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Bill Gates Chews Out Microsoft

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-wouldn't-like-him-when-he's-angry dept.

Microsoft 836

s31523 writes "All of us have one time or another been completely frustrated by certain Windows usability issues, and in many cases our experiences have driven us over to Linux, or kept us there. For anyone that has ever been frustrated, you will be happy to know you aren't the only one. After reading this leaked Microsoft memo from Bill Gates back in 2003, you will surely have more insight into why Vista is a complete disaster due to Microsoft not learning anything from their experiences from XP."

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Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Interesting)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947007)

Interestingly enough, Gates could have really improved his image during his tenure at Microsoft if he let emails like that "leak" out prior to stepping down. Instead, he gives keynotes about Microsoft and its "innovation."

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style. Also, "I reboot my computer ... why should I have to reboot my computer?" I find it hard to realize that he wouldn't know the technical difficulties in replacing a dll while the system is running, and possible ways around this, and the current state of affairs. However, maybe I'm giving too much credit here.

Secondly, *if you can't do anything about this crap, then stop releasing it on time and FIX THE ISSUES* instead of releasing it to the world for millions of users to suffer under your monopoly. If your software sucks, fix the problems instead of using oppressive business practices to make *everybody* suffer.

Next, people complain about Linux usability? apt-get install mplayer k3b, etc? It is not harder, just different. In fact, having all of the software most people need in one place makes Linux easier for most people in many ways, specifically the way that possible-Bill rants about here.

Whenever I have listen to Gates talk or talked to him (many, many years ago now, in the late 90's) he seems more than aware of problems with his product, and I always get this vibe "I'm doing it because I can and it is really, really, really good for business and nobody is stopping me." If any of you were following the USDOJ against Microsoft way back before the Bush-era forgiveness, Microsoft was going to be split into three companies. When Bill was on the stand, he basically went "I don't remember" to every possibly incriminating statement, but was clearly aware of the bad ethics of what he was doing -- again, reading between the lines I always got the vibe of the triumphant geek saying "I'm not going to stop until you guys get your act together and make me stop."

He's not a stupid guy that way, and anybody that respects billionaires must ask themselves if they would do the same things with a company to maintain market share... Personally, I like to think I wouldn't, but that's why I am not a CEO.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947081)

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style
Agreed. He doesn't say any of his trademarks like "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" or "I could have written MovieMaker in Excel macros over the weekend!" (okay, the last one is a stretch. ;)

Next, people complain about Linux usability? apt-get install mplayer k3b, etc? It is not harder, just different. In fact, having all of the software most people need in one place makes Linux easier for most people in many ways, specifically the way that possible-Bill rants about here.
Here's the problem from a usability standpoint: I want to install a media player. I don't know that I need to install mplayer, xine or totem. (What is a totem and WTF does it have to do with playing media? WTF is a xine anyhow?) THe 'Add/Remove Programs' in Ubuntu addresses some of this, but try installing an app that plays podcasts WITHOUT KNOWING that democracyplayer and VLC play podcasts.

 

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (1, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947187)

At least Ubuntu *comes* with those programs! What would you do in Windows? Google for the program or ask someone what to use. It's the same with any Linux program, but either it's already installed or can be installed with a click or a command, once you know what you're looking for.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (4, Interesting)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947373)

How do you "know what you're looking for" without searching the web exactly?

It's worth noting that Microsoft would love nothing more than to bundle as many free utilities as they could, but their hands are tied thanks to those who whined to the DOJ.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (4, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947403)

That's exactly what I said. Finding the product is the same on Windows and Linux, but at least Linux *has* the index and package manager right there, so it's no worse.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947197)

but try installing an app that plays podcasts WITHOUT KNOWING that democracyplayer and VLC play podcasts.

I went to add/remove and typed podcast in the search.

When sorted by popularity:
1) rythmbox music player, play and orginize your music collection. I bet this works for audio podcasts

2) Miro Internet TV, Watch online videa.
details:
Miro (previously known as Democracy Player) is a platform for Internet television and video. It allows you to download and watch videos from RSS feeds (including podcasts, video blogs, and BitTorrent feeds).

This application is provided by the Ubuntu community.

I bet that's what I would pick.

Of course gpodder 2 further down may have been my choice (it mentions audio and video podcasts in the brief description).

I would never have used vlc though, I use it daily, and didn't realize it did podcasts.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947517)

I consider myself a relatively experienced admin. I run several networks, and I have been using linux forever as my main desktop. I was there for the Slackware jump to 7.

