Why do Microsoft products suck?

Scoble wants to know why Microsoft software sucks. While it’s great to see somebody at Microsoft finally asking this question, you’ll forgive me if I’m a little skeptical of seeing any improvement. That said, here’s why I avoid Microsoft products:

  1. They’re not open source. Other people have explained why this is a bad thing much better than I can so I’ll leave you to do your own research if you think that your mind can be changed on this issue.
  2. MS continues to design and implement proprietary file formats and protocols rather than open ones. This makes it far harder to interoperate with MS products and share your data with users of other operating systems.
  3. MS has embraced Digital Rights Management technology. Microsoft is intentionally crippling their software and then asking us why we think it sucks.
  4. Ok, enough about philosophy, here’s my only gripe about Microsoft software quality: it breaks, and when I fix it I don’t know how I did it. The problem solving process with MS software usually goes something like this: reinstall the drivers, reinstall the software, do a lot of rebooting and replugging of hardware. Eventually, it starts working, at least until it breaks again. In Linux, things don’t just stop working and I’ve never fixed anything without knowing what I did. This is because the system is open, Microsoft is a closed book and there’s no possibilty of ever gaining a deeper knowledge of it.

There’s my two cents, if you have gripes with MS you can put them in Scoble’s comments or post them on your own blog.

Hollywood Asks Top U.S. Court to Weigh File Trading

The MPAA and friends are appealing Grokster to the Supreme Court.

Dozens of entertainment-industry companies asked the court to reverse an appeals court decision that has prevented them from shutting down networks like Grokster and Morpheus that they say encourage millions of consumers to copy music and movies for free rather than buying them.

The entertainment industry managed to shut down the first file-trading network, Napster (news – web sites). But Grokster and other networks that have sprung up in its wake claim their decentralized design prevents them from controlling user behavior.

Flickr Pro

Flickr have announced their pricing for Flickr Pro accounts: $59.95 per year with a beta discount to $41.77. The service is worth that price for me but I think most people will opt for the photo printing sites, which offer pretty much unlimited photo storage and make their money off of prints. The fact that you can’t order prints from Flickr is going to be problem for a lot of people, too.

House Ethics Committee Criticizes DeLay

The House Ethics Committee has ruled that Tom DeLay violated ethics rules when he tried to influence Rep. Nick Smith’s vote on the Medicare bill by promising to endorse Smith’s son’s House candidacy. The committee tried to bury this story by releasing their report on the same night as the Presidential debate. DeLay has a viable Democratic challenger this year in Richard Morrison, who is only 10 points behind in the polls. Go make a donation and maybe they’ll be one less scumbag in the House next year.

3 Polls Show Kerry Won Debate Over Bush

Polls are showing that viewers were more impressed with Kerry in the debate last night. He definitely did a great job but I think people will still be confused about how Kerry differs from Bush on how to handle Iraq, unless they go read about it, of course. David Gergen has a good column about the questions the candidates still need to answer.

Gentlemen, just how is it you plan to prevail in Iraq? Do you support a major coalition offensive against insurgents late this year, which our generals on the ground are predicting? Would you go ahead with elections this January regardless of continuing violence, especially if Kofi Annan objects? What will you do if the leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, boycotts the elections, as his men are warning? Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the region, said last week that more troops will be needed for the Iraqi elections. What will you say if he needs more troops from U.S. bases? What will you do next year if the training of Iraqi forces continues to lag?

I wish Jim Lehrer’s questions had been that specific.