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The War Of The Word

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the drinking-the-koolaid dept.

Microsoft 511

atari_kid writes "For who didn't know Microsoft has a internal blogging service, which is becoming popular with their employees. And even some of their high level managers have their own blog like Chris Pratley, a group program manager (GPM) for Word2002 (OfficeXP) project. Mr. Pratley just blogged on his 'personal philosophical' conversion from a Mac geek to a Microsoft devotee & his interesting perspective on the 'Word Processor' wars of the mid-90's and why Microsoft won."

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511 comments

Don't forget... (0, Flamebait)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987809)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Ann Coulter has got it right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988187)

In a democratic process, liberals could never persuade Americans to vote for their insane ideas - abortion on demand, gay marriage and adoption, handgun confiscation, cross-district busing, abolishing the death penalty and affirmative action quotas. So issues are simply taken out of the voters' hands by the Supreme Court. Vitally important cultural issues are now decided for us by a handful of unelected elites, who, coincidentally, share the ideology of Janeane Garofalo. It's a lot easier to get a majority out of nine votes than it is to get a majority of 280 million votes.

As long as liberals have a majority of Supreme Court justices in their pockets, they never have to persuade their fellow countrymen to support any of their crackpot ideas. They just sit around waiting for the Supreme Court to give them the "nine thumbs up!" sign to abortion on demand.

When Reagan was president, he threatened to appoint justices who would not discover nonexistent "penumbras," which mysteriously read like a People for the American Way press release, and to return these issues to voters. The uneducated bumpkin Reagan's radical notion was that judges don't write laws, they interpret them.

Liberals exploded in righteous anger - an emotion they've never mustered toward Islamic terrorists, I note. Still, all their theatrics would have been for naught and we would already have our democracy back - but for Arlen Specter.

Specter voted against a slew of conservative Reagan appointees, including Jeff Sessions to a federal appellate court (Sessions now sits with Specter on what must be a rather chilly Senate Judiciary Committee) and Brad Reynolds to be associate attorney general. But his epochal vote was against Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.

Liberals waged a vicious campaign of vilification against Bork, saying he would bring back segregated lunch counters, government censorship and "rogue police" engaging in midnight raids. No one expects more of Teddy Kennedy. But when a senator with an "R" after his name opposed Bork, it was over.

Specter pretended to weigh the attacks on Bork thoughtfully and after careful consideration announced he would vote against Bork. By exploiting the fact that he calls himself a "Republican" - despite voting with John Kerry more often than he voted with Ronald Reagan - Specter gave cover to the left's portrayal of decent, God-fearing Americans who love their country as being about one step away from David Duke. As the first Republican to oppose Bork publicly, Specter ensured that other craven "moderates" would soon follow suit.

The Bork fiasco utterly cauterized the Republicans. After that, Republican administrations were terrified of nominating anyone provably to the right of Susan Sarandon. Instead of legal giants like Judge Robert Bork, we ended up with Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter on the Supreme Court.

Since Bork, Republican presidents have put three justices on the court. Two of the three gaze upon a document that says absolutely nothing about abortion or sodomy and discern a "constitutional" right to both. (But try as they might, they still haven't been able to discern a woman's constitutional right to defend herself from rapists by carrying a pistol in her purse.) Because of the court's miraculous discovery of a right to sodomy last term, gay marriage is now on the agenda in America.

The nation waits with bated breath to see if, this term, the court will strike "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Liberals are so desperate for this to happen that some of them are actually praying for it. The only reason to hope the court might let us keep saying "under God" is that it's an election year. Like Arlen Specter, the Supreme Court often gets religion whenever normal Americans are about to vote.

Luckily for the country, Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court a year before Specter was up for re-election. After supporting Thomas, Specter turned around and started bellyaching that Thomas was a "disappointment" - presumably for Thomas' failure to ferret out any more "new" constitutional rights such as gay marriage or taxpayer-subsidized penis augmentation. Don't hope for any more election-year conversions if Specter is re-elected: The old coot will be 80 years old by the end of the term.

