Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dear Microsoft…

Ever since I started using the computer back in the late 90’s I have remained a Microsoft customer. Despite the countless times when I have experienced program errors, viruses, and general crappiness in the operating system, I have stuck around and kept using what has been comfortable and familiar. However, there are times like the past couple of weeks when I question the use of your operating system and wonder if life might be a little bit easier if I were to adopt Apple as my new primary source of computing.

Even the programs that have been relatively reliable in the past have now gone to pot leaving us with these strange paper weights on our desks that whirr, buzz, and hum as they hold down the corners of our note pads and flatten out curled post it notes. As we pull out our pens and check to make sure we still have ink in them, we dream about the simplicity of the green screen. But maybe that is part of the whole Microsoft operating system. By occasionally crashing, or just being a stubborn bugger, we revert to the old school way of doing things. We write notes, we make phone calls, we, gasp, go talk to people face to face. A Microsoft crash is an interpersonal reboot.

Of course, even that is becoming a thing of the past as when one computer goes down, another, almost immediately, takes its place. While I still find myself dialing numbers and stretching the cord as I lean back in my chair, I have seen countless coworkers revert to their iPhones during server or internet issues. While I am chatting with clients, reporters, and others with whom I have not spoken to in some time, these, mostly younger, colleagues sit hunched over their desk cradling their phone as if it were some priceless ring. On more than one occasion I have received odd looks when I send them the text, “My precious!”

It is interesting when you think about it. The underlying trend in this scenario seems to be that when Microsoft goes down, people are turning to Apple. And I can’t say that I blame them. I have utilized my iPhone plenty of times to check for emails and to facilitate communication across multiple streams. However, I have always used Microsoft Word and probably always will because it is what I know and I can get things done quickly using the platform and that will most likely continue unless they make “improvements” to Microsoft 8. So, unless Microsoft suddenly shuts its doors and office is unavailable, I will occasionally have the urge, which I have been fighting for the past few weeks, to kick Mr. PC in the microchips.