Letters to Redmond
This month, readers question the extent of Microsoft's innovation, wonder why more people use Google over Yahoo, and more.
Stop the Madness!
" [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.
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.
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.
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
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