I Hate Microsoft/Longhorn


I've been looking at the "discussion" over at Longhornblogs.

Without going into technical detail, especially since a lot of it is developer level stuff anyway, the dynamics of the discussion is no end of interesting.

I'll try not to be hideously snarky about these people's understanding of a) logic b) economics c) writing.

The one who put up the original post is Robert Scoble, and his post reads (especially in context of the responses it recieves) as differing magnitudes of insufferable.

There's a certain amount of gall in the fact of what they're blowing their own horn about.

Let's just be clear about this, self-deprecation is not the mark of humility, not the mark of humour, not the mark of self-deflation, not the mark of supplication.

The general tone of the post is one of presumption: *everyone* will want to tell us we suck, because we are the be-all and end all. Asking for criticism and then expecting it in it's droves is an oblique way of saying the world revolves around you.

There is no real sense of "there are things deeply wrong, we are worried, help us out because we don't quite know what we're doing". First it's a kind of fishing, "oh it's so bad" "oh no it's not that bad, this and that just need a bit of work". Second, "we're so great and well meaning that how could you not cream in your pants at the thought of making us feel better about what we do".

Just the hyperbole with which he characterises the false expectation he has of how bad the criticism will be bespeaks only a very petty extent to which they are willing to be corrected. You're going to tell us this sucks, that blows - they are making the complaints already sound really trivial. It's the kind of expectation that the uncriticised has of what criticism will be like - they haven't a clue as to how or whether people will react.

That said, the idea of having a Longhorn that's actually good isn't a bad idea, and what they're doing in itself isn't horrible, it's just the way they do it reflects their naivete towards how and why people dislike their products. Telling yourself that people dislike you just because you are no. 1 (and being shy about that position even as you perpetuate your own paranoia about it) doesn't allow yourself to address what is really fundamentally wrong with what you're doing/making.

As far as I know, the only good (?)/ justifiable monopoly is a regulated one which they postively would never want. Don't pretend competition isn't good just because you wish it wasn't. If you want to insist on appealing to the market, where you are paid for your labour/knowledge, you have to respect that that has to occur in a competitive environment, because if money is the only objective (which is what paid software people predicates itself on), in a monopoly the only thing needs to get better is how to get the money.

In terms of how panicked they might feel and how hard they work, I have deep suspicions as to how much Orwell's maxim rings true - the higher you are on the food chain, the more delusional you are about the threat that others pose, the more you believe your own spin. This hardly sounds like a healthy competitive psyche at work.

Thank god blogs aren't expected to be *too* considered and can be expected to peter out and meander a bit. There are sometimes reasons why developers should have people who speak for them - communication is not something that anybody and everybody can do.

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This page contains a single entry by subtitles published on October 23, 2003 2:06 PM.

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