back to article Why we love to hate Microsoft

Microsoft watcher Mary Branscombe has an excellent ZDNet post on Why do we (love to) hate Microsoft, and asks: What would Microsoft need to do and say to you for you to be happy to call yourself a fan? In part she's reacting to head of Microsoft PR Frank Shaw's Microsoft by the Numbers in which he highlights the success of …


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  1. Jodo Kast

    Why we aren't fans...

    Why aren't we fans? Microsoft is stupid.

    To suggest that their users are not capable or responsible enough to be Administrators of their own PCs is ridiculous.

    1. Cameron Colley

      in that respect, at least, they are right.

      I know lots of users and very few have the knowledge that would enable them to administrate their machines correctly. MS just spent a lot of time and money convincing people they can.

    2. GeorgeTuk

      Thats it?

      You have a company that sells such a varied range of products and services across every continent (not all great and some terrible), and your reason is that you are not admin by default?

      That is just fanboi hate coming out.

    3. Sean Timarco Baggaley



      It's hard to tell. If you're being serious, may I remind you that none of the UNIX-derived OSes out there are any different? Microsoft's mistake was in giving users admin powers by default for so long.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      People are generally thick

      Were you trolling or do you geniuenly believe that?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Halo

      Too Stoopid!

      Actually, that is the party line of Ubuntu, the magick distro which has taken Linux right up there to 1% of OSes. It is Ubuntu desktop users who are Windows stoopid and cannot be trusted to admister their own PCs.

      But, Microsoft is obviously stoopid since they make all those billions.

      That is really stoopid! No one should make money selling anything. Everything should be FREE! Like those Apple products.

      Microsoft Windows "sells" OEM hardware for manufacturers, which is really stoopid. Hardware should be FREE.

      What does Ubuntu sell?

      Change and Hope and...

      Isn't Change and Hope enough?

      El Reg takes Microsoft advert loot - and then advertises Ubuntu for FREE!

      I guess Microsoft really is stoopid.

      Pull the ads, MS, and starve the bastards!

      They will never say anything nice about you. Ever.

      1. Martin Owens

        Troll Troll Troll...

        When you sell things, they should be honest things, the buyer must be aware of what they are buying and what they're rights are. Normally we don't have to consider the goods of sales act in relation to buying a Banana, but for reasons of a deficiency in business ethics and basic morality Microsoft seems to think it's quite acceptable to abuse the general public with OEM deals, price fixing, standards fraud, bribery and legal attacks which means no one has a clue what they're really buying or what they actually own. Unless your a lawyer I guess.

        With all that, what they can't seem to do is actually produce honest products that are valuable to the advancement of society or at least the advancement of aesthetics. They're products don't do anything, don't go anywhere, they're all one shot and very boring deliberate evolutionary dead-ends for some computer historian in 100 years.

        Microsoft: Make it all open source, make your money honestly, tear up the OEM deals and place your business in the free market instead of hiding away from capitalism. Be transparent and stop doing amoral things.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Sarah Palin, is that you?

        I think we should be told.

        I think you were trying to troll, or maybe even make a point, but it's really hard to tell- you're rather incoherent.

      3. Big-nosed Pengie


        That's it, Mickeyshaft - keep telling yourself that Linux is less than 1% of the desktop. It'll keep you feeling nice and safe so you don't have to worry about fixing your crap. :-)

        Oh - by the way - don't mention the servers. I did once, but I think I got away with it.

    6. henrydddd

      Why we arn't fans

      My beef against Microsoft has a total monopoly on computer operating systems. Monopolies promote inefficiency (Vista) and waste (corporations and individuals having to completely upgrade their systems evertry 2 to 4 years). People are forced to upgrade their computers at a cost of 400 to 600 dollars every 2 to 4 years. I live in a town that has a high poverty rate. I often buy p4's at e-cycling centers and fix them and put Ubuntu on them for people who can't afford computers for their children. The only fault with these p4 (and p3) computers is that they have been artificially made technologically obsolete by Microsoft. IF there were competing computer os's and office software, Microsoft would be hesitant to pull support for the older machines because Microsoft's loss would be someone else's gain.

      To see the truth, imagine a monopoly like MS+Intel running the HDTV industry. You would have to replace your HDTV every 2 to 4 years because the digital standard would change forcing you to get a new tv! Or having a automobile that has to be replaced because parts would be unavailable after 2 to 4 years. This mentality is ok for those with money, but it is the shaft for the rest of us

  2. Anonymous Coward


    What would Microsoft need to do and say to you for you to be happy to call yourself a fan?


    But before they do remotely shutdown and disable all windows systems worldwide, that should make for less spam, less hack attacks and a quieter life.

    OAT, what have Microsoft actually invented?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      what has Apple actually invented(see open source section of apple's website if you need a hint)? It's not like they stole their core from BSD... oh wait... and Android is making money off Linux. what have most companies actually invented? Saying Microsoft steals all their ideas is a bit of a stretch and all tech companies are guilty of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        did I state that microsoft 'stole' anything?, I merely asked the question,


        what have Microsoft actually invented?


        If you know what they invented, please tell.

      2. Stephen Bungay

        Stealing Ideas? Noithing wrong with that!

        Nothing wrong with stealing an idea as ideas are not owned or patentable (yet), and you can come up with the idea on your own. The implementation of the idea is the thing you can't steal. i.e. A horseless carriage is an idea, a Model A Ford is an implementation of that idea, so too is a Bugatti Veron, these two are worlds apart (don't you just LOVE automobile analogies (NOT!)).

        The GUI is an idea, Xerox created a version of it, Apple took the idea and improved on it, Amiga went one step further with colour and pre-emptive multi-tasking and multiple desktops, Microsoft copied the idea and created their own implementation of it in Windows 3.0. Nothing wrong with that, it was a great step forward.

        The real problem with Microsoft is that they can't be trusted to do the right thing by their customers, or put another way they can be trusted to behave unethically to keep customers in their pocket. And trust is something you do not want to EVER loose because once lost, trust it is almost impossible to regain.

        Microsoft lost my trust when they broke my Windows 2000 installation not once, but twice in a row. The time required and losses suffered to reinstall everything, restore backups, and get going again made me consider Linux (which at the time was nowhere near as polished as it is now). For my own business operations I have never looked back. Microsoft products (yes even Windows 7) have been relegated to existing in virtual machines on a Linux-box where they can be studied and used to keep our hands in on what the majority of the world is shepherded into using. Microsoft needs to behave in a trustworthy manner, build great products that people love to use (as opposed to have no choice but to use), and care for and respect their customers. Unfortunately the leopard can not change its spots.

        1. Bill Stewart

          Open Source calls it "Reusing Ideas" and "Freedom"

          That's really what open source is about - it's letting people use the stuff you've developed, and being free to use the stuff other people have developed. Even if they're only doing the half of "software freedom" that's using other people's ideas, it's still a start.

          My reason for not liking Microsoft software is the 25-30 years of experience I've had using their products, and while they do actually produce some fine things these days, they've gotten sufficiently big and bloated that it's still not friendly and doesn't either stay out of my way or let me adjust things easily myself. It didn't help them that I'd been using computers for some years before Microsoft - DOS was much less flexible and friendly than Unix, but a PC wasn't significantly less powerful than a PDP-11/45, and it wasn't even more friendly than RSTS-11. Sure, it was a nicer (but less powerful) than TSO, CMS, or the punch-card OSs for IBM mainframes, and I'd rather develop communication software for DOS than SNA or its predecessors. And Windows 98 had almost caught up with Macintosh 1984 in usability. And today's MS help systems are probably slightly more friendly than the ones we used on VMS.

          Some of the problems were PC-related rather than purely Microsoft related; mysterious hardware crashes, inaccessible structures on disk drives, etc. It took over 20 years before my Windows machine at work had better screen resolution than the Sun-3/50 I'd used in the late 80s, although that was partly because I was using laptops. (And yeah, now I've got 32-bit color instead of 8-bit, but most of what I do is text anyway.)

      3. JEDIDIAH

        Microsoft lacks pride or any taste.

        At least Apple has some taste and knows what to steal and how to dress it up.

        First they stole the GUI. Then they stole Unix. They have great taste.

        With Apple you have some hope of having a good product. Microsoft is just about the bottom line.

        This is the same thing that separates American auto makers from the Germans and Japanese.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Except Toyota

          "This is the same thing that separates American auto makers from the Germans and Japanese."

          True in all respects except for Toyota. (and former Euro brands taken over by Am. auto makers - Saab, Volvo, Mercedes etc) . Oligopoly (Am. car market pre-1980s) and monopoly (MS) leave all advantages of competition and automatic market regulation behind and their supposed advantage (private efficiency v. public inefficiency) is a myth. If anything, private monopoly is not only just as, or more, inefficient, it's more predatory on consumers and competitors. MS shouldn't have been "taken over" by regulators, it should have been broken up long ago.

        2. Keith Wingate

          Um, not exactly

          Taste is a very subjective thing, quality much less so, I think.

          A Lexus or a BMW driver may well sneer at a Cadillac driver say, as someone lacking taste. Taste be damned! I prefer Honda or Toyota cars because even with the recent Toyota recalls and despite quantum leaps in quality from Detroit, the Japanese nameplates still provide a better quality product, as measured objectively by e.g. Consumer Reports, J.D. Edwards, etc. Sure I appreciate the stylistic differences, but never enough to sacrifice function for form, and rarely enought to pay more. Ironically, in the motorcycle community it goes the other way; Harley riders often knock my Hondas as not being as "cool" as their far more expensive rides, but they never want to compare repair records. :-).

          So cost is a factor as well; my Linux server is powered by a Briggs & Stratton generator when the power goes out because the Honda was thrice as dear but only twice as good.

          This relates to Operating Systems as well; many (if not most) would agree that Apple wins on style, but what do you want your O/S to do: provide a stable environment in which to run applications, and ease of administration, or draw pretty icons? If you want the most reliability for the least cost, I think a Linux solution is difficult to beat in most cases; if you want to hang with the cool kids, then you're stuck paying more for Apple. If you don't care about reliability or style, then it's Windows.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    These comments annoy me...

    "There is also the question of pricing, especially for business users. When I reviewed a Toshiba Netbook recently I figured that installing Windows Pro (to join a domain) and Office would cost more than the hardware. I suppose you cannot blame a company for charging what the market will bear; but when the commodity software costs more than the commodity hardware, you have to wonder whether monopolistic pricing is still prese"

    What the bloddy hell were you doing trying to run a netbook as a proper business machine in the first place? I bet you complained to IT when your IPhone wouldn't connect to the blackberry mail server as well didn't you? Fashion items are not business tools...Netbooks should be left with your kids not brough to the office so that you can moan that it can't do what somthing costing just £150 more does out of the box.

    1. Number6


      Actually, my Aspire One netbook (running Linux, it has to be said) has helped out at the office on several occasions precisely because it is small and easy to carry and, on more than one occasion, because it was running Linux and not Windows. Recently I've been using it as a Linux development platform, although I have to admit to cheating by running an X server on my Windows desktop machine and using SSH to the netbook.

      Microsoft killed the true netbook anyway - the Eee and the AA1 and their early competition. All of a sudden the screen size went back up to the point where it's a small laptop, not a netbook, and it's hard to get a low-end cheap, small machine now (although I just bought a spare AA1 on eBay). That's one of the reasons to dislike Microsoft, although it's not completely their fault.

    2. Stephen Bungay

      Netbooks & Business

      My Aspire One also runs Linux and serves as a very capable business machine, much more capable than my Dell Lattitude C-810, and it is much easier to carry around. Running a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet, or showing a slide-show presentation doesn't exactly push the limits of the two 1.6 GHz Atom processors.

      I wonder if those who claim net-books can't be used for serious work have ever actually used one, and if they did how was that net-book configured?

      1. Sooty

        Netbooks and business

        My MSI wind is just a very small laptop with windows XP on it. It is significantly more powerful than 70%+ of the machines we have running XP here in the office.

