosh is about $800. The cheapest PC is at least two hundred dollars less (actually more).

    So, are you saying that the people who pay Apple $400 for its OS are wacky? 😉

    In economics in college I learned all about pricing. It’s simple supply and demand. If people stop buying our systems and start buying someone else’s, yes, I imagine prices will start coming down.

    I look at it the other way. We’re spending billions of dollars in R&D that other companies aren’t spending. That will soon turn into a better operating system for all of us, and then we’ll be talking again about “how can Microsoft do this for only $xxx?”

    By the way, do you ask SAP why they charge so much for one CD? How about Oracle? They both charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for software that can be delivered on one CD.

    Getting billions of dollars worth of R&D on a CD for less than $100 doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. If it does to you, well, there are free alternatives out there that are quite nice.

  48. Hi “blank,”

    >I hate Microsofties who can’t see their hand in front of them.

    I hate people who hate people. 🙂

  49. Plus, people don’t want us to integrate features which could put competitors out of business (read antivirus software). So, we’re between a rock and a hard place.

    Well you could always fix the deeper architectural, design and implementation flaws in windozz that makes it the only OS in widespread business use in the last two decades that is “capable of” getting infected by virusses. No one would be able to blame you for doing that.

  50. anonymous,

    Fair enough, but I guess you’re saying Linux isn’t used very much anywhere. How about Sun’s OS? Or these:

    Bulletins in the last 7 days
    Trustix 2
    Sun 2
    SuSE 2
    OpenBSD 2
    EnGarde 3
    Mandrake 4
    RedHat 4
    Debian 7

    The numbers are the numbers of security bulletins received for these OS’s between 9/20/2003 and 9/27/2003.

    So, you claiming that viruses couldn’t be written to attack these OS’s? Interesting!

  51. Naum,

    “their OS is shipped minus a C compiler and minus any development tools. Yes, I’m aware that some UNIX vendors don’t supply development tools either (i.e. Sun) but *nix tools are freely available for the price of bandwidth needed to DL.”

    This is not actually true. The development tools, including compilers and debuggers for C#, C++, etc. are all available for free download. If you go to the “platform sdk” site on MSDN, there is an installer app that will keep your machine up-to-date. The SDK is prettty huge in entirety, and also revs every couple of months, so that is one reason it is not preinstalled on most machines. But it is free.

  52. anonymous coward; not to negate your other comments, but there are a few things I just want to make sure you are not missing:

    Printing postscript to a postscript-enabled printer is same on Windows and Unix. You can just do “copy fname.ps lpt1:” same as you would do “cp fname.ps /dev/prn” on unix. I have done this hundreds of times.

    Also, screen capture and edit is something I do hundreds of times with no extra downloads. Hit PrtScrn, then open mspaint, paste, and draw your arrows or whatever.

    And WordPad can be used to create word documents, and views most word docs created in other versions. The full viewers for office docs are all free download of course.

  53. Robert:

    Fair enough, but I guess you’re saying Linux isn’t used very much anywhere. How about Sun’s OS? Or these:

    Again a paragraph of yours that seems to have no connection with the postings you refer to and little meaning when read alone. What do you mean?

    So, you claiming that viruses couldn’t be written to attack these OS’s? Interesting!

    No, I am pointing out something well known to you. It has not been accomplished yet, and that the reason is software architecture. Also will you please read up on the difference between a virus and a security hole before you again attempt to discuss these matters. It is clouding the discussion that you mix the two freely.

  54. Yes, I recognize there is SOME difference between the two, but most of the viruses that have attacked Windows have done so because of security holes in our systems.

    What do I mean? Other OS’s have security holes that viruses COULD be written to attack, if those other OS’s had enough market share for the criminals to care about. Right now they don’t. What happens when Linux has 20% or more market share?

  55. My pet MS-peeve is that they bought out WebTV when it began to succeed and then refused to implement Java or RealPlayer (which customers wanted) and instead spent a year or two trying to make it a Windows CE device, which no one wanted and which proved impossible.

    But beyond that, I simply refuse to use MS software because it’s offensive at all levels of esthetics/ethics.

  56. Joshua Allen:

    Printing postscript to a postscript-enabled printer is same on Windows and Unix. You can just do “copy fname.ps lpt1:” same as you would do “cp fname.ps /dev/prn” on unix. I have done this hundreds of times.

    Interesting. You are the first person I have met who claims to have gotten it to work. Unfortunately I cannot try it out right now because I don’t have a suitable printer where I am. BTW. on Unix you would just let lpr do its magic, or give it the -l or -b switch if you want to force it to just pass your bits along. There is no need for the end user to fiddle with devices.

    Also, screen capture and edit is something I do hundreds of times with no extra downloads. Hit PrtScrn, then open mspaint, paste, and draw your arrows or whatever.

    That is of course true. If MSpaint can do what you want to do, then you are “home free”, and it can do the usual basic stuff like drawing lines and adding text but that is about it. If you want a fancy brush shape or to blurr a selection then you are out of luck. Actually these days it can save as png, are M$ getting standards compliant after all these years 😉

    And WordPad can be used to create word documents, and views most word docs created in other versions. The full viewers for office docs are all free download of course.

    Well can they be read by other people using older versions of Office, Lotus SmartQuite, StarOffice and whetever else various companies out there are using, and can it read what they are writing? I shall not claim to be a WordPad expert, but I rather doubt it is up to for instance StarOffice or M$ Office standards with regard to being able to facilitate business communication using wordprocessor files sent by email to and from you and your clients, partners etc. And what about spreadsheets and “presentation graphics” files?

