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General discussion

Does Microsoft listen to it's customers?

by robnan / October 4, 2006 8:39 PM PDT

That is the penultimate question.

First of all, I'd like to ask do you prefer the "MS Sans Serif" font (the one used on the Win9x interface) or the more modern "Tahoma"? Well, I much prefer the MS Sans Serif, and I'm aware many others share the same views. Lets face it, not that many people "asked" Microsoft to use Tahoma, but I'll bet many more protested against it, or else why would it be impossible to change the fonts on some parts of Windows 2000/XP such as dialogue boxes? They are forcing us to use Tahoma because THEY want us to, whether we like it or not.

Another point is Desktop Integration/IE. Microsoft KNOW fine well that back in the days of Windows 95/IE1,2 everyone was happy. The OS was free from webby integration, used a hair of memory and was remarkably stable for the day, given the correct environments. However, when IE4 previewed and forcefully morphed Windows 95 to the hideous HTML powered Windows 98 interface, Microsoft got a lot of stick, but did they stop? No. They removed the installer from IE and further intertwined it into the OS, introducing Windows File Protection not as a benefit to you, but as a benefit to them so you are stuck with IE.

Yet another thing I hate is bundled software. Did we ASK for Outlook Express? Internet Information Services? FrontPage extensions? OLE? ActiveX? DCOM? RPC? Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM)? COM+? DTC? Messenger?

And more importantly, did we ASK for IE? Not everyone buys a PC to browse the web. These people do not WANT a web browser bogging down their system because they simply don't need it.

--

I'm open to discussion, and I promise I won't bite if you say you love Microsoft. I just want to gather opinions is all, I e-mailed a questionnaire to a few contacts weeks back, and the basic message was they feel they can only use a modern computer after they have customized it to work like Windows 95, like me also. In Windows 2000, I turn off toolbars, and have only the menus and the small buttons underneath, just as in Windows 95's toolbar, along with a little address bar. Disable IE by telling it to log on to a proxy at 0.0.0.0 port 80, and use Sysinternals Autoruns utility at Sysinternals.com to turn off all WIndows OLE/DCOM/IE related junk. Use the pea-green Desktop, with no image, set icon colour displays to low, and have only 5 icons: My Docs, My Comp, Recycle, Network, IE (a bit webby, but default). Trust me, it'll run like the clappers after that.

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Rant or quest for help?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 4, 2006 9:09 PM PDT

I couldn't tell.

There are ways to arm ourselves and alternatives to IE so the issue comes down to us and not Microsoft. But that's just my opinion. Since we also have Linux, Open Office and more choices again why isn't an issue of the choices we make.

Anyhow, if this is a rant, ignore my reply but if a quest for help I can list what I did to harden Windows 2000 and maybe you;ll see why I never have a problem.

Bob

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It's not a rant, and like I mentioned I hardened Win2k my...
by robnan / October 4, 2006 10:04 PM PDT

No, it was more a study than a rant. Trust me, in my years of computing I have more than easily come up with ways to leave my Windows NT's secure, fast, reliable and crash(almost)-proof.

However, it would be interesting to hear what you did do to harden up Windows 2000, maybe we can exchange views.

What I do:
1)Tidy up the Start Menu
2)Blank the wallpaper
3)Reduce icon colour depth
4)Make screen resolution appropriate to monitor and set colours at 32bpp to allow fastest scanning/rendering
5)Turn off all but the most needed processes (21, mostly system and antivirus)
6)Turn off any unecessary startups
7)Defrag, disk cleanup and chkdsk regularly,
8)Reboot every 15 or so days (Although still stable, I like to refresh the system from time to time)
9)Disable Internet Explorer: Go to LAN Settings in Connection settings, in options, and tell it, basically, to dial to a server at I.P. 0.0.0.0 on port 80. As you can probably guess, no such parameters exist/are valid, so IE won't allow any ingoing/outgoing data traffic - at all. Turn off pictures, movies and sounds and set all security levels up to highest. Great for those apps that use an IE Window such as Winamp or Outlook. Note disabling pictures in IE cripples these, and Add/Remove Programs but there are always alternate methods.
10)turn off Windows Update. You only need it if you use IE because essentially you are using IE to patch... IE.
Still get the vital updates, keep good security software and take advantage of McAfee's port blocking (a firewall in a sense) and you'll be laughing.
11)Only install NECESSARY software, and that you use regularly. Either use a VirtualPC (or a second machine like I do) for other software that is a little more bloaty or used less often.
12)Contrary to popular belief, having dozens of security software is actually often worse off. No more than 2 spyware scanners, Virus Scanners etc will be ample.

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Fact: The Parents agree too
by robnan / October 4, 2006 10:26 PM PDT

Not that I'm funny, but my Mother prefers MS Sans Serif (that's the OLD Font) to Tahoma (the NEW one) because it is, quite simply, easier to read. And that's what a font is for!

Happy Posting!

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Web Pages
by robnan / October 8, 2006 5:41 PM PDT
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If you like that, you may like this page.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 8, 2006 10:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Web Pages
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Thanks
by robnan / October 10, 2006 4:46 AM PDT

Very informative, thanks.

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A very naughty company
by briceone / October 31, 2006 3:01 PM PST

HI
I agree with you. I am trying more and more to get away from MSN. I find them totally unsupportive. My last effort they said I had to pay! ******** I have spent a fortune already to them ,both my own money and the money of my company. NO MORE.
My last problem was that one of the older CPUs running on Windows NT/2000 went down, on reformat and reloading we could not find the Prod ID for rentry, although we have the original discs. I asked them for help. Bloody hell! they sent me all over their web pages BUT did not help in the slightest. I think they deliberately mislead you, so that you will pay again.
My company where I am the exec. for Computer related elements. I have decided to totally BAN MSN products. Also I have convinced others to follow. SO LONG term MSN will start to fall,' The bigger they are the harder they fall'
Already the VOODOO IS on MR.Gates
Good luck to all those who sue MSN.
I would if I could afford it.
Regards
Brian B.

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yes and no
by meisinscotland / November 7, 2006 10:23 PM PST

Microsoft are about to cut off their nose to spite their face; and I'm interested to see how it all goes. The reason Windows/IE has been so popular is because of the simple menu-driven environment that makes Windwos a breeze. However, when Netscape has the upper hand in the late 90's, Microsoft implemented big changes to IE4, and soon after Windows shipped with it and it was irremovable. The IE package grew over 10 times in size, introduced many "features" like Active Desktop and HTML in folders that machines at the time struggled to handle. It was a big change that annoyed users and so it was eventually set as default for Windows to be used in classic format like ever before.

Now, 6 or so years later, Firefox is on the rise and Microsoft have decided to ship out IE7 rather snappily. Not only that, but IE7, Windows Vista, Office 2007 and any other new Microsoft technologies are -wait for it- <<DUMPING>> the menu-driven systems that have kept people going and are introducing image-driven systems instead. For most of us this will most likely be an unwelcome change.

So no, I don't think Microsoft listen to their customers, but I do think they are incredible, at the same time.

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No.
by PC-PILOT / December 1, 2006 4:26 AM PST
In reply to: yes and no

I don't think Microsoft will suffer one bit, whether Firefox bcomes more popular that IE or not. Nor will it suffer consequences if the majority of folks choose not to use Outlook Express. Yo udon't need to use Windows Media Player.

If the complaint is that all this stuff takes up too much space on your hard drive, I would find that arguable. You can expand your hard drive capacity in many different ways - CHEAPLY.

I'm afraid that there's no noses getting cut off, here.

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Recently started using OE
by meisinscotland / January 16, 2007 8:20 PM PST
In reply to: No.

I recently started using OE as my mail client and I can't complain - honestly. It integrates incredibly well with Address Book (obviously) which in turn means my MSN messenger becomes a breeze to use. Can't get much better than that.

I occasionally fire up an IE window (or 20) to use rather than Firefox (or as well as) and I do know that when I come off, and scan with Ad-Aware I'll have like 20 bugs!! lol.

It just has to be that way, I mean, I have a second laptop which I'm going to lend out to a College student in need, now, she's used to IE, so I'm not going to complain, but I said to her I'd maintain the computer for her and as long as people are happy with what Microsoft does for them I don't see why we should complain - it keeps me in contact with my friends, it plays my games, my music, and keeps me up with my finances, and then I can go home at night and forget about it - what's so bad about that?

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I don't get it...
by PC-PILOT / December 1, 2006 4:21 AM PST

I really don't understand why there is such strife and dislike of Microsoft because of bundled software. You don't need to use IE - that's clear. The other browsers have been mentioned. You need not use Outlook Express, either. I've used Netscape Communicator for years, updating accordingly.

By no means am I praising Microsoft. But, I have chosen Windows as my OS. There are too many choices out there, in competition (certainly ENOUGH choices), to throw any darts toward MS. I do NOT have a Dell, HP, Compaq, etc. manufactured computer. I built mine and could have used another OS, had I chosen to. If I DID buy from one of the manufacturers who come out of the box with Windows, I would have known that ahead of time. So, basically, if I wanted a Ford, I wouldn't go to a Chevy dealer.

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The dislike for bundled software
by meisinscotland / December 17, 2006 7:15 PM PST
In reply to: I don't get it...

like IE, is the effect it has on Windows itself. Compare memory footprints with and without IE, even if the app is not running:

http://www.vorck.com/memorysavings.html

Not only that, but a lot of the Windows interface is IE driven.

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