Microsoft: So long, and thanks for all the fish…

Although I can’t quite believe it, I have now started a tentative journey to dump Microsoft.

I’ve been a huge fan over the years, taking every Windows upgrade as soon as it became available, persuaded all my family to set up accounts, Skype accounts, and got my wife and myself Windows phones.

Things have been going south for a while though. Constant upgrades to Windows 10 (I now seem to spend more time sorting out issues with my computers than actually using them), the constant crap that Microsoft keeps trying to put back on my computers every time an upgrade occurs, and the fact that Windows phone has basically been abandoned (to say nothing about Groove).

My wife’s 640 recently died so I helped her buy and set up a new Samsung Android. Not wanting to be outdone I decided a phone upgrade was on the cards. I’m not a big fan of the ridiculous Apple price tags so got myself an Android phone. My expectation weren’t high, and I was dreading leaving my old Windows phone. What a revelation Android has been. I used to claim I didn’t need apps, but when they’re suddenly available what a difference. Everything ‘just works’, and I now have finger print access to banking apps, payment apps, and more and more.

This is where the rot starts. I’ll always own a computer for grunt work, but my next tablet is likely to be either Android or a Chromebook (the latter not quite there yet, but so close). My computer will be relegated to being switched on a couple of times a month, and doing so won’t be a joyous experience as I’ll no doubt have to wait whilst it applies whatever updates, and twice a year I’ll have to fix whatever Microsoft tries to break.

This all makes me kinda sad, as I’ve invested so much into the Microsoft ecosystem. Next to go will be my Office 365 subscription, as now I’m seeing what Google has to offer I’m stating to question what value Microsoft is actually delivering.

So Microsoft, consider this a breakup. And for the record; it’s you, not me.

Conversation 49 comments

  • arunphilip

    12 April, 2018 - 7:47 am

    <p><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Next to go will be my Office 365 subscription, as now I’m seeing what Google has to offer</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;</span></p><p><br></p><p>Could you expand on this? Right now, it's my O365/OneDrive benefits that are most compelling about the Microsoft ecosystem, so I'd like to know what Google offers that betters this. Asking to know, not trolling. Btw, I'm another WP to Android convert. </p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      12 April, 2018 - 8:25 am

      <blockquote><a href="#262173"><em>In reply to arunphilip:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm coming around to the idea that Office 365 might be Microsoft's Achilles Heel in the sense that everyone assumes it's some kind of crown jewel when in fact traditional office productivity software/services are now a commodity. Meaning, as the poster here suggests, that Google's Docs/etc. are very much good enough for any mainstream user.</p>

      • curtisspendlove

        12 April, 2018 - 8:45 am

        <blockquote><a href="#262175"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>“Meaning, as the poster here suggests, that Google's Docs/etc. are very much good enough for any mainstream user.”</p><p><br></p><p>Google Docs (the entire app suite, whatever they call it) is absolutely fine for most users. </p><p><br></p><p>It’s even great for power users. Google Appscript is quite excellent if you want to automate stuff. </p><p><br></p><p>I have a shared Google sheet that pulls in details about GitHub issues so my teams can add a few estimates in. It then calculates a bunch of metrics, invoicing, etc. </p><p><br></p><p>Sure, I could do this with Office, but I was surprised and a little impressed. </p><p><br></p><p>And that is the bare minimum of what Appscript can do. </p>

      • Polycrastinator

        12 April, 2018 - 10:53 am

        <blockquote><a href="#262175"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think this is why Teams is so important to the future of Microsoft. The integration that MS is starting to move towards is absolutely imperative to them having a future. What MS offers is integration, management, and security in a way Google has never fully grocked, and that's why companies will stick with them for the most part.</p><p>For standalone users? It's going to depend on whether they want to keep using familiar tools they user at work. If that doesn't bother you, Google is fine.</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        12 April, 2018 - 11:05 am

        <blockquote><a href="#262175"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>1TB of storage and an hour every month of international phone calls make Office 365 worth it to me (+ handing another 1TB to each of my children and wife).</p>

        • alpensturm

          12 April, 2018 - 12:15 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#262257"><em>In reply to wright_is:</em></a> Totally agreed – for the same reason, I have been an Office 365 subscriber for years now!</blockquote><p><br></p>

