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Re: The 'Microsoft Knows Best' Approach

__/ [ thad01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ] on Tuesday 23 May 2006 15:19 \__

> This morning my girlfriend was attempting to play a video on the
> Windows/Gaming computer.  I could hear her sputter in frustration.
> It seems a software update had caused her default file/application
> bindings to be overwritten; clicking on a video file was bringing
> up Windows Media Player instead of adding it to her RealPlayer
> playlist like it used to.  Attempts to fix the problem were not
> going well.  Finally, she just got up from the Windows box, moved
> to the Linux workstation, and played it from there.

Patches break settings?? That simply cannot be. Some folks in this group
claim it's an imaginary side-effect. But when one's network connection is
borked after an update (seen this, handled that), there must be something
else which was the culprit. A re-installation of the O/S is sometimes
required, but it's just the user's fault, of course. Microsoft Knows Best.
User always takes blame.

> I've had similar frustrations with MS Word.  It is not so much
> outright bugs that give me grief, its the way Microsoft software
> acts like it knows better than I what I want to do.  Autocorrect,
> jumping margins, bullet points that appear out of nowhere... it
> drives me up the wall until I've hunted down those settings and
> turned them off.

There are actual support requests which are made solely due to this
behaviour, which is hard to disable. It sometimes leaves the user wrestling
with Word for a long time until professional support is needed. As you said,
margins and bulleting are a notoriety. Seen that, handled that, but at times
it makes me sweat in anger. A bit more of that and I will start throwing
chairs and blaming the developers. Developers! Developers! Developers!

> It may have taken a bit of work to configure my Linux desktop with
> the apps and layout I like, but its behavior is much more reliable
> and consistent than the Windows system.  On Windows, every time we
> update a commercial closed source application or OS component, it
> seems like something breaks.  Each vendor makes system changes to
> push their own marketing agenda.  They release new codecs that
> force you to update your media player and then bork other apps when
> you install it.  I'm done with it, and now so is my girlfriend.
> Mplayer with the full codec bundle plays every file type I've
> thrown at it, including WMP and MOV files.  OpenOffice works fine
> as an MS Office replacement.  If we can get Wine to play our
> favorite video games, the last real Windows box in the house might
> just suffer a FORMAT C: and be replaced by Yet Another Linux
> Install (that would be number 4 in our house).
> Just had to share the anecdote.
> Thad

FORMAT C:? Why? Let the Penguin take this pleasure, X-Peeing in the snow.

Best wishes,


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