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!”

“We

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?”



“But,

Bill, it is a market-driven environment. If the public was experiencing

problems with your product, doesn’t the company hold some

responsibility?”

“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!”

“Honestly,

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?”

“Bill,

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.”

“Who

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.”

“Bill,

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?

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.