Trust in Microsoft
When will the Reg get around to discussing this?
Or "what happens when your cloud provider fscks security?"
Microsoft makes a number of truly fantastic technologies and it is legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies. By the same token, Microsoft is also an asshat, so any attempt to make decisions about it gets complicated and messy in a right hurry. Unfortunately, as refreshes near, making sense of …
When will the Reg get around to discussing this?
Or "what happens when your cloud provider fscks security?"
I'm not a huge fan of Office (except Excel), and use OpenOffice.org's products for the most part. But I have a Windows VM with Office 2010 in it, all legal.
Mostly just for the very rare occasion when I may need to have 100% compatibility with an Office document.
Of course, we're now two versions on. And most idiots who bleat on about 100% compatibility with Office will always forget that Office itself isn't even100% backwards compatible. So at some point, I'd like to upgrade. And O365 looks like a good way to do it.
On the one hand, around £60/year seems like a reasonable price for the whole of Office. On the other hand, I've not actually needed it for months - so it's definitely a luxury purchase. I can't justify it, and the only way to justify it is to use Office more and lock my data into it. Not likely!
If I ran my own business, I'd probably have my hand forced. But as it stands, I'm sure I'll manage without...
Some clients of mine with differing use cases of productivity software spring to mind.
Client one, had MS Office 2003 and 2007 in a mixed environment, installed on Windows 7 boxes with a Windows SBS2008 server and used only three products, Outlook, Excel and Word. They upgraded both 2003 and 2007 office installs to MS Office 2013 Home and Business as, at the time we were told a site license was unavailable for fewer than 100 seats. Total cost was just shy of £5k and they'll continue using it for a minimum of 5 years. Projected cost of O365 for the same period assuming no price rises ~ £7500. Saving from not using O365 ~ £2,500
Client two, had MS Office 2003 exclusively, installed on Windows XP boxes with a 2003 SBS server. Their usage included basic spreadsheets and text documents only. They upgraded the SBS to Server Essentials 2012 on their existing hardware, the workstations to Win 7 Pro and switched to LibreOffice and Thunderbird. The workstations they had to upgrade anyway, the server software was £300 or so and the cost to upgrade office was £0.00, projected cost of O365, just shy of £3k over a 5 year period. Saving from not using O365 ~ £3k call it £2.7k if we factor in the SE2012 instead of using OneDrive.
Client three, MS Office 2003 on Windows 7 machines but they're fixated on MS Publisher and have MS Access database requirements. Cost to upgrade to Office Standard and purchase additional Access licenses where required almost £5k, cost for O365 more like £3k. Saving by using O365 ~ £2k
There are savings to be made with O365... if your use case lends itself to it. On the whole, not so much for small businesses.
I must confess the least compatible thing to Office is Office itself.
I've not been near the bloated thing for a few years but I used to find that Open..Libre Office far better at reading old archived MS documents than Office.
Have a look at LibreOffice, much better fork of OpenOffice.
Almost inmediatelly after Oracle acquired SUN, OpenOffice was forked into LibreOffice and currently is more advanced than OpenOffice, better maintained and receives updates and fixes continuously.
One point in their credit - if you get a new laptop, and install a copy of home & business on it, the copy is then locked to that hardware. If the hardware dies early on, you're screwed, buy a new copy.
However if you ring the phone activation line, and crucially *do not pick an option*, then you get to talk to a person. And that person has the ability to create you a new activation code to migrate your software in the event of a DOA machine.
I'm not sure what the timeframe is that it is available for, but it made my week.
Depressing how tiny victories with MS make you feel fantastic.
Interesting though it is, how is this 'one point in their credit'?
Basically you have to know not to activate online, call up and not select an option. Hardly sounds as if it's worthy of a credit if it's that hard to find and hidden?
Again, that policy was changed to force users into O365. Previously, only OEM version were locked to a single machine (just like the OEM licenses of the OS).
Retail versions were not, and you could re-install them on newer machine as long as you didn't go beyond the concurrent installations limit.
This is true for Windows 10 free upgrade as well. AFAIK, if you upgrade a retail version of, say, 7, you get a machine-locked installation of 10.
And if a license says it is tied to a single machine, the fact someone can reactivate it on another is just an "exception", although IIRC in the license there are some exceptions if the machine dies in the warranty period or the like, and it is repaired changing hardware items that then forces a reactivation.
Oh, I never said how many points were on the debit side of the ledger. It's a lot higher than one.
I'll still take any win I can - MS really hates the little guy.
I don't disagree with the article but are Google and Apple any better?