        I don't really see why there should be any issue using it as a business machine, unless you are a graphics designer or 3d artist obviously. I even use mine to play old 3d games that vista/7 don't like due to the newer directx implementations. It's exactly the same spec as my 6-7 year old gaming laptop, except half the size and with a pants intel graphics card!

        1. PT

          Netbooks and business

          There are all kinds of business uses for netbooks apart from traditional desktop tasks, but all of them involve being able to get on a network. If they come with Windows 7 Starter crippleware out of the box you have little option but to replace the operating system.

  4. yossarianuk

    Coming from the Amiga made me hate them..

    I NEVER liked windows, coming from an Amiga background (I had the 500 + 1200).

    When My Amiga died in 1996 I got a Windows PC that cost 4 times the amount had 16 times the RAM and was about 50 times time faster in CPU speed (in Mhz) but was about 1000 X slower in doing anything, it was so unstable, everything cost lots more but did not have the capabilities of software on the Amiga (untill about 1/2 decade later) and our entire OS actually crashed (all the time) - with the Amiga crashes (guru mediations) nearly always occurred only ever in games.

    So for me I view Microsoft as a company that make computing progress go backwards.

    As well as being technical inept MS use their monopoly to prevent progress and innovation.

    Microsoft use FUD and threats about made up patents relating to Linux and open-source software to use a Mafia style technique of bullying money out of companies - with 'patent deals' - Tomtom and Amazon are recent victims.

    All the details are off record (if the details were ever publicised Microsoft could no longer use FUD as a weapon...) (I prey someone leaks the info to wikileaks)

    The result of Microsoft tactics have both helped to prevent innovation in the industry (Apple are being just as bad recently) and end up costing governments around the world huge bills with windows licenses that could be avoided and spent to improve society - alternatives exist but MS have always done their most to ensure that competition cannot exist

    For anyone who is slightly interested in the detail here is a very good link

    (Doesn't have much info on the last 1/2 decade - they haven't changed - in some way got far worse

    Anyone who knows about the company SCO see

    They are a hideous company who will use any immoral means to bugger their competitors - Microsoft customers are like people locked in the Matrix, they just need to wake up.

    The money Gates has given back (via the gates foundation) probably doesn't equal the money he has skanked from various governments in the 1st place.

    Maybe he's giving the wealth back due to guilt ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns


      Well said.

      What would it take? Gates to stand up and apologise for all the lies his company fabricated, for the partners they sabotaged, for the strong-arm tactics and bribery, for the gifted geeks who ended up destitute or who suicided when Bill and co scammed them out of their livelihood.

      Not bitter though.

  5. Doug Glass

    What Would It Take?

    Produce good products for sale at reasonable prices, cut the corporate rhetorical bluster and general bullshit, be honest in you business practices, appear honest in your business practices and make Windows Product Activation far less intrusive and condeming.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ...and enforce quality control on products,

      not ship buggy product, and burn Steve Balmer at the stake. (just in case you thought I was being serious). All of these are equally likely.

  6. Jim T


    First and foremost, for me, microsoft need to clean up their act on patent enforcement.

  7. Alain Moran

    What would Microsoft need to do and say to you for you to be happy to call yourself a fan?

    1. Hand over their entire patent pool to the FSF

    2. Open-source everything

    3. Make their software free and charge for support

    4. Provide a compelling support offering that is worth paying for

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      "3. Make their software free and charge for support"

      No! No no no no no no no!

      Whenever something is free and only support is charged then it means that in order for the company to make money the documentation must be rubbish, the application buggy, or simply not user friendly enough for the average user to be able to use it.

      This is why pretty much all open source software (that isn't supported by large donations from companies like IBM) is difficult to use and will never become mainstream.

      I have *never* had to phone up Microsoft (or anyone else) to fix something in Windows and I want it to stay that way.

      Here's a thought, how about you drop your "wah wah wah I want everything free-tardness" and actually pay people for their work?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 4th July 10:18 - Please elaborate

        You said,

        "I have *never* had to phone up Microsoft (or anyone else) to fix something in Windows and I want it to stay that way"

        I'm interested to know in what context you use Microsoft's products, and which products you use. Is this in a corproate environment, and if so is it a large environment, or are you referring to being a home user?

        For my sins, I've had to call Microsoft's support teams on a number of occasions... all through my line of work (security for a very large financial organisation, if you must know). This has been for various products, e.g. Windows, SQL Server, BizTalk, etc...

        As you can imagine for an organisation of this size, this isn't run-of-the-mill stuff, but then again, it's been for things that the documentation should have covered, or more often that it should have covered correctly.

        The process has never been straight forward - as our Account Manager will confirm by the feedback we leave when cases are closed - and the general level of support is dire. It's not made any easier by having to go through off shore support centres who read questions from a script before the case is eventually assigned to the relevant SMEs (taking anywhere between 48 hours and a week!).

        I'm genuinely interested to know under what circumstances you've been able to get by without having to call Microsoft. Maybe you've not been using their products as intensively as we have, or maybe you've got better staff (who don't spend all day reading El Reg instead of working!)... although considering the number of my colleagues who have defected to go and work for Microsoft, I guess our staff aren't that bad really.

        The on-site support engineers, however, are usually first class... but they should be considering how much we pay to have them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          My post was mainly aimed at home users (the original post was talking about making all their software free, not just business software). I would have thought the words 'average user' in my post would have given that away :).

          We haven't had to call Microsoft at work either as far as I know, however we are a small company and tend to only use small business server, exchange, sql server 2005/2008 and a few other bits and bobs. We only really to use the 'fairly standard' features of each and haven't had any issues we could fix ourselves with either the documentation or google (although you could argue that if we have to resort to google the documentation isn't good enough).

          The point is that in many of the free pieces of software I've used even fairly standard usage (like, just getting the sodding thing installed) require you to mess about when it should just work.

  8. Harry

    "the bad old days of arrogance and dubious business practices"

    They have not ended.

    There are probably worse examples, but we still have microsoft giving us inadequate choice. For example, we can "install updates and shut down" or we can "restart" but we cannot choose to "install updates and restart" even though that is precisely what many users will *need* to do, especially in the case of a machine which is remote and therefore cannot easily be restarted once it shuts down.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All these anti-fanboy comments aside, I agree that Windows Phone 7 can be hit or miss but I also worry that they are leaving their values and going to a more totalitarian Applesque approach with Windows Phone 7(store with rules, and so on). I think that will hurt them or severely change them in the long run. If they don't promote freedom on their OS as they have done in the past then what point is it using their locked down products? Also, what is the point of having a company treating us like children if we are fully capable of running the OS? Apple treats its users like children which leads to ignorant people not knowing what they've got(they just know it is good because the company told me so) and getting advanced options out of the OS is more painful than Windows on a bad day.

    In the end Microsoft is blatantly better then Apple when it comes to this and that's not something that can be argued but do to their previous transgressions and the culture of hating Microsoft because Apple or the bandwagon told me so, It'll be a hard road.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      the admin "issue"

      I'm assuming the "treating us like children" thing is a reference to the "not admin by default" thing. Hopefully everyone will see it here, since it applies to multiple posts for this article.


      If you were worthy of having admin access to your machine, you'd be able to figure out how to get it. The fact that you complain about not having default admin demonstrates that you are too computer illiterate to figure it out, and thus neither deserve it or should have it.

      Now, go Google it, give yourself admin, then whine about "spam" "malware" and "viruses" when you fail at using a computer.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You are not sysadmin, we are.

      "Apple treats its users like children which leads to ignorant people not knowing what they've got(they just know it is good because the company told me so) and getting advanced options out of the OS is more painful than Windows on a bad day."

      While this is true, in 7 everything "advanced" is owned by "System" and you, as the "owner" of the machine, do not have system-level privileges, that's reserved for trojans and viruses and your "friends" in Redmont who have it by default when your computer is online and thus are the real owners of that machine.

      Essentially the same mentality as with Apple: "You are not sysadmin, we are."

      In Unix, the root can do _anything_ he wants. Even break every pre-installed "feature" (ie. DRM) the OS has. Which is exactly the reason it's forbidden in OS X/Windows, even for the "owner"

  10. Tonik

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "...but when the commodity software costs more than the commodity hardware, you have to wonder whether monopolistic pricing is still present...."

    ...but when book costs more then paper it is printed on, oh wait a moment, that's it I am done with monopolistic bookshop.

    1. Paul 129

      Book Meme, I'll start

      If MS software was a book...

      You wouldnt expect to have to buy a license to loan it to a friend

    2. Stephen Bungay


      This analogy doesn't work. The computer is not the book, the CD-ROM or DVD is the book, the Software written on the CD ROM or DVD is the equivalent to the story written on the pages of the book. The computer is the printing-press, and perhaps also eye-glasses; allowing you to create and use (read) the book.

  11. Cameron Colley

    OK, so I'm in a minority.

    Personally: if they opened up FAT* and stopped threatening Linux then I might think about not hating them.

    As it stands I will not pay someone to hold a[n imaginary or otherwise] gun to manufacturers heads if they chose to use Linux or, indeed, any other open-source software.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    What would MS have to say?

    Well they could start by saying we're splitting into three separate companies: one for the OS, one for the Apps, and one for everything else (mice, webcams, whatever).

    Once there is clear blue water between the companies it becomes harder to make deals like "Mr Big PC builder, you'll be our bestest ever friend (and get our bestest ever Windows volume licence prices) if you pre-install the time-limited Office 2015 for us)". It would also mean that OSco and Appco would have the same relationship as any other application developer had with OSco.

    In fact wasn't this suggested as a potential remedy in one of the earlier anti-trust cases, back in His Holiness Saint Bill's day?

  13. Blain Hamon

    What would they need to do?

    This is the best solution, methinks:

  14. jim 45

    2 things

    1. Announce a vastly lighter 'personal' version of Windows that boots in 10 seconds and runs built-in browser and email, and some sort of app store. And looks cool. Duh.

    2. Bring their upgrade prices for mainstream Windows into reality - say, $25 - so that we all actually buy Win7, and Win8 and stay on board.

    1. amehaye

      Re #1

      You mean Linux?

  15. Gannon (J.) Dick
    Thumb Down

    Huh ?

    If being a fan of Third Grade was important, I would still be there. What's the audience here ?

  16. JC 2

    Besides the obvious?

    I suppose she means besides the obvious things like giving up the market share gained by anti-competitive practices, taking away consumer choice in what is otherwise an open market economy, stiffing innovation, refusing to fix existing windows flaws before piling on more code trying to sell the next windows version (if you can't debug something because it is bloated beyond reason, sans lack of profits to make it possible that is a sign the development process has gone terribly wrong).

    MS is free to make any OS they see fit, so long as we can go out and buy a *PC* that has full hardware and software support running another OS, meaning to right their wrongs we either need a time machine or they need go out of business and fund the development that would have happened had they played by the rules others did, rules set up by society for good reason.

  17. jake Silver badge

    First of all, it's not hate, it's pity.

    Not pity for Microsft, mind, but for those who have bought into it and are incapable of thinking outside the box.

    Secondly, MS needs to stop treating their clients as criminals.

    Thirdly, the SIZE of the OS needs to drop, by a couple orders of magnitude (20 gigs? WTF??)

    Fourthly, they need to stop dicking about with the user interface.

    Fifthly, the hardware lock-in ("Microsoft Tax") needs to go away.

    Sixthly, the outright lies need to be both acknowledged and stopped, and the entire marketing department done away with (this alone would probably cure a few of the above).

    Do I really need to go on?

  18. ben 53

    "Windows 7 is good"

    Are you kidding me? It takes *longer* now to perform filesystem operations like copying and deletion on Windows 7 than it did 10 years ago with Windows 2000, using the same filesystem. And that's with Moore's Law. The first thing people install on Windows is anti-virus software that cripples performance. Linux runs faster on a *virtual machine* than Windows does on the bare metal. The only current Microsoft product that I believe is any good is the .NET framework and its associated languages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And remember why the .NET framework exists at all?

