Wednesday 6 September 2006

How do I hate thee Microsoft, let me count the ways

Who made the arbitrary decision that new motherboard=new pc? It's not even as if its consistent, I've changed mbs in the past and its just installed the new drivers and away. But not last night.

After the swap over the pc wouldn't boot, would reset before any screen output. Refresh install time thinks I. In goes the original media. Type in my original product key. All seems ok: great I think; job done. And then I log in to check for updates… Wtf? I'm not activated?

So now I find myself with another reinstall in the works. I do have another key I can use for this pc, but its for a different install cd and won't work with the oem cd I used to repair last night.

I guess thats my point. I did a repair last night, not a full install on a new pc. It kept all my other settings, why not my activation?

I'm glad I only run one windows box on the network at home. don't have any of these issues with the OSX, Debian or Ubuntu boxes.

Microsoft, I know you are not listening, but here's a suggestion. The main reason you have such a stranglehold on the os market is because your OS has the apps support, and your own apps are a large part of that. Make windows free. You'd kill Linux as a desktop contender just like making IE free killed Netscape as the dominant browser.

Of course, as a longterm Microsoft hater I don't want this to happen; I love that modern linux distros such as Ubuntu or SuSE make an open source desktop viable for non unix geeks; however in my mind it seems like a plausible option for them to take and a surefire way of killing the opposition. Sure they'd lose the revenue from new pc installs, they'd still have their apps though, they could still get revenue from the specialised variants (embedded, server, 3+ Cpu) and most of all they would get rid of the headaches of having to figure out new ways to stop OS piracy without generating extra support overhead when it breaks existing customer installs. It'd get rid of almost all of the bad press about MS too; very little of the bad press is about their office productivity apps. A lot of it is about oppressive os licensing. They'd still catch flack for their DRM stance and the crappy standards compliance in Internet Explorer (I gave up trying to make my sites display properly in IE ages ago; why should I work harder because MS don't read the standards properly before writing their code?). IE7 is supposedly more standards compliant. I don't want to get started on that though, I'll just say this: Why does fixing a bug require a major upgrade? Would it really be that hard to backport the fixed standards compliance as a critical update for 6 so webmasters don't have to wait years for everyone to update?

I was going to do some reading on the train this morning after a quick post. I seem to have got carried away...