It Is Time to Give Microsoft a Fair Trial

by HSG on Jul 26, 2012 in Articles from Software Fans

Is it possible for anyone to give Microsoft a fair trial? The first half of 2012 is in the history books. Yet the firm still cannot seem to shake the public opinion as The Evil Empire that produces crap code.

I am in a unique position. I joined the orbit of Microsoft in 1973 after the Army decided it didn't need photographers flying around in helicopters in Vietnam anymore. I was sent to Fort Lewis and assigned to 9th Finance because I had a smattering of knowledge about computers. And the Army was going to a computerized payroll system.

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Bill and Paul used the University of Washington's VAX PDP computer to create BASIC for the Altair computer. Certainly laughable by today's standards, it is the very roots of the home computer.

Microsoft became successful because it delivered what people wanted.

As time marched on, I repeatedly turned down offers to become an employee. It was a combination of valuing my freedom as much as dreading an infamous 'Bill meeting'.

As the firm grew, so did its arrogance. Looking at what they did to both Netscape and Novell, the word ruthless does not even begin to describe.

And history has proven arrogance sows the seeds of defeat. Just look back at Microsoft Bob, Adolf Hitler, and Microsoft's MP3 player, Zune.

Notably, I did not mention Windows Vista. That was a hurry up replacement to XP for reasons I will not disclose until I am sure XP has been wiped off the planet. However I will advise you if you are using XP today, the sword of Damocles hangs over your head. At the very least, switch to a GUI-based Linux, now.

Certainly Microsoft has had other fiascoes. I can almost hear Rodney Dangerfield now saying: "take my Windows Phone, Please!" And certainly even our current CEO, Steve Ballmer, makes blunders. Announcing a product as vaguely described as the new highbred ultrabook/tablet, Surface, taking away the thunder from the MS Phone team shipping MS Phone version 8, is nothing less than a stupid blunder.

Industry pundits go on and on about how stupid Microsoft is, getting rid of the start button in its upcoming Windows. I guess it's a lot easier to bitch about something than to study it. I have been studying Windows 8 for 10 months now.

NT Version 6.2 (Windows 8) does not reveal the code overhaul that began with Vista. Why they are not calling it NT Version 7 is something I cannot fathom. Microsoft has done a remarkable job of keeping old code running by grabbing every subsystem and DLL, putting them on a diet, and giving them security scrutiny worthy of what a Secret Service agent must pass to be on presidential detail.

In short, Windows 8 is not your father's Windows. It even blows away Windows 7 by a considerable amount.

Depending on the hardware the Windows Surface version ships with, it may well become a runaway huge hit. This is because while employees are clamoring for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), it's expensive for the IT department to vet out all that different hardware.

It may be Revenge of the CIO time to just bless the highbred tablet/ultra book for BYOD. It would certainly save the corporations IT budgets.

And Windows 8 runs lean and mean enough to get a real job done on a lack of resources that it defies understanding.

As I create this entry, a share of Microsoft is trading under $30. I submit to you now was a good time to look under the sofa cushions for the lost change and by share or two. Currently, Microsoft stock is trading for chump change. That will not be the case when the world catches up with what Redmond has been up to.

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