  57. Jorn, yeah, I understand. The Aesthetics argument is one that I think Longhorn will answer. As for ethics, I believe Microsoft is trying to turn a corner. Last year Microsoft instituted an ethics policy. http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/mission/

    Executive pay now has been changed to be tied to customer satisfaction. Weblogs have been encouraged so far (only company with more than 5,000 employees with more than 100 webloggers in public).

    There are tons of other things I’m noticing too. But, it still has its past and Microsoft is still struggling to deal with that too. Some people have noticed that I’ve apologized on behalf of Microsoft for its past sins. But, all this stuff rings hollow, I know. But, if this were an easy job, anyone could take it.

  58. Robert,

    I saw that. I am glad Bill is giving some of his money to good causes. I didn’t say that wasn’t a good thing. I see, you got caught up on the “hoarding” part and missed the “boring” part.

    Giving money to charity is good. But it’s not Interesting with a Capital I. That’s my complaint. Bill Gates shouldn’t give money to Greenpeace to save the Whales. Bill Gates should start his own cause, champion it, become known for it, and apply his billions to it in a new and different way. It doesn’t even have to be a “cause”. It could just be “new endeavor unlike to be funded by anyone else”.

    There’s a claim that the first space elevator is only $10B away.

    Come on Bill. Come on Bill. Come on Bill!

  59. I hate M$ Outlook Webmail. I have yet to meet any anyone who likes it. Why organizations use it is unknown to me.

    What I do not get is this. Micro$oft hires some of the smartest folks around, and they can’t better hack proof their software. Someone, explain it to me like I was a six year old, on how this came to be? (I remember the promises about XP being more secure. )

  60. Jerry,

    The projects that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are boring only if you live in the west. If you live in the 2/3rds world, then they may well be life changing/extending. They are very focused on diseases and health issues for which no one else is providing significant funding. Dengue fever, malaria, meningitis, polio, et al are huge issues for a majority of the world’s population, but not westerners.

  61. I hate that Exchange is an unstable piece of crap and that buying it is like buying a car in the early days, when you had to travel with your mechanic sitting beside you so he could fix it every 3 miles.

    And that the proprietary APIs create a dual monoculture for Outlook and Exchange, killing competition/innovation on both the server and client/PIM side.

  62. I had Microsoft for bullying around in a field of work where cooperation would bring much more and much better results. I hate Microsoft for open and disclosed bullying and lobbying against Open Source.

    But what I hate Microsoft for the most is that otherwise intelligent and totally reasonable peole turn into bigot idots when somebody tries to criticize Microsoft for valid reasons. Especially if those same people slam on any Macintosh advocate that just tries to tell where Macs are plain superior. And we all know that Macs are superior, right? 😉

    Ok, this comment is free for deletion 😉

  63. Robert,

    Thanks for the great replies! My main struggle right now is that I am both support MAC OSX as my weapon of choice for a desktop, but I still think Windows is superior in the server arena (and I also love freeBSD, but there are many things that are just much more easier and cheaper to do from Windows 2000 server or later). As for VS.net, the reason I hate it is so bloated it is that it is so damn NICE. I just love it but it really takes a toll on the machine. As long as I wrote ASP from Windows 2000 Pro and XP Pro I wrote it all from Edit Plus, one of the the jewels of the shareware world. In OSX I am using BBEdit Pro 7, which is totally awesome. If and when I go back to .net (had to drop it when I switched jobs) I plan on writing it also from BBEdit.

    On #2, ECC ram is not $100 for one gig, sorry.
    On #3, what I meant is that too many newbies get thrown off by Access being allowed to talk to ASP thru ADO, then they don’t understand why it cannot scale in a deployed website.
    On #5, I honestly forgot about FrontPage. Frontpage XP is an order of magnitude better than any previous versions.
    On #6, for some reason this almost never happens on nvidia cards shipped as part of the default configuration. And I have not tried machines that have the nvidia chipsets.
    On #7, my point is that I think IE is the only major browser that does not ship with a pop up blocker.
    On #11, totally correct. Blogs are going to pull it all together, but what I mean by php.net is how nicely the documentation ties up together. Also, I have seen php error messages with a url to the proper doc page at php.net. Now, This is not a diss on the C# docs, these are very very nice.
    On #14, I was not joking, my Xbox only has a little bit of space used for storing saved games and the rest is unused. I would love to have it at the very least fake itself into something like a Quantum snap, something dumb and simple you can access thru a browser and lets you store stuff. Nothing dramatic.

    We all have grievances, but dammit, somebody has to give credit to Microsoft for what they did with the .net platform. There are hundreds of things in VS.net and in C# that could have not possible happen unless Microsoft was paying a hell of a lot of attention to us developers. This is the first Microsoft product in a long time that I can honestly say does not look like it was driven by bean counters. If you think we are bitter with Microsoft you should see what we are going thru in the Mac camp right now, and I know the Linux arena right now is not peachy either. Probably the only people that are not bitching about anything right now are the Sinclair fan club.

  64. I hate that Microsoft has chosen to continue, in Office 2003, mail-from-script capabilities that that are essentially never used for legitimate purposes coupled with an all-or-nothing security model that was brain-dead in 1997. This guarantees that scripted viruses will continue to be burdens to the more sophisticated, pains to the less-sophisticatd, and, eventually, a vector for a serious problem. I especially hate Microsoft for this decision because any legitimate need to write Offic plug-ins that have file system or mailing capabilities can now be fulfilled through the considerably-more-sophisticated security model of .NET.

  65. Jebus, the filters people have on their glasses.

    Bill and Melinda are bazillionaires. They are expected to be giving their money to fund disease prevention. This is not bad. This is good. This is very good. They are to be commended.

    They have an enormously long lever, and possibly a rock to place it on, and they haven’t done anything interesting with it.

    Hey, that could be good too, but it is boring.

