Why is MS software so bloated? MS developer asks
The Register says: because you need to obsolete PCs every 2-3 years...
Microsoft has been asking itself "Why is Microsoft software so bloated, so full of junk, sucking up megs of space on my hard drive, hogging memory, and taking forever to load?" Why indeed. But the answer Microsoft gives in the current issue of its webzine Slate avoids any true response to the questions people have been asking since Windows 3.0 and its applications began to appear. The rhetorical question is nothing but a new PR approach by Microsoft: admit what cannot be denied, make a joke of it, and then try to slip in whoppers in mitigation. The author, Andrew Schuman (no relation to Andrew Schulman of Undocumented DOS and Windows fame) is apparently a "boy developer" at Microsoft and one of those responsible for Outlook 97. But his explanation ("Sadly, it is you, the customer, who demands bloat, forever clamouring for new features") is just untrue, as we all know. That 200 megabytes for MS Office 2000 is there for another purpose: to keep OEMs locked into Microsoft's premature hardware obsolescence programme, which keeps OEMs buying more Windows of course. PCs last for ten years or more, but Microsoft has been using software bloat as a ruse to persuade users to buy new kit every two or three years. This didn't start out as a deliberate strategy - the inefficiency of Microsoft coding just created the natural possibility, which was then encouraged. Happily for the OEMs, they like selling three or four times as many PCs as ought to be necessary too. Microsoft then sold the notion that users needed the latest version of its software, and used its licensing programme and pricing to manipulate OEMs and software vendors into advocating upgrades. Schuman admits: "The day that Redmond fails to convince you to upgrade - i.e. to buy a product that the malcontents call bloated - is the day that Redmond becomes a ghost town." Microsoft deserves better recognition for its programme to obsolete hardware with bloated software. ®
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