Letters to Redmond

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This month, readers question the extent of Microsoft's innovation, wonder why more people use Google over Yahoo, and more.

Stop the Madness!
"Unfair Fight?" [January 2007] is a great article. Can we all, however, stop buying the notion that Microsoft is an innovative company? Were they first to market with a graphical user interface? No. A viable server? Don't think so. A Web browser? No comment. A global directory service? I think that one goes to Banyan and Novell. A world-class search engine? Google the answer to this one. Rather than multiply examples, allow me to predict that, as Microsoft unseats the competition in the segments Carolyn A. April and Ed Scannell mention, its rate of innovation will slow to the point where other firms or projects will recover market share -- because they'll continue to create, and Microsoft won't. Hello Mozilla.
Louis Palena
Brookline, Mass.

Generation Gap
Two quick comments regarding "The 'Net Doesn't Know Everything!!!" [Barney's Rubble, January 2007]: A few years ago I had a near-death experience -- code blue, heart stopped, the whole nine yards. I never saw that white light and people calling me toward it. In fact, I don't remember much of anything: It all just went black. My friends tell me that's a bad sign, but I'm just irritated that I don't have a white light story to tell.

I've never quite figured out why people search on Google more than Yahoo!. I think Yahoo! has better commercials, but people seem to like saying "Google It!" for some reason. I've Yahooed for quite some time, [but] my 16-year-old son went against my will and has a Gmail e-mail address. So much for me being the all-knowing authority figure.
Clyde Hague
Muncie, Ind.

Healthy Competition
I salute the decision to build administrative templates to XML, as discussed in Derek Melber's article "Opening Up New Vistas in Group Policy" [January 2007]. The appearance of printer management is very interesting, but the Print Management snap-in still leaves much to be desired, especially in usability. The ability to control devices also sounds promising, though I haven't seen a list of supported devices. As far as I can see now, it can block USBs and CD-ROMs.

By the way, these features can already be accessed on 2000, XP and even NT4 using some third-party tools. For example, we're using Desktop Authority from ScriptLogic, which has a broader list of supported devices and can also block Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile phones.

The competition always gives the best [options] for us, the users, because we can get more and choose exactly what we want and when we want it.
Paul Frampton
Berlin, Germany

Right of First Refusal
I feel that the December 2006 Reader Review, "VMware Workstation Is a Virtual Powerhouse," unfairly represented Microsoft's offerings in the virtualization space. Though I'll agree that VMware has some significant advantages, Virtual PC is nowhere near the gutter dregs this article suggested. I can understand that there are environments where it's not suitable, but I also know several situations where Virtual PC would be preferable. Exactly because of support issues, cost and networking inconsistencies, I refuse to use VMware to run my Windows "guest" machines. Despite this article, you have a long way to go to convince me to cough up $200 for virtualization on a desktop operating system when I can have a very powerful alternative for free.
Keith Jakobs
Modesto, Calif.

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at [email protected] and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.


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