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I spent some of today wondering why it is that no Microsoft employee has suffered any public retribution for what they inflict on us.

Until today Skype had never worked properly on my Vista PC. I gave up long ago and used another PC for Skype. Periodically I updated Skype on the Vista box, and tried again. Today I finally got it working.

In the presence of a Logitech webcam and a Realtek sound driver the default behaviour is for Logitech software to mute the speakers as soon as a call is answered. Fine if you are playing music; not fine if you are trying to use Skype.

There is a solution, but with all companies concerned blaming others for this pathetic state of affairs, the problem simply continues. Given the numbers of customers left to fend for themselves in dealing with timewasting problems like this it really is a miracle that nobody has gone postal in Seattle.

Microsoft paints itself into a corner over and over again. Each ingenious escape is never enough. Douglas Adams said

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

I find Adams’ writing generally tiresome, but here he was onto something here as any young software developer knows.

Young, because older and wiser ones know better than to blame others for their lack of foresight and they have a greater awareness of the pitfalls of communication between people (a textbook example here worth reading if you ever need to demonstrate this for yourself ).

What may appear “stupid” may simply not be economic to fix even if known about.

By and large software developers are dealt a hand and they have to play it. If Internet Explorer v6.0 has a dominant market share, web developers must support it, despite it being a dog’s breakfast.

Chances to redefine the market and escape this burden are few and far between. Here’s one from Google: A Fresh Take on the Browser and a comic book explanation.

This could be a bit more of the beginning of the end for Micrsoft.

4 Responses to “Google Chrome: A Fresh Take On The Browser”

  1. Chrome is nothing less than a potential pillar of a new web-based operating system. I will be surprised if this is not on the cover of the next Business Week. It must be. It’s the most significant event in the industry in years. It’s not just a counterpunch to Internet Explorer v8.0 it’s a potential fork in the road of how the web evolves.
    A paradoxical outcome could be a reprieve of sorts for current versions of Microsoft Windows. I will not be surprised if the world’s IT managers, if they find Chrome lives up to its security billing, install it and remove other browsers. At a stroke it will make PCs significantly safer. (Chrome will be available only for Windows initially.)
    BTW you’ve probably seen the video of Bill Gates getting a cream pie. Here’s a good joke about it.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I couldn’t stand how slowly the comic loaded for me, so I’ve no idea what all the fuss is about. But if it’s a Window-only fuss, even just for now, I’m not bothered anyway.

  3. If Google is having trouble with the load the interest level must be through the roof.

    I’ve since tried IE8, slightly against my better judgement. However, I keep the minimum possible on the Vista PVR (no Firefox) and decided to try IE8 for the hell of it. It’s really quite good. Surprise, surprise. And it hasn’t crashed yet either.

    Alas, I am sure I accidentally gave MS permission to update it automatically, which I think was not wise (I was doing it by remote control with UltraVNC and not paying enough attention). What’s the betting I’ll find a recording interrupted because MS thought I should reboot?

  4. Hmm. It really WAS against my better judgement. I found later, after installing IE8, that my HDMI sound driver needed to be reinstalled. I can’t be 100% certain the IE installation was to blame as I updated a few other things (such as Superflexible, which doesn’t use sound) at the same time, but I’m almost certain… Microsoft was responsible.

    That’s it for me. The last time I install beta software on what’s supposed to be an appliance.

    Cream pies are too soft a punishment enough for Microsoft.

    Now installing Google Chrome, but not on the PVR.

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