Scott Hanselman

Microsoft killed my Pappy

February 22, 2014 Comment on this post [327] Posted in Musings
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Photo by Frank Swift used under Creative CommonsI was talking to a young (<25) Front End Developer recently who actively hated Microsoft. Sometimes I meet folks that are actively pissed or sometimes ambivalent. But this dude was pissed.

The ones I find the most interesting are the "Microsoft killed my Pappy" people, angry with generational anger. My elders hated Microsoft so I hate them. Why? Because, you wronged me.

"You killed my pappy," said the youth, "and my pappy's pappy. And his pappy's pappy. And my brothers Jethro, Hank, Hoss, Red, Peregrine, Marsh, Junior, Dizzy, Luke, Peregrine, George and all the others. I'm callin' you out, lawman."

One person said that he was still mad about the Microsoft Anti-Trust thing. "Hey, 10 years ago Microsoft did this..." That was initiated in 1998 for actions in 1994. That's 20 years ago.  And for bundling a browser in the operating system that couldn't be uninstalled or easily replaced? Sure, no operating systems do that in 2014. I wonder if I can swap out Chrome from Chrome OS or Mobile Safari in iOS. Point is, it's common now.

This "generational technology pain" seems to persist long after the root causes have died. Do I hate Japan for World War II? My 6 year old wanted to know this as he's learning world history. I said, "No, we're cool with Japan. We've done some good stuff together." And he was like, "Cool." 

I realize that you, Dear Reader, are a thoughtful and respectful lot, the Internet tends to be a bit of a motley crew. I fully expect the comments to be on fire later. But know this, I didn't work for The Man when all this went down, and I was as outraged as you were 20 years ago (assuming you were alive). But now, I've been here pushing open source and the open web for over 5 years and things are VERY different. I know you all have stories about how you were wronged, but we all have those about various companies. You're pissed about IE6, about FoxPro, about Silverlight, heck, maybe VB6. Sure, I hear you. I'm pissed about DESQView and my Newton, and Snow Leopard not running on my PowerPC. At some point you let go, and you start again with fresh eyes.

Embrace, Extend, Hugs?

We're putting source on GitHub, many groups are using Git with TFS internally for projects, we've open sourced (not just source-opened) huge parts of .NET and are still pushing. We've open sourced Azure hardware specs, opening SDKs, and we're making systems more pluggable than ever. Frankly, we're bending over backwards to NOT be dicks about stuff, at the very least in my corner of the company. Could we do better? ALWAYS. Are we pure evil? Nah.

Is Microsoft circa 2014 worse than Google, Apple, or Facebook? We're not nearly as organized as we'd need to be to be as evil as you might think we are.

Moreover, I think that Microsoft is very aware of perceptions and is actively trying to counter them by actually being open. I'd say we're more concerned than a Google or Apple about how folks perceive us.

I don't speak for Microsoft, I'm not a mouthpiece or a marketer. Sure, I promote the stuff I work on, because some of it is damn cool stuff. I'm a programmer with a blog who likes to speak on technology. But I am not my employer.

That said, I will quote myself (again, opinion, don't fire me) from my own Hacker News comment regarding the direction we're going:

It's worth noting that under Satya [Ed: And ScottGu] (in my org, Cloud and Enterprise) we open sourced ASP.NET, use 50+ OSS libraries in Visual Studio, have all the Azure cloud SDKs on GitHub, and on and on. We made Portable Libraries happen and now share code between iOS, Android, and Windows. This is not your grandfather's MSFT, and now the dude who helped us (Azure) change things in a fundamentally non-MSFT and totally awesome way is in charge. I'm stoked - big things coming, I think.

Sure, we do stupid stuff sometimes, usually because someone in one org isn't talking to another org, or some marketing vendor overreaches, every big company makes these mistakes.

But I like the direction we're heading. I work here to fix stuff. Some folks complain, some tweet complaints, I'm here to fix it. If it was a lost cause, I'd quit, as I truly don't need the job that badly. I'm happy to be a small part of a small part of pushing us. I will push until I can't push anymore.

I said, find a new reason to hate Microsoft. I didn't kill your Pappy, son.

* Photo by Frank Swift used under Creative Commons

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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February 22, 2014 11:34
I've said it before, people say elephants have long memories but they're nothing compared to IT people re Microsoft and the 1990's...
February 22, 2014 11:41
I'm still pissed about FoxPro (that it ever existed). But, really, this is well said. I don't think Microsoft gets the credit it deserves for the changes that have taken place in the last few years.
February 22, 2014 11:51
Agreed. Pretty much whenever anyone says they hate something in the tech world, it's just the mob mentality at work.
February 22, 2014 11:55
To me, it's the sheer "non-passion" that lots MS products seem to have.

A good personal example that keeps me bothering _every single day_ is this one:

Or this one:

To me this all sounds like either MS has incompetent usability designers or don't care or don't love their users. And it somewhat makes me "hate" MS, although I'm loving VS.NET & Co.
February 22, 2014 11:58
Even if people forgave Microsoft for past transgressions, the company still currently does stacks of stuff to draw people's ire. Killing off XNA and Silverlight, the Xbox One controversy, the half-arsed Games for Windows Live platform, no Windows Phone 8 for Windows Phone 7 devices, the Scroogled campaign, shoehorning the Metro interface into Windows 8...

Personally, as a Windows Azure customer (actually more like a freeloader), I can see that Microsoft still does plenty of good work. Hopefully with Satya Nadella at the helm of Microsoft and you in charge of Windows Azure, you guys'll start turning things around!
February 22, 2014 12:07
I am not happy with what Microsoft is doing today. To name two things:

1) Patent trolling all of the Android manufacturers to the point where they make more money off of Android than they do off of Windows phone.

2) Sabotaging open standards for document formats in the UK.

These things make money for Microsoft, so I do not see them changing on their own anytime soon. So what you have to do is make a decision whether you want to help a company like this.

Now, you could argue that this behavior is par for the course. For example, Apple is much worse with regards to patents. But you always have a choice. The choice may be between a six-figure salary profiting off of evil and $25K working as a technician at a community college. You may not like the choices you have, but you always have them.
February 22, 2014 12:17
Problem is (at least in my opinion) that it's usually so easy to find a reason to hate Microsoft. It's getting an error without any indication what kind of error. It's opening the controls of your company's exchange online account to see that one process or another (usually exchange itself) is not working as it should. It's getting another BSOD somewhere. It's getting another pop up warning you about a process that you initiated and want to do. It's getting twenty spam messages each day. It's basically how counter intuitive each and every program is. And how much worse this is getting while the competition is getting better at it.

And then doing something that isn't for work and opening your gmail account, getting a file from Dropbox or searching the web through chrome browser, and finding out each and every time how much better those other services are. Only to see an advertisement from Microsoft staying that that product's owner is Scroogling you. Blatantly ignoring that Microsoft is just as bad at exactly the same things. That moment is the moment annoyance turns into hatred for me.
February 22, 2014 12:18
Walter - I worked at both Portland Community College and later Oregon Institute of Technology teaching before working here. I know my options.
February 22, 2014 12:28
As several people have mentioned, the "killed your pappy" MS seems to peak out from time to time to re-inflame old hatreds (and stir up a few new ones). Ex: the recent article on the price difference between X-Box One and the Sony platform being the *forced* addition of the Kinect instead of being a add-on. The doc format shenanigans in the UK. And my latest favorite the MS UX Designer on Reddit with the thread mentioning using (cattle) prods to force people into the Win8 Metro interface for good reasons down the road. This kind of stuff does remind me of the Browser handcuffed to the OS back a ways. And makes me wonder how much MS would do if it could get away with it.
February 22, 2014 12:32
People hating Microsoft typically have not used a single product the company produces. They are afraid to say, for example, that C# / VS.NET / ASP.NET MVC is the best development platform out there. That Xbox/Xbox one rule. That my Windows 8 laptop has not been restarted in over an year and cost me something like one lunch. They find crazy stuff to complain about, see the top comment on HN

The guy cannot forgive Microsoft for "that travesty Excel on Mac". I bet he never even used Excel on Mac. And was he forced to use it in some way? If so why not hate the guy who forced that on him. Some other guys typed his university essays in Latex and used custom libraries to produce the images and... because Word somehow hindered his typing abilities. Come on. This is crazy stuff.

The Hacker News crowd is ridiculous, even mentioning Microsoft there will bring out outraged individuals, for whatever reasons. They'll lose thousand of dollars and months of development time just to avoid using Microsoft and then embrace something even worse, like Google, Oracle or Facebook and somehow enjoy that

Crazy people.
February 22, 2014 12:39
Really? Microsoft has a monopoly. They've been heavily dominating their market for ages like no other company in the world. They have continued to act like dipshits against their customers for quite some time and their customers negative reactions are justified. Stop whining about it and wipe your tears with a bundle of 100 dollar bills. The launch of the XBone was some of the worst launches I've seen in my life - no one wanted hardware like this, something that restricts you and takes control away from you on so many disgusting levels - you simply never learn, do you?
The same applies to Windows 8, when will you learn that no one wants to be forced to use your cloud-services? If you want to kill google in that area, put some more fucking effort into making it properly. Your designers suck ass, you think Windows 8 looks appealing? It looks like a terrible mockup by a minimalist-extremist at deviant-art. "If you don't have sense for detail and imagination, just make everything a random color scheme!" - Microsoft Designers at work.
But this is all just recent stuff. It's so sad to see that Windows got so widely adopted and is such a requirement to have nowdays so that "alternative" operating systems don't stand a chance. Yes, you have to call them "alternative" operating systems. Because this market allows monopolys! Unlike the car industry for example. "What, you don't drive a VolksWagen? There are other cars than VolksWagen?!" - "Yeah, I use an alternative automobile, it's called a Porsche!"
I could write a whole book about what is wrong with you guys. Nobody is perfect, but jesus christ - get your shit together. Fire your disgusting focus-groups - they seem like a bunch of retards - get rid of the people behind Metro and bring back proper interfaces that appeal to the average consumer and workstation developer. I don't want a operating system with advertisements like Windows who stores all my personal data on a server that might be shutdown in the future. But knowing you, you are stubborn and don't listen until huge sums of money are involved. You are evil, Microsoft. And I hope that you die in the near future. But make it a quick death.
February 22, 2014 12:41
I'm jumping in here as someone who works extensively with Microsoft on open source. I'm speaking as an individual, not for my employer. I've seen the changes that you mention Scott. I think though that the potential for true open, collaborative development with Microsoft as a participant is still hindered by the culture of the past. Until there's a fuller appreciation of the dynamics of open source community participation, Microsoft won't get its moneys worth from open source and there will still be a poor reputation in the broader OSS community.
February 22, 2014 12:42
Eric - Totally agree.
February 22, 2014 12:44
John Kenwood: Too true. I work in a Healthcare shop and was surprised at the automatic "no-way-in-hell-would-I-use-MS" from many of the devs when I got there.
February 22, 2014 12:45
Microsoft has done really bad things in the past. It has been convicted, over and over and over again, by every possible jurisdiction.

It is also still doing bad things currently:

- Subversion of the open standards movement, in every possible way (see for instance ).

- Patent trolling and the largest scale.

So fuck Microsoft. Even if you're doing 1% good, or if 1% of you are doing something good, this doesn't absolve you from you past and current criminal behaviour.
February 22, 2014 12:46

XKCD sums it up well
February 22, 2014 12:47
It's the same Microsoft, perhaps even worse. It's all but impossible to get laptops from major manufacturers without the diabolically bad windows 8. This is entirely due to Microsoft strong arm tactics and directly harms consumers.

In addition your Microsoft operating system that comes with your computer is legally tied to that computer, you can't choose to run another operating system on that computer and use the windows on another machine - again an entirely ludicrous legal restriction that harms consumers.

I recently bought a new sony machine, and installed linux on it, but i've effectively had to buy a windows 8 that I never use. And I can't even install it later on a small partition because in their OEM distribution they appear no longer even distribute the license key in a visible form. I will add that after installing all Microsoft updates when I started the machine (prior to the linux installation) there was approx 50 gig left on the 128 gig hard disk. Not all Microsofts fault, it did include some sony bloatware, but a fresh linux install plus loads of applications installed still leaves me 96 gig free.
February 22, 2014 12:47
Totally agree with this post.

I think currently MS with the many open source stuff,the embrace of HTML5 and thousands of GB of tutorial and videos around the world, is the one of the most open minded company. Regardless the past.
Im 34 and I have seen such a progression/evolution.

Congrats guys!
February 22, 2014 12:52
Good discussion folks! Let's do keep the language clean and constructive and avoid hyperbole.
February 22, 2014 12:56
Hatred of Microsoft began with the way that they handled competition. Optimistic geeks like myself naively thought that if you built a superior product, or had a superior idea, then that product or idea should trump whatever was in the marketplace at the time, and become the new normal. Microsoft spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and would outright lie in order to win in the marketplace. While it was effective, it was repulsive to those of us with some sense of social justice. If microsoft hadn't behaved like a bully, *Google wouldn't have the motto that it does*.

Hatred of their evil evolved to be hatred of their utter incompetence. IE6 was just the tip of the iceberg. Product after product failed because they sucked. It wasn't market timing, or brand positioning, it was just terrible products with horrible user experience. They obstructed standards that would make the net a better place to promote their own half baked solutions. And the entire internet is swarming with windows botnet drones, making the digital world we live in a dangerous place to be in, thanks to the utter failure that was Windows security. We're gonna be pissed about that for a long time.

I do believe, however, that Microsoft *can* win back hearts and minds, but it's not going to be because we forget all the bad stuff that happened. It will be because of what happens in the future.

You say, find a new reason to hate Microsoft. I say give us a good reason to *love* Microsoft. Make us *want* to choose your products because they are *better* than the competition. Make all of your products as powerful and useful as Excel.

Finally, an apology/acknowledgement of previous sins would go a long, long ways towards mending any fences with us neckbeards who would rather have Justin Bieber as a roommate than have Microsoft as an OS.
February 22, 2014 12:59
@robert - Hating Microsoft - it's the hip thing to do for the Hacker News crowd and young professionals. There was a thread on HN lately about Microsoft extending the Empower program to include 3 years of free Azure hosting and EVERYONE hated that, the top comment was some nonsensical crap about "technology lock-ins" and "how could they do that". Do what, genius? Allow you to use something for 3 years for free IF YOU WISH TO DO IT.

In some companies, especially startups, I believe mentioning anything Microsoft related gets you fired or at least mocked at automatically.

When the guys turn 30, 99.9% of them do not make the WhatsApp exit and get various deceases out of ramen diet and 18 hours shifts, they actually tend to get wiser and somehow Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon are not that much of an evil lock-in anymore, at least not more than Google, Facebook, Ruby on Rails are technology lock-ins.

They'll get wiser. But not until they've crashed their heads against the wall. Multiple times.
February 22, 2014 13:21
I used to be a die-hard Linux fan back in the '90s and I hated all things MS. Since that time, I've turned a full 180 degrees and I strive to keep all my stuff MS only.

As Scott mentioned, MS today is very different from MS 20 years ago. The .NET platform and associated tools/frameworks are awesome, I actually make a living as a .NET developer now.

I'm very optimistic regarding the direction MS is going (unification of platforms WP/WinRT/Win8/Xbox), I think we're only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg here.

Why people still hate MS I can not fathom. I guess it's something to do with the popularity of Android and iOS devices and their fans, you just have to hate the other platforms in order to make "your" platform look better. Of course, you have a better idea of what your platform can do, because you haven't had any experience with the other platforms and so they will pale in comparison with your platform.

People who hate MS tend to overlook what Google or Apple are all about (ads, data mining and lock-in), if there was any reason to "hate" a platform then for me it would be the ubiquity of ads, the constant sniffing and the lack of interoperability.

I've turned away from Google services, I no longer have GMail and accompanying services, I no longer use Chrome at home and I try to minimize use of the Google search engine.

I used to have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro, but sold them both and never looked back.

I'm looking forward to what MS will come up with next.

February 22, 2014 13:23
These days a computer is a tool to get stuff done. If a particular piece of technology gets the job done and works well, I am going to use it.

I think people lack a sense of perspective regarding what we are really doing. I am a web developer, all I really do is pull text for one place, manipulate it and send the result to the client. Saying a company is evil for some questionable business practices, really devalues the word. Especially when other companies and organizations do or have done much more heinous things.
February 22, 2014 13:29
You say this like some of us aren't still working on projects where we have to support IE6, IE7 etc :-)
February 22, 2014 13:35
I don't understand the hate some developers have against Microsoft. I work in an environment that is heavily Apple and Ruby on Rails centric. Whenever Windows or .net is mentioned a few vocal guys always put it down in some way and cheap jokes and pot shots are made about Microsoft everyday without any reason behind them. Some people just have it in their head that Microsoft = Evil and they don't even have a reason for it.

I think Microsoft is doing some great things these days. I like .net. I like the Surface. I like Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and even RT. I like Azure. I like WebMatrix and the WebPages framework. I like OneDrive. I like Outlook. I like Rails, I like Google Apps. I like Go, Dart, Angular and Android. Can't we like whatever we feel is cool, fun and useful and not have to worry about other people getting hostile with us just because they like something different?

By the way, please give more attention to the WebPages framework and don't let it fade away and get discontinued. I'd hate to see it go away. It's the first framework that I really like. It's simple and fun. It's my zen web framework.
February 22, 2014 13:40
I've been a user of Microsoft software for the last 20+ years. I am now 31. I have been there from MSDOS 5/6->Windows 3.11->Windows 95->Windows 98->Windows NT->Windows 2000->Windows XP->Windows Vista->Windows 7.

I started coding with VB 4 and progressed through 5, 6 and eventually into .NET. I then moved to C#. I love C# btw. Really love it!

Somewhere along this journey I got interested in Linux. I started to learn various different distros starting with Ubuntu. Then Red Hat, CentOS, openSuse, Fedora, Gentoo. What I soon began to realise is how much better the free software was (talking about the OS) was compared to Windows. How much more powerful it was. How less restricted I was. I also liked that each new version added features, which tends to be the opposite to Windows. New Windows versions usually take things away or push them up another pay level.

Anyway I started to look at other languages so I could be productive on these systems, Python, Ruby, I got into web stuff and learned the full LAMP stack.

Fast forward to now and I am currently working as Senior Software Developer for a large media company. I was originally hired for my senior C# experience. Over the last 12 months I have touched C# (and Windows really) only a handful of times. I now spend most of my time on Linux systems writing distributed systems in Python, using RabbitMQ+Celery and all managed with Puppet.

One of the main reasons for this is I have been preparing for a post Microsoft world! Windows 8 was absolutely awful for so many reasons. The confused UI. Designed clearly for Tablet/Mobile device world but forced upon desktop users and to make it worse, professional users. The path Microsoft took with Windows 8 left me questioning what would happen to professional products such as Visual Studio / SQL Server Management Studio etc. Would developers be forced to work with simplified "apps" with a Metro style interface? I had spent about 12 months working on a personal application and I took the time to learn WPF for this project. Then Metro came along and Silverlight was killed off, WPF looked to be going the same way. So I decided to concentrate on other things and I started to largely ignore Microsoft. I've not got any Windows 8 machines at home or at work. We have no plans to use it at all. I've ignored Azure completely mainly because of this.

I do hear great things about Azure though. I also hear that Microsoft has been forced to take the Windows 8 criticism on board and maybe Windows 9 will come back down to earth. I also saw that WPF is making a come back?!

I've also followed Scott Hanselman for the last few years and I am very impressed with the work he does and the open source movement he is involved in. Having read about Satya Nadella and knowing he is responsible for Azure I am finally slightly excited about Microsoft again.

Who know's maybe I will even come back into the fold somewhere down the line? :)
February 22, 2014 13:50
I agree that hating on Microsoft is overrated. And I also agree strongly that the PCLs and many of the other projects lately from dev are very much the right direction.

The problem with Microsoft is more fundamental. People at Microsoft trample over each other's needs and fail to communicate with each other because the vision at Microsoft has not been aligned with anything. There has to be a central goal defining what you want to make, or, failing that, how it is you want to make things. We all know what Google (the algorithm) is about, we know what Apple is about (the product). We even know what Amazon is about (getting you to give them all your money for stuff). But Microsoft has a hundred thousand employees working and there is nothing on the market in the last ten years that non-devs can look at and say "That is what Microsoft is, it is amazing, and I want that." (I'll give you maybe the Xbox 360.)

I'm one of the only people in my friends group who recommends folks to upgrade to Windows 8. And about the only reasons I can give is that it will make my job easier if people use modern software, and besides, 8 isn't any worse than 7 because it has all the same features, and a faster search.

The Microsoft-bred developer community is getting better finally. There is some sense now that we can learn from each other and share libraries and code, although the field is still littered with old-style proprietary managers who are afraid of the words "open source" and who would never consider sending their employees to events with others in the field to socialize and share knowledge.

Microsoft has a huge amount of pull power due to their share of the desktop OS market, but they almost universally fail to use it in ways aligned with average computer users. The computers running Windows XP can't run Windows 8. That means that XP users are stuck on IE8, or need to switch to another browser. Our parents and grandparents haven't a clue what a browser is or why they should upgrade. The most vulnerable members of our community are getting screwed because Microsoft was designed at some point to sell operating systems, and thus doesn't bother with much legacy hardware compat. I have no idea what it is designed for now, but it seems to limp along on the sheer momentum of a hundred thousand brilliant developers who deep in their hearts want to change the world. You can tell because when they get their way, like with your team, they make awesome stuff.

I'd love to hear that Satya will take Microsoft, figure out who its customer is or what its mission is, and align the components of the business that can with that. If there are parts that can't be aligned, they should be split into independent units so they can define their own vision. But without drive, it may have been better to have split 12 years ago, to cast off the bureaucracy and provide room for more than one potential visionary at the helm.

A random list of other things I strongly dislike:
The cost of SQL server, Windows server, and Visual Studio. I work in an non-Windows shop now and couldn't believe the cost of the tools to hack at home. This means I won't be contributing to .NET FOSS projects in my off-time.
Word's backwards encouragement of WYSIWYG when the modern world is working in WYSIWYM formats that convert to HTML such as Markdown and Asciidoc. I work with ebooks and most of our authors would generate better manuscripts using notepad than Word.
The lack of a decent terminal application with anti-aliasing, proportional width fonts, and transparency.
The fact that programming and automation doesn't ship with Windows out of the box. How awesome would it be if kids could just start up an IDE that shipped with their computer? Remember HyperCard?
Windows 8 OEM doesn't ship with any reasonable way to reinstall the OS if you replace your hard drive or whack the root partition for whatever reason. No disks or keys whatsoever are available.
February 22, 2014 13:58
People hating Microsoft typically have not used a single product the company produces. They are afraid to say, for example, that C# / VS.NET / ASP.NET MVC is the best development platform out there. That Xbox/Xbox one rule. That my Windows 8 laptop has not been restarted in over an year and cost me something like one lunch. They find crazy stuff to complain about, see the top comment on HN

It is certainly true that many people that hate MS dosn't use their products at all. It is also widely recognized that VisualStudio, C# and the .NET environment are excellent in many ways for programmers.

Yet if you use them you are going to be tied with both hands to MS. Your applications will works only on Windows and many of the great free software libraries will be out, you have to use all proprietary stuff. And then pay licence to MS all the time. For the whole lifetime of your product. Your customers too have to pay the microsoft fee, forever. How can you say that people not using their products are just "crazy" ?

Other company are working on open protocols that everyone can use like HTML, JavaScript, TCP/IP, SQL, OpenGL, C and C++ ISO standards, etc etc. MS have always sabotaged open standards and it is still doing that. I prefer technologies based on open standards that does not tie your hands to a single company.

So even if their developing platform is superior to evething else I will not use their tools and I will be happy to choose something else, even when "something else" is clearly less good that the MS counterpart.
February 22, 2014 14:03
I don't really understand all the buzz about Windows 8 as a failure.

You actually spend a serious amount of time in the start menu/on the start screen? I very much doubt it. Beginning with Vista most of the time I needed something from the start menu I just used the new search feature, press the Windows key, type what I need, press Return. With Windows 8 it works exactly the same.

As for Silverlight and WPF, MS didn't kill them. HTML5 killed Silverlight and the fall of PC sales and the lack of newly developed desktop apps killed WPF.

The markup language (XAML) survived. If you have skills in Silverlight/WPF then the time invested in those isn't lost, they actually give you a head start in developing for the Windows Store.

Yes, Windows 8 has a couple of rough edges, but does that really come as a surprise? Windows is changing to become more mobile centric. It would have been easier to keep Windows separated and start fresh where tablets are concerned. Instead, MS decided to unify platforms (instead of to fragment them even further) and I think that was a clever move.
February 22, 2014 14:11
Hi Scott!

I don't mind Microsoft. I got over the browser mess. Not sure I got over IE6's interpretation of CSS, but other than that, I'm fine. And I really like developing on .NET

What I don't like, is MS's information policy regarding the entire Windows 8.1/SkyDrive debacle. I will never, ever, switch my local login to a MS account. I can always login into the apps I want to be connected by entering (and storing) my credentials. I did that in Windows 7. I did that in Windows 8.1. I will switch to a different cloud storage provider when I need switch to Windows 8.1.

Please see here for a failing grade in communications of MS-employees with MS-user-base. "We're not allowed to comment on business practices and reasoning behind messing up our users way of life or when/if we will fix that". This is not right. Please make it right. I hope Mr. Nadella is aware of that huge mess and will make changes.

Oh, and please bring back a fully functioning backup with full and incremental backups. It worked great in W7. It could be made to work in W8.1. Now it's just a commandline option and that's probably on the way out.

- Michael
February 22, 2014 14:16
I don't see this fascination with hating companies. Sure, all companies are prone to making sucky decisions, and yes, these can be a pain for a developer or a consumer but we all have the choice to use other tools (or at least limit the need to use them) or purchase other goods.

I must admit though, I do have an irrational hatred towards Apple. Maybe not so much the business, they can't help being douchebags at times. Its the user base that are totally blind to this that annoys me. You know, 'it just works' and all that rubbish. I'm going to stop there, I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it.
February 22, 2014 14:29

I never said it WAS lost. I actually said I hear it might be coming back in Windows 9 :)

Regards Windows Store. I have had zero interest in that so far. Metro only apps. I cannot stand Metro. I am primarily a professional computer user. I develop enterprise software 90% of the time I am at a PC.

I evaluated Windows 8 on a laptop for a couple of months when it first came about, actually from Beta and up to release. I didn't like it at all. Also one thing that really confused me about Metro was the forced minimum resolution making it redundant on Netbooks. I mean a mobile focussed UI that doesn't work on a mobile device. Sounds legit...

For my money Microsoft have never done anything more right than Visual Studio. Visual Studio is the number 1 developer tools suite on ANY platform. But Windows 8 made the classic (or professional) desktop feel like a legacy app and hinted strongly that it would be phased out over the Windows 9/10 lifetime. If that wasn't the original idea then I suspect the Windows Store would have been a repo for classic desktop applications too.

Anyway it is what it is. Just have to wait and see what comes from the new Microsoft we find before us...
February 22, 2014 14:29
Apologies I meant Thorsten!
February 22, 2014 14:38
I think that baking the browser into the OS was more of an overstepping of boundaries rather than some big plan to get rid of all the browser vendors. After the mistake of not even including a browser with Windows 95, it's understandable why they would have swung a little too far the other way. I see MS doing a lot of great things lately and its disappointing to see people dismiss everything they do. I'm typing this on a Surface 2, and have to say that I haven't for one minute regretted getting it instead of an iPad or Android tablet. Microsoft seems that they have really been picking up their game lately, but it seems like nobody notices the good things they are doing.
February 22, 2014 14:39
I don't see why I'd like a patent trolling company that puts advertisements into their $200 operating system and collects massive amounts of data by pushing personal files into their cloud-services.
When I worked with .NET framework back in 2008-2009 and my company still widely utilized Windows XP, it was a slow mess. In fact most software utilizing Microsoft API's are pretty slow. Their entire operating system is slow. using 700mb RAM in idle mode is NOT a good thing. But it somehow became a standard. My BSD server with FVWM only uses 1/10 of that with Apache in the background. I remember the late 90s very well with Microsoft. I loved working in Visual Studio 6. But their newer IDE's eat a lot of performance and I've honestly worked with more user-friendly things. XCode, which is based off of the ProjectBuilder of NeXT is one of the greatest development tools to date in my opinion and I don't even use a Macintosh computer. Visual Studio once was the most important component in my life as a C developer, but this has changed due to bad decisions being made on that level. I've already expressed my other, unprofessional opinions about recent Microsoft events and I apologize for my language, I just get really passionate and personal about it. Microsoft and their products have been a pain to work with for many, many years. Every bit of criticism is justified. This is how you make a better company, listen to what the people have to say who don't like your stuff and maybe you'll find golden suggestions buried deep inside these heated discussions.
February 22, 2014 14:43
This is all well said Scott! With regards to everyone else blaming MS for one thing or another, well what can I say? I believe some of you work as devs in some technology or another, maybe using MS tools or other open source software. In the end though, you are producing products for that widely-adopted, 'evil', MS platform for millions of people to buy and use, effectively making you money and putting food on the table. You blame a product/company that allows you in one way or another to create tools and products that people can easily find, buy and use. MS is doing things in a way that will benefit it as a company and in the end it has no obligation whatsoever to open source anything for you. The fact that Scott and other teams try so hard to open source their platform is something that we should appreciate and embrace but not demand. Now tell me how Apple was so great in open-sourcinf their software? Or how Linux makes it easy for the average Joe to install and Modify the OS's settings. Or, how Apple allows you to install MacOS on the hardware of your choice? Oh wait - you cannot, ever, period! Now,please quit moaning and embrace it and move forward.
PS, I own and use MACs, Windoows, Android and Linux and I love all of them
February 22, 2014 14:43
Also the performance|RAM things are unrelated to eachother. My point was being that their products are bloated.
February 22, 2014 14:56
I'm so happy Microsoft do great job on Azure, and I don't say that because it's you.
I advice that to everybody. No way in hell that I would change my cloud provider.