Some Republicans seem to imagine that Specter has a better chance of winning the general election by appealing to Democrats - and thereby helping Bush - than Pat Toomey does. This is absurd. Just because Republicans hate Specter doesn't mean Democrats like him. It's no wonder Pennsylvania often votes Democratic. If Arlen Specter represented the Republican Party, I'd be a Democrat, too.

Ann Coulter is host of AnnCoulter.org, a Townhall.com member group.

MOD THE PARENT UP!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988296)

looks like slashdot really is a hotbed for liberalism

fsck MS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987813)

first anti-ms post

You do it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988016)

It's m$, not ms.

MS Office good enough (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988041)

Yes, it is. Corel's office suite is better though. OpenOffice is the low end, but it too is good enough for most things.

blog this! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987814)

blog this mother fuckaaaaas

frist proast

so frosty!

- cornjchob

failte! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987966)

so FAILey you goddamn fucking FAIL IT

He missed one point (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987824)

OpenOffice Writer is a non-localized piece of crap taking up megabytes of space and memory and missing such simple functionality as embedding multimedia or animations into your documents.

Re:He missed one point (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987908)

"...functionality as embedding multimedia or animations into your documents."

So, do you have to print those out as flipbooks or what?

Re:He missed one point (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987915)

Embedding multimedia and animations into word processed documents is *simple functionality*?

When was the last time you jammed a Quicktime into your TPS cover sheet?

Re:He missed one point (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988085)

Actually the idea of multimedia video clips may be stupid, but embedding into a document is a great and nice feature of the big word processing and office suites. It is very nice to be able to embed a selected bit of data from a spreadsheet into a standard document - and have that data up to date in realtime based on queries from a database or other data source.

That's practically a selling point. (4, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987919)

"and missing such simple functionality as embedding multimedia or animations into your documents."

Until printers can print animated printouts, I'll be happy with word processor programs that don't embed movies or music in documents. (in fact, after the fiasco of Clippy, I don't want ANYTHING animated in the presence of my word processor documents!)

Re:He missed one point -- Yeah Like (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988019)

missing such simple functionality as embedding multimedia or animations into your documents.

Yeah, like I do that every day.

Re:He missed one point (1)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988074)

hey! I want to be able to embed 8meg mpegs into my documents, so I can send them to all my friends and fill up thier email accounts!

Taking up megabytes of space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988076)

What would you like it to take up? Boobles? Brappers? Bigglies? Littlies?

I think most things take up megabytes of space... Including Microsoft Word.

I'm a Republican! (A poem) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987838)

Oh, I'm a Republican
I got a small schling
I like to bomb niggahs
and make a lot o' bling

I got a bunch o' friends
in high up places
They helps me get dem
government graces.

You think I'm smart
I just know who's who
I couldn't run a fruit stand
without the red white & blue

I fancy myself
A brilliant tactician
But neither me nor m'buddies
Could even pass basic trainin'

See, I'm above all that
A fightin' and shootin'
I just say "Sic em!"
Then run the other direction

Don't need no history
Don't need no schoolin'
I got my ideology
To keep me a shootin'

If I get caught screwin'
Or tellin' wicked lies
"Hypocrisy!" I holler
And that justifies the crimes

Liberals! Faggots!
Commies and queers!
Socialist hippies
Full o' pussy tears!

I'll drop some crap
about Jesus the Christ
You'll buy it all
and vote for me twice

'Fact, Jesus is comin'!
Real soon, now!
So we gotta prop up Israel
That ol' sacred cow

Propaganda's m'friend
But I calls it "fact"
Even though I don't read
'Cept for Chick tracts

Facts? No! Don't need em here!
We're conservatives! We work on FEAR!
Don't like what we say?
Well FUCK YOU, bud!
We'll shove it down yer throat
and tell ya it's good!

Re:I'm a Republican! (A poem) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987940)

brilliant.... you commie pinko....

I'm an Impressed Individual! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988181)

Actually that's pretty good and poignant satire. Good job, you're obviously on the smart end of the bell curve.

Microsoft's most valuable soldier in Word Wars (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987846)

Clippy!

Bob is a close runner-up.

Re:Microsoft's most valuable soldier in Word Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987882)

Actually, I think Bob is MIA.

Or maybe a POW. Those nasty Unix savages have probably tortured and mauled him beyond mortal comprehension.