    Hey Joe, if you find Gate’s contributions interesting, that’s great. But uh, your aura of superiority is bullshit.

  66. Joshua Allen:

    Re: Printing directly to the printer. I support several applications that print directly to the printer port, both HP (PCL) and Postscript. When the applications moved to XP this got more difficult. To get our apps to work, we had to use the net use command, and even though we specified that the port mapping should be persistent, it keeps coming “undone” with every auto update.

    Re: C#,C++ compilers. I’ve downloaded the .NET SDK and it does, indeed come with a C++ compiler. What it didn’t seem to come with was the C++ libraries. You can write C/C++ code but can’t use printf() or cout. I don’t have many C++ programs that work without any of the C or C++ libraries. Perhaps this has changed in the year since I’ve downloaded it.

    Biggest complaint: the way that IIS works with Visual Studio for ASP.NET applications. On any given day, I’ll sit down at one of several different machines to do my work. All of my files are on networked storage, _except_ for my ASP.NET projects which are on the local IIS C: drive. When I go home at night, I have to remember to copy my files from the IIS drive over to network storage, and then reinstall them on the machine I’ll use tomorrow morning. (A shared IIS installation sounds like a solution until you realize that VS won’t debug your programs on a shared installation.) Why can’t VS keep its project files in the projects folder like every other VS project. Sigh.

    –Steve

  67. Jerry,

    Didn’t mean to be superiour in any way. It is simply that most westerner’s don’t realize how significant those diseases are to most people in the world. I didn’t until about 6 years ago when I moved to Indonesia. It was a true eye opener. No, they aren’ funding a space elevator, might be very cool. But I hate to underestimate how cool it is for people who will live a longer life in the face of these diseases.

  68. re Scoble on Crossgain:

    Scoble is confusing the tool used to bludgeon Crossgain with the reason for bludgeoning Crossgain.

    Just because Microsoft claimed that employment contracts were violated, it does not mean that the employment contracts were violated.

  69. I hate Microsoft because they try to “embrace and extend” internet standards, while failing to adequately support real standards like css and png.

    I hate Microsoft because, even though I don’t use any of their software, I still have to pay for it. The cost of Windows is factored into the price of anything you buy, because most companies are paying for Windows licenses. And also into your taxes.

    Microsoft’s cash reserves, along with Bill Gates’ personal money, could fund our war in Iraq for a year. That’s how big the ripoff is.

  70. >Suffice it to say that my impression is that
    >Microsoft holds its customers in contempt.

    Sometimes we’ve done things that could give that impression, yes. But, I don’t agree that that’s the overwhelming outlook here. I greatly appreciate Microsoft’s customers: I wouldn’t be employed right now without them.

    I totally disagree with you about Word Perfect, by the way. I used to use that in school and hated every minute of it. But then, I was a Macintosh bigot back in the late 80s and Word on the Mac back then was far far far superior to Word Perfect.

    Funny enough, I’m using Word processing software less and less. I use Outlook nearly 14 hours a day, and use Word maybe for 15 minutes a day.

  71. Larry,

    >I hate that Microsoft has chosen to
    >continue, in Office 2003, mail-from-script
    >capabilities that that are essentially
    >never used for legitimate purposes coupled
    >with an all-or-nothing security model that
    >was brain-dead in 1997.

    I disagree with that. Everytime I run a Macro I need to approve it — and it’s impossible to double-click on executables in Outlook 2003, so the chances you’d get a virus now are very small. Ask Sue Mosher about legitimate uses for this feature. There are many. She runs the very nice Outlook Web site at http://www.slipstick.com/

  72. Anonymous:

    >Just because Microsoft claimed that
    >employment contracts were violated, it does
    >not mean that the employment contracts were
    >violated.

    I don’t know the real story, so I’ll accept your version.

    In a previous job where I worked in a company that had close ties to Microsoft I was almost fired for leaking VB4 stuff. I could have made it seem like it was Microsoft that was using its market power against me. But, then, I had to admit I was breaking the rules too. In most of these situations there’s two sides to every story.

    I do note that these guys all used to work at Microsoft. I wonder how many times they used Microsoft’s market power for their advantage? I also note that most of these people also got wonderfully wealthy thanks to Microsoft.

  73. >I hate Microsoft because, even though I
    >don’t use any of their software, I still
    >have to pay for it.

    That is TOTALLY not true anymore. Fry’s is selling Linux machines for $149. They do NOT include a Windows license.

    Also, Lindows is using money from a class action lawsuit in California to give you free copies of Lindows.

    There are ways out there to get machines that don’t have Windows loaded on them (and you don’t pay Microsoft a dime for those machines).

  74. > I wonder how many times they used Microsoft’s market power for their advantage?

    I don’t have a problem with Microsoft using its market power in a legal way. I do have a problem with Microsoft threating to use its financial power to litigate a company with no resources to death.

    > I also note that most of these people also got wonderfully wealthy thanks to Microsoft.

    Less than a third of the Crossgain employees had worked at Microsoft. A small percent of this third were wonderfully wealthy.

    Let’s assume that it’s OK for Microsoft to bully people because Microsoft made them wonderfully wealthy. That’s still no excuse for messing with the lives of all of the other people involved.

  75. Robert says: “There are ways out there to get machines that don’t have Windows loaded on them (and you don’t pay Microsoft a dime for those machines).”

    True, but how does one get a nice Dell or Toshiba laptop without paying Microsoft many dimes?

  76. Anonymous: well, not sure, but one nice thing about the PC ecosystem is that one has choices in OEM’s. Imagine if Apple controlled the world.

    I agree with you, by the way, about use of Microsoft’s economic power. I will always try to use that power for good and not for evil. I’ve had that power aimed at my head and it wasn’t fun.