      • hrlngrv

        Premium Member
        12 April, 2018 - 4:41 pm

        <p><a href="#262175"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a></p><blockquote><em>. . . </em>the idea that Office 365 might be Microsoft's Achilles Heel . . .</blockquote><p>Losing Office 365 sales wouldn't kill MSFT the way losing iPhone sales would kill Apple. And as for consumers buying Home or Personal, the annual price is competitive for 1TB online storage and there's a productivity suite tossed in at no extra cost.</p><p>For most true noncommercial use, Google's web apps are more advanced than the Works suites of a decade or so ago. For most work use, people who'd need to use Office at home should already have it on their work laptop, so only those unwilling to lug those laptops between home and office would need MS Office on a home PC.</p>

    • F4IL

      12 April, 2018 - 2:10 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262173"><em>In reply to arunphilip:</em></a></blockquote><p>The benefit of Gdocs is that it's friction-less. The user doesn't have to commit to another subscription service, or learn the specifics of a paid service. He also doesn't have to weather in the hassle of installing, upgrading and maintaining anything. It is easier to just click a bookmark and create a new document.</p>

    • Daekar

      16 April, 2018 - 5:06 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262173"><em>In reply to arunphilip:</em></a></blockquote><p>I have Office 365 Home for two reasons: My wife wants (demands) to have the same software at home as she has at work, and the 1TB/user OneDrive space. If it weren't for the OneDrive space, I probably would've told my wife that MS didn't offer any good options and that we should go with LibreOffice or Google Docs. As long as MS keeps bundling useful OneDrive space with Office in such quantities that I don't have to store my photos somewhere else (which means they've got 5 to 10 years to give me more than 1TB/user) I can't really see switching… the value proposition is just better if you actually use cloud storage.</p>

    • Minke

      16 April, 2018 - 5:46 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262173"><em>In reply to arunphilip:</em></a><em> With Google Drive many of us don't need the 1TB of space that you get with Office 365 since documents and spreadsheets uploaded in the Google formats don't count against your space and Google photos offers unlimited storage at a very high quality–I have published many photos downloaded from Google Photos. There's also a free backup service from CloudHQ that allows you to sync Google Drive with OneDrive, so you can be sure to have your documents in two cloud locations. I find the combination of Gmail and Google Drive, all synced with my free and OneDrive accounts covers all my normal needs. Yes, I have many GBs of old files I hardly ever access that are stored locally and backed up locally, but I noticed the other day I have not even looked at them in over four months. Watch out you don't spend a lot of money on cloud storage you don't really need when local backups via hard drives are pretty cheap these days.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • WiseOldElf

    Premium Member
    12 April, 2018 - 9:41 am

    <p>@PaulHewitt – and I'm of a similar mind. I don't want to be taken down a path where everything is subscription based, so O365 and the like get no time with me. Maybe i'm a dinosaur, but i like having my data on my machines, and I don't want to be dependent upon Internet connectivity and this alleged utopia called 'the cloud'. I've had lots of fun considering alternatives to Windows; not just Linux but some of the more esoteric ones too (ReactOS, for example). I know it won't come to anything but I feel so utterly betrayed by Microsoft that it makes me feel better to imagine i have options :)</p>

  • PaulHewitt

    12 April, 2018 - 10:00 am

    <p>All. Thanks very much for the replies. In answer to @arunphilip I'm not sure Google is any better, but I'm not sure it's any worse. I tend to like to keep my services under one roof. Although these systems are getting more seamless across vendors it's often just easier having it in one place.</p><p><br></p><p>Since I had to create a Google account for my Android phone, why not use gmail, in which case why not buy my cloud storage from Google, and while I'm at it use the Google office suite. And hey presto I'm no longer part of the MS p&amp;l statement.</p><p><br></p><p>We're clearly all long-time fans of MS, And Mr. T is kind enough to provide us with a place to hang. So how come we're all sitting here bemoaning the sorry state of affairs? I'm really not sure how it came to this…</p>

