back to article The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

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 …

  1. Roq D. Kasba

    "Unfortunately, as refreshes near making sense of Microsoft is something I am repeatedly asked to do"

    I can't parse this - can anyone help?

    1. Electron Shepherd

      Parsed?

      I think it's:

      "Unfortunately, as clients get close to the point in their business cycle when they buy new hardware and/or software, I am often asked to help them understand what the current Microsoft product line is and how it can be used by the client's business to greatest effect."

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Optional

        If I am parsing Past Trevor correctly it is closer to

        "Unfortunately, as clients get close to the point in their business cycle when they buy new hardware and/or software, I am often asked to help them understand what Microsoft's products and services currently are, what the licensing is like and - most importantly - what Microsoft's plans are for the future.

        This includes having to assess the risks of staying with Microsoft as well as moving away from Microsoft, for new and existing workloads. Bearing in mind factors that go beyond just immediate technological considerations, such as long term concerns regarding licensing models, service existence, data sovereignty, ability to run workloads locally, lock-in, likelihood to want to move away from Microsoft at the next refresh, and whether it is better to eat the costs of moving now or defer them until later."

        They encourage me to write short, however. Sorry if it didn't parse quite right. That Past Trevor guy; not always the best at things...

    2. Sixtysix

      Insert comma here...

      Missing comma I think:

      "Unfortunately, as refreshes near, making sense of Microsoft is something I am repeatedly asked to do"

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Insert comma here...

        Missing comma I think

        I think you're right. Have asked people with superpowers to correct. Hurrah and cheering!

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Insert comma here...

          Cheers guys :)

  2. agatum

    Microsoft make a number of truly fantastic technologies and they are legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies.

    And that means precisely dick if customers don't trust you and don't buy all those fantastic techs.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Ah, but....

      "Microsoft make a number of truly fantastic technologies and they are legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies."

      ...I see the problem. Clouds shouldn't have cutting edges!

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Microsoft were never very sexy, but they worked the geek-chic look for some years in the '90s and early noughties. Nowadays, they're like the embarrassing parent who holds the pocket money and the car keys but simply hasn't a clue.

      I speak as an embarrassing parent.

    3. Zakhar

      Seriously!

      "It's hard to make purely technological arguments against Microsoft these days, and that's a good thing. They've come a long way in that regard and in doing so they have bettered the whole industry."

      Yes, and just an example : NTFS, the one and only File System for W$ is obviously awesome compared to ALL the other FS out there!

      That's of course not counting M$ still patent-trolling with the almost 50 years old FAT.

      Seriously Trevor!

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Seriously!

        Uh...ReFS? Have you seen the version of ReFS available in Server 2016? It is not to be sneered at.

        And patent trolling isn't a technological argument. It is a sociopolitical one.

        1. herman Silver badge

          Re: Seriously!

          OK, have you tried to actually use ReFS? First of all, a machine cannot boot off a ReFS partirion, it also doesn't work with databases. So what is it good for?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Seriously!

            In the 2012 iteration? Files. I've found it a lot less butts than NTFS for large numbers of files.

            The 2016 iteration has come a long way. Most notably in the advanced made for hosting VHDs. ReFS + Hyper-V is actually a decent combination. You know, if you use Hyper-V.

            Also: Databases? They go in a VM. Preferably a Linux VM. ReFS should only really rear its head as a place to put files you need to share via SMB or as an underlying store for Hyper-V VMs.

            Outside of that, Windows should really only be used inside VMs for legacy workloads that can't yet be migrated off. Those shouldn't be too complex or demanding. Some might be, I grant you, but most workloads can talk to files hosted on a network share or to a database hosted in another VM. Windows is for applications made by developers from the past. Nothing more.

            Get your databases on a proper DB server and thus on a proper OS!

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Seriously!

              "Databases? They go in a VM"

              Not in any large environment. Or for anything that needs licensing from Oracle.You would normally have an SQL Server (and maybe Oracle) cluster that hosted multiple databases with appropriately sized hardware. There is no gain to be had from virtualising such an already shared platform.

              "Get your databases on a proper DB server and thus on a proper OS!"

              Yep, SQL Server is the easy choice. My condolences for those still stuck with Oracle.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Seriously!

            "First of all, a machine cannot boot off a ReFS partirion, it also doesn't work with databases"

            "Users do need to be mindful that ReFS in its current iteration is not meant to be a replacement for NTFS. Instead, it is a complimentary file system, designed to handle tasks where NTFS falls short, such as file and data archival servers."

            "Later versions of ReFS may very well replace NTFS as the default Windows file system, but it isn’t going to happen soon. After all, it took NTFS 8 years from its introduction until it became the default file system for consumers in Windows XP"

          3. Mike Pellatt

            Re: Seriously!

            It's fair to say that after years of trying, we're finally realising that a single on-disc filesystem that's optimised for all use cases is probably not achievable. So I don't see your objection as (necessarily) an issue.

            As long as it's not forced on everyone....

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Seriously!

        > That's of course not counting M$ still patent-trolling with the almost 50 years old FAT.

        FAT12 in MS-DOS 1.x was 1981 which is only 35 years old, though 'Stand-Alone BASIC' was a year or two before that.

        But the patent-trolling seems to be based on VFAT with the 'feature' of generating both 8.3 and long filenames. This is only 21 years old as it came out in Windows 95.

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: Seriously!

          Oh, yes, that patent from Micros~1. I wonder if they have also patented "Hide extensions of known file types" and the "Microsoft sort"

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The lock in Question

    When not to trust the supplier?

    1) When the license key stops the product from working unless you keep paying for it.

    2) per call support costs. Who wants to handover a credit card number when your production server has gone down in the middle of the End-of-year processing and... well you know the rest.

    3) Inability to speak to a real person who actually understands the product rather than someone from south India called Joe who can't really speak English even though they are reading from a script.

    That enough to go on?

    Personally, as retirement looms I am actually looking forward to the day when using anything to come out of Redmond is history. no windows, Ribbon, forced updates and all that other other crappiness. Yes, there is life after microsoft and a good one at that.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: The lock in Question

      "1) When the license key stops the product from working unless you keep paying for it."

      Unless it's O365 or some other "cloud product", I'm not aware of MS products ceasing to work when the license expires.

      "2) per call support costs."

      The prices are per incident, not per call.

      What competing products do you use where you get free phone support?

      "3) Inability to speak to a real person who actually understands the product rather than someone from south India called Joe who can't really speak English even though they are reading from a script."