  77. There are other laptop companies that will sell laptops that don’t have Windows installed on them. Personally, I’d never buy a laptop that wasn’t a Tablet PC, so I guess in that realm you’re right, although I’ve heard that some Tablet OEMs will sell Tablets with Linux loaded on them. Certainly Microsoft is not telling OEMs what OS they should sell on their products anymore.

    I used to work at NEC for a year in its mobile solutions division. I answered all the phones and all the emails. Out of the thousands of people I dealt with in a year, only three had asked for Linux-only solutions. I think that’s the real problem on your side of the fence. When there’s consumer demand, you’ll find lots of willing OEMs.

  78. Question for Jerry:

    Specifically what have YOU
    done to make the world a
    better place ?

    Your whining is not interesting.

    stan

  79. I hate that though I like their products, their success has put them in a position of antagonism with all their customers. Even me, and I’m not exactly a significant customer. I’ve been reading up on Symbolics’ great tech, but where is it now? Microsoft survived and helps provide the world with low-end computers. I’m not at Apple’s, Commodore’s or Sun’s mercy with hardware. Yet, we depend on MS so much there’s no choice but for the press to scrutinize their moves.

    I hate their networking. How much voodoo have I needed to get LANs working? Hopefully it’s gotten better lately.

    I hate how Windows isn’t “programmable.” It has never occurred to me to target the platform natively and fully. The closest was grabbing a Borland C++ compiler (trial version) to demo Trolltech’s Qt gui/network toolkit.

    I hate their closed fileformats, because nothing is worse than an otherwise intelligent, sensitive person gratuitously sending a Word doc. It’s sitting there filth-ridden, ready to turn into a meat puppet and attack. What viruses lurk there? And when OpenOffice fails, I have to hold my breath and hope there wasn’t a hidden option that says I WASN’T KIDDING about not running Word viruses. Of course, then my version of Word also fails to show it, and I’m left wondering if the virus in it made it mess up.

    I’m not alone in this — I hate MS for discontinuing the Natural Keyboards. Someone mentioned this recently and apparently there’s some keyboard layout patent issues. WTF? Crush the patentholder like a nut!

    Oh yeah, what’s the point of having a big sleep button on the keyboard that can’t be disabled? Was it someone’s idea of humor when a coworker bumps it when you’re not looking and runs off, realizing your net connection is broken and the whole system will probably crash?

    Offtopic: Robert Scoble, you’re really using notepad with C#? I knew it, I told some Lispers that a lot of people didn’t like starting up some big IDE to pick out which parentheses go where. It’s not absolutely sane, there are ways for IDEs to give you instant gratification, yet not many IDEs do it.

    I guess people can still indent lisp C-style, one line per paren.

  80. >I hate Microsoft because they try to “embrace and extend” internet standards, while failing to adequately support real standards like css and png.

    I assume that Robert didn’t notice this comment…

  81. I hate that a single Windows installation cannot include more than one version of Internet Explorer. I wish our office didn’t have to keep an old Windows machine lying around just so we could test our HTML/CSS in IE 5.5. (Either that or pay browsercam.com.)

    I hate Windows Update. I hate having to download five updates, restart the computer, download five more, restart the computer, then download two more. I hate that I have to restart my computer, period; I rarely restart my Linux box, which is my primary machine. And why isn’t Windows Update a desktop application?

    I hate the Windows registry.

    I hate being condescended to by Windows applications.

    I hate that Internet Explorer has stifled the use of new Web technologies because the browser’s core functionality hasn’t been updated and won’t be for years.

  82. To the anonymous user with the direct printing problem:

    Google for PrintFile. It’s a godsend. I used to suffer like you until
    I discovered this little program a few years ago. Microsoft would do
    well to pay its author some money and ship the program with the OS.

  83. Question for Jerry:

    Specifically what have YOU done to make the world a better place ?

    Your whining is not interesting.

    stan

    I can’t speak for Jerry, but I gave some leftover pizza to a homeless guy a few years ago. Those two slices of leftover pizza constituted a greater percentage of my disposable income than all of the Gates foundation money represented of Bill’s disposable income. Even after his philantrhopic expenditures, Bill Gates can still afford to buy a pizza for every homeless person on the planet and still have enough money leftover for a nice three martini lunch and another round of anti-trust suits.

  84. Jeez Stan, I said it’s good that Bill Gates is donating money to various charities. I said he should be commended.

    And I said I found his lack of leadership boring. I didn’t say that was bad. I said it was boring.

    Whining?

    Every college or university I’ve been associated with, and more, has a Seeley G. Mudd Library. Good ‘ol Seeley, he (or someone) championed college libraries. And Carnegie, didn’t he champion public libraries? Can you attach a specific cause to Bill Gates’ name like that?

    I haven’t said a damn thing about what he has to do with his money. It doesn’t have to be philanthropic at all. But letting it pile up in a bank is completely uninteresting.

    Look at what Ken Adleman has done with his dot-com millions, what Paul Allen is doing with his, Maria Cantwell, and others. They have used their funds to take interesting paths and champion them.

    What have I done? Within my means, I’ve tried to be a good father and an active citizen. But if you gave me $50,000,000,000 I might be able to execute some other ideas.

  85. Scoble, as Dave would say, you’re full of shit!

    (this is a bit late to the party, but oh well)

    Putting an nVidia chip in the Xbox doesn’t make it revolutionary. It’s the still the functional equivelent of an atari 2600. Having halo doesn’t make it revolutionary. Does it have Zelda? Having an ethernet jack is getting warmer. Can I run a webserver off of it? Not without soldering a mod chip on (and MS is doing their best to make everyone believe that modding is illegal). Face it, Microsoft had the chance to do something big with the XBox, but they locked it down, and in the process they lobotomized it.

    Re: tablet computers. How much video editing can I do on those? How easy is it to, say, type a long email? How about composing an involved blog entry? How about something as simple as commenting in this thread? I won’t even ask about coding. They’re appliances. They’re intended for *consumers* in the literal sense of the word. They’re probably great for consuming email, consuming webpages, even ordering stuff (but only if you’re ordering from passport-enabled sites, otherwise it’s too hard to enter all your info). They’re obviously sub-optimal for *creating* anything more than trivial microcontent, so to offer them up as a quiet replacement for desktop machines is a non-starter.

  86. I hate the fact that Microsoft’s ubiquity turns anyone who suggests using a non-microsoft product into a zealot. Example, boss says “we need a knowledge management system.” Everyone automatically pops open the Microsoft catalog to see what they’ve got…”let’s see, we’ll take a sharepoint, project server 2003, and a copy of CMS,” without taking any time to really look at the capabilities of those products or analyze their requirements.

    So when you say, why don’t we use competitng product X (or, god forbid, open source product Y), the question you get isn’t “does it meet our needs,” it’s, “why wouldn’t you just install the microsoft product?” From then on you’re a zealot, and anytime you ever suggest not using Microsoft stuff you’re just doing it because you hate Microsoft…

    …all of which would be fine if you could just leave and find a new job where things made sense, but everywhere you go, you run into the same thing…

  87. Re: Paul Victor Novarese (Tablet PC)

    With all due respect, you simply do not know the Tablet PC market. They’re intended for consumers? Eventually yes, that is the long-term goal. But the main markets (right now) are Health Care/Peace Officer/DOD-MIL/Oil-Gas/Factory/Warehouse and other heavy Vertical/Corporate use. Also having a big big play in the Educational market, per Book and Drawing use of — for example: things like Loren’s MathPractice, fit perfectly in this space. For lots of Verticals, that need to quickly gather mission-critical data, or go to places where a regular laptop is impractical, they function well-beyond mere “appliances”.

    Tablets are meant for certain things. Why quibble with what they aren’t aimed at, while missing what they are? Note Taking, Form-filling, Order Taking, Data Collection, eBooking, Artists, complex Shape/Diagram Reco, Handwriting Reco (esp. per expressive pictorial Asian languages) And add to that, value-added applications like Alias Sketchbook, FranklinCovey TabletPlanner, ActiveWords InkPad, OrderPad, ArtRage, Corel Grafigo 2, Microsoft OneNote, xThink Calculator (eventually MathJournal) all of which are way way beyond “trivial microcontent”. Slew of artists, for them in creating digital content, the Tablet PC is a killer-app. They do not view such art as “trivial microcontent”. You have the full OS power of XP, Tablet PC is simply a superset of XP. You can use the pen to function instead of the mouse, how is that a bad thing? Plus more than 150 (and growing) number of programs that make direct use of some of the pure Tablet functionality.

    But thinking in terms of replacement, is the wrong question to ask, think in terms of added functionality. You have a keyboard at your disposal, even with the Slate models, easy to hook up a USB keyboard. And the convertible models, have it right onboard. And futhermore one model, the Acer TravelMate 250PE, is a full-desktop-replacement laptop with Tablet PC functionality, meaning can doing everything you listed and then some per Tablet Ink functions. Best of both worlds.

  88. I hate Microsoft because I am the 100th comment here. Microsoft has inspired us to write these 100 comments, and all the effort put into doint that could have been more productively expended elsewhere. For me, that should have been sleeping, which is what I will go do now.

  89. Robert,

    “I agree with you, by the way, about use of Microsoft’s economic power. I will always try to use that power for good and not for evil. I’ve had that power aimed at my head and it wasn’t fun.”

    The answer to this problem is not to strive for a kinder, gentler Microsoft that won’t abuse it’s power, but to take Microsoft’s power away from them.

    BTW, have you looked up the person who was responsible for aiming that at your head yet?

    Onward.

    I hate Microsoft because they buy innovative companies for the sole reason of removing their products from the market. The example that bit me personally was DimensionX’s Liquid Motion.

  90. “I hate the fact that the file formats for Microsoft Office aren’t documented.”

    Most Office 2003 apps now can open and save to XML with full formatting. And the accompanying XSLT files are fully commented 🙂

    Surely thats a good start…:)

  91. The stuff I…dislike:

    * Despite eons of development, it’s still impossible to run a windows server headless, requiring expensive lights out cards, and graphical console hardware

    * Without paying microsoft through the nose, you can’t hack the XP installation to produce a nice _professional_ corporate desktop..oh, and someone decided syssetup.inf is now a protected system file, shielded with all kinds of security measures to not allow someone to touch the default lame XP installation.

    * Microsoft lets some telemarketeer call you to ask how you feel about the support service. They call you personally, and are able to connect your name to your employers support account, thus although how much I’d love to speak my real opinion about microsoft, it’s products, it’s way of doing business, and the how the support handles my questions, I’m too worried about having to explain myself to my less understanding boss later on.

    * The registry is a big smelling piece of trash, which everyone thinks sucks, but still uses!

    * I *still* can’t make a decent router from a windows box, lacking GRE support which isn’t tied to their swiss cheese VPN solution.

    * There are a lot more reasons to dislike microsoft, but most are already mentioned in the 100+ comments above this one.

