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Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dear Microsoft...

Let the fun begin!

Being just an ignorant end-user I was under the impression that the updates that my computer periodically downloads from you were meant to make my computer more secure and work more effectively. In this first regard your most recent set have most certainly succeeded. If I can’t do anything with it how could it ever get malicious software on it?! It is a stroke of genius, a triumph of lateral thinking on which you are to be congratulated. Little was I to know that the update process was also a game of deduction and reasoning to educate users and keep us on our toes. Again I congratulate you on going well beyond what would normally be considered customer service to provide education and entertainment, as well as just a reliable and thoroughly useable product.

At the outset, I must admit, I had some small concerns about the second point above. The effectiveness of my computer post installation was initially somewhat reduced, in as much as it would give the appearance of working as normal and indeed for the first twenty seconds to a minute of use would operate much as before. Unfortunately, after this time it would pop up a warning window with an incomprehensible message on it referencing some abstract section of code that it was attempting to use and that it could not locate. Distressed, I attempted to come to its’ aid, alas to no avail. I found that my computer, plucky little thing that it is, had struggled to its eventual demise.

I will confess to being a little disheartened at this point. I began to wonder how I was to reinstate my poor PC without being able to access the internet, or run any of the restore functions or check the hard-disk for errors. So began the game! Feverishly I hunted for information, I consulted with friends and colleagues, I scoured the internet for information at work, I read countless articles detailing where I might find the error - many of them saying that no further updates or support would be available for my machine. That was a cunning move, and one I hadn’t seen coming! Surely, I thought, they can’t want everyone to upgrade to Vista already. Therein lay the solution to my problem! Self evidently this could not be a cynical ploy to force people to install a new operating system, that would be marketing suicide. Why would any company cripple its’ most widely used and compatible product to try and make people buy a new version of it, a ridiculous notion!

More fantastic updates!

I set about finding an answer, keeping my wits about me. If, as was seemingly the case, the crippling update was, as it could not be, a fiendish scheme to make me upgrade my software, then perhaps these articles telling me there were no further updates to be found were a double bluff and there were in fact additional updates to download. It hit me, a cry of elation escaped my lips and my colleagues cast wary glances in my direction, but I cared not for I had my answer! I had merely to wait and the solution would come to me. There were updates, useful ones, still to come and all I had to do was make sure that the computer had space for all the temporary files it needed. The instant I got home I deleted all the useless bloatware that I had installed – you know the type of thing, photo management software, the suite of software that makes my mobile telephone work with the computer (how could I have installed that hopeless frippery? After all it wasn’t a Microsoft product how could I have expected efficacy?). This cleared space for my poor computer to download its necessary updates and attempt to install them, something it achieved at only the fifth crashed attempt! Remarkable.

Imagine, if you will, my delight today to find that my work computer is now asking me download and install fresh updates. I can hardly wait! What delights of research, what twists and turns of analysis and logic am I to experience now, what intricate subtleties of compatibility am I to learn now? I could not be more pleased, though I wonder if my employer shares my glee. I suspect he may wish the process was perhaps a little less entertaining, the spoilsport!

Keep up the good work!