Yes, Apple is better than Microsoft in at least one crutial (for me) way. If a customer needs a Screen Reader Environment (SRE) to make their computer Accessible, then a Windows machine has two options: 1. Use the built in "Windows Navigator" which sucks so bad it makes black holes jealous, or 2, use a third party (expensive) SRE. Meanwhile an Apple machine not only has the SRE built in to the OS from the ground up, it also enforces the SRE compatability across all their software thus making sure the SRE Just Works.
I've been looking into my next machine to replace this one. If I'm given the choice between a $1,500USD Windows machine or a $1,500USD Apple, I'll go with Apple; the Windows machine will require another sizeable cost for the SRE just so I can use it at all, while the Apple only needs a keyboard shortcut to trigger the thing to start talking.
Apple & Google have their "walled garden" issues, but Apple has a built in SRE functionality, & Android at least has TalkBack built in, whereas a Windows machine "requires" the use of costly third party software to add in the needed function.
From an Accessibility POV, not only are Apple & Google better, they're so much so that MS should be ashamed of itself for not stepping up their game.
Just my $0.02USD, but it's an issue that affects a couple hundred million folks around the world at last check, & the vision issues of the "merely old" (rather than blind) should be enough to kick MS in the pants to do a better job. Don't want to deal with the disabled? Sucks but fine. Don't want to deal with the old with failing eyesight? Then you're gonna be up shit creek when YOU get old & your sight gets worse, aren't ya?
*Comically kicks MS in the heiny*
If MS tried to add SRE they would be castigated for 'extending the OS' just as they were with the Browser choice debacle.
I agree that it should have been in from the start and that their reasons for not adding it are unlikely to be anti-trust related and even that they need a good ass-kicking, comical or otherwise but it's kind of ironic that whenever they try to do anything innovative they get shouted out, when they remove support for products which are seven years old they get kicked and when they try to emulate closed environments like Apple and Google they are the evil empire.
"Microsoft are experts at ensuring that moving away from any of their platforms is a high friction event"
Down at the coding level, often a high friction event moving to their "new" solution for a given platform as they often do not provide automatic conversion.
e.g. Windows Mobile 6.x (& below) code needed major changes for Windows Phone 7
Even if you stay with Microsoft you often face a moving target and lack of easy code upgrade, you have to hope you guess the right way in selecting which MS route to take (oops Silverlight!)
"Over and over Microsoft is trying to herd businesses into using its cloud services. It wants subscriptions for everything, and they doesn't seem shy about turning the knobs on pricing and/or feature-busting once enough customers have migrated."
First hit is free, then you pay. Unless you want the withdrawal symptoms...
I think we can trust NASDAQ: MSFT completely ... it is a typical greedy, (American), totalitarian corporation and seeks almost exclusively to increase its revenues regardless of partners, customers or its position in society.
Having reached prominence in a value-for-money federation of CPU, disk, peripheral electronics and software advances via OEM's, the company tried with Windows 8 to copy NASDAQ: AAPL's insidious 30% tax on software development ... whilst evading corporate taxation in its operating territories.
Being partly a capitalist I like value-for-money federations of (technology) companies.
Being partly a Marxist I like the idea of marginalising NASDAQ: MSFT's operating tactics by legislation, so that the company can only earn its value add, rather than an arbitrary subscription to preserve its revenues in the face of diminishing returns from existing products and services.
A good recent example of this is the Onedrive renege, where we saw the raw greed of NASDAQ: MSFT exposed by a hastily constructed memo, attempting to justify a subscription charge for storage 60 times that of a home grown solution with pathetic rationalisations like 'some of our users have a lot of data'.
"Being partly a Marxist"
Is this why you are unable to simply type "Microsoft" or simply "MS" and "Apple" and have, instead, to use codes which were intended for specific purposes?
I had to use MS products for years when I coded for a living and in retrospect it was a terrible experience. Of course, at the time we thought that's just how software was; full of bugs, regular crashes, reboots to solve lock ups, frustrating, a new UI with every iteration.
Then along came Novell Netware which just ran and ran, didn't need rebooting every day and didn't crash - spooky, so software didn't have to be cr*p after all, who knew? And Linux proved the same thing.
So now I don't have to use anything MS and its great to be free of it. I wonder how long they've got left before they become the next DEC.
"Then along came Novell Netware which just ran and ran, didn't need rebooting every day and didn't crash"
My mercifully brief experience of Netware was the converse. IIRC the OS and <all> the services ran as a single process. An attempt to shut down a database brought the whole thing down in a heap. Novell was the server OS for MS clients until MS developed theirs.
