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If Microsoft were run by people trying to ruin it

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If Microsoft were run by people secretly trying to ruin it these last 10 years, how would they have behaved?

Imagine they’re in the pay of Apple, but they cant just outright kill the firm; what to do?

Abandon the most popular (and productive) programming language in the world, VB6, for a frustrating monstrosity, VB.NET, and tell the world its object oriented progress; after all OO is the fad of the moment. Ignore tens of thousands of users signing petitions pleading with you not to do it. When its clear years later VB.NET is a failure don’t bother to re-support VB6.

Ship a bloated, slow, buggy, operating system with a bit of flash; pretend you’re trying to compete with the Macintosh GUI.  When it fails release it again with a new name. No one can work productively with them; users look to Apple and Linux; you’re succeeding.

Take the most well known office software in the world and rip out its menus, replacing them with cartoons. Don’t give users a choice to turn on the menus they know by heart. Produce a “help” system for your software that reads like white papers, never answering functional needs. Leave that up to forums and 3rd party help sites.

Build a phone OS that’s buggy and needs to be rebooted constantly. After you’ve lost too much market share to compete, waste money by doing it again.

Instead of making your core products better, waste more money and prestige by competing in markets you can’t succeed in. Put out a music player to compete with Apple’s.  Put out a web oriented animation system to compete with Flash. Put out a web design tool to compete with Dreamweaver. Of course they all fail; good job.

Manufacture all software to appear to work, so that casual users and investment  analysts think you’ve turned the corner, but make sure that deeper flaws stop professionals from being able to work with the products. Never responsibly admit to these flaws (which would document the problems and help users) ; the general public and your defenders will think you’re worried over liability. Users will waste days trying to get apps to work. Eventually no professional will touch your new products.

Ruin the productivity of the sole remaining desktop database, Access,  with pointless changes to an efficient  design / menu system in place for years; pretend you’re trying to appeal to a wider audience. Buy out its only competitor and then cease supporting it.

Pretend you’re competing on the web. Ship the most mediocre browsers you can. Make your web portal look like a cheap Sunday ad circular. With great fanfare and expense launch a search engine, but make sure at first it has very limited page returns.

Offer a free trial of  your flagship database server to encourage market share, but keep the install bugs that have been known of for  two and a half years; this will discourage the majority of potential adopters. Don’t even draw attention to the solution; this will create days of lost time as people hunt around Google for the answer. Keep the install time at half a day.(don’t tell your users MYSQL downloads and  installs in 20 minutes)   Make the ODBC connectivity process a frustrating PITA. Don’t tell anyone it’s easier to connect Access to a MYSQL backend than to SQL Server. Design the backup and recover processes to be overly complex to the point of dysfunctional.

Hope most users never hear of or see the engineering beauty and efficiency  of  Ubuntu LINUX

Buy last years hot VoIP firm at many times its market value.



For 10 years I shook my head, trying to understand; stupidity? Incompetence? Hubris? Incredible management failure protected by the Windows income stream ?  A complete lack of concern for user productivity ? All of them together?

I then came onto Windows 7 (Version 6.1.7600; how odd) explorer and I wanted to move up one directory; of course the interface had been altered so the functions were all hidden and  the brand recognition elements  that had been there for years and that other firms die for were missing; it was typically frustrating but I hunted around for it.  Like the gas cap release lever on a foreign car, it was there somewhere. Somewhere.  No, it wasn’t.

This astonishing absence led me, eventually,  to this realization; MS is not being run by fools; it’s being run by people who are trying, and succeeding, at something.

Am I kidding ?   Have I read too much Jonathan Swift ? Remember Occam’s Razor; let yourself take the idea seriously for a moment and think about it…really, what else could explain it  all?


Written by arthurheyman

May 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Written by arthurheyman

May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized