Why do you think I’m stupid, Microsoft?

If you read any of the blogs that I do, you’ve probably already seen Bill Gates’ 2003 complaint about Windows Update. Windows Update is a piece of junk. It’s always been a piece of junk. It probably always will be a piece of junk. What’s really disappointing is that it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at the package manager in Ubuntu Linux. It’s probably the same in many other flavors of Linux, but I don’t have experience with them. Anyway, package manager is simple. When there are new versions of software or new patches to the operating system, it puts a little notification in my taskbar. When I click the notification, it tells me what is available for update. It even separates them into recommended vs optional, and tells me a little bit about each update. I can choose some, all, or none of the updates to apply. When it’s finished updating, sometimes I have to restart. It puts another notification in the taskbar, and then that’s it. I can restart when I’m ready. Windows, on the other hand, is much more obnoxious. By default, it doesn’t want to tell me what it’s doing. When it finishes, it pops up a window that tells me to restart now or later. If I say later, it pops up again in a couple of minutes. And again. And again. Look, Microsoft, sometimes I’m at work and don’t have the time to restart. Sometimes I’m in the middle of something and just don’t feel like restarting. Why can’t I have that option? Why can’t you just show me a little “You need to restart at some point” notification and leave it at that? And we’re not even talking about Vista here. This is XP on my work computer. And the only reason Windows is on the computer at all is because it’s a work computer. I’ve restarted now, and everything seems to be fine. I don’t know what update it did, but everything still works, so it can’t have been too big a deal. Nice to see Microsoft still patching XP – I guess they realize that Vista sucks, and most people who don’t have to upgrade haven’t (and won’t).

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