Microsoft you make it very hard to switch back

A while back I wrote about my Apple and Google lifestyle and I still do it that way, but since I quit my regular job I also miss having a Windows laptop. I like Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 and enjoyed the promise of Windows 8. In general I think Microsoft had a good 2010, with the adoption of the web with HTML5 support in Internet Explorer 9 and introduction of Office 365, you show glimpses of the past glory. Unfortunately your hardware partners still don't know how to make compelling hardware and thus devaluate your software. I'm happy to hear you are working on this for your tablet strategy.

However while you recently have been doing better than for a long time, I still have doubt if you are able to maintain the ever increasing complexity of your software solutions. Just this week I wanted to do a simple upgrade from Internet Explorer 8 to Internet Explorer 9 on an older and bit forgotten piece of hardware. This machine used to be the pride of the living room acting as a media center, a concept that I still love and unfortunately Microsoft is not innovating in this area. The media center function by now is replaced by a second generation Apple TV. I was by now mainly using the hardware to test some of my web projects on Internet Explorer and since you do well with Internet Explorer 9 and I see adoption growing I decided to do a simple upgrade from Internet Explorer 8 to 9.

This unfortunately wasn't that a simple process. I downloaded Internet Explorer 9 and run the installer, but that only gave cryptic messages on an incorrect service pack. Some research was necessary and it appeared that on Windows Vista Service Pack 2 was required. I know, and many people already told me, that I shouldn't be using Windows Vista, but only a few years ago I was the latest and the greatest you ever made and I believed your promises and happily paid a $300+ for a Vista Ultimate license to run media center. It worked and I just didn't bother to upgrade, why fix if it ain't broken. So don't tell me know I'm stupid!

I first made sure that all required windows updates were installed and downloaded and installed service pack 2. Unfortunately the installation failed and again back to Google Bing and found a hot fix for the service pack to be installed first. Installed the hot fix and installed the service pack and all was successful, except for the last reboot before completion. It just doesn't boot anymore, not even in safe mode. I'm now stuck with a nice piece of hardware that just doesn't run anymore. I can't find the original disk anymore and vaguely remember I threw it away a few months ago and all I can do now is dish out $120 for a Windows 7 upgrade and reinstall. This $120 is not a nice message on the day that Apple introduces OS-X Lion for $30 and the Apple TV that replaced the media center was only a $100.

Microsoft, thank you for killing my media center with a simple Internet Explorer update. I know you work hard to avoid this kind of situation, but you really, really have to try much, much harder to regain trust so I want to spend money on you again. I'm for now trying to install from my 10 year old original Windows XP disks.


Steve Jobs live @ wwdc: "The PC as digital hub idea has broken down in the last few years."

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