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Why Microsoft sucks?

 
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Hey Ram,

Sorry for the confusion, when I mentioned ME, I was referring to the browser That's what McNealy was referring to, that pesky browser.

If I read your post right, it seems you're saying that M$ won the battle because their products were more usable. I guess we're just going to have to disagree on that point I think they won because they were in the right place at the right time. I used OS/2 back in the early 90s, and even then it was a very stable and powerful OS - it has been a mystery to me ever since how an OS as pathetic as 3.1 could have beaten OS/2. But I can assure you it wasn't about quality.

In terms of the popularity of PCs, I really don't think that M$ can really take much credit for that. The required technology simply became available at that point in time. I think Apple does a lot of things much better than M$, but I'd also have to say that Apple has made its share of mistakes. But Macs that came out in 1984 had an OS that M$ was still struggling to cach up with in the early nineties, and I'd say that when Longhorn comes out it won't really be as good as the first version of OSX was.
 
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Microsoft undoubtedly puts out a lot of useful stuff. I find every new Windows more fun to use than the last, tho I'm still amazed I have to hit the START button to STOP it.

But there has been plenty to be unhappy about, too. I definitely think they abuse their position (monopoly or just dominant) at times. For example during the long lead-up to Win95 (it slipped a year in a year) they told PC makers like Dell if they shipped ONE box with OS/2 Warp pre-installed they'd lose their volume discount for Windows which would simply put them out of business. I don't know a better example of "anti-competitive". During this time Bill Gates went on some TV news magazines and said "We arent' a monopoly. We just put our product on the shelf like anybody else and people buy it or not." Smirking, lying son of a gun.

Excel was mentioned above for blowing off 1-2-3 (and Quattro) but the first release was horrible. The first release of Access, too. People bought them for the MS name and suffered until release 2 or 3 to get something useable, for the price of an upgrade. Sure the other vendors were foolish to delay building Windows versions, but monopoly abuse is still ugly.

They played very nasty tricks on developers for a long while, too, herding them into new APIs and then pulling the rug out from under them, changing UI standards and using undocumented APIs to improve their own products.

I don't think MS is evil, but it has shown some strong bullying tendencies that are unattractive at best.
 
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tho I'm still amazed I have to hit the START button to STOP it.

Wait until Windows Blackcomb debuts... rumor has it that the "Start" philosphy will be completely replaced.

Quote from Bert Bates:
Again, I must confess that for the most part I've been able to escape M$ for the last several years, and the last significant time I spent on a M$ OS was indeed win98.

Windows 98 was almost enough to push me into the MS hating category, but luckily they have redeemed themselves (in my eyes at least) with XP. Even ME was more stable than 98 or 98SE, assuming you weren't trying to install 95 and 98 drivers onto the machine.
 
Bert Bates
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I know this is totally subjective, but doesn't XP just look, um...tacky? Kind of like, what if we could make our GUI look as if it was made out of cheap plastic?
 
Paul Bourdeaux
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
I know this is totally subjective, but doesn't XP just look, um...tacky? Kind of like, what if we could make our GUI look as if it was made out of cheap plastic?



While it isn't as visually appealing as the Mac OS X UI, I do like the look and feel of XP (not including the default "bliss" desktop image)... It does have some work to do to catch up with the Mac though.
 
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(Scott McNealy's) point is that ME is so full of security flaws that no transactions that require any level of security should be attempted using ME.

Say what?!

Nice try at apologizing for the man, Bert, but the whole industry calls it IE. He's not fooling anybody.

You made it personal now, McNealy, so bring it. Parking lot outside the Sun ice rink in Broomfield, Monday night, 7 pm.

You better have something really chewy to eat beforehand and a long memory. It's going to be all liquids for you after, my man. I am going to ring in your New Year! It's going to be a whooooooooole new kind of avalanche for you, hockey boy!
 
Michael Ernest
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BTW, Scott McNealy's comments are pretty much useless because ME was never meant for corporate use in the first place

Amen! But the throwdown is oh-so-still way happening.
 
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Any Microsoft product I use everyday hangs or gives some blah! blah! error at least once a day for no particular reason. I mean the basics like XP, MS office, IE or Outlook...
Isn't that a reason to say "Microsoft SUCKS"?
 
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I have been using MS product for a long time and things look better these days (in terms of Server crash and stuff). But Microsoft did nothing to please the tech guys when compared to for instance FireFox/Mozilla. Unless it opens up it's product for customization by developers it's going to tough...
 
Michael Ernest
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Well, now, for serious: why would Microsoft 'open up' unless it has to? If they can lock you in, they will.