      My experiences with MS phone support haven't (yet) been transferred to Far East. The last person I received support from was actually a Dane who spoke English fluently. I'm sure MS has call centres in India too. YMMV and so forth.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: The lock in Question

        My experiences with MS phone support have almost exclusively been transferred to the far east. Namely: every single time I want to exercise downgrade rights. That's two hours per bloody key, every time.

        Similarly, Office 365 support is always front-ended by admittedly quite friendly folks with accents that I sadly have trouble understanding, and who seem to have trouble understanding me. We talk enough to exchange e-mails, and then things proceed forward, albeit very, very slowly. The same issues occur with MSDN and Microsoft Network support, especially when it is something like "your billing doesn't understand the fact that I am part of two separate organizations and my Action Pack won't let me renew". Etc.

        The only time I can remember ever having gotten someone who spoke an English dialect from one of the Five Eyes countries was when I called in for LCS support, shortly after the acquisition.

        MS support might eventually solve many of the problems presented to them, but I cannot say I've had good luck actually communicating with them, nor have they been particularly expeditious. That said, they're huge, and it could just be luck of the draw with me...

        1. frank ly Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The lock in Question

          My name is ...... I said ..... ok, ok,... foxtrot, romeo, alpha, november, er, er, the eleventh letter of the alphabet ..... no, not the seventh, the eleventh. Yes, it has happened, more than once. They sounded American but I suspect that they merely learned 'English' from American tutors or (more likely) watched many American tv series.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: The lock in Question

            "My name is ...... I said ..... ok, ok,... foxtrot, romeo, alpha, november, er, er, the eleventh letter of the alphabet"

            I have a slightly unusual name which I can now recite in the NATO alphabet without thinking about it, all thanks to call centres.

            1. RegGuy1

              I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

              NATO has its own alphabet? Wow. Is that to confuse the Russians?

              1. Herby Silver badge

                Re: I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

                Actually is it the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) alphabet.

                Link included for reference. You're welcome.

                1. herman Silver badge

                  Re: I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

                  The phonetic alphabet started with the Royal Navy before the 1st world war already. ICAO and NATO only came half a century later.

                  1. gzuckier

                    Re: I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

                    P as in Philip, G as in gnat, K as in knee....

          2. stu 4

            Re: The lock in Question

            The best one I got once was "yes - 5QG...'five two jay ?' no... five quebec golf 'oh sorry that doesn't help me - I don't know the phonetic alphabet thing'..... oh christ...

          3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: The lock in Question

            > They sounded American but I suspect that they merely learned 'English' from American tutors or (more likely) watched many American tv series.

            Poor folks in India. At least the Japanese have Ellen Baker (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/ellen-baker-new-horizon) to teach them English.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: The lock in Question

          "My experiences with MS phone support have almost exclusively been transferred to the far east. Namely: every single time I want to exercise downgrade rights. That's two hours per bloody key, every time."

          That's NOT professional support. That's license admin.

          Professional support is accessible here if you don't have a subscription / other support options:

          https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/gp/offerprophone?wa=wsignin1.0

          In many Microsoft support calls over a number of years I have never had anyone who didn't speak English fluently.

          1. Ian 55

            Re: The lock in Question

            Yeah, but you can threaten to destroy the planet if you don't like the service.

            Me? Never had a good experience with MS 'support'.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Terminator

            Re: The lock in Question

            >"In many Microsoft support calls over a number of years I have never had anyone who didn't speak English fluently."

            Hmmm... strangely plausible... worked "helpdesk" for a while?

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: The lock in Question

              "Hmmm... strangely plausible... worked "helpdesk" for a while?"!

              No one in a frontline helpdesk role would be calling MS Pro Support - it's a feature of 3rd / 4th line engineering type role. And yes for about a year, many years ago...

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The lock in Question

            "That's NOT professional support. That's license admin."

            Why should license admin not be considered a support task?

            1. Loud Speaker

              Re: The lock in Question

              Why should license admin not be considered a support task?<P>

              In order to minimize the number of new licensees.

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: The lock in Question

              "Why should license admin not be considered a support task?"

              The service he was using is a consumer focused service. Enterprises usually use MAK keys and have no normal need to make such transfers. There IS a professional support option for license admin via the Microsoft Licensing Portal and associated services but again those are always fluently English speaking.

              Anyway, personal license transfers are not in anyway part of Microsoft Professional Support (which is usually chargeable per incident).

          4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: The lock in Question

            > In many Microsoft support calls over a number of years I have never had anyone who didn't speak English fluently.

            I have had many phone calls from Microsoft Support saying that they have detected a problem in my machine* and they can fix it. They all have had strong Asian accents and haven't been fluent in English.

            * Interestingly, I don't run Windows though.

            1. Jonathan Richards 1

              Hello, my name is Gavin

              Interestingly, when the scammers are asked point-blank if they're calling from Microsoft they get a bit jumpy, and hedge around the question: they say things like "We are the Windows Support Department", but hesitate actually to lie about being Microsoft(R). I guess that Microsoft's lawyers are a bit scary, even in Mumbai.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Hello, my name is Gavin

                "I guess that Microsoft's lawyers are a bit scary, even in Mumbai."

                A requirement of trademarks is that you should defend them. If you fail to do that you lose them.

                The odd thing is that if you use the Microsoft mail service under one of its ever-changing brand names the spam with the lowest probability of being filtered out is that purporting to come from themselves and yet it's the spam they should have the greatest success with - they should be able to find out whether they sent it. If they were ever taking misuse of their trademarks to court this lackadaisical approach to passing-off attempts which they could control would provide a stack of evidence against them

            2. rnturn

              Re: The lock in Question

              I've gotten a few of those calls. I egg them on saying something like "Oh... that sounds serious. Tell me more." After wasting several minutes of their time, I tell them I don't use Windows, that they don't have a clue about my system, and laugh and laugh until they hang up. Then their phone number goes into my call blocker application.

          5. nijam

            Re: The lock in Question

            > That's NOT professional support. That's license admin.

            License admin is the most "professional" of professional support. Tech support, however, can be handed off to anybody who's been provided with a manual.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: The lock in Question

        ""2) per call support costs."

        The prices are per incident, not per call.

        What competing products do you use where you get free phone support?"

        It IS free if it's found to be a fault or bug in Microsoft software - the incident is credited back.

        1. Roo
          Windows

          Re: The lock in Question

          "It IS free if it's found to be a fault or bug in Microsoft software - the incident is credited back."