I've set up multi-auth systems, I have set up linux vpn gateways that authenticate to Microsoft servers, designed full network installations that span several geographic locations. I'm in the scene. My mailbox is full of lists and groups about all aspects of computers. I am not a n00b.

That being said, when I decided to put a webcam on my desk, I really was at a loss as to what software to use to do some very basic things. Sure it works fine in Kopete, but it wouldn't let me grab a snapshot in it. At least nowhere I could find.

Would this problem be resolved if the cam manufacturer had included linux support? possibly. Long story short, it took me forever to figure out how to simply save a picture from my webcam, and I'm neither a grandpa, nor a luddite.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947457)

"What is a totem and WTF does it have to do with playing media?"

What's a Google?
What's a Yahoo!?
What's a WinAmp?
What's a Slashdot?
What's a Firefox?
What's an eBay?
What's a NewEgg?
What's a Lightwave?
What's a Nero?
What's an Outlook Express?
What's a Visual Studio?
What's an AutoCAD?

With names like these, no one will ever use them.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947469)

I don't know that I need to install mplayer, xine or totem.

apt-cache search "media player"

You can do the search in Synaptic too.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (4, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947115)

Interestingly enough, Gates could have really improved his image during his tenure at Microsoft if he let emails like that "leak" out prior to stepping down.

Maybe, but then again he still had to work there and keep the company working effectively. If this stuff had leaked out to everyone in the company, who knows what it would have done for morale? Keeping this kind of stuff in the family is often the best thing to do for the family.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947135)

Interestingly enough, Gates could have really improved his image during his tenure at Microsoft if he let emails like that "leak" out prior to stepping down. Instead, he gives keynotes about Microsoft and its "innovation."
Except as head of the company, his job is not to make himslef look better, it is to make the company look better. There is no way a CxO wants an internal email like that leaked, if they really care about the company.

Wait... is it really possible that we should give Gates some credit for acting responsibly?

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style. Also, "I reboot my computer ... why should I have to reboot my computer?" I find it hard to realize that he wouldn't know the technical difficulties in replacing a dll while the system is running, and possible ways around this, and the current state of affairs. However, maybe I'm giving too much credit here.
I agree with you on the writing style, but you never know, since this was an internal document, and people use different writing styles for different purposes. I'd also note that when knowleadgeable people do usability testing, they normally feign ignorance -- they test as if they were a user with limited knowledge.

I'm not upper management, but I've sent (and seen) similar emails when a prject went FUBAR.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947169)

Reading the letter, it really doesn't sound like anything Gates would say. He's not an end user. As you said, he certainly should know why rebooting would be necessary when updating part of the OS.

That being said, Gates has nothing to worry about in regard to his personal reputation. There is no need for him to "talk himself up". Outside of the slashdot community and certain parts of the tech industry, he is highly regarded as a successful businessman and as a philanthropist.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (1)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947435)

While reading that email, I had difficulty convincing myself that Bill Gates wrote it. The syntax is terrible.

So I do this yada yada.

So I do that yada yada.

So I so I so I... this reads like a transcript of a tech support call. Furthermore, I have downloaded Movie Maker legitimately a few times and it was pretty barking clear what to do... the HNIC of Microsoft should not need a seminar on YAY!COMPUTER INTERWEB!!one!!, let alone something people figure out every day. If this is real, there is a clear reason why Microsoft has not ~performed as expected~ over the last zillion years... the man at the helm was completely blind.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947493)

He's not an end user. As you said, he certainly should know why rebooting would be necessary when updating part of the OS.
Actually, he tested the whole thing like one. I read the "Why should I have to reboot?" part as "Why should I have to reboot to install a movie editor?"

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (4, Interesting)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947181)

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style.

I think you're right. This "article" screams fake! Notice this part: "I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack ... so I went to Microsoft.com. They have a download place so I went there." Gates wouldn't have said "they", he would have said "we". And the subject says "flame". It is indeed a rant. Most executives would never write such a thing in a permanent medium. In the end, nobody can ever prove or disprove a "leaked" memo, unless the appropriate party fesses up, but this looks fake.

if you can't do anything about this crap, then stop releasing it on time...

Way ahead of you!

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (2, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947217)

I find it hard to realize that he wouldn't know the technical difficulties in replacing a dll while the system is running,
Which are what, exactly? Sorry, I'm a Unix dude, I really don't know and I've always been wondering about this part. Aside from the kernel, I can replace everything on most Unix systems without a reboot. Why is that so tricky on windos?

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947305)

You can't and you should know that. In Unix new processes get to use the new library version but running processes keep using the old one. That's the same as in Windows. Therefore you CAN continue without rebooting in Windows as well but then you simply do not profit from security updates etc.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947431)

No, you can't. Under windows you can't overwrite the old file with the new file as the file is locked. You have to reboot to reset the lock.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947507)

False.

You can easily restart processes individually without ever taking the machine down. Even more so if you're using SysV or BSD init scripts.

Rebooting is the "fast and lazy" way, but it is in no way required.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (0, Redundant)

MrPink2U (633607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947257)

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates
this

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (5, Informative)

hrieke (126185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947269)

The letter is from the antitrust files, so it's certified.

The very interesting thing is that there is no single person at Microsoft who has the final say on how all of there stuff interacts together. Not even Bill has that clout (and if he did, he sucked at his job).

Maybe you think too much of the difficulties... (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947339)

First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style. Also, "I reboot my computer ... why should I have to reboot my computer?" I find it hard to realize that he wouldn't know the technical difficulties in replacing a dll while the system is running, and possible ways around this, and the current state of affairs. However, maybe I'm giving too much credit here.

What he is probably alluding to is the fact that every other operating system under the sun (Linux, Sun, SPARC, Mac OSX, BSD) can replace 95% of the OS without rebooting. Only windows requires you to reboot to do something stupid like replace a DLL. I can overwrite any .SO in my OS without rebooting - this is something the UNix world figured out a long time ago (deref the file pointer, write the new file. People using the old pointer can continue to do so, newly started apps use the new pointer. Once install of software is complete, restart software impacted).

The only thing that should require a reboot is replacing the kernel itself or a low-level IO driver.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947399)

Next, people complain about Linux usability? apt-get install mplayer k3b, etc? It is not harder, just different.

Wrong! You obviously have never worked with Joe Sixpack. Asking Joe to *type* is bad enough, expecting him to get it right is a whole new ballgame. The Joe and Jane Sixpacks of the world don't understand what 1 != l != i. They think it's "stupid" to have to get it right. Why do you think it took GUIs to get any serious home PC market going? After that pr0n just made it worth the time and money to everyone else.

And you guys who say that editing a couple of config files isn't a big deal have never seen the wreck that a common user can make of a text document. I recently had to deal with a college educated professional on the proper way to use the shift key, forgodssake. It's amazing how much concepts like this that are the norm to us seem "too technical" to most end users.

While most of us don't mind the Linux way of doing this you need to consider who the end user is and their inability to get their heads around the same basic concepts.

Usability story (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947423)

"Next, people complain about Linux usability? apt-get install mplayer k3b, etc?"

Even better: Lx (at least Ubuntu) will tell you what to do.

My 6yo wanted to play the racing penguin game, and my wife remembered it was called "supertux" so she typed that in the terminal I always leave open on the desktop.

It told her "try 'sudo apt-get install supertux'", which she did. He was playing the game about 60 seconds later.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947445)

Next, people complain about Linux usability? apt-get install mplayer k3b, etc? It is not harder, just different. In fact, having all of the software most people need in one place makes Linux easier for most people in many ways, specifically the way that possible-Bill rants about here.
The hilarious part is that people keep giving the command line for doing this as an argument it's not hard. Suggesting that most people resort to the command line is an automatic fail.

What's particularly hilarious is that you don't even need the command line, there's a perfectly easy GUI. All you're doing is revealing that you're fine with the expectation that people should use the command line for standard stuff like installing supported apps.

Re:Then STOP releasing the product! (2, Insightful)

M0pper (1278632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947531)

... First, I am not sure that email is really by Gates -- from reading his writing or listening to him in the past, it really does not sound like his style. Also, "I reboot my computer ... why should I have to reboot my computer?" I find it hard to realize that he wouldn't know the technical difficulties in replacing a dll while the system is running, and possible ways around this, and the current state of affairs. However, maybe I'm giving too much credit here...

Maybe what he ment by 'why should i have to reboot my computer' is 'why does the stupid thing practically *force* me to reboot *now*'? It's something that really bothers me in Windows, you know, the 'would you like to reboot now or be reminded in 5 minutes?'. Usually, I don't want to reboot at all at that time, but i have to because the stupid window keeps popping up every 5 mins. When linux updates, it tells me that a reboot is needed to complete the update and then leaves me alone. Much better.

Funny thing about MovieMaker (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947013)

The funny thing is that on XP you still have to install Service Pack 2 to get MovieMaker. You can't just download it separately. Oh, well, you can order it on CD, too, I guess, but who wants to do that?

100% fake (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947031)

That is NOT Gate's writing style and there are several mistakes as well that point to someone other than gates wrote the letter.

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"? I have never seen it even down to the grunt level.

This "secret memo" is bunk. it is in no way Bill Gates' writing.

Re:100% fake (0)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947071)

That was my first thought when I read it, "Hoax". They don't provide any corroborating evidence at all that it's even close to legit. The style isn't at all like Gates, and the ignorance of certain aspects of the system makes it look like he was totally out of touch with what was going on in his own company.

I wonder if Twitter wrote this? Seems like his style.

Re:100% fake (0, Troll)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947085)

Agreed. The only way this could have been Bill is if he was drunk and actively trying to sound like a patronizing jackass to his team.

Re:100% fake (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947149)

The only way this could have been Bill is if he was drunk and actively trying to sound like a patronizing jackass to his team.

The patronizing jackass part is accurate; what's missing him telling them to get it fixed by the end of the day. AFAIK, he doesn't do pointless whinges.

Re:100% fake (1)

em0te (807074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947157)

I'm kinda 50/50 on this one, on one hand the verbage is 5th grade level spout (high school level for us floridians). On the other hand, He could have just been so pissed of he just started brain dumping to the keyboard, but usually involves loss of spaces and punctuation. Maybe He just had a fight with melinda and was using MS as a punching bag. I changed my mind, i'm going 80/20 towards fake.

Re:100% fake (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947539)

You must be from a different part of Florida. This is community college level composition!

Re:100% fake (0, Troll)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947117)

Totally agree. Absolute fake.

Re:100% fake (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947123)

That is NOT Gate's writing style and there are several mistakes as well that point to someone other than gates wrote the letter.

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"? I have never seen it even down to the grunt level.

This "secret memo" is bunk. it is in no way Bill Gates' writing.

Except this was entered as evidence in the DoJ trial. It's real and on the books.

MOD PARENT UP (-1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947141)

This "leaked memo" is total bunk!

It also claims that they asked Gates and he said (paraphrasing) "Yeah, I wrote stuff like that all the time."

Utter BS.

I dislike MS products about as much as most other people here, but this is just plain made up.

Re:100% fake (5, Informative)

stevied (169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947151)

I didn't think it sounded much like him, either, but googling the subject turned up this [66.102.9.104] (google cache version), which seems to make it more plausible ..

Re:100% fake (1)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947155)

The way the email was written (a bunch of short paragraphs) makes me think it's a kind of running commentary of the process he was following to download the software to begin with. I occasionally make similar notes as well, which often don't resemble my writing style at all.

As for not knowing there's a download center, I think he's acting in the character of a typical user who just wants to download the software, not something many software developers tend to do these days whilst they shovel in useless gimmicks in websites that distract from the main purpose.

Re:100% fake (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947189)

The email is real. It's in the court documents from the Comes vs Microsoft case. You can find it in PX07199.pdf from http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/7000/

Re:100% fake (3, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947205)

Um, you realise he confirmed it personally as part of an interview, right? RTFA much?

"When Seattle Pi recently asked Gates about the email, he replied, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job." There was no mention as to whether or not Gates had time to take names."

Re:100% fake (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947299)

Really he CONFIRMED IT? He said " yup I wrote that email!", really, he says that in there?

Funny, the article I like to says....
When Seattle Pi recently asked Gates about the email, he replied, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."

How about you trying to RTFA or understand english. An out of context clip of a response that uses the word "like" is not even in the wildest imagination confirmation of anything. Also, there is no collaboration about IF that response was about that specific email. You are making a ton of assumptions.

Re:100% fake (-1, Troll)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947427)

Get back in your basement, twat.

Re:100% fake (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947341)

In my world saying, "... like that piece of email" does not equate "Yes I worth that, did you like it?"

even IF that was bill gate's real response. It was edited and can be out of context.

Re:100% fake (2, Interesting)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947239)

According to Seattle P-I this is the original [nwsource.com] .

Sure looks like a DoJ-entered piece of evidence.

Re:100% fake (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947295)

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"? I have never seen it even down to the grunt level.

Bill Gates isn't stupid enough to think that the plebians are going to get anything done for them, double sharp, just by phoning up someone at Microsoft. They're gonna go to Microsoft's website and try to get it. If you want to know if your stuff works, the only real way to tell is to try to get it working as much as possible from the perspective of your average customer. What he supposedly did (assuming it's true) is the intelligent, correct method of doing things of trying to make sure things work. The fact that apparently this kind of missive from the closest thing to On High in Microsoft-land affected nothing whatsoever speaks volumes about the level of inertia present there. Things are done wrong, because that's how they do things.

I'm inclined to believe it's true for a couple reasons. One being that, if you actually read it all the way through you'd see at the end that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer asked Gates about the memo, and he didn't deny that he wrote it, and in fact said he wrote more than just that one. The other one being that, as mentioned elsewhere, this was "leaked" as evidence in a court proceeding aparrently.

Re:100% fake (2, Insightful)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947311)

Let me make sure I have this right.. A respectable news outlet conducts an interview with Bill Gates [nwsource.com] , asks him if it's genuine, and he explains that it's his job to make criticism of this nature [nwsource.com] . So, are we supposed to believe you - irrespective of your "100%" certainty that's based on nothing but speculation - or Bill Gates himself?

Re:100% fake (2, Informative)

telchine (719345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947355)

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"?

He's not referring to the company, he's referring to "Microsoft.com" which is the internal name of the team that manages the web site. If you look at the original document, you'll see that web department is referenced as "Microsoft.com" on multiple occasions.

Re:100% fake (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947415)

Nonsense. This is one of many internal emails released during the recent court case. Unless you're suggested MS deliberately work up fake emails to show their products in a bad light just in case a lawyer comes calling with a disclosure warrant, which (to be clear) would be a serious criminal offence. It might help if you read yesterday's article on this, linked from BoingBoing, which has the corroborating detail you're so sure doesn't exist. [nwsource.com]

Re:100% fake (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947417)

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"? I have never seen it even down to the grunt level.
I do it every time I put myself in an outside user's shoes, which is what Gates was doing here. Or do you think the writer really believes Gates installs (and buys?) his own software on any of his computers instead of calling his secretary to call his dedicated IT guy to push the software to his machine.

Re:100% fake (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947433)

That is NOT Gate's writing style and there are several mistakes as well that point to someone other than gates wrote the letter.

It does appear to be confirmed.

"I go to microsoft.com they have a download center" HUH? Cince when does the Head executive of the company refer to the company as "they" instead of "we"? I have never seen it even down to the grunt level.

When that executive is talking to someone else in the company. Otherwise it's damned confusing.

Re:100% fake (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947467)

Gates is just berating his top brass for sucking by pretending to be the end user. Hasn't anyone here ever had their boss rip their code apart, feigning ignorance in order to effectively critique?

Re:100% fake (1)

Roy Hobbs (1267752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947509)

I tried unsuccessfully for about 2 minute to convince myself that it was real. FAKE

My God... (4, Insightful)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947051)

That's such a loaded and flamebait-ridden summary it's not even funny. Linux has plenty of usability issues, just like Windows - the quirks are just in different places.

Still, assuming the email is real of course, it's always nice to see the boss appreciate the problems from the regular user's perspective.

Re:My God... (5, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947277)

Still, assuming the email is real of course, it's always nice to see the boss appreciate the problems from the regular user's perspective.

I was thinking the same - posting this story on /. is calling for the usual Microsoft bashing, but if the mail's real we should congratulate Gates. We need more bosses putting themselves on the end user shoes.

He didn't say to not sell it (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947057)

q: How do you make a billion dollars?

a: no matter who complains about how crappy the new version of your product is, force its purchase onto your captive audience anyhow. Yay!

Chews out? (0, Offtopic)

geordieboy (515166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947063)

Is that some kind of cheesy Americanism? Sounds like oral sex.

Re:Chews out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947227)

http://www.answers.com/chew%20out

I thought this was a joke until I read this part.. (5, Informative)

Valtor (34080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947097)

Wow! I thought this was a joke until I read this part

When Seattle Pi recently asked Gates about the email, he replied, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."

Re:I thought this was a joke until I read this par (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947191)

Two things may have happened here:

1) Gizmodo (or the Seattle Pi) is lying.

2) You see those three little dots? They mean "something was left out here". So

"There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."

Might have been:

""There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail critiquing my staff's work, but I don't write garbage like that piece of e-mail. That's my job." Or anything else that you can wedge between those two parts and still have it make some kind of sense.

Re:I thought this was a joke until I read this par (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947209)

Ok, but it's what 5 years ago. Do you remember every single email you've ever sent?

Re:I thought this was a joke until I read this par (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947225)

And it's good that he does. If he founds Microsofts' site to have serious usability issues (as it does...) it's his job to point it out. He still works there, you know :)

The memo has some very valid points:

Doesn't Windows update know some key to talk to Windows?

This is spot on - WU is in need of a serious overhaul, IMHO. Linux distributions have solved this problem years ago, for example, and even a console-based install is way more painless than anything you can do on Windows to install software/updates.

Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night why should I reboot at that time?

Ditto. This is fault mainly of the Windows filesystem API, which forces you to reboot in order to sucessfuly replace shared libraries. But why the hell would you need to reboot just to install software? (Let alone rebooting every night...)

Re:I thought this was a joke until I read this par (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947329)

Ditto. This is fault mainly of the Windows filesystem API, which forces you to reboot in order to sucessfuly replace shared libraries. But why the hell would you need to reboot just to install software? (Let alone rebooting every night...)
Actually, you don't need to -- but too bad, even Microsoft itself fails to recognize the trick.
You cannot delete in-use files, yeah. There's no notion of an open but deleted file on Windows, unlike the Real OSes. But you can rename or move them.
So why won't you move the open files away to some random temp dir and then mark them for deletion on reboot?

You still reboot for kernel updates (like on all other OSes) or to deal with memory leaks / misbehaving services (faulty userland), but nothing of that is needed to install an ordinary program like MovieMaker.

Could be worse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947107)

I wish the managers where I work used our product from time to time, and maybe paid attention to how the software is written.

They seem to think that our main product is power point slides, which in the case of Mr (or is it Sir) Gates would probably be true.

Anyway good on him for paying attention to the job at hand.

So is the fake Bill Gates (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947119)

more entertaining than the fake steve Jobs?

No we haven't (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947133)

"All of us have one time or another been completely frustrated by certain Windows usability issues"

In fact, many have never encountered any Windows usability issues at all, never having tried it.

Re:No we haven't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947247)

Ah, so you're one of those elitest types who rails against something you admit you know nothing about?

Re:No we haven't (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947371)

In fact, many have never encountered any Windows usability issues at all, never having tried it.
And most of those who tried it didn't encounter any Windows usability either.

The scary part (4, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947147)

At the end of the piece, it says,

When Seattle Pi recently asked Gates about the email, he replied, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."
The founder, then-CEO and General Chief LordofitAll fires off irate messages on a daily basis, but the whole company steadfastly ignores him and continues to crank out crap?
Maybe the competent MS employees have long ago committed harakiri in shame, and whoever's left Just Don't Care...

Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947159)

10 comments into the story and the server is slashdotted already

what is going on lately with these servers?

Coral link : http://gizmodo.com.nyud.net/5019516/classic-clips-bill-gates-chews-out-microsoft-over-xp

Its real. Here are the links (5, Interesting)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947163)

The originial article: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/141821.asp [nwsource.com]

Here are the responses from within Microsoft: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/library/2003Jangatesmoviemaker.pdf [nwsource.com]

Re:Its real. Here are the links (0)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947267)

Since when two links (to the same blog btw) are taken as a valid citation ?

Re:Its real. Here are the links (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947447)

People as stupid as you shouldn't be allowed to have computers. The "blog" you refer to is the Seattle Times, a major mainstream media outlet, at a rough guess about a million times more reliable than anything on Slashdot.

Re:Its real. Here are the links (5, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947479)

Here, Knock yourself out [edge-op.org]

The specific exhibit (7199) is found near here [edge-op.org]

And if you doubt me (after all, who is this xtracto guy), the page is linked from groklaw [groklaw.net] . Maybe they are more thrustworthy than myself?

Re:Its real. Here are the links (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947287)

IF this is real, it is about using some kind of internal system, and not the finished products that the rest of the world uses.

Here's why:

He talks about clicking on a Windows XP "folder" in Windows Update. That didn't exist until Microsoft Update (not Windows Update), and that wasn't around in 2003.

Also, it says in the Seattle PI article that they asked Gates if he ever got Movie Maker working and it says some bunk about including it in Windows Live. Movie Maker 1 came for free with Windows XP, and Movie Maker 2 came for free with Service Pack 2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Movie_Maker [wikipedia.org]

Re:Its real. Here are the links (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947351)

The file he links to is rather older than that blog article, featuring on this website [slated.org] discussing the case Comes vs. Microsoft. It was one of several thousand files submitted as evidence by the plaintiffs [slated.org] , specifically in this batch [slated.org] (file PX07199). This was a case back in 2007. Seeing as the version from 2007 has an evidence stamp, and the blog version doesn't, I suspect they're both copies of some original pdf found on the internet and therefore the veracity is still unclear.

Re:Its real. Here are the links (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947425)

My bad, the blog version also has the stamp. They're the same file. So that's what it's from. Comes vs. Microsoft was a class-action antitrust suit about different products entirely ("Windows, MS-DOS, Office, Excel, Word, Works Suite or Home Essentials 97 or 98 products") so it seems unlikely that the Gates memo about Movie Maker was ever actually assessed for its veracity, but it was accepted as evidence.

It's a FAAAAAAAAKE! (-1, Redundant)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947165)

(with apologies to Senator Vreenak) This is an obvious fake...it's not like Bill Gates at all. It sounds just like one of those email chain letters that the Ph.D's at my mom's job are always sending her. Bill Gates has a much more...precise way of talking. Look at all the pointless bitching, it sounds just like a stream-of-conciousness rant by some random internet idiot posting on a forum.

Shame on every news outlet that picked this up, including Slashdot. It looks like all that has to happen is some borderline internet site posts something, and the next thing you know, it's on AP and Reuters. I've seen it more than once, and it seems that retractions never make it in the same way.

Re:It's a FAAAAAAAAKE! (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947229)

It sounds just like one of those email chain letters that the Ph.D's at my mom's job are always sending her.
Oh come on: don't make a statement like that and just leave us hanging...make with the telling of the dumb PhD stories, please!

Re:It's a FAAAAAAAAKE! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947465)

Oh, it's nothing...it's just that she kept forwarding them to me, and doing it again, and again, and again, and I didn't have the heart to come down on her like a sack of wet cement like I do to most people when they send me chain letters. The "smart" people that she works with sent her all that crap, as well as a ton of urban legends, email worms, and other nice things that I get to clean off of her computer every year. I finally had a heart-to-heart with her on one Christmas, and she understood, she just wanted me to share in the "fun". Sorry, but a doctor of philosophy should know better. I know, I shouldn't bitch about these things but it just bothers me.

Re:It's a FAAAAAAAAKE! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947319)

Don't you feel silly now after that pointless rant that it turns out to be real and part of the released court documents from the Comes vs Microsoft case?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947233)

Yeah, amazingly it seems to be real and apparently comes from "the internal e-mails turned over in the antitrust suits against the company"

Here is the original article:

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/141821.asp

and here is the original (scanned) email thread from Gates:

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/library/2003Jangatesmoviemaker.pdf

Runs fine on Linux (0, Offtopic)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947241)

Made you look. B-D.

website rant (2, Insightful)

shird (566377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947245)

This is a rant about micrsoft.*com* - the website (and related update sites etc). It isn't about Microsoft itself, or its applications and operating systems. It's about the usability of the microsoft.com website and download services - which are probably largely outsourced to a few kids in India. It has nothing to do with "how bad Vista is" or lessons learned from XP.

Re:website rant (4, Insightful)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947505)

This is a rant about micrsoft.*com* - the website (and related update sites etc). It isn't about Microsoft itself, or its applications and operating systems. It's about the usability of the microsoft.com website and download services - which are probably largely outsourced to a few kids in India. It has nothing to do with "how bad Vista is" or lessons learned from XP.

Except for that whole Windows Update forcing you to reboot your computer bit, the download locking up his computer, the problems of garbage turning up in the Add/Remove Programs utility but not Moviemaker, the rant about Add/Remove being the only decent thing left with XP.

So no, other than about half of the email, it has nothing to do with XP.

Gates, you have to do this differently (5, Funny)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947261)

I tried scoping to Media stuff. Still no moviemaker. I typed in movie. Nothing. I typed in movie maker. Nothing.
It does not work like that. You have to google moviemaker download [google.com] . There you go. First hit :)

Re:Gates, you have to do this differently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947413)

I have a feeling that "I'm feeling lucky" has a very different meaning in that context.

Re:Gates, you have to do this differently (1, Insightful)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947441)

meh, live search does the same thing: http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=moviemaker+download&go=&form=QBLH [live.com] your joke would have been funnier if you had of found a search term that went to the right place for google and camel sex on microsoft's version.

Isn't a time to change M$ /. icon? (4, Insightful)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947271)

BTW, folks, how about replace on slashdot that Bill's mug with Ballmer's physiognomy? :)

It's obviously fake... (0, Redundant)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947293)

It looks like a high school kid wrote it, or CEO (they're about the same). Bill Gates certainly should understand how microsoft.com works and how to navigate it.

He says that the file path to a profile is confusing; Hello! It's been around forever! The style is obviously written by someone who isn't technical at all and appears to get confused by technology. The writer is bashing multiple Microsoft products.

We'll find in a few hours that it's a fake letter and everyone who bought into it will have egg on their face.

Another rant by Microsoft-hater, who cares? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947315)

This billg guy is a known troll that bashes Windows at every opportunity. Remember him showing off Windows 95 and publicly making it bluescreen in front of an audience?

colony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947327)

Mr BG has never been technically minded, he's just a businessman. Albeit an exeptionally good businessman (otherwise he wouldn't have so much money). I do however find it quite comical that even when he complains he gets ignored, that says a lot.

Microsoft has company (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947379)

It's not Microsoft alone! This kind of frustration happens on the Linux platform everyday. Try setting up a printer...even that supported by Linux. You get into issues like CUPS as if you are supposed to know what the OS is gonna use to get the printer setup.

For God's sake...if I want to setup a printer, it should be the system's job to install ALL software needed to get it working. What is so difficult in that?

...Windows usability issues, and in many cases our experiences have driven many us over to Linux, or kept us there...

Let me remind the author of that line that we Linux users have still not made a dent on the desktop market. I can say, we are economically insignificant. This is despite perceived flaws in Windows. And by the way, Bill Gates was not frustrated over Windows in particular...he appears to have been frustrated by confusing names and un-necessary questions on the Windows website.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947389)

Hundreds of football coaches at the high school, college, and professional level across the U.S. were caught ripping apart their players for their uninspired and incompetent play, using colorful language such as "This team sucks, we're not going to beat anybody at this rate" and "you call that a tackle?" Some even threw clipboards and kicked over water coolers to express their disgust.

Of course, most put on a very different face on their team's chances when speaking to the booster clubs, University Presidents, and people like that. What hypocrisy!

Ah Bill....thou reap what thou sow (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947421)

Karma sure does suck. And Bill Gates has a ton of bad karma. What does he EXPECT? He laid the foundations for the crap he's dealing with in that message.

Assume it's real... so what? (4, Insightful)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947437)

What we have here is the boss complaining about the design of their own product. How is this news?

Is it only news because the slashdot kiddies find any reason to laugh at MS? Or is is news because no other company CEO ever complains about any products their company produces?

I have a dirty secret to admit. I have received an email from the big boss in the past complaining about features implemented by a product we produce. I feel dirty, obviously I'm in the minority. If I submit it to Slashdot, do you think it will make the front page?

As they say on YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947475)

Fake!

Putting yourself in the users place (1)

GoulDuck (626950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23947487)

Fake or not? This looks like a good rant e-mail. You put yourself in the users place and try to do a user task - just like downloading Moviemaker. Then you write about your experience like you are the user, with all the users frustrations and emotions.

What am I doing wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23947519)

I've often wondered, over the last decade, what I'm doing wrong--because I never have trouble with Windows. I've been in the tech field a long time, as a front-line technician, as a Unix sysadmin, as a software developer, and I just don't have trouble with Windows. Even Windows ME never crashed on me (except once, and I had used a beta driver, so you can't really blame Windows for that), and I was running some pretty esoteric hardware at that time.

My conclusion is that I live in a strange parallel universe. I've had much more trouble with the stability of OS X and poor-quality Macintosh hardware than I've ever had with PC hardware (home-built and off-the-shelf) and software. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it shouldn't be the case...perhaps I'm the exception that proves the rule.

(Seriously...I've never been able to retire a Macintosh gracefully. Every single Mac I've ever owned has died a grinding painful death.)

What am I doing wrong? I want to hate Windows too!

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