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Hating Microsoft

© August 2004 Tony Lawrence

There are certainly plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft. If you are an anti-corporate type as I am, Microsoft is a great example of the abuse that large corporations can heap upon us. If you naively believe that businesses should "play fair", Microsoft makes Donald Trump's "It's not personal" attitude look almost friendly. If you are a home or business user overwhelmed with spam and viruses, Microsoft's insecurities cost you time and money every day. And of course if you are a die-hard Open Source fan, Microsofts recent patent activity may take a back seat to SCO's anti-Linux actions, but it's still a seat very close to the front.

Well, I dislike Microsoft for all those reasons, but the main reason is simply that, in my opinion, their programmers are darn fools.

Those are strong words, but it seems to me that they often do things in ways that are just plain dumb. Email is a classic example: almost every other email client in the world leaves messages as plain text and builds indexes to support whatever searching and sorting is desired. That approach means that if anything goes wrong, the indexes can be rebuilt from the plain text - no danger of losing everything because of a misplaced pointer. But not Microsoft - nope, throw it all into a complex data structure and hope it doesn't break. Dumb.

And then there is the Registry. Ayup, I understand the value of having a centralized place for this stuff and even the value of a binary structure for speed. But again, build the thing from plain text files that can be read and edited with simple editors! Not only can you clean up problems by rebuilding from the source, but the plain text files can have comments that can help support folk understand problems and conflicts.

And finally, of course, Microsoft's abhorrence of the command line rivals Apple's (pre OS X, of course). Wake up: a powerful command line is a support person's best friend. When you have a broken system, the combination of a good shell and text configuration files is exactly what you need for fast and efficient problem resolution.

Well, those are my reasons - I'm sure you have yours. I'm never unhappy to see them back in court.

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El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course

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More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

---August 29, 2004

I am. The courts let them off the hook.

Look at the results of every other state court rulings so far, what are the results:

1. Microsoft gives "free" liscences to state + schools + charities.
2. Users get vouchers to, guess what, buy more microsoft products.

Now due to double jepordy MS will never see justice for what bad things they do. Instead they get more copies out into the state and there is no need for states to look into cheaper/better alternatives.

MS is rewarded for their bad behavior. It's like if the cigerette companies get sued, and lose, but now instead of money they have to give out boxes of ciggerettes to 12 year olds as punishment.


---August 29, 2004

Let's hope this one doesn't end that way. Justice may come someday..

Tony Lawrence

"Now due to double jepordy MS will never see justice for what bad things they do."

Double jeopardy applies to criminal cases brought against individuals. The DoJ can take shots at Microsoft the corporation as often as they want. Of course, without sufficient evidence and an informed judiciary whose only interest is seeing that justice is done, it'll all be wasted effort and money.


---January 20, 2005

There are similar processes that apply to civil matters, i forget the latin, but basically, it is extremely hard impossible to litigate the same matter twice.

Regardless, Adam Smith's invisible hand works when Government doesn't or shouldn't. Microsoft has to fix their act or fail. They are are large enough and strong enough to be able to afford a fair number of mistakes, but ultimately if you abuse your clients you lose them.

Mon Jun 30 05:38:59 2008: 4382   spa

I know this is an old post before powershell, but now that its out you should agree that powershell is very promising. By considering everything an object you can do a lot of powerful things. For example: scripting com, getting state from services, and getting properties of objects all without all the text parsing you would have to do with one of the Unix shells. I know talking to a perl guy you probably love the text parsing being such a regex loving language but I have to think many sys admins, esp windows like the object thing better then regex and text parsing. Anyway, it is a lot better then the old *.bat or vba stuff.

Mon Jun 30 10:33:10 2008: 4383   TonyLawrence

You have to be kidding. That ridiculous "shell" is an abomination. It's typical Microsoft mentality: a complicated mess.


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