Neither, of course, had anything like the reliability of Unix servers. That's the time of the apocryphal tale of a Unix server which suddenly disappeared from the LAN. On investigation it was found to have been turned off. Further investigation brought the response "Nobody ever came to reboot it so we assumed it wasn't being used.".
An attempt to shut down a database brought the whole thing down in a heap.
I didn't experience that; starting and stoppping things always seemed to go just fine for me.
The bizarre thing about Netware is that certain operations were not possible from the terminal - you had to use a remote machine...
 Luckily for me, I cannot remember the details :-)
In my personal opinion Microsoft violated a sacred trust by using security updates to distribute adware for Windows 10. I am aware that not everyone cares, but I see this as a critical breach of trust.
...if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
I so agree
Windows 10 is an advertising and affiliate platform, a bit like Chrome is for Google.
Users have to make over 120 privacy settings changes to stop their data being shared and when you allow Windows Update to work it changes some of those back to share the data.
I am in the process of documenting this behaviour (it seems to be time based) before making a complaint to the EU data commissioner.
Maybe they thought I would not notice but I set EVERYTHING explicitly to do not share as well as using the setting for each section to do not share.
While I agree with Trevor's points, and I certainly understand his view, I'm not entirely convinced it's Microsoft's arrogance that's entirely to blame. Don't get me wrong, there's still a whiff of it, but I think the fault is deeper.
I think a great deal of that arrogance got knocked out of them back in 2003, when their collective ego took a huge hit from the sasser worm fiasco. Famously, Bill Gates wrote the "security, security, security" email, collectively slapping his entire company. I also sensed a bit of change in their attitude from that point, too. Certainly from a sysadmins point of view. I think there was a slow realisation in the upper echelons their products were used by every fortune 500, and combined with the EU monopoly sanctions, they were no longer a completely invulnerable, and with each new release, I got the strong feeling of improvements aimed at us specifically.
I think that the problems Trevor has pointed out, could possibly better explained by the companies complete lack of a rudder since Ballmer took over. They're like a dog suffering from ADHD on a bouncy castle that just had the contents of a ball pit dumped in it.
Their zig-zagging path is littered with the corpses of "nearly there" and "so close" projects that could have been something truly special with just a little more development, or even patience, because the market wasn't ready.
"Hey, what that Apples doing? Quick, everybody in that direction! Wait, is that a cloud service?!?! Everybody, drop what you're doing and come this way!!! Oooh, mobiles! We must do something now! I don't know what! Buy something big!"
I certainly agree that from Trevors perspective, certain departments have their own flavour of ego stroking, but I believe that culture's probably been allowed to grow due to a lack of strong leadership.
I think Microsoft needs another Bill Gates, or even a Steve Jobs like character, as long as he/she realises Microsoft's bread is buttered in the corporate world. We can but dream...
They're like a dog suffering from ADHD on a bouncy castle that just had the contents of a ball pit dumped in it.
LOL, I nearly spat out my whisky and we know that's a crime. (Got home early on a Friday)
Can someone tell me when there will be a class action?
I mean to be fit for purpose an OS has to be secure, to write an insecure version of Windows once, or even twice with different version might be acceptable, but Microsoft does it with every version.
How much is it costing users and businesses in lost productivity
First pay for a lawyer to read all the EULA (of every piece of commercial software ever written) and then find one who'd be willing to test it in court. Software is, almost by definition, unfit for purpose because the purposes it's tested to be fit for only occur in the test labs its tested in. Ask the pilots of the A320.
"Microsoft makes a number of truly fantastic technologies" which are invariably disable by the local BOFH as they could lead to a security violation. Such as the ability to right-click or access a USB device. The only thing allowed is a browser, a word processor and printing.
.lit As in yet another pre-mature MS spark of genius that never turned into an apple-esque rivel of gold. The one spectacularly stripped of its viriginal (vaginal?) virtues by a terror-wielding c-lit stripper app...
Well, the Win 10 being forced down everyone's throats (my wording :>) seems to be become MS forecasters have seen the massive plummet in new-box-PC-shipments. Thus massive negative change in likely revenue in the years going forward.
So, someone realised they'd better force everyone to subscription mode to offset that... regardless of how unhappy it makes people. Kind of like a "survive" or "not survive" event.
From that perspective, the pain they're (knowingly) causing people with the Win10 forcing makes sense. That perspective also says theres' literally no way they're going to stop doing it, due to the fear of revenue shortage.