          YMMV because that hinges on getting them to accept that there is a fault in their product. I haven't been too lucky with that, although in fairness to MS they did acknowledge the bugs years later as a result of being used as an exploit. :(

        2. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: The lock in Question

          My recollection is that with both HP and Sun (later Oracle) we had unlimited support, paid for on an annual subscription for both hardware and software. We cheaped out and bought only 0800-1700 local time, though, and there was a per-incident charge for after hours and weekends. I think the 24x7 support rates were about double, and over about 15 years the question came up only once, so we won on the deal. Calling them off hours would have violated the Anti-Deficiency Act, and we thought things through carefully and fixed the problem ourselves, the alternative being to wait until morning and take a hit for customer down time.

    2. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: The lock in Question

      " I am actually looking forward to the day when using anything to come out of Redmond is history."

      I don't think all that ass-hattery is exclusive to Redmond. I don't know that Apple is much better. Nor Firefox. And I recently (finally) tried CentOS 7 with all the foolishness that is systemd and grub2, and I have to say that feels strongly like something Redmond would do. In fact, RH's decisions make me sad now. I used to enjoy being a Linux admin when it was more unixy, but this new systemd thing is the pits, and grub2 has a config file that's stupidly long and complicated for just a boot loader. And worse, that stuff is so deeply embedded in the distro now that it's near impossible to rip-n-replace. So we've finally come to the point where my favorite Linux distro is no longer about choice, it's about doing things ONE way and doing them poorly.

      It seems like the entire computer industry is in motion to "Do What It Wants To Do" and fuck any and all of us admins who don't agree or don't want to do it that way. Hell, it's not just admins, it's ANY competent computer user. I guess the money is big enough now for all these companies that they don't give a shit about those of us on the "outside" who got them to where they are today. Microsoft was just one of the early companies to get to that point back in the mid-90's. Now the rest are catching up. Sad.

      1. Mr Flibble

        Re: The lock in Question

        I'm happily avoiding Microsith for the most part. When I can't do otherwise, I'll use their stuff – in a VM if that's practical, or on borrowed hardware otherwise.

        Regarding systemd and grub, well… I wonder if Red Hat have some Hat Red of the old ways. I'm still using sysvinit and lilo; and Devuan, being a mere sideways step away from Debian, is looking tempting.

      2. Jim-234

        Re: The lock in Question

        It's going to be awhile before it's fully up to speed, but check out Devuan for Int freedom!

        Run by a bunch of people who hate being told they have to change everything just to accomodate somebody's commercial support plans.

        It's getting near impossible these days to have an OS where you know what is going on at boot or for that matter when it is running.

        https://devuan.org

        1. Pirate Dave
          Pirate

          Re: The lock in Question

          @jim-234

          Thanks, Jim, I'll take a look at Devuan. I don't think I've run a debian-type system in probably 15 years.

          I don't guess anyone has forked Red Hat yet to create a systemd-free version, have they?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pirate Dave: The lock in Question

        Try out the BSD's. I've gone from CentOS 6.x, to 7 (ugh), then veered into FreeBSD instead.

        There are some command differences to get used to, but they're pretty minor. Things on whole are just a lot simpler, and pretty much "just work". Like it should be.

        1. Pirate Dave
          Pirate

          Re: Pirate Dave: The lock in Question

          BSDs - I'd thought about that, but hadn't seriously pursued it. Had also thought about Slackware, but are they even still a thing? The latest version I saw in their ISO download area was from like Sept. 2013, but maybe I was looking in the wrong place.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The lock in Question

        "I guess the money is big enough now for all these companies that they don't give a shit about those of us on the "outside" who got them to where they are today."

        It also means that the money is big enough for any upstart who decides to produce a decent product and support it.

      5. Cap'n Kernel

        Re: The lock in Question

        You're right about grub2. Almost makes you want to go back to the "good old days" of LILO!

      6. John Sanders
        Facepalm

        Re: The lock in Question

        Enough about the systemd crap please, learn how it works and then compare to systemv.

        And if you do not understand why grub has a large configuration file that you should not be touching (/etc/default/grub is where you change stuff) you strike me as someone who doesn't read any documents, not just the instruction manuals but also the release notes.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: The lock in Question

          systemd is more than a replacement for systemv. And that's the whole fucking problem.

          That, and binary logs. Fuck binary logs.

        2. Pirate Dave
          Pirate

          Re: The lock in Question

          @John Sanders - thanks for judging someone you don't even know, mate. I've learned enough about how systemd works to know that I will not use it in the future if I can at all avoid it (and for right now, I CAN avoid it). So forgive me for saying I don't want my system to work that way.

          As to reading the manuals, well, you got me there. I wasn't expecting such a drastic change from the Red Hat I've been using since 5.2 (that's the 5.2 from when it was just Red Hat Linux, BEFORE there was a RHEL, And I did read extensively back in those days), so was completely flabbergasted to see an /etc/rc3.d directory that only has one K script and one S script, and a grub2 config file that's 3 or 4 pages long (whereas the grub config files on my other machines are usually around 20-25 lines long, including comments). Again, forgive me for saying I don't want my system to work that way.

          The end result is the major distros are stripping away our choices in something that's fundamental to how our Linux boxes work, and that's a damn shame. Maybe, to some people, systemd is the greatest thing since binary math, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us should have to quit doing decimal math just to make them happy.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The lock in Question

      "Inability to speak to a real person who actually understands the product rather than someone from south India called Joe who can't really speak English even though they are reading from a script."

      Unfortunately this criterion makes it increasingly hard to find a vendor of anything.

  4. elDog Silver badge

    It's no longer just an OS and some applications

    Microsoft has become a middle world where the denizens don't even know about the outside. The denizens now include the users and the developers and the sysadmins who have grown up in this corporate cocoon and can't fathom whole worlds or even universes beyond. Every now and then a light will shine in from some alternate universe but it is quickly smothered.

    But, just think if Google and Amazon hadn't threatened this comfortable spot, we'd still be getting software delivered on CDs and needing to be "installed". How quaint!

    1. Maventi

      Re: It's no longer just an OS and some applications

      @elDog: Perfect summary. Trevor, delete the rest of the comments. This one nails it.

      I suspected this anyway but after meeting a Microsoft employee and having a good chat about things it became evidently clear that they simply cannot comprehend doing something a computer that doesn't involve their products. It's so entrenched into the ecosystem that it really does filter right down to an entire community of sysamins, managers and even users. Even when they get incredibly frustrated by things like the ribbon, GWX, etc, they struggle to leave the comfort blanket, despite it often feeling prickly.

      The problem with this is that it tends to alienate those who don't like the concept, so those who go elsewhere (Android, Mac, 'nix, etc) find it a struggle play along from the outside when nobody in there sees a need to reciprocate. Hence the strong anti-Microsoft mindset we set on sites like this.

