Why I Hate Microsoft


By David Glenn Cox

I have always wondered what it would be like to spend the evening with
Bill Gates. Never having known a billionaire before and being known for
bad haircuts myself I thought that it might be interesting.

“Wow, Bill, this is some kind of place!”

“Thanks, Dave, we like it. Do you want a Coke?”

“No, thank you, Bill.”

“Are you sure? If you like, I’ll ask you again later."

“Thank you, no.”

“Do you see this view, Dave? It’s the finest view in the whole state.”

“I agree, that is an amazing vista!”

don’t use the V word around here, Dave. Not now, not ever. It wasn’t a
software problem; it was a hardware problem. People just weren’t ready
for that much product innovation. Do you want a Coke now?”

Bill, it is a market-driven environment. If the public was experiencing
problems with your product, doesn’t the company hold some

“We fixed the problem. We added 800 numbers and
we even started a multi-million dollar ad campaign to make sure people
understand that it wasn’t our fault. For God sakes, not everyone can
work an abacus, you know? Do you see the Chinese sending out
representatives just because it’s missing a few beads? Besides, we
fixed the problem; we changed the name. Do you want that Coke now?”

“No, thank you, Bill. I’ll just stand here and look out the window and admire the lovely Seven.”

“Do you know that with Seven you can make panoramic photos?”

“Yes, Bill, I've heard that. But I’ve got a cheap digital camera I bought ten years ago that does that, too.”

“Well, with you being a writer you’ll probably appreciate the new icons that we’ve added to Microsoft Word!”

Bill, I use an old version of Word; I don’t need seventy-five icons.
I’m trying to write, not to play video games. The new Word reminds me
of a tricked-out low rider; it does everything. It jumps up and down,
it has flashy paint, it has a funny horn, but it can’t take you
comfortably from A to B because of all the gimmicks.”

“Dave, I can see that you’re in need of retraining! You are stuck in the old way of thinking. Would you like a Coke?”

I don’t think that you understand; adding more bells and whistles
doesn’t make the product any better unless we need those bells and
whistles. Adding them just to add them doesn’t make it better; it makes
it cluttered and cumbersome. Besides, I don’t need retraining. I want
the machine to work for me, not me to work for the machine."

“Dave, you don’t understand, we here at Microsoft, we are just trying to be your partner in business.”

said I wanted a partner? I want a servant! I want a servant that
doesn’t give me crap, a servant that doesn’t remind me every fifteen
minutes, when I’m in the middle of something, that there are pointless
updates ready for download. A servant that doesn’t make my computer
crash, a servant that is not constantly trying to sell me products I
don’t want.”

“Say, how about a nice, cold Coke? Or we could
listen to some tunes on my Zune! Have you ever seen your house from
space? We can look it up on Microsoft Earth!”

“Well, yes, Bill, I saw my house from space five or six years ago on Google Earth.”

“Would you like a Coke?”

“No, thank you, Bill.”

“I know, we could watch Jimmy Fallon on Bing!”

“What’s Bing?"

“It’s this great new search browser offered by Microsoft.”

“Is it better than Google?”

“Would you like that Coke now?”

“Bill, I asked you directly, is it better than Google?"

“Well… sure it is, it’s from Microsoft.”

being from Microsoft doesn’t mean that much to me anymore. They tend to
tell people what they need instead of asking them what they want. They
follow, they don’t lead. They force you to make decisions rather than
giving you choices. They never admit failures or accept responsibility
for those failures. They’ve always got a patch to fix it instead of
making it right the first time. They try to sell cake that is all
frosting and then call us health nuts when we point out the sugar. Do
you understand that, Bill?”

“So, you don’t want a Coke?