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A Real Bill Gates Rant

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the well-that's-not-so-bad dept.

Microsoft 293

lou ibmix XI submitted an email written by Bill Gates a few years ago and turned over to the feds as part of the government's antitrust case. Great quotes like 'Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable?' and 'The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind.' We like to think of him as an abstract, but I think this is interesting stuff. Also, this might seem familiar. Oops.

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293 comments

Massive Dupe (5, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956851)

Re:Massive Dupe (5, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956889)

It's been 6 years, and he still can't install it? Maybe he should install Wubi, and try apt-get, that usually works.

Re:Massive Dupe (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956985)

No, no, this is deliberate. After posting a story which wasn't really news for nerds, they decided to post a story which is for nerds, but isn't actually news. They're giving up errors for lent and are trying to get them all out of their system first.

I know it's a dupe, but... (5, Interesting)

Valtor (34080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957227)

I know it's a dupe, but I still love to see Gates say: "But that is just the start of the crap..."

It says it all right there. At least Microsoft knows about the problems with Windows. It is said that realizing there is an issue is the first step to resolving it :)

Re:I know it's a dupe, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957757)

>It is said that realizing there is an issue is the first step to resolving it :)
If only it worked all the time.

They seem to be making some of the exact same mistakes they made with Vista in Windows 7...
I guess all this "modular OS" talk was just for the shareholders... so far anyway.
At least MinWin has been done, have to say that was one of the better things they have done for a long time. (even if it does have some nastier secrets behind being "created")

It still has the horrible Vista GUI that wastes space.
Well, it did on the last Beta i saw running. (forgot what one it was, friend installed it on his laptop)
All i can remember was that his taskbars would sometimes come out awkward.
Take MSN (or WLM) for example, the system tray icon for it would appear in the taskbar, instead of the system tray...

Although speed- and resource-wise, they have made some big steps.
I almost wonder if Vista was "bad" on purpose. (and they never told Ol' Billy boy to get a reaction out of him)

Re:Massive Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957399)

Photons don't have mass.

I don't get it (5, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956875)

I don't understand all the hate for Bill. Unless if this e-mail was nothing more than a publicity stunt to make him look less evil, it shows that he wasn't happy with the way things were going. He clearly saw the direction the ship was going and he couldn't turn it in time.

Despite what you say about Microsoft now, Ballmer will always be funny to read about and watch on youtube.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

QCompson (675963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956907)

I don't understand all the hate for Bill.

Stay off my lawn.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957027)

I don't understand all the hate for Bill.

Neither do I, but this is Slashdot, so get with the program.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957101)


I don't understand all the hate for Bill.

Bill's the guy that's responsible for creating this monster. Obviously he didn't do it all by himself, but he's ultimately the captain of the ship.

He clearly saw the direction the ship was going and he couldn't turn it in time.

I actually don't really hate Bill (though I understand why some do). Even though I saw this email about a year ago I'm still greatly amused by it. It shows that even Bill Gates can't control the monster he's created. It's very interesting and amusing that Bill Gates, largest owner of Microsoft and (then) the person with the greatest control over it, reboots his computer nightly. That explains so much.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957323)

It's the law of unintended consequences. The vision at Microsoft has always been to try and reduce complexity. Whenever there has been a tradeoff between control and simplicity, Microsoft has chosen simplicity. Unfortunately some things are inherently complex, and as you try to wrap them behind simplistic abstractions there comes a point where you simply can achieve what you want. Suddenly you, and your current task is one of the things that the designers abstracted away. The quote about "we didn't realise people would try and download it from the downloads page" is a classic example.

Which of course was exactly the point that Neal Stephenson made in the essay In the beginning was the command line [cryptonomicon.com] .

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957549)

>>The vision at Microsoft has always been to try and reduce complexity.

If this was true, then what's more onerous is that they failed, and did so in repeated, dramatically awful ways. The competing divisions, the lack of inter-disciplinary leadership, confused market views, the lie of 'customer-focused' decision making are all what were embodied in Microsoft's decided failure. Add in the mix of tawdry business practices, lack of belief in criticism, and an insular greed-based nature, and it's not a wonder even Gates could see and feel and experience the ultimate dysfunction. And Windows 7 cures none of that, years after this message. Instead, it continues the Microsoft habituation of trailing edge technology, executed poorly as an excuse to the madness of Vista. Ballmer needs to find a real replacement for himself and get the hell out.