      I don't believe Microsoft is actively very malicious any more. They used to be; it was proven with leaked documents and court cases (EEE, OOXML/ISO, etc). They are simply still trying to overcome the above mindset, and there's an enormous amount of inertia both inside the company and across the industry.

      There's still a long way to go however (ExFAT anyone?) so it really comes down to whether they can pull their collective finger out before the world/industry finishes waking up. They make some great products, let's just see if they can acknowledge that others do too now without trying to squeeze or buy them out of the market.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    HEAR HEAR!

    Hear from a nonWin PC, that is.

    Meanwhile my other PC is applying the latest "re-apply WIndows 10 upgrade offer nagware" "important fixes". It fails at applying it though (KB3035583)

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: HEAR HEAR!

      Amusingly mine applied this last night. Got down this morning to find that it had failed and wanted to try again. Fortunately for me I'd found out what it did in the intervening time and promptly blocked it, but I remain curious as to why it didn't install in the first place.

      1. tojb
        Flame

        Re: HEAR HEAR!

        on my mum's lappy I had to kill a bunch of processes by hand that weren't being stopped and restarted as they should have been by the updater. I also had to take it out into the cold night air to stop it going into emergency shutdown from overheating. That was a fun 6 hours work for no particular benefit that I or Mum noticed.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: HEAR HEAR!

          My Asus Transformer, even when reverted to factory condition, doesn't have enough "disc" space for the installer to work. So it fails every time, because the backup of the old system uses up all the disc space.

  6. Lunatik
    Thumb Up

    First paragraph

    Says it all.

  7. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    In spite of moral turpitude, MS giant bank balance and huge cash flow means ...

    ... we are stuck with it until a paradigm shift, like the one from mainframes and terminals to networks, servers and fat clients, takes place.

    Smartphones might be the vanguard of that shift. Perhaps not.

  8. gv

    Not Just Microsoft

    I think the same arguments apply to pretty much all the vendors currently trying to move customers to the "cloud".

  9. jake Silver badge

    I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

    So far, no problems.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

      They make good mice and keyboards...

      As for software - yeah - I can do without it.

      1. Roo
        Windows

        Re: I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

        "They make good mice and keyboards..."

        Fair play to MS on that front. I've found the low-end (ie: cheap) wireless KB & Mouse combo I bought a few years back to be brilliant.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

          Do they really ? Aren't they made for them by Logitech ?

        2. Sooty

          Re: I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

          "They make good mice and keyboards..."

          They used to be the market leader in game controllers, until they canned the pc controller market to do xbox stuff that wasn't as good. There's nothing quite like a sidewinder force feedback joystick for certain types of games.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: I stopped using Redmond products in the year 2000.

      My last two Microsoft problems:

      "The compiler will work broadly in line with the printed documentation." The compiler might have come with a shed load of online documentation, but the only thing on paper was a small page describing how to install. I followed the instructions carefully first thing in the morning, and let the computer chug away at the install process until after lunch. I had work to do, so I stopped the install and my shiny new compiler CD had to wait until Friday afternoon. On Monday morning, the computer was still chugging away - hard disks head movements were very audible back then.

      The first half of my transition into a penguin began that day, but I still needed some cross-compilers not supported by gcc. "Of course XP can run all DOS software". It didn't, but a friend had some unused technical support questions left that were about to expire, and I remember the precise response he was able to get from Microsoft: "God hates you".

      DOSEMU came to my rescue, and since then I have been a complete penguin. Ditching Microsoft has not been entirely without problems. When PHBs ranted because some other version of Microsoft Word screwed up all the formatting in his report, I had to make a real effort not to ROTFL.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What!!!

    Microsoft make a number of truly fantastic technologies and they are legitimately at the cutting edge of a number of hybrid cloud technologies

    Like what?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: What!!!

      All these are pretty hard to replace, and are versatile, capable and at the cutting edge:

      Azure Active Directory / Classic Active Directory

      Azure Stack

      Visual Studio

      SQL server

      Exchange <-- a miserable pig, but less of a horrifying cluster**** than any other mail server at enterprise scale!

      Dynamics

      ----

      Not exactly at the cutting edge of anything, but much beloved by me:

      Windows XP

      Windows 7

      Server 2008 R2

      Server 2012 R2 <-- Well, okay, the UI is ass covered in more ass, but much of the OS was good

      Small Business Server (R.I.P old friend.)

      Office 2003 and Office 2010 (With UBitMenu)

      1. oldcoder

        Re: What!!!

        Exchange a good mail server? Scale?

        You gotta be kidding. One lowly MIPS based server handled more email than 5 honking big exchange servers... and never crashed without a power failure.

        1. John Sanders
          Linux

          Re: What!!!

          I once worked on an ISP where 2 really ancient postfix boxes dealt with 10+ million emails a week.

          They hardly gave us any problems ever.

          The exchange servers... these were a whole different story.

          Exchange is widely used because of the AD+exchange+outlook combination.

          At the time the companies producing alternatives were greedy and did try for decades to charge 110% of what MS charges for Exchange. Had they set-up for more realistic prices, MS would had have a lot of competition and the groupware and messaging market would be lots more healthier.

          Nowadays MS using Office365 can undercut anyone with their cloud shenanigans, so no serious alternatives to Exchange are being developed any more.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: What!!!

            Exchange is a hell of a lot more than just e-mail. And the fact that you are making a comparison between Exchange and Postfix tells me that you are choosing to ignore that very critical aspect.

            Also: a single server with 2 mailboxes handling 10M+ emails a week is easy. A mail cluster that is geodistributed across the planet handling 1B+ emails a week across 250,000 mailboxes with ingress and egress clusters that stretch across continents is something else entirely.

            Postfix is a goddamned child's toy compared to Exchange.

            (Though Postfix is the mail server I most commonly deploy. It's a very well built child's toy.)

            1. nijam

              Re: What!!!

              > Exchange is a hell of a lot more than just e-mail

              ...which is precisely why it is a poor email server.

      2. jglathe

        Re: What!!!

        Dynamics was cutting edge. Now a really big annoyance with the fucked-up GUI. Hard to replace: definitely :(

      3. Ilsa Loving

        Re: What!!!

        You mean the Azure Active Directory that handled federation so badly that it left a ginormous gaping hole for anyone to suck anyone elses user credentials from it?

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What!!!

        "SQL server"

        Forced to use it on contract. Give me Informix any day.

      5. Tchou
        WTF?

        Re: What!!!

        Visual Studio => Brilliant way to force .Net versions, no major innovations for years, useless changes in UI (hoooo the bckground color is now dark-blue instead of grey and all menus switched places!

