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Sat, Dec 31, 2005

[Icon][Icon]Comments on "What's wrong with Microsoft?"

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38 comments

jlyvers
Comment from: jlyvers [Visitor]
You hit the nail on the head. I got my mother a computer and its been nothing but problems for her. I got her books to help her understand, she wont read them. There are people who simply dont have to learn the computer and they subject themselfs to Windows so they can email and play games. My Uncle is the same. My cousin and I are always having to clean up our parents computers. Now my children are learning Linux because it really is easier to learn. There is more information and more people willing to share the info for Linux administration than Windows. It seems Windows admin folks know they have a high demand commodity and dont share the knowledge but Linux folks are always willing to help and guide you through UNDERSTANDING what, how, why to do what needs done. The community of Linux users are what will put Windows out the window. The only problem I see is as gpl the companies will never get on the band wagon and create all the really neat games that people are useing on Windows. I hope Im wrong on that point and the Linux community comes through again with code bashers to make high end graphics games for the masses. Thanks for your writting and time will show you are right.
07/01/07 @ 14:57
Yien Bin
Comment from: Yien Bin [Visitor] · http://www.nixser.com/
Nice article dude, it's the users that MS created.
07/01/07 @ 17:21
Ben Staniford
Comment from: Ben Staniford [Visitor] · http://www.staniford.net
Ah so true,

So many windows users so many of my hours spent trying to fix their systems after they've been spywared to death. And the irony.... I don't even use windows myself!

Having said this, it doesn't really make sense to "blame" the users.... after all, we don't expect electricity users to understand their electricity supply. We live in a diverse society where people have a little skill in many areas... it isn't really feasible for most people to have more than a smattering of understanding about their computer. Computing I'm afraid is just the same as everything else, we don't expect to be carpenters to use a chair, we don't expect to have plumbing skills to take a bath. Equally, we don't expect to understand the art of being a sysadmin just to use our computers. It's the simple economics of knowledge. Most people know a lot about one thing and just enough about everything else to get by.

Personally, I think it's the job of computer professionals to solve these problems. It should not be the case that installing windows and attaching it to the Internet will result in your machine being instantly zombified. There is no excuse for this. Windows needs to get paternalistic with it's users..... without irritating pro's who don't generally like being too coddled,...tricky tricky...
08/01/07 @ 11:34
Anil Kumar Sharma
Comment from: Anil Kumar Sharma [Visitor]
1. Agreed, Things are wrong with MS - but Who/what is perfect in this world!
2. Take one PC-XT and load whatever you may get (mind you - got to pay for it, no freeware ...) in those two 1.2MB floppy discs ... and try to write the blah blah me you or any body has posted here or anywhere ... come on what the hell! If we believe in "tomorrow will be better" than it implies worse has just gone by yesterday and good/bad is happening today.
3. Please be brave hearted to take this one ... Here in this part of the world, they say "d**s b**k on elephants"!
4. Given a chance who will not like to become GOD or for that matter give me a chance and I wannabe BG and it is after knowing that "lower your standards if you are not success".
5. And finally, I think humans like me and you have created MS, so whats up man?
Thank you (for ignoring/forgiving this)
11/01/07 @ 12:42
joe
Comment from: joe [Visitor] · http://wadawd.com
Very nice!
I have a dual boot between windows and Linux

Linux is already as easy to use as windows!
I prefer Linux over windows any day!
21/01/07 @ 22:18
vin
Comment from: vin [Visitor] · http://www.spinskills.com
cool !! :) and Interesting

22/01/07 @ 20:15
Lior Yosub
Comment from: Lior Yosub [Visitor]
Nice article / post.
You might have something here, about kids being born to a world where internet is everywhere would be better users. i think that just being born in this time isn't enough, but with proper guiding you could create a generation of "smart-users". my sister is 10 years old, using a computer form the day she could sit in front of it. she has no idea how it works, but she knows that she shouldn't open a mail from an unknown source, or that if the firewall pops up she should call me or my brother.
12/02/07 @ 10:49
LaRoza
Comment from: LaRoza [Visitor]
You're right. Go to computerjokes.net and read the joke title "If people bought cars like they buy computers.."