Anyway, it's definitely time to look at alternative suppliers.
I'm late to this conversation so my comments will fall off the end of the earth, that's OK. The lead-in to the comment section states:
Microsoft make a number of truly fantastic technologies and they are legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies. By the same token, Microsoft are also asshats, so any attempt to make decisions about them gets complicated and messy in a right hurry. Unfortunately, as refreshes near making sense of …
Forse Huckey. Microsoft buys the technologies or buys the creators/developers/IP/software - it does not "make a number of truly fantastic technologies."
They steal (IP or personnel) or threaten (legal injunctions that can't be handled by a mere mortal company) or buy ownership and then rebrand and extinguish.
Maybe some of the Office stuff was really pretty "cutting edge". The OS is merely Yet Another Extension to existing ones (CPM, VMS). The Window (tm) is something another competitor also stole (from Xerox).
Perhaps the most fantastic technologies has been the bouncy paper clip and the ribbon from hell. It sure as hell ain't their helpless documentation.
...also known as "Windows user" syndrome.
The main excuse for people using Windows is because of "manufacturer support", that means that if something is wrong with the software they have someone to blame and ask for a fix, something that never happens with Microsoft, they keep throwing out broken software to the masses and asking ridiculous amounts of money with even more ridiculous licensing limitations, and yet people keep throwing money at them with that imaginary manufacturer support in mind; there must be something that everyone is eating but me that is causing such hallucination.
The fact is, we've brainwashed by corporate marketing (that reach out also in academics, schools) that sold us truly low quality software during the last two decades,
Users expectations (*ALL* users from IT pros, to software engineers, to end consumer) have fallen drastically.
The real issue for any business is customer trust. If customers do not trust your organization you will not be in business very long. In the case of Slurp, there was a time when many trusted them. However, too many actions have convinces many to avoid Slurp as much as possible. The numbers are going and are threatening to reach a tipping point where Slurp is toast. The fact many have abandoned Slurp means that there are many who are very aware of the transition problems and the solutions.
"The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole"
I found that a bit odd, as I know many, many that would be happy to do it, while swinging it as hard as they can!
If you shoot at the king then you must kill the king. Do not uselessly fail a pole at them.
You forgot the bit about Microsoft being a convicted software pirate!
There's a lot to like, IMNSHO, of neat tech coming in WS 2016 both for my home torture chamber and even SMB's if done by the right person. That last qualifier is important as, from this former partner's perspective, Microsoft is interested in on-premises setups. "Let them eat Cloud" is the new refrain save for enterprise customers and those supporting them. And if the whiplash for clients is bad, pity the poor partner. I still get all the partner related campaign info, subs to non-MS newsletters and magazines. Ugly.
On a semi-related note relating to badly broken systems, this will be my last comment. Constantly having to deal with Cloudflare has broken my patience. Bye ya'll.
Has Microsoft done ANYTHING original (other than Bob and Clippy)?
I rest my case.
Wait, they are good at extracting moola from suckers. That might be original.
Has Microsoft done ANYTHING original (other than Bob and Clippy)?
A few examples do come to mind:
* drag and drop
* the taskbar, the toolbar
* scroll-wheel mice
* SideWinder Dual Strike, SideWinder Freestyle Pro (not successful, but definitely original)
* Surface (the original one, not the laptop)
More-recent innovations like the Ribbon or the Tiled UI have also been original, but it's so much easier to do something no one else has done if you don't mind it being abysmally bad.
IIRC Drag and drop was one of the bits that W95 incorporated from HP's New Wave. New Wave was a layer that HP built on top of 3.x. If you looked at W95's copyrights HP were in there as were the Regents of UCB for the BSD networking stack.
All the WIMP elements had been round for a long time. I grant you that they way they were assembled in W95 hit a sweet spot (except for the lack of multiple workspaces) but as we all know they subsequently put a lot of effort into junking that.
The Ribbon? As far as most people seem to be concerned, they're welcome to all the blame for that.
* drag and drop - NO
* the taskbar, the toolbar - NO
* ClearType - NO
* scroll-wheel mice - NO
* SideWinder Dual Strike, SideWinder Freestyle Pro (not successful, but definitely original) - NO
* Surface (the original one, not the laptop) - NO
* DirectX - NO
NO, stop confusing MS version of a product with the product's idea.
Drag and drop was available on my Atari ST GEM, together with icon or text display, scroll bars, minimizing/maximizing window button, etc..etc..