Plays taps forlornly on a flugle horn

Get used to disappointment (4, Funny)

freejung (624389) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987859)

Hopefully the net-dwelling paranoid delusional conspiracy theorists won't descend upon me... :-)

It's always good to have high hopes, but in this case I'm afraid you'll have to get used to disappointment. Here we come!

Re:Get used to disappointment (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987918)

I can't blame him. Were I a "Mac geek" who got hired into management level by Microsoft, with all those phat stock options to look forward to, I would claim to be a newly-converted "devotee" as well.

Word (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987864)

Word

Must be difficult... (1, Insightful)

mseeger (40923) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987868)

Hi,

i guess it must be difficult read a blog which starts word to read any entry.

Sorry, couldn't resist ;-)

Martin

The Old New Thing (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987878)

The best Microsoft employee blog is the Old New Thing [asp.net]. I don't think you'd get far arguing your anti-Microsoft points with Raymond.

Re:The Old New Thing (2, Informative)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988192)

Someone please mod the parent up, it's a shame that is languishing at score 0. It's also a shame that the writeup didn't link to this blog when discussing the msdn blogs.

Digging his own grave? (5, Insightful)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987901)

"I thought Microsoft was, if not an evil empire, at least a maker of substandard products that didn't deserve its success. The elegance of the Mac appealed to my design sensibilities - I took joy from its apparent "perfection".

[...]

The job I was offered had everything I wanted (Japanese content, customer-focus, design, technical content, good employee benefits, location, etc), except it was for the wrong company. I wanted to work at Apple - but they turned me down - quite rudely I felt given I was such a fan."

He admired Apple for its elegance and derided MS for its substandard products; he was rejected by Apple, but offered a job at MS.

Ouch.

It should be said that later, he comes to terms with MS not necessarily on the grounds that they make good product, but that they are a good business. Funny, that.

Re:Digging his own grave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988133)

What!? You mean being a "fan" of Apple doesn't guarantee you a job there!?!? What jerks!

In his defense, he's obviously good enough at his job to get hired by MS, who certainly could have hired just about anybody they wanted, so he's probably not a complete idiot. That still doesn't mean he was automatically the right fit for whatever Apple job he was applying for.

Re:Digging his own grave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988301)

As a consumer, I prefer good products to good business. As an employee, I'd rather have the company pulling smart business moves than good products.

It's over, so soon? (3, Funny)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987903)

MicroSoft won the Word (editor) war?
Guess we better let OpenOffice.org [openoffice.org] and Star Office [singerscreations.com] know right away!

Re:It's over, so soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987986)

Better let Netscape know they lost the browser war, too!

Re:It's over, so soon? (3, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988123)

Microsoft has one the word processor war, yes, there is competition, but it is not at this time a serious threat.

They have also won the browser war, yes, alternatives exist, however the majority of web users still use IE.

Just because a war is over and is won doesn't mean that there is no more room for fighting. Just look at what's still going on in Iraq.

Re:It's over, so soon? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988155)

Microsoft won the first was against WordPerfect (well I think 95% market share is winning). OpenOffice and Star Office were not even competitors at the time. If they start competiting now (and that is a BIG if) then a new war would start. Sort of like how there was two World Wars but both involved Germany.

Tech support (5, Insightful)

TastelessGarbage (598415) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987912)

One key point left out of the blog regarding WP's success: WP offered unlimited, toll-free technical support at the outset. It was very comforting to know that you could call someone who actually understood the program to answer a question. WP built up a lot of goodwill on that basis.

Re:Tech support (3, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988286)

WP offered unlimited, toll-free technical support at the outset

IIRC so did M$. I remember calling M$ tech support a couple of times (actually never to actually get tech support though, I was in MIS and I was curious about their MIS system, which ran on Vaxen at the time).

New Website Creation (0, Offtopic)

earthstar (748263) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987914)

Iam planning to create a slashdot style site , where stories can be posted and people can post their comments.Can you programmers help wth the code part? (coz all i know is html and css)

Re:New Website Creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988107)

"(coz all i know is html and css)"...is that right? Did you get the 'Dummies' book that forgot to show the use of the bold tag? Asscork.

