I cannot feel sorry for Microsoft

No, I don't think Microsoft are being treated unfairly. Having as a relatively senior person in my past employment been provided with a Windows 3.1 working environment which was a "taken for granted mystery", I found upon taking wing on my own, some joy in more fundamental computing with DOS, returning to Windows after having gained some, millions of people around the world cannot be wrong. Windows is good. So I continued developing my understanding of IT using W95, warts and all.

Being a bit isolated in a rural setting and seeking access to computer educational facilities, I reckoned the Web would provide what I needed. Finding that my facility with an early version of Netscape was lacking I downloaded IE. After gaining some more feeling for what I was doing, I tried MS Fax. Then I went back to Netscape to find that I could not handle it. Non-functional. Earnestly believing that computers do exactly what you tell them, I became convinced of my incompetence.

Then I found that my fax package did not function either. I spent about two days going through the events and came up with the thought that file name alterations could have been in some way involved. Then came the avalanche thought, soon confirmed by the discomfort of some vendor-type people to whom I spoke and eventually a knowledgable person who indicated that I was not far off the track -- Microsoft had arranged that this disruption would occur.

That was all some time ago, but I cannot forgive them for the time wasting they put me through, but more particularly for their making me, one of their customers, feel like an idiot for two days. They would probably say "you should have asked", and I would reply "In my state of ignorance, I trusted you."

So I cannot feel sorry for them. I can only shake my head at their staggering presumption that business outcomes justify their actions. Having been burned, I am not prepared to buy only MS -- my systems will always be sourced competitively. I would like to upgrade to W98. But until I can use Netscape without problems, I certainly will not.

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Warwick Nichols

PC World

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