  • Bats

    12 April, 2018 - 10:02 am

    <p>Dude, I hear ya and can totally relate.</p><p>I am always open to anything, in terms of technology related experiences. However, Microsoft offers nothing for me that can help me enjoy life better.&nbsp;</p><p>In the end, it's not about Microsoft vs. Google vs. Apple. Rather, it's about which service helps make your life and more enjoyable. Years ago, I determined that to be Google.</p><p>As for Office 365, I don't use the actual software itself except for work. I only use it for the 5 TB of storage space an Office 365 Home account offers. I am probably going to cut that off too. Why pay $80-100 a year for something I don't need? My best advice for you is to find out if your employer offers the Microsoft HUP and buy the standalone Office Suite for $10 and install it on your lone PC, just to have it. Or, just use the free Office Online. Other than that,…believe me….you can use Google Drive's Apps.&nbsp;</p><p>I see the Google Drive Apps to be almost on par with Office 365, with the potential to be greater than it. I say this because of the Addons or Extensions. They practically have everything you need to not miss Office 365. You have everything from Mail Merge to Charting to tons of templates. There really is a lot and it meshes very well with the other Google services.</p>

  • Lauren Glenn

    12 April, 2018 - 10:19 am

    <p>The only reason I still stay is that it's open enough where I can have control of files, installation of x86, x64 apps, etc. Every time I get Android or iOS, there are so many restrictions on certain file access (Android had KitKat and the ill fated SD card access restrictions), iOS has no mouse support still, etc. On a PC, everything I need it to do works. Video players are very good and have functions like audio-sync adjustments (Android has BS Player which does this after I asked the developer if he could add it and he actually did)…. </p><p><br></p><p>No matter how I try to go back to iOS or Android for my computing experience, I always come back to Windows. One thing Windows has is that I don't have to wait for the device manufacturer to get an OS update. Windows is always being updated. With Win10, it's never a problem. As long as I don't have deprecated hardware (which is few and far between), I can use a computer for 10+ years. My old laptop is 7 years old and still runs well enough to use for general tasks. An iOS or Android device never lasts nearly that long for me before apps just stop working with that OS version because I can't get updates for it.</p>

  • PaulHewitt

    12 April, 2018 - 10:30 am

    <p>Hi Alissa. Even 6 months ago I would have been nodding in vigorous agreement to your comment. But as the frustrations of dealing with MS have grown, the likes of Google have started to get their act together. In keeping with your thinking I sought out an Android One phone to minimize some of the very pitfalls you mention.</p><p><br></p><p>As I said originally I'm a big MS fan. I personally (so not including family devices) have 5 PCs (mix of desktop, laptop, 2-in-1). So twice a year MS pushes an update on me. I don't have a problem with that per se. What I DO have a problem with is their insistence in reloading stuff I've already removed and the balls they seem to regularly make of the upgrades. It probably takes me upwards of 2 hours per machine twice a year to iron out issues and remove crap. That's 20 hours minimum every year, and I'm really starting to resent it.</p><p><br></p><p>Like you, there will always be things I go back to my PC for. But that list is shrinking rather rapidly. The point where I really don't need MS seems to have gotten very close very quickly. I'm not ready to bail just yet, but in 6-12 months, who knows?</p>

  • dcdevito

    12 April, 2018 - 11:18 am

    <p>In terms of desktop computing, I was a Linux user since Win98 was released, until around 2004 when I built a gaming rig that ran XP. Didn't like XP but needed it for gaming, I dual booted with Linux. Dumped Windows entirely after a while and circa when Vista was released I ran away entirely and bought an iMac (2007). As a *NIX guy I loved it, and had that machine for 7 years then bought a Macbook Pro 15" in 2014. Kept it until mid-2016 then decided to go back to Windows. I love Windows 10, it's solid. I built another gaming rig and this machine is great. But you know what? It's entirely unnecessary. I no longer consult on the side so I don't need to code anymore, and my video editing days are over. So now I just it as an occasional gaming machine that acts like a media server at times. But it's not a necessary machine anymore, and that makes me sad.</p><p>I'm sad because despite having this amazing machine, a Pixel 2 XL which I love (mostly) and a DayDream headset (that I rarely use), there is absolutely nothing about personal technology right now that excites me. My kids and my wife use chromebooks exclusively, and while I think they're great machines for normies I would never use one personally. I have 7 Raspberry Pis (I use 3 of them daily – retro gaming machine, video surveillance and a homemade Amazon Alexa) and despite all my "toys" I just don't care about any of it. I had a Home O365 account and despite me telling my 5 family members and friends to use it, none of them ever did – and you know what? Other than updating my resume 2 years ago I wasn't using it either. So I cancelled it and now just use Google Drive. It's not very good but it gets the job done. Personal computing is dead, or at least dying. All the cloud companies have taken over and there's nothing for us geeks to savor anymore.</p>