Re:New Website Creation (1)

earthstar (748263) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988164)

First have the courage to give out you name , you Anonymous Coward!!

Re:New Website Creation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988268)

My name is Bob. [bobfromaccounting.com] I live next door to you.

Now look what you've gone and done (4, Funny)

woodhouse (625329) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987929)

You slashdotted microsoft. Another tiny web site bites the dust. I hope you feel proud of yourselves.

That's the problem with blogs... (4, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987936)

...not only do the completely uneducated (like myself, or slashdot) get to spout off incorrect information they heard from a friend of a guy they met somewhere but also the really bad people can blow smoke up each other's arses too...

Next thing you know, Ken Lay and Dick Cheney will have a blog about how their hearts are breaking for the poor unemployed, oppressed everyday Joe... and people will buy it because hey, it's on a blog.

Re:That's the problem with blogs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988114)

What planet are you on where a low-level Word developer is one of the "really bad people"?

I call fake blog (4, Insightful)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988159)

Anyone else getting a flashback to when Microsoft was running Mac-to-Windows "switcher" stories, which turned out to be bogus pieces written by flacks in their PR department?

$5 says this "blog" is another such flake.

Re:I call fake blog (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988234)

I am a Mac to Windows switcher. I was a full fledged MacAddict subscriber. I became disillusioned around OS 7.6 and switched to NT 4.0. I have never looked back. Now I use XP as my desktop and Slackware as my server. I can see no reason to ever use Mac again.

People love them now but they use to be a real disaster. Constant lock ups, awful memory management, 10 yr old GUI, battery fires, and constant promises of the great new OS around the corner (Rhapsody or Gershwin or BeOS or whatever). I also worked for two different companies that made the switch from Mac to NT with thousands of users.

There were tons of switchers but no one likes to admit it too much. It is definitely not popular to praise Microsoft and bash Apple these days.

Re:I call fake blog (4, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988258)

What makes this not astroturfing is that the guy comes right out and says he works for Mircrosoft. If he hid that information before rambling about how nifty MS is, then he would be following in the Grand Tradition of his company.

I remember the Windows "switcher" fiasco with fondness. IIRC, what got them busted was using public-domain clip-art photos as the people who supposedly switched. People were like, "hey, wasn't she just telling me to refinance my mortgage in a pop-up add last week?"

WP 5.1 - those were the days (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987945)

Although I use MSWord because that's what the world uses, and am a power user who is both a writer and a more than competent VBA programmer. I know where I speak from, however...

I still keep Word Perfect 5.1 on my 386-SX based Toshiba notebook. Notebook and word processor run just fine, and to this day would meet 99% of my needs if I didn't have to exchange documents with others (meaning they send me MSWord files).

I remember when WP succeeded because they supported a wide variety of hardware, and most every printer in existence -- unlike anyone else at the time.

And when they failed by not forseeing the quick move to MSWindows 3.0 and above.

Those were the days. What days? The days when there was still compeition in our industry.

Re:WP 5.1 - those were the days (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988250)

I ... am ... a ... competent VBA programmer

Oxymoron detected.

Interpretation? (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987951)

"In the period 1992-1994, Word wiped the floor with WordPerfect in reviews, winning just about all of them. "

Excuse my tinfoil hat, but wasn't that about the time that Windows finally stopped sucking utterly, and became a tool that everyone, including PHBs, could use? Isn't this the era of PC Magazine, and John Dvorak, and everyone's grandmother getting a PC?
Word was never technically superior, it merely appealed to a broader (and simpler) audience. There is a difference. Word won because it got reviews from trade rags. Word won due to a cultural shift - where document presentation became more important than its content, where a document's formatting is more important than its timely production. Word is the Guardent [guardent.com] of word processors.
In answer to the folks who claim WP was a lousy product, I have two words: Reveal Codes.
I only jumped to Word97 from PC Word 5, then only because it was a 32bit app. By then, WP was dead and buried. I made the jump to Word2000 at work, then to OOo, which I use under the radar to publish all of my documents, typically via PDF.

Re:Interpretation? (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988100)

wasn't that about the time that Windows finally stopped sucking utterly

Well, that would have been Win3 days, before Windows 95, obviously (Aug '95) - which, IMNSHO still sucked. GPF's, 16 bit apps, a message queue where one proggy could hang up everything, bletch. It wasn't untill untill Windows 2K that it stopped sucking utterly and just sucked moderately.