      Because Microsoft took Java and mutilated it so badly that Sun had to take an injunction out against them preventing them from calling it Java.

  19. John Bailey

    Basic psychology

    It's not that difficult.

    Windows is what you get when you don't choose. There is no emotional attachment to it. It sits on their computer and enables them to do stuff. At best, it's invisible. At worst, it's a pain in the neck.

    Office is no better. How many people actually want to use Office? I mean really want to use it. To upgrade it every few years, for no real advantage..

    Linux, Windows, anything else.. All deliberate choices. People get involved with their choices. They become to some extent, part of their identity.

    1. John Bailey

      Slight correction

      Meant to say "Linux, OSX, Anything else.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Their products these days are.....

    ...... better than that clunky *nix based shit.

    Light the blue touchpaper and stand well back.

  21. JimND


    I've seen no evidence that the reason Windows is now dominant on netbooks is due to anything but MS abusing its monopoly position by leaning on manufacturers. If there was no pressure, then logically the manufacturers that have had some experience with Linux would be able to offer a choice of OS throughout their ranges. And any manufacturer could at least offer bare-metal machines.

    I don't trust MS because their interests aren't mine. And they lie about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Operating System Quality

      If the alternative operating systems were actually of equal or greater quality than Windows, Microsoft leaning on the hardware players would be irrelevant. Fact of the matter is, despite the "benefits" of Linux and whatever else, Windows is still a better value and therefore desired by customers. For this reason, the hardware manufacturers refuse to give it up.

      And Microsoft telling Dell or Toshiba that they have to sell only Windows netbooks isn't anticompetitive, thats how contracting works. It is just like restaurant... they contract either Pepsi or Coke, but never both. If you don't like the taste, go to a different restaurant that serves the one you like.

      Besides that, Microsoft has very little power at all in hardware anymore. Case in point? HP owns WebOS now, Android tablets, and Sony launching Chrome machines. The only ones Microsoft can pressure are the 3rd rate hardware companies struggling to survive, like Dell.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        MS-paid shill, obviously.

        "If the alternative operating systems were actually of equal or greater quality than Windows, Microsoft leaning on the hardware players would be irrelevant."

        This is absolute bullshit.

        Manufacturer either sells MS or nothing, now. Because MS says so.

        There arent' so many hardware manufacturers in the world and every one of them is heavily dependent on selling hardware for windows.

        Now, tell us excactly how can any competitor sell even a single machine unless they make everything from scratch (like Apple does)?

        And at what point the quality of competitor changes anything?

        MS-paid shill, obviously.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: MS-paid shill, obviously.

          I should play shill bingo or something.


  22. Neil Greatorex

    Yes, we love to hate Microsoft

    Just as we hate to love Apple.

    However is it really necessary to plug "" so often?

  23. Johntron

    Get in front of the wave

    The answer to the question is simple. MS needs to be an innovator not a copycat with a spotty success rate on major offerings... Windows Me, monopoly, Zune, Vista.

    If they wanna be high end and have fans, they just need to live up to it.

  24. Herby

    We will know when we succedded when...

    Hell freezes over...

    I doubt that will happen anytime soon, but a good indicator will be when Microsoft starts developing applications for Linux.

    A good start would be for Microsoft to get rid of IE (in whatever rendition they have) and possibly go into the banking industry (Like the Greater Offshore Bank and Trust, where they keep all their money). Give me $500 and I might open an account!

  25. raving angry loony

    long fight

    No, they haven't changed. They've just managed to hide their unethical, illegal, downright criminal behaviour a little better. But when a company bribes its way to an ISO standard, still kills off "partners" at will, and generally acts like the bully in the playground.

    I can't imagine ever saying I'd be a fan of Microsoft. I've been fighting their evil for almost 30 years now, and they have NEVER changed their ways - only their press releases.

  26. LinkOfHyrule
    Gates Horns

    What would Microsoft need to do...

    "What would Microsoft need to do and say to you for you to be happy to call yourself a fan?"

    For every blue screen of death or weird Windows error, Microsoft buys me a pint!

    "An exception has occurred at 000111 bla bla bla etc. What can I get you? :o)"

    1. henrydddd

      I don't care if MS windoze goes bad

      Actually errors and blue screens don't bother me at all. I run Windows products as virtual machines using Linux as the host. If Windows gets too uppidy or viride, I just copy over the VM from my back up folder.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why we love to hate Microsoft?

    Keyword: lock-in. exemplified in their own rant called "Evangelism is War", or their battle cry "Embrace, extend, extinguish".

    Why would I buy or use anything from a company which has designed the product SPECIFICALLY to ensure that I can never get away from buying upgrades?

  28. Philippe

    it's over

    We don't want to call ourselves fan. We just want Microsoft to go away..

    we ve seen enough....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    try being a full time linux user. there are many reason to hate microsoft, silverlight is just the surface.

  30. Martin Usher
    Big Brother


    1) Stop reinventing the wheel (and claiming it was all your own work)

    2) Embrace open standards -- you don't need to do open source, just adhere to standards (and stop screwing around with them)

    3) Build an OS that's made from components that have well defined interfaces.....leave some room for third party innovation

    The problem with MSFT at the moment is that its oddball and doesn't play well with others. Its weird that, for example, Linux knows what a NTFS is but Microsoft refuses to have anything to do with anything that's not their own product (and preferably something they own).

  31. gimbal

    Oohh Oohh, Can I add....


    - Give Microsoft Windows Vista customers a free upgrade from Vista to the so-called Windows 7

    - Once and for all, stop getting marketing twisted up with software systems design

    Say: "We're sorry"

  32. Clay Landis
    Gates Horns


    They think security is the fat guy in uniform in the lobby.

    As I always tell friends, "anything but Micro$oft".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Still using the M$ moniker

      Sad... 1995 called, they want the M$ moniker back...

      Usual anti MS'tards I see, all with expert opinions, all probably would be lost without an MS product - apps, OS required for games etc. All thinking they mr big by joining the anti-MS brigade...

      Nobody is forcing you to use a single MS product if you don't like it or them. If your job does then get another job, no? Oh boo hoo...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Tax money goes straight to Redmont, why?

        "Nobody is forcing you to use a single MS product if you don't like it or them. If your job does then get another job, no? Oh boo hoo..."

        You are missing the point here and you are also dead wrong: The governement _forces_ me to use Windows. There's no way around it.

        Also a large slice of my tax money goes straight to Redmont even when the government is an entity large enough to have an OS and applications made for it, instead to giving that money yearly to MS.

        Not only you are wrong, you aren't very bright either.

  33. Defiant
    Thumb Down


    I've not got a problem with Microsoft, it tends to be Linux an Apple geeks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple Geek = OxyMoron

      Now it is true that there are lots of geek-types developing apps for the iPhone,iPod-touch, and iPad, but for the most part, the real geeks for the Mac tend to actually WORK at apple. I do know a geek who uses an Apple, he is first and foremost a Free BSD geek; when it comes to the Apple Mac my observations are that he is more a user than a geek, and thats OK. The Mac is designed to be used, it is the nerf-toy of the computer world, fun and safe to play with.

  34. GeorgeTuk

    Agreed on OEM

    Many of laptops out of the box for SMBs are so bloated by trial ware and rubbish that takes ages to get off.

    Imaging is the answer yes but wouldn't it be nice if there was an agreement not to stick so much on.

    Most laptops I look at as personal favours are full of spyware and get viruses because the bloatware expires and everyone assumes its fine so don't both buying. How about agreeing to adverts on start up instead of just blanket installs?

  35. ArmanX
    Gates Horns

    Yeah, Microsoft has some good products...

    You're right - Visual Studio is very good. Office, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc., is also well developed, for the most part. I even like Windows XP and 7. There are a lot of great products out there... but I think MS has a reputation for embracing "open standards" only when it is behind in the race, and throwing them to the wind the second it gets ahead - the better to stomp the competition, my dear. No one likes a sore loser, and no one likes a bad winner, either - and Microsoft is both.

    Then again, half the reason I really dislike Microsoft is tied pretty firmly to the releases of Vista and Windows ME. [shudder] I still have nightmares...

    1. Kubla Cant

      Visual Studio Good? Definitely not.

      @ArmanX: you don't say which Visual Studio, but you couldn't possibly mean VS6, the IE6 of development environments. I must have committed some awful sins in a previous life to have had to spend so many years using VS6.

      So I was really happy when I started a project using Visual Studio 2008. Short-lived happiness, alas. VS2008 turned out to be about as good as a Java IDE from 1998.

      It's clunky and slow in use. Its miserable selection of refactorings tend to leave invalid references all over the place. (Most APIs modify XML references when renaming a type - VS2008 even leaves invalid names in its own wretched .aspx files.) The API help usually tells you everything except what you need to know.

      Maybe the latest Visual Studio is better, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that it's only about as good as a Java IDE from 2001.

      1. Shakje

        Which Java IDE are you talking about?

        Quite frankly, give me VS Intellisense over Eclipse any day. That alone is enough to keep me doing C#. C++ is a different beast, and the IDE is still pretty piss poor compared to the C# flavour, but I don't think it's fair to compare a C++ IDE with a Java IDE. With your talk of refactoring, do you mean iDEA or whatever it's called? Tried it a few years ago, ran a refactor on some code, it crashed and deleted my entire project. As it was a home project it wasn't source controlled (and I didn't expect the IDE to arbitrarily delete my stuff), so I lost it all.

        If you look at things in .NET land such as the data access, WinForms, number of languages it supports, Intellisense, solution structure and not to mention a fantastic debugger, it's miles ahead of the Java IDEs that are out there right now. If you're really that fussed about refactoring (and talking in terms of C#) you can make it a lot better by getting a copy of ReSharper.

        I don't actually know anyone who doesn't think that VS6 and before is utter dogshit, but then again, the choice wasn't exactly great when it was around..

        1. Kubla Cant


          I'm not wild about Eclipse, either. I've used IntelliJ IDEA for about eight years and I've never had any crashing problem when refactoring or otherwise.

      2. Shakje

        Also (forgot to say)

        the API help is meant as a quick reference, nothing more (and usually it's enough if you've spent some time reading a good book before starting, presumably you did this to get your language knowledge up to the same level as you have in Java, you should probably find yourself relying less on API help than in Java if you get to know the language, because it's generally more structured than Java, I find anyway, and once again I'm assuming .NET), if you really want a detailed description either buy and install MSDN or go to Google, type in the class or method name followed by "MSDN". MSDN is a far better reference site than the documentation on Java, but that's more a style thing and I guess you have to get used to its structure a little first.

  36. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The most valuable component in a computer ...

    ... is the user's data.

    Microsoft chose to make each new version of Word sufficiently incompatible with the last that people would be inconvenienced into buying the extra bloat. I parted company with Microsoft over a decade ago partly because I could get better software for free, but mostly so I could keep my data forever. If Microsoft had any interest in getting my custom they would have to:

    1) Use open standards so data can be exchanged without everyone having to buy Microsoft software. No Silverlight. No patent half promises that will get re-worded when they have my data hostage. The free in free software guaranties freedom from lock in.

    2) Distribute under the GPL. That way, I can fix problems that annoy me, and non-programmers can hire programmers to fix problems that annoy them. Without the source code, and a license to play with it, you cannot be certain there are no backdoors. Also, GPL software can be linked to the vast supply of existing GPL software so people do not have to re-invent the wheel.

    3) Compete on quality. At present I am required to pay the Microsoft tax, and spend time and effort to get it back. Most people do not bother, so Microsoft still get paid no matter how bad their software.

    A month ago I would have said Microsoft were still years away from being an acceptable software supplier. Now there is the first sign progress. There are rumours of a Microsoft App store. Imagine if it became a reality:

    Hardware distributors earn their profit from software sales. Selling a Microsoft box means selling MS Office, antivirus, and getting a handful of cash for pre-installing crapware. They hate to sell Linux boxes because a Linux box can do plenty with free (as in beer) software, and crapware has not been ported to Linux.

