When you buy Microsoft Services,
You get Microsoft quality.
Microsoft's Office 365 has been giving some users cold sweats. No matter how hard they try to log in, they simply can't access the service and haven't been able to for hours – others say it has wobbled for days. Sporadic reports of unrest began to emerge on Down Detector on Friday (26 October) in the UK and across the pond, …
F@AC ail fast, Fail often yes, but when you put it in the cloud that becomes expected behaviour unlike internal services.
We are learning (or being taught) to accept a Cr@p service because it's "Agile". I personally don't really want to be experimented on regularly with my primary tools my corporate masters decide I have no option to use however.
Most people only use about 5% of the office capabilities anyway, and most of the changes now seem to be just to keep developers busy rather than improve the product. Win 10 is going the same way - development is becoming destabilising tinkering instead of actual development
"I wonder when people will wake up and realise the size of the barrel that MS has them draped over?"
It's not just Microsoft. Google wants you to do all your productivity work in the cloud too. In fact, it seems all of Sillycon Valley has been seduced to the cloud-side.
I say, yet again, that all software developers who think using the cloud is a "good idea" should be dropped, on an annual basis, into the middle of the Mojave Desert with their precious cloud computing devices to see just how much work they can get done when there's no internet to be found.
Isn't that obvious ? As was demonstrated when they had an "isolated" data centre failure, their systems are globally intertwined like a
platetruckload of spaghetti. If you ever install a tool like Little Snitch and allow connections from Outlook one at a time then you will find that simply signing in requires the program to follow a long list of DNS redirects (from memory at least half a dozen) that send the connections all round the world.
Given the way things seem to be built, it's a wonder it ever works at all !
Also makes a mockery of any claims to be compliant with GDPR - I hope no-one here is using O365 for anything business related and relying on Microsoft's claims ;-)
I have a tiny (almost invisible) scrap of sympathy for the manijur-level ijits and their hasbeencounters who get suckered into cloud: they are so frequently the kind of twits who say things like "I don't do detail", as if they're actually proud of their laziness, or think it's clever to make whooshing-hand-over-head gestures when challenged by fourth-grade arithmetic—it's plainly true that air pollution has caused a massive drop in intelligence, if corporate senior management are any indication—BUT, to topic: they don't know any better. They'd accept anything a Microsoft saleslizard said to them if it promised a boost to their "cost savings" bonus next January.
We technical types have no excuses.
We know perfectly well that systems (sometimes not even massively large ones) can become so complex that no one person, however smart, can hold all of its functions and foibles in his/her head. The ever-increasing layers of programming have run the gamut in 50 years from punching in hex on a pad to writing incredibly abstracted, layered OO code with mouse clicks. We can build very complex and powerful systems, but with ever diminishing understanding of how the clockwork really meshes to make things happen even on a good day. It's easy to write today in ten minutes or an hour what would have taken a day or two many years ago; it's also predictable that the old code would have been sized in kilobytes at most, while the new will scale to megabytes at least.
My point being that the ever-increasing and supposedly productivity-oriented layering of the cloud in particular has created multiple and incredibly elaborate levels of abstraction, some of it the result of algorithms creating other algorithms, often monitored and checked and managed by code whose only job is to handle the inevitable errors and exceptions, with the result that (a) no one truly understands even a tenth of it, (b) it is increasingly vulnerable to tiny glitches ramifying through the entire thing, causing entirely unpredictable and often bizarre effects, (c) it is too big and expensive to re-engineer for reliability, so instead it keeps acquiring cancerous "fixes", which are really hastily-slapped on kludges of sloppy code upon worse code upon bad code upon mediocre code upon what was once, when you dig deep enough, half-decent code.
At some point, the cloud becomes monster of dubious reliability and, even worse, can no longer be provably defined as secure. Both consequences should be scary. "Cloud" really does mean "amorphous and poorly understood mess".
Executives and bean-counters aren't capable of understanding this, I accept (and are incentivised not to understand anything which negatively affects remuneration anyway) ...
... but what excuse do the rest of us have?
"So- don't buy Miscrosoft products, then?"
It's not that simple. While the Microsoft stuff is indeed awfully complex, the competion isn't much (if any) better. No wonder these overly complex and hence ugly constructs aren't reliable. And it is not getting any better as long as we keep focussing on low price tags (with hidden but tremendous high cost) - rather than fighting for simplicity and reliability. It starts way down at the hardware level ...
I fully agree with your describing the limitations of the Executives, PHBs and Beancounters but as for what excuse we techie-types have it is simple...We are ignored whenever the value being discussed is more than the cost of a cup of coffee.
I have seen all too many times when some person arrives at the top of the tree and declares that all the core systems will change to match what they used at their last company despite the fact is will cost multiple millions and offer no improvement in functionality. The critical part is that this important person will then not have to learn a new way to enter their expenses into 'the system'. They carefully ignore that they don't even use these systems, that is what their EA is for.
"if corporate senior management are any indication—BUT, they don't know any better." "We technical types have no excuses."
Sorry, that's wrong. Many of us technical types saw this coming a mile off. I personally saw many clients convinced to move away from having an SBS 20xx server quietly chugging away* in the corner of the office to O365. Is didn't matter how hard we shouted, how much we tried to convince the customer that what they had was more reliable than ANY cloud service ever, all they saw was a bottom line - "O365 only costs £xxx per year - Servers cost thousands" was a line I heard regularly. Customer convinced, customer moved to O365, beancounters happy. Of course, none of the beancounters had the foresight to calculate costs over [say] 5 years where an on-premesis server is probably cheaper!
Us "technical types" were overruled by the management and the beancounters, who believed the hype spouted by the snake oil salesmen and that was that. They were convinced and, to put it bluntly, ignored the advice of IT staff or used it as an excuse to get rid of the IT Department. After all, why do you need an IT Department, when everything is in the cloud?
No, us technical types can walk away with our head held high. We tried to tell them. We shouted. We tried to teach them. They didn't listen. There's only so much us technical types can do before their decision becomes their problem.
*I have a customer running SBS2008. Still chugging away after 9 years. Not counting the broadband going down, it's only had a couple of hours offline for one failed HDD and a precautionary PSU replacement.
What will our grandchildren do when the "Mending Apparatus" itself breaks?
It may come sooner than you think.
TLDR: Joseph Tainter argues that the root cause of civilizational collapse is because of overinvestment into and declining marginal returns on complexity. Societies invest in complexity to solve their problems and typically need to expend ever more organizational and physical energy to maintain that level of complexity; eventually, this expenditure undermines their material base, opens up a large potential gap where they could reap the exact same benefits but at a lower level of complexity (and cost), and the likelihood of collapse converges to one.
Glass houses & all that, DAM. This very august journal ran an article a while back allowing as to how the Brits are officially more obese than the Yanks.
Which is not surprising, considering what goes into a "full English breakfast" ... probably quadruple the calories from fat compared to any breakfast that I ever had here in the US.
… so I've just bought an oldfashioned MS Office package for my new notebook, rather than subscribing to Office 365. Works nicely, but for some reason the Outlook profile won't load. This article seems to explain why …
Yes there alternatives to MS Office, but unfortunately it's very hard to boil an ocean ...
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