        Windows as an OS : Obvious decline, now 1 out of 3 versions is barely usable (xp, 7), still bulky, slow, shit packaged, disrespect its user, becoming worse and worse

        Programming languages : shit piles above shit piles. Anyone who compared the assembly output of a native code and a .net code knows for a fact .Net code is on average 3-5 times slower for any program that remotely do anything useful (that mean a simple nearly empty for loop doesn't count)

        Services : Pay for my servers so I can leak your metadata (or outright data in certain cases) to marketing, information companies/agencies

        IIS : http://gwan.ch/benchmark Nothing to add.

        Office : The *useful* parts already existed on word processor that ran on my Atari ST. The rest is a quagmirish nightmare.

        SSRS : Anyone who used it know it makes one curse at an abnormal rate

        SSIS : nice concept gone wrong

        1. Roo
          Windows

          Re: What!!!

          "Visual Studio => Brilliant way to force .Net versions, no major innovations for years, useless changes in UI (hoooo the bckground color is now dark-blue instead of grey and all menus switched places!"

          Charging extra for a 64bit (partially working) profiler struck me as being particularly cheap and it made it harder for Windows devs to write good quality code for Microsoft's own platform. Not very bright folks.

    2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Paris Hilton

      What are technologies? Which ones does MS make?

      There was a time the people could trust Microsoft. Alas, then they put and end to Trustworthy Computing, which cost 2100 jobs, when rival Cupertino lost only 1 Jobs.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/19/ms_shutters_twc/

  11. Neil Alexander

    "If enough customers disagree with Microsoft loudly enough a response will appear on a VP of somethingorother's blog detailing why Microsoft Knows Best and thus nothing will change."

    Unfortunately accurate.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Microsoft does not fix problems with their main product

    My problem with Microsoft is encapsulated by the continued existence of my favourite Windows bug :

    File Explorer cannot, since Windows XP, handle long filepaths that File Explorer itself creates.

    They are too much of a behemoth to have any corporate pride or sense of responsibility for issues with their main product, and all their efforts are put into sticking new stuff into it - new stuff that will have issues of its own, that will also go unfixed for decades.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft does not fix problems with their main product

      and all their efforts are put into sticking new stuff into it

      So it's a product gangbang?

      I can't say I disagree.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft does not fix problems with their main product

      "File Explorer cannot, since Windows XP, handle long filepaths that File Explorer itself creates."

      Yes, this. I was unable to back up a W7 system a while ago because a bug in a Java program (sign against evil eye) caused a folder nesting too deep to unravel. I eventually fixed it with a script but I can't for the life of me remember how.

  13. LDS Silver badge

    MS entered full panic mode when it saw with horror that people had no hurry to upgrade from XP and 2003 (while it didn't understand why 7 went well instead...). And that happened also when mobile for end users, and Linux/Amazon on the server side started to really cut grass under its feet.

    It should have been pretty clear years ago that the "upgrade frenzy" would have reached a plateau when software had become powerful enough to serve users well enough for years (it's happening for mobile phones as well, now they are no longer the fashionable novelty and hw/sw improvements are no longer huge steps forward) - companies like MS should have had planned for it. It looks It didn't. First, it tried with a too ambitious Vista which couldn't deliver. With 8 it wasn't unable to understand not every system was a Surface Pro, in the race for some space in the new hyped tablet market, again, due to the panic mode it was.

    It looks the wrong people inside the company took advantage of it. Those who proposed a far more aggressive stance *against* the customer, not a review of product plans and execution.

    Even if MS wasn't ever the nicest company, usually it was very aggressive against competitors, not customers. That as changed, and increasingly so.

    The new management decided it could milk customers easily, strategies and products needs to be designed with that in mind. Meanwhile new artificial obstacles and barriers are created to make users life "miserable" if they don't comply with the new strategy. Basic customers rights are thrown out of the Window(s).

    Alienating the most conscious user base doesn't look to worry them. Probably, throwing some free and open-source bone is part of the strategy to quiet some of them down. Right now MS believes it had worked. Only time will tell if it had really.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "software had become powerful enough to serve users well enough for years"

      Just a nitpick, but it's the hardware that became good enough to serve users well for years.

      Once upon a time, each year brought hardware advances that improved performance by 20% or more. In those days, you upgraded because not upgrading meant not reaping the benefits, and the ROI was indisputable.

      Today, you get 5% performance improvement - if that.

      Software has just reached a point where the bloat is not entirely capable of drowning the hardware anymore.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: "software had become powerful enough to serve users well enough for years"

        No, there was a time when software upgrades bought improvements big enough to be worth the price and effort, even on the same hardware.

        On the server side you saw and reaped real benefits from going, for example from NT to 2000 (AD, especially) to 2003 (64 bit support, especially). After that, improvements were less far reaching for the majority of customers, usually just for the high-end ones, the others saw just new costs and little more.

        On the desktop side moving to 2000/XP from Win 9x meant sounder systems, while from NT it meant improved device and graphics support. 7 added the full 64 bit support XP lacked, while correcting the Vista defects. While both 8 and 10 still add improvements, again they are less compelling than before, while introducing unneeded issues.

        This is true also for a lot of application software, both server and desktop side. New releases may offer little new unless you are a specific high-end power user needing exactly that feature. A new DB offering fancy NoSQL and BigData features may not interest you at all when you're just running the same accounting/invoicing workloads. Adobe moved to the subscription model too because it had issue to compel most users to upgrade Photoshop as well...

        Sure, some of those upgrades often required new hardware, but not every time. I had system for which the hardware was fully exploited only after a newer OS was installed - upgrading to 64 bit for example resolved a lot of issue due to 32 bit memory constraints, and it was worth the price of the new OS (on the HW side, it may have meant just some new RAM modules).

        Now hardware has outpowered software up to the point you can consolidate many servers on the same hardware and still run the same workloads - but that's an issue for hardware vendors, not software ones.

  14. Len Goddard

    Good reasons

    "If you're already using Microsoft technologies, then chances are you're pretty locked in to them. Microsoft are experts at ensuring that moving away from any of their platforms is a high friction event. This means that there needs to be a very good reason to move away from Microsoft, regardless of the scope of the product in question, and the move will be both painful and costly."

    The very good reason is that you no longer have to deal with Microsoft.

    Unfortunately getting away from M$ is like quitting heroin. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good reasons

      Unfortunately getting away from M$ is like quitting heroin. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets.

      and the more explosive the diarrhoea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad experience

      From a bad experience point of view, you have just described Apple to a tee A totally locked in Eco system, unless its a another apple device your screwed and then screwed again because you are going to be charged an extortionate amount just to get 2 devices to communicate.

      never had this problem when I had my MS/Android /Linux mixed environment.