    Microsoft need an App store to compete with the convenience of Apple and Linux distros. When they have an App store, they remove distributors' motivation to pre-install Windows. When that happens, Microsoft will have to compete for real.

    1. idasben


      Just a few thoughts on this post:

      "2) Distribute under the GPL."


      "Microsoft need an App store to compete with the convenience of Apple and Linux distros."

      These two competitors to Microsoft who don't have desktop app stores?

      "When they have an App store, they remove distributors' motivation to pre-install Windows. When that happens, Microsoft will have to compete for real."

      Have you seen mobile carriers desperation to get the iPhone due to its huge app store? Thats assisted by a big developer base supporting the iPhone SDK, on the Desktop Microsoft are developer kings, whatever people say they just are with the vast majority of software compatible with the PC, therefore an app store for Windows would provide a massive revenue stream for developers and Microsoft (if they follow the 30% cut Apple take) as well as provide additional functionality/value addition to hardware vendors who'll then seek to follow the platform with the largest app store. Which at the moment is Microsoft....

      1. Martin Owens

        Er no,

        The largest App Store is Debian, your talking out of your hat if you think linux hasn't had an app store for a decade and a half.

        The main problem with deb is the inability to earn money from development, but that could change, attitudes towards paying for FOSS are shifting and the freetards are being reformed. At least such a system would be miles better than anything based on Microsoft's bad karma.

  37. Ben 50


    I despised Microsoft's sociopathic behaviour enough to repeatedly beat my head against Linux... then I tried Apple but now I've got in touch with what a c**t Mr Jobs is I want nothing to do with them. I guess it's back to banging my head against Linux then. At least I won't feel dirty.

  38. Insane Reindeer

    For my sins

    I am a fan of Windows 7.

    I do not use MS Office.

    I am happy to say this.

  39. peter 5 Silver badge

    Long memory

    When you talked about "dubious business practices" I thought you were going to mention DR-DOS and all the shenanigans surrounding Windows 3.1 That's how far back some of our memories go. But here are a few things they could do that would help me believe they've changed:

    - port their stuff to other people platforms, and make it comparable to the Windows version;

    - deploy other people's technology, where appropriate, rather than reinventing a Microsoft version;

    - collegiately support existing and emerging standards (say by upgrading their OpengL stack to 2.1 and add VP8 to the default IE9 distro)

    - embrace standards without then attempting to extend and extinguish them;

    - decrease cost and increase quality.

    Of course none of that will make me a fan. To do that, all they have to do is produce a must-have consumer gadget and have Anna Chapman advertise it - but I think she is going to be unavailable for a while.

  40. Quirkafleeg
    Gates Horns


    Not to be anywhere near as restrictive about bundling their OS (seemingly) anywhere and everywhere. Especially on laptops and netbooks. I'd like to be able to walk into a local PC World (for example) and buy a shiny new laptop without having to pay the Windows tax.

    Although, to be fair, I did once buy a shiny new netbook from them, and there was no Windows tax. But that was before the netbook market was stitched up by M$…

  41. Charles Calthrop
    Thumb Down

    however much I love visual studio

    I just cannot forget all that IE 6 put me through

  42. Captain Thyratron

    Well, this is what I would ask of them.

    Oh, that's a very good question. Well, I say they'd have to offer something comparable with what I've already got.

    This is what I want and what, at present, I have:

    A choice of several free, open-source operating systems, which are designed to be delved into, understood, hacked upon, and generally used;

    A native SSH server (Cygwin is a hideous third-party bolt-on and does not count);

    Command-line shells which are powerful enough and straightforward enough to be applicable to any aspect of system administration;

    Filesystems like ZFS;

    X11 forwarding over SSH;

    An API that isn't nauseating;

    An environment which encourages respect for abstraction in software and which makes doing it right easy;

    An environment that makes it simple to write things that interface with hardware;

    An environment which I can bend in any way I wish to suit my needs.

    Well, obviously I'm going to be a difficult customer because I'm already satisfied with what I have (and it and several alternatives are free.) Meanwhile, these people want to sell me something. They're up against a satisfied customer and a price that's difficult to beat. Surely they must offer something extra!

    Well, here's what they've got that I don't have already:

    Software licenses and the accompanying madness of "intellectual property";

    Software that treats me pre-emptively as a criminal;

    Software that is designed to be opaque so that it does not scare users, rather than to be understood;

    An operating system which you are not supposed to fix, but which you are supposed to reboot now and then in the hope that the problem will simply go away;

    An environment which, for the sake of not scaring users, instead railroads them into doing things in some manner that a focus group somewhere decided is easiest for them and which, in general, is designed with the thought in mind that I do not know what is best for myself;

    Sufficient concern for security problems that I should not even view any website whose name ends with with ".ru", ".hk", or ".cn";

    An operating system with such a dearth of basic functionality that things like SSH servers are usually provided by third-party software.

    Alas, that simply won't do. I guess I'm just a difficult customer. I guess I would at least be pretty amused if Microsoft offered MinWin to the public and let people build an OS on top of that. It might end up like a poor man's OpenVMS, which would be kind of neat.

  43. John Sanders

    Ms has done too much

    To just forget about it.

    Killing innumerable companies in the past, vaporware, shoddy bugs, insecure designs, over engineering solutions so competition can not compete, hiding critical info, insecure default OS installs for no good reason, all the FUD about Linux and patents, there's even suspicion of financial backing of SCO during the case court about the unix rights.

    MS always play dirty. If they do not appear to be doing it so now is just strategy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      "MS always play dirty"

      "MS always play dirty. If they do not appear to be doing it so now is just strategy."

      If they appear to do that right now, is because they have hidden it better than usually, it will emerge later.

      You can bet on that, any amount, and win. I'd say about in 5 years from now.

  44. Quintius

    Not only does the Nokia item say more bad about Microsoft than good...

    He can't even quote his sources correctly:

    He said "96 Percentage of US netbooks running Windows in 2009." The source says "96% of netbooks sold in the U.S. in February [2009]."

    He said" the largest cloud deployment in the US." The source says "one of the largest cloud deployments."

    The "100% Percent chance that CEO will mention Microsoft" is inexplicable. I found the first entry ( by the CEO in the company blog, and there is no mention of Microsoft.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    What would Microsoft need to do...

    Break up the company the way the DOJ should have done. Then we'll talk.

  46. Patrick 8

    What Microsoft needs to do and say

    1. Roll themselves up

    2. Announce that they are rolling themselves up.

    3. Spin off the very few successful products into their own company and *not* a division like apps, os, etc. Each product needs to stand or fall in the market place on its own merits and not suck on the tit of a central organisation to artificially keep it afloat financially in the market place.

    4. Apologise for the huge debt on society. Not just individual home users, but the companies and governments that have squandered so much valuable world resources in financial capital and human capital keeping this shit running. Techies that complain that its good because its a guaranteed job constantly fixing Microsoft induced problems in the world are just as bad as government workers who milk the system and provide nothing to society in any productive return or capability.

    Imagine if all that human energy and mental capacity and financial backing over the past 30+ years was put to good use such as developing alternative fuels, medicines, and other technologies that give benefit and not a tit sucking job for life cleaning up messes from products designed with a lack of care.

  47. Gene Cash Silver badge

    MSFT is apparently on the rocks already

    Splitting AT&T sure as hell didn't work, it's slowly coming back together again, as all the split RBOCs merge back.

    Anyway, I think they've jumped the shark and are headed downhill. The Vista debacle exposed a lot of people around me to Linux and Apple, who've left Microsoft for good. I know a good amount of people that got pissed off when Office switched to a ribbon interface, and started using Open Office.

    With the Kin getting killed so quick and the total lack of enthusiasm over Windows 8, I think they're really hurting. All the tech people around me that jump at new products and are first-adopters just say "meh" about Windows 7, even the people that usually love Microsoft stuff.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simply as a user...

    Since Windows XP, Microsoft's biggest strength has been that Windows has been good enough that I haven't been bothered enough to use something else. The only really challenger has been Apple, but their "walled garden" has kept me away. It's the catering to stupid people I hate about Windows, and it seems Apple is even worse for that. I'm sure Linux is great, but I simply can't be arsed. I'm not the huge techy that I was in my youth, and don't want to spend some extra time learning a new OS when the one I have now is good enough. Perhaps not a popular opinion in these parts, and I'm not saying Microsoft is great, but it's how I feel. I can't speak beyond Windows, as I've never really used any other Microsoft software...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Not popular opinion, but true

      Well said, AC. Although I disagree with your comments personally - I still like tinkering with my OS and am happy to use Linux (and OS X) instead of Windows - I can see where you're coming from.

      My missus can't be arsed to learn how to do things differently, and neither can my son. They both appreciate that Windows has its flaws and is very far from ideal, but as you say, it's just about good enough to prevent either of them from making the jump to another OS.

      I find that quite frustrating, because I know that both Linux and OS X are better operating systems and that the investment to learn how to use them and the equivalent applications is really minimal. However, I've learnt the hard way not to try and convince the wife that I'm right and she's wrong... even if it is true.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    How would I like them again?

    Dumpe that arrogant, monoric tosser Steve Ballmer, To bend one of his quotes, "Steve Ballmer is a cancer of Microsoft!".

    Steve Ballmer seems to live in the 1980's business world. Brash, arrogant and stuff you if you don't like, if you do then stuff you a little less than if you didn't!

    I went to Linux for a while, still use it at work, but I went to Apple. It was a expensive but the amount of grief I now get at home is so little with Apple. I fix machines all day, last thing I need is to go home and do it again. Spent too much time fixing stuff for the kids and the Missus with Windows, after a little edutcation and a change of platform I can enjoy switching off my IT guy personality and enjoy using computers again like I used to when I was kid with my Amstrad and Atari ST, doing fun stuff again.

  50. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    What could Microsoft do to make me public call myself a Microsoft "fan?"

    Simple: listen to me. You want me to be a fan of any company? Invite me to sit down with someone from that company with real honest to god authority to change something in there, and ask me my opinion of what they could change to better accommodate customer requirements without jeopardising their business model, (or better yet creating a couple new ones that are profitable.)

    This does not actually have to be me personally, but it does have to be people /like/ me. Systems administrators of various flags: large enterprise, medium enterprise, small business and the people caught “in between.” Talk directly to some end users, and try to filter this until you can find people who both understand the technology (and it’s attendant problems) and can still talk real business without the ridiculous prejudices.

    They need to be aware of the prejudices though, and how to deal with them, manage them, and more importantly counter them. They need to know where to invest for the maximum return on investment, and they need to pick up the lead on innovation. They don’t have to lead all areas in innovation, but they absolutely /must/ regain the crown in at least a few of them, or they will appear to be insignificant “losers” for the rest of time.

    Basically, if Microsoft want to have me as a fan they have to do two very important things that I think they they are pathologically incapable of doing:

    1) Hire me (or someone very much like me,) along with a bunch of people with different backgrounds to provide them with insight and opinions. Not a suit with an MBA, not an Engineer or Doctorate of Programming, but actual Systems Administrators who have to put this technology to use and support it in the field.

    2) LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE AND IMPLEMENT THEIR SUGGESTIONS. Most especially implement the suggestions you hear coming from more than one of them.

    Microsoft has become an old boy’s club: they only listen to those who tell them what they want to hear. They stopped listening to dissenters long ago, and as such they never get new opinions on anything.

    They just get the same opinion multiple times.

    Sadly, this will never happen. It was nice knowing you Microsoft. I hope your long road to insignificance won’t hurt all the great people working in your company too badly. With luck, they will be able to take their expertise and experience to other companies as they are laid off one group at a time in the time honoured tradition of a dying IT behemoth.

    Such a waste.

