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Plea for help: The detriment of using Microsoft products

I have real problems with Microsoft's dominance.  I resent being unable to
buy a computer from a major brand-name vendor without Windows.  I resent
having the computer arrive with video cards that will never be documented
so that they can be supported on anything other than Windows, or -- worse
-- "winmodems" and "winprinters" where Windows is actually necessary for
their most basic operation.

We spend a lot of time dealing with the fallout from Microsoft's poor
networking implementations.  For example, when our Unix mail server fails
a message, it does so properly and sends a polite English language
explanation of what went wrong -- which Microsoft mail clients throw away.  
Instead of the intelligent error message we generate, such as "Addressee
unknown" or "Too many '@' characters," users of Microsoft mail software
are shown a dialog box that says something like "There is a problem with
your mail server."  What is insidious about this is that they are putting
the blame on us!

We see just about everything in the logs.  We had someone a few weeks ago
sending mail to -- I am not making this up -- "[required e-mail address]."  
We rejected this with a message like "You must have at least one '@'
character in the recipient address," but Microsoft Outlook dutifully
reported "There is a problem with your mail server."  We once had someone
sending mail who had typed their STREET address, complete with city,
state, and ZIP code, into the "address" field of their mail program.  In
desperation, we looked up their telephone number from their street address
and called them by voice.

At least half of technical support volume is this sort of stupidity, such
as failure to reflect a simple error message to the user.  MSIE also makes
up its own "friendly" web error messages by default, suppressing any
custom web page we generate to try to help the user.  Why does Microsoft
do this?  Is it just a penchant for sabotage?

-- Mike

On 2000-05-15 at 19:07 -0400, David P. Greenberg wrote:

> Is it just me, or does it seem that all this Linux vs. Microsoft stuff is a
> little ridiculous? I love Linux, which I am still pretty much a newbie with,
> but I also enjoy Win95, Win3x and Dos. I kind of feel like that guy who got
> beat up by those LA cops, Rodney King when I say "Can't we all just get
> along?" Does it in any way make Linux a stronger OS to be constantly
> decrying Microsoft.

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