Pencils Down

This weblog is about my experiences in software development

Browsing Posts tagged Microsoft

I know, that’s a bold statement.  Let me explain:

– I am one of the lucky people running Vista at home (probably runner-up in bad MS products)

– IE auto updated on the home machine

The first screen from IE, regardless of what you set the home page to be, takes about FIVE MINUTES!  At first I just assumed the cable dropped and had to reset.  But, no, could get the first Firefox page up in about 5 seconds.

Looking around the internet MANY people are complaining about this.  There is the nice little ‘Disable Add-ons’ box that pops up in IE after a minute of doing nothing.  I tried disabling/removing most things that I didn’t recognize.  No help.

So I have told my family not to bother with IE going forward.  Just use FF.  It’s usually what I use working anyway.

Then I sit down to watch television for a while and that IE9 ad from MS shows displaying all the wonderful things on the web (I wonder how many of those sites portrayed were developed using MS products or are running on the Windows).  Kept expecting the fine print to show up at the end of the ad.  Something like ‘Your experience may vary’.

I am one of the lucky people to have bought a desktop with Vista installed.  It’s like the even numbered Star Trek movies – avoid at all costs! Random crashes, blue screens, hijacks and now the thing rearranges my desktop icons every time I reboot.

From poking around the internet I am not alone. And of course there are quite an array of ‘solutions’ that don’t do anything useful. Kind of interesting that MS hasn’t come out with a workaround or fix that solves the issue. Especially where the problem appears to have existed for some time and is present in some Windows 7 installs as well.

I found a really useful product called Fences. The product allows you to create sets of desktop icons on your desktop with real names, like “Work in Progress”, “Tools”, or anything else.

Windows Fences

Windows Fences

This is really what I was trying to do anyhow. Best is the common usage version is free! Highly recommend.

While programming away I failed to notice this occurring.  Last time I saw this Microsoft had the same problem getting corporations weened off of NT and trying to get them on 2000/XP.  In both cases (and probably others) the latest production mode o/s from MS is not useful (currently Vista).

I hate Vista.  I made the mistake of buying a machine running Vista (after the vendors stopped issuing new machines with XP).  It dies/stops at random locations and applications.  Unclear if network support is the reason cable modem needs to be reset weekly.  Plus a great printer I had (and I assume a large number of other devices) were not supported under Vista.

The difference this time round is the importance of security updates to Windows operating systems.  I am pretty sure I am getting at least monthly updates to my machine.  It is a real nuisance to attempt to deal with that amount of change on a production environment, but at least you have the choice and can queue up the changes.  If you are running XP in production you are completely at risk.  Even better hackers can just wait for a fix announcement from Microsoft and can quickly put out a nice hack that will NOT be fixed on XP.  Nice touch.

I Don’t Have an Ego

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said emphatically that his company will not make a renewed bid for Yahoo. His comments come after Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said yesterday that Yahoo, which spent months dodging Microsoft’s bid, is now their best option.

Yang said he remains open to selling Yahoo at the right price, adding “people who know me know I don’t have an ego about remaining independent versus not remaining independent.” Ballmer left room open for future partnerships based on the two companies’ search engines, but was definitive on the point that Microsoft does not plan to acquire Yahoo.

With no Microsoft bid in sight and its Google partnership dead on arrival, Yahoo has reached what many analysts conclude is a strategic dead-end.

Why are Yahoo shareholders so in love with this guy?

It looks like the deal may go through.  Many people are talking about how this is a MS attempt to compete with Google; admitting that MSN is not getting enough traction to do so.

No one seems to be bothered by the oligopolistic/monoplistic implications of this:  You have the parent of MSN with x % of the search space buying Yahoo with y % of the same market, isn’t this a bad idea for the end users/consumers/businesses that advertise?

As an end user, I like having the choice of MSN vs vs. Yahoo.  They may overlap, but mostly do not.

As an advertiser I dread the increase in advertising costs since the whole will be munged together into one target audience size and higher fees.  Someone will have to pay for Yahoo besides MS.

Overall, this merger appears to be the latest in a series of oligopolistic advances taken by business where no one seems to be throwing up a flare.  Maybe people are reminiscing about the robber barons of the early 20th century and have decluded themselves into thinking that was a good thing.

At what point does a billion dollar fine not matter?  How much money are you making to think this is just a cost of doing business?  MS didn’t even issue a press release about the fine.

Is it just arrogance that MS thinks they will eventually win the suit, so the intermediate fines are meaningless?  I am assuming they aren’t actually paying the fine(s) (The amount has been building steadily since they lost the dissemination suit a few years ago)

Isn’t this arrogance the real reason the suit was brought in the first place?  Does Ballmer or Gates actually think about the issue?