    1. jake Silver badge


      "This does not actually have to be me personally, but it does have to be people /like/ me. Systems administrators of various flags: large enterprise, medium enterprise, small business and the people caught “in between.” Talk directly to some end users, and try to filter this until you can find people who both understand the technology (and it’s attendant problems) and can still talk real business without the ridiculous prejudices."

      I dunno if I'm exactly "like you", but I was part of various panels of industry professionals MS brought in for input (large, medium, small and home) in the couple decades prior to 2000 (I was MSDN, et ali) ... After 2000, I could no longer be arsed. MS Marketing absolutely refused to listen to the folks in the trenches in the RealWorld[tm].

      Near as I can tell, MS filters on what MS Marketing expects (and/or has forcast), not on what the enduser needs/wants. As a direct result, I no longer take on contracts that feature MS products. My income hasn't changed, and I don't miss MS-based product management at all.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


        Honestly, I'd consider your input as regards what Microsoft needs to do in order to please it's customers without completely wrecking it's business model equal to or superior to mine own. At issue is not whether Microsoft wastes corporate dollars on focus groups, but whether these focus groups have any impact whatsoever on corporate decision-making.

        Microsoft doesn’t need a bunch of feel-good marketing types pretending to listen to sysadmins. They need to hire some bloody sysadmins and give them enough power in the organisation to actually enact change. People whose job it is to actually use the product in a real environment before launching it out to customers and saying “this is crap, this is less crap, change this, I can’t understand this so let’s write better documentation, this doesn’t work with anything, and why the hell do I have to “activate” Exchange’s anti-spam features from a power shell command line. (And why is Exchange’s power shell command line different from a regular one?)

        As said before: Microsoft’s biggest problem is that they don’t have anyone in power in that company who disagrees with them. All they get is the same opinions over and over, and those “yes men” with their lack of novel opinions and ideas are ruining the company.

        Windows 2000 was the last great Microsoft piece of software. Since then, everything has been at best mediocre.

        1. jake Silver badge


          I agree with your post 100% ... I said the same thing, but spread out over three decades.

          Doesn't mean I won't butt heads with you again, occasionally ;-)

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


            Any time you have two people who agree on absolutely of them is redundant.

            1. jake Silver badge


              "Any time you have two people who agree on absolutely of them is redundant."

              Or possibly married, if they are lucky ... The Wife & I never disagree about anything, we know what needs to get done, and just get on with it.

              As a saying, I prefer "If we all looked, thought & acted the same, the world would be a very boring place. Viv l'difference!"

              And here I thought I was supposed to be a mostly negative commantard ;-)

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


                There are always exceptions to any rule. :P

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Seems like no one's mentioned Trusted Computing yet?

    Lots of good stuff here but it seems like no one's mentioned Trusted Computing yet?

    That's Trusted Computing as in the entertainment industry and Microsoft trust each other not to spoil the other's profit margins (e.g. DRM, Vista's HD content protection stuff, etc).

    Trusted Computing might alternatively be taken to mean that users (Joe Public, IT depts, etc) could trust new versions to behave better not worse, to be more secure not less, to be faster not slower, and so on.

    On a separate note I'm puzzled by the comments about how good Studio is. Where I work we're still on Studio 2005 because for ongoing long term support reasons we neither want nor can (easily) follow Bill's forced upgrade cycles. For a specific C project recently I've been using Linux and Eclipse. The combination of Eclipse and a decent scripting environment is so much more productive for this than Studio ever could be. And we can carry on using whatever Linux and whatever GPL products we want for as long as we want, no vendor can tell us "no more support, no more licences, you must upgrade everything now, please give me your bank details".

    "Hardware distributors earn their profit from software sales. Selling a Microsoft box means selling MS Office, antivirus, and getting a handful of cash for pre-installing crapware."

    Indeed: See also: Putting "HP recommends Vista Business" (or whatever) on the advert means MS effectively pay half the cost of the advert, so you get twice as many adverts for the same money if you're willing to sell your company's soul to the Redmond devil.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @AC 17:59

      "Lots of good stuff here but it seems like no one's mentioned Trusted Computing yet?"

      See: "treating customers as criminals", above.

  52. mikebartnz

    Get rid of the idiot.

    They would need to get rid of that idiot Ballmer for one thing.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They could apologise and behave themselves

    Having been on the receiving end of Microsoft's dubious business practices on at least three different occasions they'd have to do quite a lot to make me do less that loathe them.

    The "embrace, extend, extinguish" mantra causes more trouble that you can possibly imagine. It stifles innovation, destroys companies and generally makes life poorer for everyone.

    If Microsoft just cooperated with everyone rather than trying to shove them aside like a playground bully then perhaps they will they will be acceptable in a civilised society,

  54. Defiant
    Gates Halo


    My last comment had fingers down but look at all the comments, your sad Linux and Apple geeks lmao

    1. jake Silver badge


      "My last comment had fingers down but look at all the comments, your sad Linux and Apple geeks lmao"

      Put another way: "I was at a party and heard some people laughing at the stupid drunk, so I jumped up on the table and looked around ... and everyone but me was drunk!"

  55. JDX Gold badge

    What a lot of hate

    You people should put less emotional involvement on what a software company does and more on things that matter.

    "MS should dump all their code to FSF"... yeah those $<tens of billions> they spent, just give it away. LOL.

    The simple fact is, the anti-MS movement now has a self-sustaining mass. New gullible converts are told all these things about how code should all be free, how MS is evil, blah blah blah, and accept it without investigating. It's no longer about facts, it's just a religion, or like hating someone because of what football team they support. Highly educated intelligent folk acting like a bunch of brainwashed chavs.


      You can ignore a market leader, but not a monopoly.

      > You people should put less emotional involvement on what a software

      > company does and more on things that matter.

      So you don't give a d*mn about your data then? This is what it's ultimately about. How safe is your personal data and how well will you be able to use in future.

      What software companies do also impacts a wide range of real world devices since non-computing devices increasingly have more computing and software components. A company like Microsoft out there impacts my car, the cash register at the store, the toll booth on the freeway, my paycheck, my day to day work environment, the ATM machine at the bank, the power grid and the air traffic control system.

      Yes. Software matters quite a bit.

      I would be less hostile to Microsoft (or Apple) if they did nothing to ensure that I am forced to deal with them against my will.

    2. Jason Hall


      Yeah, that's right. We're all against poor microsoft because we're brainwashed chavs.

      Perhaps each of us has been hurt by this company in some way, or knows someone who has been hurt by them instead?

      Perhaps we have to deal with the damage this company does on a day by day bais?

      Perhaps we don't like paying for products continuously just to keep the status quo?

      Perhaps we have to keep spending money fixing other people's faults.

      There are pleny more reasons.

      Is that enough?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Monopolistic idiot

      "The simple fact is, the anti-MS movement now has a self-sustaining mass. New gullible converts are told all these things about how code should all be free, how MS is evil, blah blah blah, and accept it without investigating. It's no longer about facts, it's just a religion, or like hating someone because of what football team they support. Highly educated intelligent folk acting like a bunch of brainwashed chavs."


      I've been looking what MS does since MS was founded (1977, if I recall right) and they haven't competed honestly ever, even the first contract with IBM was written by Bill's mom, who was on IBM's board at that time. Happy co-incidence, wasn't it? Do you _really_ think a noname company could get exclusive rightsfor anything from IBM at time? Unless it's your mom writing the contract, of course.

      It's all about facts you, as a fanboy, don't want to people to remember. But some of us have a long memory which spans further than your age.

      We don't see any change in behauviour: Legalese and monopoly are still the mode of operation, not innovation nor progress.

      And we have no reason to be happy with monopolistic idiot like MS. Not as restrictive as Apple, but that's only because they can't find a way of doing that without pissing corporate customers off.

  56. Number6

    You want the list...?

    Firstly they did the dirty on CP/M at the start of the IBM PC era. To be fair this was them putting one over on the Microsoft of its day if the story about the golf course has any truth in it.

    There was the modification to Windows 3.1 to object to DRDOS in an attempt to discourage people from using DRDOS. Then we had all the FUD and dodgy marketing practice that shot down OS/2 when, at the time, OS/2 was better than the competing Windows products. Then there was the "pay us a licence for every PC you ship whether it's got Windows on or not". I have vague recollection of compressed disk technology getting a work-over, we get the vague threats to Linux that it's infringing patents without anyone naming those patents. Forever changing the file formats for MS Office so that competing products never quite catch up, and MS users are expected to pay for a new one when the old one is perfectly good apart from handling a new file format that doesn't give them any extra. OOXML, mustn't forget that.

    That's the list off the top of my head, although I know there's more.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @ Number6

      "Then we had all the FUD and dodgy marketing practice that shot down OS/2 when, at the time, OS/2 was better than the competing Windows products."

      IBM shut down OS/2, not MS. Remember Taligent & Pink? IBM and Apple were dating, and MS wanted to roll the Windows 3.x API into OS/2 ... Rumor has it that Apple threw a shit-fit and so IBM declined. MS said "OK" and promptly hired Dave Cutler, who DEC had stupidly let go. The result was NT, the best line of OSes that MS ever built, culminating with XP (although I personally think Win2K was the absolute best OS from Redmond).

      And in all reality, OS/2 is still around, and in use. I kinda like it for some applications. See:

      I'm currently evaluating the GA release of Version 2.0 ...

      1. Number6


        I've still got a copy running in a virtual machine here. Still not gotten around to porting the legacy app to Linux, so it lives on. I remember OS/2 performing as well as Win NT 3 but taking half the resources to do so

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re-writing the history, eh?

        "IBM shut down OS/2, not MS. "

        After MS announced that if IBM don't shut it down, they will ( by raising the licence fees to ridiculous levels).

        Re-writing the history by "slight omission", aren't we?

  57. gnufreex

    Too late now

    Microsoft have grown to its current size thanks to removing ethics, confusing facts and doing all kinds of evil. They are past redemption. Even if they now shutdown their company completely, other companies that modelled after them will continue to exist. History will remember Micrsoft as ones who started terrible practice of notoriously proprietary software pushed that on billions of unknowing sheeple. During their reign, they destroying lots of companies (both competitors and partners) without actually competing. Just with their size and vapour cloud, they ruined computer industry, removed lots of innovative technology and replaced it with their over-hyped and inferior crap.

    Bill Gates' letter to hobbyists marked start of war between Microsoft and and human kind. War between Microsoft and human intelligence and Freedom. You can't start a war and then expect your enemy to like you.

    Microsoft is enemy of human race. It is a force of darkness that consumes technology and intelligence and convert it to crap which then infiltrates in all spheres of our lives. What is more dangerous, Microsoft is church of proprietary zealotry, they are affecting other IT companies by their financial success and providing bad example which other follow in order to get rich quickly. They must be shut down forcibly or greater disaster will happen. US DOJ failed at that, I am hoping EU to shut them down once and for all.

    And put their employees in dungeon for life, so they can't start-up new Microsofts.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      @ gnufreex

      During the '90s, Microsoft was useful for those of us using other platforms. The ineffeciency of their code and the reckless abandon of resource use brought harddisc and memory prices falling with ever increasing capacities. The computer I was using on the turn of Y2K (or Y2K1 if you prefer ;-) ) has less memory onboard than today's graphics cards, and considerably less than an equivalent-feeling PC needed. The idea of having gigabytes of RAM in a generic *desktop* machine would have seemed a bit pretentious. So I guess we can thank Microsoft for making Big Storage Dirt Cheap.

      It's a different story nowadays when even the most efficient computer needs a massive harddisc for all those MP3s and MP4s, and a shedload of memory to buffer rips in. <grin>

  58. JoeTheAnnoying
    Thumb Down

    Stop trying to do everything for me

    Q: Why do I hate using Microsoft products?

    A: Because:

    (1) They try to do everything for me. From auto-running CDs to auto-launching applications to auto-formatting as I type, the default settings are, "You, the user, are an idiot. Let me do that for you." The OS seems bogged down and slow because every time I try to do anything, the OS tries to anticipate what I want and do it for me.

    (2) The default actions are almost invariably wrong. On long drives, I let the kids watch DVDs in the back. I have nice DVD playing software with a simple interface my 6-year-old can use. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided that all DVDs must be launched by Windows Media Player, that the kids have all kinds of trouble running. Word autocorrects everything I type, and the corrections are invariably wrong -- I've been typing for 30+ years now, I know what I want to say, thanks. The list goes on and on and on, but I provide IT and hardware support for many friends, and much of my "support time" is taken up telling them that, "That's the default Windows behavior. You're going to have to change it. Here's how..."

    (1) and (2) in and of themselves make many people dislike Windows. However, the list goes on:

    (3) Changing the default behavior can be an extremely technical endeavor. How many users do you know who would be comfortable going into the Windows registry to disable autorun, or to turn off auto-launching of applications they don't use? One of my friends was considering buying a new laptop because his 2-year-old one was already extremely slow. I went into the registry and killed off a dozen autorun apps. Now his machine is "flying again" (his words). Virtually every single application you install puts startup code in the registry so that it'll look faster when the user runs it. This bogs down bootup time so seconds become minutes. And the average user on the street can't do anything about it, because Microsoft chose to make changing default settings and behavior extremely difficult.

    (4) Microsoft Update re-applies the default settings. I disabled autorun, set my DVD software to be the default player, and made many, many other changes to the registry and configuration settings. A few months later, I ran Microsoft Update. Autorun is there again, Windows Media Player is the default DVD player, etc., etc., etc. How dare you overwrite my preferences and settings? Even Kubuntu (that assumes a much more tech-savvy audience) asks me before overwriting any configuration changes I've made. Microsoft just assumes the user is wrong, Microsoft knows best, and obliterates my settings.

    (5) Windows is a resource hog. I can run the most recent Kubuntu on all of my machines. I can run the last MacOS that runs on PPC platforms (10.5.x) on my (approximately) 6-year-old mini-Mac. The latest XP security patch rendered Windows no longer viable on my oldest laptop (a Dell D600). Just this morning, I'm downloading Kubuntu 10.04 to put on my laptop so that it will run decently. I am not rich enough to replace all my hardware every time Microsoft puts out an update, yet that is exactly what Bill Gates suggested we do back when people were howling about how rapidly both Windows OSes and Office releases were growing (in both size and resource use).


    1. TeeDub

      Stop Trying to do everything for me?

      You complain that MS treats you as a stupid user, then you make a statement that it wants to autorun everything, use Windows Media Player, etc. etc. ad nauseum. If you are such a power user, then have you used group policy? I have implemented group policy on many systems, they work just fine and are quite stable. Active Directory (which is one of the technologies Microsoft developed, and don't try to give me the BS that it's just LDAP) is a powerful tool, and allows a great deal of management of your network, both large and can still use group policy if you only have one or two computers for your application. You folks that are Linux fanbois should actually really like AD, but will never look at it or admit it because it has the MS label. The Apple Fanbois are the same way.

      What's hilarious is the Apple and Linux Fanbois call the folks use Microsoft products closed minded. Absolutely hilarious. Of course, they don't have to get any real work done, they are just sitting around playing with their toes and coming up with new reasons to hate MS.

      ...and...just for the record, I use and support (as a consultant) MS, Linux, Apple and IBM (AS/400) systems. All have their points, of all of them, the easiest to get up and manage in a business environment hands down is Microsoft. Go ahead and blather all you want, Fanbois, but that is the truth.

    2. Robert E A Harvey
      Gates Horns

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

      "The latest XP security patch rendered Windows no longer viable on my oldest laptop"

      And I have no doubt that was intentional

  59. heyrick Silver badge

    How to be a fan?

    While I agree that XP is certainly long in the tooth, I think Microsoft needs to wake up and realise that XP was "the one they almost got right". Vista was horrid, and 7... Well, let's face it, for many many users, XP just does what is required. Where's the actual *need* to upgrade? Making some bullshit excuse for why the latest IE won't run on XP won't wash either, there are better browsers out there.

    Microsoft, I believe, needs to concentrate on making an OS that everybody will *want* to upgrade to. Not one that is increasingly DRM-obsessed and "prettier". There are probably other things these platfoms can do, but - really - show me an actual real-world task that 7 can do that XP cannot.

    Next up. The release models. Screw 'em all. I mean, what's Home, Basic, Starter, Home Basic, Pro, Corporate, DanglyPenis, GodMode and such doing as releases? You want TWO versions. You want "Home" which is a slightly reduced version for the home user, and you want "Business" which has extra features for business environments. You also want a free-to-download "Geek Pack" which will add some of the networking/admin stuff to Home for those who want to be a little more creative with their computer [better LAN support], but don't need all the specialist stuff the business version offers.

    Then sort out the pricing., prices range from ~€140-€260 (which one do I buy?!?). WTF? My computer cost less than €260! It is no wonder Windows suffers piracy with prices like that. I'm sure Microsoft may have many reasons to justify those sorts of prices (no doubt piracy is one of them) but that does not matter. If a user is going to upgrade to the latest Windows, can THEY justify the price? That is the important question. And, related to the above, how will they best decide which version they actually need?

    The new system licence check which can hobble your machine at any time? EPIC F'KING FAIL. A can walk the aisles of my supermarket writing down the Windows serial numbers. They're on fancy sticky labels in highly prominant positions. Why should I, having purchased a new PC, stand to suffer if the key is posted on a website someplace? Perhaps if Microsoft were a little less weird with regards installation discs, they would release an "original" disc with every computer. This original disc would contain an unusual format containing the licence key so, in case of doubt, popping the CD/DVD into the machine would authenticate it as being validly licenced. And in the case of multiples, the first valid will be assumed to be correct and subsequent attempts will be faulted. This *is* possible, for Encarta2000 does exactly this.

    Admin issues. It is frustrating to use a user account and not be able to do stuff like update the clock or remember to put the battery icon on the systray. There may well be some sort of permissions list where you can control what a limited user can and cannot do, but wouldn't it be better to have a simple option to "do this as supervisor?". Obviously this would need to have an off switch for users who cannot be trusted, but for geekery, it is disingenuous to run a limited user for security when the most basic management things often fail... I created a little icon for my mother for shutting down the computer as, I guess, it doesn't make sense for her to find Shutdown in Start... It was a shortcut to "%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -t 1", but no... she can use the UI to shut down, but you need to be admin to run the shutdown command. WTF? AFAIK there's no "sudo" prefix to "make it happen" either.

    And while you are thinking of ALL of this... or discounting it as airy-fairy wishful thinking, never lose sight of the fact that there is a viable alternative capable of most of the stuff Windows can do, that costs the outlay of a USB key, can be run try-before-you-...install. And has a support network second to none. Why am I not there? I frankly can't be assed to learn to admin a new OS, and I really don't like the Un*x filesystem structure. I also like programming but I'm lazy, I wanna write programs without the hassle of learning deep intricacies of the OS API. However... mark my words. There will be a day when something akin to VisualBasic turns up on a pointy-clicky management version of Ubuntu. That may well be the day I defect.

    In short, Microsoft, pay a little less attention to what YOU want, a little less attention to what your corporate and media buddies want, and a lot more attention to what the USERS want. And you may create some fans. Take a good long think about what XP got right that Vista didn't.

  60. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    The reason

    people hate microsoft boil down to a few bad decisions by microsoft management

    1. Including IE as a core part of the operating system, meaning the OS gets owned if theres an exploitable flaw in the browser

    this leads to number 2

    2. No admin/user accounts on many microsoft operating systems until recently. this would mean that if a user downloaded malware, then it could pwn the entire box and getting rid of it could mean the 're-install the entire OS option' instead of the much simpler wiping the user account and making a new one(and yes I am aware WinXp has admin/user accounts..... but own up if you actually use it instead of running as admin all the time)

    3. the whole "Linux violates our patents and associated FUD" thing, come on guys.... own up to which patents or is that just a strategy to deny sales to your rivals based on FUD rather then having a better product than your rivals.

    My final point is about market share, if microsoft had 50% of the PC market and a.n.other software co had the other 50%, then we would see a dramatic improvement in the quality of microsoft products and they'd make software products we'd want to use, rather than the 'lets force this crap on the users since they dont have anywhere else to go' that happens now

    PS I'm a happy dual booter, windows for games, linux to get work done

  61. Lewis Mettler 1

    illegal practices continue

    Microsoft continues its illegal practices.

    The US Appellate court clearly decided that commingling code between the OS and IE was illegal. it was the paid off DOJ that just decided to ignore the illegal practice, lie about it and continue to support Microsoft's illegal practice of forcing technology upon all consumers.

    The same is true of the EU Commission. Illegal bundling of IE continues unabated. All consumers still must purchase IE. Yes, some idiots try to ignore the illegal practice by suggesting that somehow a ballot screen compensates consumers for the harm caused by the illegal bundling. It does not.

    Microsoft has not changed its illegal practices at all.

    If you have a copy of IE, you were in fact forced to purchase it in exchange for cash.

    Only a fool and an idiot would do that and somehow think everything is okay.

    Any product would be a success if all consumers were forced to buy it. And any alternative technology using the same revenue model could not exist. Just like the browser marketplace. There isn't one. It can not exist as long as the illegal practice continues. And the EU Commission and the US DOJ knew that for a fact. They still did nothing to protect consumers.

    Microsoft has not changed. YOU are still forced to buy their technology. Even if you do not want it. Even if there are better alternatives available. You still pay for IE regardless.

    Yes, some idiots still buy the happy meal because they think it is a free toy.

  62. Barticus

    Windows netbooks will likely outsell Apple iPads in 2010

    No big surprise there...although...

    I bought a Windows 7 netbook the other day...the first thing I did with it was to dual-boot it with Linux (with Linux as the default OS, obviously). If I had been able to order a Linux netboot as easily as the Windows one I would have done...though hopefully it would also come with either a price reduction or spec upgrade to reflect the lack of Windows Tax.

    I wonder how many other Windows 7 netbooks this happens to.

  63. Penguin herder

    They could go back in time

    About all MS can do to get me back is travel back in time, and undo much of the last several years. I am well along in my move to cross-platform tools. I have used Linux at home for years now, and recently bought a laptop to take to work almost exclusively to use Linux under the radar. Things that were written (home-grown and otherwise) with attention to Microsoft's recommendations have been gradually and persistently breaking over time; things that were written with disregard (and better yet contempt for Microsoft) continue to thrive. Computers should be tools that make us more productive; I am done being a slave to them, and that means it is past time to kick Microsoft to the curb.

  64. Dan Keating

    Why people hate M$

    Micro who? Oh yeah - that was last years hate. We're all bitchin' about Apple now surely?!

  65. Tim Jenkins


    Because I would like to be at home with my family on a sunny Saturday evening, preferably watching the tennis, rather than sitting in a windowless (but not windowsless) room trying to get a dozen patches onto a 2K3 server which is giving me the very useful error message of "failed".

  66. Lael Rapier

    Windows is searching for a solution to your problem...

    Windows cannot find a solution to your problem.

    'nuf said.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Lael Rapier

      "Windows cannot find a solution to your problem."

      Indeed. More like "If Windows is your solution, you have a problem."

  67. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I don't hate Microsoft

    Why should I waste my energy on the company? I just don't use any of their products.

    My OS of choice does what I tell it to do, when I tell it, and so do the programs I run on it.

    Anything that doesn't conform to what I want goes straight in the bit bucket.

  68. Robert E A Harvey
    Gates Horns


    Let people buy new copies of XP, or even W2K, if they want.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    How could Microsoft win me over?

    By making nimble, secure and cost effective products that don't patronise me with flavour of the month "innovations", usually poorly ripped off from someone else. I don't want ribbons, animated dogs or gadgets/widgets. I do want quick and powerful ways to view and manipulate the files on my system. And I'd like the original control panel back.

    I don't want to tie my life into a Windows live account on the cloud. I do want my programs to store settings in a place where I can easily back them up myself.

