An Open Letter to Steve Ballmer

Dear Mr. Ballmer,

I understand that at the MVP Conference in Seattle this weekend, you referred to Windows Vista as a “work in progress”. As a daily user of this operating system, I have no idea how it is that you can even begin to assume that this phrase gives me confidence for my future use of this OS.

We could argue about the finer points of Windows Vista and all you have learned for as long as you like, but the reality of this situation is that I’m an end user of a product that you’re selling. I expect products that I pay for to work. There are many products I’ve passed on because they simply don’t work. With my OS, I have not been given the option to choose one that works. Windows Vista came with my PC. I called my hardware manufacturer and requested a downgrade to Windows XP one week after I purchased this machine. I told them that I’d gladly pay for the new copy of Windows if they would just send me the discs and could assure me that my machine would still be under warranty. I was told that if I removed your OS from this machine, that my warranty on the hardware was considered void. Weather I like it or not, I am being held hostage to your OS.

So when you tell me that this OS that I’m enslaved to on my own computer is a “work in progress” all I have to say is, “are you friggin’ kidding me?” I’m forced to use this operating system every single day and you’re telling me Microsoft hasn’t even finished the thing yet? Your company worked on this OS for six years and the end result of that is an unstable, unfriendly POS that you are calling a “work in progress”? Your programmers are well-compensated for their positions at your company. What possible reason could they have for allowing your company to release a “work in progress” after six years of software development on this operating system?

I’ve long thought that windows programmers were inconsiderate and incompetent. The fact that the OS only grows in its monstrosity with each iteration is just the start of it. Good programmers tighten down their code, they write a command in the simplest way possible. Good programmers wouldn’t leave so many holes in an OS that the thing looks like the source code equivalent of swiss cheese. They’d try to put holes in the thing for months or even years before they ever considered the idea of releasing their software to the public, and they wouldn’t release that software with a whole bunch of last minute add-ons to please some industry cronies because good programmers know that good software is their life’s blood. Apparently, there aren’t very many good programmers at Microsoft.

I don’t want compensation from you. I don’t really care about all of that. All I want, is to be able to enjoy using my computer again. I want everything that Microsoft took from me when they released this shoddy excuse for an operating system to the public returned to me. I’m not an idiot though. I don’t believe that this will ever happen. I don’t believe that I will ever again be able to use a windows machine and expect to get things done on it. This makes me sad, and reminds me why I so seriously considered a Mac before I decided to get a windows machine that was 400$ less. I now realize that this 400$ discount wasn’t worth the savings.


Stacy Jones

Author and Administrator – Random Gemini Weirdness