      There is some good news from my misfortune, I have realized there is enough stupid people out there who will pay loads a money for my Apple stuff that I will be able to return to for a tenth of the cost an Eco system that is actually useful

    3. julian.smith

      Re: Unfortunately getting away from M$ is like quitting heroin....

      It's not that hard

      I quit Windows a year ago for Linux Mint ... a few teething problems but long since over.

      The wife has been on Linux Mint for 6 months ... barely noticed the change.

      So Windows is still a thing? Who knew!

      It sure isn't my problem.

  15. bombastic bob Silver badge

    WOW!

    nice way of putting it all in that article.

    I have often said SIMILAR THINGS (and on Microsoft's own discussion board over at answers.microsoft regarding Win-10-nic, even), and generally contrasted them to 'Business 101', aka "the customer is always right, and Burger King's "Have it YOUR way" policy.

    What Microsoft is doing is TAKE it OUR way, or we SHOVE IT DOWN YOUR THROAT, so we can (later on) start charging you for it as a SUBSCRIPTION because we *CAN*.

    Their giveaway program for Win-10-nic is like a drug dealer giving free samples so he can later scam people with confiscatory pricing, once his 'customers' are addicted to whatever substances he's selling.

    This policy dates back to the early noughties during the whole ".Net" initiative. A bit of study would reveal that PASSPORT was their new tollbooth for the information superhighway. Nobody bought into it back then, and then "dot bomb" happened. But ~15 years later that undead horse is BACK again, as the "Microsoft Logon". Who knew?

    So, again, WOW to what was said in that article. I'm *VERY* happy to see that at least SOMEONE ELSE besides me thinks that way. Many thanks, kudos, 'dittos', etc.

    1. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: WOW!

      " A bit of study would reveal that PASSPORT was their new tollbooth for the information superhighway."

      Yes, Microsoft's effort failed, as it should have. But somehow Facebook's succeeded. I still don't understand why so many sites allow users to login with their Facebook info. They must all want to be associated with the hip, cool kids.

      1. Loud Speaker

        Re: WOW!

        They must all want to be associated with the hip, cool kids.

        I thought he target market for Facebook was 14 year old girls with no real friends. I can't understand why anyone else would use it.

  16. Nezumi
    Flame

    It had to be said

    IMHO, it's *properly* reaching the tipping scale.

    SatNav has done cock all except tighten the screws. My personal favorite from recent memory is that Win' 10 Pro' can't block the Store. Please provide a pertinent technical reason why this is suddenly not possible.

    BTW, nudging me to a subscription/hybrid license to try and convince the street you're still relevant isn't one of them.

    Fuck Off.

    You need to be careful SatNav. MS has no control over the endpoints that actually matter. If I have to use use cloud, then why would I use you?

    You. Have. Failed.

  17. VinceH Silver badge

    "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."

    FTFY. No need for the rest of the article.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
      Pint

      I wish I could give that a double upvote...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trust in Microsoft

    When will the Reg get around to discussing this?

    http://www.economyofmechanism.com/office365-authbypass.html

    Or "what happens when your cloud provider fscks security?"

  19. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Shitting on weather forecasters isn't enough

    Gamers - feel our wrath!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Shitting on weather forecasters isn't enough

      COMEDY GOLD!

  20. Philip Storry

    This is why I've still not bought a personal/home O365 sub.

    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...

    1. Adze

      Re: This is why I've still not bought a personal/home O365 sub.

      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.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re:Mostly just for the very rare occasion when I may need to have 100% compatibility

      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.

    3. John Sanders
      Linux

      Re: This is why I've still not bought a personal/home O365 sub.

      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.

  21. Mayhem

    Licencing

    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.

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: Licencing

      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?

      1. Mayhem

        Re: Licencing

        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.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Licencing

      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.

  22. 0laf Silver badge
    Windows

    I don't disagree with the article but are Google and Apple any better?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Are Google and Apple any better?

      Yes.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Are Google & 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*

      1. RegMigrant

        Re: Are Google & Apple any better?

        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.

  23. tiggity Silver badge

    High Friction

    "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!)

  24. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Like a drug pusher...

    "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...

  25. John F. Jackson

    Complete Trust

    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'.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Complete Trust

      "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?

  26. abedarts

    Agreed - I don't trust them, hate their stuuf and don't use any of it

    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.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Agreed - I don't trust them, hate their stuuf and don't use any of it

      "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.".

      1. Vic

        Re: Agreed - I don't trust them, hate their stuuf and don't use any of it

        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[1] were not possible from the terminal - you had to use a remote machine...

        Vic.

        [1] Luckily for me, I cannot remember the details :-)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As they say...

    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.

    1. Zap

      Re: As they say...

      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.

  28. Psymon

    I'm not so sure it's ALL Microsofts hubris

    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...

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I'm not so sure it's ALL Microsofts hubris

      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)

    2. Zap

      Class Action

      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

      1. RegMigrant

        Re: Class Action

        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.

  29. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Microsoft makes a number of truly fantastic technologies

    "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.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember Microsoft pulling the plug on

    .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...

  31. Justin Clift

    Win 10 push is just to stop revenue crash

    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.

  32. elDog Silver badge

    Invent/make vs. buy

    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.

  33. nilfs2
    Windows

    Stockholm syndrome...

    ...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.

    1. Tchou
      Holmes

      Re: Stockholm syndrome...

      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.

  34. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Real Issue

    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.

  35. Captain DaFt

    Just a quibble

    "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!

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Just a quibble

      If you shoot at the king then you must kill the king. Do not uselessly fail a pole at them.

  36. spanner

    You forgot the bit about Microsoft being a convicted software pirate!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  38. Herby Silver badge

    Just a question:

    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.

    1. fung0

      Re: Just a question:

      Has Microsoft done ANYTHING original (other than Bob and Clippy)?

      A few examples do come to mind:

      * drag and drop

      * the taskbar, the toolbar

      * ClearType

      * scroll-wheel mice

      * SideWinder Dual Strike, SideWinder Freestyle Pro (not successful, but definitely original)

      * Surface (the original one, not the laptop)

      * DirectX

      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.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Just a question:

        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.

      2. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: Just a question:

        * 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.

      3. Tchou
        WTF?

        Re: Just a question:

        Drag and drop was available on my Atari ST GEM, together with icon or text display, scroll bars, minimizing/maximizing window button, etc..etc..

      4. Tchou
        Facepalm

        Re: Just a question:

        The task bar was already here (and very similar to what Apple did decades after) on Acorn systems

  39. Mark Allread

    "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.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      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.

      1. RegMigrant

        So what?

        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

  40. Zap

    everything hinges on trust

    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.

  41. JamesPatt

    You're Wrong

    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.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: You're Wrong

      1) You are wrong: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/25/microsoft_emails_end_to_massive_cloud_storage/ <-- So sorry the facts don't support you!

      2) Where did I argue Oracle and SAP don't have vendor lock-in? Where did I argue that only Microsoft have vendor lockin? Making stuff up?

      3) Again, you're just rolling out random vendors. Just because the other kids at school set people on fire just to watch them burn doesn't make it okay that you do so. It doesn't matter what Apple or Google or any other vendor do. They will be analysed on their own merits. What matters, when considering Microsoft, is what Microsoft does, how it does it, and who it ignores when it does so.

      4) I appeal to morals because morals are important. If the individuals and businesses you have don't have morals they can't be trusted. That isn't emotional. That's rational, pragmatic and logical. You wouldn't trust Frank Underwood to do anything he said. Why would you trust Microsoft?

      Reputation and integrity matter. A lot more than your factless yet slavish devotion. Reputation and integrity - also known as morals - are the diagnostic indicators of how likely the vendor in question is to screw you.

      Microsoft doesn't believe in the importance of trust. Clearly that has now trickled down to its fanpeople.

      Charming.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: You're Wrong

      "That's because in a world where startups move fast and pivot hard. Large corporations need that same agility."

      Quite the opposite. Customers need stability. They expect large corporations to provide that because the startups can't or won't. It makes no sense to try to ape competitors who are still going to be better. It makes good sense to provide something the competitors don't.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3rd time no comments posted over the weekend... WTF Reg Team..???

    "The vast majority of comments will appear on the site automatically. This is because we trust you to follow the house rules."

    If staff are on holiday why doesn't the above guideline apply?

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: 3rd time no comments posted over the weekend... WTF Reg Team..???

      We're sorry you had to wait.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3rd time no comments posted over the weekend... WTF Reg Team..???

        You could at least warn us there's a posting delay. That would work....

  43. Mike6

    In plenty of good company

    It's not that I disagree with any of your points, it's just that I don't see how they don't apply to any/all of the potential alternatives. The technical specifics might differ but all the major OS/cloud/whatever providers have had their snafus. Microsoft's might be more public but that's the only real difference.

    Better the devil you know and all that...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: In plenty of good company

      Many vendors aren't trustworthy. Microsoft is particularly untrustworthy because they repeatedly demonstrate that they don't care about trust.

      Look, everyone screws up. Most vendors, when they do so, they work to rebuild trust. Microsoft hasn't, doesn't and for my money never will. So for me, they are the poster child for this discussion.

      They are emphatically not the only vendor that needs keeping an eye on.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win10 = SmartTV = Android....

    -* All three offer the illusion of choice but is it real or fake? I believe all three preclude choice...

    -* Stores in my area don't offer anything other than the options above. If I ask for a laptop with Linux because I don't want to pay for Win10, I get blank stares. More so when I explain I don't ever want to read the 20-500 page privacy agreement that comes with an LG / Samsung Smart TV. If I ask for a phone / tablet that isn't Android or IOS, I just get sneered at....

    -* There seems to be two camps here...The first believes that nothing M$ has done so far will change anything, certainly not improve Linux uptake. The other group have never felt more empowered to say f@ck off M$, despite many being long-time M$ pros.

    -* I see M$ and Smart TV's and Android / IOS as the same evil. Products pretending to offer choice but they're really just weapons of mass slurption....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Win10 = SmartTV = Android....

      "I don't want to pay for Win10"

      You'll probably pay more without it because the W10 licence has been offset by all the crapware the maker's been paid to put on it. Just check the Secure Boot hasn't been tied down, buy it and then blow away the junk and bask in the righteousness of it.

  45. Door614a
    Devil

    Re: What action would you give / take?

    I look at Microsoft's influence over the last 30 years and wince, lets see, what firewall? Windows Kerberos borked, no firewall since XP and NTFS is such an awe-inspired file system, complete with Lo_Jack for laptops, hidden UEFI particions and other less than agreeable bull-shit, like NSA_Key and your CAPI or crypto API file.. Redmond blows, it blows chunks, in more ways than ONE.. and lets face it not usre what you CAPI file does then you can always decompile the DLL.. although MS would probably scream Developers, developers, developers.. Next time I want a PC with extra horse shit, I'll install android or microsoft windex.. if I want one that refuses to spy on its end users I'll choose one that doesnt invade user space whilst being aware of APACHE end licence and Lord Xeno (Unix) Scientology mixed in with ET's people from Epsilon Theta and MIT's technology department.. Yeah those guys are smoking something and it's not a Green Door if its got Android and its a Kernel.

    Redmond needs to get with the program, bit-locker fucked encryption sold keys to third parties and money in the bank.. Along with LM_Hash.. bill Gates is some kind of complete cunt who never liked the fact FreeDOS did it so much better than MS in the first place.. but hey, MS in your Linux and Nix server, embrace, extend, extinguish! Anyone for a cream pie??

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows10 = SmartTV = Android....

    * All three offer the illusion of choice but is it real or fake? I believe all three preclude choice...

    * Stores in my area don't offer anything other than the options above. If I ask for a laptop with Linux because I don't want to pay for Win10, I get blank stares. More so when I explain I don't ever want to read the 20-500 page privacy agreement that comes with an LG / Samsung Smart TV. If I ask for a phone / tablet that isn't Android or IOS, I just get sneered at....

    * There seems to be two camps here...The first believes that nothing M$ has done so far will change anything, certainly not improve Linux uptake. The other group have never felt more empowered to say f@ck off M$, despite many being long-time M$ pros.

    * I see M$ and Smart TV's and Android / IOS as the same evil. Products pretending to offer choice but they're really just weapons of mass slurption....

  47. Jeff Lewis

    What is this new thing of referring to a corporation in the plural. "Microsoft were" and "Microsoft make" for example. While it is true that a corporation is composed of many individuals, it is one entity and should be referred to in the singular: "Microsoft was" and "Microsoft makes".

    It's as odd as suggesting that since you're made up of cells, you're a they, not a he or a she.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "You" aren't really an individual. You aren't a single layer of consciousness. Hell, "you" aren't even a collection of cells with the same DNA: you're mostly scaffolding that supports a diverse colony of different bacteria.

      Your primary consciousness - the particular set of neural impulses that likes to believe it is the individual known as "you" - represents a tiny fraction of your body's total neural output. Your endocrine system has more active neurons going about operating in an automatic fashion than the neurons responsible for "higher thought".

