There are certainly plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft. If you are an anti-corporate type as I am, Microsoft is a great example of the abuse that large corporations can heap upon us. If you naively believe that businesses should "play fair", Microsoft makes Donald Trump's "It's not personal" attitude look almost friendly. If you are a home or business user overwhelmed with spam and viruses, Microsoft's insecurities cost you time and money every day. And of course if you are a die-hard Open Source fan, Microsofts recent patent activity may take a back seat to SCO's anti-Linux actions, but it's still a seat very close to the front.
Well, I dislike Microsoft for all those reasons, but the main reason is simply that, in my opinion, their programmers are darn fools.
Those are strong words, but it seems to me that they often do things in ways that are just plain dumb. Email is a classic example: almost every other email client in the world leaves messages as plain text and builds indexes to support whatever searching and sorting is desired. That approach means that if anything goes wrong, the indexes can be rebuilt from the plain text - no danger of losing everything because of a misplaced pointer. But not Microsoft - nope, throw it all into a complex data structure and hope it doesn't break. Dumb.
And then there is the Registry. Ayup, I understand the value of having a centralized place for this stuff and even the value of a binary structure for speed. But again, build the thing from plain text files that can be read and edited with simple editors! Not only can you clean up problems by rebuilding from the source, but the plain text files can have comments that can help support folk understand problems and conflicts.
And finally, of course, Microsoft's abhorrence of the command line rivals Apple's (pre OS X, of course). Wake up: a powerful command line is a support person's best friend. When you have a broken system, the combination of a good shell and text configuration files is exactly what you need for fast and efficient problem resolution.
Well, those are my reasons - I'm sure you have yours. I'm never unhappy to see them back in court.
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2012-06-16 Tony Lawrence
It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported. (Joseph Campbell)