REVEAL CODES!! (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988199)

Yeah! Tell it from the mountain, brother!

Reveal Codes. I still can't believe Word doesn't have it. My old Commodore 64 word processor can (and, in fact, must) show codes directly on the screen, but Word can't.

If OpenOffice had reveal codes I'd never need to use another word processor except for document conversion (and OpenOffice already does that rather well).

Re:Interpretation? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988213)

Reveal Codes - that was one indication of how bad WP was. You had to have a window full of binary so that you could fix the braindead formatting WP would do to your document. Word 4 was better, and that was before it was WYSIWYG. You could add embedded postscript in Word docs to do line art. I wish it still supported that instead of Virus Basic. Word won because it was better. Well, and because of Flight Simulator.

Re:Interpretation? (4, Insightful)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988260)

Word was never technically superior, it merely appealed to a broader (and simpler) audience

It's important to remember that businesses used to run on personal secretaries and typing pools. WordPerfect had an "expert" blank-screen UI that appealed to these users. They could remember Ctrl+F7 (rather than a printer icon) because they really had few other professional responsibilities. Knowing the WP command set warranted a significantly higher pay for secretaries in those days.

The shift to GUI PCs and MS Word allowed companies to force their PHBs to type their own memos. They then could dismiss/reassign most of the admin staff for considerable cost savings. This wasn't so much a "cultural shift" but a matter of pure $$$.

Apparently Word's Grammar Checker... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987970)

...isn't used.

For who didn't know Microsoft has a internal blogging service, which is becoming popular with their employees.

Eh now?

Why Word won (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987973)

It is rather easy to sum things up. Word and other Microsoft programs won for two reasons. Lotus 1-2-3 was kicked out because it took them one year longer than Microsoft to get the Windows version out (thanks to Microsoft having access to the Windows internals and being able to use undocumented functions) With word it was a different issue, it was more or less because Word basically was warezed left and right and even being an absymal product compared to Word perfect at that time, everybody including the neighbour of everybody had it at that time. Lots of Microsoft products got their access into companies that way, via the private warezing and forcing the bossed to buy the stuff the employess were used at home.

Reverse Engineering (5, Insightful)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987981)

So the Word team organized a special dev team that focused entirely on WordPerfect document import, "reverse-engineering" the WordPerfect file format (documentation for which was jealously guarded, as was the norm back then).
The more things change...

OEMs preinstalling Office (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987993)

I guess getting OEMs to pre-install Office and not other products can only have helped Microsoft.

the abbreviated version (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8987997)

1. Microsoft bloggers are very enthusiatic about Microsoft.

2. If you get turned down for a job at Apple you might not like the computers so much any more.

3. Asian versions of software are complicated.

4. Microsoft puts out crappy products at first and then listens to customers to improve them.

5. Other companies make mistakes and Microsoft almost always takes advantage of the situation.

6. Having a huge monopoly in operating systems and file formats gives Bill Gates a huge erection. I swear you can see it during meetings.

(Okay I made up that last one.)

Too ironic (5, Interesting)

maximino (767005) | more than 9 years ago | (#8987998)

Oh, I love this:

The Word planning team discovered that the WordPerfect sales force was going around to customers and showing Word opening a complex WordPerfect file (printer.tst) to show how bad the conversion was, and therefore how pointless it would be to try to switch to Word. So the Word team organized a special dev team that focused entirely on WordPerfect document import, "reverse-engineering" the WordPerfect file format (documentation for which was jealously guarded, as was the norm back then).

And of course Microsoft now uses open file formats, which mean that OpenOffice can seamlessly open Word files. Microsoft would certainly never try to keep people using its products by suggesting that other products would be unable to open its files. It's features and price that sell product today, boys and girls!

MS's blogging (2)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988000)

What I'm wondering is why the higher ups at Microsoft appear comfortable with their employees chatting it up in online forums that will most likely become public. Either they are very confident in employee allegiance, or maybe they're betting that what they're doing may be perceived by the public in a favorable enough way that even if an insider talked trash, the public's seeing MSFT's confidence in their employees' confidence (by letting them blog) would outweigh the trash talking. On the other hand, I could be completely stupid like they keep telling me in #debian.