      Even then, your "higher thought" is massively influenced and regulated by non neural impulses (for example: hormone levels) many of which don't originate in your brain. Those non-neural signalling mechanisms are the result of the endocrine system, the spine, your non-brain internal organs as well as your bacterial and viral populations.

      "You" are an emergent property of a vast electochemical system composed of numerous discrete entities. Remove any one and the whole can change in dramatically, or fail altogether.

      The concept you have of yourself as an individual is nothing more than the flawed product of ego.

      So now let's discuss grammar of corporations...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long ago

    I once worked for an accounting software company based in what they felt was the east Midlands.

    This was in the fascinating days of Windows 3.11 and other silly ideas.

    We would regularly repeat to customers that $Product does not work under Windows. Their Microsoft reps would convince them that of course it did and customer would shortly call us asking why our software had corrupted its data. Return to start and repeat.

    I've been gone from there a while now and they do sell more "modern" software now. Was it an improvement to be driven from simple reliability because of MS misleading users? A multi-user payroll system is just that. A purchase ledger is a purchase ledger and so on.

    Stick a pretty GUI on it and management expects more reports. More reports use more paper. Increased paper usage kills more trees. Conclusion? Microsoft is not environmentally friendly either!

  49. ParasiteParty

    100% Agree

    Very eloquently put and sums up my feelings too. I have been in professional IT support for 20 years and I am tired of them fuc*ing us about.

    I am giving myself until January 14, 2020 (Windows 7 EOS) to move as many people as I can away from Microsoft, probably will move to Linux / OSX where possible.

  50. jb99

    The problem is there is nothing better.

    Apple make microsoft look like saints, plus their stuff is mostly awful shiny useless tat.

    Linux was a great alternative until the powers that be decided, microsoft style, to impose the steaming heap that is systemd on us, making all of the big distributions useless.

    Basically there is no choice. Microsoft is awful but so is everything else so might as well use it.

    1. ParasiteParty

      Re: The problem is there is nothing better.

      jb99 I understand what you are saying however as a long time Windows user in the IT industry I am satisfied with my recent Apple experiences ion iMac and delighted with Apple's response to the FBI case.

      On the face of it at least, Apple based technology is right for people, whereas Microsoft based technology is right for whatever the Microsoft Agenda is.

      1. RegMigrant

        Re: The problem is there is nothing better.

        "On the face of it at least, Apple based technology is right for people, whereas Microsoft based technology is right for whatever the Microsoft Agenda is."

        Agreed with one slight adjustment:-

        Apple based technology is right for people *who agree that what Apple tell them is right*

        Microsoft is right for people who don't care that Microsoft make money as long as there stuff, mostly, works.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: The problem is there is nothing better.

      Woah there.

      If you think systemd is a problem for Linux, you are not really in the right spirit.

      It's not the best of ideas but it can be tamed. Then somethign better will come along (can I get my Prolog-based startup scritping NOW???) and life will go on.

  51. RegMigrant

    So what's changed?

    We can all bleat about the corporations and the risks they represent (or take on our behalf) but actually its becoming the same as the pre-pc world because, ultimately, the bean counters are regaining control over a market they don't understand in the only way they know how.

    Mainframe suppliers always locked in customers, software suppliers always locked in customers, both had high friction exit requirements. In the years which followed mass-pc ownership we moved away from this because the market was fragmented and 'free' - now the market is maturing and we are moving back towards it with a few monolithic companies controlling the direction and everyone else pointing to their own more innovative/flexible/secure/<insert marketing adjective> products and complaining about how difficult it is to get mass market acceptance.

    IT has become a commodity - you can get used to it, live with the stress of hating it, or get out. The only people with any real control over the industry are the lawyers and accountants.

    I'm not saying its a good thing but its no different from any other mature industry and the players within it are, largely, no different from each other.

  52. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "It's hard to make purely technological arguments against Microsoft these days, and that's a good thing. They've come a long way in that regard and in doing so they have bettered the whole industry. "

    He, he!

    That's a good one!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your comments about Microsoft are Spot-On!

    I completely agree with your point about loathing the tech-giant based on multiple failures rather than just one thing in particular and might I just add, with regard to Windows Update, (especially for pre-Win 10 users), it has been and continues to be, a painstakingly arduous process a majority of the time. Not to mention the many hundreds of update blunders Microsoft has caused-------including with many security updates.

    That fact, however, is not going to make me move to Windows 10 just because I have to be more scrupulous with Windows Update. I would rather do that than put my privacy and security at increased risk due to the fact that Microsoft has inherently put it's advertising partnerships ahead of its customers with regard to Windows 10 core functionality.

    Microsoft has a history of forcing the customers hand by also producing a mantra of "perceived obsolescence," and in the case of Windows 10, it is no different.

    Windows 7 is still a robust and highly useful Operating System and is currently the Gold Standard for most businesses. It is likely it will continue to be for quite some time.

    If you truly value your privacy and your need to have complete control of your system (thus permitting you greater ability to harden your system's security)-------then it's best to stay clear of Windows 10.

    Don't forget that Microsoft has already been implicated in dealings with the NSA over it's data-sharing practices, as brought out in the Snowden leaks-------add to that the fact that Microsoft decided to remove most user-control of the system in Win 10 while at the same time getting us to agree (through its privacy-violating EULA) to allow it's advertising affiliates greater ability to intrude upon our daily activities, as well as the fact that the United States still refuses to grant Edward Snowden amnesty--------and it really becomes easy to see why we as citizens should be keenly aware of what we agree to in this digital age to say the least. Despite the fact that the president said nothing is being read nor stored, I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to these things and I can honestly say that I'm not buying such a drummed up ruse that was created merely to pacify the common people into thinking there is nothing to worry about.

    If you still think privacy is not a big deal, then I kindly encourage you to read the following article authored by Bruce Schneier, entitled, "The Eternal Value of Privacy."

    https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2006/05/the_eternal_value_of.html

    Bruce makes some really compelling arguments in this article and as far as my own privacy is concerned, when it comes to a thing like upgrading to Windows 10, not only am I rightfully concerned but I am also principally opposed to corporate actions which threaten my way of life by intruding upon it and by attempting to take ownership rights of my own personally identifiable information away-------There is something very wrong about this concept many companies have feverishly adopted and if you think I'm the one a little 'out on the ledge' on this one, then I also kindly encourage you to consider the following TedTalk video from Gary Kovacs about how our online profiles our being legally (at least for the moment) pilfered by companies left and right whom constantly want a leg up on first-hand knowledge of our daily lives so that they can continue to amass enormous wealth at the expense of our identities and our privacy...

    https://www.ted.com/talks/gary_kovacs_tracking_the_trackers

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