For other stuff, I don't project yet to jump the boat, because I believe the new CEO comes from a more technical background, is internal to the company, so he understands better the WTF!! we are experiencing. I think the future will be great, as the right people have the wheel in their hands. Also the microsoft community is very vibrant, and on the whole, rarely troll other plateforms and is always focused on making things better. The future is bright.

However my personal grudge is on Technet killing, Silverlight, and I'd say Windows Store Apps. I really hate the fact to pay microsoft a fee to develop on their plateform, as well as having a long deployment process at the age of continuous deployment. So I don't touch it.

Yes, other vendors do that. Yes, I've seen PCs of non technical people that install tons of malware on their PC, and need to be protected at the source. So I understand the decision.
But power users should be freed of that. Side loading ? yes if you are in a domain, but you are toast if you are not. Sideloading Product Key you say ? Why should I pay microsoft to deploy MY apps on MY device on MY distribution channel ?
February 22, 2014 14:58
Chrome OS is a bad example. Android has multiple browsers. iOS doesn't and this is evil too. Two wrongs don't make a right. Microsoft and Apple aren't exactly totally different companies anyway as they share stock.
Being GOOD is different from trying hard to have evil schemes.
Microsoft is not a charity, it's a corporation, that can be very intelligent but not very conscious.
People don't like Microsoft because it's natural tendencies are often anti-user by default. I'd suggest it's a problem that results from it's structure.
The question shouldn't be why is Microsoft bad, but how is it actually likely to be doing good things?
Did the board and shareholders have an epiphany, hold meeting and decide there are a bunch of non-zero sum opportunities they can meet? Not likely given the scroogle campaign...
Microsoft are not FOSS, they are anti-freedom.
They should setup voting stock like Google has, or better, so they may be more buffered from market share. They could consider ethics boards that work, and have wiki's used openly as part of review public accountability processes. Then maybe, maybe they might change. I'm not counting on it though.
February 22, 2014 15:03
John Kenwood
"They are afraid to say, for example, that C# / VS.NET / ASP.NET MVC is the best development platform out there."

Really spoken like someone with no real experience in other development environments. I'm having the misfortune to be currently working on a .net project. Poor refactoring support, no ability to get a usable thread dump in web app running on an external server without expensive tools, total lock-in to Microsoft operating systems (you can't just launch ad hoc test servers, development environments, demo servers: there are constant licensing issues). It's a complete nightmare.
February 22, 2014 15:05
There are a few things that I've noticed and I find weird

- I have seen very few developers working predominantly on the Microsoft stack, who "hate" other companies or technologies. Usually what I hear is "pick what suits you best".

- I do not understand how you can hate a company that literally brought computers and software programming into your living room. Show some respect. Do you hate Nintendo? Probably not. You probably love them. Are they very "open or free or whatever"? Are $60 games cheap?

- How can you advocate free and open, when your own software is not? Sure, you've used something that you perceive free and open, like Linux, but is your enterprise solution for this specific very evil bank open or free? Do you refuse to work for "evil" corporations even with "good" technologies?

- Are Java and MySQL "good" now that they are owned by Oracle?

- Is Android really free? How about iOS?

So everyone hating Microsoft, and in fact, any company - give your answers to the points above and see how stupid you sound. And I stand by my claim that ASP.NET MVC / C# / Visual Studio .NET are the best and most open framework for web development out there and I feel fortunate that a serious company like Microsoft stands behind it, so I can continue to invest in it. I really hate seeing these super cool mega-open free-as-in-whatever frameworks like Knockout, Angular, Docker, RequireJS, Grunt, etc - come and go in what, like 6 months, full with bugs and poor documentation and the moment we are actually good at them they suddenly are not good enough for the super elites at HN and we start over again.
February 22, 2014 15:07
A CIO from a non-profit organization wrote an article, comparing Microsoft to Dark Side vs Google as the Force (Star Wars) :-/
February 22, 2014 15:09
Your employer is behind many a PR outfit cynically lobbying regulators the harass their business rivals.

Not to mention this seedy stuff:

It's hardly irrational.
February 22, 2014 15:10
@none - It's best for me and for millions out there. And I actually sell products for 4 different platforms so I know what I am talking about. If .NET is not good for you - pick your tools and what suits you best, but judging from the problems you have - you'll have them tenfold with any other technology.

Good luck writing something in Go for example and using AWS and not having "lock-in". Any tools and language and you are already lock-in. Actually, you are locked-in being a programmer for life, you cannot be a surgeon know. Get it? And you are lock-in being a man.

Enough with this lock-in crap.
February 22, 2014 15:13
I think you are naive ; you work for a very evil company but your payment makes you either actually not see their evil ways or you just PR for them.

Anyway; they have not changed and will never change. You are a smart guy and there are many smart people at MS; you should be crying against all evil in the company openly. Not trying to do some 'you people have old ideas it's all fine now' crap which are lies.
February 22, 2014 15:24
Are you really that delusional to think the upsurge of vocal MS hate has to do exclusively with their perceived past misdeeds? I speak for myself (8+ years .NET developer): I started to "hate" MS past the Windows 8 reveal, about the time I tried out my first piece of Apple hardware (3rd gen retina iPad - still no comparable product running Windows): I realized that I had (and still have) to continue working with MS products despite them not being worth it anymore (with the Win8 direction). And yes Scott, your totally impartial articles about Win8, the touchscreen laptops, how it is Apple that actually screwed up major OS update with iOS 7 only rubbed the salt in the wound.
February 22, 2014 15:29
I used to be a bit of a Microsoft fanboy, but recently they've made decisions which annoy even me:

Silverlight - This was my job, I was good at it. It was a nice middleground between MVC and WPF, now I have to go and learn both of those instead.

Windows 8 - I have never had use for any Metro apps, and everytime I fall into one it just annoys me that I can't just go to the menu bar or task bar to get out. Why redesign something so radically that an experienced user still gets confused. I've held off introducing my parents because of this, how on earth am I to explain it to them?

Xbox One - This just feels like such a let down. For me, the main annoyance is how the OS rewrite from the fine Xbox 360 one just ignored most of the features I seemed to use. Want to browse for media on your network? Nope, can't do that. Want to check which of your mates are online right now? Step 1, find the friends "app", step 2, wait for it to load, step 3, look at the screen and try and spot the tiny little online icon, step 4, try and remember how to get back to whatever you were doing before. Want to see what that achievement you just unlocked was? Answer, not easily!

Sorry, bit of a rant there, but you get the point. Anti-trust was a non issue to me personally, but all these recent niggles are starting to add up into a company that is not really sure what it's about anymore.
February 22, 2014 16:08
'You' killed MS Pascal and Quickpascal. Some things cannot be forgotten. I had to bother with Borland afterwards... Expect grace? ;) :)
February 22, 2014 16:29
These big companies are essentially identical to each other, it's all good and good PR to pretend they aren't, but reality shows different. How far as Google strayed from their "do no evil" original motto? Similar things could be said for Apple. I guess the more successful a company is, the more hate it will generate.

I think what has been going on with the Dev tools / cloud technology is great and the people behind it should be congratulated. Let's see what happens with Satya Nadella as the CEO, maybe he'll be able to bring a similar mind set to other parts of the company.

Although I am a dev that uses Microsoft technologies, this doesn't mean that there aren't areas where I have been a strong critic of Microsoft's moves. The way they handled Windows 8 is a big source of angst, even with hard core Windows users. I was one of those with Windows Phone 7 smartphones that, all of a sudden, were stuck with no access to the latest OS. To this day I still resent and only grudgingly use SkyDrive, which lost some of the features on Windows Live Mesh that forced me to resort to 2rd party tools to have what I had with Live Mesh.

All these companies have bad things. I confess to have a strong dislike of Google (the "do no evil" thing is nothing but hypocrisy these days) but Chrome is still my main browser. We just need to try to be as objective as we can and pick the best each one has to offer, as long as that suits our needs.

Anyway, I hope you can keep contributing to make Microsoft a better company, Scott and congrats for the great work on the Dev tools / cloud stuff in these last years.
February 22, 2014 16:58
In my *very own* opinion I think what drives my hate towards MS is the constant overkill of corporate/marketing/promotional speech, not so much the products.
We 'grew' reading and hearing an overly adjectivized description of everything that MS wanted to sell (remember the dreadful repetition of the word 'rich'? - rich experience, rich interface, rich api, rich set of tools, man...)
Curiously, some pearls never got that attention and were really useful pieces of software (from the top of my mind comes e.g.: Microsoft ICE).
Along side the speech, there's kind of a 'monopoly inspired' vision of the world. I profoundly dislike the idea that there is only 'MS Word' when you want to write something and if you don't have Outlook you can't read you e-mails. Remember what Bill Gates said about iPad users being frustrated by not having Office?
I rest my case.
And by the way, this is a May 2013 news, not an old phrase found in an archived geocities page. ;)

But thank you Scott for helping us to see another side of the story... it's a shame that the marketing department don't share the same enthusiasm.

February 22, 2014 17:02
Why waste hate or love on companies to begin with?

Well, except for Oracle. Those guys are straight evil :)
February 22, 2014 17:09
LOB Dev here, I love Azure and VS and C# and Silverlight and MSSQL. Pissed about Silverlight, bring it back, HTML is a poor alternative (esp with IE8 being the SOE, [cant afford to pay vendor upgrade/test/fix the ERP system]) and deployment of desktop apps in an enterprise environment is near impossible.

I had talk with a OOS dev about 5 years ago I asked why he used Java, answer was C++ is too hard, "MS IS EVIL" and no one owns Java and it will be free for ever. I wonder how that is going?

February 22, 2014 17:14
Hey, let's not forget that abomination called SharePoint that Microsoft continues to foist upon the planet. And where do I start about the utter disaster that is Lync...there's plenty of "fresh hate" as well...
February 22, 2014 17:18

Its not just anti-trust and alike that has people hate microsoft.

There are some simple things Microsoft should be doing NOW to fix this which include:

1) Live Calendar/Contacts SHOULD support CalDav/CardDav/iCal yes its not as fancy/cool as EAS.. EAS is NOT a standard.
As a developer who works on Windows/OSX for iOS/Android/WinRT its extremely frustrating having NON Windows platforms not have access to my Calendar/Contacts. The solution ? I have to switch to Google for multi-device access. (Which I HATE doing).
Then I can't access my calendar/contacts on WinRT unless i use the web.

2) If you KILL a product.. SAY your killing a product. There is still no official announcement I have seen to say Silverlight is dead. Everyone knows its dead, but surely it wouldn't kill Microsoft to say.. Sorry guys, change of direction. Silverlight is officially dead ? XNA Dead ? Whats next ?

3) Open source more of the .NET stack. Why not release ASP.NET WebForms, WinForms, WPF ? You released MVC/EF ? Why not open source the compiler even under a friendly MIT/Apache/BSD style license ? The community would provide code reviews/bugs/patches/optimisations/etc.

4) We live in a multi-platform world (iOS/Android/OSX/Windows/Web) so why hasn't Microsoft adapted to this world ? Yes we can use the AMAZING tools from Xamarin , but the question has to be asked. Why is there no Microsoft C# compiler for other platforms ? People are going to write for iOS/Android if Microsoft like it or not.. So why not get them using Microsoft Tools ? If they move to other tools, its highly unlikely they will port code to C# for a WinRT release ? Keep them in the C#/.NET universe and they will write for ALL platforms. If they move to Objective-C or Java (oops Dalvik) its not in Microsoft's best interest.

5) Finally.. Updates. WHY WHY WHY are there so many and why are they so BIG ?
Surely Microsoft can utilise some PAR2 or newer technology with advanced delta/patching to reduce the update size ? Its now GIGS and GIGS of updates, surely not everything being deployed has been modified ?

Microsoft can't get away with habits from the past, the world has moved on.

February 22, 2014 17:22
Well spoken, Scott. Have been a .NET developer for the longest time, yet switching things around a lot in the last three years, I have been experiencing the transition first hand both with MS and myself as well.

However wish certain MS-products should have been marketed better or not marketed at all. Countless hours of effort is now going into converting apps which were written in technologies MS-touted as the 'future of development'. (e.g. Silverlight). Our clients are forced to rewrite these apps since they are tied to one platform and mobile hostile.

The other problem is of course, multiple ways of solving a common problem create a lot of confusion with junior developer (e.g. Data Access, Exception Handling)

Guess lessons are learned and I applaud the effort with your team and others at Microsoft. Now the question is when are you going to fix Windows 8.1? How did you screw up a simple process as "Windows Update" so badly?

Do I really need to wait for Windows 9?

Thanks for the post and keep up the good work!


February 22, 2014 17:37
I don't hate Microsoft; I'm just really disappointed and I don't trust them.

My disappointment stems from some of the products and interoperability (I think the way exchange stores mails is inherently inferior to Maildir; I think it is a disgrace that the only Exchange-compatible client that fully supports all kinds of meeting-types is Outlook, though I understand the business-decision to not allow interoperability [and I know that IBM is as bad if not worse with Lotus]). Sharepoint has braindead limitations (max length of paths is 256, several characters may not be used in filenames, etc.) that have some roots in inherent windows limitations (as you can map a sharepoint to a networked drive in windows, the braindead 256-chars max length in Windows Explorer 95 needs to be enforced).

I actually like the stability and UI of the more recent Office-variants (except Office 2013; I don't like being force-fed Skydrive), but as someone that has had to manage a social science dissertation with several A3-pages, over 100 graphics and over 300 pages in 2000, I still have some kind of PTSD regarding Word. ;-)

Regarding the trust thing: I still remember "Open Source is a cancer" and "Linux infringes on over 50 of our patents". I still remember the financing of SCO. It will take a loooong time for me to forget and forgive these.

The currently ongoing patent wars aren't augmenting my feelings regarding Microsoft. Software patents are inherently evil.

The handling of silverlight has shown that Microsoft has no problem to drop support for a whole software stack that many businesses were based on. Why would I start to migrate towards MS-technologies?

Another thing that i don't like is that (at least it looks like it from the outside) it is an all-or-nothing proposition: If you want to use .NET, you have to use Visual Studio, have to use Windows Server, have to use IIS and have to use MSSQL.

The whole CSS-vs-OSS debate rages on, but for me one thing is clear: If I want to add two additional web servers and split my backend-system into specialized parts running on different application-servers, that can be done in an afternoon by myself. If I use the MS-stack, I'll have to write a business-case, get a budget approved and wait several days until the licenses are bought.

To summarize: Past deeds are not forgotten and I see no reason to get excited about MS-technologies.

I'm also still forced to support IE6 and IE7. The unwillingness to release modern browser-versions for the older OSes is seriously hurting the web.
February 22, 2014 17:55
I agree with the premise of your post. Judge an organization by their current cast and actions.

Here are my current gripes (and for the record, I've been a staunch defender of Microsoft and their right to include their own browser in there own OS)...

Current gripes:
- Metro's walled garden.
- Windows phone went from a very open system to a walled garden... More so than iPhone.
- declining support of indie developers on Xbox.
- Xbox One (too long to enumerate from my mobile)

I live, work, and play in Windows and Visual Studio. I'm not anti Microsoft, but I do have legitimate gripes of current actions. I used to be somewhat of an evangelist, but now, their actions have pushed me to somewhat neutral.
February 22, 2014 18:11
Nice article. They might be good company, but I don't like a bit. Glad there are other options, so I can be free of Microsoft. No Microsoft products at home or at office.

They have to stop patent trolling. Two more years, many of those patents will expire. It will be good then...

Microsoft needs to stop scroogled campaign. It only shows the bad side of Mr. Softy. It

They survived this long only due to monopoly. Any dumb CEO would have made billions in profit. Now they are scared because of competition.

Msft products looks nice, but always buggy. I use Outlook. They cannot fix simple spam filter. Always get shitty email comes to inbox. Same never happens on Y or G.

February 22, 2014 18:18
I really wish people would quit tossing the word evil around so much. Hitler was evil, Stalin was evil, the guy that murdered a 10 year girl in Springfield, MO last week is evil. Corporations making decisions in their best interest, not giving away all their intellectual property, only providing one browser for a product are not evil. They are making decisions for products they sell. You don't have to buy them and you don't have to use them.

As for Microsoft, they've laid the foundation and built the tools that provided careers for a lot people. Myself included. Through BizSpark and DreamSpark they provide all the tools necessary for a student or startup business to get going for free. With all the real evil in the world, calling Microsoft or any other corporation evil because you don't like their browser, they killed your favorite platform or their product has a bug in it is, in my opinion, rather naive.
February 22, 2014 18:57
I personally think its ridiculous in the extreme to talk about "evil" when having these conversations. I dislike advertising but i don't call it "evil". There is very real suffering and violence in this world. Equating the inclusion of IE in an OS with evil is kind of an insult to people who actually suffer. Your toys and tools that cost enough to feed multiple staving people a year aren't exactly the way you want them? Pathetic. Patent trolling is EVIL? Forcing children to be soldiers is evil. Rape as a form of punishment is evil. Sharing the source code of your project is a good thing, i guess. Its useful...but its not some transcendent thing that makes you morally superior. God, some of the comments here are so insular...
February 22, 2014 19:16
Whenever I explain Microsoft as a company to folks I explain is as more of a series of small companies underneath a large umbrella known as "Microsoft". The Internet Explorer team is not the same as the Azure Team or the Visual Studio Team and therefore cannot be evaluated equally. Yes, I think Office 2010 has a stupid amount of bugs. This may be the worst version of Outlook I have ever used considering it crashes all the time. And yes, I think Internet Explorer is the most moronic web browser on the Internet and needs to disappear. However, Visual Studio is gorgeous and keeps getting better and better each release. The frameworks are constantly evolving and making the lives of developers (like me) so much easier. Their teams are brilliant as well; posting fantastic articles on a consistent basis to educate the rest of us on how to best use their frameworks and API's.

Microsoft as a whole has a lot to do in regard to repairing it's public image, as well as figuring our how to actually market something. The mobile world has not been their playground because they haven't figured out how to sell a product like Apple or Google. They are getting better though, so there is hope. But you won't win by making Windows 8 a tablet OS to be loaded on a desktop. That's why many of us still use Windows 7 and resent the idea of having our OS dumbed down.

So, in the end should we really hate Microsoft? That's really up to you. I feel there are several divisions that have really done a great job of opening the doors to the rest of the community and I greatly appreciate it. Maybe that is a developer-centric level of appreciation, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
February 22, 2014 19:21
As a Web Developer I've spent 15+ years fighting with Internet Explorer.

Most of my pain is now gone as I no longer have to support IE6 and IE7 but much of what made IE so frustrating to use is still there.

Typing "localhost[:port]/some/page" in IE'S location bar still insists on running a web search... Why?!?! do you know how utterly frustrating this is when you do it 10 times a day?

I'm sorry but the dev tools for IE have historically been atrocious... incorrect, non live, DOM tree and the worst editing UI I have ever used.

The IE11 dev tools are much better (still not even close to the competition) but now they are "Metro-fied" and are very unintuitive.

HTML5 Audio and Video cross browser are still not possible unless we use 2 or more formats due to DRM/Codec/Licencing encumber mentioned issues. We fully realize the business reasons behind this but not agreeing on and supporting out of the box at least 1 single 100% open, DRM free format for both Audio and Video (by all vendors) IS holding back the technology.

Attempting to load a static HTML file in the browser for testing still throws warnings that the JavaScript might curve my spine and IE blocks it. I'm fine if MSFT wants to keep this setting because of the security risks with ActiveX that could be called from JavaScript but for Pete's sake add a setting that lets developers TURN THIS OFF!!!!

MSFT has had 5 kicks at the can (7,8,9,10,11) to provide a decent fully open bug tracking for IE development and has failed spectacularly every single time... so much so that most developers passionate enough to want to help have completely given up... all bugs are now tracked on the IE Blog because the Connect system failed.

Speaking of the IE Blog... this is the most active MSFT blog but this blog and many others run on the Community Sever(sic) platform which has a CATASTROPHIC bug where comments will fail to post 50%+ of the time! users have complained about this for over 8 years and even provided the code fix! Yet Microsoft has REFUSED to even acknowledge the issue or attempt to fix it. This complete lack of sympathy for developers shows how much Microsoft really cares... and sadly with this kind of situation developers will continue to develop/test last in IE because it is such a royal pain to deal with IE (& in turn Microsoft) on what is currently the biggest development platform in the world (the Web).

If you have any power to fix this, Please do so!
February 22, 2014 19:22
I spent years hating MS. With good reason. The strong arming of pc manufactures, their tactics to push their document format, what they did to Sun with java, the years of stagnation of IE once it took sufficient marketshare, and I could go on and on.

These days I don't hate them, as a developer I just find their software to usually be more trouble than its worth.

For example, on any linux or osx box I could easily get an env setup quickly and start coding. If I'm missing a dependency, i just sudo apt-get or yum install or brew install from the command line.

But of course every now and then I go back to a windows box for punishment and try to do something as simple as say install a node service that has a dependency on a native module... ugh.

Yeah, I'm sure if I spent enough time on it I could download all the point and clicky installers get paths and things sorted out and have a decent workflow, but why bother? The other two platforms come with bash and do things similarly enough that open source developers can count on some baseline functionality.
February 22, 2014 19:36
I wouldn't worry too much about those who actively hate Microsoft. Rational arguments won't work with most of them. Haters gonna hate.

I'd be more worried about creeping ambivalence among those who have made a living on the Microsoft platform. As an ASP.NET developer for most of my career, I feel it myself. As my development has shifted from 80% server/20% client to the reverse, platforms like the MEAN stack are becoming a lot more appealing. Why not write javascript on the server and store data in a document database?

While I agree that Microsoft and the web tools team in particular have made great strides in recent years, I challenge you to do more and do it faster. Make it just as easy to develop and deploy a MEAN stack application using Visual Studio and Azure as it is with a traditional ASP.NET application. For competition's sake, I want to see Microsoft succeed.
February 22, 2014 19:43
I've used ms tools extensively, but only rarely because I thought they were the best, or even particularly good. Most of the time it was at the dictates of my employer.

But I've sensed a change recently. I'm no fan of Metro, but even so I recognize it as an attempt to do something new and different, instead of simply copying Apple as the old MS used to do (and the rest of the industry seemingly still does).

I can't love or hate a company (they have neither a soul to lose nor a body to kick). I've resented having to use substandard tools over the years to the point where I just block visual studio, for example, out of my mind; choosing it never occurs to me, no matter how much it may have evolved since the version number days. IE still finds new and interesting ways to screw with my web code, so all is not well between me and MS tools.

There have been moments. IronRuby, for example, was a project I was very interested in. In fact, I had started to wonder if it wasn't going to be a reason to take another look at visual studio; then it was cancelled.

So no, MS isn't making any of my products of choice these days, but the changes have at least started me looking again. Which, I guess, is something.
February 22, 2014 19:43
I've been thinking about this question as well. I'm a huge fan of .Net and C#, and I've started getting into Linux and Ruby/Python/Go.

I would say there are two aspects to this. I think there is general ill will towards Microsoft for a couple reasons:
- Security issues - Windows has a very bad reputation for security. Things are much better, but evidently people are still getting their computers held for ransom by malware.
- Internet Explorer - How many developer hours have been wasted getting things to work on IE? IE flaunted standards for a long time and it hurt a lot of developers.
- Metro - Window 8 is nice and Metro makes a lot of sense on a tablet, but Metro is horrible on a desktop and it feels like it is forced on you.

From a developer perspective:
- Licensing - in a VM world, licensing is a big issue. I'm not sure if there is a solution to this.
- Innovation/tech - It feels like the hot new technologies are all on Linux only: Docker, Riak, etc.
- Automation on windows is pretty poor. Installers are not good. Chocolaty is a step in the right direction, but a unified command line installation process would be nice.

On a whole, I feel like the big difference between the Linux/Open source world is that Linux feels like a community of people all helping each other. Microsoft feels like an unfriendly dictatorship and Apple/Google feel like benevolent dictatorships.
February 22, 2014 19:51
The real issue for MSFT is whether this new attitude can overcome the sins of the past and the time that has passed since then. It won't be angry rants like Stefane's but instead it will be how competitors are attacking MS weaknesses created by the past in areas like mobile and cloud. MS is tackling those items but their history leaves them exposed.
February 22, 2014 20:19
Oh, Scott!

Your request that we avoid hyperbole is *literally* as bad as the psychotic offspring of Ghengis Khan and Shere Khan riding enraged tyranosaurs through a flower child reunion picnic while reading entire chapters of the Necronomicon screeched through giant arena speakers conveniently mounted to the backs of triceratops(es?) who have been trained to obediently follow the enraged tryanosaurs like enourmous, hornéd puppies with appropriately scaled speakers (and cute, little paper-mache horns taped to their fuzzy little heads) following appropriately scaled little Capuchin monkeys riding appropriately enraged turkeys through an appropriately scaled diorama of a park full of peace loving, tie-dye wearing other Capuchins who want nothing more than to share their love and various chemical substances (and possibly carbonated beverages) thus ushering in the long awaited Age Of Aquarius that our world so desperately needs; I do grow so weary with the burden of attempting to keep such a long, flowing verbal construct as grammatically correct as is possible given the circumstances of my birth in North Carolina rather than the more literarily advantageous Mississippi wherein the grand master of long, flowing verbal constucts such as this was born and raised, spending much of his life writing long, flowing verbal constructs set in the mentally constructed Yoknapatawpha County which might one day host a reunion of flower children which I sincerely hope will not be interrupted by dinosaurs; anachronistic, cross-species, dyspeptic, genetic abominations; turkeys; elder gods; Capuchin Monkeys (the bad ones); or the ever-looming specter of Patent Trolls.

Just so you can understand the depth of my feeling on this subject: MY PAPPY WAS AT THAT REUNION.
February 22, 2014 20:28
My experiences with Microsoft over the years have been very favorable. I have made a nice living using their tech and they have been extremely helpful in solving issues I have had using their tech. I also understand the hate, the virus situation on XP was really out of hand. It embarrassed a lot of people too, as they were doing things they were ashamed of to get the virus and then they felt like they were exposed. Trust is hard to get back.

As for today's Microsoft, Windows 8 is a disaster. It is an ambitious and well meant disaster but all the same it is a user experience nightmare. Personally I love it, but every time I watch an end user try to use it I feel for them. Users are frustrated. Hopefully it will all come together and they can gain those users back over time. Apple went through a similar situation with their x86 transition, rough beginnings but eventually it all worked out. Hopefully Windows can do the same with their unified touch/productive strategy.

From a development perspective, I love today's Microsoft. I enjoy making apps and I really enjoy Microsoft's technologies that make that experience better across all platforms. C#, TypeScript, Azure, are all a big part of my everyday life by choice, and for that I love them. Keep up the great work!

February 22, 2014 21:01
"I don't hate Microsoft; I'm just really disappointed and I don't trust them." -Alphager

This right here. And for me, this disappointment and mistrust is a relatively new thing.

I know that Microsoft has many brilliant employees. There's 30 years' worth of good reasons that Windows, Office, Outlook, and custom VB6 and .NET applications dominate the business desktop computing environment.

But the travesty that is the "Modern" UI, the desperate and clueless way Microsoft is trying to chase the success of Google and Apple by cannibalizing their own successful desktop environment, and the haughty and dismissive treatment of customers' concerns and objections does not bode well for Microsoft's future.
February 22, 2014 21:33
I made a good living software consulting & contracting exclusively in the Microsoft ecosystem for 15 years.

Two years ago I made the observation that while having a wide corporate presence, Microsoft was alarmingly under-represented in the start-up community. I bought a MacBook Pro, learned Git, and took a 6-month Ruby on Rails gig. I haven't looked back.

I have no animus. I've moved on...for now.

I lament that Microsoft made some strategic misjudgments I suspect were rooted in misunderstanding the goals and motivations of one of their key customers -- software developers.

Microsoft must win back a significant chunk of the software development community, or continue its decline to irrelevance.

I admire you for continuing to be an ambassador for all that's good about Microsoft.
February 22, 2014 21:44
Hi Scott. Oh boy, you opened up the can, didn't you? ;-)
Phew, where to start...

First of all I'd like to say that I enjoy your blog, and I think you're one of the friendly and 'progressive' faces that still gives MS a fighting chance with people, particularly the new generation of developers. You come across as a genuinely nice fellow, that tries hard to do 'the right thing', don't mind making admissions and try and push hard for cool tech, also when it doesn't come from MS. I always appreciate your candor and insight. If MS had an army of clones like you, some things might look a little different :-)

So, the whole 'evil' thing obviously gets taken way too far, but many people invested in tech do develop strong feelings about stuff, and I'm no exception.

I work with MS tech almost exclusively in my day job, but my homebox has been running Linux for the last 15 years. My heart is with open source but I don't mind paying for good things. I also think MS has been producing *some* good tech over the years, and has been a force for advancing *some* good things. I've been following IT intensely for what, 35 years now, and I'd like to think I have a good perspective, and a broad outlook.

When it comes to shaping peoples opinions and emotions about stuff, I think there's a few factors:
- How companies behave
- The quality of their products
- The 'feel' you get about their people and ecosystem
- How well it's practices line up with your personal ethics (or lack of)

My take is that MS has been a very mixed blessing, on all accounts, over the years, and continue to be so. At times it seems like MS has completely lost it's way, and abandoned the best of it's heritage. Now, you can say the same about lots of other companies, or technology, and maybe that's not strange knowing how diverse the different groupings are in a company the size of e.g. MS. I've been impressed by the embrace by people like you, of open source, rapid innovation and such, in the field of, visual studio, and azure is starting to look cool. So I'll be the first one to recognize that there are parts of MS doing cool things, and seem to have their head screwed on right, that are pushing towards the future, and trying to mend past deeds.

At the same time there are other corners of the company, that remain very.... problematic. I won't run a long list, but I'd say that I still don't care at all for the broad business practices of MS as such, and I find the big-picture relationship with e.g. hardware OEM's and MS... very troubling and incestious (one word: 'The Microsoft Tax', shit like that doesn't come out of nowhere).

