Thursday, May 26, 2005

Microsoft Woe

Well, heck.

I had my primary hard-drive fail me last week - really bad timing as I've got a delivery date for a video project on the first of June. Luckily none of my data was lost, but all my programs were! The process of recovery (several steps there, including self-driven attempts and finally getting someone else to look at it); buckling in and getting a new hard-drive; formatting and replacing the software has all taken close to a week - and I'm still not done.

It makes me crazy.

And 90% of my woes surround Windows. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear the Apple advocates now saying that one word that they tend to pull out that they think means "You know better, but you're just too stubborn to do anythign about it." You know the word I mean. And it's usually delivered in a slightly condescening sing-song voice: "Ma-a-a-ac."

I'm not going to get indepth into the great Coke vs. Pepsi debate here. But I will admit that Mac's tendency to have less immediate crashing problems is appealing. But it totally ignores such things as the annoying non-modularity of it (which of course is a major reason it has less crash problems); the general counter-intuitiveness of the interface (an admittedly arguable point, but I have never found Apple products to be as easy as they we're proclaimed to be - and I was once a devoted user, my girl-friend still owns one and when I use it I want to tear it out of the wall, so I'm not speaking out of ignorance); and when a Mac does fail, it's inscruitable error messages are utterly infuriating... just to name a few beefs I have with Mac.

But I really want to air my beefs about Microsoft.

I discovered that the version of Windows that came on my hard-drive was apparently cracked. Am I surprised? No. Before XP, the work-arounds were pretty simple. But by now the updates to Service Packs 1 and 2 are really irritating (actually, in my lack of awareness of the specifics, I am not sure that it's even possible to do SP2 yet - I figure it must be, but it's taken me two days just to think I have SP1 worked out, and SP2 is still just this monster T-Rex tearing apart others of my fellow cave men on the horizon.)

Now, it is obvious that MS would like my money. And the money of anyone else who pirates their precious, next-to-mandatory operating system. I get that. But the extremes they are going to are getting pretty outrageous.
I believe that making sure that there are some extra hurdles for those who do want to take advantage of them is necessary - to stop the 'honest thief.' But to make the hurdles so close to totally exclusionary seems to me to be counter-productive. All it serves to do it make people less pleased with the products as a whole - and therefore less likely to bite the bullet and actually buy down the road. Also, preventing the community at large from being a more up-to-date, stronger, community is counter-productive. Strengthening the whole, strengthens the individual, and vice versa.

They make a ridiculous amount of money just on corporate (and other professional) installations. And it's relatively easy to keep the businesses in line - much easier to track them legally. Why not just make sure that they are all in line and be thankful for all the personal users who actually dish-out for the OS?

I am hoping that soon I will be in the category of 'business who is easier to keep in line' and then I'll be happy to pay for an honest install of Windows. I'd even do it now, just to save the grief and hassle I'm currently experiencing, but; 1) I just spent money I can barely afford on a new HD - which of course started this problem - a bit of unfortunate circular logic and; 2) This experience is souring me more to MS and actually making me want to say 'fuck-you' to them even more - also a bit of circular logic, snowballing in this case.

God, I wish I actually liked how Macs work.

No comments: