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What's so bad about Microsoft?

http://www.kmfms.com/whatsbad.html

I pretty much don't care, but this makes for interesting reading.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 2nd, 2006
I got a feel for the general tripe-ishness of the article right at the outset.

"The new features and the increased processing requirements are designed to fuel the process of perpetual upgrades. This is Microsoft's way of rubbing Intel's back so that Intel will give Microsoft preferential treatment when it comes out with new chip specs."

Pardon the language, but what a load of shit. I also love how it glosses over something rather humorous:

"Did you realize 486's are still usable machines if you're running something other than Microsoft's latest software? For instance, Linux worked great on 486's back when they were the top of the line and amazingly enough it didn't stop working on them once the Pentiums came out."

Funny stuff - so Linux circa 486s still runs on 486s? Wow, almost like Windows 3.1 still runs on 486s. The Linux of today, of course, like a lot of open source software, is incredibly resource intensive, and while you have more flexibility to tweak it (e.g. headless, with zero unnecessary services) for ultra-compactness, on a standard users desktop with a GUI, Linux is as much of a resource pig, or worse, than Windows is. Some Linux desktops already feature Avalon-type functionality (at least vector 2D graphics)
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 2nd, 2006
I dunno, Dennis. I've run recent Linux versions on my old 486.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 2nd, 2006
the current linux works *perfectly* on a 386 we are using as a server. Its even fast enough to handle a medium-continuous amount of web traffic with a heap of dynamic content.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 2nd, 2006
I'm still running Access on a 486 so your assumptions about Linux and Microsoft are PATENTLY false!
Permalink Bryce Richard 
January 2nd, 2006
The page seems largely correct from what I've skimmed, though they could cite the Intel thing.

I would prefer such articles to strike deeper though. For example, the "bloatware conspiracy" isn't Microsoft-specific -- it is shared with probably any industry one can name. (Or very many, at least.) New justifications are needed to upgrade to the shiny new version.

Criticisms of Wal-Mart are similar. They're not the only ones who engage in their practices; though of course they're an important target, and since they have many competitors, there's somewhat more incentive to strike at Wal-Mart.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 2nd, 2006
About the bloatware, has this guy even used the mainstream Linux distros? Bah! Bloatware galore!
Permalink Greg 
January 2nd, 2006
It looks like a lot of the other articles I've seen about it.

Personally, it's not Microsoft that I don't like as much as companies who refuse to belief that other alternatives exist. For example, at the current company I work for (of which this is my last week) they wanted to include a scriptable element in one of the apps. So what do they reach for? Perl? Ruby? Python? VBScript? Nope, because it is a .NET app written in C#, they felt that it will be best to write this thing which accepts C# code and compiles it on the fly using CodeDom. Never mind that some of the scripting languages menioned have .NET bridges (which work well IME).

Other than that, Microsoft does what's good for Microsoft. They're a business. Business' ony respond to market pressure, and now that Linux and the Open Source movement is big enough, they'll respond to it. A wonderful example is them including a test runner and test annotations in C# 2.0 (NUnit is still superior). You want them to change? Hit 'em in the pocketbooks, and they'll gladly listen.
Permalink Cory Foy 
January 2nd, 2006
What is so bad about bloatware?

People aren't running 486s any more.And if they are they are also running the software that came with it.

Also Micorsoft is by no means the worst offender. Apart from tne massive bloat of programs such as Open Office and any state-of-the-art-as-it-was-years-ago-but-it's-free-and-anti-capitalist-so-don't-complain OS software, take a look at all the stuff you get from other vendors.

Firing up process explorer I see the following memory uses.
Zone Alarm + Zone labs vs monitor -- 22MB (oh1 the joys of Java and Perl)
AVG anti-virus 10MB
Process Explorer itself 18Mb (Java and Perl again)
Outlook 41MB (but this includes Spam Bayes and Lookout plug-ins - take either of them away and the number comes right down)
Firefox 103 MB (down from a maximum of 129MB) This is at present with 41 tabs open - however I only have three active optional extensions. The figure is much lower when I don't have anything open, but still would be sufficient to swamp the 64MB of RAM I had in 1998. Also, it is Firefox that redlines my 733Mhz CPU a large proportion of the time.

There are plenty of other programs that would exhibit massive memory use if they were running, (Roxio DVD writer software, HP diagnostic software, Acrobat Reader, Corel Draw or PhotoPaint), and most of them are non Microft, and when MS software is running it tends to be more parsimonious in using memory resources than the competition.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
January 2nd, 2006
> bloatware

1999 called, it wants it's flame war back.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 2nd, 2006
its flamewar even.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 2nd, 2006
Jesus,

"the current linux works *perfectly* on a 386 we are using as a server. Its even fast enough to handle a medium-continuous amount of web traffic with a heap of dynamic content."

What is "the current linux", and how about more details? In any case, why would an organization do something so ridiculous? I have, in drawers around me, an Athlon 1800+ and motherboard, probably about 256MB of random memory, a Celeron 450a, a Pentium 667, and a "Celeron" 1.7Ghz. All of them aren't worth the trouble of using, or even bothering selling the marginal cost and hassle is so high. I couldn't even donate them because the hassle for anyone to receive them outweighs their value to them. Debating the utility of ancient PCs, apart from the landfill clogging factor, is nonsensical. The idea that anyone is running anything on a 386 is absurd.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 2nd, 2006
"1999 called, it wants it's flamewar back."

No doubt. At some point in time, some scrooge finally ponies up a bit of cash for a PC, and at that point forward they feel that the hardware world should cease to evolve, and software should continue to offer increasing features without demanding anything on the hardware end.

It's especially funny that anyone could really think that Microsoft has to do anything for Intel to get "inside access" - Intel desperately wants their chips to perform better than Intel, and to sell the next generation, and the reality is more like Intel begs Microsoft. Look at x64, and the fact that Intel was basically forced to adopt AMDs 64-bit instruction set (Microsoft didn't want to fork). Any conspiracy theory that Microsoft is trying to force people to buy new hardware to serve hardware vendors is nonsensical.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 2nd, 2006
Ermm..."better than Intel" should be "better than AMD"
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 2nd, 2006
I thought it was "better than AMD" but "better than Intel" works in a "We want you to upgrade way."
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 2nd, 2006
"What is so bad about bloatware?"

Stephen, I think it's not bloatware that's the problem, but the tech fetishism which compels people to keep buying computers which are uninnovative except maybe in a couple narrow dimensions. Like, if something works, then it works; there's little point in wasting tons of material building another computer or two that'll probably fall apart in 3 years. I personally waste the great majority of my computing power.

As far as I can tell, it's like the motivation behind buying SUVs. You get the promise of great length, but they forget to mention girth...
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 2nd, 2006
Given that Moore's law appears to be continuing to apply to hardware - does software come even close? and if it doesn't then the sensible thing to do is plan you software development based on the expected future improvements in hardware.
Permalink Ross 
January 2nd, 2006
"This is at present with 41 tabs open - however I only have three active optional extensions. "

Steven? 41 tabs?? WTF are you doing with 41 tabs!
Permalink Phil 
January 2nd, 2006
"What is "the current linux", "

beats me. whatever the current release is I assume.

"and how about more details?"

like what exactly? its running apache, sendmail, I assume a bunch of cgi, all on linux....it does have a desktop installed (no idea why), we have a mysql server sitting somewhere else.

"In any case, why would an organization do something so ridiculous? "

<shrug> we inherited it from the previous consultant for this client (running older versions of everything of course, the software components have all been regularly updated since we inherited it).
it works.
its age has never been an issue.

The client is happy. we are happy. why would we change it?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 3rd, 2006
It isn't so ridiculous that old DOS programs that are still in production mean that a lot of firms are still running Windows 98.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 3rd, 2006
---"teven? 41 tabs?? WTF are you doing with 41 tabs!"----

Quite normal. On occasion I have eighty or ninety tabs open.

When I fire up Firefox I open up all the bookmarks on the taskbar, about a dozen sites including five forums and six news sites. Then I go through each one opening up the interesting links in each so that they load in the background. You get used to doing things that way if you have dialup.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
January 3rd, 2006
-----"Stephen, I think it's not bloatware that's the problem, but the tech fetishism which compels people to keep buying computers which are uninnovative except maybe in a couple narrow dimensions."-----

Is this happening? The only people who are buying the latest and greatest are gamers, or people regularly working with graphics or videos, or programmers using Virtual PC to run half-a-dozen OS's at the same time.

Hardware has long been more than adequate for any production software you are going to throw at it. And, as a result, people are not bothering to upgrade.

Often when they do replace the desktop it's for a laptop that is not a great deal more overspecced than what it replaced.

As Dennis says, go back to the mid to late nineties, and people were replacing their hardware every year or two, even though it was costing two or three times what it costs now. The reason was that it did make a difference.

If on a 286 it would take three minutes for Word to load, then doubling the speed gave you a saving of a minute and a half. Doubling the speed again still gave you a considerabel saving, but ehwn you get to Word loading in five seconds, doubling the speed only saves you a couple of seconds, and you couldn't really care less.

And let's be fair. The main hardware bottleneck used to be memory, and the main software bottleneck system resources. Windows 98 made system resources much less of a limitation (and W2000 got rid of the problem altogether) and cheap memory, that started round about 1998-9, eased up the hardware bottleneck.

I'm going to upgrade at work after three and a half years, but the main reason is simply USB2.0, which will save me half-an-hour a week on external HD backup. And it's easier to take a new machine from the pool than to fill in all the forms to order 256MB of extra memory from petty cash.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
January 3rd, 2006
Google News has some articles mentioning that "computer hardware" has been skyrocketing this holiday season. (Though I don't know exactly what sorts of hardware that means; it'd be great if someone could fill us in.) Intel doesn't have ads showing that buying a new Intel CPU is like having Seal sing in your living room, for nothing...

That said, I'm sure your choice to upgrade for USB and RAM is rational, given the particular costs of alternatives you mention.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
January 3rd, 2006
Probably a lot of people that have been running 1998-era PC's finally caved with Dell's $500 deals.

There might also be some cross selling from digital cameras, video cameras, etc?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 3rd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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