    I don't want reboots, defrags and malware scans to be a regular part of my computing experience. And running them while the computer is idle won't trick me. Sad though it may be, I use the sound of my hard drive thrashing as an audio cue: "I'm busy, wait a minute before you open anything". Thanks to Windows, I'm waiting a bloody long time.

    I want software that is standards compliant. Open standards that anyone can use. I don't want to be told "sorry your data isn't welcome here - there's no good technical reason why, it's just that our marketing department don't think accepting data in that format is good for our business". Nothing makes my blood boil hotter.

    If you install Linux and it works, you can be reasonably certain that it will continue to work until either your hardware breaks, or you do something to break the software yourself. Not even hardened Microsoft fans seem to expect that much from Windows. Why not?

  70. Scott 9

    The trouble is being part of the "establishment"

    Some of the comments here amuse me, you think Bill Gates knocked each and every one of them out of the swing on the playground when they were kids. The first question is who does Microsoft want to be their fans? The computer savvy user or the average consumer? You really can't do both.

    For the average consumer it'd be taking a page from the Apple playbook and focusing on flash and marketing, making something that's people can already do seem like a must-have new idea. If that sounds like a thinly veiled reference to Apple fanbois, it is.

    For the computer savvy user the only way I'd see real fandom coming is to have a new corporate head take over, change the name of the company, and go with a whole new look and more open source/open outlook approach. However, this wouldn't make much money and the savvy fans would likely still bolt in the future.

    What would it take for *me* to be a fan? Drop prices, drop product activation, and quit screwing around with the interface in Windows and Office. That's all. So there.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    "... fans? The computer savvy user or the average consumer? "

    "The first question is who does Microsoft want to be their fans? The computer savvy user or the average consumer? You really can't do both."

    The question is important, but surely your answer is miles and miles out?

    The end users on the whole are utterly irrelevant. Their views are irrelevant, so long as MS can continue to forcibly take their money. (Exceptions apply, such as the poor sops who in the past have been willing to queue when a new release of Windows hits the shops).

    In general, the people that matter are the people that support the continuation of the current Microsoft business model. The Dells, the HPs, the other volume PC (and netbook, and PDA) builders. And the Symantecs and the rest of the AV crew. And the Windows-exclusive application developers. And the "Microsoft Certified Hangers On" of a dozen or more flavours.

    Then there's the corporate IT departments who have lost sight of the fact that their business role is to provide a service to the core business rather than to be an empire whose worth is measured by their budget (that just encourages an ongoing massive drain on resources) and by the number of MS-certified staff they have (ditto).

    And then there's the MS-DRM-only content providers and their friends in the industry.

    And all the other constituent parties of the current MS-dependent ecosystem.

    The end users are the last people MS care about (evidence: Vista, Office 2010, and much earlier evidence would include what happened to Autoroute after MS bought it).

    These MS-promoting MS-dependent folk need to realise that nothing lasts forever, and Windows' time is nearly up. They better start making alternative business plans before the next Vista fiasco. And once the first couple of big names go to The Other Side, the rest will have to follow or go out of business.

    A final thought: what would happen to the MS-dependent ecosystem if Jobs were to unbundle the Apple OS from Apple hardware? The technical differences these days between an Apple and a PC are insignificant; the Apple OS can run on a PC (laptop, desktop, server, etc), just not in a legitimately supported manner. Jobs would lose some of his high margin fashion-accessory sales, but he'd gain a high-margin software market instead. The Linux geeks could keep their Linux, but Joe Public and indeed the rest of the industry would suddenly have real choice again, something they've not had in this market for decades.

    Maybe Steve needs to be talking to Steve.

    Have a nice week.

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Up


      "what would happen to the MS-dependent ecosystem if Jobs were to unbundle the Apple OS from Apple hardware? "

      I'd love that. Apple would have to write a hard-down spec for device drivers for things like sound and graphics cards, but that aside I think it would kill M$ stone hard dead. And good riddance.

  72. Michael Nielsen

    What would need to happen for me to say MS is Ok

    Fan I'll never become.

    Stop charging ludicreous prices for your software, 400pounds for An operating system, that is not bound to the hardware, but can only be used 3 times before it expires - forget it.

    500 pounds for Office professional, a product which does 95% of what you don't need to do, and takes op an incredible amount of resources.

    Stop corrupting standards, eg HTML, Kerberos, et. al. Stop implementing just enough of the standard so that it barely works, and the corrupting it so that nothing else works with the MS product.

    Use only open standards, or open the standards that Microsoft uses, and standby the standard, that is don't change it periodically to intentionally break 3rd party products - see caldera court case.

    Stop Creating hidden API's that boosts MS programs, and isolate 3rd party programs, to make them look interior.

    Create a proper security framework, not this requestor hell that started with vista. Ubutntu/Linux got it right, when you need privileges you ask for the password to increase system access.

    Remove the need for using between 10-90% of MY system resources to circumvent your security flaws (virus scanners).

    And DON'T STUFF WITH MY SYSTEMS like the stupid MAX 10 connections per second on my XP SP 2 machine - mainly use it for games, but I also need to test programs for windows, and some of these use a lot of connections, I'm fed up having to work around problems that MS have created.

    I'll never become a Fan, even if they offered me a million dollar contract! I'll do the work, but I'll never be a fan.

  73. ripratm

    MS as a company

    Is a perfect example of the people who started it. Fist you have Gates, typical Nerd with no style or or emotion. There products are just that, basic, to the point. If they try and introduce style into them they are so far off they look comical. The best example of that is windows95-2000. Boring, grey, and some what comical in cool factor (think clippy). Today you have Win7 though not as comical I still get feeling of being forced.

    Then you have Balmer, there is the arrogant asshole side of the company comes from. The strong arm tactics the monster that is MS.

    I think what it needs is a complete make over internally. Get some of the suits out and hopefully some of the old politics and views (read the story about the kin). Get some new blood in and try to appeal to crowds other than other suits.

    Sadly the Xbox is probably the closest thing they have right now that appeals to that crowd yet they haven't been able to ride that "cool" wave into anything else.

  74. Chemist

    First reason to hate (~~1983)

    Of many reasons over the years the first in the list is a garbage collection bug in a MS ROM BASIC from ~1983 (?) Overwriting strings in an array eventually caused a real mess.

  75. Badwolf

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Bing, Zune, Kin, Vista, Mobile - all total rubbish and don't get me started on the office suite or their abysmal advertising campaigns.

    Add the very visible and very very hateable CEO

    Yup - lots to Loath / Laugh at (Delete where applicable)

  76. Anonymous Coward

    Still lots of annoyances

    How about getting rid of that unreliable "Authentic Windows" BS.

    How about not requiring me to enable Auto-install Windows Updates to get Windows Defender updates to install in Windows 7; it annoys me that I have to ask it to install at work, _every day_, just because I don't want the critical updates to install when I'm busy working!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well ...

    Maybe I am in a very small minority?

    I happen to view a world without Microsoft as a lot sadder and a lot poorer sort of place.

    Similarly so for the Apples and Adobes and googles and Ubuntus.

    These make for an energetic environment and yes, I do accept that no organisation is perfect - just like us mere mortals really.

    Q: What can MS do about it's PR?

    A: Add a dash of genuine sincerity?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why Microsoft has no fans

    "Hi, while I was beating it in the shower, it suddenly occurred to me that my computer should be SIMPLER. *gross unnecessary flashback* That's why I invented <banal Apple idea #12> and now all I have to do is <some stupid shit> to see <some stupid shit>. Let me demonstrate using this top of the range laptop that I'm waving around with all the merry abandon of a drunk circus clown trying to perform keyhole surgery on a fruit fly on the back of a pickup truck with no suspension doing 70 on a dirt road. My name is Dave, and Windows 7 was MY idea"

    'nuff said.

  79. justkyle


    admit and support previous Windows releases as "legacy" or release their source code for them to the entire world with no strings attached.

    drop criminally expensive XBOX live gold membership pricing. Why should I pay Microsoft to watch netflix? I don't have to do this with the Nintendo Wii?

    you want cross platform? So do I=open source Microsoft Office, port it to Linux.

    create media center connectors for linux and mac so that they can, too talk to your xbox 360.

    get out of the server business.

    get out of the email server business

    get out of the programming business (visual studio, really?)

    at least they know not to get into the phone business

    as far as netbooks go, wasn't there some study that said that their sales were hurt by the iPad?

    windows 8 direction? OK, scrap the whole DOS based thing. base it on top of Unix. It didn't hurt Apple that bad when they did it. And kill Internet Explorer. Please.

    Multiple flavors of the the operating system? Maybe just Server and Workstation, like the good old NT days.

    But, then again, trust must be earned before I would ever, ever want to pay money for a server product from them. Maybe a three year hiatus on server, while they perfect workstation.

    also, stop buying companies/people/etc out to stifle competition and innovation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NT used just one binary.

      "Multiple flavors of the the operating system? Maybe just Server and Workstation, like the good old NT days."

      And even those were excatly the same binary, only difference was licensing and some auxiliary programs (who of course checked that you were running a "server version" before starting.)

      Even the registry key indicating the version could be changed on-the-fly until MS noticed that and added a constantly running watchdog to change it back if it was changed. Really productive use of processor cycles and tells us clearly the mode of operation MS is working in.

      That hasn't changed: In 7 we have tens of threads watching individual files and directories to prevent of user changes or files opened in exclusive-write-mode so no-one else than Redmont can have access to those.

  80. Anonymous Coward

    Exponential growth in ignorance...

    ...of the "average user" cannot be ignored. Since the dawn of the P.C., the target consumer group has been expanding exponentially - with an even larger exponent with the advent of the WWW. Whereas the "average" end-user of the late '70s, early '80s tended to be much more sophisticated, re digital tech, today, that cohort probably constitutes less than 0.01% of the total digital-tech consumer/user group (not counting pretenders).

    Marketing companies (e. g., MS, Adobe, Apple, Google) and marketing-master wannabes could care less about "advancing" the technology except insofar as it gives them an "apparent" near-term advantage over other marketing companies, the latter's propag//// err, advertising, and how that affects the former's bottom line.

    MS is hated for many different reasons when, in fact, that ire should be focused on the regulators (& patent-copyright folks) for their failure to recognize and grasp the substantial change that digital-technology and its "software" represented relative to all previous technologies - and maybe the corruption of those regulators by a general breakdown in government integrity.

  81. N2


    The text should read:

    Microsoft is still playing the bad old days of arrogance and dubious business practices

  82. RobbieD

    You're forgetting the Support Issue

    I would argue that the No.1 reason that most tech people are anti-Microsoft is because they suffer the bugs and flaws and ill-thought-out programming and development on a daily basis and suffer their userbase's comments on the same and Microsoft provide no adequate forum for feedback of these failures to allow them to get resolved. If they provide a means for feedback then it is hidden behind exorbitant price plans and expensive technet subscriptions.

  83. A J Stiles
    Gates Horns

    The first thing they could do

    The first thing they could do is stop concealing their Source Code from developers (I would say "users", but Source Code is mostly of interest to developers; and if you're as paranoid as me about what is running on your box, you can always pretend to be a developer to get the code).

    Microsoft Windows and Office are already subject to rampant piracy, so clearly hiding the Source Code isn't preventing that.

    I'm *not* saying make it free as in £0, and nor am I saying allow unlimited copying. I'm merely stating my belief that if you have paid for the right to make use of a piece of software such as Windows or Office, then you have a right to know what's inside it -- and a right to alter it to suit you. You also have the right to tell other people what you changed, so they can alter their own fully-paid-up copies if they so desire.

    I have never, ever paid for a piece of PC software in my life; and if I knew I was not even going to get the Source Code for my hard-earned, I wouldn't start either.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why doesn't Microsoft...

    ... put its own brand name on the Xbox?

    Scared it would kill sales?

  85. Ascylto
    Gates Horns


    If a man from Microsoft came into my office and looked anything like the man on their adverts for Sharepoint 2010 (which you carry) ... I shoot him as a Zombie.