The MS Method (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988005)

"...the customers in Japan had largely dropped their resistance to Word."

"...So, that in a nutshell is the Microsoft method."

Translated: Resistance is futile.

Grow a pair! (4, Funny)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988010)

I've been a little gun-shy of blogging about Word for fear of being inundated by what are as far as I can tell a gang of "net thugs" who roam the net making outrageous claims about Microsoft and its behavior

Puh-leeze, Chris, you manage a flagship product for one of the richest monopolists in the country, one that has de facto control of the IT market, and you're afraid of emails from 13-year-old kids?

Try to at least ACT like a man.

Re:Grow a pair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988108)

YEAH, FUCK THAT FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER! Oh wait....

You mean....being an asshole doesn't help convert MS users? Huh. And 10,000 emails from angry Linux fucktards who just act like they're 13 doesn't seem quite so inoccuous now, does it?

Chris Pratley (5, Insightful)

jrj102 (87650) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988012)

I've met Chris a number of times... he's a real stand-up guy with a good head on his shoulders. If Microsoft had more like him they would probably be very successful... no, wait...

I rather like Microsoft's newfound interest in what they call "transparancy." I think that the blogging trend inside MS is a good thing-- it is surprising how little the company curtails the content on their employee's blogs.

--- JRJ

Re:Chris Pratley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988096)

this is the same transparent company that fired their mac guy over a picture of a crate of G4s being unloaded on M$FTs loading dock ?

Re:Chris Pratley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988304)

Bah. He was fired because he couldn't be trusted and publicly posted pictures taken from company-owned facilties without their permission.

Was the content of the unauthorized photos pretty much harmless? Yes, this time it was. Doesn't matter. But there won't be a next time.

Interesting Stuff Comes Out Late (3, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988029)


I'm sure more than a few of the bright employees at MS have some stories waiting to be told. OTOH, they're probably still grateful for the stock option wealth of the last 2 decades and feel some loyalty to the company that has done both good and bad.

Maybe Bob Woodward ought to interview some of them....

That's it (4, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988039)

So, that in a nutshell is the Microsoft method. Understand the market, and the customers, and then go pedal to the metal, with release after release focused on what the customers need, incorporating their feedback. That puts the competition into reaction mode. And of course it helps if they also make a strategic error because they are under so much pressure.

Or, to put it another way: version 1 sucks, version 2 sucks, they keep pushing on, version 3 isn't bad, 4 is better, 5 is pretty good, 6 is excellent. Of course, at that point they've improved as much as they can, things start getting clunkier and the Linux knockoff has reached the quality of version 4.

But it's a better plan than a) making something good, systematically ruining it and then suing Microsoft or b) making something that sucks, freaking out and making something else that sucks and then suing Microsoft, the two primary approaches of their competition.

You lost me... (5, Insightful)

akaina (472254) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988066)

Details like great design were not critical to most customers, so that didn't really make it into the products, except where it mattered to the customer. It's hard to fault this logic really - it is pure efficiency from a business perspective

I'm sorry, but try as I may, you completely lost me after that comment.

Short sighted design gives M$ a bad name among developers - and by people who use computers more than the "average consumer", like say: at work.

Microsoft: Bottom line - push product - get money.

There's nothing "pure" what-so-ever about this statement. You may as well be writing about how you learned to appreciate McDonalds.

Re:You lost me... (1)

hf256 (627209) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988303)

I've worked for companies with fabulous designs who couldn't sell their products for the money it cost to build them. Conversly, I've worked for companies that have made (and are making) money hand over fist even though the design sucks.

Given that no design is perfect once a large amount of time has elapsed, I'd rather still have the ability to change the design than go broke because I was too perfectionist the first time around.

