Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Microsloth's Feature-Packed World

I use Microsoft Windows and their Office package. I have to – it is industry standard across the board.

Actually, it is also probably the best operating system and package for offices. But you’d figure after over a decade of being the industry standard they’d at least have worked out all the bugs.

Microsloth products are chock full of bugs – unless you work for Bill Gates pride and joy. If you work for Mircrosloth, then these bugs are actually referred to as “features.” Seriously, ever hear someone describe a bug at Microsloth?

I’ve encountered my fair share of these so-called “features.”

One that constantly drives me nuts is Outlook’s lack of respect for rules. In Outlook, you can create rules which will filter email messages into specific folders or directories immediately upon being received. I have a rule set up to automatically send any message with “[Bulk]” into my Trash mailbox, so that I don’t even have to look at more than half of my junk mail – it automatically gets deleted.

When I first created this rule in Outlook it worked well. After updating my MS-Office product recently using Microsloth’s own automatic Windows/Office Update, the rule has ceased to work. I’ve deleted the rule and re-created it, but it still allows those bulk emails into my Junk mailbox, instead of sending them into the Trash. Must be a new feature with the update – the disobeying of a direct order.

Word isn’t immune from these so-called Microsloth “features” either. Word sucks when it comes to massive documents. I have worked with quite a few 400-plus page documents and often Word will do whacked-out things with them. Sometimes Word will mess up the automatically generated table of contents I create – taking the wrong headings or subheadings, or oddly, even adding content to the table of contents which I never flagged as a heading.

I’ve also seen Word take a mega-huge document, and totally mess up the page count. The actual physical page count was 612 pages, but for some reason Word was only counting up to 512 pages – it was off by exactly 100 pages. You could scroll through the pages, and actually read them. You could print them too – but when you printed them, after 512 the page numbering started at one! I was able to re-adjust and fix the problem by inserting a section break and have the page numbers continue from the previous section – but I shouldn’t have to do that. You’d think at least these computer programs would do what computers do best – basic math calculations!

Excel is full of these annoying “features” too – sometimes if you incorporate a table in your data, Excel will completely and totally go nuts, as if the table doesn’t have any data. I’ve added tables to data, and the end result occasionally is a blank table.
Maybe Bill Gates and his cronies over at Microsloth should spend less time working on the latest release of their products, and fix the bugs in their current software?

They do issue “updates” – they never actually call them “fixes” which is what they really are. But these “updates” always come after-the-fact, they have already annoyed and alienated the vast majority of the world which uses their products. It would be nice if for once, I could use a Microsloth product and NOT experience any bugs whatsoever. Or at least bugs which are pretty basic – like not being able to count pages correctly, or the complete disregard of rules.

Computers are high-tech – they started the term. But they aren’t rocket science unless used for that purpose. If you know something doesn’t work up to snuff – fix it before sending it out to the masses.

Others have tried to compete against Windows and Office and failed miserably. The world runs on Microsloth – that’s a fact. But shouldn’t we have clear windows which allow us to really see – than ones clouded over with these so-called “features?”

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