Everyone with the traditional commercial view wants to do this, one way or another. They may claim or actually offer oustanding service, quality, reliability, prestige, sex appeal, or whatever, but every serious company wants you to come back. Even more, they'd like to know you're coming back. For M$, sitting in an overcrowded provider market, domination was always the goal. Technophiles should rightfully hate that.

To M$'s credit, technophiles generally either don't care or are clueless about the realities of survival in a market. Look at any techno-blog for the last year. Can you find two unbiased authors that are enthusiastically touting the same products from beginning to end of that year? In the Saloon it seems like there are 3-10 products that can be named to answer any one problem. Wow, great! And a company makes money happily competing on virtue among a throng of contenders....how?

Microsoft sees itself in a world where such a market view is death. And it should know: it has swallowed up more companies who do believe such things, at least until the buyout offer is high enough or a M$ product/vapor announcement kills their investment stream. On a less paranoid plane, M$ does live in a market where price is generally going down (in relative dollars) and commodity quality is generally going up (relative to each product).

You would have paid $2800 for a just-fooling-around Northstar system in 1979. For an Apple IIe, $2100, and you brought your own tape recorder for loading a program into memory. What will $2800 buy you today? Not only a top-end personal computer or mid-level server hardware, but the software you want to run and possibly folding money left over. And it runs thousands of times faster, more reliably, and demands less physical space than 28 years ago.

A massive consumer market drives price down, of course, but what amounts to massive after-sale testing also raises quality -- eventually, and relative to whatever the starting point was for a given product. Each year recently I find myself spend fewer real dollars on hardware but demanding (and getting) more bang for the buck.

What I don't get, on the PC side, is as much choice in software as I think I might like. Or at least I wasn't until recently. As it turns out for me, I'm not all that excited about Linux because there is not only is there *too* much damn choice and flexbility, there's too much technical responsibility. It was more than worth it for me to wait until the market pushed SPARC/Solaris into a similar model.

What technophiles seem to want -- power and control over things that don't seem to matter much in most of the business realm -- and what I as an end-user want -- a machine that expedites my business work, communications and access to a broad spectrum of information -- don't overlap as much as they once did.

To cut to a conclusion, M$ still sucks. But they are now a choice, as opposed to what they were once: the only real game in town for PC use at a modest cost. And now that there are more choices for an informed and educated user, they suck less in a way because I know I am putting up with them. The handcuff factor is gone.
[ December 29, 2005: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Bert Bates
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(Scott McNealy's) point is that ME is so full of security flaws that no transactions that require any level of security should be attempted using ME.

Say what?!

Nice try at apologizing for the man, Bert, but the whole industry calls it IE. He's not fooling anybody.



Man, I'm so far removed from M$ that I've forgotten it's called "IE"

FWIW, McNealy WAS referring to IE, I just botched the reference :roll:
 
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Originally posted by Kailash Thiyagarajan:
Any Microsoft product I use everyday hangs or gives some blah! blah! error at least once a day for no particular reason...


I switched to Macs 8 months ago, and the only error I've seen was while installing Microsoft Office.

But here's my question: Does Bill Gates actually have any idea how his products (don't) work? Or is he so insulated that he only sees carefully staged demonstrations in which everything runs perfectly? I always wonder what his reaction might be if he sat down and tried to use a "real world" PC.
 
Bert Bates
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From the "Hitting-the-nail-on-the-head-dept."

But here's my question: Does Bill Gates actually have any idea how his products (don't) work? Or is he so insulated that he only sees carefully staged demonstrations in which everything runs perfectly? I always wonder what his reaction might be if he sat down and tried to use a "real world" PC



ROFL
 
Paul Bourdeaux
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Any Microsoft product I use everyday hangs or gives some blah! blah! error at least once a day for no particular reason. I mean the basics like XP, MS office, IE or Outlook...

Wow. That sucks. Perhaps you need to call your IT guy and see if they can figure out what's wrong with your setup...

I use Windows every day (along with Linux and Solarius) and I definately don't have problems like that. And I run some fairly process heavy applications. In the past I worked in IT support, and even then I only saw similar issues when there were problems with the system setup (drivers, dlls, protocols, etc...).

Now don't get me wrong... my windows box will occasionally crash still (especially when I have 2 or 3 IDEs open along with a profiler, a load tester, and a server or two running on it all at the same time ), but nowhere near every day. Of course, I have only crashed my Linux box once, and never seen the entire solairus cluster crash...
 
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This thing went four years without a reply and now it's back from the dead!
 
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As a former Sun employee for 13+ years, I have to admit that I drank the Kool-Aid...

Even so... I believe the war between Sun and Microsoft, hurt Sun more than Microsoft. And would have probably never happened, without McNealy constant jabs. At times, it seemed personal.

