Which Platform I need to Choose for my personal Usage
For the past twenty-five years I have been involved in some aspect of software from development through testing and release. I am amazed that Microsoft can actually charge the public for using their products. No other industry would allow such faulty products on their shelves. Yet they remain the dominant provider of software in the PC market.
How does the average person keep their computer running? I consider myself at least an above-average PC user and consistently have to repair my computer from damage caused by Microsoft software. No more than two or three days can go by without one of their products causing my PC to die. Case in point, prior to writing this article I was using Outlook express deleting about 60 spam emails when I took an unrecoverable fault. I tried to re-open Outlook Express but had to restart my computer to get the application running again.
I follow all the best practices to maintain my computer. I have downloaded the myriad of software updates from the Microsoft support site including all the latest Windows ME, Internet Explorer, Media Player, etc. At a modem speed of only 56K, this is no small task. A major service package takes hours to download and install. I have Norton Utilities and constantly run the Window Doctor to find new problems after a few days of using my computer. When I move documents, broken links occur. Every time one of their products blow-up, it destroys the integrity of the file system. Incorrect free space, bad links, you name it and it will happen to you. I run Speed Disk regularly to maintain a fragmentation of less than 10%. Because of Microsoft product memory leaks, I even restart my computer every two to three days.
With all these preventive actions I still get illegal instructions executed in their products. I am not a rocket scientist and do not run any of their products in any special way. Yet only their products seem to exhibit this faulty code syndrome. From running Links, their golf simulator, to just using Word, I have had failures in all of their software. Other products such as Quicken, or Norton software never dies.
My experience in software began in the late 1970s and I have worked in software for over thirty years. You would think that by 2000 we could start doing some things better. Yet the user interface and poor reliability of their products seem to be getting worse. If we can design software to get us to the moon or run flight control systems, why can’t we expect a fault-tolerant operating system and applications from a company the size of Microsoft? I think part of the reason is that they have an attitude that the users are testers and give it to the customer to find the problems. Their Beta release strategy lacks any sound strategy and their products continue to fail. Why else would they build an automatic system to report failures back to them? You get this “would you like to file an incident report” question when some of their software fails. Maybe you do not get the opportunity on all failures, just some of them. After reporting some 30 or so reports I have never received a response from them on any of the bugs. Why file?
I guess until someone comes out with a competitive product that is easier to use and much more reliable we will continue to buy their products. Perhaps the mountain of software that already exists is to high for any competitor to climb. I have used a MAC many years ago and was impressed that it was much easier to use and never crashed. I guess the next time I look to upgrade, I will switch to Apple products. In some small way, it might satisfy my need to make a statement about Microsoft products. I guess I should be thankful. I actually wrote this whole article without Microsoft Word crashing on me. Of course, I haven’t tried to save the file yet!
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