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Monday, January 21, 2008

Microsoft: A Rant

Microsoft-OneNote-2007-582-200.jpgI like Microsoft, the company and their products. And I'm not embarrassed to admit it. Well, in certain circles, like this blog for instance. See, something happened a while back, something that's liable to end up changing computer history in a big way.

Microsoft went out of vogue.

No, scratch that. They went pariah.

But let's not go over their crimes and mistakes...from my perspective, these are more a symptom of corporations and capitalism than anything else. I get it. They done bad. They've paid for some of their past actions, and continue to pay.

So why am I bringing this up if I don't want to talk about it? Well, a couple of people in my writer's group are now using Vista and Office 2007, so when I find something cool to share about using one of these programs, I send an e-mail to the group notifying them of the benefit to the writer/user.

I won't be anymore. As hard as it is for me to close my virtual mouth, that's what I'm gonna do. Because some of the members in the group hate Microsoft with such religious fervor that my comments result in rants about how evil Microsoft is...the issues have gone from DRM to Word 2007, and well, it's pretty annoying, actually. I didn't intend to start a debate on whose worse, Satan or Microsoft Corporation, really, that wasn't my intent. And when I address inaccuracies in their comments (as I see them), it just leads to more rants.

I can't take it anymore.

So I'm going to close my mouth.

At least in the writer's group. They'll just have to do without my pearls of wisdom (:

For the record though, OneNote, is the finest piece of software on the planet. And the tablet PC? Brilliant (: But at this point, I really don't see how Microsoft can possible win over the Microsoft haters. I really don't think it's possible anymore. And it's sad, really, really sad. Because despite slowly growing ranks, the real thing keeping the tablet PC from greater acceptance seems to be people's unwillingness to even acknowledge the fact that Microsoft broke new ground here (I know they weren't first to make a pen OS, but they were the first to make it practical for the masses) and created a new and creative tool for getting things done. I hope I never have to buy another non-tablet PC.

My lips are sealed.


Charles Gramlich said...

I find proseltyzing anti anything as unpleasant as proselytizing pro anything. People should just accept it for what it is and not try to turn hating it or loving it into a religion.

Sidney said...

We have a college intern in our office who was singing the praises of One Note the other day and I told him about your love for the product.

I understand some of the animosity toward Microsoft and their impact on things like ope source, but I've always taken kind of a "get along" approach. Now, I don't know, I like my iPod, and I'm getting a hand-me-down Mac at work as a second computer for podcasts etc.

Maybe I'm being lured in a new direction.

Clifford said...

Ah, another OneNote convert! We are LEGION!

Seriously though -- listen to the kid, he knows of what he speaks.

As for switching to Mac, that's cool. I have nothing against the Mac, and because of the limited hardware, you don't have the issues that Microsoft has when creating a new OS, like Vista. As long as you don't forget that Aoole is also a corporation, and do the same things that Microsoft has other corporations do when their very charter insists they make money...including their attempt to lock users into a single vendor for music, ala the iPod + iTunes combo. I like the hardware, but prefer the music rental services by far (Yahoo Music is my mistress). Also, think about Apple's decision to make batteries in their units non-user replacable...and now in their latest laptop! If that isn't a ploy to make their items more disposable, I don't know what else it could be (no, I don't buy for a minute that it would mar their sleek lines). Corporations are all evil. It's in their DNA (: So if you change becuase you think Microsoft is evil, well, you're gonna be hard pressed to find an alternative. Maybe open source? Even that has it's drawbacks, as along with Google, and Yahoo, and Microsoft giving their software away (often with ties to some advertising revenue stream), it's really destroyed the market for the individual developer who wants to create a product, market, and sell it. Ah, a complicated issue these corporate concerns...

Kate S said...

Hey, Cliff - I can't really comment on the MS debate - I neither love nor hate it.

However, I'm really stoked tonight because I figured out I can read ebooks on my AlphaSmart Dana (I've had the thing for a couple of years and didn't know that!) LOL, maybe I should read the user documentation once in a while.

Now I can take it on the train to work and read AND write. I'm excited. :)

I figured you could appreciate the beauty of this. :) I've been reading ebooks from my PC all along and now I don't have to go buy a portable reader - I had one already.

Thomas M. Sipos said...

I bought a laptop last year with Windows XP because I hoped to avoid Vista.

The thing I hate about Windows is too many free programs -- running in the background.

I want a bare-bones OS. One which just has drivers to run the computer, and nothing else. Then I want a list of the other programs, with specific descriptions of what each one does, and why I might wish to load it. And then I'll load it if I want to.

As it is, I got all these programs running in the background, eating up processing power, creating conflicts. I look at my MSCONFIG list and I have now idea what most of those programs do.

And my Lenevo laptop has a special feature "for my convenience." It doesn't include the Windows CDs, so I can't reload if I want to start afresh.

I can only "restore" the system to the way it was when I got the laptop, with the "system restore" files on the harddrive. But this would also remove all my preferences.

I did see some articles about the new Ubuntu Linux (probably mispelled it). Its beige screen looks very nice. I'm tempted to partition my harddrive and try it out, but I worry about wrecking my harddrive files entirely, and having to "restore" Windows from scratch.

However, I hate Mac more than I hate Windows, because the Mac users are such cultists. Which is why I flirt with Linux, but not Mac.

Clifford said...


You rule! Glad you found the manna from the Gods! Don't know where you're buying your ebooks, but I would imagine that eReader.com has a reader for the Dana, as they used to be owned by Palm once upon a time...

Mr. Sipos,

You know, I'm sure you can find instructions to do what you want to do on the Web...I see postings about this quite frequently on Tablet PC blogs, though I've been a little leery about doing it myself. Lenovo puts a lot of their own crap on the system too, and while much of it is probably useful if you have the time to dive in and eat, I've heard that removing all the unnecessary Thinkvantage stuff results in a faster, snappier machine. As for Ubuntu, I've heard nothing but good about it, if you want to play in that particular sandbox.

Clifford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate S said...

Thanks, Cliff. The funny thing is that it already came with a palm e-reader and mobipocket was installed. I didn't even realize it! The fact that I'm so happy it's there overrules any feelings of idiocy I may have... :o)

It can read prc, html, and pdf. I'm going to see if I can get it to accept .lit and I'll really be in hog heaven.

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.