  92. Ferdinand touched on two more things that absolutely drive me up the wall with Windows: remote management and the registry:

    Why do we need terminal services or a third part app (or worse, a lights out card) to manage a windows server remotely? If I want to add a virtual host to apache I can ssh to the machine, setup the folder and permissions, add the host entry to httpd.conf and then restart apache. In windows I would need access to the IIS MMS (at least as of 2000 Server, I have not tried 2003 yet). Has this been changed drastically for 2003?
    The registry was a great idea back when we were dealing with ini hell in Win 3.11, but it is too bloated. I think the way it is done with most *nix flavors I have tried seems to work better. Restricting the configuration files to /etc works, and making the conf files well formed xml works even better. As for users changing their settings when allowed, the apps should look for conf files within the user’s home folder. That cannot be too hard!

  93. Re: Christopher Coukter

    We’re talking about the tablet as a replacement for the general purpose PC sitting on my desk at home or the office. When you say “Tablets are meant for certain things” you contradict your assertion that they are not mere appliances. Your whole post basicly validates my claim that they are niche machines for now and not suitable as general-purpose machines.

  94. What do I hate? I hate lock-in. But what I really hate is that it took 2 days to get MY addresses and emails out of MY outlook.pst files.

    We’ve just moved to England from San Francisco, and my PC motherboard crapped out just before we left. It was a 5 year old PC, so I bought a new one, took the old disks out of my old system, including my old system disk, and brought them with me. This happened just before we left, and as I literally picked up the PC on my way to the airport, there was no way to test that the old system disk worked in the new PC before we left. When I got here I tried to boot the old system disk. No luck — blue screen on startup related to a bad disk driver. Luckily I had a USB disk enclosure that let me mount the old startup disk. And this is where my list of things I hate about Microsoft begins:

    [You can read all the gory details at Moving Countries Is Easier Than Moving Email Clients]

    1. You can’t use regedit on anything other than the current system disk.

    2. Choosing Repair from the Windows 2000 disk doesn’t do anything. You have to choose Install and then Repair.

    3. Choosing Install then Repair wipes out the Office and Outlook registry settings, even though it doesn’t affect any other program’s settings.

    4. There’s nothing out there that will parse outlook.pst files directly.

    5. To Import from Outlook to Outlook Express you have to have Outlook installed and running. Where’s the Open File dialog that let’s me choose any outlook.pst file?

    6. Why the cease and desist letter to the developer of libPST?

    7. Why does Outlook Express only export emails into Outlook or Exchange formats?

    8. Why can’t I move a system disk from one machine, update some drivers, and have it work in another machine?

    9. Why can’t I install drivers on a disk other than the running system disk?

    10. Why isn’t there anything on the MS site describing how to move .dbx files from one machine to another?

    Ok, that’s enough lock-in for one comment.

  95. >>I hate Microsoft because, even though I >don’t use any of their software, I still >have to pay for it.

    >That is TOTALLY not true anymore. Fry’s is selling Linux machines for $149. They do NOT include a Windows license.

    You’re missing the point. I pay taxes, and a certain cut of that goes to MS, because the government is their biggest customer. I buy, well, anything but a Burlington Factory coat or a Les Paul guitar, and that company runs Windows and passes the price onto me. I haven’t bought an MS license since ’98, but I still pay for them.

    Microsoft and the top handful of execs wouldn’t have over $100 billion in cash laying around if they weren’t ripping us off, and a ripoff on that scale can’t help but affect everyone.

  96. I hate people who spell Microsoft with a dollar sign in place of the ‘S’. There are lots of good arguments against Microsoft, and this kind of childishness denigrates all of them.

  97. I think the market is finally starting to address the “ugly and noisy” concerns. First of all, recent Dell desktops have been incredibly quiet–really. Almost zero fan noise, basically all the noise comes from the hard drive and optical drive.

    And check out Hush Technologies, who are in the business of making totally fanless PCs with pretty wicked exteriors–they look a lot like British integrated amplifiers. Too bad they’re also wickedly expensive.
    http://www.hushtechnologies.com

  98. To Robert Scoble. Since you only use Word about 15 per day I suppose it doesn’t give you any hassle. But please don’t give me any nonsense about it being better than Word Perfect. Yeah, there are issues of personal preference I suppose, but the one simple fact that Word Perfect has the Reveal Codes feature and actually lets you manipulate the formatting of a document so that you can see what is really going on is a slam dunk case in favor of its superiority to Word. There are plenty of other reasons as well. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of hours I have wasted trying to undo formatting I did not want that Word imposed on my document, having to wade through mostly useless and unhelpful “help” files and pulling my hair out because I HAD to use Word since that is what my employer requires. In Word Perfect problems like this usually never occur, but in the rare case where they do they are easily fixed because the user can actually see the formatting codes and remove the offender from the document, replacing it with the code that formats the document the way you want it.

    BTW – I refuse to send documents in Word unless it is required. Better to pdf them and not worry about them getting scrambled when they open.

  99. I hate it when Microsoft does create something new, cool, and/or innovative, but then they go and hide the new features and/or products with terrible pointless ads that only somebody from Madison Ave could love.

    We see them in magazines and on TV all the time but they never say anything useful.

    (Hint to MS: An ugly fat guy in a tight butterfly suit does not make me want to get MSN. In fact, I’m avoiding MSN for fear that the butterfly guy might appear on my screen to let me now when new email has arrived.)

  100. And the #1 thing I hate about Microsoft?

    A megabyte and a half, between midnight last night and 6:30 this morning, of virus mail.

    Yep, bandwidth and drive space are growing exponentially, but I’m afraid they won’t be able to outgrow Outlook security holes.

  101. Alan, well, I might explain that I’ve always used Adobe Illustrator and Pagemaker or QuarkXPress for doing documents that needed accurate positioning, which might explain why I don’t think the reveal codes feature in Word Perfect is all that important. I agree that it’s cool for advanced users, but just how many advanced Word processing users are there out there? Aren’t they all doing weblogs now anyway?