So it's a very mixed picture. It would seem that a company the size of MS, with it's resources, talent and brilliant minds (and there's a lot of talent) could pull off amazing feats of engineering. At the same time, it seems still that an awful lot of the time, when you try and do something new or innovative it turns into spectacular blunders, that are mostly entirely avoidable.

Just one example: I don't even know how to describe Win8 other than.... wow. Many good things overlaid with spectacular blunders and gross arrogance. Inside many nice incremental improvements to Win7 struggling to get out, weighed down by gross miscalculation. And I appreciate the extreme level of backwards compatibility, but jeezzz... Win8 must be the product to date, with the most confusing and 'all over the place' collection of UI pieces. I think I count something like 7 different generations of dialogs in there. I mean, come on, how hard can it be to fix the attrocious environment variables dialog, just to mention one, for a company of the size of MS? It doesn't exactly reek of 'commitment to excellence', or anything remotely approaching it. If anything it says 'we really don't give a shit' right into a users face. Not so enamoring. If at the installation of Windows 8, you would give the dear valued user 2 simple choices: 1) Would you like to boot to 'modern UI' or 'classic desktop'? and 2) Would you like a classic start menu on the desktop? .... MS could have saved itself 95% of the hate that's been laid on Win8. But it couldn't bring itself to it, something so logical and obvious. Even with Win8.1, another missed chance to win back. The users see it and know it, and it does *not* make them happy (as you know). And Win8 is just one example of course...

MS once led the pack, with extremely tight and focused UI standards (was it CUA?) and followed through in their tech. Today, when I use something like the latest release of Virtual Machine Manager, the UX makes me weep, and there's a very worrying trend of UX and UI becoming worse with each successive version of a product. I don't know how things like that is even allowed to be released. Do engineers even care about people using a keyboard anymore?

Still, if all the creative and clueful juices inside the company would be let loose on the world, it might not be too late, and things might look very different. If you get a focus, if you listen to the users, if you let the time honed engineering skills have a bit more to say, and the beancounters/strategists a bit less, then maybe.... Time will tell. Good luck.
February 22, 2014 22:01
FWIW, I met a young programmer last night who was 100% in the opposite camp: decried Apple and The Walled Garden, saw Windows as the more flexible and dev-friendly OS.
February 22, 2014 22:07
Now I hate you!!!, Mr. Scott Hanselman ;-)

You should have NEVER have mentioned Quarterdeck's product, for my dream DevOps environment would be PowerShell hosting in a 'DESQview GUI' as a front-end for Windows Server Core. As long as I do not have to go back to loading Novell IPX/SPX drivers into 'high' memory via QEMM I would be so happy. Maybe porting DESQview/X to make a DESQview/WayLand... hmmm....

So, go now, and make that happen for me, and I will forgive you and keep your RSS feed in my Feedly stream.... :-)

February 22, 2014 22:51
Microsoft has decided to end the life of a bunch of promising technology over the years. It seems disingenuous to deny that. Change for change sake seems to have picked up momentum since about 2008 and the derailing of good ideas began in about 2010. People naturally get upset along with these disruptions in technology. There are many developers who expect better from Microsoft and are waiting to see it. It's a bit like the scene from The Incredibles, with the kid on the hotwheels: "What are you waiting for?", "I don't know...something amazing I guess."

In the meantime, it doesn't hurt to learn new things, right?

A tweet from today shows a diagram with no Microsoft frameworks on it for web dev... Here is a fun game, fill in the shapes for things that Microsoft can do inside Visual Studio.
Wifey is learning HTML & CSS. Asked me about the 'bigger picture'. I got carried away + I ran out of space...
February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014 23:00
I don't hate Microsoft, nor do I hate Apple, Google or Facebook. But I understand why people just hate these companies sometimes.

I won't forget that Microsoft had killed my Samsung I8000 (WM 6.5) and (almost already) my Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7). Everyone around me tried to stop me from buying WM/WP phones but as a fan of Microsoft back then, I just wouldn't listen. These two phones are still working fine. They simply can't do what I expected them to do now. I think I won't ever buy a WP phone and I will stop people I know from buying any WP phones. Microsoft is no longer trusted by me in this area.
February 22, 2014 23:17
Actually, I think Microsoft's panicked reaction to Netscape and Java were the best things that ever happened to the owners of those technologies. Netscape's owners sold it for 10 billion dollars despite the fact that the quality of Navigator had dropped significantly.

Java was a technology that was legitimized only be Microsoft's interest in it. The court that decided in Sun's favor in their ignorance of the development community actually believed there were a significant number of developers who wanted to create Java applications using Microsoft tools but cared whether those apps ran on other platforms.

Microsoft had to pay 700 million dollars to Sun for Anti-trust despite the fact that Sun never suffered any real damage by Microsoft's actions. Had Microsoft ignored Java it would have been even less of a player on Windows than it is now.
February 22, 2014 23:18
I've been working in the IT Industry since 1985, when I was in the USAF working on a conversion from an old Burrough's mainframe to a new Sperry Unisys mainframe. Everyone hated the that system. How dare they take away the punch cards that were used in the 60's and replace them with interactive terminals.

I worked for a small manufacturing company, when we introduced CAD systems. Some of the engineers hated CAD, what was wrong with the pencil?

I worked for a small Microsoft / Novell partner in the late 90's where I earned my MCSE+I and Netware certifications. When Microsoft introduced Active Directory, it was much despised over the elegant NDS. NDS wasn't enough to save Novell.

I now work for a company where I've filled roles supporting LAN / WAN, servers, infrastructure, and now work as a senior developer using .NET technologies.
I've seen a lot of change over the course of the last 29 years. I've seen disparate systems that couldn't say boo to one another without extraordinary means. I've used various operating systems: Apple II Dos, CP/M, Amiga, MS Dos, PC Dos, Mac OS, OS/2, Windows 1.1, 2.0, 3.1, 3.11, 4.0, 95, 98, XP, 7, 8, various Linux derivatives such as Redhat, Ubuntu, and others. Heck, I remember old school gaming on a Commodore Vic20 with a cassette tape for storage.
Change in technology hasn't always been recognized as good by everyone. People are sometimes resistant to change for various reasons. Sometimes companies make a poor decision and have to reverse course. I wasn't a fan of Windows 8, but I find Windows 8.1 more suitable to my needs.

Do I hate Microsoft? No. I pretty much owe them my career. Do I like every change they have made to products I use over the years? Sometime yes, and sometimes no. Microsoft has created some innovative products over the years. They've created probably more duds (Bob) than most other companies. I see more openness and more willing to work with new ideas and open source than they had previously. Does that mean they are going to be open source? No, but open source isn't necessarily panacea either.
At the end of the day, we vote via our wallets and our employers similarly vote with theirs. We vote by using a vendor's product or we cast our vote elsewhere and use someone else's. Microsoft works to be innovative and at the same time serve the needs of those that rely upon their products. Without innovation, we could all be coding in assembly language on different types of hardware. Everything that would be built would be as transportable as the Great Lakes. They see changes in the industry and alter course (re: SilverLight). A the same time, they are a corporation and have responsibilities to shareholders. If a product isn't doing well or making sales numbers, it gets cast off. How many services has Google shuttered because Google had lost interest or didn't have a way to make money off of it (Google Reader?).

I don't think there has been a better time than now to be a developer or a user given the wide variety of tools and technologies we can use to make our lives easier. But to hate a company because they took away your favorite tool or they violated some law 20 years ago is silly. They broke a law and paid a penalty. Get over it. Microsoft took away your favorite tool, because they saw the rest of the world was changing. You don't hate your mother because she took away your favorite blanky. They both did you a favor. Don't complain that as a technology professional that now you have to learn something new. It just makes you sound grumpy.

I leave you with Dana Carvey aka The Grumpy Old Man from SNL -

February 22, 2014 23:36
Over the years I've wondered whether developer complaints about IE during the era that it was clearly dominant were based on organizational policy or the developers' philosophy. Was the boss saying "Our site isn't done until it runs on Netscape and Opera" or was it the developer saying "I believe in diversity and hate Microsoft so I'll make sure it runs on Netscape and Opera"?

I know that IE wasn't that standards compliant (particularly in those days), but if one knew that to be the case and had to target IE, wouldn't one follow the IE documentation rather than the standards?
February 23, 2014 0:00
What is the point of hating something that you can choose not to use? Most of the stuff can actually be gotten for free (all the express versions, trials etc.). Hating Windows 8 due to Metro is stupid - there are tons of alternatives that replace the original style start menu. I don't like Metro on my laptop and have been using such a tool since day 1. I have always had the luxury of choice.

Windows has always allowed great level of customization by third parties. All the explorer extensions etc. Visual Studio and Office is the same. This is the one area that I don't like the direction of Windows 8 RT and I do hope that it will not spread.

Windows 8 RT had the "jailbreak" application that allowed you to run any application compiled for ARM. Which was great! There was no real supported way but people hacked their way around to make the tools they needed to run on Windows RT (Notepad++, any pure .NET app, some games etc.). Came 8.1 RT and that option has been cut and really good (well, congrats on the SDL process though). And this is so far the only thing I really dislike about any MS product - being forced an artificial Apple-like lock-in on the device. The rest I can live with or work around or just ignore and use something else. On the other hand - Microsoft basically gifted that Surface RT at all the conferences for 99$.
February 23, 2014 0:22
MS hate is well deserved, if you're a web developer then it is obvious, even ie9 and ie10 (did not do much testing in ie11) are the worst browsers around, it's not only my daddy but MS is still killing. Why only support for IE8 in XP? I develop in FF or Chrome and it's always a burden to go to IE and see what kind of bugs Redmond has backet into IE.
Windows 8 is another disaster, luckily I'm on Mac and Linux. But why force people into something they don't like.
For one client I need to maintain a windows server, ( I have three Linux and 1 Mac server to maintain as well) it hangs every week or so, it's hard to get in connection with Mac or Linux, I know MS supports only MS and if you use anything else you in trouble, yes hate and still we'll deserved!!!
February 23, 2014 0:50

You came this far to complain about MS. Did you try to figure out why your windows server hangs? Nothing is perfect. My apple server also hangs. The problem was faulty USB port.

People, make your comments represent your age and wisdom.
February 23, 2014 1:04
'Microsoft' is any easy target, an huge organisation that makes lots of money.

People tend to play fast and loose with attributing suffering to Microsoft, when the truth is that they are such a diverse organisation, their net effect is unavoidably going to have some people upset.

If we deal with the facts, of say the last 5 years, especially in the Web area, I fail to see how they can be criticised with any severity.

For my money, Microsoft have been central in helping me create a start-up, grow it, fall in love with a technology stack (, never fail to be exciting at whats coming next.
Biz-spark has given me 3 years of prime Azure 'cloud' use for free.
Visual Studio is incredible.
Packages like ELMAH and Dapper rock, and are only made possible successes through Microsoft's openness.

I for one would like to say thank you to Microsoft, forget what you thought you knew and look at the facts Scott points out, Microsoft has evolved, and evolved for the better.
February 23, 2014 2:03
There are two sides when looking at MS: one as a developer and another as a consumer. I have many complains about MS as a consumer regarding, windows8, windows phone, and bing, but that will be long and off the topic.

So, as a developer and as pointed out by Scott, MS is embracing open source software (OSS) and the use of poplar non-Microsoft technologies such as javascript and hadoop. MS no longer wants me to be a .NET developer only, it is OK to use node.js in a iOS app on Azure, or to extend SharePoint with PHP (not that I want to but it is possible ;)

The question is when will we see more .net start ups and OSS? Is MS really interested in that goal? or the new MS motto will be "Do what you want, as long as it's on Azure"

Personally, I think azure is the only option. I haven't tried working with OSS + MS technology, but from what I hear of my friends these doesn't play well.

What Alphager said is true. It is a *all-or-nothing proposition* from both sides. The old MS deliberately designed software to work best exclusively with itself, for valid economical reasons. OSS reacted to that by ignoring compatibility with MS software over the decades. So, can the two ends meet now? Can the new MS clean the mess caused by old MS and OSS? I don't think so. There are many OSS out there so don't cry over spilled milk MS, forget it.

As a developer all I want from MS is to continue innovation and openness in .NET and Azure. Azure for start-ups and .NET for the enterprise...I am happy with this diction...

As a customer, don't even get me started...
February 23, 2014 3:12
I definitely think Microsoft is better now than it has been in the past. But I feel sometimes that I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop - somehow.

I worry that these initiatives are some underhanded way to sneak Windows dependencies into a stack.

Sometimes though, I think that if Microsoft just went that last step and started supporting and dedicating resources towards tech on Linux (Mono!)... Lots of people would embrace it genuinely.
February 23, 2014 3:46
As a seasoned MS Dev - coming on 20 years. I have loved the tools and most of the technologies.

What I would like to see more of is the support of .Net Open Source projects, rather than MS Feeling the need to open source\develop their own stack.

Examples are NHibernate & Service Stack. Both projects were\are ahead of their time, but have languished or had to be closed source due to economic realities. It would be great if MS put up $50M a year to grow the .Net ecosystem by supporting open source projects.

This is the kind of support that is being given to e.g. linux kernel devs by other companies (usually MS competitors). This is often done through direct employee\employer relationships, but could be done through other means.

This kind of support would help give developers the belief that it is worth innovating on the MS stack, rather than thinking any efforts they do make will be eventually be copied and not promoted by Microsoft. A win\win for all parties.
February 23, 2014 3:59
how can you hate a company that has people like Mark Russinovich and Scott Guthrie? those dudes are amazing!

and that other scott doesn't suck either.
February 23, 2014 4:11
I see a lot of positive signs around MS. The whole .NET eco is a good stack and there is always progress. Developers should be aware of the next trend and the next JS WTF framework. It always is still JS and html and its browser stuff. Its never going to be app quality. Sure i've seen the html 5 demo and yes there fast. But better, easier more future prove then .NET in a browser? heck no. That's why Silverlight is not dead but 'frozen' we need OOB apps!
February 23, 2014 5:02
One man wrote in MS word that he hated Microsoft, he made a long text, then he used hotmail to send that file to share his feelings to a close friend. His best friend liked what he saw, so he made a presentation in powerpoint to add photos and animations for his friend's text, then they shared to a lot of people around the world via skype... Yeah we all hate microsoft, pure evil...sent from my Windows Phone
February 23, 2014 5:32
I am going to jump in here and state that I am extremely frustrated with Microsoft. Lately they have provided an absolutely terrible user experience on all of their products. Windows 8 is a catastrophe due to the Metro interface, which has not been well received on mobile devices either. The market has spoken and they don't want the 'Metro' experience, yet Microsoft refuses to budge on it. As a developer, IE has been and continues to be the bane of my existence.

Basically, I am starting to resent Microsoft for their incompetence as a company. Once Microsoft gets into a dominant position in any sector, it appears that they claim victory and kill any future innovation. Case in point: cutting the Internet Explorer team after IE6. In that way, MS is its own worst enemy.
February 23, 2014 5:39
Yeah Russinovich is a personal hero of mine cle as he is to many OS experts out there. And Scott Gu is the ultimate King of the Nerds. I saw a keynote from him when I was at DevConnections in Vegas in 2010. The guy is pretty awesome.
February 23, 2014 6:11
I don't see why Microsoft feels it needs to embrace open source to be more profitable. If profit is the main objective, and as a public company that should be #1 then it doesn't really need to embrace open source unless it adds to the bottom line.

Look at Apple and XCode/Objective C. Is anything they're doing open source? Their app store is a closed wall garden. And yet they're super successful, is dominating the mobile industry that Microsoft had a head start in, and now is making twice as much money per quarter and has a larger market cap than Microsoft.

Microsoft needs to go back to figuring out their core competency instead of chasing these fleeting open source devs which will never come over to MS. (See failure of Javascript devs coming over to create Windows app stores, where most are using XAML/C#: )

If Microsoft wants to overtake Apple and be a market leader again, it needs to do what Apple is doing with Objective C and invest in their core competitive technologies, like C#/WPF, etc. despite it not being "open".
February 23, 2014 7:35
There are two parts to Microsoft. There is the part pushing for openness and transparency and there is the part packing ISO boards to make a mockery of standardization processes. It's difficult for me to believe Microsoft has had a fundamental change outside of its developers when it hasn't been that long since it was ramming OOXML through ISO so it didn't get shut out of government contracts. This was after Microsoft thumbed its nose at the standardization committee for ODF.

I just came back to .NET after 3 years away from it. I'm very happy with what they do for the developer community. The rest of the company, not so much.
February 23, 2014 8:55
It really comes down to this: Microsoft got a near monopoly by historical accident and business skill, and thereby killed a number of good technologies and forced us technologists to settle for less over the years. And that has pissed us off because we *are* technologists. Microsoft has controlled us more than it has served us.

I love c# as a language, but even so, the only reason I use it is because the ecosystem of jobs I have been in are enterprises that would never consider anything but Windows. So it was forced upon me (speaking a bit loosely).

I don't want anything rammed down my throat, and yet that is of course Microsoft's business model. And that can't change short of Microsoft loosing it's monopoly and working hard to *court* me rather than own the ecosystem I work in. Which of course Microsoft would not willingly do.

And the contempt comes from the fact the Microsoft consistently wins based on that monopoly while lacking merit. You're king of the hill with all the resources, dictating to the whole market, and you foist ie6 on us? So you suck AND your screwing it up for the rest of us. To any techie, that calls for contempt.

But ultimately, it all comes from the ever-building resentment of being controlled.
February 23, 2014 9:55
Let's see I have made a living supporting and developing with the MS stack so I can't complain too much :)

In the the last 5 years I honestly think the MS software has gotten much better. There are issues around marketing you guys need to fix, take a leaf out of apples book and announce a product like 4-6 weeks before launch and not 6 months.

Personally I love the new MS, azure rocks and if you give Win8 and Win2012 a chance you will realise that there's an amazing os hiding inside. Oh and who needs a touch based server OS? Well I don't mind as I can rdp into it using my tablet :)

Does it mean I only use MS software? Nope I have a Mac book pro and android products. Plus a VM of Linux on my home and work PC's.

If it were up to me I'd want MS to kill the letter based drives in windows and adopt a more *nix style approach! But that's my opinion and not everyone will agree, oh and it doesn't make it right either ;)

February 23, 2014 10:38
My theory is people need a boogeyman, pure psychology. So it is not about MS doing good/better, it is about replacement. You would need someone horrible that MS looks like a good guys in comparison to break this stereotype. We don't hate Japan because we have Russia, which is just as pathetic "evil empire" as new MS, but it is best we got at the moment. So people will find reasons to be pissed and even manufacture some if needed.
February 23, 2014 12:20
Typical experience when I visit my mom: Something is not working right on her computer, would I look at it? Open a browser. Half the window - and I mean *half* - is spyware toolbars she didn't know she was installing. This has happend more than once. Recently this involved a trip to the bank to block a transaction from scam artists who convinced her that she had malware and they would protect her for $900/year.

Microsoft created the toxic world in which such nonsense is possible and believable.

Sure, mobile computing was coming anyway. But isn't it odd that our mobile computing devices evolved up from phones rather than down from computers? Why is that? One word: Microsoft. They so wrecked the experience of desktop computing - and had consumers so completely bamboozled that the unreliability, the constant threats you had to pay extortionary prices to hold at bay, was simply part of what using a computer was like...that once somebody had experienced using a device that didn't break down constantly, require magic incantations to fix and constantly be at risk of getting sick through innocent actions - the cat was out of the bag. Who wants a phone that works just like their computer - show of hands! Uh, nobody.

Using Microsoft's technology is like sleeping with the person who gave you herpes again because, well...what else could go wrong?

Generational blah-blah. As long as I have to wade into the cesspool that is what's left of the Windows ecosystem, on behalf of family members who continue to be injured by it, I reserve the right to remain pissed.

It's great that there are nice people who work at Microsoft. Nice people worked at Enron too.
February 23, 2014 12:25
Very much what Rick said.

As a developer going through changes is expected of you. Change is the only constant in your job. A developer who fights change is bound to lose.
February 23, 2014 13:02
People leaving Windows to go Apple (yes, I'm lumping OS and hardware): out of the pot and into the fire. Same crap, different pile.

The platforms and interfaces are becoming commoditized faster than ever. God knows if any board director can be pulled away from the short term focus of next quarter's expectations for earnings to even notice. It's like a frog that doesn't know it's slowly being boiled to death. This spells disaster for Microsoft - and for that matter, Apple. What once was a differentiator that enabled it's customers to be at an advantage because of their choice in platform is now nothing special.

So what worked before, doesn't work today. One is quickly being killed by the customers realizing that shiny and slick marketing doesn't cover a crappy platform and the other by betting on Stockholm syndrome as a basis for it's "monopoly". Why are Chromebooks so successful in such a short time and don't need Microsoft to bless them with Windows? That's just the tip of the iceberg for the titanic that Microsoft made itself to be.

Vendor lock-in is a real issue. Open source will continue to undermine any attempts for delusional hyped up execs pushing for "sticky" products. It's easy to side-step. Now that there is more choice, I would never recommend Microsoft as a platform for a client. I'm already in pain from having to support them because of recommending Microsoft. Thank God I had enough brains and stayed away from Silverlight.

I've been developing for the Windows platform for over 15 years. I no longer have a single machine that has Windows on it or anything from Apple. Linux/Android/ChromeOS provide everything I need from consumer to programmer with the most freedom. If Microsoft helps those and true FOSS, I'll be back to use their products. There's plenty of money to be made in supporting a good thing. Valve's recent dumping of Microsoft is one of many foreshadowings.

What open source will continue to drive is a move toward platform independence. Not even an app in an app store will save you. While still thrashing, HTML5 and its successors stand the best chance as a ubiquitous platform.

Brace yourselves, Microsoft. Winter is coming.

Scott, I wish you would put your efforts behind something more noble than the interests of a company - particularly Microsoft or Apple. These 2 have done more damage to innovation than any other combined in recent years.
February 23, 2014 13:53

I hear ya and to be totally honest coming from a dev perspective, the transparency and openness that (pardon my non-complete list in no particular order) you, ScottGu, Phil Haack (now with GitHub), Damian Edwards, David Ebbo, David Fowler, Glenn Block (now with Splunk), and company have brought to .Net, VS, Web Stack and Azure is why I didn't bail on MS and Azure specifically. Silverlight might be an exception, but I knew it was necessary if we were gonna stop playing "the plugin wars" and instead compete on an open field of web standards. Azure Git integration, Kudu, Node.js support are truly specific reasons not to hate MS. One Asp.Net open sourced with open source contributions such as Attribute Routing and Json.Net are other concrete examples. I knew things had begun to change when a new VS project included jQuery and now it includes Twitter Bootstrap. That tells me ears have been listening. However, I wish I could say the same about the Windows side of the house. In short, .Net dev division, VS and Azure I have come to know and love almost as if it was a separate company and sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask, "Is this really the 'Microsoft that killed my Pappy?'" I wish that same openness, transparency and even sometimes openly critical elements could infiltrate other areas of the mother ship and can only hope that with Satya at the helm they will.

Keep pushing, my friend. As long as you renegades are clearing land mines for devs and eliminating friction while playing nicely with others (OSS), you'll still have a band of loyal devs that will follow you through the trenches as you try to remake Microsoft.

I just hope for your sake and for mine that "the Smiths" don't work there anymore, or if they do, they don't find you before your work is done. :-)
February 23, 2014 14:08
I never tired talking to Microsoft haters. Actually, they don't hate Microsoft, literally. It's true, lots of them are followers, from old stuff issues. Main topic is IE6 above and Windows Vista slow UI, Windows Start Menu... And they are not sure what they are talking about when it gets to Microsoft strategy. Example, most of them never tried Windows 8/WP8. But they just say hate the start menu in Windows. I have no idea why. :)

Anyway, What I also know from them is, Google developers get benefit (budget/money) if making apps for the Android (not from the selling app scope only). Google went to companies and tell them to add the apps to Play store. No budget, they'll give it. No knowledge, they'll provide it. It's a strategic approach to the management decision in that company. Is it true like that, I have no idea. I just heard from what they said. And I don't think is because of the open source hype only.

But it make sense, probably Microsoft needs to study and follow some pattern around here. Microsoft must go to local retailers, banks, cinema and ask them to add the apps to Win8/WP store. Approach the developers, don't give them XBox, voucher or t-shirt. That is old marketing. Believe it, I loose the argument when they show me local app in Android which they use it daily. It's not available yet in WP8. Or may be it will never available. All I can say is, relax, it should be in the store soon.

For me, I love Microsoft... :)
February 23, 2014 14:25
Out of many things I would like to say here, most relevant I guess is this:

Speaking about OS, plugability and GitHub: Once again Microsoft came to the party one hour too late, one dollar too short.

And once again argument about how unreasonable is hatred of M$, is on the lines of: "But look! We are trying!"
February 23, 2014 14:53

Please correct your post : Microsoft haven't been condamned by the EU for IE embedded by Windows, but because Micrososft was threatening all PC manufacturers to NOT make anything else than Windows or they will not be able to do any Windows PC (MS would blacklisted their PC parts').

This was proven, and thus MS had to pay some M$. Do not falsify the truth.

MS was striked again by the EU because they can't respect their promise (about IE this time, but whatever, a promise is a promise). It happen something like one or two year ago.

Do not tell us MS don't do bad thing now 'cuse they still do. Do not tell us it's just some people fault, it wasn't when MS threatening manufacturers, it was a full organisation effort.

Thanks to the EU MS stopped this particulary behavior, allowing concurrence (like Chrome OS). It's good, even if Chrome OS is... well, you know, pretty useless :D
February 23, 2014 15:35
I don't hate MS; however:
1) I greatly dislike the Metro UX
2) After focusing on MS-centric platforms for a decade, it just got stale for me, so I started poking around with alternative platforms
3) MS tech doesnt suite my current focus - I'm not interested in "devices & services", office productivity suites, or ALM straitjackets
February 23, 2014 16:14
Developers moaning about having to learn different technologies as others expire must have missed the last 20 years. MS stopped with Silverlight as it was superseded by newer, better technologies. Do you think all the Flash devs are blaming Adobe for the demise of Flash? That era of web programming has gone. Get over it and learn some new skills.

Where I work we're using Visual Studio and c# to make desktop apps for Windows, Linux and Mac. We're only creating desktop apps as we sell USB capture hardware. I've created web apps in c# which will run on any server, Azure or Linux. OWIN will open this up even more and Microsoft are the ones pushing it...

Fortunately, the bitter complainers let their emotions get involved in their decisions and for that reason very rarely get promoted to powerful positions.
February 23, 2014 17:14
I think this post itself is a answer why people hate MS. Its not about OSS or IE. Its deeper then that. They do OSS so that people don't hate them but their intention was not to contributing into OSS or make developers free from IE6-IE10. Why they now focus on JS, because they know that it hard to ignore or replace otherwise they don't bother. So if MS really want to change this prospect they should focus on respecting other technologies, people and developers.
February 23, 2014 19:27
Give us a solid, multi year roadmap of technologies in play and that will go a long way to clearing anger in the form of FUD.

MS loves to promote a product and then kill it -- InfoPath, Zune, WinFS, M/Oslo and so on...

There are ripples in the certainty of .Net due to C++ being in vogue by the vocal voices that be, and the lack of apparent foundational progress -- what's the status of Roslyn, future of .net...
February 23, 2014 20:57
Really? You think the bundling of IE is all we have to gripe about? How about the backing of SCO? The whole OOXML fiasco? Windows 8? Iteration after iteration of incompatible DRM schemes (Plays For Sure! Ha!)? There's plenty of crap in recent memory to want me to to try to stay as far away as possible.

While I'll admit Microsoft seems to be getting *somewhat* better in that regard, it's entirely self-serving and if Google and Linux weren't eating their lunch, they'd revert to their old ways. This is why competition is good, monopolies are bad, and leveraging monopolies to create new ones is even worse.
February 23, 2014 21:06
I'm a big linux and OSS fan, and to be honest I never really cared about the anti-trust browser thing, I thought it was pretty stupid.

I DO however care about things like bribing standards bodies to pass OOXML when it really isn't an implementable standard.
February 23, 2014 21:07
Your argument about iOS is simply disingenuous. MS did not get in trouble because they bundled IE with Windows but because they did that to the detriment of the competition. They leveraged the monopoly they already had on the desktop to win the "browser wars". They did not get in trouble because they were a monopoly but because they abused the fact that they were a monopoly. They also lied and tried hide evidence about their illegal practices during the anti-trust trial.

Remind people again how it came to pass that OOXML became a standard along with ODF. Here's a quick refresher:

Your snide arguments to little to make you or your company more likeable. Instead of addressing issues and fix them you come at us in pure PR bullshit fashion, trying to mock us.

No buddy, that's not how you get people to like you or the company that you work for.

Here's some more reading material for you:


February 23, 2014 21:09
I'm pissed at Microsoft about:

BeOS, Xandros, Linspire, Android extortion/taxing, SGI, Corel, SCO/Caldera, UEFI, ODF/OOXML, TurboLinux, RAV Software, Internet Explorer only websites, Netflix/Silverlight........

I could easily go on. And you know what? These all happened AFTER the DOJ settlement.

F**k Microsoft
February 23, 2014 21:10
Antitrust, .net, Silverlight bla bla bla.

I hate to burst your bubble, but none of anything you said is where all the hate comes from. 90% of your users could not care less or even be able to define what any of those terms mean, because they have actual real jobs and lives. The rage isn't born from some moral objection to any of your companies practices, it comes from becoming progressively more angry at having to deal with any Microsoft software. Some people can bend themselves into it, but when something that is conceived to be the 'One True Way' constantly fails on you, throughout your entire life, and you often have no idea how to fix it, the urge to put your foot through the tower becomes stronger and stronger. The less you understand about software development, the louder you shout at the screen. In short, the rage comes from your actual target customers.

