The Monoculture Blues

This morning, I sat in my usual seat on the train (first class - power socket and free coffee!) and observed a chap opposite who seemed to be having tremendous difficulty with his large windows-based phone. It was a monster - at least the size of a "large" old Blackberry and about four times thicker (due in part to the extended battery on the back).

After I observed the trade magazine of the IT reseller on his table (and I therefore decided he was fair game...), we got chatting and I showed him the Pearl. "Look", I said, "This does more than your one does, and its a phone!".

He complained about the size of his monster, the weight, the battery life (even with "Monstro" the battery, less than two days), the slowness of the operating system (which prevented him answering calls), the crap phone coverage/signal and quality...

After a few minutes of this (it seemed), I did point out that I did used to have an XDA windows phone - nightmare - and that I've seen the light. Why doesnt he switch ?

"I work for a microsoft reseller. We *have* to use these".

God. Imagine living in that world, full of "second or third" best products, forced to use the excreta from Redmond, waiting for the next big release - which of course will fix all the bugs in this one... Such as:

  • Windows phones. Until portable fusion cells actually weigh less than 500 pounds, they *will* be crap

  • MS Exchange. cc:Mail for the new millennia, based on the Jet (Access) engine. New! Improved! You can now push this unreliable database to 72 gig! In terms of features, no longer recommends "shared folder" public applications. But you can hook your windows phones to it and get push eMail.

  • MS SQL. Whilst itself a solid product, even the product management admit that the latest 2007 version doesnt actually add anything.

  • Sharepoint. Its an application infrastucture, but doesnt yet have a development tool. And the free version - dont touch.Its just a gateway drug to MS SQL.

  • Office. Big. Clunky. Unreliable. Expensive. And can be replaced by OpenOffice.

  • and so on, and so on. Repeat every few years.

A very wise person recently commented to me that being "Rich" is no longer about disposable income or consumer goods. Its about the choice on what tools you use, the choice on where/what/when you work, and the choice to lie in bed and say "I'm not getting up today".

Poor Microsoft Monoculture man....