The task bar was already here (and very similar to what Apple did decades after) on Acorn systems
"Microsoft decides, never admits a mistake, never apologizes and very, very rarely accedes to customer demands"
This is just actual bullshit. The Windows Insider program had literally millions of people giving feedback and shaping Windows 10. They put the Start menu back because too many people cried.
Bullshit. Outright bullshit.
Microsoft didn't listen to the feedback provided during the Windows Insider program. Which you'd know if you had actually participated. There was lots and lots of feedback provided on how to make Windows 10 not suck and they ignored it all, producing the turd that we got stuck with.
Microsoft decided what Windows 8 was going to be and they shoved it down our throats. They failed to sell it, and only after a truly abysmal failure did they relent and put a start button on Windows 8.1.
When that didn't placate the masses they announced that Windows 10 would have a start menu, but proceeded to then butcher the start menu completely, even before the insider program took off. They then ignored what the Windows Insiders had to say about the start menu and did whatever the fuck they felt like, resulting in the festering shitpile that we ended up with.
Here now, a year after release, they are doing the next "milestone" version with yet another major tweak to their deranged bullshit "start menu" and they still haven't produced anything resembling a useful UI.
Microsoft has been told repeatedly what the people want. To wit: "Windows 7 with feature (not UI!) enhancements, no spying, and full control over our own operating system. And no subscription fee."
Microsoft just don't fucking care.
It's their way or...actually, it's just their way. They don't listen to anyone. Sometimes they pretend to, with great fanfare and much bullshit, but after all is said and done all that anyone gets is a series of blogs detailing exactly why they aren't listening to any of the feedback they oh so carefully collected and why they are going to do exactly what they planned on from the very beginning anyways.
Microsoft are utterly incapable of listening to their customers, their partners, their developer community or even their own staff. Your world is whatever a Microsoft VP decides it is and you will fucking like it.
Nice bunch of people to do business with. Really makes me feel they're trustworthy. Really makes me think of them as a platform and a vendor I'm ready to commit millions upon millions of dollars to in the long term.
Really, just a nice bunch of people.
Name any corporation with a large installed base that is actually listening and investing in response to complaints from a relative minority - welcome to capitalism
I will NEVER trust Microsoft again either personally or professionally, in fact I am advising clients to dump them at every opportunity, but WHY?
So last year I signed up for OneDrive, I got 15gb of free storage
Recently I got an Email from Microsoft saying that they were reducing my free storage from 15gb to 5gb and I had to get my shit off their servers by August.
They did say I could avoid this with a one year trial of Office 365, no thank you.
Now my data was growing and at some point I would have started paying for data but it is the principle of the thing.
Nobody wants to have a gun put to their head, I do NOT want or need Office365, I am happy with Office 2010.
I will get all my files off and move them to Mega.nz where I get 50gb free but I will NEVER TRUST MICROSOFT again.
Ironically I had a client asking me about moving 485 to Office365, my advice was to move all users to OpenOffice and we are now working on a migration plan.
I do not know what idiot at Microsoft thought this would work for them but they should be fired, as a brand Microsoft is polluted for me now.
1) You're wrong factually on a few of the issues, e.g., OneDrive went from Unlimited -> 1TB not 5GBs, that makes significantly more sense.
2) Vendor Lockin? Are you seriously trying to argue that Oracle and SAP don't have worse locking than MSFT? This is a company that's migrating their core technology stacks to Linux. Linux SQL Server. Azure runs Linux VMs and containers and uses modern frameworks for blog storage. Xamarin has been open sourced. .Net core has been open sourced. The trend is to migrate away from vendor lock and compete on quality of service.
3) Obviously VPs will respond? Who else controls the P & L for that division. Microsoft deprecates services the same way that Apple does (180 degree changes in language spec from Swift 1.0 -> Swift 1.2). Or Google deprecates any new API. How many Google products have been deprecated over the years? That's because in a world where startups move fast and pivot hard. Large corporations need that same agility. Will the exact same services be offered indefinitely? No, but Microsoft has a much better track record than any consumer company (7 Years of support). And Oracle and SAP cut businesses as soon as they don't sell.
4) Why are you appealing to morals and emotions? Your argument is that it's because you have this weird notion of "trust." Microsoft isn't a monolithic entity. Staya doesn't control all of the product groups or have carte blanche. Each of the division heads controls the fate of their product, e.g., the SQL Server to Linux move will hurt the Windows Server division. But that's what it means to be an agile business in the 21st century. If your service becomes less used or irrelevant. It will probably need to be deprecated. That's how you get the best technology. SAP is about to be made irrelevant because they didn't move fast enough.
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