    Fitting, though!

  86. Anonymous Coward

    Why we love to hate Microsoft

    Their software?

    Their inability to move with the times?

    Their security record?

    ...and numerous other misdemeanours!

    We don't "love" to hate them. We just wish they'd get something right for a change - or give up trying. Either way would suit me.

    Just look through the history of El Reg for articles where MS have f**ked something up. It's a large percentage of articles. Larger than their market share and larger than any other company!

    (I got rid of almost all their crud from my home computers years ago. If only my employers were as foresightful, I wouldn't have to put up with any of their steaming offerings any more!)

  87. deadlockvictim

    On being liked

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would have a lot more respect for Microsoft, if:

    • They made software releases every 5 years or so, not 2 or 3. The corollary to this is that the new version would have be so good, that one would want to upgrade, rather than be pressured into it. SQL Server 2005 serves here as a nice example.

    • They made stable software that is powerful, easy to use and inherently stable. I don't always want new features or bigger installs or more junk. I do want to be able to create documents in Word and add pictures without having to spend half of my day chasing jumping images. Nor do I enjoy having to repair Word files because the 'Track Changes' feature has done something naughty.

    • They didn't pull stunts like 'Windows Genuine Advantage'. I let Windows Update run automatically until the WGA debacle. Now I run them manually. Stunts like the WGA are a great way to kill user trust.

  88. Estariel
    Thumb Down

    Reasons to still hate Microsoft

    1) Forcing me to re-buy the software every four years, when the newer versions do nothing useful.

    2) Still producing products which are impossible to code into a firewall

    - Windows Update (no accurate list of MS target sites, URLs or IP ports)

    - Windows Active Directory

    3) MS Word thinking it knows better than me how I want my document laid out.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      a title? really? when I clicked the REPLY TO POST button?

      4) Installing .Net Framework whatever-it-is for Firefox, and then re-installing it every time I go to Windows Update. What is this, a dastardly attempt to make the use of Firefox just as much of an upkeep and security hassle as IE? Hmmm, yeah, if I wanted all that crud I'd still be using IE. Microsoft, how about you keep your sticky hands off software that isn't anything to do with you?

  89. Ascylto
    Big Brother

    They've a lot to learn ...

    Microsoft is a business.

    Microsoft is a BIG business.

    It always amazes me that, with the 90% market share, the huge resources available and the ability to purchase the best 'brains' around, Microsoft seldom seem to get it right. Unlike Apple who are also a huge corporation, Microsoft have never managed to get that 'cult' status that follows Apple and Steve Jobs.

    Of course M$ has liabilities. Ballmer is one but Apple came through Gil Amelio. In the bullshit stakes Apple are ALWAYS ahead of M$ and yet their advertising budget can't be smaller than Apple's. There's something about MS that makes you want to kick it and, let's face it, M$ have produced some whoppingly calamitous stuff (as have Apple but APL seem to get away with it).

    I think it stems from people seeing Gates as both enviable (richest man in the world) and the smarmy geek of all geeks with Ballmer as the Joker. Whereas Jobs is seen as the entrepreneur, the marketing man and, let's face it, he's GOOD at it.

    M$ have a name, rightly or wrongly, of being slightly evil ... buying in their 'innovation' at the expense of others and portraying themselves as heroes. Apple, on the other hand, have always been seen as the underdogs and hence command the cult status they have. AND Apple have maintained their industrial design status, something M$ could never do because they have never really supplied hardware.

    If Microsoft really want people to love them they've got to appear humbler and it looks like Apple are after Microsoft's crown, and a fat lot of good it will do them.

    I wish I knew more about Linux and Ubuntu and others to give a more balance view but I'll stick with the big boys for now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How you define "the market"?

      "It always amazes me that, with the 90% market share, "

      Depends how you define "the market". Number of downloads vs. number of copies forced?

      You can't buy a PC without MS-tax so amount of "sold" has nothing to do with amount of copies in use and essentially is equivalent to number of downloads. Our office uses Linux on laptops but we prefer to use IBM/Lenovo (reliability) and you can't get those without MS-tax: So there's 40 licences "sold" and none of them is in use. We can't resell those either because those are OEM-versions, essentially downloaded and thrown away.

      This is not uncommon either, at least in engineering companies.

      So amount in use is the real market and I'd seriously doubt that MS have 90% share of those. In that scope, MS may have about 50%, still largest single player but not nearly as large as they themselves say they are (because they actually have no clue, not even on their own old licences).

  90. Avatar of They

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

    MS need to cut back on bloat for an OS.

    MS need to adhere to international standards in web browsing.

    MS need to adhere to international standards in document formats.

    MS needs to accept Open office, not chuck new standards to make Open source struggle (for a bit) They can't kill it with Patents, shut up and just accept it.

    Stop MS tax recalculations, so software in the US is the same relative price in the UK.

    MS needs to fix the bugs that exist in software before making the same pieces of crap.

    MS needs to listen to their customers. If win8 is to be believed, they ain't doing.

    Stop 'copying' to catch up, 'innovate' to catch up.

    But seriously, Nokia to outsell iphone this year. What offering is that gonna' be with? N900 failed, there is nothing else close and we are in July.

    MS tablets to outstrip the ipad. Even Ballmer isn't that deluded.

  91. John White
    Gates Horns

    Remember FoxPro ; Autoroute.....10 reboots on installs...

    I 've been messing with PCs for years - since 1987 and remember Windows 1 and 2. I also remember MS buying the 'ahead of the times' Autoroute and it disappearing FoxPro after MS takeover - languished and left to rot in a backwater - too much competition for Access 1.0

    Oh, and the installs..I built my own PC's in the early '90s (too little cash) when install from CDROM meant 'build a boot disk with CDROM drivers then try installing '98' . Once clocked at 9 reboots and 3hrs for a basic system (no apps) - just all device drivers.

    I even tolerated the virus's caught early on in my dialup internet days

    I used to *quite* like '98 as it was all I knew. Then one day, a device driver for a new motherboard caused 'Win98 to run like a 2 legged dog - 5mins to splash screen! No success at removing driver in safe mode or using the boot floppy+base drivers (to read CDROMs)

    3 hrs into a complete re-install (and all personal data loss aka MS duff disk partitioning) and 10pm at night, I pressed the reset and shoved a Mandrake Linux disk (can't be worse than 3hrs plus another 3 for usable apps). Booted from CD; answered a few questions re my dialup; installer said '45mins to complete'.

    'Joker' I said; 40 mins later I was in bed; emails collected; full office +apps installed; one reboot after install. I was sold on Linux and have used nothing else since 1996, (OK, I've intstalled Solaris on x86 and Sparc and even run Linux on Sparc).

    I've learned more really useful computing info in 2 months of Linux (including networking MS PCs in the NT4 days) from Linux than I ever did in 9 years previous MS/Win use.

    The dodgy business practice; wriggling out of monopoly convictions and downright uncompetitive behaviour (e.g. buy a better competitor product company then bury the product in a deep hole) just seals the can.

    Microsoft, you're a disgrace - I hope your misdeeds catch up with you with a vengeance

  92. Basil Fernie

    jake @ Number6

    "IBM shut down OS/2, not M$"?

    IBM was cowering on its knees before a sawn-off double-barreled Windows-tax shotgun. Either IBM stopped bundling OS/2 (even uninstalled) with its systems, and then eventually even selling, finally supporting OS/2, or else M$ would price OEM Windows to IBM at a level that would make it virtually impossible to sell an IBM PC or laptop with Windows (which quite a lot of people did want to buy) at a vaguely competitive price. Either IBM strangled OS/2, or M$ would strangle IBM in the PC market.

    Like a man caught in a bear trap, IBM eventually amputated its PC leg totally for the sake of survival.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Basil Fernie

      Nah. I was there. My version is accurate, yours is anti-MS FUD.

      Somewhere, I have a T-shirt with the IBM logo of the time superimposed over the "full color" Apple logo of the time on the front. On the back, it reads "Your brain, on drugs.". The first time we wore them at work, we were told we'd be fired if we wore them again ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MS has "official version" for every situation

        "Nah. I was there. My version is accurate, yours is anti-MS FUD."

        I was also there and your version looks much like the MS "official version", ie. FUD.

        Like "BillG _never_ said that "640k ought to be enough for everyone"".

        I wonder why is that?

        I also have a picture from a clip from a small newspaper that it was printed on (as part of the Bill's interview), unfortunately don't have newspaper name nor date, but that was Bill's official policy at time. If you don't remember, don't worry, I do.

        ("Somehow" that picture has disappeared from internet, there is quite much you can do if you have a lot of money. Like rewriting the history.)

        1. jake Silver badge

          @AC 12:56

          Please note that I'm no Microsoft fan ... I don't currently use, support or recommend anything Microsoft.

          "Like "BillG _never_ said that "640k ought to be enough for everyone""."

          Near as I can tell, he didn't. However, see my post:

          And I recommend Macs over Win7 boxen to my friends & relatives ... but me DearOl'Mum & Great Aunt are quit happy running the version of Slackware that I built for them.

          ::shrugs:: I ain't religious about it. Whatever hardware & OS & Software combo my users use that makes *MY* life easier is good enough for me.

  93. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I'll never be a fan, but...

    What they can do so I'll quit hating them is:

    1) stop the monopolistic practices. Particularly price dumping to try to force competitors off machines. I want to buy machines without Windows, and I can (thanks Dell!) but with nowhere near the choice I should have. A particular "fuck you" to Microsoft for strongarming OEMs into putting Windows onto a bunch of netbooks (that were shipping with Linux), then having the companies beef up specs (i.e. cost) because Windows was too bloated to run on them with the original specs. I have a lovely Mini 10 with Ubuntu but don't think I could get another like it now.

    Side note, to you guys who comment a netbook is not a proper machine. Bull. Windows is too bloated to run on it maybe, but I have a 1.3ghz Atom, and Ubuntu runs great on it. The browser runs well, OpenOffice is fine, PDFs are nice, I can play videos, I can even run Virtualbox (I don't dare try to run windows in there though). I do have a flash blocker so I don't have ad after ad bog it down.

    2) Follow standards. They intentionally made "ODF" support that doesn't actually work with every other ODF-using word processor for instance. This type of stuff must stop.

    3) Drop the DRM crap. Just tell the movie companies where to stick it and stop it. This doesn't apply to the Windows Activation though -- I don't care about that, i figure it makes it that much easier for me to convince people to quit using Windows if I point out I can install my copy of Ubuntu unlimited times without worrying about that.

  94. Doshu

    Uninformed or just plain pissed

    It might feel good to let off some steam for all those years of bugs (and yes, there were many), but to whom it may concern:


    If it wasn't MS on the scene, then someone else would be on top trying to squash the competition and that OS would be the most hacked piece of software on the planet. Plain. And. Simple.


  95. Keith Doyle

    What would it take?

    Well, let's see...

    - pigs flying

    - hell freezing over

    - removing all DRM from their products

    - porting Office, IE, Silverlight, SQL Server, etc., to Linux

    - stop throwing chairs and otherwise terrorizing and sweatshopping their own employees

    - learn to compete on merit rather than with lawyers, intimidation, and incompatibility

    That'll do for starters...

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To reach forgiveness...?

    Go out of business.

  97. Anonymous Coward

    An entity with no moral is bad business partner to anybody.

    "but has Microsoft convinced the community that it would not do the same again if it had the opportunity?"

    Of course it would.

    Biggest problem of MS is that they are lying bastards. That's not going to change and thus I won't like it in the future either.

    Old saying :"A corporate has no moral" applies to MS better than most companies.

    Do you want to deal with entity which hasn't any kind of moral? Not at all?

    I wouldn't.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Stop making all the windows defaults wrong

    In particular stop hiding file extensions by default you bastards.

  99. A41202813GMAILCOM

    @Wednesday 7th July 2010 13:03 GMT

    And Stop Pushing Users To Use Lowercase.

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