Why I Will Never Go Back to Microsoft

Been a tough couple weeks since my hard drive crashed. First Mac issue and for a variety of stupid reasons, I hadn't backed it up in over a month. So it was off to data recovery for 2 weeks in which I squatted on a Dell.

After Mac-ing down for so long, you forget all the inefficiencies and annoyances of working in Windows, even XP. Something ironically called "SmartAlert" kept popping up telling me iexplore.exe wanted to access the Internet and I was in danger. That's right, Windows was warning me about it's own browser trying to connect to the Internet. Then my anti-virus software AVG. Then Excel. Crazy. Number of pop ups in one day? Guesses? 75. 75!!! Worst part is the checkbox that said remember the setting (Allow), which never seemed to remember. Uggg....

Or when I plugged in a monitor, I had to manually go into settings to activate it. As if me plugging in the monitor isn't statement enough of my intent. Yes, activate the monitor automatically.

Or the fact that in IE, unlike every other browser, doesn't recognize what you mean when you type in "NYTimes" without the ".com". Why not just try to add the ".com"? Well of course it opens up the search page and look it's and ad view opportunity.

And that's really the rub about Microsoft. They design products for their business not your life. They care about the ad view, not about your ease of use. And this is endemic to all their decisions, or lack their of (the other big design issue is that they cram everything in and don't know how to say no for the sake of simplicity). They want to bundle, cram, charge, lock you in, make it difficult to switch rather than build products you will adore.

And they deserve the criticism they get. Like the Apple ads lambasting them for not creating a migration from XP to Windows 7. You know there was a conversation about this where some draconian bastard stated the case that not creating a migration from 2 versions ago sets a precedent that users always have to go to the next version, which means more revenue.

Well, MSFT. I look at the bugginess of Excel on a Mac and all the intentional ways they hamper open browser standards and interoperability as a failing strategy. So I hold on to my Apple stock, revel in Linux-based netbooks and celebrate every point of market share lost.

I wonder if Microsoft actually has conversations about how little time they have resisting the wave of open standards at which point they will be ill positioned to compete with their culture of poor design and malicious practices.

In this, they are a perfect example of Michael Porter's framework on innovation, where established players find it too hard to undermine their core business by investing in disruptive technologies. It's too hard to align the organization's established departments with the ones trying to kill them. So you look at the profit potential of migrating the business and the risk and find that it is easier, and more importantly more profitable, to extract revenue from existing customers who lag the upcoming technology switch. Less investment, extract revenue.s

That's a lot of words that basically say that it is more profitable to slowly die as a dinosaur then to try to turn into a bird. Extinction is a slow, gradual process and is more than just a path of least resistance but sometimes an advantageous strategy.

That said, F U Microsoft for the literally billions of man hours lost from Vista and all your other recent "innovations."