Re:I don't get it (5, Funny)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957669)

The vision at Microsoft has always been to try and reduce complexity.

Surely you jest.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957691)

> It's the law of unintended consequences. The vision at Microsoft has always been to try and reduce complexity. Whenever there has been a tradeoff between control and simplicity.

Have you ever actually compared Windows to MacOS? Microsoft most definitely did NOT choose simplicity, rather they have always chosen flexibility - the ability to configure and reconfigure the system to run on different hardware and to do different things.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957349)

No it doesn't. With software development the default is that software developers have great fun refactoring, improving architecture and so on. And they produce something which is appalling for usability. If you ever worked inside a software comapany you know how much work it is to be able to even build the latest code. From the perspective of developers once it builds and there aren't any showstopper bugs, everything is fine.

Users see things differently - if the install process is hard, they'll stop using the software. If the GUI is ugly or hard to use, they'll stop using it. Word of mouth will kill new sales. The product will die. If all you have is programmers on the same level, either they'll learn to love the product or they'll leave. If users complain, it's because they're too dumb to understand why the limitations are there.

The point of Bill's email is that he tries new products and tries to make these 'dumb user' type critiques of it. You need to do that with Microsoft products - people who use them don't love them unconditionally like Mac or Linux users, they barely tolerate them.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957709)


From the perspective of developers once it builds and there aren't any showstopper bugs, everything is fine.

Usability is likely one of the hardest things to get right because it forces (anyone really) to look outside of their own perspective. I don't see this as a disease of just software developers, but everyone. Different users want different things out of the software, and sometimes those ends are at cross purposes. I won't defend developers as a whole class here, because I've seen some (and worse) of what you're describing. I will point out that it's a grand generalization though.

The problems Bill describes seem pretty inexcusable. It seems more a systemic problem than a particular one.

The point of Bill's email is that he tries new products and tries to make these 'dumb user' type critiques of it.

Heh. Dumb is an odd description for it. We've all experienced these same frustrations with using Microsoft software. Go to the horrible MS website, spend a lot of time looking for the DL, hopefully find it, wait wait wait while it DLs, machine locks up to being un-usable, finally install it.. but wait.. reboot! (assuming you survive the reboot).. now hope it works. No? Go to step 1.

If I had to identify the single biggest underlying problem here.. it'd be that the user doesn't have a single place to go to install new software that just handles it all for you (and doesn't make you reboot) like say..... a package manager under Linux ;).

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957413)

I'm keeping a copy of this and some other beauties. Anytime anyone wants to know why I think they should switch to Linux of OSX, I just show them the emails. Even Bill G is tired of Windows and how it works, why shouldn't joe the pc user be?

Re:I don't get it (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957609)

>Anytime anyone wants to know why I think they should switch to Linux or OSX,

You know, I try never to tell anyone that I think they should switch to anything. If I suggest it, they then feel free to use me as their personal tutor. If they're unhappy with their computing experience I don't mind suggesting alternatives. I've spent enough time being the guy everyone calls when their computers don't work.

Re:I don't get it (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957755)

What you say is true, no matter what you suggest they switch to. I most often get into the conversation because I verbally trash MS products. ooops

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957133)

I don't understand all the hate for Bill.

You may hand in your geek card at the door.

If BillG's actions as the head of Microsoft we're enough for you, then surely his new mission of spreading IP law across the third world should get your attention? The Gates foundation makes for-profit investments that are killing people they claim to be trying to save [latimes.com] . Bill is personally heavily invested in big pharma [theregister.co.uk] and Gates supports strong IP law [newmediaexplorer.org] in order to protect his profits.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957571)

You may hand in your geek card at the door.

Why? I don't understand all the crap he gets either.

Has Microsoft done some not cool stuff? Sure...I guess. At the same time, Bill Gates created an excellent company from the ground up, arguably created an entire industry (which, if you work with computers, you can thank him for your job), and continuously made the company profitable over and over again.

And of course Bill Gates is supporting strong IP. Duh. You would too if you had that kind of money and industry to protect. As for "investing in big pharma" - so? He has to put his money somewhere. He's obviously not going to give it to someone who is going to cause him to lose his fortune. (And, despite what many people think, pharmaceutical companies are not as evil as everybody wants them to be - I know firsthand.)

Whether you like or don't like Bill Gates and Microsoft has nothing to do with your "geek card." I would say you need to work on your jealousy issues a bit.

Alright. Rant off.

Re:I don't get it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957727)

(And, despite what many people think, pharmaceutical companies are not as evil as everybody wants them to be - I know firsthand.)

Heh heh heh. You almost had me. Nice one! I think this is where you blew it:

Whether you like or don't like Bill Gates and Microsoft has nothing to do with your "geek card." I would say you need to work on your jealousy issues a bit.

That made it too clear that you were trying to manipulate me.

If you really want to get me hot under the collar these days, you're going to have to log in :)

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

arendjr (673589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957783)

Has Microsoft done some not cool stuff? Sure...I guess. At the same time, Bill Gates created an excellent company from the ground up, arguably created an entire industry (which, if you work with computers, you can thank him for your job), and continuously made the company profitable over and over again.

You already say its arguable that he created an entire industry, and it is. I believe this industry would have existed perfectly without them. And working for a web company I can tell you that Microsoft is actively holding back the industry you claim they created.

And of course Bill Gates is supporting strong IP. Duh. You would too if you had that kind of money and industry to protect.

So the richest man in the world is lobbying for laws that will make him even richer at the cost of others. And now you claim we should feel empathy for him?? To me, it's kinda like the definition of greed...

Re:I don't get it (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957251)

I tend to agree.

I also get the impression that of all the tech millionaires he appears to be the one smart enough to retire and enjoy his money and family best.

He really seams more human than Larry Ellison for example, and I definitely get the impression he is motivated by more than money and power (of course it is probably easy to look that way when you have plenty of both).

Re:I don't get it (5, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957377)

Bill Gates is the one who, with Steve Balmer, created a Microsoft where it is more important to win by leveraging Windows than competing on quality. He's also overseen them target one software technology after another which were cross platform and therefore threats and had to be eliminated.

What was once a tiny software company who made a Basic interpreter became a monster threatening anyone and everyone if they did not do things One Microsoft Way. This is Bill Gates' fault as much as it is Steve Balmer. Just look at the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation for more proof. From what I've heard, if any school or library takes funds from them, they are not allowed to use open source software. They just constantly limit choice and that has been Microsoft's business method for over 20 years. IMO

LoB

Re:I don't get it (1)

markus_baertschi (259069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957519)

I don't understand all the hate for Bill.

In my view he is the responsible for some of the unethical beaviour of Microsoft. I'm thinking of the famous 'if DRDos then crash' in Windows 95, among others.

Markus

its easy (5, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957675)

In some of those published emails, you can see Bill Gates:

-Asking to add Windows-specific quirks to the ACPI "standard" [slated.org] , just to make Linux more dificult. "It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work [...] Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me. Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open. Or maybe we could patent something related to this

-Asking their teams to add IE-specific crap in the HTML code generated by Office [slated.org] , just to make harder for other browsers to display things: One thing we have got to change in our strategy - allowing Office documents to be rendered well by others people browser is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company. We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPIETARY IE capabilities" (emphasis by gates, not mine)

-Lobbying Intel to get them to do all their design work in Windows desktops, not in Linux.

-A lot of other "fun" stuff.

And you wonder why people hates Gates? ;)

Re:I don't get it (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957789)

What cave are you living in??? How about Microsoft Asks For a Refund From Laid-Off Workers [slashdot.org] ? That's just EVIL.

I don't hate Gates, but I sure as hell don't like Microsoft. How can anyone who'se ever used IE or written a web site NOT dislike Bill Gates?

Abstract (3, Insightful)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956877)

We like to think of him as an abstract? Huh?

Re:Abstract (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957653)

Like Big Brother. We tend to know little of his personal actions and convictions; we think of him primarily as "the head of Microsoft". In a way, he's synonymous with the company, so it's strange to see him doing something so personal as complaining about a product he downloaded (although as he says, it's part of his job).

That's what I got out of it anyway.

Re:Abstract (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957667)

You know, composed of a lot of straight lines and sharp angles, both eyes on the same side of his head, lots of colors everywhere, that sort of thing.

Re:Abstract (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957859)

I think more like a mime, or maybe that's just some weird fantasy of mine.

Every repost is a repost of a repost (-1, Redundant)

DiLLeMaN (324946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956893)

This real billg rant has already been posted on Slashdot over half a year ago [slashdot.org] .

Since CEO performance is in the news... (5, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956901)

"'This is a shocking e-mail. Shocking!' And I said, 'What do you think I do all day? Sending an e-mail like that, that is my job. That's what it's all about. We're here to make things better.""

Apparently he either really sucked at his job, or it was the job of the people who worked for him to completely ignore what he said.

Re:Since CEO performance is in the news... (0, Redundant)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957295)

Why is this guy modded troll? He's quoting what Bill Gates himself said (and was included in the submission over half a year ago) and then the point he makes is completely valid. Either Bill Gates was bad at his job (e.g. making things better by sending out e-mails like that) or the people working on Windows completely ignored all the complaints and negative feedback (which should be obvious, even to Windows fanboys which I typically get labeled as).

I'd fix it but I used my last mod points the other day. =/

Repeat post... (0, Redundant)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956929)

This story was posted previously months ago.

Even the mighty Bill Gates doesn't like the reboot (0)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956957)

I gust converted dad over to Linux and that was one of his peeves. Also the endless HD churning when he wasn't using it. Never mind how sick he was when he seen Open office. "I gust paid $250 for MS Office"

Also that letter make Bill sound how should I put (1)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957015)

it? Like a complete moron who has not even the slightest clue what a computer is never mind how to use it for even the most basic functions. But hes a business man not a nerd he gust acts like one so as not to make the employees uncomfortable. Yah right like he ever gets close to an actual nerdy employee.

Re:Also that letter make Bill sound how should I p (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957327)

Like a complete moron who has not even the slightest clue what a computer is never mind how to use it for even the most basic functions.

So, you've never even heard of usability testing? Note that almost every question he asked was rhetorical. He was putting himself in the position of a non-technical user who wanted to do something that should be simple but who was getting thwarted at every turn.

But hes a business man not a nerd he gust acts like one so as not to make the employees uncomfortable.

OK, I like Gates about as much as the next person who doesn't like him, but he's definitely geekier than 90% of Slashdotters. The fact that he can step back and look at things from an outsider's perspective is actually a good thing and something you should give him credit for.

gust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957019)

Sounds like your dad wasn't exactly "blown away" by his Windows and MS Office experience...

I'm not exactly "blown away" by your command of the English language, either. It's hard to believe that we let people like you vote.

Re:gust? (0, Redundant)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957085)

Actually I don't vote and blame it on the spell-checker...really whats it there for anyway if it does not check spelling. Also triple dot dot dot it not the proper way to end a sentence mr english major...

Re:gust? (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957209)

You're right, it should be four. An ellipses followed by a period.

Re:gust? (1)

darien (180561) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957373)

Ellipsis.

(By limiting my post to one word I hope to minimise the risk of my making an equally embarrassing mistake.)

Re:gust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957585)

Ellipsis.

(By limiting my post to one word I hope to minimise [emphasis mine] the risk of my making an equally embarrassing mistake.)

You failed.

I have no parenthetical statement. Treat this as a grammar Nazi combo breaker.

Re:gust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957407)

No. You only put a period after an ellipsis (note spelling, BTW) when you're omitting quoted material at the end of a sentence. For the ellipsis' other usage, i.e. a "trailing-off" pause in speech, the period is unnecessary since the ellipsis is a punctuation mark in its own right.

Re:gust? (3, Funny)

PenguSven (988769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957379)

You don't vote huh? Sounds too much like hard work huh? Besides, why bother, the last guy you cunts elected has REALLY been great for the world. Spell check is intended to pick up mistakes. Unfortunately it can't deal with the mistake in your case, because YOU are the mistake.

Re:gust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957797)

It did check spelling. Gust is spelled correctly. It's just not the word you were looking for. Spell-checkers and grammer checkers (which might have caught your mistake) are still just tools, and you need to know their limitations.

Re:Even the mighty Bill Gates doesn't like the reb (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957091)

You can borrow some J's from me if you want.... I can even give you a lower case one: j

thanks but I need more than a lower case j (1)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957197)

my little boy ripped most of the keys off my laptop so its kinda hard to type. It also doesn't help that I type with 3-4 fingers while looking at the keyboard.

Re:thanks but I need more than a lower case j (4, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957425)

Oh, great. So you're reproducing.

Thanks.

Re:thanks but I need more than a lower case j (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957581)

Yeah, I didn't realizes that Idiocracy [imdb.com] is a documentary...

it's actually a fantasy game! (4, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26956991)

FTA: "In fact it is more like a puzzle that you get to solve. It told me to go to Windows Update and do a bunch of incantations."

Finally, someone at Microsoft admits that you have to use magic to make Windows work right... I would comment more, but I am on my way to my daily Ballmer goat and bull sacrifice.

Re:it's actually a fantasy game! (4, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957213)

FTA: I would comment more, but I am on my way to my daily Ballmer goat and bull sacrifice.

Ah yes, where you let a live goat or bull into the Ballmer enclosure at feeding time.
Because Ballmer doesn't want to be fed... he wants to hunt!

Hey BILL! (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957007)

I know how to make site and downloads more responsive. Just use Apache on Linux. ..... You're Welcome.

Really old news (1)

home-electro.com (1284676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957009)

I mean, REALLY OLD. I've seen this email about a year ago when the Vista Capable story began.

Re:Really old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957275)

Give the slashtards a break. They need something anti-microsoft or they'll fall into a depressive funk. When they become despirate they'll take anything they can get their hands on even if it is stale old jokes.

Without this they may have to face facts that their little pet project only has 1.2% marketshare even though anyone can have it for free.

Download page to download? No way! (1)

exloterum (1478921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957021)

"So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated." Microsoft in a nutshell.

Totally believeable (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957033)

It is nice to see this, even if it is fake or stale.

If Microsoft execs had to endure the convoluted mess
that Microsoft.com is, they would at least try to fix it.
Sadly, auto-updates allows them to miss all this fun!!!

That or their IT staff pushes the stuff for them. Grrrrr.

Carter Pewterschmidt (5, Funny)

Red4man (1347635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957041)

"Hey Bill, can you help me program my Zune? Ha ha ha, I'm kiiding, I have an iPod like the rest of the planet."

Re:Carter Pewterschmidt (0, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957427)

Ipods are pretty overrated, at least in terms of price vs. features + performance.

Re:Carter Pewterschmidt (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957577)

I guess you are just too highbrow to spot the Family Guy quote.

Re:Carter Pewterschmidt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957593)

Ipods are pretty overrated, at least in terms of price vs. features + performance.

Your mom is overrated.

Re:Carter Pewterschmidt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957603)

Ipods are pretty overrated, at least in terms of price vs. features + performance.

That is completely true. They only outsell the competition five to one because they're well designed and easy to use.

Re:Carter Pewterschmidt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957671)

It depends upon how you define "features" and "performance." If you think that having an FM radio, ogg support, or a user replaceable battery are important features, then yes, price vs. features there are better choices. If you think that having a very easy to use interface both device to user and device to host system, then no, it is not over-rated one bit.

Give CmdrTaco a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957043)

Cut this CmdrTaco guy a break. He may be new here & hasn't seen this post before.

Or else he's been here so long he doesn't remember diddly squat. :)

Let me 'Summarize'... (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957083)

Bill Gates has become a Luser - one that requires the application of a LART.

So it's not just us that think their shit is whack... like printing a test page for a printer...
why after all these fucking years is it not a right-click context option for printers or at the very least in the left hand side of the 'Printers' folder 'Info' section. And let's not talk about the mouse focus that KDE has had for years now...

Re:Let me 'Summarize'... (2, Insightful)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957613)

how many test pages do you print?

Bill said it best (1)

rjune (123157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957089)

Reading through the rant:

"So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated."

He really does understand Microsoft. I wonder if he felt like throwing a chair or something.

Nice rant! (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957095)

It's rather cool that Bill himself sent such rants internally. I know I've sent rants and/or filed numerous bugs on our own products at work from the standpoint of usability and usefulness.

I'm not the greatest at designing a UI, but I can certainly highlight what doesn't work. What's least likely to work is stuff that crosses organizational boundaries, and it looks like Bill's experience here is one of those: The integration just isn't there.

I'm not a big fan of Microsoft or its tactics over the years, but I still admire Bill Gates at least a little.

I have trouble understanding parts of it though (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957487)

While ranting is all well and good, he refers to things i've never seen in XP. While i've never had the intention to install WMM, I should think i would recognize at least most of the stuff he refers to in this email.
I mean, what does This is after I was told we were doing delta patches to things but instead just to get 6 things that are labeled in the SCARIEST possible way I had to download 17meg. mean, exactly? it's almost like he wrote this at 3am without being allowed his caffeine fix first.
Maybe they fixed all of this after he'd complained about it, but it sounds like something entirely different from my own winXP experience.

He probably didn't just stumble into the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957157)

I'm guessing that Bill Gates didn't randomly decide he needed MovieMaker. Someone pointed the problem out to him and he explored it fully. I'm also guessing that he had one of his minions at his side making sure he didn't miss any of the gory details.

As much as I don't like him, I have to admit that Bill Gates is far from being an idiot. The chances that 99.999% of us would have done a better job are just about zilch.

Usability and the Bottom Line are Incongruent (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957161)

Maybe had Bill been more hands-on in a Steve Jobs sort of way, the focus might have been more on usability and less on feature-lists. Bill gets what he gets. It's his fault that usability sucks, because he didn't cut into the bottom-line to make it better. It's also Bill's "fault" that Windows enjoyed a 95% market share for a decade.

Re:Usability and the Bottom Line are Incongruent (1)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957319)

It's also Bill's "fault" that Windows enjoyed a 95% market share for a decade.

That's more IBM's fault than anyone else. Bill just happened to be in the right place at the right time (like not out flying an airplane when they called).

Ironic (2, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957341)

So, we have a story which implies Windows would be better if its architects used it more often and were therefore aware of its crappiness. And it's being duped, because Slashdot's editors don't read Slashdot often enough to notice they're reposting a really popular story. There's a lesson there somewhere.

Re:Usability and the Bottom Line are Incongruent (1)

Hasai (131313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957615)

It's also Bill's "fault" that Windows enjoyed a 95% market share for a decade.

I must disagree. It was not Bill who made a shoddily written excuse for an OS the dominant player in the market, but rather the boggling level of ignorance on the part of the overwhelming majority of said market as to what an acceptable OS should be, and Microsoft's exploitation of that fact.

There has always been a grim joke among IT personnel that while the sales personnel from IBM, Novell, Sun, etc., are talking to the IT manager, the Microsoft salesman is playing a round of golf with the CEO. A grim joke, because it's true.

NEW! (2, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957229)

I've got a news item about Craig Shergold. Really, it's news. Can I post it here?

That's one way KDE/GNOME should emulate Windows (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957239)

Now let's turn the conversation the other way...to KDE and GNOME. Bill Gates here, is just being a typical newbie if he is anyway. No offence to him here. But if he were to send such a "rant" to the GNOME folks, you all know what kind of answers he'd get.

This is not to say the KDE folks get it either. But for Linux to succeed even in the minutest way, it must meet Joe Public's expectations...and this can be done while at the same time meeting expectations of whoever it is at present.

I guess I will be labelled a troll but what I am saying is the truth...so go right ahead and mod me down.

Re:That's one way KDE/GNOME should emulate Windows (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957401)

Oh, you are so right. If I had read that rant on the Gnome list, I know what the answer would be: "shut up, n00b, you don't know what you're talking about."

Here's what it boils down to: programmers are, in general, notoriously bad at taking criticism. Developers: think about it. How many times have you gotten ticked off become someone told you they didn't like the way you implemented X? Be honest.

Re:That's one way KDE/GNOME should emulate Windows (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957787)

Generally never. I haven't done any GUI in about 4 years, but I always had a very good reputation with users and enjoyed working with them. I also tried very hard to see things from their point of view, which I think helped me create GUIs that facilitated productivity and were reasonably easy to understand. The biggest problem Microsoft has with trying to make things simple is that usually succeed, but only for an extremely narrow domain of problems, and the moment you try to do something outside of that domain, you are immediately deep in the woods.

My problems with using software is that I generally think differently (that's grammatically correct, Apple), and tend to do all the "wrong" things. I recall coming up with the clever idea back in the Windows 3 days of using subst (or whatever it was) to associate w:\ with c:\WINDOWS to help shorten my path. You wouldn't believe all the kinds of havok that wrought for no good reason.

This is not real. (1)

rshangle (575801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957263)

This is not a real e-mail. Many of the points in it are valid, but this is not from Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. So this topic/thread is false.

