First of all, let me say that I am not a Microsoft basher. In fact, little irks me more than someone who swears by one specific operating system, despite its faults (and they all have faults, believe me) and condemns the ones he doesn’t actually use — there’s a word for it: hypocrisy. (The same attitude can be observed in politics and religion, but I’m not getting into that now.)
This thing with Microsoft automatic updates automatically rebooting my system (which typically happens when large update packs are released on Tuesdays, a practice which has earned the moniker Update Tuesday) is just plain stupid. You want me to reboot after applying the updates, sure, let me know. But if my computer has been idle for the last several hours (because the updates are scheduled at 2:00 am, when I’m not likely to be using my computer) and there are several programs currently running, then perhaps … just maybe … I actually wanted them still to be up and running when I bring my computer out of hibernation! How hard can it be just to leave the “you need to reboot” message on the screen until I decide to do something about it? I’m not a baby.
To add insult to injury, immediately after the reboot, my computer informs me there are new updates to apply. Say what now? Why weren’t they applied along with the must-reboot-and-lose-all-my-work updates? Oh, right, maybe they new updates were dependent on the previous updates, or weren’t needed until the first set was applied or something. Nope, it was a single update: the monthly Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool update. Get real. That certainly could have been bundled with the hey-let’s-screw-up-Outlook-while-we’re-at-it-since-you-left-it-running-when-you-should-have-known-we-were-going-to-force-auto-restart-your-system-for-you-without-even-so-much-as-a-howdy-do-because-we-know-from-your-auto-update-schedule-that-you’ll-be-asleep-at-the-time-we-give-you-a-generous-five-minute-window-to-reject-the-reboot-but-you-shouldn’t-reboot-with-Outlook-open-because-it-will-mess-up-your-files update.
This is exactly the kind of Big Brother tactics that makes for a poor user experience and fuels the aforementioned Microsoft bashing. Redmond, are you listening? Your user experience team is falling down on the job. I could work out a better experience single-handedly. Heck, I’d even be willing to prove it … on your payroll, of course, not pro bono. Let me know when you’re ready to make a deal.
Until then, Microsoft, you should be aware that I’m hedging my bets with other OSes.
Oh, yeah, one last thing, Redmond: That cool radial menu thing y’all are touting for the next version of Windows? I saw the same thing on the Linux on the $200 One Laptop Per Child. And the OLPC has a built-in wireless repeater, so you can daisy-chain wireless connections across the Serengeti. (More on that another time.)