Friday, July 20, 2007

"It Just Works"

A commenter on Slashdot replies to this article , about Microsoft patenting the ability to insert adware and spyware directly into the Windows kernel. (no , i'm not kidding)

cheros writes:

I wonder if Microsoft is busy abandoning the software business.

First we get Vista, with a reported 20+ services phoning home with enough detail to make what Redmond get personally identifiable, not to mention that the Business version in my experience is an absolute dog to run compared to XP or Linux on the same "Vista approved" hardware. So we have instant privacy and security problems that come with the package, and new code which will take another year to become actually safe and usable (cute visuals do not maketh a usable business OS, especially if you have to retrain everyone - might as well take the plunge and retrain them on Macs or Linux).

Then we get the latest Office, which will work in Microsoft's attempt to create an 'Open' file format. That effort has mainly demonstrated that they (a) don't know what Open means, (b) don't see what their customers are asking for and (c) don't care about the previous two aspects, to the point of not understanding that their effort is alienating their increasingly savvy customers.

What's more, the 'Open' documentation has already given rise to the question if their flawed Excel spreadsheet functions (as documented) are new defects, or simply the first documentation of an already existing flawed interpretation of the laws of mathematics - any calculation done on an Excel spreadsheet to report financial results could now be seen as breaking diligence. In other words, using Excel knowingly may even carry a risk of criminal charges (IMHO, IANAL). Which executive would want that risk, especially with lower cost alternatives at hand that support a file format than can be machine processed and has been accepted at EU level?

However, MS trying to move into other markets hasn't been quite the success they'd hoped for either. Huge repair bills for Xbox, Zune zonked, and a lot of suppliers opting for a less license encumbered OS in their phones - it's all looking a tad shabby for your average clued up investor. Not a stock I'd keep on my portfolio, and following the progression other companies have made I think death by lawyer (suing your customers) cannot be far away.

And now, new idea, they're trying to move ads beyond your control into the core OS. Oh yes, that really will help drive up productivity in an office. And it'll be a primary risk vector if it gets infected.

Oh, yeah, I forgot, any new MS OS is the safest ever. Shame it still gets hacked before it's even launched. Talk about losing credibility..

Sure, I'm probably just a Mac/Linux fanboy. Isn't it irritating that even the less vocal ones in that category get proven right all the time? I don't choose an OS because of its fanbase, I chose it because it works for my business and I can see through the FUD (and OK, we're not a thousand seat business). I've had one office on OO exclusively now for 6 months, and no client has even noticed the difference - they're now switching to Linux completely. All the other offices are busy being switched to all Open Source based software in the next few months (using the holiday season), with the occasional Mac thrown in for graphics work.

And you know the best news? No virus problems, no daily 'reboot now' updates, no Genuine Advantage, no BSA/FAST worries.

It Just Works.