Henry
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Ram Bhakt:
... When I compare the specs, I find that Mac boxes are way underpowered, have smaller harddrive and lesser RAM than other PCs...


Recognizing that these are "apples and oranges," how exactly are you comparing the specs? Would it surprise you that my 1.5 GHz G4 PowerBook absolutely blows away my 2.67 GHz Pentium 4 Windows desktop?

Before I made the switch, I had the same doubts. But now I'm convinced that a Mac is far more "powerful" than a comparably priced (or even higher priced) Windows machine.
 
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I use an XP box at work daily (unless I'm working on a presenetation, when I sneek my iBook in), and a so-called "comprably spec'd" iBook at home. The iBook runs rings around the beige box. So marc's admonition against just "comparing specs" is quite valid.

Yeah, I drink the Kool-Aid. But you know why? The Kool-Aid tastes good!
[ January 04, 2006: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
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Originally posted by marc weber:

Recognizing that these are "apples and oranges," how exactly are you comparing the specs? Would it surprise you that my 1.5 GHz G4 PowerBook absolutely blows away my 2.67 GHz Pentium 4 Windows desktop?



As I mentioned before, I have never used a Mac and the comparison that I did was based on specifications given under the product displays in Best Buy or Comp USA.

So yes, it would surprise me to hear that your 1.5 GHz G4 PowerBook absolutely blows away you 2.67 GHz Pentium 4 Windows desktop. Since you have used both, would you please elaborate on what kind of applications did you try using on both the boxes and what is the cost of the boxes?

Hey, I might switch too
 
Michael Ernest
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"Anyone can build a fast CPU. The trick is to build a fast system." -- Seymour Cray
 
Ken Blair
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Originally posted by marc weber:

I switched to Macs 8 months ago, and the only error I've seen was while installing Microsoft Office.

But here's my question: Does Bill Gates actually have any idea how his products (don't) work? Or is he so insulated that he only sees carefully staged demonstrations in which everything runs perfectly? I always wonder what his reaction might be if he sat down and tried to use a "real world" PC.



Looking at the beginnings of Microsoft I don't think it would matter if he is or isn't. I doubt he was in the dark when he sold an OS that wasn't even ready which he had stolen from a competitor.
 
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Originally posted by Ken Blair:
... I doubt he was in the dark when he sold an OS that wasn't even ready which he had stolen from a competitor.


Good point.
 
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Like everything else in life, MS has a good side and a bad side.

Its undeniable that they have done some good. The way in which they managed to make software tool which allowed inexperienced users to get to grips with computers was little short of revolutionary. They took the computer out of the science lab and into the family home.

MS have also set the benchmark for ease of installation of an operating system. if you asked someone who has almost no experience of computers if they'd rather go through the simple Windows installation process, or the arcane secrets of a Linux installation, it'd be no contest.

Its not all good though, and MS have done much to annoy me. One of their biggest faults (as mentioned above) is how invasive their products are. The fact that they will often jump to conclusions and assumptions, and go and install something without even telling the user is annoying to say the least. For the basic user it may be useful, but MS don't offer much to the experienced user who wants to know what is happening to their computer.

As a developer, another big gripe is how MS ignore many of the standards out there. Organisations like W3C put a lot of effort into making a good, flexible and easy to use standard for something, and gain a level of acceptance in the industry only to find MS come along six months later and come up with their own inferior standard. The person who designed IE's use of CSS deserves to be put up against the wall, along with whoever invented javascript.

Can we really blame MS for any of this though? OK, so they make shoddy untested products, they abandon standards, make hostile attacks on weaker companies, steal other people's ideas, bribe governments into locking children into using their products, but hey, that's the free market for you. MS aren't a charity or a government organisation, they're a corporation out to make money. As far as they're concerned there's no incentive to stop these policies, and I bet most people here would happily go along with them if they had shares in MS.

Finally, the biggest problem with MS is that they're almost a monopoly.

Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
As far as the anti-trust trial, against M$, that has been on-going, I believe that the government should stay out of it. Let the law of the jungle take care of it. There are still some big boys out there gunning for the top-dog spot. It's not a slam dunk for M$. Plus I'm not a big fan of government interference.

The trouble here is that if the government don't interfere, then MS will remain a virtual monopoly, and this is not a good thing. So far there's no indication that the "jungle" of the market place is about to bring along a popular competitor under current conditions. Free markets are wonderful tools at bringing us a good products, but much of their advantages go out the window when there is no competition. Competition brings incentive to improve products and drive down their cost. If there was a bit more competition to MS then maybe the problems with their products would be forced out. Left alone to become a monopoly, MS would have no incentive to improve their product.

It may sound a bit paradoxical, but its precisely because we want a free market that a little government intervention can be good!
[ January 10, 2006: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
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