  102. Ferdinand: regarding the support follow-up call.

    That is _way_ too paranoid. I used to work in MS Product Support, and I got the results of those surveys on a regular basis. How is MS supposed to know if its support staff is doing a good job if they don’t ask the customers? Time on call, time to resolution, etc. do _not_ indicate satisfied customers, no matter how much some bean counters would like to think so.

  103. Robert,

    I hate the fact that Microsoft employees think it is a better use of their time to cruise weblog comments sections to defend the good name of their company, rather than fixing their numerous bugs or “innovating”.

  104. Paul, I use my Tablet as my regular desktop machine. It has a 1.3GHz processor. It does OK with low-end video editing. There are new Tablets coming at the end of the year which most certainly could replace most desktops (and will even play Flight Simultor).

  105. hack, good one, but I am not a coder or a tester. I was hired to do just this so the guys who DO do that can keep doing their jobs.

  106. Robert

    You gotta be f*cking kidding me! what a noble concept from a company whose strength is not in its products but its aggressive, obtrusive and monolistic marketing.

    Microsoft isn’t the Microserfs portrayed by Douglas Coupland.

  107. Ramin, hmm, I disagree with you, but then I guess I’d be displaying aggressive, obtrusive, and monopolistic marketing if I tried to point out that you’re wrong. 🙂

  108. Kamyar: I assume that Robert didn’t notice this comment…

    You’re right, I missed that one.

    One problem is that you think we have more power than we do. What would happen if we released a perfect IE7 tomorrow (note, ain’t gonna happen). Why nothing! Most customers don’t upgrade, no matter what we do. In fact, look at the percentages of people still using old Netscapes or old IE’s.

    You’ll still need to design two versions of your sites (one for the latest standards and one for old browsers). So, what does that help?

    Instead, let’s slow down, make sure next time we do what developers need, and release a product that’s so compelling that most of the market upgrades.

    Fixing CSS and releasing a service pack won’t get very many people excited. Other than webloggers and web designers.

  109. “Fixing CSS and releasing a service pack won’t get very many people excited. Other than webloggers and web designers.”

    In other words, the Mavens that other people go to for help and advice.

    Robert, get the features you have right before you add new ones. This is the same principle behind the recent ‘bug hunt month’. However, I will say that in this regard, MS is no worse than the average for the packaged software industry.

  110. Garrett,

    Oh, the MS support guy was great, and did his best for me. He also asked me how I felt about how the support call was handled, and I didn’t make up the answer on that: great. No, I was talking about the telemarketeer who called about half an hour later, asking me all kinds of questions about how I felt about microsoft and related subjects. Not the same thing 🙂

    And since I know all this data is gathered, and analyzed, and probably not anonymous…heck, I’ll lie just to save myself the trouble from explaining my answers to anyone, just in case.

  111. Ferdinand: those surveys are partly used to decide executive’s compensation, so you have a bit of power when you answer them.

  112. Ramin, for me, I’m a Microsoft guy because of the Macintosh.

    Back in the late 1980s Microsoft had — by far — the best Word processor and spreadsheet on the Macintosh.

    All the other companies ignored the Mac.

    That translated to products that worked better on Windows when that took off.

    But, I guess it depends on what you mean by “better?” Here’s a question for you: was VHS or Beta better?

  113. >Robert, get the features you have right before you
    >add new ones. This is the same principle behind
    >the recent ‘bug hunt month’.

    Agreed, let’s talk more on this after the PDC.

  114. “hack, good one, but I am not a coder or a tester. I was hired to do just this so the guys who DO do that can keep doing their jobs. ”

    Robert, do I understand correctly that Microsoft hired you specifically to engage Microsoft critics in flame wars on weblog comments sections? If so, how many weblogs are you responsible for monitoring ( and how many people did MS hire to take on Slashdot?). What is the pay/benefits and where to I send my resume?

  115. hack, actually, to tell you the truth, I do this for fun.

    But, I watch 533 weblogs (at least that’s how many I have in News Gator right now).

    I don’t know of any Microsoft employee who’s tasked with taking on Slashdot. That doesn’t sound like fun to me.

    But, clearly, my weblog and community work was one of the reasons I was hired.

  116. I hate that these comments aren’t in a hierarchical tree view so it makes it a pain in the butt to read and try to figure out what comments it is that Robert Scoble is rebuting.

    Also, whomever the anonymous coward was that was complaining about Apple’s first 64-bit personal computer… It IS the first 64 bit PERSONAL COMPUTER. Throwing quotes around that term as if it’s some figment of Apple’s imagination doesn’t change the fact that Sun, SGI and DEC’s venerable 64 bit systems are NOT PERSONAL COMPUTERS. They are workstations and servers meant for business/commercial/work. No, the PowerMac G5 is not the first 64 bit computer, but in terms of PCs, they have beaten MS/Intel/AMD/etc. to the market with a consumer-oriented 64 bit computer.

    Having said that, I loved my DEC Multia for the year I had it. What a great little box.

  117. I hate that the corporate world has been brainwashed into thinking that they HAVE to use MS products because… well…. everyone else does! Someone needs to get some balls and break the cycle. And Windoze is so unuser friendly and awkward. Obviously Apple is doing something right because MS keeps copying their ideas. I’m keeping the unemployment rate up because I refuse to get a job where I have to stare at a Windoze box all day.

    -Alisa
    Anything your windows machine can do, my mac can do quieter and better. So there!

  118. Ferdinand: in PSS, it was (and probably still is) standard procedure for a survey company to call a certain percentage of support customers to make sure the SPs are doing their jobs correctly. If you had told him “no, you weren’t so great”, do you think that message would have filtered back to the managers correctly? Sure, I probably would have told my manager you weren’t happy, but that’s not the same as an independent questioner getting the message directly.