Microsoft, everything you do is made in a panic, slapped together to make some target instead of being made patiently with love and foresight. You re-invent things that had a perfectly good existing solution just to own it, and then when you are bored of them, you throw them in a ditch. Family holidays become 'Fix aunties computer' holidays, because you have forever been about the sale instead of the quality of the product. You are like the slimy obnoxious guy at the bar who doesn't understand that everyone just wants him to leave, but everyone is too polite to say anything. How is it you do not even know why people really don't like you, that you assume it comes from somewhere entirely irrelevant?
February 23, 2014 21:21
Hanselman presents a very poor strawman here. Nobody hates on Microsoft because of the IE antitrust suit. People hate on Microsoft because they continue to demonstrate the supercilious hubris that lead to their past blunders. The company hasn't changed. They have no self introspection and they don't listen to what their customers want. Hanselman in his posts unwittingly re-enforces this notion by showing that he is completely oblivious to the real reasons why people hate on Microsoft.
February 23, 2014 21:35
is still a near-monopoly, and their platform still sucks and helps to fester malware and trojans.

I don't use MS software, I don't recommend MS software.

Its not (just) because of what they USED to do, its because of what they STILL DO and what they STILL ARE.

They stole the consumer PC by just happening to be in the right place at the right time. They had shrewd marketers and slick lawyers to make sure they got to keep it.

But they've never managed to dominate anything else. Zune is dead. Windows tablet will die. And the PC world is slowly (all-too-slowly) leaving them behind. I look forward to the day they are nothing but a bit player, relegated to the sidelines. Maybe all they will have left is heir gaming market, since that will the only thing helping them hold on to life when people mange to escape the lock-in elsewhere.
February 23, 2014 21:48

Here's something that's happening right now not twenty years ago, and it gets to the heart of Microsoft’s problem. Microsoft closed TechNet. It didn't make a lot of friends when it did. Nor did it make substantive arguments about closing TechNet. It just shut the door without much listening or compromise. It did however open a TechNet-like program for MCTs which supports the idea that TechNet was in fact relevant.

Then recently individuals in our community submitted session plans for TechEd. Nearly all of them covered subjects regarding local hosting of IT services. They were rejected because the subjects didn't tow the marketing line on Azure, but they did address our interests and needs.

This is hardly the right way to treat individuals who committed much of their lives to Microsoft and its technology. It smacks of a willingness to run over its own advocates if doing so serves its interest. It is pretty obvious Microsoft is still great at manufacturing enemies.

Perhaps we’re a group of stodgy old-schoolers who are unwilling to move on. But I think this is a lesson Microsoft still hasn't learned. Treating your customers badly can make them enemies for life. That’s why Microsoft can’t get people to let go. I understand you had no part in this, but you can see how this contributes to Microsoft’s image problem.


Cody Skidmore
February 23, 2014 21:49
No need for a good memory. Microsoft reminds us every year how they haven't changed their dishonest and deceitful practices.
February 23, 2014 22:00
There is one thing that irks me. Why can't Microsoft Outlook sync notes with smart phones?
I want to see what's on Outlook on my desktop on my smartphone except for RSS.
February 23, 2014 22:02
I work with Windows and other Microsoft software in desktop support, though I've always been a hobbyist Linux user (occasionally professionally); I run a small Ganeti server cluster with a bunch of Linux VMs, and all the computers at my home run Debian. I have a foot in both worlds.

I resent Microsoft Windows for historical reasons (the lack of a good scripting language included in DOS comes to mind) but also because there are many legacy features of Windows that make debugging difficult. The registry is still a poor design, the packaging system (msiexec) is primitive and unwieldy, and the OS is quite opaque, relying too much on binary blobs for functionality. Group Policy is unreliable at best and absurdly hacky at worst, and does not compare well to Chef or Puppet. Active Directory is a poorly thought out LDAP derivative.

Many good steps have been taken but I lose a lot of time working around Microsoft design decisions, and I resent that. (Drive letters? Seriously? 255 character filesystem path limits? Seriously? Binary blob configuration trees? Seriously?)

Internet Explorer should not be so tightly coupled to the OS. Nothing should be tightly coupled to the OS. The OS should be a tiny little component with other separate components talking to it through APIs. Some good steps have been taken in this direction, but not enough.
February 23, 2014 22:04
Well since you are there to fix things here is a list for you:

1- stop Microsoft Portugal from trying to boycott document interoperability; we had a "corruption" case in 2007 with the OOXML evalutation comission being lead by Microsoft itself and since then all sorts of attempts to block ODF adoption have been seen - this is a long tail of the OOXML scandal that we must definitely NOT forget; we should learn from it instead

2- how about letting the UK adopt ODF instead of politically pushing the stupid idea of multiple standards to postpone once again real world interop? Guys seriously... embrace ODF and face the competition. That's just normal.

3- Fixe FOPE. The stupid Forefront Online "Protection" quarantines legitimate "text-only" (no HTML, no attachments, no images, no male part enhancement advertising, no diploma sales,...) email messages without any kind of useful explanation - and your wonderful support team doesn't come up with a solution even when a large corporate customer is loosing emails because of this

Of course, while you are busy fixing these things someone is probably counting the days to de-support Skype for Linux.

February 23, 2014 22:09
DR-DOS, Doublespace / Stacker, lack of backward compatibility between their own versions of Word, ODF / OOXML, pacts with Novell even as the WordPerfect cases went unsettled - untrustworthy, untrusted and less than truthful for a full 30 years.
February 23, 2014 22:09
Pappy here (I wrote my first program in 1958 -- no, that's not a typo). I never hated Microsoft. If you're walking in the woods and a rattlesnake is in your path, a good way to get bit is to proceed on the basis of a hatred of snakes in general or rattlesnakes in particular. The proper course of action is to acknowledge and respect their rattlesnake-nature and then decide what to do.

I always acknowledged and respected Microsoft's Microsoft-nature, which was that of a ruthless competitor who aspired to (and in some areas achieved) monopoly status by any means fair or foul. As other commenters have noted, they still appear to be at it.

I never competed against Microsoft -- I've done some dumb things in my life, but nothing that stupid -- but I did spend a spell competing against IBM during their heyday in the 70s. Their IBM-nature was similar to, and possibly the inspiration, for Microsoft-nature. There is a big difference. IBM in those days was like Apple today: they produced and took responsibility for the whole product, hardware and software. And, like Apple today, their stuff was godawful expensive but they very, very seldom hung a customer out to dry.

Microsoft enjoyed and to a large extent still enjoys the luxury of being the monopoly supplier of critical components. That means they get the revenue and the last guy in the supply chain gets the expense of system integration and all the complaints. As long as that situation persists, and does so to the benefit of the MBAs and the lawyers, all the well-meaning techies they newly hire won't change a thing.
February 23, 2014 22:12
Any company that willingly produces mediocre crap for the tasteless masses is a suitable target for hate. One time in a position to actually make things better on a whole, the complacency displayed by Microsoft for nearly two decades is a real chance squandered. Now that it's hitting them in the ass, I can't feel any pity for them.
February 23, 2014 22:20
Great topic. Obviously it's imoprtant to unpack what is behind the hostility. However no list of technical greivances will capture what's really at work here. The emotion prompting the hostility is most often not hate in and of itself, as if it were somehow isolated from other emotions. Hate might be the most visible emotion for some, but it's not the only relevant emotion.

For instance, fear plays a role too. Microsoft is still an extremely big and powerful company, with powerful resources it can deploy when it chooses. In the back of some people's mind is "What might Microsoft do tomorrow to destroy what I value, simply because it can?" Hate is a by-product of that fear.

Another relevant emotion is gloating. After seeing that Microsoft is not so powerful as it once was in certain respects (despite remaining incredibly profitable and powerful), rather than openly expressing their feelings of gloat as mere gloat, some people will package it in terms of hate because it makes it more palatable to them and they imagine to their audience.

I could continue but I think I've made my point. And for the record while I use Windows 8.1 for my academic and much of my photographic workflow, I code in python on Ubuntu.
February 23, 2014 22:23
The problem though, was not their antitrust thing (Netscape was already dead), it was their hostility to open source and open standards. That was at a time when the Internet was exploding and its infrastructure was dependent on them. It not only was pissing developers, it was a threat to the Internet.

  • "The GPL is like a cancer" - Ballmer

  • The dominant Internet Explorer (v6) not being standard compliant, and Microsoft not upgrading it for years

  • The document standards fight with OpenOffice. There was sleaziness here from MSFT: Lobbying of politicians, and MSOffice wasn't compliant with their own standard

  • The sponsoring of SCO in the Linux lawsuits

  • Even now their patent-trolling of Android manufacturers

  • I agree that Microsoft are a much better company than they were. You can't be surprised though about lingering suspicions from developers, given how bad the behavior was. It was war against open source developers. Now they are mostly incompetent rather than being evil.
    February 23, 2014 22:27
    I hate MS because
      - still after all these years, even their Server editions have a Personal focus (no equivalent of /usr/local).
      - PowerShell came late and most {System, Domain, Database} Administrators don't think to use it, if for no other reason than they can't, because it's forbidden to run local scripts without going through a lot of painful paperwork. Thus, they stick with manual methods of doing things.
      - This is compounded by the fact that people who grow up Microsoft have a point-and-click mentality, and not a drive to script-and-automate.
    February 23, 2014 22:40
    What is MS is doing is too little and too late!. They have shot themselves it the foot for so long people no longer hate them just pity them.

    What MS need to do is to look at What Apple did in 2001 by moving
    from Classic Mac OS to Unix based OSX and than building a whole ecosystem around it.

    I know lots of people has built successful carriers, but you have to admit
    NT(New Technology) OS has lost the race and Unix won!

    MS needs to start from scratch with NTX :) and go from there. Anything less will not cut it. Their business model served them well for years but it is now absolute, They are the 90s tech company and they always be remembered like that.

    February 23, 2014 22:46
    I don't really like the OP's thinking. Basically he is saying "Oh, it is just my pappy's problem. I have done nothing wrong. I am doing nice thing one, two, three. I should be cool again."

    You are doing great now and you think history doesn't count? At all? So you can do cool thing one, two and three at random company. And that company is not Microsoft? And you are the only person responsible for the success for the whole product?

    Impossible. You are using MS's resources. It's internal facilities, which MS accumulated over the last 30 years. So your success will at least partially attribute to MS past.

    And here is the thing, when you joined Microsoft last 10 years, you are probably not stupid too. Don't you know that your future "elders" are people who pollute standards, bully retailers and try to be unnecessarily ultra aggressive? Chances are you join MS because you got a nice paycheck, let you pay the bill but lose the pride of being a programmer.

    So you open source now? Big deal. Think about Linux and OpenOffice. They let users do what they need to do while Microsoft charge $100+. Have you think about other people in the world? Not everyone can afford that kind of money.

    Listen, people will hate Microsoft *fow a while*. The least helpful thing here is to whine and complain "How sucky my life is (sob sob)". You should go ahead to say sorry. Say sorry to people you wrong. You mentioned the examples of WWII. Yeah, we are cool with the Axis now. That's because they apologize. I never heard that Microsoft publicly say sorry that they deliberately pollute the standard, they "pull the oxygen supply". To the outside world, Microsoft still give people a feeling that it is a bunch of brats try to show how smart they are.

    Before you can change that image, try to be *humble* and really really help the world.

    February 23, 2014 22:59
    You write that Microsoft is not my grandfather's one. I look at OOXML – just an example – and here it is.

    Microsoft has changed where it HAD to. It's pretty the same everywhere else. If it hadn't to change, it wouldn't.

    As soon as Microsoft will have a chance to behave like in the good old days, it'll do in a matter of seconds.

    As far as I'm concerned, I will trust Microsoft when it will have 20% of the desktop, the browser, the office suite. While it has 90%, 50%, trust is a mistake. Maybe Apple is way worse than Microsoft. But Apple has 10%.
    February 23, 2014 22:59
    Hmm. How do I say this without being considered a troll? Microsoft is the most fragile operating system on the planet. I don't see the frailty changing. As all the 'so-called' versions of Windows are simply upgraded form of the original NT code base. The system can blue screen with only a subtle change to the registry. In any case, I use GNU/Linux or OS X over Windows. I went completetly Microsoft free in October of 2003 on all my personal equipment. Never looked back. I deliberatly carry a live GNU/Linux USB around with me so I don't have to deal with Windows on systems which may have it installed onto it. Oddly, I am constantly repairing and recovering data for people who use Windows PCs.
    February 23, 2014 23:01
    Microsoft's ill-will isn't in the monopoly department today, but seriously, "who have you all not pissed off today?" Surface made OEMs pretty unhappy, dropping Silverlight made quite a few unhappy (there's pretty much zero difference now between Apache and IIS), let's spit in the face of the most honored MCSDs, let's change long standing tradition for MSDN subscribers and not have access to the final bits... The list is insanely long of the ill-will that recently has taken Microsoft. The thing is, most people see it for what it is, "playing catch up with no solid plan as to how that's going to happen." I don't think Microsoft could look so directionless as it does now. I think the mantra over there must be, "if a kitchen sink will fix this, I want ten!" If you had a pretty valid reason for some of the crap you all do, then I guess we could swallow the bitter pill. But no, Microsoft is full of it and it is pretty obvious. It is not subtle at all!!

    I don't think Apple or Google are any better in the evil department. I don't think we live in an age where commercial vendors can be trusted. Eventually they find some way to twist and turn whatever their promise is to make a quick buck. So with all being evil, I really don't think "evil" really plays into anyone equation anymore. No matter who you go with, eventually, they *will* milk you for a buck (i.e. Microsoft's *new* enterprise licensing, thanks guys!) Besides, if you want a recent evil, how about the whole ISO/OOXML thing?

    I need something that makes the random manager happy, they rather pull out their trusty shiny device of knowledge, that will inform them of whatever the peons have gathered for them. The peons, well they're always on the OS that was the new thing four or five years ago, because, well, they are the peons. Managers see desktops as needed and tablets/phones as luxury. There's just no way to convince a PHB that the peons need tablets, and I don't think anyone in our department can justify the countless hours and help desk tickets we'd receive, if we were ever to get approved for funds to upgrade to Win 8 on desktops. Win 8 just wasn't made for desktops paired with the recent (subject to change) notice that you have hung on pretty much every feature in Windows 8 now... A maelstrom of crap that was invented by Microsoft to play catch up to the other two guys, that has done nothing but make every single person who had a flake of trust in the company, more jaded than the emo kid at the local coffee shop. That is Microsoft's problem, not being evil, we already expect that.
    February 23, 2014 23:11
    I still hate Microsoft for intentionally disabling features of Office 360 for Linux clients. Adding a browser plugin to change the client string to report Windows instead of Linux restored the missing features. As long as Microsoft tailors everything it does to drive Windows license sales, I will continue to prefer online solutions from other companies. And Windows still sucks as a development platform for anything that is not .NET. I don't hate Microsoft for things they did 20 years ago. I just don't like to use Windows because it is still basically a single-user operating system. It's a bad design largely copied from the equally crappy VAX/VMS operating system, and for reasons of backward compatibility it never gets fixed.
    February 23, 2014 23:17
    I can't say for sure about Chrome OS, but I'm assuming it would behave like Android: that it would be trivial to uninstall updates and to disable Chrome. (Since it came in the firmware, really deleting is impossible of course.)

    Other than that, I don't have the impression that Microsoft really have changed: look at how they're pressuring British government instances to drop the requirement to use office productivity software that uses (true) standards. It's just that they've adjusted to not always having it their way any more. So it's more of a dormant threat.
    February 23, 2014 23:19
    Microsoft has afforded me lots of opportunity. Through free and easy access to learning on MSDN, and free development tools, I've been able to open doors that I wouldn't have otherwise had in my life. I'm thankful for that.
    February 23, 2014 23:20
    If Japan was still denying culpability and bombing a harbor every couple years, they wouldn't be forgiven either.

    That's the difference. When MS genuinely accepts culpability, makes an actual apology and (most important) actually reforms itself and ceases to offend, then in time it may be forgiven.
    February 23, 2014 23:32
    My biggest current beef with Windows 8 is that MS obviously doesn't want people to write apps they want to write, and doesn't allow them to distribute them. p-nand-q has the details.

    I literally have no way of convincing anyone in our business that we should target Windows 8 Metro, since, like p-nand-q, we don't do commodity stuff, we do fairly expensive hardware, and we simply can't distribute what we make. That's the end of the road, right there.

    That's no hate, BTW, it's simply a statement of fact. There's nothing I can (or can not) do on my end to change the fact that there's no way for me to distribute a cool Windows 8 Metro-targeting application with our hardware.
    February 23, 2014 23:48
    It's in Microsoft's DNA to be the robber baron of the IT industry. A new CEO can change that, but sloooowly.

    Software very much is about "standing on the shoulders of giants", but someone inside Microsoft misinterpreted that to "stepping on the shoulders of giants" :-(

    In the 90's they were successful thanks to lots of brains and few MBAs. Remember the development of CTL3D.DLL? *lots* of discussion, improvements and release of CTL3DV2.DLL. Feedback worked. Then in the 00's when GDI+ was born, to speed it to market they purchased GDIPLUS.DLL from a 3rd party (it's now on every Windows computer). Many accused MS of being reckless and buying a bloated and buggy DLL. And today, I think that DLL tops the list of zerodays/LOC for Microsoft. Right now I only remember two, GDI+ comments and TIFF file parsing, but there are more for sure.

    I could go on ranting about those ribbonized MFC components MS bought a couple of years back but you get the idea. Having no taste has its perils...
    February 24, 2014 0:07
    I feel the same way as the <25 developer. I am >25 and lived through this.

    If they change there ways than I would reconsider but I haven't seen it. For example, look at the 2008 ISO OOXML scandal.

    The problem is with leadership. If the top dogs think this attitude is Ok then that is the direction the company will follow. When Ballmer leaves maybe things will change.

    I actually respect Bill Gates. I believe he is the source of the distrust but I can't disrespect him.
    February 24, 2014 0:07
    MS is easy to hate. I'm not a dev but a simple customer, and I keep getting the feeling the MS values internal goals more than customers:
    - Metro was not ready. The concept of the thing can be argued, the execution can't: it's buggy, incomplete, lacks basic UI elements (clues...) and tools (back action, up action...). The only way this could have been released was by completely ignoring customer feedback.
    - a few years back, I bought an HTC HD2. Couldn't sync with the then-current version of Windows, was told this was normal
    - the office file format scandal happened not very long ago (2008). That was... shameless... And still is.

    February 24, 2014 0:12
    I don't think alot of people are still angry with Microsoft for things done 10 years ago. I do think that perhaps congress should have to approve any corporate acquisition you make (off the cuff, there may be a better mechanism). You are still highly anti-competitive, and a better example would be the same browser issue in the E.U. that they were fined a billion dollars for? Much more recent, and your company flagrantly violated the law.

    I do give Microsoft credit for being much more Professional in the last few years vis a vis bug fixing (Vista vs 7), stability, reliability, and security.

    My personal gripes with Microsoft stem more from heavy handed apathy. Chiefly
    1. H1B visa BS. I don't approve of any company doing this, and I don't care if the 'other giants' are doing it too. It is reprehensible, and any company who expects protection of U.S. laws i.e. patents, and copyright, or expects any jurisdiction within the U.S. to recognize it's articles of incorporation should respect the citizens, and not make such a ridiculous effort to game the system. Yes you are there to make a profit, but are you the Wolf of Wall Street, or are you someone I can trust?
    2. Your ridiculous EULAs have to go. I despise a new version of office coming out, that even though it's a retail sku dies with the PC (was this ever actually reversed, or did you guys just switch back? Blog posts don't cut it, modify the EULA!) Or how about that Surface RT (only has Home & Student) can ONLY be used in a corporate setting if you 'rent' Office 365. Or needing a VDA license for an iPad, but only when company owned! Or when on Company property, EXCEPT ON THURSDAYS AFTER TEA! This is alot like buying a gallon of milk, only to have pay separate licensing costs, if I wish to bake cookies with it, brownies are OK, but cookies have a licensing cost, or Ford telling me that I can't drive off road in a vehicle I just purchased. We don't tolerate that anywhere else, and shouldn't tolerate in the software arena either. Just because it is permissible, doesn't mean it's beneficial. Or perhaps, just because you can doesn't mean you should. You don't treat us like a partner, more like a fee cow.
    3. Long standing bugs that will never be fixed. I have had a couple of Server 2012 boxes blue screen out from under me because they had the NFS client installed, and were accessing a Synology. Very repeatable. Other users have the same issue (BSOD on access of NFS share). If it doesn't work remove the binaries from the release package. This is one of a few hundred such issues over the years. If you care, then take pride in your work, perhaps you do, but it doesn't show. Prove to us that you do.

    The biggest issue is that for a variety of reasons, Technological, Legal, and quasi-ethical Microsoft has time, and again violated my trust. I don't trust you, and though you have been getting better over the last few years, you still have failed to re-earn my trust.

    Your post title cuts to the heart, and soul of the matter, you are making fun of people that have legitimate grievances with you. The entire corporate culture at Microsoft seems to be one of self-loathing, mockery, and childish apathy. Not to say all employees are that way mind you, but that is practically all of Microsoft that I have seen. There was a Technet webcast where some idiot (I forget who) joked about putting all us Sys Admins out of work with the cloud, really, maybe price the fractional CPU instance at less than the price of a PC for a year. Mock your customers some more, see where it gets you. We don't trust you, we don't like your attitude, and we don't like the way you conduct yourselves. You demand protection of U.S. law so that you can sell your software here, that's fine. Then respect it. Stop suing people for using the Fat32 file system. Are you entitled to? Yes. Should you? No. Be a Tesla, not a Gates.

    "Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents."

    Respect the people who put you where you are. Respect the system, and show us you do by doing diligent work, and keeping your snide childish comments to yourself.

    Also your company & AT&T is neck, and neck for last place with regard to speaking to with your technical staff on the phone. Not about race mind you, dropped calls, and inexperienced staff.

    February 24, 2014 0:17
    As a pappy myself, who used to do lots of windows stuff, I can say that, from my perspective, Microsoft has not changed its ways. The ongoing OOXML fiasco in England shows that Microsoft is still not above mortaging the future ability of the world to retrieve its data on the alter of present profits.

    But Microsoft did worse than kill the pappys. They left them alive, to be able to explain to the next generation about the evils of Microsoft.

    Thank you for the encouraging words about how, at least in a few cases, it is working. And shame on you for thinking that if you go to church on Sundays and say a few hail Marys that it will atone for all the other bad things that you are doing. Because it won't.
    February 24, 2014 0:23
    The problem for me is that Microsoft keeps on giving us reasons to 'hate' them.

    The monopoly you guys managed to get yourself in (let's not discuss how, that's history) on the desktop market gives you a responsibility which you don't seem to care about. Simple things like the unusable search function since Windows 7 make me angry at you every day. I have to use Windows professionally as a programmer, but hell, I long for the days I was using Linux professionally. Trivial things in Linux (search for files with this extension containing this and that data) now are translated every day in anger. Calculating for half an hour how long it takes to delete a directory ? You could have finished already !

    Windows 8: It took you quite a while to find out that just ditching the classic 'Windows 7' way of working was a bad idea. Arrogant posts from Microsoft all over the place (get used to it), but only reluctancy to come op with a proper solution. And come on, it's only a few days work to get the old code back and improve it a bit, so you are unable to convince me it is anything but arrogancy that kept the start menu out for so long.

    Your patent trolling. Serioulsy.. FAT32 patents ? Get a life. You are not innovating at the moment, you are trying to survive by nothing but foul play. You have such a shitload of money that you will survive for quite a while, but transform into an innovating company again or you will make it into the history books as a company that died of arrogancy and ignoring the customers.

    February 24, 2014 0:24
    I'm in that <25 segment and hear this a lot from Apple fans. Incidentally, most have never heard of Foxconn or Flashback Botnet.
    February 24, 2014 0:45
    OK. Lets get this straight. The anti-trust was only about a browser in OS and that is it ? How about the fact how MS killed Digital Research (DR) DOS and Novell DOS using slimy anti-trust techniques. How about the fact that re-sellers who moved to bundle Novell DOS on some machines still had to pay MS ? How about the fact that DR DOS was more powerful the MS DOS ?
    Browser was the last straw since as always MS was late to the party. They were behind but they were not able going to be able to catch Netscape unless they started bundling the browser in they monopoly OS. Unfortunately, they got their hand slapped for this.

    Microsoft has never been able to compete on a level playing field. They need everything around the monopoly windows/office world.
    The world has changed for MS and MS has not. Look at the search engine space. Google has such a commanding lead over anyone (just like Netscape once). However, MS cannot use their monopoly anymore (they are trying with Windows 8 bing integration). Now they have to rely on "scroogled" ads

    MS has very smart people, who do great work. However old guard is still alive and well on top.

    February 24, 2014 0:50
    I often sang the praises of MSVC++, proudly continued using my email address, search with Bing, and even owned a Zune at one point. After using my Windows 7 laptop for 3 years, it suddenly decided that it is not a genuine activation of Windows, and refused to accept the Product Key when I re-enter it. I called MS support and the guy on the other end hung up on me twice very deliberately. So now that Windows is locking me out of my completely legit copy of Windows 7, and refusing to do anything to rectify the situation, I feel that I have no choice but to switch operating systems. I gotta say I actually liked Windows 7 a lot, despite my disdain for their "Genuine Advantage" strongarm tactics. But this overzealous copy protection regime and restrictive you-own-nothing license, combined with their ridiculously poor customer support has finally pushed me over the edge.
    February 24, 2014 0:52
    Microsoft is not evil. I grew up with Apple long before the iPhone happened. They used to be cool. Thought things were going to calm down once the crazy guy had to step down. Not so. For what Microsoft had to go through in the late 90's I'm astounded that Apple has not been dragged to court yet. It's a nice world we live in. I like flowers.
    February 24, 2014 0:52
    The problem is that Microsoft's attitudes haven't really changed. Their ethical standards, their attitudes, their general honesty, and the way they make use of their market clout are about the same now as they were in the 1990's. In other words: no improvement.

    What has changed is the environment.

    First off, the marketplace is different now than it was 20 years ago. PC's seem to be on the down-slope of the technological curve and on products with an up-slope Microsoft's products don't hold the dominant position they did on PC's in the 1990's.

    Secondly, governments and the public a more alert nowadays with respect to abuse of monopolies and dominant market-share. And yes: to them the name "Microsoft" does indeed arouse suspicion, and its offering will be scrutised more closely than some of its competitors. Besides, in some key areas governments and the general public now have more alternatives (among others Open Source Software) which makes it easier for them to crack down on individual companies.

    Thirdly, Microsoft has recognised that killing off key Open Source products such as Linux, GNU, Libreoffice, Open Office etc. and various libraries through ridicule, marketing, and lawsuits (think about the frivolous SCO lawsuit against Linux which Microsoft bankrolled from a safe distance), is no longer a feasible goal. So they have "rethought" their tactics and embraced Open Source buzz-word compliance, if nothing else.

    I would agree however that in some areas Microsoft isn't the prime suspect anymore: other companies have taken the lead there (I think e.g. of Apple, Google and Facebook).

    On the other hand, there still are certain areas like file-formats (think of Microsoft's proprietary OOXML format it's trying to get mandated by the UK government to insure a nicely tilted playing field favouring MS Office) where its classic policies are still in effect.

    So err ... I might agree that Microsoft's reputation lags it's actual danger, but that's not because of some kind of glorious epiphany on Microsoft's part but simply that the environment has changed, and hence Microsoft's relative power.
    February 24, 2014 0:58
    Hi. I am a long-term Windows user -- how many here can say they installed Windows 1.0? (It came bundled with a 2 MB Intel AboveBoard daughter card.) I am also a long-term Linux user, having first fired it up in '94; my first Unix exposure was in '84. So I've been around the block.

    Windows 1.0... well, it kinda sucked. So did 2.0. And Windows /386. And OS/2 1.0/1.1 -- you know, back when it was still a dual MS/IBM project. I kept waiting, wanting "the next version" of Windows to be good. In the meantime, MS would go and do things like stab DR Research in the back. Screw over most anyone they competed with. I finally gave up, and switched to Linux, and haven't looked back. But no sysadmin is an island; I've been fully conversant with Windows up until about Server 2003/Windows 7. And while I've seen incremental changes, I have *not* seen what I would call "sea changes."

    Note: MS is a big company. I'm sure there are counterpoints to all or most of what I'm about to say. This does *not* negate that what I say has and does happen. Over and over, MS has had opportunities to open APIs and protocols, and over and over again, they haven't. Likewise Android patents. Likewise comments like those that berate customers for not wanting "always on," and laughing -- laughing! -- at the iPhone.

    This, to me, shows an entrenched behemoth that abhors change, and only does so when compelled by fire. Google didn't laugh. Google went and damn-well made their own iPhone. I hate to use the word "agile," so I won't, but compared to MS -- Smaug, on his pile of gold, and woe be to he who would pinch a coin -- Google is Bilbo, light on his feet, and always thinking; wondering where his next meal will come from, and oh, so very hungry.

    Then, there's Satya Nadella. When I saw the credentials he has, as well as the persona he seems to carry, for the first time in a very, VERY long time, I felt hope for Microsoft. 10 years ago, I would have been full of advice; now? I just don't know. I don't hate MS for killing my paw; hate was largely replaced with pity when Apple finished trouncing MS in the marketplace. But could MS become a vibrant company I could respect? I truly don't know. They are so damn late to the marketplace with ideas that I wonder if even someone with Mr. Nadella's insights and know-how can find ways to turn it around.

    *IF* MS is even capable of being turned around, I hope it can do so in order to become a born-again company; a phoenix with new ideas, and the ability to win customers by doing cool things, and not by pissing off developers and customers by attempting more "Because I said so, that's why" BS. I'm oh, so tired of that.

    Good luck.
    February 24, 2014 1:03
    This is the most hilarious article I've read on a tech blog !!
    February 24, 2014 1:13
    Yes, Microsoft changed for sure - but:

  • It's the company which lobbied for UEFI and

  • It's the company which lobbied for secure boot

  • It's the company which is making harder and harder to OWN some hardware without a Microsoft License

  • It's the company which is making difficult for people to install something else

  • It's the company which is trying to declare open standard some hardly implementable (by non Microsoft entities) document specification

  • It's the company which, hating Linux/Unix home concept, went from "Documents and settings" to "Users"...

  • That is not something from 20 years ago. It is something from the last, say, five years?

    Should i go ahead?

