Brent Simmons on Microsoft

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
March 27th, 2013 • 4:30 pm

While I have a lot of respect for Brent Simmons as the developer behind NetNewsWire (although he sold it several years ago, and things have ground down to an ominous standstill since), I am afraid his latest column for Macworld is directly in line with everything that has ever been written in Macworld about Microsoft products.

I have never understood, and I still don’t understand, how Macworld can be so chronically blind to the atrocious quality of Microsoft’s software products in general and of its software products for the Mac in particular. Every time a new version of Office for OS X comes out, their reviews are systematically very positive, as if they themselves didn’t make any effort to actually use the software and notice the myriad of bugs and flaws that afflict it.

Back in the day, I used to think that it was because they were under pressure from Microsoft as a major source of advertising money. But surely this can no longer be true. Surely most of Macworld’s revenue comes from other sources these days. How, then, can they justify this continuing blindness regarding Microsoft’s products?

I don’t really care about Brent’s experience during his visit on the Microsoft campus. I am sure the people that work at Microsoft are like other people, and that some of them are even competent developers. And I am sure that Microsoft is still able to put together demos that look half-decent and can fool their audience.

But until some member of Macworld’s regular staff or a high-profile contributor dares to write in plain words in the publication about how awful Microsoft’s products for OS X really are in the real world, I am afraid that I will continue to completely distrust anything that Macworld ever publishes about Microsoft. And I will continue to rejoice at the thought that, with every passing day, Microsoft is sliding further and further into technological irrelevance. No matter how competent some of its developers might be, their products have been consistently awful — and have been and still are a constant source of frustration, annoyance, and rage in my daily working life.

If Macworld actually dared to write about how awful these products are and how shameful the lack of quality and polish coming from Redmond truly is, maybe things would change for the better (although I suspect it is far too late for this). But since they obviously can’t or won’t, the only hope that I have is that, sooner rather than later, I can work in a completely Microsoft-free environment. (Unfortunately, that day hasn’t arrived yet.)

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