Microsoft has hits and misses, but all companies do. Fortunately most of the ‘what on earth were they thinking’ Falls on the shoulders of few people. Personally I like the 70’s Pacer and Gremlin cars. They are uniquely ugly, impractical, and a real head turner. Who could not love these Ugly Ducklings?

Software is a slightly different beast. It tends to hit a larger number of people than Pacer or Gremlin owners. Microsoft has many millions of customers. Unlike Ford or GMC or other car companies they are not subject to ‘recalls’. Instead they go on their happy way.

The world finds itself on the brink of Windows 8, I sit in fear and dread. Microsoft are great at producing fabulous software, but they are also the experts at producing crap. The mere mention of DOS 4 will induce a comatose state in any geek in their 50’s. DOS 4 was nothing short of Armageddon. Windows 1, 2 and 3, had the appeal of sex with a goat! Windows 3.11 finally gave a networking solution, but it was still a skittish beast.

Windows 95 finally gave some hope to the silly Windows platform, and Windows 98 positively soared. Of course Microsoft decided to spoil the deal with the 1999 release of ME. This was truly a child from the loins of Satan. I can only assume that the DOS 4 guys were out of their Time Out, and permitted to subject the poor unsuspecting world to another round of software abuse.

In 2001 we met Windows XP, this OS rocked! Even I have little to grouse about. It joined the friendly world of Windows 98 with the Bomb Proof shelter of Windows NT. XP is a very fine operating system.

But of course our friends at Microsoft feel it is time to break stuff. Enter Windows Vista. I class myself lucky in that I did not have to use Vista on a day to day basis. Asinine, boring, and sleep inducing, is my view.

I had pretty much given up on Microsoft, I had become a fan (well user) of Linux. Of course Linux is mostly for Puter Wienies. It took an act of congress to install software, and once installed it took the sleuthing abilities of Sherlock Holmes to find it! And a PhD in astrophysics to get the software to perform even the most simple task.

I changed my mind early this year. I received a gift from some very wonderful people. A Dell laptop loaded with Windows 7. Doze 7 rocks! Doze 7 is what an operating system should be. Ok I still hate the fact that you have to play ‘Whack-A-mole’ with MS Office to find the Menu item you want, but I will merely put the whole Ribbon Menu down to an experiment, one of these days the Office folks will get the message.

So, here we sit waiting for Doze 8. I have reservations. Microsoft are calling it an across platform OS. From desktop, to tablet, from laptop to cell phone, it is one wonderful product.

Personally I smell a rat. I love the idea of producing a single software product that can cross boundaries. But I doubt that Doze 8 is the one. Head for the hills. Doze 8 is soon to be upon us.

Simon Barrett

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