Microsoft does not believe that Microsoft has a future?

Two events in the last week have convinced me that the management of Microsoft does not believe that their company has a future.  The management are, it seems, the sort of grey people who took over Apple, expelled Steve Jobs, and ran the company into the ground.

The first event took place at my PC in my workplace, where I was working on something delicate.  Windows 10 popped up an announcement that it wanted to do an upgrade.  I reset the schedule for a couple of hours hence and carried on.  And then, in the middle of my work, suddenly it closed all my work and tried to reboot.  Windows had ignored my request and just restarted.  Obviously some petty upgrade was way more important than my work.  But imagine that I was a broker, doing a deal for a hundred million dollars?  Well, my deal could wait.  As far as Microsoft was concerned, their update mattered more.

The second event took place in the evening, or rather over several evenings, in my hotel.  While at work, I realised that I needed to write a small windows application.  I’ve not written anything for windows in a  long time, but I remember how to do it.  A quick Visual Basic .Net application would be quite adequate.

So I went to the Microsoft site to get the tools, and found that … um … you can’t download Visual Basic .Net any more.  You have to download some obese monster called “Visual Studio 2017 Community Edition”.  Except you can’t download it.  You can install it off the web; but you can’t keep the media locally.  When you do install it, it demands to know which of a baffling array of options you want installed, nearly all of them irrelevant.

Bear in mind that I want to create a tiny Windows application – the environment that Microsoft control – and I want to do it in Basic, the language they control.  Surely that is the beginners’ path?  Why is it so hard?

Well I found my way through the menus and installed this THREE GIGABYTE (????) environment on my laptop.  Then I tried to set to work.  But … everything was hard.  Despite a decade of experience with Microsoft tools, and knowing clearly what I wanted to do, I was quite unable to work out how to do it.

The last straw came when I wanted to embed two icons in the project.  This should be trivial.  It was not.  You could, with difficulty, insert icons into your project.  But you couldn’t edit them.  The toolbars were greyed out.  Much googling later, I discovered that this was just how it was; you had to create them as external files.

The only people who could possibly work with Visual Studio would be a large professional corporate software department.  The individual tinkering at home is excluded.  It requires immense effort just to create a trivial application.  I remember VB6 – it was easy to do this.  I remember the original VB.Net – harder, but still not that hard.  But now … nobody new will develop for Microsoft.  It’s just too hard.

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Microsoft is now run by people who do not use Windows seriously, and none of whom write software.  Anybody who did either would not allow their products to get so out of shape.

But if Windows now is a relic, doomed to die – at least in the opinion of its owners – the rest of us still use it.  We would like it to work, thank you.

And if it is now impossible to easily develop new software for Windows, as seems to be the case, this again reinforces the feeling that the owners of Microsoft do not care.  They don’t believe that any real new software will be delivered.  They don’t believe in the hobbyist at home.

The hobbyist is now writing web applications, where he can run up an application with ease.  I saw this week a website which mimicked Microsoft Paint!  It was done in Javascript.  I guarantee it was easier to do than working with Visual Studio.  But Microsoft management don’t care what the hobbyist does.  They don’t give him any access.

It’s sad really.  Whither the desktop computer?

7 thoughts on “Microsoft does not believe that Microsoft has a future?

  1. The world has grown complex and as such the hobbyist has become a rarity. So be it. The days of building anything in your garage are over. Not a Microsoft issue. Pick any company. Pick any technology. This is not Mayberry anymore. We must adapt or get left behind.

  2. I’m sure this has been mentioned to you dozens of times, so apologies if you’re tired of hearing/reading it, but … Linux.

    I’ve been “Microsoft free” and on various flavours of Ubuntu for almost a decade. I take it you have history and expertise in MS environment — still, getting up-and-running in Linux wouldn’t be insuperable, and has plenty of advantages!

    The only Windows software I still run is BibleWorks, which behaves just fine under Wine (WINdows Emulater).

    I’ll stop bleating now. 🙂

  3. That’s understandable. Works for me; not so easy for you.

    Is this something worth investigating (I don’t have expertise in this area, and it might not be something you need so often any more anyway, but…):

    http://www.monodevelop.com/

    Looks promising at first blush.

  4. Hi Roger
    i stumbled upon this post while I was searching for something else. But mate I hear you best. As an engineer, I learned to simplify a problem but at Microsoft or other big tech corps, they rather twist the already complicated.
    Now that I got that off my chest, you could try the free lightwieght SharpDevelop IDE. It is a dead project since last year as it was a ran by a group a volunteers, neverthless, it is still there and you can work with up to .Net framework 4.5.1 or 4.5.2 and it easpecially supports my favorite language, VB.net.

  5. I am also a Windows user, since my experience and some pieces of software that I need for my work cannot help without MS. Nevertheless, after installing Win. 8 and then Win. 10, I noticed that some applications are incompatible with these latest versions of Windows. The solution for me was to install a virtual environment in my Win 10 and install a Win XP system in it. All “incompatible” software runs like a charm in my virtual XP environment.

  6. try autoit. It’s my go-to for things like this:

    https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/

    “AutoIt v3 is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI and general scripting. It uses a combination of simulated keystrokes, mouse movement and window/control manipulation in order to automate tasks in a way not possible or reliable with other languages (e.g. VBScript and SendKeys). AutoIt is also very small, self-contained and will run on all versions of Windows out-of-the-box with no annoying “runtimes” required!”

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