9 November 1999

Damn… missed a day…
But I did watch “A Fistful of Dollars”. That is a damn good movie. I’ll need to watch “For A Few Dollars More” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” later this week or next week.
For a moment, let me share with you the pain of many of my work days… Microsoft.
Now, I’m not one of those people who slam MS every chance they get… I happen to like many of their products. My true pain is http://www.microsoft.com. This is probably one of the worst designed web sites that I have seen a corporation put up in a long time.
Their site used to be good, you could just browse around and find what you wanted. Most importantly you could pull up the list of all available downloads and drill down to what you needed.
Now everything on that dag blamed site is using Active Server Page rendered search engines. If you can’t find the archaic encrypted keyword combination to pull up what you need you end up with one of two results.
1) No results returned.
2) 900 billion products served.
You either get nothing, or every article about every product they ever put out. And even if you pull up a page that tells you how to install the files you are looking for, odds are that there is no link to actually GET THE FILES!!!
Time and again I have to go looking for files or information at their site only to spend 4 or 5 HOURS!!! looking for what should take a handful of minutes at best.
You want an example of the bizarre layout of Microsoft’s webpage? Go there and look up the MS SNA Server 4.0 Service Pack 3 (search for keyword ‘sna4sp3’). Then find the list of Fixes included in the Service Pack. They refuse to give you a single document that explains the fixes, they insist of breaking it out into a separate page per fix. And even then, they usually only give you a two line description of the problem (not enough to tell if it is the problem you are having) and then the fix… the fix, of course, always being: “Install the latest service pack.” Did they really need to waste this much space and time when for all I (or really anyone in the technical field) care to see is a text file listing as much info as possible. I don’t need the beautiful graphics and “user friendly” ASP designs… I’m already an MS product owner, lay off the hard sell!!!!
Now I’m going to take my pills, relax, and blow people up in a friendly game of TeamFortress.

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