Saturday, 24 August 2013




The company's board has created a committee to find a new CEO

Steve Balmer, CEO of the mighty global Microsoft Corporation is quitting and the new leader "may have to create a new strategy". It is sadly probably too late to save Microsoft, a company I have stoutly defended and supported since 1985. Mr Balmer, 54, may be leaving the sinking ship just in time.

Microsoft's problems:

A month ago, MSoft withdrew support for my wife's Office software and that week her PC died with the fatal, screaming Blue Screen of Death. We are two small (separate) home business users and have been since 1985. As the virus struck, after hours of advice, we rushed out and bought her a new laptop with Windows 8 and Office 2013, which MSoft do protect.

Since 1985 we have grappled with various versions of Windows and Office. We have bought hardware and software, suffered crashes, attended courses, read books, been trained, read thousands of opinions, downloaded fixes and painfully learned how to follow the counter-intuitive logic of the programmers - so we could get our work done. We have spent thousands of hours learning how to auto-use our MSoft PC's. Up to about 2 months ago.

Then Steve Balmer commissioned merry kids to restructure all the user interfaces (UIs) - and we are lost and baffled and deeply irritated  - along with millions or billions of other business users, pensioners, disabled people, school children and all who have spent years learning the MSoft Systems. Billions of expensive learning user hours have been tossed aside without a thought. The cost of the destruction of knowledge is breathtaking - it runs to trillions of dollars. The analogy is children designing and mass producing billions of exciting cars then the buyers finding the kids have swapped the peddles around, mislabeled all the switches, disabled the brakes, sabotaged the service points, relocated the doors onto the car roof, blocked the gas tank and shorted all the wiring - just for fun.

One tiny example: For a decade I have backed up our OFFICE OUTLOOK EMAIL onto memory sticks (as .pst files). This has twice proved lifesaving after crashes, instantly restoring our email; latterly when MSoft sent my wife the Blue Screen of Death virus. I still do this backup on my Windows 7 system. Yesterday, I tried and failed to backup my wife's Office 2013 email. First, the new screen layout is bright, bright white and the lettering pale, pale grey making it almost invisible. Second, all the layouts have changed beyond recognition - it takes about 5 hours to discover where the kiddies have hidden familiar switches and about 2 years to get used to them. Third, I spent an hour following my usual routines to "Back-Up". Windows 8 cannot recognize or find "back up" - am I becoming senile? There is no MSoft HELP button. Eventually I resort to the internet to find 3 dozen sellers of "back-up" software that I have never before needed and don't trust, and 5 or six You Tube videos of How To Back Up, of mind boggling complexity, delivered at lightning kiddie speed in hoodie-street jargon. Despite my vast intelligence and 28 years experience, I failed to follow them. I then spent another hour deciphering geek talk on Forums and eventually discovered that MSoft admit they have disabled backup. They don't want customers to have back-ups - they do want us to backup on their servers in California, at a price. This is madness. This is crazed bean-counter cunning greed. This is not good business. 

AND... trying to update my MSoft stuff, I have just had messages that they are now stopping support for some of the software I use. So no doubt they will follow up with viruses to also F**** up my PC and try to force me onto the globally derided and criticized, crazy Windows 8 and Office 2013. 


Unless this "strategy" is rapidly reversed - Microsoft will lose billions of Office business users, which is their highly profitable core business. From what I read on the internet; even when MSoft get thousands of complaints, they ignore their customers. No business can treat its customers with such contempt. The clever, bearded, sandal wearing geeks and boffins at the Oxford shop that supplied my wife's PC - told us that Microsoft are intent on forcing all users onto The Cloud (in servers in California) and taking away all individual customer's control over their own private data. The geeks see this as part of the Prism, NSA, CGHQ, BT, MSoft, Google, Yahoo, Big Brother drive to record and control what we are doing.

After 28 years loyal, vociferous support for Microsoft - what can I do to restore my sanity? What are the alternatives to MSoft? What will it cost me to at last fall into the seductive embrace of inferior, academic, anaemic, pallid, precious APPLE, or walk the rugged outdoor survival path of LINUX Freeware? Do IBM still write sensible business software? Will Blackberry take over the Office Suites and provide reliable consistency? Or must we wait for the Chinese and Russians to gobble up Microsoft's core business market. Britain once boasted, long dead, ICL as a rival to Microsoft and IBM; could it raise from the grave? OR - MAYBE, Microsoft will wise up and sack the kiddies and bring back our familiar, evolving, grown-up, hard learned business tools. Can we sue for all our downtime and enforced learning curves. My time costs $1000 a day!

Oh My God! A friend has just told me that Office 2013 has totally F****d up EXCEL that I use daily, professionally, on auto-pilot. It's back to the abacus. And... where to go to find privacy and confidentiality? The End is Truly Nigh!

PS - We are peaceable, civilized seventy-year olds; but my wife has just interrupted me to help her email a photograph to her publisher on Windows 8 - masked with a lashed up partial Windows 7. She has done this a thousand times before - but crazy Windows 8 intervenes with dozens of picture routines we don't need, want or understand. The only way back to her email is to switch off the PC and start over. We have spent 15 work minutes, 30 minutes in total - and still have no understanding of the system. After 28 years of experience. Please send us a few MSoft programmers so we can repeatedly smash their heads onto the desk. It won't help the computing but will allow us to cathartically die happy. 

Will Microsoft please issue a FIX and send it to my wife. Windows XP Professional was a usable operating system. Even Windows 7 is useful. Take back your crappy Windows 8 and give her a fully functional Windows 7 - please. And destroy Office 2013 and replace it with an earlier version. 

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