    And if all of the previous sins are not enough,

    remember Microsoft BOB

    February 24, 2014 1:19
    So far as I can see, Microsoft has not changed. 1) They are still a criminal organization. A good example is Microsoft's bribery and bullying of the ISO members to get their flawed OOXML accepted as a standard. 2) They are continuing to be sued (and losing) as companies that Microsoft cheated and stole from are taking them to court. 3) They build crappy operating systems. It started with Win95. The latest example is Win8. There are a few between those two that are barely acceptable, but why should I accept mediocre when I can have good?
    February 24, 2014 1:25
    Two comments:

    "Hating" is stupid. Evaluate products on their merits; use what works. That doesn't mean you should ignore what the company does -- far from it, but make that rational part of your evaluation, not some knee-jerk hater attitude.

    I frequently don't use Microsoft products because they attempt to lock you into the ecosystem, constraining your future choices. Consider .NET: it's a fine VM, and C# is a very good language. I would like to use it, but ... it's not OS-agnostic. If I want to run it on Linux or Solaris or FreeBSD, I can't (yeah, Mono, no). That's the kind of thing that represents an attitude at Microsoft that means it's hard for its products to ever win an evaluation again their more open peers.

    So sure, Microsoft has been doing lots of Open Source, and their web standards support is heaps better, and etc etc, BUT ... it all looks like Window dressing, tempting you into the lock-in.

    One final comment: it's not like Apple, or Google, or InsertBigCompanyHere are much/any better. It seems hard for successful companies to avoid this mentality. I think if they did, they'd end up more successful, rather than lazily forcing people to use inferior solutions because of compatibility with the legacy base.
    February 24, 2014 1:51
    Scott -- This is a funny & philosophical article with "don't hold a grudge" msg -- well done!
    Microsoft does deserve another chance(s). What's life without more chance(s)? Microsoft is going from a frat-boy/single phase to married/settled-in-life. It needs to stop chasing mobile as a fad and make it reliable. Adults unlike teenagers can't swap cell phones/tablets every year. Businesses can afford to do that even less. When there is bad weather situation e.g. storms, hurricanes, mobile is totally unreliable. A few cell phone towers knocked out and it's game over. Yes, Apple/Google made some waves with some toys, but they've not established their "reliability". Google, sold Motorola unit after all the hype on Android. While they are justified, they're just repeating a Microsoft play/history of doing only software and leaving hardware to others. Yes, Apple has been brilliant as a consumer brand, I love/own iPhones -- but would I want my financial/medical info on a Apple/Google platforms -- no. Life is not an app or an ad. Life is not about "likes". In defense of Microsoft, no one helped them when they competed with IBM during the wild 80s/90s, unlike now when there's so many Apple/Google/open source cheerleaders. Fragmented unix led to Windows success. History repeats itself with multiple flavors of Linux/Android. Microsoft should ignore phones/tablets, launch a "Office Assistant" robot. That is what everyone expects from Microsoft. Where's that Microsoft that launched Windows '95/NT?
    February 24, 2014 2:15
    Interesting note, but i still hate M$.

    Everyone is free to use whatever they want, but i always try to avoid using their products, they are crappy, slow ones, and eat a lot of memory. M$ doing opensource looks good, but it won't change my mind about them, but if you are happy with them use them freely, we are in a free world.
    February 24, 2014 2:57
    A year ago, I was running Windows pretty much everything (except phone). Today, I'm using a MBP and Android on mobile (though plan to switch to iOS devices later).

    Does this mean I hate Microsoft? Absolutely not. Does this mean I think the attempt with Windows 8 to be everything for everyone was bad? No. In fact, I think after the growing pains are over, it may be the best plan long term (haven't heard if it is part of the road map, but if they ever do the "docked phone loads desktop OS" thing that Ubuntu is shooting for, I think it'll be amazing).

    So why leaving PCs/Android? The manufacturers. The whole RMA process is a headache for most manufacturers. The support is slim as well. While you pay a premium, I like the idea of if it breaks/stops working/whatever just taking it into a local Apple Store and having limited hassle is just a good feeling. I've bought Dells (and a Sony Vaio), and like clockwork within a year various parts start failing (the Dell XPS 15 I bought for a Macbook Pro price had a wifi module die within a few months and the battery was toast before a year was up). As I said, I plan on switching to iOS for mobile even though I prefer Android (better sharing between apps), but I bought a Nexus 7 (2013) lemon and had to deal with Asus's less-than-great support. Which resulting in me still having a POS tablet with some weird blue discoloration in the screen. Done with crappy service.

    Primary reason why I'm glad Microsoft is getting into the hardware business is the hope they'll adopt Apple Care. If they have an Apple Care-like system in place, Surface Pros sound like they'll be a great choice.

    The belly aching over the antitrust bit, to me, seemed incorrect even at the time. My dad was a die hard Netscape user back in the day and when Firefox came about, that was my favorite browser. Microsoft didn't prevent us from using those. They didn't need to "suggest" competitors. Who does? We bitched and moaned over Clippy suggesting things for us, we hated the "just installed going through bloatware" sequence on a fresh install, yet we wanted one more prompt suggesting other browsers? Seems like getting angry for the sake of being angry. Does the average user know or care about other browsers (beyond what we install for them for family visits)? People applaud Apple for its simplicity and I'm certain that wouldn't be the case if we saw prompts recommending Firefox, Opera, and Chrome.

    Did it suck how off the reservation Microsoft went with web standards (and continues to suck for those of us who have to support IE6-8 still)? Yeah. Has Microsoft attempted to correct this? Yes, and that should be commended. Although I must say it is frustrating not being able to implement Cool Feature #10232 because the standard I have to develop against is IE8, but it is a plus in a way that I don't get so mired in non-essential functionality, so I guess that's nice.

    Though Microsoft will continue to be damned if they do, damned if they don't.

    Saw someone on Facebook saying that Microsoft should stick to Windows and Xbox and that's it (and going on about PS4 > XBox One). I asked how that made sense when Microsoft, for the most part, is strongest in the business sector and they're suggesting MS abandon that because who knows why. Easiest football position to play is the Monday morning quarterback.
    February 24, 2014 3:00
    "There are ripples in the certainty of .Net due to C++ being in vogue by the vocal voices that be, and the lack of apparent foundational progress -- what's the status of Roslyn, future of .net..."

    C++ and vogue in the same sentence? Wow.

    If my pappy were C++11 I might hate MS for killing it (stillborning it? at least putting it into a long coma or making it walk with knee braces) by being late to the game compared to gcc and clang delivering all the features. I've recently seen grumbling about 2010 being the last studio to be runnable on XP making 2010 perhaps the VC 6 of the 201Xs. This may sound like an extreme complaint. How much more support can people demand for XP? But it seems still relevant for some big shops. Now I wouldn't want to pick on the C++ and studio team too much knowing some of the names in there, but it's a little puzzling why with the money MS has it's being beaten by gcc and clang in getting to C++11 and C++14.
    February 24, 2014 3:03
    I'm not here to discuss how open Microsoft has become.

    I'm a 57 year old network administrator, who's been involved with this stuff since MS DOS 3.11. I have a love/hate relationship with lots of software, so I'm not strictly anti-Microsoft. I hate the Draconian grip that the iFruit company maintains on their users, apps, etc. I hate the perpetual monitoring that Google does on everyone's search requests. I could go on and on.

    However, Windows 8 has put Microsoft at the top of my list right now. Before I get a bunch of flames, let me say that I understand MS is trying to build a unified user interface between all platforms. However, I had the opportunity to learn a little about the Microsoft "philosophy" regarding Windows 8 about 6 months ago, and it stunned me.

    While in a waiting line for an exhibit, I noticed a lady spending an excessive amount of time doing different things on her Windows 8 phone. I naturally asked her how it was working for her. Her response surprised me when she stated "This phone helps pay my bills." My curiosity got the better of me, and a conversation with the lady ensued. Turns out the lady was a Microsoft MVP, so I took the opportunity to ask a few questions.

    At the top of my list -- What the Hell was Microsoft thinking when developing Windows 8 and forcing it upon the masses?

    Her response: Microsoft is building a user experience that "even a grandmother could use".

    My second question: Isn't Microsoft concerned about alienating the millions current users who are used to the XP/Vista/Win7 interface?

    Her response: "Nope"

    Enough said.

    About a month later, my 69 year old brother (a grandfather) decided to buy his first smartphone. His cellular company was busy pushing Windows smartphones, and he was so proud when he showed me what he had done. After 2 months of loyally attempting to use the phone, he called me in anger one day, ready to throw the phone out his car window.

    At that point, I did something I had never considered doing before. I told him to contact his vendor and see about getting an iFruit phone. After some work with the vendor, he obtained an iFruit phone and has been totally pleased for the last several months.

    I often hassle iFruit users of "drinking the Kool Aid", but I'm firmly convinced the folks at Redmond all sit around together drinking their own Kool Aid.

    The surveys that show how readily Windows 8 is being adopted are another joke. Those surveys simply show how well Windows 8 is being forced upon consumers.

    Enough said.

    February 24, 2014 3:33
    It does not matter that they are making efforts (really?? No really...), computer is part of everyday life, and tolerance for failure is between 0% and -1000%

    It is glaringly obvious how much a disaster the products are, to the point where you can map their deficiencies one to one to the org chart deficiencies :

    No one bother to have basic things right. Everyone chasing a new new thingy to be recognized.
    Hence the many buttons, the crazy designs, and still awful graph capacity in excel (their mainline product! Untouched for 20 years!).

    On the dev side, advanced languages are not pushed, and permanently moving grounds.
    Who would want to develop for that, and to deliver soft in a form people do not want...

    So yeah, msft has asset. May be it is time to use it and be done with arrogance and failure.
    February 24, 2014 3:39
    Last night my dad was trying to sign into his VPN connection for work. He's in his late 60s and hates computers. I have to help him often. Some icons had gotten shifted around and somehow malware was slowing things down. I ended up spending over an hour getting his machine working. At each little hourglass and point of inconvenience I was reminded why I hate Windows and Microsoft. It's just an OS that does absolutely nothing to cater to the end user compared to more modern OS products like Mac OS X and what users are becoming happy with on mobile.

    Windows is a archaic product. Yes, even Windows 8 is like a city in the middle east built on top of the ruins of two of three other civilizations. It's old. It feels old. It reacts old and the only people who love are those who simple fear change or hate Apple because of the numerous reasons people hate Apple (they like the cowboy way and hate new aesthetics or they simply are paranoid that Apple is controlling everything).

    The best thing Microsoft could do is introduce an entirely new OS. Fork some open source Unix/Linux variant so modern developers can have their cake (I'm in this group by the way... I've been a Microsoft Enterprise developer for over 15 years and I absolutely hate Microsoft for what they have become- essentially what IBM was 15 years ago but with no consideration for quality at all) I look forward to the days I have at work where I'm coding in Python or writing something for Android because while I still love C# I hate the lack of direction, swiss army knife approach Microsoft has taken to facilitating it's developers...

    But Microsoft won't introduce a true Windows successor because let's face it, the Windows legacy is too valuable and we all know what happened with Windows RT (again with the damn Windows brand name on every OS... Please stop that).

    I continue to be a Microsoft developer because for Enterprise apps it's still the best stack, but I hate the Windows OS because I can objectively look at what Apple has done and what Ubuntu is trying to do and say "wow, that makes so much sense". Those of us who have careers that require us to interact with a PC for 8,9,10,11 hours a day want something very high performance and every little shot-cut missed, every little hour glass that pops up and makes us wait collectively holds us back and collective makes Windows the inferior product it is for many people. I use it for work only because I have to to run Visual Studio, Azure emulator etc... But I do hate it Scott.

    February 24, 2014 3:42
    Actually, I swapped Chrome out of Chrome OS for Iceweasel. But I digress.
    February 24, 2014 3:46
    I don't hate Microsoft because of the anti-trust thing. I thought David Boies was a blockheaded moron for concentrating on the browser bundling, when the OEM licensing was the real problem.

    I hate Microsoft because it continues to be harmful to the industry. I hate Microsoft's stance on patents. I hate Microsoft's stance on document formats. I hate Microsoft's stance on DRM. I hate Microsoft's stance on totalitarianism, both in the US and in China. I hate Microsoft's stance on licensing and open source for its main products. There are so many current reasons to hate Microsoft.

    Satya might talk a great talk about openness and collaboration, but I choose to be pleasantly surprised if he brings it to the rest of the company.
    February 24, 2014 4:12
    Look under the Microsoft section, should be plenty of details on corruption, bribery, FUD, lies, working with NSA, etc.
    February 24, 2014 5:10
    Microsoft is still Microsoft after 30 years and has well earned the distrust and anger of many of us who like a more open IT landscape, including direct and proxied patent trolling on a grand scale, bribery to win projects in almost every country, sabotaging of humanitarian projects such as the OLPC XO laptop, sabotaging of open ISO standards to benefit its own pseudo open xml file formats, bankrolling the BSA swat-like antics, industrial spionage, shilling for NSA, you name it.

    The fact that on the side they develop useful software is fine, but truly they have been and still are corporate pigs that fully deserve all the hate directed towards them.
    February 24, 2014 5:54
    Microsoft did too much wrong to ever be forgiven by anyone.
    It is not just the much too small fraction of their crimes for they have been sued. It is the systematic abuse of users by bringing out bad software and strong arming out any competetion that had or might have had better offerings.
    Some countries have the death penalty for certain crimes, the idea being that what you did wrong is utterly unforgiveable. For example, since Sony put malware on some of their music CD's I never bought anything Sony anymore. An act like that stains a company forever.
    And it is the same with Microsoft. Now seeing the complete lack of insight you show with your complaints about people who see Microsoft as it should be seen, I would say you are either quite young, or not so smart.
    February 24, 2014 6:09
    Wow look at the apologists flood in. The author insists that he wasn't around for anti-trust and that "we're cool now".

    As with most people who apologise for Microsoft he doesn't realise that the hatred that created things like the antitrust case were actually *symptoms* of the problem.

    Were you around when they moved all the settings in Windows Vista? Were you there when they took multiple folder permission editing out of Windows Server 2008? Coming at it from the other angle, were you there perhaps when they decided that the OS should be based around windows that won't share the screen and window controls that prevent multi-tasking?

    You can say you're all good and you love us, but you just destroyed your desktop OS by trying to make it tablet & phone compatible.

    Furthermore, just tell me where I ring to get free support after paying $300+ for an OS? Where would I go online to submit a bug report with said OS?

    You're either completely oblivious or just trolling as far as I'm concerned.
    February 24, 2014 7:16
    I don't hate MS. I simply found out that whenever you trust MS your trust will always be broken, and this behavior hasn't changed. And even if it would change: why take the risk?

    February 24, 2014 9:05
    I remember many years ago were developing an application for DOS. We wanted some windows-like functionality to do buttons, dropdowns and the like. We bought a closed source C++ library and the app went off fine, but the vendor went down. We had no version 2.

    At that time, I looked around to say who would still be there 20 years from then and there was only one name on the list. IBM is gone, Borland is gone and lots of others. Microsoft is still here and they are listening to we devs more than ever. Thank you ScottGu, mhanselman and all you guys with a more enlightened viewpoint.

    February 24, 2014 9:18
    Bloody great piece!! Well done Scott.

    I was only replying to a thread about all this old 'propaganda' and basically crap about Microsoft. You did it far better than me.
    February 24, 2014 9:26
    I've used MS products for years and at work I primarily use Visual C++ for development. In my opinion that's still the best IDE for developing C++ code. But that's where it ends. Developing in the popular open source languages is a bigger hassle with Windows, dealing with different end-of-line and slash directions, plugging in Cygwin to fill the gaps even though it always feels a bit like a hack, trying to force a dumbed down consumer experience, (Win8), still a lack of native multiple desktops, the lame command-line prompt, etc.

    I want Microsoft to work hard to regain the interest of independent developers. Go to any conference and most of the laptops are Macs. Why not included unix tools, shells, basic development tools, etc. with the operating system or make them easy to install? Linux and Mac make installing and using these things simple and native.

    I don't hate MS. I just don't need them anymore.
    February 24, 2014 9:30
    As a software engineer (as opposed to a platform evangelist) I am agnostic about MS - when they dominated markets, it made sense to target their platforms with their APIs & SDKs. Conversely, as they lost market dominance - it makes no sense to waste time targeting their products with my code. It is rational to target the platforms that have the broadest penetration - what kind of programmers hang on to a vendor for reasons of nostalgia or laziness ?
    February 24, 2014 9:45
    I have no desire to use proprietary software. I happy with what I use and I don't care about what other people use. So, why do I hate Microsoft? I hate the fact that I flush down a few hundred bucks down the toilet every time I buy a laptop because Windows was forcibly sold to me with it.
    February 24, 2014 10:51
    Microsoft is a public company and they need to generate money for their shareholders. Yes they did some ugly things and they might still be doing some. I used to hate them some 10 years ago and now I know better. Microsoft is loosing the OS market as more people are moving to smartphones or tablets. They do not have the hold on enterprise as earlier. They need to be more open like IBM to survive. Microsoft cannot afford to be an Apple.
    February 24, 2014 11:16
    This "generational technology pain" seems to persist long after the root causes have died.

    Except of course the root causes haven't died at all, have they? If you check this articulate list of reasons to hate Microsoft, how many points do you think still apply or have lasting effects till today and longer?

    Just because Apple rightfully leapfrogged Micros~1 (<- remember the FAT32 crutch you even dared to patent and sue/extort license fees over?), there's still enough to hate cause it hasn't changed its ways one bit. Maybe there's nothing as obvious as <a href"">this MS sales pitch ripped to shreds by logic</a> and if people actually jump through all the pointless hoops you require them to upgrade to Win 8 (another try to free ride on someone else's innvoation while completely missing the reasons behind their success. And tiles on a non-touch desktop PC? Yeah, right), fine by me.

    I'm still baffled you dared to expose the clunky and bitter mess that is the Word file formats (6000 pages, OMFG) so people got to see what's under the hood of the products they (must) use. I guess we have to thank you for exposing ISO for the lame duck they are by adopting your 'open' competing format completely violating their own guidelines. And you weren't exactly shy about it either though I'm still amused about how you dared to frame OpenOffice (that mimics the standard of word editors established over the years) as a tool that would require extensive training, just to release Word 2003 with a ribbon that confused the hell out of everyone.

    And what about stabbing poor saps who bought into you Plays for sure DRM in the back when the Zune fizzled away? Should I even need to mention Netscape and all the lost man hours you deliberately created by torpedoing standards?

    All in the past? One just needs to look at Microsoft's FairSearch whining about the competition (ooh, the irony) just cause Bing is going nowhere (and no, paying the Hawaii 5-0 cast to say "let me bing that for you" isn't gonna help nor make it a thing, LOL!). A leopard can't change its spots, good thing it's becoming less relevant by the year.

    February 24, 2014 11:32
    How about this one? I hate Microsoft because it is not on the "menu" and I
    will not ever put it there. I have 22 years IT experience and none
    of it ever involved Microsoft. I do not want to deal with your crap. You see,
    I have no way of making money from it and even If I did, It would not be
    worth the effort as Microsoft skill sells at 30-50% less and there is 200%
    more competition, never mind all those who pass through Microsoft's bogus
    certification programs.
    February 24, 2014 11:45
    > This "generational technology pain" seems to persist long after the root causes
    > have died.

    The root causes did not die. You just conviently forgot them. They are now living happily in the collective subconsciousness.

    You neglected Silverlight and WPF. "Thanks" to you we now have to deal with frigging Javascript on the desktop. You uglified Visual Studio IN THE NAME OF PROVIDING MORE STRUCTURE. You came up with the ridiculous notion that color is distracting. (If you really believe this you should consequently give back your drivers license.) You removed setup and deployment projects.

    It's not about killing my pappy. It's about corporate suicide.

    February 24, 2014 12:11
    Fundamentally, people hate msft for one thing : bad software, bad technology.
    They don't care of business attitude.
    By putting bad tech forward, msft is robbing the future.
    Tech is the future, the redemption religion.
    You can guess then how this is the worse blasphemy.

    Basic things :
    Msft has first class asset, but gives priority to clunky MBA ego driven features.
    Hence the stupid projects which have to stop.Instead of delivering new things that don't work, fix the thing everyone expect to work.

    Forward looking:
    If you want to change the world, give real power to scientists, language experts, and profile with expertise at the cross section of the needed areas. Why has Erik meijer left ? Who will step up for him, a clueless MBA with a brilliant idea for a new ribbon?

    You know who is really good inside, who has a track record of achieving a lot with less.
    The only way forward is science and tech. Merge those and stop the blasphemy.

    February 24, 2014 13:46
    And you expect for all peoples to forget all miseries that MS had in the past? It's not going to work like that because peoples change their mind very very slow.

    Much more time must pass for that.
    February 24, 2014 14:03
    You have around 75 years on this planet. Not enough to waste a second of it with "hate".

    • Don't like Mercedes? Get another brand.

    • Don't like meat? Eat vegetarian.

    • Don't like Microsoft? Use something else.

    Next, sum up all the time you just saved from not hating anymore, go outside and spend that time in the sun, enjoying this beautiful world.

    Everybody have a fantastic week!
    February 24, 2014 14:32
    I used to hate MS about 15 years ago. I resented a lot of things about the company, and I felt like I was stuck with Windows. Then I discovered Linux and started using that instead for some years. An interesting thing happened then: I found that I didn't hate MS anymore now that I had an alternative. I've had to go back to Windows for a lot of work stuff, and I continue to use it alongside Windows and enjoy the strengths of each.

    Like others, though, I'm also wary about writing software in C#. I'm a big fan of the language and the .NET platform, but I'm not a fan of IIS at all and I much prefer Linux as a server environment.
    February 24, 2014 14:34
    You know, Microsoft's word corruption bug cost my llc $11k in direct costs, and another $25k in lost contracts. I had purchased the full support contract, and Microsoft denied it. Later documents came out showing that the knew about it, and were actively denying it. All that was documented. So Microsoft actively stole that money from me.

    Irony of ironies, I suspect that they didn't know how to fix it, because they didn't fix it for three years, and I suspect that they didn't understand it, BECAUSE IT WAS CODE STOLEN FROM Wordperfect, which also had the same bug, and who's tech director had just jumped to microsoft.

    Somicrosoft's piracy is probably HOW they stole from me.

    And that money is money that my kids would have had access to. And, considering that as an AOE who works in engineering for a precast prestress plant and still lives in a trailer park, that is money we could have used all along. Moreover, with price inflation, and the increased cost of being poor, the loss of that money is of greater cost than that.

    So it isn't Microsoft killed my pappy. If my son dislikes Microsoft, it'll be Microsoft piracy stole $35k from my pappy, and never made it good, and that means Microsoft stole that money from me.

    Until Microsoft is all about righting its wrongs, it's just whining from one of the most powerful misunderstood crybabies in the world.
    February 24, 2014 15:07
    Since several months ago, Microsoft is accusing me of using an illegal copy of Windows 7, which is just not true: it is a pre-installed license of Windows 7 I was forced to purchase with my new Dell desktop computer. They pop up accusatory messages every half an hour and disable my desktop background image. Of course they are not sure about their accusation, since the solution they propose to end messing with my computer without my permision is that I validate the license on-line and install a new more orwellian Windows Update program, which is their real aim. As a consumer I find the whole situation quite appalling (obligued to purchase and accused without proof of stealing it!) and it is because of that that I refuse to do as they propose. Of course they won't disable my Windows license or deny security patches because I and many more users (and the gov too) would then enforce consumer laws on them to the last consequences. The day I get tired of the accusatory popups and the black desktop background I will move my show to Tux's country.
    February 24, 2014 15:12
    I used to hate M$ with a passion but recently I've softened.

    They've done a lot of good things since the 90's (Windows 7, the new Windows Phone OS) and are definitely not the "Evil Empire" they once were. That dubious distinction now resides with Apple and their "White Wash" world of Mega-Elitism.
    February 24, 2014 15:17
    So who is _still_ extorting money from open source projects (namely Android)?

    You haven't changed.
    February 24, 2014 15:25
    I have not really liked much of Microsoft products except ASP.NET and Excel. There are lot of issues while working with Microsoft products. Some APIs don't work as it should. Having said that, Microsoft is not more evil than Google or Apple.

    Apple iOS 7 Library sucks big time. The transitions that iOS 6 app developers have to do to get it to work in iOS 7 is enormous. Some of the APIs don't work as advertised. There are gaps in the APIs. Apple's Siri is horrible.

    Google is not less evil. Google has zillions of ADs in Youtube. There is no way you can turn off ads from Google. I feel uncomfortable with Google products, by the day, especially YouTube and AdSense.

    While I totally acknowledge that Microsoft has been evil in monopolizing Windows (and it still does), Google and Apple are no less evil. Both "Google and Apple" combined have monopolized the Ads market as well as the "Mobile OS" market.
    February 24, 2014 16:18
    Oh, jeepers. I commented, above, but realized I forgot something way more recent than "my pappy:" character assassination and FUD. In the guise of the Alexis de Toqueville Institution (, missive after missive was launched against Open Source in general, and Linux in particular:

    * "Open Sores"
    * Happily -- willfully -- conflating Public Domain and Open Source
    * Flat-out accusing Linus of having pirated Linux

    Their most recent missive that I found is here:
    See if you can get more than a page or two into the pseudo-legalistic mumbu-jumbu that's even putatively been reviewed by a law firm, when any self-respecting copyright lawyer would have thrown his hands up in disgust. And this was April 7, 2005 -- otherwise known as "eight years ago" (and for those who would say "it's 2014," I suggest doing your math).

    [Note that seems to have fallen upon hard times -- oh, the shame -- and no longer seems to be a viable entity, so "To the Wayback Machine, Sherman!"]

    If you expect people to just forget HOW HARD Microsoft tried to discredit Linux, and yes, how recently they tried it, you should really be ashamed for either forgetting it, or whitewashing it.

    Once MS not only selectively embraces Open Source, but stops its patent fight against Android, opens its standards and its APIs, THEN -- and only then -- will I be willing to look at them as a contributor to the development/user community, instead of parasite.
    February 24, 2014 16:53
    Haters will be haters no matter what you say.

    When people rage against MS to me and praise the fruit company. I always agree they have good products but I believe Apple and Google should be brought in front of the Dept Of Justice for their billions they reap from their predatory behaviors. Yet, MS was dragged in for just a little browser debacle.

    MS Patent trolling? How many patents do you think Google has from innovation versus acquisition? ... think Motorola for a start.

    Everything I have and my comfortable lifestyle has been earned through embracing MS technologies. My affairs with Apple have only been a hobby.
    February 24, 2014 17:04
    I'm not going to get into the religious wars over OS...

    But MS is digging the same kind of hole that IBM did (and in some cases got caught and in others instigated other companies taking the mud). IBM AS 400s baked in a lot of things into the OS, like their own database (DB2) which ran pretty much everything. (Is this anything less than baking a browser into the OS?)

    On the other side of the coin, I think MS has one last "wake up" call as far as getting things right. If they don't change their pricing ways things are going to get much worse at a much faster pace:

    February 24, 2014 17:06
    I'm just an average home user, I find I cannot use Windows any more. I swithched to Linux after I found all too often booting my Windows was a gamble, either it was borked from a failed update or infested with some new malware that had slipped past the saftey nets I had installed - which inceidentally slowed things down so much in the end that the windows system became unattractive to use.

    OK, so I know the rampant malware is not MS fault, but really, MS need to get a clue about how frustrating it can be to the average dummy. I am tech savvy, but my family etc are not. All we want at home is to boot a pc, get email, browse a bit and enjoy the experience. Windows currently fails to fulfill that criteria for us. Even upgrading to Win8 was a trial, where the hell was everything? We don't want to relearn all the controls, we don't want to go to night class to be able open email, we just want to boot up and enjoy. Now, on Linux, we can...
    February 24, 2014 17:08
    Microsoft is STILL doing it. Right now, they're busily trying to extort Android manufacturers with specious patent claims, they're trying to maintain vendor lock-in by organising astroturfing campaigns against governments wanting to move to open document formats; in other words, they're still a predatory and abusive monopolist.

    That's why everyone still hates them.
    February 24, 2014 17:25
    Andrew: you apparently do not understand what a patent troll is. Having a patent does not make you a troll. Having a patent, for a technology you are not using, and then suing or threateni g to sue others with that patent, does make you a troll. Of the three companies (four, if you count Moto) that you mention, only MS does that. So... nice try.
    February 24, 2014 17:29
    When is VB6.NET coming????
    February 24, 2014 17:49
    Amazes me why people who are an "average home user" are reading a blog from a blogger whose main topic involves coding and related stuff. Never see my average home user friends doing that. Just wondering.....
    February 24, 2014 18:04
    Bill Gates = Serial Perjurer

    I'm sorry, but if you get caught in multiple lies, you're a liar. Liars cannot be trusted. Ergo, Microsoft cannot be trusted. While everything you've said is true (presumably), executive management of Microsoft are known liars.

    You want to restore the public trust in Microsoft. Funny how you couch the hate of MS in terms of "old people are silly", rather disingenuous if you ask me, projecting the reason for MS hate onto "irrational old people". Yes, a great example of why people hate MS, and you likely don't even realized you're doing it. YOU are part of the problem.

    Simply put, Microsoft has a history of serving their own interests above those of their customers and partners. They cannot be trusted in any way. Complaining that people shouldn't be mean to MS anymore simply reflects your inability to truly understand history.
    February 24, 2014 18:50
    Patrick, I was simply intrigued by a usenet post in alt.os.linux.ubuntu regarding this page. I thought I'd add my thoughts, but if you think it's too cerebral a place for me I'll leave you to it...
    February 24, 2014 18:55
    I'm sorry Scott, but I have to disagree with you on. I don't believe that making multiple frameworks open source can be used as an argument when discussing trust. Even on a business level, it just makes sense to accept (free) code from a group of motivated individuals. Essentially, Microsoft is allowing their products to be developed for free while cutting their project labor costs, maintaining code quality, developing more quickly and efficiently, and still profiting as they always have (if not more).

