What’s the deal?

I’m a Unix/Linux programmer, by trade; but I choose to run Windows on my laptop and my desktops. I buy Microsoft keyboards and mice, I used to buy Microsoft Sidewinders, I helped talk the ShadowFactor guys into going to see Microsoft and turning Battlefield Communicator into GameVoice. I’ve been an IE fan since the NCSA Mosaic team took over development after Netscape appeared, and for 9 years I was a devoted Outlook user. My first console was a refurbished Xbox, which broke down and chewed up disks, but my second console – bought after the PS3 release – was an Xbox 360.

So why the hell do people keep accusing me of being a Microsoft hater? I’m surrounded by Microsoft products day in and day out, many of them by choice and preference. But are you actually 100% satisfied with all of your MS products? Are you absolutely 100% satisfied with how they are moving the product line forward?

I can find flaw in almost all the software I use (except you, notepad). I complain about software. A bunch of it happens to be from one manufacturer. Yes, sometimes I do comment on that particular manufacturer because its a lot likelier I know more about Microsoft than I will ever know about Penny Garage Software Coding Inc. But generally, I complain about software.

I noted on an internal mailing list – this probably isn’t news to anyone but me – that a Microsoft 360 spokesman had acknowledged that, for FPS games, a mouse is vastly superior to anything a gamepad can do, but they weren’t gonna let gamer’s have a mouse on the 360. Just a subject (“MS admits FPSes need a mouse, but not gonna give you one”) and a link (http://gear.ign.com/articles/725/725812p1.html) – and only because several of us have aired the opinion that its just not the same playing FPSes on a console – not, vendor unspecified.

To me, that’s 10 brownie points to Microsoft for the acknowledgement.

It’s hard, as a developer, to understand how anything ever actually gets written in an organization so large and with so many conflicting interests, and you have to give them some respect for achieving that feat. Respect should only sell so much software though. Quality should be selling it. And Microsoft has yet to live up to the potential of bringing all those resources together to develop unbeatable top-quality software and hardware in every avenue and genre they approach.

Through its continual acquisitions, Microsoft has lost the ability to innovate, at least meaningfully. That’s not because it doesn’t have great people with great ideas and great talent. It has too many great people, it has too much great talent.

Maybe Microsoft will find a way to overcome the crawl and breathe some agility back into its development – like a talent harvest week where people can form mini-teams to put together innovation pitches from within complete with demos/mockups/samplers etc. But ultimately what they need is competition and that’s not gonna happen.

12 Comments

Your just a hater, that programs and sometimes posts pics of girls. At least that was the comment description made by someone that linked to your site on another topic.

I added the hater part. ;)

M$ is an easy target since they are everywhere. The rate at which they change and address issues is slower than what people would desire.

A friend of mine has only played FPS on a console, the few times I tried to get him to play on the pc and a mouse were unsuccesfull. He said it made him dizzy. It moved too fast. The mouse gives you precision, the game pad teaches you how to anticipate the sluggish response.

“I can find flaw in almost all the software I use (except you, notepad).”

You’ve never had Notepad randomly loose all the formating when you tell it to save? Count yourself as lucky.

Mouse as the preferred gaming controller: hell yes!

Ironically I use an M$ wireless mouse on my gaming PC – and a M$ wireless laptop mouse on my laptop. I wouldn’t go back to using tethered mice at this point.

BTW I’m also an advocate of using mouse control for all vehicles in a certain WWII MMO simulation apart from the aircraft. Mouse + keyboard is particularly great for tanks IMO.

I can find flaw in almost all the software I use (except you, notepad).

Save and reopen a file containing only “this app can break”. :)

Ah, the good old 4335 bug. Also works with “bush hid the truth”, which had the tinfoil hat brigade in an uproar. ;)

Haha, you said “likelier”

Lol :D

I may not know much but I know it ain’t the trackball. What about the Wii Zappah? Duck Hunt, ftw.

I wonder what they mean by “we’re not going to allow mice…”

Ok, so you hate M$. What else is on your list of things that you hate on? :p
Here’s one- People that write spyware, then try and sell you a remover for it!

I’m often reminded of a quote by Mike Elkins, author of the MUTT mail client…

“All MUA’s suck. Mutt just sucks less.”

This can really be extended to all software; everything has bad things that can be focused on, usually to the exclusion of what’s good. That’s just human nature.

microsoft having competition? hah! not on the desktop. the opensource guys are to busy arguing over licenses and who is more open source. that is like lip syncers arguing over who sings best.

microsoft’s only competition is in the backend space. cisco, microsoft, and to a lesser extent avaya and shortell are all lining up to battle voer office messaging suites … avaya and shortel are going to lose there and microsoft and cisco are going to play the gentlemanly slap fight game neither one wanting to piss the other off as they know they need each other.

its just a giant ball of stagnant crap right now because the consumer is comfortable with what they have. if the consumer ever wants more, maybe we might get some competition. doubtful though.

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