Tag: Microsoft

The culture that is Microsoft

By Razib Khan | April 23, 2012 12:03 am

Frustration, Disappointment And Apathy: My Years At Microsoft:

Large companies have overheads, a necessary evil, you say. Overheads need to be managed. And managed they are: Group Managers, Program managers, General managers, together with ‘Senior’ flavours of those and a whole new breed of directors, stakeholders, business owners, relationship leads coupled with their own countless derivatives.

All those meeting-goers are not making anything. Deciding upon and making something is hard. And if this onerous activity has to be done, then hire external consultants for it. It’s easier and less risky.

There is no creative tension, no vision these days. Left to Microsoft’s hands we’d still be toiling on overheating Vista desktops.

This company is becoming the McDonalds of computing. Cheap, mass products, available everywhere. No nutrients, no ideas, no culture. Windows 8 is a fine example. The new Metro interface displays nonstop, trivial updates from Facebook, Twitter, news sites and stock tickers. Streams of raw noise distract users from the moment they login.

The rise of sclerotic bureaucratic intermediaries isn’t just a problem with Microsoft. Remember when parasitic squid were generating 40 percent of the economy’s profits? It’s no better in academia:

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology
MORE ABOUT: Microsoft

Against Microsoft Word

By Razib Khan | April 12, 2012 4:21 pm

Until a few years ago if I had to use MS Office, I used Office 97. I’ve been using Open Office and its precursors going back to 2000, but sometimes people really want MS format, and the export and “save as” features of Open Office don’t always work the best.* Now that I have upgraded to the new Word I really miss the old version. I thought that was due to my huge gap in usage, as what was a gradual shift seemed like a radical rupture to me. This indicates I’m wrong:

I know only one person who loves working in Word: my 4-year-old. It’s valuable to him to be able to put the names of subway lines in their correct colors, or to spell out “autumn” with each letter a different falling-leaf hue, or to jump from Times New Roman to Comic Sans to Chalkboard in midstory. He also loves to write things on my old manual Smith-Corona. A tool that’s lost its purpose makes a great toy.

* I’m in Linux a fair amount too, so it often isn’t an option.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized
MORE ABOUT: Microsoft
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