    I think that the generalized feeling toward Microsoft comes from a long track record of bad decisions and killing off projects. Learning a Microsoft technology is almost a gamble (depending on how you view it) because you never know if it's going to be supported in 3 years.
    February 24, 2014 18:58
    Learning a Microsoft technology is almost a gamble (depending on how you view it) because you never know if it's going to be supported in 3 years.

    I strongly disagree!

    It's not a gamble - it's a sure thing.
    February 24, 2014 19:00
    When I submitted a fairly significant bugfix to the ASP.NET team and was told "Your bug isn't important enough to fix. Use the workaround you demonstrated" I was told everything I needed to know about what goes on there. If the processes internally are so insanely bloated that a 10 line patch to it's flagship library can't get pushed through, then there are some serious problems.

    (None of the following applies to phones)

    I still use Windows and Microsoft software, development environments. But since my company provided me a shiny new MBP and nearly all of our development is light-years easier on a nix environment, my time on Windows and Microsoft is slowly fading. With things like Xamarin maturing, I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons to stick with Microsoft for my day to day. Windows 8 is an ungodly debacle of an OS on the desktop, and Windows 7 lacks some of the actually useful improvements Windows 8 made (how's that for a paradox). Decades of back-compat left the Windows landscape and user experience disjointed and non uniform, but we learned it. Then the choice was made to keep the back-compat and throw a completely immature and just-plain-weird-for-the-desktop user experience on top of the pile. Now we have a whole new pile of non uniform apps running in a different user experience. There's just not much outward evidence of uniformity throughout or within Microsoft. I used to be fervently against macs. I don't like Apples level of big-brother control over hardware. But the experience is so much superior to anything post-Windows 7 that I've abandoned my reservations about macs. Therein lies the point: the experiences Microsoft is creating, which at one-point were industry leading, are now stale and years behind.

    And don't get me started on the IE evangelists. Yes, we know you've tried to make IE better. IE left a sour taste in our mouths for a decade+. That's not going to go away overnight, and the evangelists I've run across are so religious about convincing you that IE no longer sucks, that I wonder if they're going to start going door to door with pamphlets on Saturday afternoon. (For those not in the U.S. there's a fairly well-known religious group which does this.)

    And that just puts a point on another beef with MS. Their marketing is SO BAD, SO VERY BAD. Any product which makes public ads which are confusing or just plain annoying is going to sour a consumer on the company. Scroogled? Dancing tablets? You're trying too hard. Make good things and let your products speak for themselves.

    Credit to the folks sticking it out there and trying to make a difference - that's one big bloody hill you're pushing one big bloody boulder up.
    February 24, 2014 19:07
    I started developing prior to the DOS days. dBase III was my language at the time. When I moved to PCs there were numerous flavors of DOS with varying capabilities. I soon moved into Clipper and FoxBASE/FoxPro. Microsoft's purchase of Fox Software was a bit of a problem for die-hard Fox developers but I soon moved on to VB. Since then I have programmed using Microsoft tools for Microsoft OSes. I even ignored the browser wars and openly stated that my code would only be guaranteed for IE. IE6 non-standard? Who cares if it is compatible since it is all I am targeting. To me Microsoft meant stability.
    Lately as Windows 7+ have come out and required the rework of code to make it compatible and certifiable I long for the "good ole days". Of course there was DLL Hell, software breaking because of new installs, etc. so "good" is relative.
    Recently I started building ASP.NET apps trying to be "browser independent" and "off-line available". I once again longed for the days when I could just ignore the non-Microsoft and disconnected portions of the world. Too many mobile platforms to support and too many simple users that want things to "just work".
    My shouts of make the world Microsoft fall on deaf ears so I guess I am stuck in a multi-platform, multi-browser mess of a computing landscape.
    February 24, 2014 19:12
    Microsoft illegally required retailers to sell copies of DOS for every machine they sold, whether it came with it or not. M$ reps used to audit the books of computer sellers to ensure they got paid. They then tied Windows 3.x to DOS sales in the same manner. M$ wanted to ensure everyone was forced to use their inferior crap. OS/2 v2.0 was worlds better than Windows 3.x & M$ knew it. NT was a joke when released due to it's massive requirements & win95, while better, was playing catchup to OS/2's 3 year head start.

    The government also has/had an incentive to force people to use Windows. There have been so many vulnerabilities in Windows over the years that any time someone who's caught doing something illegal they have what they need. If said person used something other than WinDoZe then the cops were looking for help. While that's a double edged sword for catching the bad guys, it also has given the bad guys the ability to screw over so many people by exploiting those same flaws. So the anti trust circus was only about making a show & not punishing M$ - because they want people to use Windows.

    While I have made a lot of money fixing computers over the years, I find it ridiculous that most software issues are caused by bad coding on M$'s part that allowed virus/spyware/trojan writers to do what they do & make people pay for removal products that they really shouldn't need. And Win8's removal of the start button was stupid. It's just as bad as KDE4 & Gnome3 forcing people to change because they want to do something different.

    What M$ & most programmers fail to see is that people see their computer as a tool & they get tired of you guys reinventing the wheel. If it wasn't for XP's security issues, I'd say keep using it. Same with Win2000. There should be no reason for an OS to take 20GBs to install(& only use 1/5 of that) & take 1GB RAM to work when not running a program.

    I run Linux, and have for 15 years. I ran OS/2 before that. I've used everything from CP/M, DOS, MacOS, AppleDOS, etc, etc. I don't use a firewall on my system. I don't have anti-virus or other useless crap running to protect my system. Because I don't need it. If the Linux venders would get the heads out of the butts & create a unified Linux that people could use & do work with without having to jump through hoops, Windows would lose.

    And software patents don't do anything for the consumer. They are only about protecting your fiefdom. They should be gotten rid of. They make products more expensive than they should be.
    February 24, 2014 19:17

    The thing you setup is actually a strawman. MS didn't get attacked for bundling, but because it was bundling *and it was a monopoly*. Its a pretty fundamental difference. You can play all sorts of games to compete when you are the little guy, but if you control almost all the market it is unfair to try and kill the little bit of competition that exists at the margins.

    This is anti-trust law its what makes a free market stay efficient and fair.

    I'd argue also that MS did a whole lot of worse things than they were found guilty of in that first famous antitrust case. Threatening OEMs to lose discounts if they offer any off the shelf Linux computers, requiring all OEMs to buy a license for windows for every computer whether it ran Windows or not. Selling patents to third parties to file suit against other mobile manufacturers (its fair to point out here MS doesn't have a monopoly in the mobile world so this might actually be OK, but it might especially if successful along with other tactics rise to the level of leveraging one monopoly to create another which is also illegal.)

    I don't hate Microsoft. I still think MS still does some questionable things today. Perhaps it is in a tough place regulation wise. Of course, if MS feels that way it has an easy solution that would likely make its stockholders lots of money. Spin off Applications, OS, consoles, and mobile into separate companies.

    February 24, 2014 19:29
    I still disrespect Microsoft. But the animus is gone. In the 1990s, every Microsoft mis-step was a constant and unavoidable thorn in my side. Now, Microsoft is still largely arrogant and incompetent and vision-less (though I don't know your corner). But their mistakes don't matter to me. Even when I produce for a mass audience, no one cares if the website works in IE, or if the application runs on Windows. At my day job, we just treat Windows as a pidgin-POSIX and our customers accept that. Sometimes we have to explain to them how to work around the fact that *still* sucks irretrievably, but whatever...

    Everything sucks, and the thing that sucks the biggest just builds the biggest anti-suck backlash. So, really: Thank you, Microsoft, for sucking so bad in the 90s.
    February 24, 2014 19:54

    Please switch to MS Games team and bring back a proper professional-yet-awesome "non-gamified" flight simulator product without badges, pay-per-use add-ons and corny cartoon characters. On the PC platform. Not targeted at an Xbox or Surface. You can do it!

    Even one that requires enough computing power to generate 10,000 Bitcoins and a video card that keeps my household heated for no apparent reason like FSX would be preferential to announcements discontinuing 5 products that I specialized in, all at the same time, with no apparent forward-thinking replacement.

    Innovation through acquisition and discontinuation of competitor platforms for growth of market share is not, in my opinion, a means to success. Perhaps breaking up a conglomerate company into smaller, friendlier units that can speak to a customers needs would be beneficial? I think that's why the current focus is on startups and companies pretending they are startup-friendly. Unfortunately large companies grow mainly through acquisition and consolidation.

    I don't hate Microsoft. How can you hate a group of 100,000 very different people with different ideals and aspirations all across the world? A company with executives and developers that have changed the world, for better or worse. At least they're trying something. I just wish they would split up the enterprise and consumer spaces and keep each in their places.

    I don't even hate Windows 8. I have used Microsoft operating systems since before DOS 3.3, which IMHO was way more streamlined and user-friendly than DOS 4.0 and its subsequent replacements. After my initial grumbles I just ignore the Metro interface when I need to, which is most of the time.

    I recently got an upgraded Android phone after comparing the Sony Xperia vs. Nokia Lumia. Lumia still has nicer camera but Sony's is close enough. Nobody needs a 20 megapixel camera camera anyway, much less a 42 megapixel one. My old camera wasn't broken. Unfortunately my cell plan provider drove me to innovation by forcing me to upgrade my phone to downgrade the cost of my plan. So I chose Android. Microsoft gets my $$$ through Android licensing, and perhaps they will subsidize my flight simulator addiction and discount Microsoft Windows?

    My second wish was fulfilled this week.

    The new phone asked me if I wanted "Browser" or "Chrome" as the default. I had a choice even though Chrome was the obvious option until I install Dolphin browser. And Browser was probably Chrome anyway. It was still nice to have a choice to vote for the same candidate. Viva la revolution.

    I still use IE on the desktop for productivity tools and Chrome for performance and general browsing, and I don't have IE on my phone. I'm okay with that too.

    I believe the successful path for Microsoft should be to drive innovation, grow, streamline, commoditize, split up, rinse-and-repeat.

    If it ain't broke, don't discontinue it. Fix it or give it to someone who can make it work for you.

    Keep up the good work Scott. Keep your day job if you don't want to follow me on my quest to revitalize the flight simulator team. Let the haters hate. Drive innovation and fix what is broken. And please don't open-source Windows. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and I really don't want to see all those p-invokes...


    February 24, 2014 19:58
    Hi Scott,

    When you say that .NET / is open source, does it mean that I can re-brand it and sell it like other open source projects?

    I have no plans in doing that, I'm just wondering if ASP.NET is really open-source or just source-open?

    February 24, 2014 20:04
    @Jack of all trades:
    Since .NET assemblies can be de-compiled, they had nothing to lose by "opening" the source.
    February 24, 2014 20:10
    Microsoft has never proven themselves to be trustworthy regarding their users. Years ago, MS' mouse driver was found to be phoning home to Redmond. ...And now this: 'Nokia smartphone leaks information abroad' -

    These are NOT isolated cases, Rather, they are indicative of Redmond's mindset. MS has consistently and willfully been at odds with their customer base. They simply can't be trusted.

    And yes, I neither trust Apple, Google, Oracle, my ISP, my phone company nor a wide swath of other companies.

    I was forced to move to Linux and Open Source for the simple reason that they are the only tools that give me the measure of control I demand.
    February 24, 2014 20:58
    MS development a "gamble?" Not so much. I've been a developer on the MS stack for about 15 years now. I moved from MS Access development to C#/.NET and MSSQL around 2001; first WinForms and then ASP.NET a year later. Access is still around, C#/.NET are still around, WinForms is still around, ASP.NET is still around, IIS is still around, MSSQL is still around. All those components/areas have evolved but the skills are still useful today and make me valuable to employers as well as remain a productive and passionate developer.

    Sure, if you're an early adopter you risk adopting something that won't stick. That has always been and will always be a risk with bleeding edge technology. That's why you don't put all your eggs in one basket, or certainly not a brand new and shiny unproven basket. The core competencies are a sure bet, and in the absolute worst case scenario, even if all those great things disappeared tomorrow from the MS stack (I wouldn't wager any money on that, btw), the skills you learn are typically applicable on another stack (eg. LAMP).

    I for one am thankful for Microsoft, the general stability their products have provided over the years, and the opportunities the company and their products have provided for me to do what I love in a fulfilling profession.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Scott. You'll never please everybody.
    February 24, 2014 21:05
    Great post with which I fully agree.
    February 24, 2014 21:06
    (I'm "typically" a Microsoft and other technology company fan), but when I see this kind of stuff, I hope Satya cleans every single marketing and associated executive (with this kind of behavior) out of the company:

    Nokia (Microsoft) smartphone (Lumia) leaks information abroad:

    Almost the first thing I do on every browser I install now is install add-ons: AdBlock/FlashBlock/Google Analytics Opt-out/etc.

    Now I need to find software for my phone which blocks this kind of personal privacy invasion too?
    February 24, 2014 21:06
    I can't help but think the biggest reason that Microsoft is behaving slightly better than it was before is simply because it's less relevant than it was before.

    It's seriously in trouble on the server and completely irrelevant in mobile - two of the largest areas for the future.

    That said, they're still patent trolling. Their takeover of Nokia was SO SUSPICIOUS it's insane. They're still a horrible company when they can get away with it.

    I'm also sick of the activation of servers and trying to get things to work on virtual machines - licencing is just a huge pain. And the installation of technologies is mad - sql server & visual studio takes days. Windows update is terrible - why do we need multiple passes to update everything? Why can I not get updates for non-MS apps through it? Why does IE STILL stop the upgrade process and ask the user if they want to install it?

    It's like when I went to a TechED in 2004 and in a talk about MS and open source they said that Microsoft's main problem was marketing. Not their behaviour, their marketing.
    Then in a later keynote, joked about Linux and how things that a free can come with a lot of hidden costs like a one night stand.

    I'm happy they're embracing nodejs and git. I'm glad they 'allow' linux distros on Azure. I hope that sort of thing continues. But I'm not happy with the company itself at all, and suggesting that this dislike is simply "They killed my pappy" is insulting.

    February 24, 2014 21:07
    Say what you want about Microsoft, but if not for them, 99% of you wouldn't have a job today.
    February 24, 2014 21:07
    As for those who state that google bought their patents rather than registered themselves and use them to troll are entirely correct.

    Google didn't want to play the patent game. They were forced to by Apple and Microsoft ganging up on them.

    They snapped, I don't blame them.
    February 24, 2014 21:10
    Dan, what's that supposed to mean?

    Mussolini made the trains run on time. That makes him a good guy, right?

    This is a microsoft blog, most of us work with MS technologies.
    But there are and always were alternatives.

    February 24, 2014 21:15
    Agree with some of the other comments here. I think your division has been doing some great work in the past few years, Scott, but that there is still a lot of really bad management (resulting in really poor decisions) taking place in other parts of the company. IMO, one of the root causes of it all was that Ballmer stopped taking his own advice- "Developers, developers, developers".

    Developers said the vision for Windows 8 was not ready for primetime and that it left non-techie users totally clueless with how to use it. The beta versions were widely criticized for usability issues. MS ignored them, posted some nonsense blog entries about "data-driven" studies showing how great the Metro layout was, and shipped it anyway. We all know the result. (Disclaimer: I personally like using the OS and think it's a shame so many of the cool new features of the OS remain unknown because of the desktop/metro UI problem overshadowing it all)

    The death of the Silverlight and XNA frameworks is also really puzzling to me. Sure, they may not have been the hot, new tech MS wanted to push anymore, but did it really cost that much money to continue their development for a behemoth like MS? Other large companies maintain development on niche (or not-so-niche) products for years after they're past their prime, because in the end, a customer is a customer.

    These product terminations also angered the market that MS needs the most these days- corporate customers. I can't tell you how many shops I've spoken to that have stopped all WPF development and would never develop on WinRT- it's just too risky with the way MS arbitrarily kills technology you've been relying on. So instead, they develop on HTML, which means that they *might* still be using ASP .NET/Windows Server for the back-end, but it also means that it makes getting Mac workstations not as much of an impossibility as it once was.

    And if all that was not bad enough, now people have to leak beta builds of Windows so that Average Joe Developer can test out new APIs. You practically have to be a criminal to develop for MS's platforms these days.

    As one of us, I really hope Satya can bring some sense to these type of management decisions. MS has a *ton* of work to do to regain their trust with many developers and it needs to happen company-wide.

    February 24, 2014 21:29
    Totally agree with @Vitoc - going to write something similar.

    Any good developer who really loves / cares about what they do will find themselves keeping up with the ever changing landscape almost automatically.

    But the core fundamentals never change – things like design patterns are all the same no matter what platform you are writing software for.

    I cant remember the exact quote, but years ago I saw an interview with John Lasseter (Pixar/Disney dude) and he was asked about getting into the animation industry. His answer was something along the lines of “work hard at what you love doing but make sure you keep the basics and fundamentals in check” – that’s something that struck a chord with me.

    If the Microsoft stack was to vanish tomorrow, would I be worried about having to move on to another platform? Yeah it might suck for a while having to put in the extra time but I know I’ll get there – and so should everybody else who is reading this post as you are all smart/aware enough to be here :)
    February 24, 2014 21:46
    True, Microsoft has never proven themselves to be trustworthy.

    A new article on CodeProject "Visual Basic 6.0: A giant more powerful than ever" is the prize winner in Competition "Best VB.NET Article of January 2014" (First Prize level):

    The article is the prize winner in Competition "Best VB.NET Article of January 2014" (First Prize level). Developers and institutions that have a word to say on it, spoke in favor of Visual Basic 6.0 come back on the market ! How can we trust Microsoft when we all tell them to bring back Visual Basic 6.0 (and other products) and they sit in silence!
    February 24, 2014 22:03
    For me it was Microsoft's "Get the Facts" anti-Linux campaign that drove me to switch to Linux at home, and that decision was hardened by Microsoft's later SCO investment.

    Nowadays the Modern UI is a big turnoff. I basically see it as a popup ad, attempting to force the industry to give MS a 30% cut of all software sales, and to force people and organizations to pay a hefty fee just to install apps they write themselves on their own systems. They realized Apple was making a fortune denying their customers' rights, and decided to do the same.
    February 24, 2014 22:29
    The logic of the article is faulty. We are making nice with open source so see we are not bad people.

    It is a bit like the Mexican drug lord and murderer who gives money to charity on the side. "See we are good people", he declares, "we give money to charity".

    Surprisingly my most hated moment with Misfit was not with their development tools, but with Word. A few hours away from a multimillion dollar RFP response deadline and after working weeks on the proposal using Word - the program - for unknown reason decided to go slow.

    It sort of went on strike. Loads, scrolling, doc changes, reformatting all became glacially slow. Nothing could fix the problem and the clock ticked on. We called tech support. Trying restarting the machine they said. As if we had not thought of that ourselves.

    I think if Mr Gates had walked into the room just then we would have thrown him out of the Window (pun not intended).
    February 24, 2014 22:55
    I have to admit that once upon a time I was biased against MS and against anything having to do with Windows – that was a long time ago. I could do things faster in DOS than inside a GUI and didn’t move to Windows until Windows 3.1. I also did not like VS and used Borland products instead. To this day I’m not happy with MS Word and still miss the Show-Codes provided by WordPerfect; but as frustrated as I sometimes am, I don’t understand the hate towards MS. If I don’t like something I use something else. At work I use MS products such as VS 2013 and the entire Office suite. At home I use Windows 8.1 and my wife and I own Windows phones (which I love and recommend). I have a hard time understanding why so many in the IT community love to hate MS. I attend web/software developers’ user groups and I’m always amazed at the extent that most presenters will go out of their way to make sure everyone knows that they don’t use or promote MS products. I guess it’s just fashionable to blame MS. I’m an Applications Developer and work daily on the MS stack and I’m OK with it.
    February 24, 2014 23:32
    Open source makes money for developers. Microsoft makes money from developers.

    This works when Microsoft improves the development experience enough to justify the extra costs. However, Microsoft's interests will never be closely aligned with developers in the way that open source projects can be.

    Specifically: Microsoft is driven by the necessity to sell the next iterations of their technologies.
    February 24, 2014 23:33
    The thing I like the least about MS is their failure to fully test Windows updates fully before release! Over the past two months updates have killed my memory card reader (still not operational after much chasing) and as recently as last Tuesday causing Window Live (Mail) to no longer login probably (no solution in sight!).

    It is getting to the point where MS is doing more damage to our development system than reported hacks and viruses!
    February 25, 2014 0:07

    "Guys, I know we've been punching you in the face for 20+ years but we've *stopped* now !
    Why don't you love us ?"

    As someone who works very well with Microsoft these days and has many friends there, the lack of self-awareness in these posts is staggering :-).

    You have to do more than stopping being bad. Being *good* is required. :-).

    I know you can do it ! Stop being a patent troll for starters.
    February 25, 2014 0:18
    Someone's selling snake oil methinks... Trivialising and humourising MS's position isn't going to wash.

    I originally worshipped Microsoft -- Bill G's early collaborative OSes hugely undercut the likes of Xenix and brought affordable computing to the masses a bit like H Ford. I was in awe about how open and powerful it was. So I went to bed with them. I invested 2 decades of experience in them.

    Then they did shoot my Pappy. I can forgive and forget, but then they just kept shooting him again and again, and they still are. Silver light, XNA, Skype API (to name a few).. and my all time favourite Pappy, VB6.

    You can decide if MS is another monopoly propped up by a patent system subverted by the anti-competitive greed of giant global corporations. Success bred contempt. Decisions became egotistical rather than commercial (especially the unwillingness to reverse mistakes).

    How could I not be angry? I'm mild-mannered, but when a company makes a decision to forcibly retire a way of programming (VB6) at the expense of decades of experience and millions in software products, and then seek to hide this bad decision by allowing VB6ers to be branded amateur, then yes I feel betrayed -- I partnered Microsoft's success as my products sold thousands of OSes.

    But I speak for myself. What about users who rant at me daily about things that are changed or missing? Eg: trying to find menus in Office 2007+ (How arrogant do you have to be to scramble all the menus and tell your users -- go search?). I don't even want to talk about how MS tried to blend the XBox into their desktop. Judging by the levels of stress I've seen in others, these things Really Hurt (and thanks to patents, they've Nowhere to go). But MS STIIL don't care.

    I'm happy to forget it and move on. I've been selling hundreds of machines with Linux (whose success is because it is ownerless an thus hard to pursue a patent claim against).

    Technology can move forward without ripping out backward compatibility and consistency. Intel proved that (there's still 16bit backward compatibility lurking under your 64bit multi core). Motorola, once thought all as the better competitor, proved the opposite by stripping out backward compatibility during their 32 bit evolution -- now where are they?

    I'm willing to forgive and forget if Satya N will stop shooting my Pappy and genuinely reverse.
    February 25, 2014 0:57
    Just on the off off chance anyone's not familiar with XKCD, really it's a shame to reference any particular comic with only the comic image. Gotta read the mouseover text, always always always, to get the whole joke.

    The Microsoft XKCD comic referenced earlier is #1118:

    February 25, 2014 1:03
    I program both on Node.jS stack on Ubuntu and .Net stack on IIS, i have a beta SteamOS box. I own PCs and Macs. So yeah i think of myself as well rounded nerd. I even wrote my fracking college Thesis on MS Antitrust Case and how it relates the evolution antitrust. Yep it was a 100s pages of boring but at least i know the facts.

    So I don't see WTF the deal is or was. Thinking. I always wondered why nobody cares that Google has OS that is the browser. I just don't see the difference. Apple and Google has created barriers to entry that MS could never even dream of. Also why the #$#$ do you care if Windows 95 did have IE, you still had the opportunity to install other browsers, i have not been able to install #%#@%# on a chrome book i had and quickly sold due to it being useless. The second part of the case, Java and all that. Well no one even knows about it or gives a rats arse about. Did MS try to create barriers of entry ? Yes, so does every one in business. For #@$#@$ sakes after my tirade, i am going to go back to programming my best to develop a platform that creates a greater barrier of entry for our competition.

    MS deserves credit for powering rise of home computing Like it or not Windows changed home / professional computing for the masses. Yep Unix and Linux was there but had no chance of reaching your typical house mom. Did MS #$#$# up along the way? Yep! Is it a corporation intent on making money? Yep. Are corporations your friend ? Nope. Does Google truly hold up their "Do no evil" mantra #@$@##. Not IMHO. At least Bill Gates does great things with his billions. What has Schmidt / Zuckerberg done with theirs?

    Open source is great but i do get sick of sorting through NPM for the one Module i need out of 20 that actually works and were not an abortive child of Comp Sci major Adderall Binge. Another recent example, yesterday i tried to install PLEX on my OpenElec box running XBMC. That was 2 hours of wasted time do to broken repos bad documentation, incompatible plugins etc. I have no problems with this but Open Source is not a magical unicorn its just another set of tools with their own problems.

    Far as software quality ? My experience with Windows 8 is FAAARRRR superior to OSX, Chrome OS or any favor of Linux. I have had 0 issues with Windows 8 which i run as my primary boot my development machine and my MBA. I have had tons of issues with OSX / IOS in the same timeframe. Also very few days go buy where i don't miss exchange using Google for corporate email / calendar has been horrible experience for me as well.

    So in general get over it. You don't have to use MS products. But the hatred people feel towards MS is irrational and borderline psychotic. My theory is that hating on MS has become a bonding mechanism for nerdom. Shared hatred of a common entity / group can become a central point in a bond between people. Hence it becomes a self perpetuating cycle even when newcomers to the group has 0 experince with said entity.
    February 25, 2014 1:15
    You know I work for a non profit that Microsoft has done so much for. I also do IT consulting as working for a non profit doesn't exactly pay all the bills.

    I find it funny how when Microsoft started integrating IE people hated it and said they were pushing it on us. Now every other OS comes preinstalled with the browser and most can't be removed but they get a pass.

    Microsoft gets bashed for dropping off aging technologies in favor of new. If they don't get rid of it they are hanging onto the past. Others do it, like Google, and they get a pass or are even called innovative.

    Microsoft changes IE to better support open standards, better than Chome which Google is now adding their own hooks into like old school IE. Somehow it is still called Microsoft hanging onto the past because they don't use WebKit, which is turning into a mess of it's own.

    People say they will never use Windows because this one feature doesn't work the way they want but then complain that Windows has too many different ways to do the same thing.

    People say Linux is better because it's free and more powerful but try to get support for one Distro. Each Distro moves where things are stored and how things are done. Dependancies are different for each distro. Try to ask the community for help and you get the response of RTFM or GTFO. Wait, that means read the MAN page which is out of date and incorrect or even worse is for the wrong distro. So basically don't ask if you don't already know it and if you already know it then you shouldn't be asking. Either way, your are considering an idiot for asking. In the defense of Linux, the Windows programming community has that same issue.

    People say Microsoft needs to change Windows because it is getting old and Windows is dying so they upgrade the interface to go toward the direction people want in tablets and touch screens and people complain they changed Windows.

    People complain that Windows is bloated because of legacy crap yet when they try to remove it people get pissed because it is gone while you don't hear people complaining about needing to by a new printer, new overpriced adapters, and other accessories because they don't work for their old hardware on their Mac. Or on Linux where you can never find a stable driver for new hardware and hardware that is stable is so old it is obsolete and hard to locate spare parts. And yet, Windows works without buying new stuff most of the time. There are driver errors or compatibility issues but no more than the others.

    People complain Microsoft is greedy and yet they donate more to the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, shelters for the abused, and more. They do more than other tech companies combined. Google has removed donated services and has no support as well. They have placed new restrictions on what you can do and never answer support tickets and don't even provide a phone number. Microsoft has even added Office365 as free for nonprofits with a 2 hour response time while providing double the storage. I know because I have used it after leaving Google. Office365 is still a work in progress like Google but at least I can pick up the phone and call. Ever try dealing with Postini issues with Google just a while back? That was a test in futility. Microsoft will provide any software to my nonprofit that I need, no questions. I can even get in contact with engineers at Microsoft if I have a question. Does any other large tech company give back in such a way? Google or Facebook? No because they make money off my privacy and yet say they give back because it's free. Free if you don't consider your privacy important or getting support for problems.

    I applaud what Ubuntu tries to do for education and I think of the open source OSes they are the most admirable but even they have struggled to make people happy. Unity anyone?

    You know I don't like the buttons in my car but I don't go bashing my car because they didn't know exactly where I like the buttons best. I figure they did the best they could for most of us.

    I think Windows 8 needed tweaking but that said, it's not the complete train wreck some people make it out to be. If I can get my 68 old mother-in-law to use it without problem then why does some young kid have so much trouble. I have had many clients that once I walked them through the changes, they have been fine with no complaints. In fact, it has been more hands off than previous OSes. My one complaint would be turn off the charms bar when using a mouse but that's it.

    I have tried implementing Linux for family and businesses in the past but as soon as you mention opening a shell to run commands you have lost them. Install something from an app store and it still needs dependancies and you have really lost them. Tell them they need to compile it and they send you on your way. The good thing is for Linux support though is I get more work doing the stuff myself for contract jobs when they come around. :-)

    I don't work for Microsoft but I work with Microsoft and of all the tech companies, they have been by far the most helpful and done the most for the community. Apple, Google, Facebook don't seem to care. Microsoft definitely has some communication problems but they are far from the overbearing juggernaut of the 90's. Their products are not perfect but I challenge anyone to show me a product that exactly fits a few billion people exactly.

    In the end though, that is what I love about a free market and also why I use all the options. I prefer Windows but I am happy that their are options and they all push each other to be better. Not everyone will like Windows like I do but it's great that we have options just like we do it cars. It would be really boring if there was only one car available. Imagine how badly the auto industry would stagnate. Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows, and Windows Phone keep each other on their toes.
    February 25, 2014 1:19
    Contrary to the rants about Windows 8 on here I actually love it. It's the best desktop OS they've released.
    February 25, 2014 1:25
    Perhaps some of us hate Microsoft because they do things like:

    Lay off 5000 perfectly good people when they are still extremely profitable. Some of those people were on your team, Scott.
    Still recruit new developers even after the lay offs.
    Kill Silverlight and XNA.

