Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
bill gates, complaints, windows


You Thought You Hated Windows? Check Out What Bill Gates Had To Say

from the classic dept

This one is getting passed around pretty quickly, but as he retires from Microsoft, we couldn't resist highlighting this fantastic internal email from Bill Gates complaining about the usability of some Windows features. It's old -- from 2003 -- but it's difficult to read it and not identify with some of the complaints. It reads like thousands of angry ticked off blog posts from folks who run into ridiculous situations with Windows. The only difference, of course, is that this one comes from Bill Gates. Some excerpts (though, you should read the whole thing):
So I went to Windows update. Windows Update decides I need to download a bunch of controls. (Not) just once but multiple times where I get to see weird dialog boxes.

Doesn't Windows update know some key to talk to Windows?

Then I did the scan. This took quite some time and I was told it was critical for me to download 17megs of stuff.

This is after I was told we were doing delta patches to things but instead just to get 6 things that are labeled in the SCARIEST possible way I had to download 17meg.

So I did the download. That part was fast. Then it wanted to do an install. This took 6 minutes and the machine was so slow I couldn't use it for anything else during this time.

What the heck is going on during those 6 minutes? That is crazy. This is after the download was finished.

Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night -- why should I reboot at that time?

So I did the reboot because it INSISTED on it. Of course that meant completely getting rid of all my Outlook state.

So I got back up and running and went to Windows Update again. I forgot why I was in Windows Update at all since all I wanted was to get Moviemaker.

So I went back to and looked at the instructions. I have to click on a folder called WindowsXP. Why should I do that? Windows Update knows I am on Windows XP.


At some point I get told I need to go get Windows Media Series 9 to download.

So I decide I will go do that. This time I get dialogs saying things like "Open" or "Save". No guidance in the instructions which to do. I have no clue which to do.

The download is fast and the install takes 7 minutes for this thing.

So now I think I am going to have Moviemaker. I go to my add/remove programs place to make sure it is there.

It is not there.

What is there? The following garbage is there. Microsoft Autoupdate Exclusive test package, Microsoft Autoupdate Reboot test package, Microsoft Autoupdate testpackage1. Microsoft AUtoupdate testpackage2, Microsoft Autoupdate Test package3.

Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up.
When asked about the email, Gates claims he sends similar notes nearly every day, as that's his job. If that were the case, though, wouldn't you have expected Windows to actually get better?

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 25 Jun 2008 @ 8:10am

    Re: Not surprising

    I've seen similar incidents thoughout my career.
    The day Ken Olson discovered that the PDP-11/23B
    system wouldn't fit though his office door stands
    out in my mind. I thought his head would explode.
    Although at DEC they listened to Ken.

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