  119. “Fixing CSS and releasing a service pack won’t get very many people excited”

    Good to see a Microsoft employee admit CSS support in IE is less than perfect, and you’re right most folks couldn’t care less but it makes the adoption of standards (not the latest standards, just W3C standards)based design even harder.

  120. I hate that Microsoft so quickly turned Scoble’s brain to mush so that he is only capable of defending his mothership now and cannot step back and admit there is a lot of stuff MS does that is totally crappy, potentially illegal, bent-on-control-in-a-Dr.Evil-sort-of-psychotic-way, and stifling to technological advancement. We know you love your tablet. I don’t want one. I want control and so does Bill. Since only one of us can have it, the next few years will be an interesting tug-of-war.

  121. Robert,

    I was meaning to respond to this one earlier, so at the chance of Philip to not tolerate the offtopic thread:

    “Bulletins in the last 7 days Trustix 2 Sun 2 SuSE 2 OpenBSD 2 EnGarde 3 Mandrake 4 RedHat 4 Debian 7
    The numbers are the numbers of security bulletins received for these OS’s between 9/20/2003 and 9/27/2003.”

    Every time I see such numbers, along with the claim: “See? This stuff isn’t secure either” I wonder what sparked that conclusion.
    * Are these bulletins unique, or basically for the same software package for different distributions?
    * Do these advisories deal with issues found in core OS components or add-on software?
    * Do these advisories deal with remotely exploitable, virus exploitable security holes, or just a local buffer overflow in a non programmable component of some obscure GUI component?
    * What is the installed base of the applications mentioned in the advisories? 0.01%? 1%? 10%? 100%? For most you’ll see it won’t come above 10% (unless you count core OS components, under which I conveniently also qualify openssh).

    Security holes are never fun (witness the recent outburst of ssh “issues”), but they also tend to spark a whole slew of FUD in their wake, generally sparked by the abundance of internet analists and OS watchers. There’s lies, blatant lies and statistics. Without context, meaningless.

    To make a fair comparison of security in the opensource field vs. security in the proprietary field you’d have to either:
    – Distinguish between core OS componenents and 3rd party application software (and of course define the difference first!)
    – Throw it all on one heap, and simply compare the issues found in all proprietary software with the issues found in all opensource software, and that might actually be fairer.
    As it is generally compared now (in the “press”) is like comparing apples to oranges.

    I for one don’t believe that software can ever be made fault free, unless you get it generated by fault free software. So the numbers would probably be around equal just because most software is written by humans, which by definition aren’t fault free. And it’s ok. As long as there is an infrastructure in place to deal with the faults elegantly, either by providing fast fixes or by limiting the amount of damage such a fault can do. So far, the opensource field is the clear cut winner in this area. IMO.

  122. Top contributors to this thread:

    21% Robert Scoble
    11% Anonymous Coward
    8% Pedro Vera
    4% Naum
    4% A student from Texas
    3% jerry
    3% Christopher Coukter
    3% Tayssir John Gabbour
    43% All others…

    When Microsoft dominates, it’s not just about market share. Extend and embrace the conversation, eh, Robert? 😉

    (Full disclosure: I did the anaylsis with Excel.)

  123. I *really* hate that Outlook Express lets you create mail filters on any string, *except* “<html>”. (Try it, I swear it’s true.) This is pure evil. I don’t know why they insist on ramming HTML mail down our throats.

  124. I hate stupid people that blame MS for everything. The way the hardware looks has nothing to do with MS.

  125. How did the decision not to implement RMI and JNI in J++ benefit Windows developers?

    How do enterprise customers benefit from being locked into forced upgrades with the subscription offering?

    When will a fraction of .NET useful enough to be deployed in non-Windows platforms be placed in the public domain (i.e. not patent encumbered)?

  126. How did the decision not to implement RMI and JNI in J++ benefit Windows developers?

    How do enterprise customers benefit from being locked into forced upgrades with the subscription offering?

    When will a fraction of .NET useful enough to be deployed in non-Windows platforms be placed in the public domain (i.e. not patent encumbered)?

  127. I hate the Microsoft Windows/PC ‘Monopoly’. Actually we do, here, in UK have non Microsoft applications, running on the Windows Platform and Microsoft DOS is at very least half decent. incorporating an Excellent Hierarchical Tree Structure, (which can also be used direct from Windows) this has been utilised by at least one Software House,(UK) to provide a really brilliant Disk/File Manager We also have another one, (for Windows) which works on ‘Word/Excel/Access’ Principles in about 1/10th of the Codeing Space, so why can so much Microsoft Software, be characterised as ‘Jumboware’? This Windows Codeing also lets the Bugs in.

  128. well ADD these:
    1. MS no nothing about history or geography and exhibit virus-like symptoms…how…well read-on
    in arabic language support when country in regional is selected as libya they insist on installing french keyboard
    well libya is in north africa and some of its neighbours (viz. tunisia and algeria) were colonised by the french and it became a second language
    Libya was breifly colonised by italy and the language didn’t have time to catch
    but we suffer from having to delete the french (and azerty) keyboard every time we install our language
    i contacted ms and guess what.. no reply.. then the arabic development team replied and they knew and did nothing00surprise?!?? no
    2. in arabic excel they have x-axis direction going from right to left
    this is rediculous as the x-axis direction has nothing to do with languages

  129. I Hate the new strain of honesty at Microsoft. It is simple really with the “Are you <whichever half finished operating system that needs out of reach hardware to run> ready! now! cough up, Pay! more money! Pay Pay! they treat customers like cash cattle. hence “Longhorn”.

  130. I want feedback on the HP IPAQ. User experience, future trends in mobile device market, best and better options in that space

  131. I was looking for something else and ran across this site. I really like the layout and colors you chose.

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