    • karlinhigh

      Premium Member
      12 April, 2018 - 6:26 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262261"><em>In reply to dcdevito:</em></a><em> there is absolutely nothing about personal technology right now that excites me</em></blockquote><p>See Washington Post article, "Hurry Up, Technology!"</p>

  • alpensturm

    12 April, 2018 - 11:53 am

    <p>Thanks for your assessments. Good points, Paul. In the end, we will all use what works for us. I am typing on my Dell XPS 15, Sandy Bridge, purchased in April 2011. It runs Windows 10 Pro (1709). It runs, and runs, and runs – fast stable – many hours a day with loads of multimedia software and dev tools such as Visual Studio (2017). Not once a Bluescreen, no issues at all – remember, this machine is seven years old. Try this with Google or Apple! A clean W 10 install takes less than half an hour, all drivers are there and run. Without a doubt, Microsoft has left me angry and made lots of mistakes in the last years, the handling of Windows 10 Mobile and Nokia being the worst, but, at least for me, the alternatives are not yet there.</p><p><br></p><p>Linux is not running the multimedia gear I need to use (Ableton Live, Native Instruments…). Apple makes very nice hardware, but I dislike the 'locked in' in its ecosystem. With Google services I disconnected a long time ago – yes, I don't even use Google search or YouTube, and I get along just fine. That company is making no cent with my mouse clicks or personal data. If people think they get stuff for free from Google, they are wrong, or, they simply don't care.</p><p><br></p><p>So, I will see how long my <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Dell XPS 15 serves me, as well as my Lumia 950 XL DS – sometimes in 2020, when Windows 10 Mobile support has ended, I will reassess.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Cheers!</span></p>

  • Hassan Timité

    12 April, 2018 - 3:47 pm

    <p>I perfectly understand your feelings and i wish Microsoft and especially Satya could understand them too.</p><p>Because of his cloud obsession, Satya is allowing/encouraging a slow,sluggish and painful death of Windows as an on premise O.S.</p><p>I suspect that Windows could become Windows 365, which would piss off even more people, before being killed for good.</p><p><br></p><p>However what Microsoft do not understand is that the death of Windows, even just the client editions, would be a massive blow to anything Microsoft related.</p><p>If Windows dies, many customers will give up other Microsoft solutions, included Office, and move to whatever equivalent solutions good enough on the platform they will move on. </p><p>In case of Android/Chrome OS customers, they would certainly favor Google docs. Perhaps the safe haven for Microsoft solutions would be IOS/Mac Os, but until when ?</p><p>Not forgetting that the remaining developpers still supporting Microsoft platforms won't need anymore encouragment to completely dump Microsoft. </p><p><br></p><p>Windows 7 success should have taught to Microsoft that when they give to the customers what they want, an O.S can still be a very successful product !</p><p>Moreover this Windows as service bullshit should have been avoided at all cost as an O.S needs to be stable,fast,reliable and is not supposed to be continuously and a bit too frequently updated. </p><p>Especially if those updates bring nothing appealing to the customers. And especially if you have fired most of testers instead of increasing their number to handle the massive increase of testing implied by the increase of the update frequency !</p><p>This is a very sad state of affair.</p><p>I am myself considering starting my migration from Windows and Microsoft solutions, as soon as i find another PC OS which can be suitable for me.</p>

  • Edward Grego

    12 April, 2018 - 9:30 pm

    <p>I feel ya bro! I'm nastalgic and will probably keep my Surface Book and SP3 until they break, but I made the switch to iPhone when the 6 plus came out and recently bought the Mac Book pro 15 and an iPad Pro. I tell you what, tech life was never this good with MSFT, never, was fooling myself the whole time. While Windows is versatile, it was never as stable and dependable as MAC and Apple's eco system is incredible, everything works together perfectly. It's crazy, a few years ago everything tech that I touched went through a MSFT UI, now, literally everything goes through Apple, I only wish I had given them a try sooner…</p><p>Unfortunately, because of my new tech love, I will have to say goodbye to Paul's premium site since I've gotten to the point where I don't care what MSFT does anymore, only Apple and Paul hates Apple. It is kind of sad for me, I've said goodbye to MSFT products and will have to say goodbye to a site I visit multiple times daily because of MSFT.</p>

    • Ron Diaz

      13 April, 2018 - 11:38 am

      <blockquote><a href="#262499"><em>In reply to Edward_Grego:</em></a></blockquote><p>Same with me. I have an iPhone, iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. Goodbye MS I have a Windows 10 laptop for the hell of it collecting dust. I use an old Windows 7 laptop that I loaded with Linux Mint more than my Windows 10 one. But Apple’s systems just work the way they should.</p>

    • Edward Grego

      16 April, 2018 - 11:02 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262499"><em>In reply to Edward_Grego:</em></a></blockquote><p>Why were there's so many comments deleted here?!?</p><p>WTF</p>

  • matsan

    Premium Member
    13 April, 2018 - 12:58 pm

    <p>I felt that pain in August and decided to wipe my HP EliteBook and installed Ubuntu 17.04, bought an iPad Pro (for stuff that isn't supported by Linux – Sonos for example 😉 ) The update to Ubuntu 17.10 and Wayland X-server was bumpy but at least Linux doesn't force-feed with change and crap, I could simply go back to xorg and continue my work.</p><p>LibreOffice gets all my stuff done and I have the iPad fall-back for bloated PPTs. </p><p>Huge win for productivity for me! </p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      14 April, 2018 - 6:03 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#262709"><em>In reply to matsan:</em></a></blockquote><p>Wayland is trash, honestly. I'm also not a huge fan of Gnome-Shell, but Canonical has at least made it feel nice, but honestly try Ubuntu 16.04 with the Unity shell. It's head and shoulders above Gnome. Or at least install Cinnamon or MATE!</p><p><br></p><p>Whatever you do though in the end, never stop playing with distros in VMs and other machines. There's a lot of good, sometimes really unique distros!</p>

      • curtisspendlove

        16 April, 2018 - 8:21 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#263012"><em>In reply to jimchamplin:</em></a></blockquote><p>I love discussions about Linux. Everyone loves and hates different things. </p><p><br></p><p>I know it’s the same with all tech when geeks are involved, but Linux seems like an argument multiplier. :)</p><p><br></p><p>Personally I kinda hate Unity, I’d rather have a vanilla gnome install. </p><p><br></p><p>Though I agree with you that Cinnamon is the crown jewel. ;)</p>

  • jumpingjackflash5

    14 April, 2018 - 1:28 am

    <p>Unfortunately, I agree, although I still did not follow that path and I am waiting for MS to recover.</p><p><br></p><p>Yes death of Windows phone means incomplete experience for Windows fans. I still have my Lumia 640, but when it stops working one day, no replacement available.</p><p><br></p><p>Yes when using android or apple google docs is on the table, although is has much less features than Office. I recently worked with my students on Google Docs projects and clearly saw its limitations, however it was a logical choice for androids and Ipads.</p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft once understood the importance of synergies between home and work computers, worked for one Windows, etc. Now they struggle.</p><p><br></p><p>I have heard that Windows update will be faster in following version doing more of updates while running. Yes that is how it should be engineered. Most updates' work must be done before the restart so that restart (if required) is very fast. I wonder why they did not this sooner ????????</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>Sorry to say but Acrylic effect on fluent design is a very bad choice especially on IPS displays. Gray backgrounds become having strange colors according to desktop wallpaper, etc. Windows should utilize transparency, but mainly on taskbar, sidebar, windows borders – similarly like it was in Windows 7. </p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft still can do it. It can even be back on mobile if they want – make Windows S x64 5-6 inch tablets and add GSM module from Windows phone. I do not know why they screw it up ….</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

    • jumpingjackflash5

      14 April, 2018 - 1:35 am

      <blockquote><a href="#262879"><em>In reply to jumpingjackflash5:</em></a></blockquote><p>And one more thing. Do not include mandatory <strong>driver</strong> updates with windows update. Make separate section for that in Windows update and let the users to do it on demand. The driver updates are the main causes of those confusions and "sorting out issues" after updates. </p>

