Ok, I’ll admit, I got issues with some of the past Microsoft ethical breaches of business dealings. Sure, but who doesn’t? Their technology that they develop ranges from complete crap (re: Bob, paperclip, sealed classes, The 1st X version of Entity Framework) all the way to the completely awesome amazing stuff, like the Node.js SDK & work with Windows Azure for Node.js, Visual Studio can be amazing sometimes too, and there are other things that are really solid pieces of software.
So here’s my happy list and shit list of Microsoft Software:
- Visual Studio – When it works, after it takes 20 seconds to launch and you finally get the bloody project open, it’s a great IDE.
- Live Writer – For blogging, nothing holds a candle to this product. It is spectacular, I wish it ran on OS-X because then I’d still use it. Even with all its greatness, it’s not enough of a motivating factor to use Windows as my core native OS.
- Web API – This should have been attempt #1. Instead of the catastrophic mistake they made in WCF. (see below for WCF comments)
- C# – C# is actually a great language and I find that it is very similar, but in many ways knocks the socks off of Java. Especially in ease of use for a number of things. Which of course is in conjunction with Visual Studio, etc.
- Sketchflow – This is a great post paper prototyping software package. I don’t know many that use it, but for creating a working prototype or mock up, this software is great.
- Windows Phone 7 – This is actually not a bad OS for a phone. It is a drastic improvement over all the previous MS phone operating systems.
- Metro – I actually like Metro. It is simple, I feel like I’m 5 years old when I use it and I think in the same vein of what Apple has perfected, it’s just enough for the average computer user to make the tablet leap. It could be truly big.
- XBox – Nuff’ said. Xbox kicks ass on massive scale! :)
- Windows Azure – Primarily around the node.js space. They’ve done a stellar job and have an absolutely amazing product there.
- MSDN – This is one of the best developer spaces around. MS devs often complain about it, but really the alternatives are weak and few between.
- ASP.NET MVC – Rails envy brought to focus in a good, solid, organized and nicely put together product.
- Vista – Nuff’ said.
- Win ME – Nuff’ said.
- Most of Windows – Nuff’ said.
- Stability, speed, launching, and related software issues that Visual Studio, Windows, and almost every Microsoft package has compared to the responsiveness of OS-X and general *nix operating systems.
- Metro on Windows 8 – As a power user, I already hate Metro. Microsoft is about 6 years behind in the phone and tablet wars and it shows. As a power user I’ll admit, iOS isn’t much better or worse, but the thing is it is relegated to the iPad and iPhone (iPod). Windows 8 is going to be on everything. On a tablet I don’t want a flaky desktop tainting my experience and when I’m trying to do development on a desktop I don’t want a wierdo start button replacement screen buggering up my desktop work. Generally, so far, I’m not really happy with it or seeing how it is going to speed up any of my work or help me be more productive except in surfing Facebook or Tweeting. Somehow, that doesn’t seem all that important.
- Windows Azure – For infrastructure, and almost everything else besides node.js stuff, it’s still a catastrophic mess. It looks absolutely great, but I would still struggle to suggest someone use it for all but node.js deployment. No offense, it’s just not in a space yet that works for most of the companies I work for. It might get there, but at this point I still find a lot of frustrating points.
- Biztalk – Nuff’ said. It’s absurd anyone pays for this.
- Sharepoint – I get the usage, I still hate the package. There are vastly superior alternatives out there.
- WCF, Entity Framework and every other piece of software Microsoft made almost impossible to write unit tests for. All while throwing up a middle finger and screwing over their actual developer community. Many of these offerings did not have good results in the end. Hopefully developers are able to generally ignore the versions that were horrible and just use things like code first EF or Web API now instead of the previous years version of WCF & EF.
- Windows Server – I’m not sure this server even now, understand how to interact with the Internet, HTTP, TCP/IP or a number of other Internet related elements well. It does it, but at the core there are a lot of problems still.
- Hyper-V – Not sure I should even get started. Microsoft ignores it for years, then builds a cloud on top of it and pretends it is Enterprise ready. Knowing full well that it is probably the worst virtualization solution on the market today. Machine management is bad, launch time is bad, setting up images is ridiculous and the list of problems only grows. Anyone using this product is extending 2-5x more resources than using a comparable OSS or VMware virtualization product.
Software I’m indifferent about… i.e. software that is ‘aight’ and I could go either way on.
- SQL Server
There isn’t that much I’m apathetic about. I’m usually either stoked by their product or horrified about it. Any other key software I’ve missed? How do you feel about this list of software? Got a happy list or shit list of your own? Post a blog entry on it and I’ll add a link back on my entry to yours – just leave a comment (or link back of your own).
UPDATED: Here’s another entry of some MAJOR issues that found in Windows 8. They’re some pretty dangerous gotchas!