04/04/07 @ 19:17
Basti
Comment from: Basti [Visitor] Email
Hi,

very nice article, i hope my school english is good enough to understand it totaly ;)

I was a clueless-user as well, but since i use Linux i start questioning the way my computer works. You speak true. Good work.

greetz
Basti

PS: i find your article by the German translation by Felix Schwarz.
21/04/07 @ 20:18
King
Comment from: King [Visitor] Email
very true. i am not as "clued-up" as some, but i know more about windows than most of the worlds dimwitted population. i do know that Linux is way better than windows. 8l_l7 7l-l3l\l l_l5 l-l4X025 vv0l_ll) l-l4v3 4 l-l42l)32 7!/\/\3 5(23vv!l\l9 vv/ 7l-l353 /\/\020l\l5. but malware is a little bit above the top. i don't do that, just screw w/ teh morons
21/07/07 @ 01:22
wayne
Comment from: wayne [Visitor] Email · http://www.pequod2000.com
I have always been concerned about how Bill'$ outlook
express made it a needlessly laborious process to see /read the headers in rcvd email.

I think THAT financed the SPAM Industry.

Some were discouraged from attempting to find suspicious origins ...
29/07/07 @ 21:13
Rob
Comment from: Rob [Visitor] Email
Not sure I am as optimistic as you... My kids are at school and they are taught to use all Microsoft products and Dreamweaver for web design. They are taught absolutely nothing about PC security and, as is normal for kids, have no concept of the arseholes in the world who enjoy making their online experience a misery.

It seems that the clueless are teaching the kids thus continuing the problem. As you say, changing to Linux is not going to solve the problem - the only reason Linux doesn't suffer is because only PC savvy people are using it. When the idiots start to turn up to the party you can guarantee the problems will start to come out.
05/12/07 @ 10:31
Ponder
Comment from: Ponder [Visitor]
Thank you for writing that, I felt it was quite insightful. I was pleased to see that you used 'cracker' instead of 'hacker' to describe the people writing malicious code.
03/01/08 @ 16:21
Acoyani Garrido Sandoval
Comment from: Acoyani Garrido Sandoval [Visitor] Email
As said above, you just hammered down the very point of why Windows computers seem to be so prone to malware infections. I will tell my personal story here.

Nowadays, every time some preppy dude from finances, marketing, law or business says his computer is screwed, the first questions I ask are the following:
1.- Do you have an antivirus that's not Norton?
2.- Do you have a cable modem?
3.- Do you use Internet Explorer?
4.- Do you see pop-up ads or did you suddenly had a weirdo bar on your Internet Explorer screen?
5.- What did you do when your computer started acting up?

Here's the reason why I ask these questions:
1.- I can't tell how much people either have no antivirus at all, or trust crappy-ass Norton to keep their computer clean. Like you said, they do believe having an antivirus is some sort of good thing, but that's it; they don't know how to use it, and they think popular equals good and go with Norton (though I admit it, they sometimes go with not-so-bad McAfee). I always ask this question to begin with; if they say no, I suggest them ClamWin or AVG.
2.- ADSL modems here in Mexico are at the same time router, switch, transceiver and firewall; and it's a good firewall by the way. Cable modems, on the other hand, are just a lame-ass transceiver that just converts your Ethernet signals to DOCSIS signals, and they offer absolutely no security at all; since these people are usually clueless, that means they don't have a software-based firewall in their computer, which means their front door is wide open to crackers, virii and malware.
3.- Any computer-savvy person nowadays knows the relationship between having a lot of malware and virii and being an IE user is self-explainatory.
4.- I ask this one to see if it's pure and simple malware or something nastier.
5.- If the answer is "I don't know", which is by far the most common, that means he's a hopeless, clueless ditz who allowed his computer to become contaminated with Internet trash.

And why these people are so damn clueless? Simple: because they've been tricked into believing you don't have to know anything at all about computers. I can't tell all the times when I've told people some technical stuff about computers, and they just answer with "I don't care about all this technical mumbojumbo; I just use computers, that's it". Well, flash news: even though you don't have to be a computer engineer to use one, using a computer doesn't means you can be oblivious to the basic knowledge you need to use them, stuff like being aware that Windows is insecure and needs a firewall, an antimalware, an antivirus, and all the official updates to stay safe. I'm not asking people to understand everything about data structures and algorithms; I'm just asking them to be aware of this simple stuff. If they learn it, great, that's all you need, I'm not asking for anything more; if they don't, they'll pay the consequences.

And finally, just to add something, have you noticed how being an electronics, networks, or computer student automatically makes you an expert computer technician to the eyes of untrained people? As if studying these majors gave you an instant expert aura that causes everybody to automatically assume you can do even do stuff that breaks the laws of physics. Everybody starts asking you how you do this, how you do that, can you fix this and that, can you "hack" (as in the clueless way of saying "crack") a college score, blah blah blah. While I like the chance of practicing my skills this way, this sometimes makes me feel irritated to no end. >_<
21/02/08 @ 07:08
Matthew Huynh
Comment from: Matthew Huynh [Visitor] Email
Very nice article. I'm pretty sure that Windows (and OSX) will coexist with Linux because they are just the big powers... they're basically 3 levels of computer skill. The more you know about computers, the more you want to use a more powerful interface.

