by Gray Graham
Now a lot of readers say I consistently beat up on Apple (which I admit freely) but please don't take that to mean I like Microsoft. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most days I don't know who I dislike more, Apple or Microsoft. At this point I am going to have to say it is Microsoft because I have disliked them longer and if it was not for a loan that they gave Apple back in the day, then I wouldn't have to worry about Apple today.
So let's talk about the reason I dislike Microsoft today (it would take to long to list all the reasons since the company was started) so we will stick with current issues. Let's start with Windows Starter 7. If you don't know what Windows Starter 7 is, it is the operating system that is pre-loaded on the majority of netbook computers. Netbooks of course are those low cost computers for people like families on low incomes and students, that allows them to have access to a computer that will meet their basic needs.
Thanks to Microsoft it is as basic as it can be. They wanted to make it even more basic, but the computer manufacturers complained enough so they had to cave. In a purely petty move, they disabled the ability to customize the background with things like family photos and wallpapers. In order to do this you have to either upgrade for $50 -$100 or use dangerous 3rd party software that has been linked to viruses and malware. Keep in mind today's most basic cellphones allow you to change the background. Their defense is that it is basic and helps it perform better, which of course every tech person knows is complete and utter hogwash. Again simply petty. I am sure this is why a lot of people are buying iPads and similar devices. I am sure Google could not be happier as they prepare to roll out their Android and Chrome OS netbooks/smartbooks, tablets, and other devices.
And that leads me to the other reason I dislike Microsoft, they appear to be completely inept. Outside of the Xbox 360 (which had it problems early on) what was the last successful Microsoft product. Every since Bill decided to save the world from mean rich people, the company has absolutely no vision. They continue to make mistake after mistake. The most recent one of course were the KIN phones. I bet you don't even know what those are do you? My point exactly.
It seems like Microsoft is always 5 steps behind the rest of the tech world. Perfect example that I wrote about before is Windows Phone 7. Just start with the name. At a time when we are moving to mobile devices and not just phones, Microsoft decides to go back and focus on phones instead of mobile devices. People didn't dislike Windows Mobile (yeah I know) because of the name, they disliked it because of the features, which it does not appear they have fixed. Even though many analysts and people in the industry have told them to change the name, they have refused (except for the change from Windows Phone 7 Series to Windows Phone 7 (yes they did do that and were quite proud of themselves). You will notice that Apple recently changed the name of their operating system from iPhone 4 to IOS 4. I might not like them, but at least Apple is smart. RIMM came out with their new OS, Blackberry 6, to address the issues their users had with the previous OS, but did not completely toss it out like Microsoft did.
I guess when you have two built-in monopoly cash cows like Windows (which somehow Vista did not manage to kill) and Office, then it really is hard to motivate yourself for anything else. I am amazed how the keep the Xbox going, but it is probably only because Sony is more inept than they are.
Microsoft is that celebrity that keeps getting into trouble and messing up until they end up broke. Since most people like those kind of stories (I don't know why), watching Microsoft crash and burn again should be interesting. Unfortunately though they have too much money and too much power to ever truly go away.