Sophisticated marketing! (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988068)

What's this guy's blustery hoopla all about? Why he loves Microsoft, why he's so smart, and all that jazz...
Give yourself a big pat on the back, Chris! We're all proud of you.

net thugs? (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988093)

I've been a little gun-shy of blogging about Word for fear of being inundated by what are as far as I can tell a gang of "net thugs" who roam the net making outrageous claims about Microsoft and its behavior, motives, etc in every public forum they find (none of which information they are privy to, little of which they have evidence for, and basically all of which I find personally offensive, not to mention incorrect - since they often are implicitly about me and therefore I for one know them to be incorrect).

does that word mean what I think it means? .
.
.
S-L-A-S-H-D-O-T?

Re:net thugs? (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988226)

...making outrageous claims about Microsoft and its behavior, motives, etc in every public forum they find

That would also be an apt description of the Msft marketing dept.

It is usually easier... (2, Insightful)

theAmazing10.t (770643) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988102)

It is usually easier to write a better Office product when you have an inside track to the OS API.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/20/ms_history /

Yet more Evidence of the "Kool Aid" (1)

matthewcharlesgoeden (764440) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988121)

Very interesting read; but, notice how Chris never mentions Microsoft quasi-legal business strategies that *really were the driving force to Word's market dominance. (bundling, strong-arm contracts, etc.)

You see, the "Kool Aid" makes people like Chris forget to look at the big picture and simply think, "Microsoft products are now dominant, so they must be the best." It is evidence like this blog that makes that truly exposes the potency of the "Kool Aid."

Quickly over quality? (4, Interesting)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988148)

After a year of distrusting the company somewhat, I began to gain an appreciation of how Microsoft worked, and to see it for what it was - a machine that was focused on building products that people wanted, as quickly and as well as they could. Note the "quickly" - this was what distinguished MS from Apple in the end - a focus on moving quickly, and beating the competition. Details like great design were not critical to most customers, so that didn't really make it into the products, except where it mattered to the customer.

I haven't read the whole thing, but I wanted to comment on this. His argument makes sense for a certain amount of time, but that time may come to a halt quickly. Microsoft's core business units (Windows and Office) are quickly becoming commodity prices. The efforts of Linux and OpenOffice are, in most respects, equaling the features found in Microsoft products. At the same time, the number any new features added often just bloat the product. When this happens, you have to start competing on quality.

Linux does this as an OS in the server room. However, as a mainstream desktop, Linux lacks in the quality department (ease of use, interface consistency). However, Windows isn't the greatest at these things either and open source should see a huge hole for stealing market share if people get behind efforts to improve the quality (UI, etc.) of the desktop product.

Apple has demonstrated the validity of the quality thinking, unfortunately they seem content to remain a niche market player. I really respect Apple for this, but would love to see Linux take a page from their quality book and read it to the mainstream.

Carefully thought out MS Strategy?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988156)

Could it be that this blog site is part of a careful strategy of MS to get outsiders to think that the MS employees are being open and honest? I think its a strategy to try and look/act like the Open Source community... "A wolf in sheep skin is still a wolf".

basically all of which I find personally offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988165)

Hey, that just trippled the fun.
You can tell the truth about MS and they even get pissed about it. ;-D

As much as it pains me (3, Insightful)

Jack Wagner (444727) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988167)

Details like great design were not critical to most customers, so that didn't really make it into the products, except where it mattered to the customer.

I think this, despite what the slashdot techy/programmer crowd may think, is spot on. MS has a reputation for rushing stuff out the door and for selling borken software, but the fact is that most of their stuff was "good enough" where it counted. Then over time they hack away and hack away until they mostly get it right. Other software companies could learn for them on this strategy although perhaps things are a bit different today.

As a former MickeySoft employee let me tell you : (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988195)

The next version of Word will be released sometime next year, use open forat for storage and will completely obliterate so called "open source solutions".

This story has been brought to you by
GNAA - Gay Niggers Association of America

This is cute! (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988200)

(remember this was back when PC-focused magazines existed in large numbers, and actually reviewed products and compared them).

How about remember when EULA's didn't prohibit benchmarking under threat of well-funded legal assault?

Yes, I remember when good vendors were proud to show the world what their products could do.

How about it, Chris? We all know you're reading /. today to see how your blog is being received. You're in the inside. How about doing your part to open up benchmarking of all MS products again?

Head Hunter Fodder (4, Interesting)

malia8888 (646496) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988218)

I used to be a corporate head hunter, finding great people from one company and moving them to a competitor's company.