    ...the list goes on.
    February 25, 2014 1:59
    So we're accused of being stuck in the past by disliking Microsoft for it's bad history? (there's even a Wikipedia category on it)

    So let's focus on the recent and present:

    • Attempts to sabotage my Government's (UK) proposal to adopt open document format.

    • Attempted draconian DRM on the XBone.

    • Destroying the desktop with Windows 8, including copying both Google's and Apple's bad parts.

    • The embarrassing and desperate Scroogled smear campaign.

    • UEFI Secure [the monopoly] boot.

    • New IE's user-agent header deliberately masquerading as non-IE (removing 'MSIE', adding 'Gecko') - detecting non-IE is feature detection.

    • Visual Studio has:
      • Scratched my eyes and shout at me with the UI.

      • Tied my hands by removing macros.

      • Removed setup & deployment projects, giving us InstallShield [very] Limited Ed.

      • Dumbed down development.

      • On-line login?

    I do like Microsoft for one thing, however: The VMs from have allowed me to finally make the switch to Linux - my desktop is back!

    Microsoft is starting to lose grip of the industry, and they're attempting change tactics... hopefully for the better - which is the very reason behind anti-monopoly legislation.

    One day Microsoft may actually compete with quality and interoperable software, rather than bullying, lawyers, FUD, and smear campaigns.

    Microsoft is like a dancing granddad trying to embrace open-source. Far too little, far too late.
    Using any type of "open" technology from Microsoft is a ticking time bomb.
    February 25, 2014 2:18
    I guess I will have the most unpopular opinion here (not that I have read 200+ comments to make sure).

    I actually liked the "evil" Microsoft more. I liked the monolithic framework with a release cycle that took years and we were surprised by a bunch of great things at once. I liked the no-compromise attitude with MS products "you are either with us or against us". I liked developing in a monoculture with all its positive sides.

    Current MS is indeed open and not evil and being that the dev platform is just like any other platform out there. Sure C# is still the by far the best mainstream language but I do have to live with packet managers and countless open source dependencies in my project that I have to update and keep up with. I have several alternatives for what used to be one thing and different parts don't always work together as seamlessly as they used to in 2005-2010. You killed things we loved like Silverlight and XNA. My point is - openness comes with a price and I personally never wanted to pay it. Sure I have adapted but I don't think it was a net positive.
    February 25, 2014 2:35
    An observation, fact and challenge to you all...

    - Observation: I find it ironic that so many people who "hate" MS (which I think is a pretty strong word to begin with...if you "hate" a company, well, good luck to you) are following Hanselman. Guess that speaks to your value to the evil MS - well done, Scott!

    - It is a FACT that the world's economy runs on MS products. Business runs on MS. History and the usefulness of the technology when compared to other options speaks for itself. Apple and Google/Android took the consumer market (at least temporarily), yet MS still dominates corporations. If there are better PRACTICAL options for business than MS, then how come they haven't destroyed the evil empire yet? When I say PRACTICAL I mean the average technology resource can install, customize and support - and we all know the "average" technology resource wouldn't know where to start with a distro of Debian Linux and a MySQL database! If you say it's because of the browser stuff 20 years ago, well again, good luck to you.

    - Challenge: IF MS is so evil, what are you using as an alternative? We can probably all agree that Apple and Google are just as evil, so, let's see how much PRACTICAL, useful alternatives there are in businesses (again, forget the fickle consumer market) to the Axis of Evil: MS, Google and Apple.

    FWIW - I think MS is stronger than ever with a brighter future than ever. I'm a fan of Windows 8. I'm an IT developer/manager with over 20 years experience working for Small to Large Global Corporations. And I've always been open to other general technology stacks...but MS always wins for good reason in my book.

    February 25, 2014 2:38
    Wow you really touched a nerve Scott.

    Microsoft causes a lot of pain in the world that is most often un-quantified. A lot of Microsoft software bombards people with prompts that often get in the way and waste a lot of time. I'm aware Microsoft has made a large and positive contribution to computing and to humanity, but it's easy to see how that get's lost.

    1. how many times do you have to tell excel to just save that crap until next time its open
    2. how about telling IE you understand that info will be posted across the interwebs
    3. how about re-installing EVERYTHING!
    4. windows is shutting down to install updates
    5. the list goes on and on, multiply that by the hundreds of millions of people using it and you see how the disdain is generated.

    That said here's something more recent and more relevant to azure.

    I recently ran into a month long problem with Windows Azure billing system completely and utterly wiping 2 of my businesses clear off the web for 30 days. The windows azure billing system thinks its so smart it knows my postal-code better than I do, be warned. That little bomb right there cost me tens of thousands of dollars, starting on new years eve night. It was about 7pm at my house, I was cooking for 14 adults and about 20 kids, I got an email stating "you're subscription has been canceled"........Was it ever, it wasn't just canceled though, it was completely wiped out. Why? Because microsofts billing system is reckless and dangerous. After years of charging multi-thousand dollar a month, with no problem, all of a sudden microsofts billing can't charge any of our cards! Why, well after weeks of trials and tribulations and me troubleshooting Microsofts billing software, it turns out their pre-validation of my Canadian postal code was so confident that my postal code didn't exist that it wouldn't even send the transaction to the gateway. But that took us 30 days to figure out, long after the billing system complete wiped out over 10 production web services.

    Why'd that take so long?, well because it takes microsoft 3 days to let you enter in a new card, and to have it processed, and to learn the result. And no, they don't send out emails letting you know what happened. In order to learn what happened you need to call support and beg them to go talk with someone in billing team and try to figure out what is going on.

    Over 20 million requests a day denied! Lets just call January 2014 an unmitigated AZURE disaster!

    Little to no warnings, no ability to manually process cards, nobody to answer the phone, what a joke. Nobody at the office.
    Then after the dust had cleared they did it again to another company I own.

    Cost me tens of thousands of dollars.
    100% Microsofts fault.
    Not one person from Microsoft/azure has apologized for this, not one person has followed up on the whole incident. Nothing. Nobody has come to me and said Jack Squat.

    Then you have Microsoft canceling Technet.
    Then they take desktop shadowing out in server 2012.
    Keep on changing my damn file system

    The reasons to stay seem to be on the decline.
    Watching this big org try and flip itself back into something useful is painful sometimes, no doubt.
    Azure supposed to be safe & secure, yet a billing error can turn into a death nail because Microsoft as an organization appears to lack the facilities to properly deal with paying accounts. I just don't get it.

    I can call amazon and talk to smart people who have control of their services at anytime 24/7.
    Anyone who's ever called either azure support or sales knows what I'm talking about. It's absolutely atrocious.
    The people selling & supporting the service often have no clue about what they're doing. I call in and say something like "CDN Endpoint" and it's like I'm making words up!

    As someone who's used azure since the beta days, I can tell you flat out, the sales/support has always been a joke. Still is.

    As someone who's used microsoft products for 15+ years I can tell you that not all is well and it seems like every couple months there's one more product of microsofts that for whatever reason, I can't use anymore.

    Products I've used in the last 15 years.
    sql server
    visual studio
    windows phone
    remote desktop
    .net 1 2 3 4
    msn messenger
    visual basic
    project server
    windows media
    active directory
    etc. etc.

    I'm not sure this new CEO can do much to change the trajectory.
    Here's what I would say needs to be done at an organizational level.

    Microsoft needs to face the reality.
    Go back to basics, don't do what blackberry did by putting out garbage that alienates the base, continue to make the base happy.
    The practice of using UserVoice (or similar) type sites with voting to pilot product/service decision making is a great practice that should be applauded and increased.

    Focus on these core principals
    1. be useful
    2. get out of peoples way
    3. understand that peoples privacy is paramount
    4. don't forget about the hundreds of millions of people that already know how to use windows
    5. enable
    6. open up useful api's for all/any products/services that hold peoples data like skype/hotmail/skydrive
    7. keep looking for ways to do things better/faster, poor it to the R&D
    8. materials are where many of the next decades greatest innovations are, so be ready
    9. stop outsourcing your support, it just leaves such a terrible taste in everyones mouth and lord knows there are people in america that need jobs
    10. stop changing things that work great that people rely on
    11. my favorite, windows should have 2 modes by default. Noooob or Power User and that selection should dictate 90%+ of the experience.

    That's my take on it. I'm not sure Microsoft can do it.
    Matthew Carson -> Longtime listener first time caller.
    February 25, 2014 2:44
    sorry about the spelling/grammar, I hit post to early!
    February 25, 2014 2:45
    *too - lol
    February 25, 2014 4:22

    Lofaday, you are right!, Microsoft should bring back Visual Basic 6.0 !

    February 25, 2014 4:28
    I'm 44, and I used to hate Microsoft a very great deal for their anti-competitive behavior.

    Now I don't hate Microsoft any more, I just don't care about them at all.

    You're right, things are much better this way.
    February 25, 2014 5:18
    You say Microsoft has changed, but they're still actively campaigning against open standards.

    Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

    Hey, Microsoft: make Interix a standard part of Windows 9, available in every install, and make open formats first class citizens, and back down on the DRM so we can install any OS we want on "approved" PCs without jumping through hoops, and open up Windows RT or Windows Phone or whatever it's called this week... then come back and tell us you've changed.
    February 25, 2014 7:59

    I hear you..

    Ever since Microsoft started to "simplify" their software, so that our grandparents could also use Windows, things got bad..

    They just didn't get it.

    You don't remove features to make it more accessible,
    instead you implement elegance ~ smart trade-offs,
    to make computing more intuitive without loosing functionality.

    I remember that last Bill Gates / Steve Jobs interview, with the question, what do you most admire in each other.

    Bill says, "I think Steve has great taste".


    When I first realized what Azure was, and how they did it,
    I really got goosebumps, and was -and still am-, so proud of what Microsoft has accomplished, here, in that shiny blue portal, it all came together.

    The empowering, enabling, long-term vision of Gates/Microsoft had made that possible.


    So, Microsoft,

    let's implement more elegance,

    keep opening up more API's,

    fire your advertising firm, advertise on unique features, and add more of them, instead of making them only available in server or ultimate editions.



    February 25, 2014 10:52
    @rene Rupptert
    Don't like Microsoft? Use something else.

    Don't be obtuse. Even if I go out of my way not to use Microsoft (and I have), I'm still impacted by their ongoing predatory ways. Can you imagine how many productivity was wasted because people had to code for Netscape and Internet Explorer just because MS wouldn't comply with standards? And what about public authorities being locked in to Microsoft Office just because they knew they couldn't compete with ODF and cheated their way into ISO so ODF did not become the only standard? And what about fucking ExFAT on SDcards?

    The only thing that has changed at Microsoft is their relevance. And that's good for everyone.
    February 25, 2014 13:35
    People don't choose to use Microsoft products!

    They use Microsoft to remain interoperable with the majority of the world or difficult to migrate, or it's already on their computer and difficult to replace, or because it's all they know and don't know any better (ignorance, FUD, and smears).

    Due to industry change, legal intervention, and continual incompetence, people are now looking for alternatives. And now Microsoft are now trying to appear to change into good guys, out of desperation.

    It would be foolish to adopt any Microsoft technology when there are great alternatives. You just have to look outside your single paned window.
    February 25, 2014 15:33
    Love Microsoft. Hate Windows 8. It blows goats. With field-mice watching and cheering on.
    February 25, 2014 15:43
    People are blaming Microsoft ultimately its not true. I have been using it and developing application since last 9-10 years and I am proud of it.

    Thanks Microsoft for providing world class products.
    February 25, 2014 15:49
    Restricting your development to a single environment for a decade isn't something to be proud of.
    February 25, 2014 16:16
    @Underpants- Give me one example of editor which has as many features as Visual Studio. Give me communities which are more active then Microsoft Communities. People does not have any work instead of blaming Microsoft. See the initiative and open source work done by Microsoft.

    I don't want to be Jack of all and master of none. I have experiences on Microsoft Stack and I am proud of it.

    February 25, 2014 17:17
    You asked for one, I'll give you more: wikipedia.

    What Microsoft communities are you talking about?? User (no)voice? MSDN forums? MS Employee blogs like this? Open source, on the whole, is community driven

    And Microsoft is only attempting "initiative" and open source work because it has to in order to compete! You obviously didn't get the memo.

    You've tried to defend Microsoft with it's weaknesses.
    I hope for your sake that Microsoft will maintain your egg basket until you retire.
    February 25, 2014 17:32
    Microsoft's contribution to the world
    BASIC,VB,Windows,ASP,AJAX,.NET,C#,Visual Studio

    Misdeeds: MS-Access,Windows ME and Vista, No upgrade options for WP 7.5/7.8, WP8 phones unresolved 'Other Memory' issue(fail to understand WTF they are waiting for, just FIX IT!), releasing a new version of VS in an year, high support ticket costs (should give refund if its a product issue,) Killing of Silverlight and not being open about it, FoxPro too (developers will never forget or forgive these), forced buy of Windows on laptops (wasting the MSDN license we have)

    As a guy above put it, evil is a strong word, maybe myopic and opaque sometimes. But the pros outweighs the cons for me!
    February 25, 2014 17:43
    BASIC was create 10 years before Microsoft existed. And they destroyed VB
    February 25, 2014 18:57
    >You say this like some of us aren't still working on projects where we have to support >IE6, IE7 etc :-)

    are there?

    m c
    February 25, 2014 19:30
    For many it's not just the browser issue from 1994, but rather what that represented and whether anything has really changed. The browser thing represents cut throat business tactics even to the detriment of the product and customers. While the browser issue dates back to 94, MS was in the past few years caught again not complying with it. It has the feeling of burned once shy twice. While you can point to improvements one has to realize the old MS set the bar pretty low so if you aren't grading on a curve the results aren't that great.
    February 25, 2014 19:51
    I have been fighting poor MS products since they screwed up the trig functions inside the Mattel Aquarius. So I guess I could be one of Pappy's brothers.

    Hate is too strong a word but after decades of frustration I do not love MS.

    There are and have been some brilliant, awe inspiring products over the years but it has always been tempered by stupid policies.

    I earn a living as a developer and that means I go where the money is, no matter what my views are I have to move. Most of the contract houses do not care what you use. If they do, they expect you to be able to handle it. You try to use the right tool for the right job.

    If you really want hate, try Adobe. Or #1 is the company that goes out of its way to be evil - Oracle.

    Right now I am trying to convince a CEO that he can still run the software he loves on Windows 7 using a Virtual PC in XP mode. If not his 5K employees will be moving to a brain dead Ubuntu Linux, which is wrong on every level, but it is the real world.

    @Jalpesh Vadgama. Well for communities you could try any of the Linux communities and just like the MS ones they have there fair share of Mad, Bad and Crazy. They are however very very active.
    Visual Studio - Actually there are lots - C++Builder, Eclipse etc. It is just a tool nothing more. Excellent that you can focus on the MS stack, hope it works out well, but you do sound like the opposite of an MS hater. ("Everything but MS" hater). Isn't that just as bad?

    I think ultimately that is part of the problem. You have MS lovers who see the world through a small microscope. The world is picking on MS and it is not fair. Just because we have been evil for thirty years doesn't mean everything we do is evil.
    Apple lovers see the world through another microscope and complain that everyone should just pay the extra and then have beautiful toys that ultimately do not do anything.
    Linux lovers see the world as corporate bullies picking on them.
    Unix lovers see the world as those that can do more than 64 processors and those that cannot and blame the world on the small faster moving lot.

    If you cannot see both the good and evil of each then you are the problem from someone else's viewpoint.

    I absolutely agree with Scott, at some point you let go and start again with fresh eyes. The issue is how many times do you do that before you give up.
    Earn my trust and I have thirty years of products where MS has been brilliant. Don't earn it and it is thirty years of doing wrong.
    An example of brilliance is Kinect. Sony and others will have to pull of a miracle just to equal it. Idiocy is the FUD on Linux.

    Google lovers are just wrong!
    February 26, 2014 3:08
    I was just getting my feet wet with more of the web aspects of programming when all the IE stuff went down. It didn't really phase me.

    What did phase me, shortly thereafter, as a poor college grad wanting to do stuff in the MS stack, was the lack of cheap tools in order to get it done. Sure you could do everything from the command prompt, and I had to for a few of my classes, but it was insane. Rapid Application Development it was not. I didn't have the money to afford Visual Basic 6 or Visual Web Dev 6 back in the day, it was too costly. Fortunately I had a job where they paid for my MSDN subscription, but I couldn't take it home with me.

    Then the "Express" tools were released and it was a HUGE boon to my programming. I could do everything I wanted to do in Express edition (new web sites, WPF apps, even played with Silverlight) without having to feel guilty with a bootleg copy of my work software. I could even run a legitimate SQL database for free as well and life was fabulous! My knowledge jumped in leaps and bounds and helped me get better jobs and actually have a program out there people were using!

    So keep is up MS. I'll admit right now I'm running on a MacBook Pro with several Win8 VMs to handle my clients, but .Net is still my primarily language and it was due to the openness of tools you provided to developers to make it happen. 8^D
    February 26, 2014 5:44
    Well, I`m a Microsoft lover. During my daily work I have to deal with the legacy left by every bad decision made <20 years. I have to workaround every web app to show up in IE, and IE11 still miles away from perfection, but we have choices now. Extending Windows XP lifetime made me cry. Every job that I take for Windows app make's me feel stuck in 2004, no one update this OS. Although, everything is changing, open source integration, you are closest as possible to the community and clients, etc. As I said, I'm a Microsoft lover, beside all the issues, I still using .NET Framework.
    February 26, 2014 6:00
    I think that the history of MS has swung between flashes of brilliance and periods of technical irritation. The problem is that many peoples tollerance for irritation is set at a moderate level, while devs and tech-heads (who know better) tollerance for irritation is set at a different level. Especially when the irritation is based on a sense of control that is not realistic.

    The main driver for the hatred is the relationship between MS and the individuals who use the products. When their experience with the product is irritating, and they have no capacity to reduce the irritation because MS is "not listening" or "not responding" then the frustration and resentment can only increase and quickly turn to hatred.

    For technical users who are used to or need to be able to "fix" issues, having no ability to resolve a problem will quickly become frustration, anger and psychic pain. If you have ever tried to log a bug or make a complaint with MS about some feature or issue, you will understand some of that frustration. If you have ever had to use an OS or major product (VS) that just does not work with your mental schema... the pain is endless.

    The problem is that MS, no matter how large they get, cannot produce flexible enough products to suit all of their users needs. As technicians and devs are a minority, they often experience the biggest disconnect between their needs and what the product
    has delivered. It's simply that they are a small but loud population with a very different irritation level that is not ecconomical to address. Essentially, they are rejected when they try to form an emotional relationship with MS. Hence hatred, bitterness, betrayal and anger beyond any rational level.

    This does not excuse all the marketplace games that MS have been involved in over the years. But that being said, there are very few companies that are able to ignore self-interest on every occasion. The problem has been magnified by the monopoly position that microsoft have occupied in many of the markets, so when they do put self-interest above public good, the effect is massive. MS have been smacked for this behaviour repeatedly, but like any organisation, it has little in the way of a institutional memory and always slides back to this behaviour as staff are replaced with new ones who do not remember the pain of the last smack-down. Basic organisational psychology.

    It's not your fault Scott, and you have little ability to change the situation no matter how much you open-source, as this is not a technical problem, its a people problem. Try implementing an enterprise wide CRM system to deal with every single channel of client contact and implement a policy of follow-up on every single issue to resolution. Basically, put some time into the relationship between MS and every single one of its customers with a greivance. You will see a huge change in the perception of MS... but its going to take some serious people hours.

    Good luck.
    February 26, 2014 6:46
    I was loving the direction MS was going. Sql Server was good. Express versions helped small companies. .Net was good. I loved its language agnostic stand. (I use RemObject's Oxygene and love it).

    I loved Silverlight (WPF Everywhere was the promise). I loved that I could use Oxygene in my applications for a "web app". But then there were little gotchas. Like Blend doesn't support multiple languages, what's up with that.

    I loved MVVM and Xaml binding. I loved the flexibility of WCF (but not its complexity of configuration). WIF sounded like a good idea.

    I loved the Silverlight forum.

    I loved the improvements that were being made RAPIDLY (thanks Scott Gu)

    I loved Channel 9 video shows on Silverlight.

    Everything was going along swimmingly.

    And then, suddenly, for no reason, Silverlight was gone. The forum was moved to a less usable place. The video tutorials that were a huge help in learning Silverlight were gone.

    Instead of having what I considered THE best development environment since I started programming in 1966, I have almost nothing. I have a huge amount of time invested in a product that most customers would almost laugh at me when I still propose Silverlight solutions.

    And there isn't ANYTHING better yet.

    I'm not so much angry as sad and tired.
    February 26, 2014 6:48
    Oh, and I DO like Windows 8 using all day everyday WITH keyboard and mouse and a touch screen. The widespread complaints about it seem to me to be just plain silliness. And I love my Nokia Lumia 928.
    February 26, 2014 8:03
    My encounter was with DirectX.Net where we relied on it for a major non-gaming project and Microsoft decided to abandon it and push XNA instead. But there was a big gap. We can't upgrade to .Net 2.0 due to hacks used in DX.Net. Luckily there were SlimDX to the rescue but conversion was painful. Then much later on, during the transition stage to Vista/Win7, Microsoft drop support for DirectShow and push for MediaFoundation, yet with another big gap where MF can't do much of what DS can do, at least not after a few years.

    Though after all these, I'm still a happy .Net programmer :)
    February 26, 2014 10:48
    So, even Microsoft fanbois suck. Thanks for proving our point so eloquently.
    February 26, 2014 12:15
    There were more recent infingements in the EU for anti-competetive behaviour. What's a billion dollars though when they can save more billions in tax havens.

    I'm annoyed because on upgrade from VS2010 support for the setup and deployment projects was completely dropped and the plug in replacement was 3rd party Installshield. Visual Studio is for many the way to build applications and if you keep pulling these stunts developers will find a new reason to be annoyed at the company decisions.
    We worked around the issue and rebuilt an installer but it cost us development and test time for no good reason.
    February 26, 2014 12:28
    My frustrations to Microsoft are primary on the business level.

    Just a few points:

    1) Licensing
    Big companys are not allowed to sell given products after a period of time. Microsoft doesn't allow it. This is giving alot of presure to companys building solutions on Microsoft Technology – becuase you have to make new products instead of maintaining old products, which could be called ”You have to pursuit the Microsoft train – or kill your business”

    2) Interconnect everything Microsoft
    Microsoft are trying to connect all their technology's with Microsoft products and nothing else. Imaging Excel being able to connect to postgre sql server. Imaging Windows without Internet Explorer. Imaging Axapta 2012 without SSRS and IIS. Imaging Microsoft SQL Server 2012 R2 without Windows. And you can continue like this forever..

    3) Give people that could choose solutions Microsoft Software for free.
    Teachers in elementary schools are given a free Microsoft Office.
    Teachers at programmers educations are given free access to Visual Studio, SQL Server etc.
    These offerings are actually making people taking the choice without thinking about the choice.

    4) Makeing Microsoft being seen as ”The Standard”
    You might hear IT-bosses saying: ”We want to use standard-software”. They do it for various reasons. One reason is, that Microsoft offers education in their products. Its quite easy to find a guy with certification in Microsoft Technology. Its harder (if possible at all) to find training in other open source technologys. This is also the reason why Microsoft can advice the government etc. to choose the right solutions – when they are in need of a new system. But what is the actual interrest from Microsoft's perspective ? To advice which system is best – or to advice which product they will earn most money on ?

    5) Microsoft's partner program
    Microsoft will only allow certain partners to become ”gold partners”. A ”Gold partner” should have X numbers of employees with a certificate in Microsoft solutions. Without being a Gold partner you cannot sell microsoft products – you can not get professional support etc. Once again ”You have to pursuit the Microsoft train – or kill your business”

    6) Take the name of business – and make people think that Microsoft invented it
    Microsoft decided to call their CRM-system for Microsoft CRM. Almost everyone who uses Microsoft CRM thinks, that CRM is a Microsoft product – and not just the concept of a system. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management – and has nothing to do with Microsoft – except that Microsoft made a CRM-system named Microsoft CRM. Sales-people will go to their IT-boss – and say: We need CRM – and if the IT-boss decides to give them a random CRM-system – they might be unsatishfied because they were used to ”The Standard” Microsoft CRM from their previous work.
    February 26, 2014 13:20
    Hate doesn't even begin to explain how I feel about Microsoft.

    I spent years learning and perfecting the art of punching holes into cards. For what? My craft has been totally abandoned by the know it alls in Seattle, and what's with all this gui nonsense we have to deal with now, if MS expects me to change from the comforting green glow of familiarity they can take a jump.
    He never once came round to my house to ask my opinion on OS changes, and it's not just me, from the trillions of internet comments, not even one back room, basement, outhouse, hen house developer got a sit down with soda and cookies. THE ARROGANCE!!!

    This MS disdain for developers goes waaaay back. My great great grandfather Peregrine DC was an up and coming steam engine technician before MS changed to internal combustion, killing off the entire steam automotive industry and aiding the great depression.
    Great great grandpappy Peregrine hanged himself, by the cord of a Microsoft mouse.

    The hatred runs deep.
    February 26, 2014 15:33
    Corporations making decisions in their best interest, not giving away all their intellectual property, only providing one browser for a product are not evil.

    Unless of course, they force other companies not to user competing browsers. Which Microsoft did.

    You don't have to buy them and you don't have to use them.

    Unless of course, there's no MP3 car stereo to be had without Microsoft's crappy WMA format so you can't avoid having to pay the Microsoft tax.

    February 26, 2014 18:02
    I hated Apple for many many years since college, because at least on my mind they showed much more greed than Microsoft about 13 years ago when (I still have this idea) they "super-inflated" the devices market prices back then.

    When used to had our buggy Korean/Chinese MP3 players that worth no more than 30 bucks, then Apple came out with a device that did the exact same thing, just a little bit better, BUT for 10xTimes the price! And people waited for days in lines to buy one! Insane!

    As time passed by, I've had also learned to admit that maybe that was necessary, they pushed the bar a lot more higher for both the customers and the Mobil device Manufacturers so that we both could have higher standards. A lot of devices I've only dreamed of in high school exist today only because things started being well done back then (at a price). So do I hate them now? No way! :)

    I started as a VB6 programmer, and I've seen how some technologies come and go, neither Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc, killed my Pappy, Pappy just grown old and died on its own.
    February 26, 2014 18:28

    You're obviously a Microsoft hater and will remain one until either MS is bankrupt or you're six feet under. Why should I even waste my time trying to convince you otherwise? Let's cut to the chase. I love what MS is doing. You hate it. Ergo, I am your enemy and you are mine. Simple. Deal with it.
    February 26, 2014 18:55
    Miggy, without realising it you've just made Moon's point.

    Stop making us look even more like idiots.
    February 26, 2014 19:18

    Honestly, how often do you have to deal with unreasonable people in your day? The kind of people who will never change their opinions despite being proven completely wrong? These are the kind of people we are dealing with. They're trolls, pure and simple - albeit very well disguised. I have no time or patience for them. If you do, you are very welcome to cater to them. Good luck.
    February 26, 2014 19:31
    yet they continue to dumb-down visual studio..
    February 26, 2014 21:19
    "Honestly, how often do you have to deal with unreasonable people in your day? The kind of people who will never change their opinions despite being proven completely wrong? These are the kind of people we are dealing with. They're trolls, pure and simple - albeit very well disguised."

    And yet....there you are.......
    February 26, 2014 21:47

    Very nicely done. But you also prove my point. The both of us will never agree to a common ground on this one issue, so why even bother. In a democracy (theoretically) the idea with the most votes wins and the others have to toe the line. When it comes to opinions on the Internet, no such mechanism exists and people are free to choose their echo chambers, only venturing out to throw firebombs at their enemies on the forums. I'm tired of dealing with these people. And when I get fed up I throw a firebomb of my own.

    If you don't like Microsoft, fine. More power to you. Stay away from them and their products. Just stop bitching on the internet about how they killed your Pappy. Get a life. If you insist on venting on a forum don't be surprised if someone vents back. Rudely.

    February 27, 2014 0:06

    Exactly. And that's how we would treat each other in real life if we ever found out each other's true identities. See what hating on Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc. brings out? If you don't like it - don't buy it. Simple. Hating in forums is counterproductive - and MS haters do it way too much. They should get a life and move on.

    February 27, 2014 0:16
    You fans of Microsoft and many employees at Microsoft live in a dream world where apparently you all believe the rest of the IT world has completely forgotten Microsoft's behavior over the last several decades. Big surprise....we haven't. Some of us are forced to work on Microsoft's crap. Doesn't mean we like it nor do we have to shut up about the absolute crap Microsoft has pulled. Nah, we'll go on pushing your noses in the stinking doodie pile your favorite company has laid on the rug as long as the company continues to behave like an out of control monopolist.

    Don't like it?

    Tough sh*t!

    Get used to it.
    February 27, 2014 0:46

    I literally am laughing at you now. You embarrass yourself.
    February 27, 2014 4:59
    On the "Japan is OK now" analogy.

    The Japanese are still a bunch of psychos. They refuse to apologize to the Koreans, Phillipinos or the Chinese for their horrific war crimes during WWII, and their leadership insists on honoring every year men who are generally considered war criminals. Like the Germans having Hitler’s birthday as a national holiday.

    And I have a vague feeling that the Japanese would do it again if they got a chance.

    So while Microsoft has made some progress, I'm not yet convinced.
    February 27, 2014 12:21
    I'm pissed at this site U_U . It took me 2 mins of swiping on my Lumia to reach the bottom and post. I mean .. Really!? Add a button to go to the bottom :(. But yea...I like Microsoft. Hope Bing was better....and Outlook too :P
    February 27, 2014 12:43
    At our place we use (unfortunately) several Microsoft services , while using Firefox on a daily basis I have very good reason to heat the company which once had the clear idea to dominate completely the IT industry .
    Today we are all lucky to have much better situation and therefore Microsoft think they can just come and say - "hey guys we are doing wonderful IT , don't you think so" , answer : yes you probably do but going the Microsoft way is not something we going to choose as this would put us in the exact same situation we had 15 years ago, so sorry seem like people know very well what will happen .
    Finally - try using Firefox toward Microsoft services for a day and you will clearly understand why people (like me) hate Microsoft .
    February 27, 2014 15:55
    Your comment was quite releaving because your stupid finger obviously did not counter ONE of my reasons for hating Microsoft. Thing is, you can't.