Re:This is not real. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957611)

According to the linked article, Gates was shown this email and went on to mock the media's supposed shock that he sent it, and others like it.

Re:This is not real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957833)

And your proof is...? Or should we just take your word for it because you're a swell guy?

old old old old old news (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957265)

old news x 5 years ago

Therefore *not* news and shouldn't be on the front page of slashdot.

Re:old old old old old news (0, Offtopic)

zbharucha (1331473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957483)

Neither should the Oscar story.

Re:old old old old old news (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957773)

True.

BOTH of these stories should be removed from slashdot - the Oscar story because it's not tech related, and the Gates story because it's several years old and not news (it's now history).

Just use apt-get install moviemaker for gods sake (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957291)

... oh never mind

Oops (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957303)

So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated.

Classic.

I'm pretty sure I read this on Slashdot already. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957317)

I'm pretty sure I read this e-mail on Slashdot already.

Re:I'm pretty sure I read this on Slashdot already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957363)

Yes... Welcome to post #1 of this dupe.

the part I remember seems to be missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957325)

PLAYOFFS!??? I don't know why we're talking about the PLAYOFFS. The PLAYOFFS!! I'm not even going to talk about the PLAYOFFS.

Interesting look back (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957381)

I find it interesting to look back at the trouble that even the great architect Bill Gates as with his own child. Submitting this as evidence for the prosecution in an antitrust case might prove to be a problem. Submitting this as evidence for the defense, however, might be a great step toward acquittal. Why? Ever hear the saying "never attribute malice to that which can be explained by stupidity" or something like that? That's all a jury needs to hear to realize that Microsoft is not a singular conspiratorial entity and they couldn't be even if they wanted to be.

Yes, it is true that this is "old information" and all that. But it is still relevant, pertinent and this is still the current state of Windows XP... Vista and likely 7 as well. (Is Windows 7 a Borg designation?)

Re:Interesting look back (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957455)

(Is Windows 7 a Borg designation?)

As in Windows 7 of 9?

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957461)

This is awesome. I wish the CEO of my company actually cared enough to go through the product at that level of detail.

even more ironic, he praises add/remove (4, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957471)

It's funny that he praises the add/remove programs control panel. Try opening it up when you have a file system mounted that contains a whole lot of files. Apparently this control panel, even though it has a cache of installed programs in some subdirectory, plus roughly the same info in a registry subtree, this sterling piece of software goes off and looks at every file on every device. That's the only explanation I can think of why the disks whir for like two hours before this control panel lists anything.

And even then all that work was for naught, because the items listed have not been even slightly vetted for correctness. You click on some of them and get an immediate "no uninstaller found" or even more cryptic messages, and no way to remove these useless entries. This control panel is a classic fail, with it doing slow and useless work several times over and still missing the whole point of what it should be doing.

Bill, you got real problems when you think this really crapalicious control panel is a shining star.

Re:even more ironic, he praises add/remove (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957687)

It's funny that he praises the add/remove programs control panel. Try opening it up when you have a file system mounted that contains a whole lot of files. Apparently this control panel, even though it has a cache of installed programs in some subdirectory, plus roughly the same info in a registry subtree, this sterling piece of software goes off and looks at every file on every device. That's the only explanation I can think of why the disks whir for like two hours before this control panel lists anything.

Defragment your Registry [microsoft.com] . It's always going to be slow but I almost guarantee you that this is part of your problem. If you use that particular control panel much then I bet your registry is fragmented like crazy. The registry is the biggest problem with Windows, it is horribly inefficient. Why Microsoft hasn't replaced* it with some more capable database engine by now I have no idea.

* By replaced I really mean augmented. Boot on the file-based registry, then once you get MSDE or whatever started replicate any changes since boot, then switch over. The registry gets hit hard constantly (see for yourself [microsoft.com] ) and any inefficiency there really shafts your system.

Re:even more ironic, he praises add/remove (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957713)

This control panel is a classic fail,

This operating system is a classic fail

fix'd

Actually, some of the comments... (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957673)

... on the linked site are pretty funny. I particularly liked

...A positive note for the US: China and Russia are even more hobbled by Microsoft-created productivity losses. I'd suspect a CIA plot if they weren't as screwed up as Microsoft.

Why couldn't he just do this????? (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26957715)

joe@joe ~ $ sudo emerge kino

FAgORZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26957869)

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