Saturday, March 31, 2007
Vista Meets a Sticky End
sorry it's been so long. the problem is one of heisenberg. am i destroying things just to write about them? in other words, is the red mist real?
happily, this time, the act is justified whether or not it's premeditated. the irony is of course that pieces of criminal insanity like Windows Vista are adept at breaking themselves without any outside intervention.
so why you have such a low regard for microsoft, jase?
ironically enough it's not so much about the product these days, utter crap that it is. it's not about the fact that windows presents its user interface approx 2 minutes before it will listen to mouse clicks, or that it usually won't reboot at the first or even fourth try, or that it installs updates without asking you (whose computer is this, bill?). it's more about this type of stuff -
- microsoft were really the first to introduce the concept of bugs as profit sources. they, or rather bill and steve, realised that a working product wasn't going to make any money for anyone. rather like the drug industry, microsoft built their business on lifetime treatments instead of cures. and once the market leader settles on this kind of strategy, competitors are a little screwed - either you spend the money on QA and impact your bottom line, or you ship a flawed product and then admit you're no better than the worst best player in the game. it's this situation, that to my mind has brought about the current woeful state of software quality. when the web arrived, with its free and broken software model, it wasn't greeted with the "fuck this, it's broken, let's use something else" reaction that it should have been. instead it has been accepted with the postmodern "no worse than the worst thing" LCD attitude.
- microsoft have traditionally cared almost nothing for any aspect of their product apart than those that directly translated into profit. i remember thinking ages ago why i preferred mac. i deciding that for apple, it wasn't just about the money. it was about making this wonderful thing called computing actually nice to use, and fun. whereas, if you gave microsoft all the money on the planet, they would immediately investigate how to make money on another planet.
- microsoft have traditionally defeated competition by very scabby tactics. they would embrace and extend an accepted standard, thereby diluting it so that it was useless. or they would pre-announce a competing product in order to kill demand for a new arrival from another mfr, only of course to never actually produce it, never mind release it. and in some cases they would consider licensing a product, only to release a competitor to that product based on code stolen from the evaluation copy provided. would you buy used software from these guys?
- microsoft also did some downright nasty things in software. engineering is about making things that work - enabling, creating, building, growing, permitting, co-operating, all that hippie stuff. it's not about writing code that deliberately breaks or defeats things, but that too is a microsoft hallmark. consider that IE would recognise an attempt to download netscape, then slug and corrupt it along the way. also, IIS used to put requests from netscape to the back of the queue, so that netscape would seem slower than IE. IMHO, all this stuff should be legally actionable.
the core issue is that microsoft pervert the whole idea of what computers and software are supposed to be about. it's as though republicans ran a software business.
and windows is shit, too.