    Cause all my reasons listed are a) facts and b) still apply to this day which makes Scott's premise for this blog post so very wrong (as others have already pointed out). The only reason it's not as bad as before is not for lack of trying on Microsofts part (see links to current events in the comments) but due to their own ineptitude which has made them become less relevant.

    If you think that making a living with Microsoft works for you, so be it, just don't think you're on any kind of moral high ground dismissing all their bad tactics and antics as a-ok business decisions, they're not.

    And honestly, I simply don't care enough about you to consider you an enemy.
    February 27, 2014 16:42
    The real question here is, who will care 50 years from now?
    February 27, 2014 23:13
    Don't hate the player!!! Hate the game :-)!!

    Long live the Federation of Empires!!!
    February 28, 2014 0:34
    Just some random thoughts.

    I've been displeased with Microsoft decisions (most recently trying to use 8.0 tiles with mouse and keyboard ). I've been pleased with Microsoft design. The interlocking of systems in an enterprise environment is nice.
    I've been pleased with Apple's interface. But $20 power/data cables are so cheap and flimsy!.
    I wish that GM had kept Pontiac rather than the Buick division.
    Novell Netware had the best NOS around. But it is gone now.
    Java is universal. I understand Java but cannot often say that I am pleased with it.
    Linux and Android are good stuff!
    My dad and uncle used to argue as to whether Ford or Dodge made the better car.
    Short vision end-user administrative decision-making is keeping IE6 on life-support.
    Adobe puts out too many patches! Or they used to. I haven't seen one in awhile.

    Find the tool which best fits the need. Use it.

    February 28, 2014 3:07
    MS platform is not as open as those real open source platforms. When I choose to develop on MS platform I have to work with Visual Studio on Windows and there is no good alternative for that. After about 10 years of development on MS platforms I finally decided to migrate to real open platforms and now I'm developing on Scala/Play/Mongo/etc.

    Real open source platforms are based on their communities. Unfortunately I didn't see such communities in .NET/MS world.

    When I was working on MS platform, just MS options was available but after migrating, I have all options except MS's.

    Although the tools I'm using now are not as polished as MS's, I've never been so happy.
    February 28, 2014 12:15
    John Kenwood: "- I do not understand how you can hate a company that literally brought computers and software programming into your living room."

    Are you kidding? Microsoft did no such thing. My first computer was by Ti, I did most of my early personal coding in Forth on the Apple II and Atari 800. My first bought-new computer was an Amiga. I did have one MS-DOS machine back in the early days, but compilers for it were outrageously expensive so mostly I used it as a CP/M emulator with a NEC v20 chip instead of the 8088. You really have no conception of how computers and programming came into the living room if you think Microsoft was a compelling part of that story. Microsoft operating systems only ran on expensive business machines in those days. The only impact they had on typical users was in Basic, and... seriously, Basic? Have you ever programmed in that?
    February 28, 2014 12:49
    The hate on Microsoft is irrational. Yes they've made plenty of mis-steps over the years and it's cost them lots of money and market share. But why hate on them over those mistakes? This is a free market and you are welcome to move on to one of their competitors.

    The truth is that the behaviour is certainly no worse than any other big tech firm trying to turn a profit. If you think company of choice is any different then you are deluding yourself. Yes, open source is a great thing we can all agree on that. Does it have it's own downsides? Absolutely it does and for that reason closed sourced efforts will always co-exist.

    Microsoft is doing some great things like Azure and Office Online and is one of the only big tech firms to have wholly adopted responsive web design across the business. It's fully of some amazing talented individuals who communicate in an open and honest way and contribute regularly to open source projects. Take a look at Channel 9 if you're not convinced.
    February 28, 2014 16:56
    So many of these comments make people sound foolish and irrational. I sincerely hope these people are more rational in other areas of their lives. I really do.

    Sure, MS have done things to irk me over the years, and they occasionally still do. The last one I raised as an issue on connect, it got approved, and implemented. Obviously that's not always the case, but it happens.

    Never mind Microsoft Killed my pappy.
    Microsoft bought my house.
    February 28, 2014 17:39
    I knew a guy who used to go almost purple in the face, delivering rants about how evil Microsoft were. Bundling browsers and bloatware were his favourite topics.

    Guess what he used at home?

    Yup - windows & office, despite constantly evangelising on linux and open office.

    To be fair, he also suggested all LOB apps be written in flash, so maybe not a good point is that a lot of anti microsoft rants are people trying to be seen as cool and in with the beard gang.

    When people gain acceptance with the beard gang, and then go on to hear people like Martin Fowler - they settle down expecting an MS hate lecture and a genuinely shocked when said people say things like - .NET is quite good, c# is just as useable as java etc....they then haven't a clue what to do (well maybe get an iPhone, but you get the point)...
    February 28, 2014 19:51
    Hi Scott,

    Im going to be looking at PCL, I think again as with C#, the PLC concept is ahead of the curve.

    Can you explain what you mean by 'Portable Libraries happen and now share code between iOS, Android, and Windows' - by sharing do you mean can produce using additional tools like xamarin?

    February 28, 2014 20:50
    If Microsoft starts using Android, it doesn't make Google good or evil. If Google uses the Windows O/S on PCs, laptops or servers it doesn't make Microsoft good or evil. If Apple sues another company for patent violations it doesn't make Apple or the company they sue good or evil.

    The actions a company decides to make may be good or evil. If some action is truly evil, a governing body will eventually step in and try to adjust the course of those actions.

    At the end of the day, businesses (and people) use products and services that provide value. If a company does not provide valuable products, the product and possibly the company will go away.

    Microsoft or Apple or Google exist because they provide valuable products and services. No individuals' feelings can change that.

    Business and individuals have a choice as consumers. They buy Microsoft, Apple and Google products and/or services because they provide value. No one forces us to buy Windows or iPhones or Android products. We have other options or we would create them.

    Microsoft, Apple and Google are not people. They are companies. They are not good and they are not evil. They pay taxes. They hire people. They make decisions.

    March 01, 2014 0:13
    I write programs and do something with programming to make money. I like their development tools and oneness of the documents about technical information. I like the community of the MS development tool users because they try many things and share many useful results from their experiments. My work place decided to change their underlying platform and development tools to non-Microsoft products while I am excited to learn about the things on the other side of the wall. I am also figuring out that this new (at least to me) tools and technology do not have open attitude in the dev community. I feel they are semi-black boxing their technology. Hopefully its just me not used to access the information in different style of community or something. But if it really is closed community. I feel that is why I used to dislike Microsoft 10-15 years ago. Microsoft today and Microsoft 10-15 years ago is very different. I like Microsoft today.
    March 01, 2014 3:42
    @John H.

    If some action is truly evil, a governing body will eventually step in and try to adjust the course of those actions.

    And that's happened to Microsoft. Quite a few times.
    March 01, 2014 11:59
    It's true that today's Microsoft is not the Microsoft I was first introduced to, but there are still a number of things that piss me off about them:

    Getting rid of XNA. As a hobbyist game developer, XNA was amazing. I could do all sorts of things with it easily. It was great. It was well liked. Then MS got rid of it... :(

    Open Document Fight. Microsoft is actively fighting proposed switches to open document formats. Why not just push patches for older versions of Office (which aren't even that old) to support them? You said yourself that open is the way of the future for MS, right?
    March 01, 2014 19:16
    Yep. Microsoft have definitely changed since I started developing.

    Developers were listened to, and had first class tools. Visual Studio used to be the main reason I developed under Windows.

    Now look at it - Visual Studio is a laughing stock. Doesn't even have macros, integrated way of creating deployable packages without using awful/expensive third party add-ons. And don't get me started on the UI.
    March 01, 2014 22:37
    It takes Apple and Microsoft et al. to buy us all cappuccino's and ergo chairs so we can do our work. Scott is right in that the hate is pointless. I wish Apple hadn't dropped web objects, that my Java app would resize it's window as well on my mac as it does on windows 8.1. I wish I could scale Core Data to the web, that my MS Outlook reminders would work with system notifications in Windows 8.1. All this crap is getting better with the exception of google who want's to take us back to the thin client dark ages. That's the George Orwell creepiness I'm worried about.
    March 02, 2014 2:49
    "And for bundling a browser in the operating system that couldn't be uninstalled or easily replaced? Sure, no operating systems do that in 2014. I wonder if I can swap out Chrome from Chrome OS or Mobile Safari in iOS. Point is, it's common now."

    But are Chrome and iOS being used by a monopolist to kill the competition?
    Keep your logic straight, son!
    March 03, 2014 5:26
    It must be really embarrassing for Scott to have this kind of rubbish in his defence: 'Microsoft is doing some great things like Azure and Office Online and is one of the only big tech firms to have wholly adopted responsive web design across the business.'
    that and Jalpesh's - these are the two standouts, Oh, and all the people who think that we should thank MS because we've coded on the back of their platform. Should I thank Ford for providing me with transport to my place of work? While profiting from the sale? If you are a point and click merchant then you probably *wouldn't* have had a 'career' on another platform.
    March 03, 2014 15:19
    “Internet Explorer”.

    That's enough to explain decades of hatred.
    March 03, 2014 16:18
    So Scott, what are you going to do with the comments?
    You asked the question and received answers. You have a group that loves MS (Jalpesh and miggy) and others that have given you reasons why MS is still making poor decisions today never mind back in pappy's day.
    I am not expecting you to quit even though there are enough comments to show it is not the correct direction that the company is heading as that would be stupid on your part until you have a confirmed job offer somewhere else.
    What I would like to see is an admission that there are issues.
    You asked if Microsoft circa 2014 worse than Google, Apple, or Facebook? Yes you are compared to Google and Apple. (They are both horrible companies just not quite as bad as MS). But probably on a par to Facebook who seem to delight in failing at security.
    We're not nearly as organized as we'd need to be to be as evil as you might think we are.
    Not evil. Incompetent and pernicious.
    On the positive side no one has mentioning Windows 8.0, so you are forgiven for lots of things.

    @James "The truth is that the behaviour is certainly no worse than any other big tech firm trying to turn a profit."
    Absolutely! And isn't that the problem.
    March 03, 2014 16:39
    I'm curious, from when did it become cool to hate Google? Maybe since the Scroogled campaign?

    Ignoring politics, and purely from a geek and technical POV, Google are an excellent company who have positively contributed a lot to the industry. Their products work well, and not many use them because they have to, but because they are actually good.

    In return, they receive some personal data in order to provide adverts that are for products that I might actually be interested in. No worse than store loyalty cards.

    [I use Google search, have only "tried" their web-based products, I own an iPhone, use Chrome only at work]
    March 03, 2014 21:21
    Hate is not the right word for Google. They have screwed up though. Scanning WiFi data "accidentally". Tracking via personal data and the fact that keywords have just become a huge who-can-pay-the-most exercise.
    Being Scroogled (bubbled) is a worry, but equally so have you used Bing! Some bits wonderful. I like maps but could do with more frequent updates. Technical search is bad compared to Google.
    Someone should do a mix and match. Shopping on Bing, info on Google, maps on Bing, images on Bing, translate on anyone else.
    Personal data is the big one though.

    [I use Google and Bing searches, I own and use MS products, the iPad sits gathering dust, my phone does not even have an alarm function on it but is bullet proof and reliable]
    March 03, 2014 22:27
    Peter - I'm compiling all these comments and making sure the right people see them. There are absolutely issues. I'm changing what I can. I think the last 5 years of my work speaks to my ability to influence. I will continue to push to make it better.
    March 03, 2014 23:09
    And all you need now is 1.21 gigawatts
    March 04, 2014 9:16
    Microsoft has definitely made huge (and good) changes in the past few years, and as a developer and entrepreneur I welcome those changes. There is not a single company that I not dislike something about, and one thing that I appreciate as a user is that Microsoft did one thing right a long time ago and that was having a closed operating system. We all have seen the huge mess Android is today with all of its different versions and now with cell phone carriers using different flavors of it even among the same hardware products - lame.

    Scott - I like the fact that while Microsoft isn't where we want it to be yet, it is clear that people inside Microsoft are trying hard to change that and make things better, can't really see anything like it from companies like Apple or Google. Kudos.
    March 04, 2014 17:55
    Whenever I see product demo's from the web guru's at Microsoft, I always notice that the demo's are done with Chrome, Firefox, or a variety of 3rd party tools. Over the past several years, you can tell that there's a healthy disconnect between the power of the marketing brand and being a proponent of open web standards. I LOVE the fact that I can code in Visual Studio, but just as easily not have to use C# in my code to make something work, if all I need is a little javascript\html.

    March 04, 2014 19:30
    Microsoft did one thing right a long time ago and that was having a closed operating system. We all have seen the huge mess Android is today with all of its different versions and now with cell phone carriers using different flavors of it even among the same hardware products - lame.

    That's actually Android's strength.
    With Android, you can target phones, tablets, TV, and computers using the same code (and there's no need to re-compile or even re-package). You might find that it's pretty cool if you gave it a try. (I must admit, I succeeded by having the mind-set of "it's not Java, just a mobile version of C#")

    As for Windows... they've failed at making it even API compatible (even between versions of the same product in some cases).

    March 06, 2014 0:17

    You know what the difference is between Microsoft and Google, Apple ? I don't have to use Google (but I do); I don't have to use Apple, no, wait, I CAN'T use Apple because my wife needs tons of Windows-only apps. So yes, you are more evil, in the sense that the near-monopoly that you carefully crafted also gives you responsibility towards the users. And you don't seem to care.

    March 06, 2014 0:38
    Do I hate Microsoft? Not really.

    I suppose I left Microsoft a long time ago, when I tended to use out-dated computers, and about the only thing I could expect to run on it is Linux. Since then, I have noticed that whenever I come back to a Microsoft platform, I either can't do things that I did before, or if I can, the "copying" that Microsoft has done, is twisted in a subtle, yet horrible, way. Having said that, I grew up with MS-DOS, which is probably a major contributor to why I prefer command line prompts to this day.

    Whenever I find myself "hating" Microsoft, it's more because I have to use their product--usually because of my work environment--than anything else. Given my druthers, I'd rather just be left alone to use what I like. And I particularly like the culture of freedom embodied in Open Source Software, that is notably absent in the Microsoft ecosystem.

    (Incidentally, I sometimes hate Linux for similar reasons; I currently have the attitude that Linux is the least bad of all the options. I really wish I had the time to experiment with user experiences, so that I could figure out how to do things *right*!)
    March 06, 2014 4:13

    I've been with Microsoft since Windows 3.1 and I've gone through Visual C++ 2.0 on up to currently using Visual Studio 2013. But I'm actively looking for alternatives. The only reason I haven’t switched already is I really don’t like Apple or Google. I've started installing and playing with different Linux versions. The biggest reason I'm looking at leaving is because since I first read this post a couple days ago my computer has asked me to update my 'Stale' license for Visual Studio and today just asked me to renew my developer license for Windows 8. I am constantly looking for license keys. I used to rebuild my PC for fun but now I'm afraid to touch anything because I might not be able to locate a license key for something that was working but stopped because I messed with add/removing features or wanted to reinstall something or whatever.

    I understand MS has to do something to keep people from stealing their stuff but they're going to kill themselves if it's too hard for people to user their stuff legally. Really, wouldn't it be better if (just throwing out numbers) 400 million people used valid copies of windows and a billion used a pirated copy rather than having 50 million people use a valid copy and a few thousand use pirated copies?

    I like Windows. I even like Windows 8. And I'm originally a Unix developer. I came from Vi, Makefiles, kornshell, and cpp. But I’m starting to think, besides a few exceptions like Visual Studio, the only think MS is good at is preventing people from using their stuff illegally.

    Anyway, I’ve had it and will be moving on. That was a pretty hard decision because I have so much invested in MS products, not just in my developer career. For development I can’t imagine anything nicer than Visual Studio and c# so I’m looking at using Mono on Linux. I also love Typescript and absolutely hate Javascript. So much so that I’d love to sit down with a developer that likes it and try to understand why. But that’s another topic.

    Oh, and I’ve also had an MSDN subscription (the highest level) since they used to come in a green cardboard holder with about 5-10 CDs.
    March 06, 2014 20:17
    Scott, your entire post here is a giant strawman. You're conveniently ignoring the many fresh reasons Microsoft has given us to hate them since the 90s:
    * Microsoft's support for SCO's attack on Linux (2000s)
    * Ramming OOXML through the ISO process despite its many technical flaws, with no reference implementation, and without even supporting it themselves (2007)
    * Windows 8 Metro (2013)
    * Microsoft's backfired friends-upgrade-friends campaign (2014) -
    * Microsoft "encouraging" corporate partners to spam the UK Cabinet Office in an attempt to get OOXML adopted alongside ODF ( This is the same tactic previously used in their ISO approval campaign.

    Also, I'm glad that you commented about openness at Microsoft. It's always struck me as particularly hypocritical that Microsoft is a big fan of openness when it comes to markets where they are being badly beaten (Azure, Silverlight, Mobile) but they take the exact opposite posture when it comes to areas where they are a competitive (Windows, Office, Xbox). Microsoft's commitment to openness ends the moment they have a successful product.
    March 08, 2014 21:04
    250K + Lines of WPF C# since 2007

    Oct 2011 sinofski takeover probably ancient history eh?
    how does microscroged sound ?
    BTW scroogled campaign is so classy,

    Hey Dad what does scroogled mean ?
    Well son,it a Microsoft marketing word that means getting screwed by google.

    Dad what does what is getting screwed mean?
    You know like screwed hard in the a$$ sans reach around, like the WPF Devs.

    March 11, 2014 2:03
    I think the whole thing around using fakes, code lens not available except to the high priced edition of Visual Studio is a good example of why people feel the way they do about Microsoft. Why couldn't MS provide that to lover level subscriptions? We are a very small shop and those new features would greatly help us but not at premium or ultimate edition prices. Microsoft says they listen to their developers and care but this is a good example where they care more about dangling a carrot to get people to upgrade.

    March 11, 2014 7:51
    First i want to say, that just yesterday I was was having a conversation about what the "new" Microsoft might be like. Its a different world now.
    But I feel the big deal in the anti-trust case was not browser bundling but the intentional "breaking" of java to kill the growing java platform. That was down and out dirty tricks.
    March 11, 2014 19:32
    I just learned to hate Microsoft in the '90s due to their supreme focus on obfuscation and complication (I was a late adopter, I could have started much sooner.) their software still seems to advance these principals as the core functionality, but as the years go by I am less and less willing to endure the abuse. When I erred by purchasing a Windows 8 License, I realized that I could not stomach the ordeal just one more time and switched to Linux.
    I'm pretty much over the crimes of the '90s, but the ongoing anti-consumerism is unrelenting and I just can't see an end. No thanks.
    March 20, 2014 22:53
    I'm primarily a Linux user, lost to Microsoft since its behavior in 2003-2004. I haven't really liked the general direction since 2001, especially the walled garden aspect of Win8, and their APIs and longstanding low level quirks always made me say WTF, but I must admit that I love Typescript. Anders Hejlsberg has always done great work.
    March 20, 2014 23:04
    it is not that I hate Microsoft
    It is that I think it has more credit than it gave to the community.
    Except for XAML, and Linq, I don't think Microsoft came with one smart idea.
    on the other hand , (and because you brought the comparison with Google and Apple), both these companies, they perfect everything they do and they innovate in anything they do.
    Yes, Microsoft moved to open source and follow the standard, but after it lost its war.
    I think if Microsoft succeeded in closing the web standard, by how it started with IE 6, then we will not have today success on the web.
    And still, up to date, can you tell me one cool thing Microsoft did that it innovate?
    it was the last company that introduced something new to the mobile world.
    Can you argue that the stupidity of Java and Oracle allowed .NET to survive?
    and still .NET is trying to catch up with the web world.
    March 22, 2014 20:52
    You did your best, so relax and try not to worry, we are all human.
    The Emmy Nominations for 2012 are as follows, along with predicted wins.

    Fans of Breaking Bad are in for a serious treat tonight as AMC has decided to provide
    a Breaking Bad live stream of the premiere episode.
    March 26, 2014 9:28
    I have been programming for Microsoft platform for most of my programmer life. Still, the 90's stories about how MS arm twisted competition are out there for every one to see.

    Just to a case in point - read about the Pen API, and its history with GO corp. The tricks that Microsoft used to stifle GO corp competition are documented by Jerry Kaplan (founder of GO) in his book "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure". Of course, it may be a biased perspective, Kaplan being an interested party ... but the points he made are not completely out of paranoia.

    Microsoft may be changing, but the historical baggage of their image will not go away anytime soon.
    March 26, 2014 15:12
    When the abstraction was over and the advice was caked through, 1,145 of the aboriginal participants either died or had some blazon of dementia.One in almost every 3.7 women who said she brushed her teeth beneath than already per day in 1992 developed dementia. Alone about one in every 4.5 women who brushed her teeth at atomic already per day concluded up developing dementia.
    March 31, 2014 16:33
    Microsoft has done some pretty bad things to my company in the past. It continues to do some now (patent troll etc), I don't need to use Microsoft, so given my personal experience with them, when possible I will look at other solutions first (its also a lot easier to manage OS licences). I don't hate them, but I don't trust them, they earnt the black marks they wear.
    I do hate some of their lame ads though :-)
    April 01, 2014 6:50
    Relative youngster here (23, almost 24).

    I don't hate Microsoft in general, but I absolutely despise the Windows + Office user interfaces. Besides the atrocities committed in trying to smash Metro/Modern onto the main desktop environment in Windows 8, Ribbon interfaces destroy the hierarchical-menu navigation work flow that makes the non-Google segment of this flowchart useful, and the Win32 Console environment makes me feel like someone chopped my hands off and is expecting to me to operate the computer by mashing my nose into the keyboard.

    That said, I love most of the stuff coming out of Microsoft Research, .NET would be cool if cross platform support wasn't limited to Mono (i.e., if it was *actually* open sourced across the board), and I really don't know anything about Azure so I can't complain there.
    April 02, 2014 0:33
    Can I hate Microsoft for buying Skype and rewriting its architecture so the feds could snoop on all traffic? How about *still* dragging their feet with Internet Explorer 10 and 11?

    Or just for still not being able to churn out a decent UI that isn't modelled on some superficial technicality a user shouldn't have to care about.
    April 03, 2014 7:07
    Having wasted the morning trying to disable UEFI crap so I could boot a laptop into Linux from DVD, by hatred of MS is fully rekindled. Only fools trust a repeat offender.
    April 04, 2014 6:25
    Sorry, but if Microsoft can't understand why people despise them so much, then they don't have much chance of retaining the dominant position that they are already losing.
    Microsoft has earned their reputation. I have no reason to forgive them, and fortunately I no longer have any reason to give them any money.
    April 07, 2014 19:36
    Japan has changed though in some instances Japan hasn't moved on and angers other. Case in point the comfort women and the war memorial that Japan continues to visit despite it pissing off china.

    That's Microsoft's problem. They've not really changed. The open doc format ordeal shows that. A lot of younger people do web development and still deal with the pains of ie6 - ie8.

    Young people can plainly see their Xbox is the most expensive option for no good reason. Charging a subscription fee to access twitter or Facebook, really?

    It's not that hard to feel that changes happen at Microsoft to enforce the sale of new products rather than a superior product being developed in order to make someone want it. Regardless of age being told you must upgrade to use direct-x does annoy many.
    April 07, 2014 23:55
    If we're portraying Microsoft hatred as disliking Japan for World War II then what is the best analogy for ignoring Microsoft's proxy lawsuit and FUD war against Linux? Holocaust denial?

    How are we all supposed to forget how, less than ten years ago, Microsoft paid SCO (the former Santa Cruz Operations of Microsoft) in an attempt to extract huge patent fees from the thousands of organizations using Linux-based products?

    Then they proceeded to attack the very idea of Open Source in press releases. They claimed that the software was a risk because it could have been stolen and that the very OSS licenses themselves would steal your organization's software, leaving you destitute. This all happened less than ten years ago. Is it any wonder people have been distrustful of a new, OSS-friendly Microsoft?

    This post is not unlike being angry at a woman for distrusting a serial abuser. We all hope and want to believe that Microsoft has changed, but we also have reason to hesitate.
    April 08, 2014 20:24
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    April 09, 2014 2:02
    Speaking of Microsoft making bad moves, when will they 180 on WPF/XAML and bring back support for it? Ironically, much like WinForms, the minute Microsoft dropped support for it, uptake and use of WPF jumped in the market and now WPF is rapidly becoming the new normal for Windows application development (even Metro apps are being made in XAML despite it not being officially supported, fancy that). I'm continually shocked by the number of companies that have still been developing and maintaining apps in WinForms and they are finally reaching end of life and looking for replacement frameworks - WPF/XAML is the obvious choice.

    I think Microsoft dropped the ball too early on WPF/XAML support, it's starting to get uptake and consideration - as well it should, it's the best application UI framework I've ever worked with. HTML5 is fun to play with, but even version 5 of HTML doesn't bring enough tools or power to the application development and UI toolkit to make it a worthwhile venture between the ease of web pages and the arcane power of DirectX. That's why I'm really hoping that Microsoft renews its interest in WPF/XAML and invests more time and effort into taking it to the next level.
    April 16, 2014 22:30
    Killing VB6 was unforgivable. Now is the time to bring it back.
    April 25, 2014 5:56
    Reading this article, it says "Hey we've done stupid stuff in the past but all of that is long in the past - forget about it...or its your fault."

    I use MS products everyday and like most of it - its usually pretty stable. Of anything, the death of silverlight hits more home the most for me. We were sold on it a few years back on it being a better data driven enterprise framework, now we have to spend time and resources to migrate it to html/javascript.

    The only other thing I can think, personally, is the 8.1 upgrade. Just read the thousands of threads where people can't update...even Bill Gates had problems. MS Support is virtually vacant usually only suggesting a reformat of the OS - a pathetic solution that doesn't work in some cases. It speaks loudly that unit testing wasn't thoroughly done.

    I think this came off a vent, and it wasn't intentional. My point was really, that don't pretend that MS doesn't have major problems just because your large court battles are decades ago. Glossing over history only dooms yourself to repeat it. Again, I like MS - i just don't love them.
    April 25, 2014 20:33
    Usability. I'm mentioning it after all those comments because it only flagged in two posts. People hate Microsoft because they get frustrated that they can not do what they want efficiently. What is worse is when Microsoft changes the operations of things that have been standard for years to attract a crowd with an attraction to "new" just to find out you have created 10 steps for something that should only take 1. I think the progression of this Sudoku GUI problem was something like Vista, Win7, Office, Win8. Now you are faced with the problem of losing your core "old" users while gaining the attraction of the "new" users that will just see through the absurd "ease of use" user interfaces created by your marketing team. I took a few conjectured liberties in the last sentence, but overall we just want a computer to be a computer, a phone to be a phone, and we want them to work without lifting a finger more times than is necessary. What happened to the Microsoft that was good at efficiency? I remember a story that I must have repeated to friends a hundred times.. "Bill Gates made the development team rewrite windows for X release because it took too long to load at startup. He said it takes 180 seconds to load, that is too long, we need to get that number down because we are wasting 180 seconds of over 1 million people's time each day and that adds up to a lot of wasted time." Value is in the efficiency and ease of use, not in colorful abstract blocks that send you on a hunt for calculator.

    So there are lots of reasons to "hate" Microsoft, but most of the time the problem is too convoluted for anyone to explain in passing conversation so they just stick to, "because they are evil".
    May 06, 2014 17:26
    Scott, I've written a blog post entirely dedicated to yours. I would appreciate if you read it and respond:
    May 08, 2014 17:24
    I do understand Microsoft is trying to change their image and become
    more open but you need to try harder and move faster. Since you seem
    to be taking suggestions seriously, here are some easy technical
    changes/choices that will prove to the community that you are willing
    and have the courage to change the harder cultural issues:

    • Make a commitment to donate $100 million a year to the Mozilla Foundation for the next five years with no strings attached. It's a win for Microsoft on many levels (not least of which is the P.R. win against the conditional support from Google).
    • Make some smaller but non-trivial monetary commitments to some other organizations and projects that stand for openness (EFF, SFC, SFLC,, FSF).
    • Join the Open Invention Network as a full member.
    • Unilaterally forgive/cancel the patent settlements against Android vendors. Make as much of those deals (and forgiveness details) public as the settlement and or vendor permits.
    • Open source Internet Explorer under a common OSS license.
    • Actively encourage and support an effort to port the now open IE to Linux and OS X.
    • Support VP8, Vorbis, and Opus in Internet Explorer.
    • Commit to making ODF formats first class by making ODF formats the default format for all Office products right away. This will be painful in the short term (because the support stinks), but it think it's the only way you will really show commitment both internally and externally.
    • Make a public commitment to stop influencing government legislation related to document formats. Enforce this with your partner organizations.
    • Add a requirement to your standards for OEM that requires their UEFI implementations to easily support booting alternate OS's. Make this mandatory for Windows certification.
    • Support WebRTC standardization and add support to IE even though it's technically inferior to your own CU-WebRTC. Continue to work on CU-WebRTC as a follow-on standard.
    May 16, 2014 18:50
    I am teaching & developing MS-Tech since 1999. Every year hundreds of students go through my course and most of them are happily settled in life. Especially it makes me happy to see those who are not-so-gifted as well able to get set somewhere in the value chain. Always been happy with the resources MS provided to empower us in numerous ways. We have always been productive and able to deliver.

    Change is the only constant, right? We missed some important trends which cost dearly, but nobody's perfect. We just try to improvise and get going. Due to numerous factors related to strategy:
    I. sometimes not in our control
    - few companies out innovate (which is good)
    II. sometimes in our control
    - biz decisions, wrong assessments, transparency(which is unfortunate)
    BIG course corrections to the ship are needed which affect everyone in the ecosystem. I can just go on mean-less/full like this.

    But I just like the great dev stuff that keeps coming from within MS and community.

    Comments are closed.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.