On another note, I'm actually planning on dual-booting Linux very soon. It will be a fun adventure!
19/05/08 @ 18:10
Hi,
I posted your article in our forum, and I just wanted to ask your permission. consider going to the given url and see if I should add something there.
actually I found the article great, and enjoyed reading it. waiting for your future articles.

Cheers,
Perham
Moderator of ComputerForumz.com
24/05/08 @ 12:41
Jorh Kiir
Comment from: Jorh Kiir [Visitor]
Come down to earth, maybe 5 years ago it was possible to run a Windows computer safely, AD 2008 this is not the case any more. Any Windows computer running any browser can be infected in a malicious web site regardless what "protection software" is used. Period. Read the news and stop misleading your readers. Simply, the virus protection principle to blacklist KNOWN threats is not sufficient any more. Only POSIX model to whitelist allowed users/processes can cope. Amen.
04/06/08 @ 23:03
chi
Comment from: chi [Visitor] Email · http://42gems.com
i don't think that the new and younger generation of computer users are going to grow up to become more aware of computer security. most people really just don't give a crap, and they have no problem with buying a new computer ever other year because their current one is freakin' slow 'cause its loaded down malware. most people want a computer that "just works."
13/07/08 @ 02:49
Kewl Munky
Comment from: Kewl Munky [Visitor] Email
Amazing article. I grew up with computers. I vaguely remember windows 3.1 and 95, but my computer memories really start with 98. I can't believe how stupid I used to be on a computer. I eventually found out what can really happen over the internet and started being much more careful.

I'm currently running a Windows Vista (yeah I downgraded) and Linux, distribution Debian dual boot. I only use windows for games. Everything else I do on linux. People ask, "What can you do on Linux that you can't on Windows?" I respond with, "The question really is, what can you do on Windows that you can't on Linux?" The answer is play a lot of newer games, but that's slowly changing. Wine is vastly improving, and some developers are starting to talk about releasing Linux clients. I hope I can eventually play any new game I want on Linux and get rid of Windows.

I really hope I'm alive when the world is clued-up about the internet. I want to see Microsoft fall, and hard.
11/08/08 @ 05:55
Prestidigination
Comment from: Prestidigination [Visitor] Email
I'm no fan of the Microsoft Corporation. That said, a personal computer should be easy to use with little or no knowledge needed to maintain and use.
Linux has a very very long way to go and the safety and stability of Macs is a myth.
Sure, I use linux at home, but I know it's not for most. Just getting a wireless card to work can be a nightmare.
Windows works. That's the bottom line. People will always do silly things. That's a fact of life.
We cannot expect people to 'evolve' into internet savvy computer experts. It just will not happen.
Let's not sit on a high horse and laugh at those who ask 'dumb' questions. All that will accomplish is to make asking questions something to avoid.
We can only do our part to help those who need it by offering advice, developing better programs, and making sure we aren't part of the problems.
21/08/08 @ 17:05
Charley
Comment from: Charley [Visitor] Email
So, if someone wants to watch TV, or purchase a DVD and watch it, they are supposed to know how encryption or radio frequency transmission works?

You drive a car? Do you expect everyone driving a car to understand the physics of combustion or the function of a catalytic converter?

I disagree. I dislike Microsoft as well - but you can't expect people to understand these things or want to understand these things just to make use of the Internet.

The Internet isn't for college professors, scientists and engineers anymore. It is for everybody.

That said, does MS have an obligation to make secure products - they do. But how do malware, viruses, etc propagate? Via NETWORKS.

Do you blame the maker of your telephone because you get calls from telemarketers or pranks?

Who might have control over that? YOUR PHONE COMPANY.

So, I'm placing the bulk of the responsibility on the folks who make money providing the connections to monitor what is happening on their networks. Spam? Virus traffic coming from a subscriber? SHUT EM DOWN. Plain and simple. This is how good corporate IT handles this in the business world.

You can't blame the users. Computers aren't just for geeks and techies any more than the telephone is a scientific curiosity. Provide the users with a decent product, and actively monitor the types of traffic on your network.
22/08/08 @ 19:32
oneandoneis2
Comment from: oneandoneis2 [Member] · http://geekblog.oneandoneis2.org/
It's always disheartening to see that there are still people in the world who are capable of reading an entire article and failing to understand the actual point it makes.

Drivers don't need to understand how an internal combustion engine works. Viewers don't need to know anything about CSS encryption. Users don't need to understand how an X86 chip works.