If I were still in that business I would be mining those in company blogs for the best talent. If I were Microsoft I would make those strictly available for internal use only.

True, it would be difficult to romance someone away from the biggest "bestest"; however, many of us have been trapped under an evil middle management boss at one time or another and would be willing to defect.

Nice astroturf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988223)

One mention in slashdot is worth a millon in ads and puffpieces.

Word is The Winner (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988252)

I suppose it's true. Fine.

But I gotta note that Word drives me up the g.d. fscking wall with its habit of altering formats for no apparent reason. Indentions, fonts, everything just changes at random because I press spacebar, enter, backspace or delete. Sometimes half a page of prior paragraphs will change because I pressed a button while editing an entirely different paragraph.

The damn bloody thing does not behave. I could get better cooperation from a two-year-old child. Don't you tell me I must be doing something wrong, or that I must need to get an upgrade. Bah. It's been this way for years.

MacWrite never acted like this. StarOffice neither. This has nothing to do with Linux Zealotry or Open Source Fantacism - I could care less about any of that.

Yes, Microsoft is the winner: When it comes to pure teeth-splintering, hair-shredding frustration, Microsoft, congratulations, you've got 'em all beat, and you probably always will.

Bastards.

Hey Chris, check your facts (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988254)

(286 processor had a max of 1MB addressable RAM)

Excuse me, Chris, but the 80286 processor addressed 16MB in protected mode. While protected mode was not backward compatable with the real mode of the 8086/8088 processors (due to a real Intel fsck-up), properly written code could access the full 24-bit address area.

At least you know we're reading your blog carefully.

The real reason Word "won": (5, Insightful)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988272)

If you write a GUI OS and don't give developers from competing companies any info about the OS you get to market first, and win.

Anyone remember Sprint by Borland? Of course you don't.

It's also the reason Access took over and not Paradox.

oh... It had more than a little to do with why no one uses Quattro by Borland also.

Borland's first line of Windows versions of their software had to be developed with VERY little knowledge of the Windows API.

It's funny that he doesn't mention any of the lawsuit wars that went on between MS and Borland when Windows first came out.

They sued Borland over having drop-down menus in their products... and won.

Oh oh oh! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988294)

He forgot to intialize the variable average to zero, thus meaning it had a random value at the start! ...

revolting propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8988295)

I was hoping for a "fresh perspective", but after the first two paragraphs my stomach turned, and I couldn't finish the article without the nasea building up.

Truly in sickeningly bad taste.

Yuch!

So what changed regarding backwards readability? (3, Interesting)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988307)

So the Word team organized a special dev team that focused entirely on WordPerfect document import, "reverse-engineering" the WordPerfect file format .... but in particular their goal was to have no errors at all on printer.tst. Later the Word sales force used that same file when talking to customers as proof that Word 6.0 could open WordPerfect files flawlessly.

So what changed? Word of today does not open WordPerfect files -- hell, it doesn't even open Microsoft Works files! He seems to understand that this is a huge deal to users, but the modern Word program ignores this basic need.

For instance, I teach a class online [umuc.edu]. Part of the requirement is that students submit papers throughout the semester. Being an open minded and computer literate kinda guy, my syllabus allowed students to submit papers in any common file format.... Only to find that Word XP garbles anything that's not Word -- even other Microsoft products! Unbelievable. Fortunately, I have access to WP and OfficeStar -- but even then, opening Works files was nigh impossible until I found that one of my old laptops came pre-installed with it.

So I guess I just don't get it -- he understands the issue but ignores the solution. A perfect example of why Word is the choice we live with rather then the choice we desire.

"...so yes, even Microsoft makes mistakes" (1)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 9 years ago | (#8988308)

Hah.. As if thats just so hard to imagine. Of course Microsoft makes mistakes. They have made too many mistakes to count. Its a testament to the scope and breadth of their monopoly that it has kept them afloat through blunders that would've been the end of lesser companies.

Its telling that someone on the 'inside' is of the opinion that his employer is (nearly) infallible. Gimme a break. I'm no Microsoft hater (I'm mostly ambivalent) but that kind of attitude gives me an idea of how myopic the people there must be.
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