Never upgrade Microsoft software. Or fly on a U.S. airline.

I don’t understand how Microsoft gets away with this. Each new “upgrade” is successively more worthless than the last. Consider Windows Vista. Microsoft has added a bunch of snazzy graphics, and an allegedly improved search function (though I can’t get the search to work right). Those are the improvements. The price (in addition to a crapload of actual dollars)? It’s incredibly slow and resource hungry, even on computers with specs that would have cost thousands and thousands of dollars a couple years ago. It has all kinds of random glitches — like it turns off wifi sometimes, completely at random, until it’s put to sleep and woken up again. And it forces you to install updates and reboot, whether you want to or not. No surprise that people begged Microsoft to keep supporting and selling Windows XP. (I think, though am not sure because of all the funny flavor-merging, that Windows XP itself was a crap “upgrade” from Windows 2000, the last semi-decent MS OS, which itself was an “upgrade” from NT.)

Then there’s MS Office 2007. They’ve introduced an entirely new, and incomprehensible, user interface called the “ribbon.” What’s the ribbon? It’s a glorified menu bar, with all the menu items moved around seemingly at random. It takes up huge chunks of screen real estate for the sole purpose of making it impossible to find the commands you need. But perhaps you can fix it? NOPE. Sez Microsoft, in a fashion such that you can practically hear the diabolical laughter:

Speaking of previous versions, if you’re wondering whether you can get the same look and feel of a previous version of Word, the simple answer is, you can’t. But after playing around with the Ribbon a little, you’ll get used to where things are and will like how easy it makes getting your work done.

What a way to punish consumer loyalty!

And it’s still full of hopeless features that don’t work right — just try to get paragraphs to tab to the same spot, or get an outline or numbered list to come out right. Just you try.

While we’re on the topic of screwed consumers, apparently (h/t Brian Leiter) at least one airline is now renting out pillows for five bucks a use.

What next? Pay-per-toilet use?

Oh. Fuck. I just wrote that in a public forum. Some airline executive is going to see this post, and then they’re going to do it. When you have to stick a c-note in the slot to urinate on an airplane, you can blame me.

It’s all over for the airlines. These (including number 3 here) are the last dry heaves of an industry in complete collapse. Better get used to driving, folks.

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2 Responses to “Never upgrade Microsoft software. Or fly on a U.S. airline.”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Honestly, I don’t understand all the fuss about Windows Vista. All Windows OS are resource-hungry, so I’m not sure why Vista gets singled out for that. And, of course, it’s relatively unstable — but again, so are Windows OS, historically.

    I’ve never had the slightest problem with Vista; actually, I kind of like it (I suppose a mild preference for XP, though that could just be familiarity).

    And I actually like Office 2007. Have you played with Word’s References function? Very powerful, actually.

    I think much of the fuss, honestly, is reluctance to change, and MS’s terrible job of introducing Vista into the market. But I’ve had no real problems with functionality of either the OS or the Office platform — at least, no problem that is not endemic to Windows.

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    Vista is worse. Trust me on this. For example, when it crashes (every few days, for me) it recovers worse. Previous versions of windows, when they crashed and forced you to pull the plug/shut it off by force, they’d start up properly on reboot. Vista? Won’t start on reboot. You have to start it in safe mode or it’ll hang, and then you have to reboot AGAIN from safe mode, and SOMETIMES it’ll start working again… or sometimes you’ll have to reboot four or five more times. Worthless piece of shit software…

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