But drivers DO and SHOULD have to know what road signs mean, and what the road markings mean, and what the basic laws of the road are. Viewers Do and SHOULD know that they can't watch a DVD by putting it into a CD player.

And computer users SHOULD but frequently DON'T know that they should have an anti-virus and a firewall installed and kept up to date. They should know that chain letters are not going to make them rich. They should know that opening an email attachment from somebody they don't know is a dumb thing to do. They should know that just because an email claims to be from your bank, it doesn't necessarily mean that it IS from your bank.

You can't drive a car without proving you have a reasonable level of knowledge and skill. Nobody questions this is a good idea: Using a car without this makes it likely that you will harm the people around you, or yourself, through incompetence.

And yet, using a computer without a certain level of knowledge means you are also likely to harm people or yourself: Your computer getting malware on could result in bad people knowing your bank account details, your passwords, your address, your confidential business secrets. It could turn your machine into a spam-spewing zombie machine. It could do lots of nasty things.

For many of the problems that plague them, I can and I do blame the users. Because it's their fault, every bit as much as it would be if they bought a car and tried to drive it without ever taking a lesson.
23/08/08 @ 00:20
desnu
Comment from: desnu [Visitor] Email
Good read. Thank you. I like how you just tell it like it is. I'm a programmer. I also like to keep it clear and simple. To add to your online article: Microsoft is bloat. Linux is lean. Another reason why the world is switching from Microsoft to Linux is because 1. we are sick and tired of overloaded memory, orphan threads, and useless DLLs loaded and never used, which leads to crashes and slowdowns; and 2. we are sick and tired of new Microsoft O/S versions requiring new hardware. Dell and others are at the mercy of Microsoft because of their deals. Power users who are aware of what goes on inside have 2 excellent choices: MAC with high costs, or Linux for free.
29/08/08 @ 15:37
Mac
Comment from: Mac [Visitor]
it isn't microsoft, the symbol was windows, microsoft is for pcs and macs
05/12/08 @ 04:12
Jimi
Comment from: Jimi [Visitor] Email · http://leo-garth.deviantart.com
YES!!! Thank you! I didn't know others thought what this article says! And don't forget Mac doing the same thing XD

And I liked your ending. I had no idea that's been happening, even though I'm totally one of those new people who grow up with computers. You gave me hope.
17/12/08 @ 23:40
Jimi
Comment from: Jimi [Visitor] Email · http://leo-garth.deviantart.com
BTW Mac, Microsoft doesn't give a crap about Mac. Mac is made by Microsoft's rival, Apple. Maybe you're confusing them with Macsoft.
17/12/08 @ 23:41
Sinan Aykut
Comment from: Sinan Aykut [Visitor]
Thanks for the reverse-angle:) As you say, this is not MS-LX flame wars. It's just above. It's about knowledge and computers.

If you don't mind, I want to translate this article to turkish (maybe with some additions).

Do you give permission for such kind of things?
14/02/09 @ 00:11
Yuta
Comment from: Yuta [Visitor]
Thank you! When my friends ask me why I switched to Linux I direct them to your articles. Aside from the content and ideas - I want to say that I admire your writing manner. Clear, simple and elegant. Looking forward for something new = )
Thank you again
30/04/09 @ 21:35
Someone
Comment from: Someone [Visitor]
Your point is true... Well... partly

The main blame is not on MS for this, If linux started in the same environment and was the lead OS by then with easy to use GUI, it would have attracted the same mindsets which "ruined" the world according to your expression.

I am not a MS fan at all, However I don't think that this is MS's fault, This scenario would have happened with ANY era-starting OS, nothing would have stopped that, its the human nature.

As you said, things will be fixed up as time goes, but not because Linux (or mac) will be much spreaded, its because the current generation will have more clue on what they are doing on computers.
20/07/09 @ 21:22
The website I included here exposes Microsoft as the POS corporation it really is. I was already very pissed at the many Windows annoyances in the past, and at MS's *utter* lack of innovation. The above article only further fans the flame.

And Bill Gates is going philanthropist? He's got no ethics! A charlattan trying to appear all wise and compassionate.

All I ask from this corporation is that they put users' need on top. But look at IE and its numerous problems; the age-old Notepad that can't handle \n, that has no line counter, whose cursor jumps when you save; the crappy Search feature; the fact that IE doesn't support Javascript but JScript because they don't want to use the word Java? It pisses me off!

Microsoft, and its entire management, are a bunch of small, greedy, shameless cheaters. I hope Jobs will bring them to their knees!
22/05/10 @ 01:19
Matt
Comment from: Matt [Visitor] · http://matttsoft.webatu.com/
I, too, agree with you. MS try to make there OS easy to use; but the problem is that they make it too easy. Most MS Users don't even know how a OS works. Linux is the dead opposite. It's hard to start using; but its that hardness that makes it interesting. If your inquisitive like me the fact that everything is Open Source is heaven! If you have a problem with Linux; I'm more then sure you will be able to fix it (unless your problem is something stupid; like mentioned in the Linux != Windows page). And its all that that makes me love Linux so much.
I cant stand clueless MS Users.
18/07/10 @ 00:25
Rav Casley Gera
Comment from: Rav Casley Gera [Visitor] Email · http://ravcasleygera.com
Wow, it's amazing just how 100% wrong this has turned out to be. The direction of travel isn't smarter users, it's dumber and dumber users: when we're all using an iPad, the issues you cite will go away because people simply won't be able to install anything that isn't pre-approved.

You can wail about how awful that is, and you're probably right. But it recognises something your article profoundly misses: good design works the way the user expects it to, it doesn't force the user to learn new skills. You don't seem to consider the possibility that MS not requiring people to have a computing degree to check their email is a really, really good thing.
20/07/10 @ 11:20
Det
Comment from: Det [Visitor]
That was some really good writing :). Had a good time reading a text produced by someone who actually knows about stuff and what he's talking about.
26/07/10 @ 18:23
Gypsy Chief
Comment from: Gypsy Chief [Visitor] Email · http://kakoluri.com/turning-to-slackware/
Saw this article years ago as a linked tagline in Linux Questions website I think. I was 54, doing real estate appraisals on typewriters when someone showed me how to turn a computer on. Today, I'm 74 and dedicated to Slackware Linux/GNU. This is very well written. People say Slack is for 'advanced' Linux users. Not true. You just have to be able to read and follow instructions. When I use Windows XP I have Clamwin, AdAware, Zone Alarm, and Spybot Search and Destroy running. Then they all try to auto upgrade at the same time. Rats!
24/02/11 @ 06:47
Habib Alamin
Comment from: Habib Alamin [Visitor] · http://habibalamin.com
My comments aren't showing up, I don't know if they are going through.
20/12/11 @ 09:32
Habib Alamin
Comment from: Habib Alamin [Visitor] · http://habibalamin.com
Nice article, but you said in your article, "This has probably been Microsoft's greatest strength through the years. They give you a computer that you can use almost instantly. No knowledge required."

I disagree. I think we all know this is Apple's space. Countless studies come to this conclusion, while MS faked a study in their favour. Find out more at macvspc.info.

The second thing you say is, "Windows has been blamed heavily for being a hugely insecure OS. Viruses plague it, malware infests it. The blame isn't entirely down to the OS. It's perfectly possible to use a Windows PC without ever getting hit by malware. I've done it, never had a virus of spyware on one of my computers, and I've used Windows since 3.1. A clued-up user can be perfectly safe using Windows."

How can Linux and OS X be so secure and Windows not? I will not accept the marketshare argument and these article will detail why:
geekshovel . com/ ? p = 145
kensegall . com/blog/2011/02/the-last-mac-myth/

And here's two pieces I wrote on MacDEFENDER a while back:
habibalamin . com/2011/05/23/macdefender-implications-opinion/
habibalamin . com/2011/05/31/pay-attention-dont-panic/
20/12/11 @ 09:33
Habib Alamin
Comment from: Habib Alamin [Visitor] · http://habibalamin.com
You make a good point at 23/08/08 @ 00:20.
20/12/11 @ 09:34
Stephor
Comment from: Stephor [Visitor] Email
Suppose someone was selling cars in my local town. Base model start at around $250 and the fully equipped business model with all the trimming over $1000. I come along with my own car which I claim is as good as the fully equipped business model with all the trimmings. I give my car away. Free. Drive away, no more to pay.

If 20 years later 5% of the cars in town are my model. Where do I get off claiming my car is a superior model? Car owners have voted. They would rather pay for the oppositions car than accept a free one from me.

The obvious question is "what's wrong with my car?". It would be insulting if the only question I asked was "what's wrong with these car owners?". I would be pointless and laughable if I asked "what's wrong with the oppositions car?".

For 20 years I've been pedaling a car that very few people want, and I've refused to accept there might be a problem with the car. It's just misunderstood! If only car buyer would take a closer look! Come on, you have a bigger problem than a marketing issue.

You are not giving people what they want. If you were, you'd be rushed off your feet. Doesn't matter what you think about the product, it is not what the market wants. Address this problem, and there might be, just might be, a way forward.
08/04/12 @ 04:03
 

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