  • Stuart Pearson

    14 April, 2018 - 11:20 am

    <p>Great post Paul. Was completely in the same position as big MS fan, loved Windows Phone had Nokia 800, 1020 and finally 930. They were great devices and Window Phone was a brilliant OS like you I was always trying to champion it to friends and family. For loads of reasons it just never got the penetration and developers never really got on board <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">(Tom Warren piece in the verge summed it up) </span>. Working for a small non profit that relied on mobile workers ,Windows Phone was so limited due to apps and the MDM capabilities we moved to stock android devices and from O365 to G Suite. For the organization the move from windows to chromebooks has been brilliant in terms of security, support and MDM. Mostly for the simplicity for users. </p><p>I now don't even listen to Windows Weekly of which I was a massive fan. I do still listen to Paul on What the Tech and hes such a good writer I still check out his non MS piece on </p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    14 April, 2018 - 6:15 pm

    <p>I just recently did it too. Moved my Windows install to a 7200RPM drive just to run games and reconfigured my other drives as an Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS install. I've kept up with Linux and UNIX the whole time, but I'm still slightly surprised at how well the major distros "just work" nowadays. But every time I boot into Windows, I'm greeted with annoying popups for Edge, slow boot times because OneDrive turned itself back on again, and whatever.</p><p><br></p><p>Now if I can only get my games running in WINE…</p>

    • curtisspendlove

      16 April, 2018 - 4:06 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#263013"><em>In reply to jimchamplin:</em></a></blockquote><p>“Now if I can only get my games running in WINE…”</p><p><br></p><p>It largely depends on which games you enjoy. </p><p><br></p><p>A lot lot of great Modern Indy games come with Linux support baked in. </p><p><br></p><p>Assuming you use steam, you should install the native client and check compatibility. You may be surprised. ;)</p>

  • John Scott

    14 April, 2018 - 8:05 pm

    <p>Microsoft seems bent on moving away from what many users found great about Windows. Flexibility, choice of software, and customizing. Microsoft appears to want Windows to be a more Chrome OS like system with a app store, a singular browser (Edge) and much less choice for end users. Maybe Windows 10 model would be a better sell if it wasn't such a mess with upgrades? That isn't helping anything.</p>

  • Albatross

    16 April, 2018 - 3:33 pm

    <blockquote><a href="#262950"><em>In reply to jamescollett:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote>Look for an app named "Nine" in the Google app store. Nine does everything you would expect Outlook to do on Android, Outlook does not do what you would expect (like handle contacts properly).</blockquote><p><br></p>

    • Daekar

      16 April, 2018 - 4:57 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#263180"><em>In reply to Albatross:</em></a></blockquote><p>I picked up Nine after I heard it recommended either on Windows Weekly or All About Android, and don't regret paying for it for a second. It's very much like real Outlook. Best app on my phone.</p>

  • gregsedwards

    Premium Member
    16 April, 2018 - 5:24 pm

    <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">I've been a Microsoft junkie (and I fully acknowledge that I am) for a long time, and I've seen hardware, tools, and services come and go. There have been times I've felt like I was at "peak Microsoft," when everything I cared about seemed to be addressed and plenty of other times I've felt like it would make a lot of sense to look elsewhere. If I just wanted to get all of my technology from one company, I think I could certainly do that with Apple or Google. But I've realized that I just don't have a passion for those organizations like I do for Microsoft. There's always been something special about them that has captivated my interest. And I think that's why I remain invested. I think I care more about their vision of technology than in any one device, platform, or service.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">I read a lot of complaints on this forum and others, where fans talk about feeling abandoned or ignored by Microsoft. Because they cancelled a product or service we liked. Because we perceive they're taking away control over something that worked in a specific way that we really liked. That they just don't get consumers anymore. I think a lot of our complaints about Microsoft really stem from the company prioritizing enterprise over consumer, and that just no longer aligns with the way some of us like to do things. Sometimes, they take a much longer view than we'd prefer, and in the meantime cede a lot of market share to companies that are more vested in providing solutions that consumers seem to want right now.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Like any giant tech organization, Microsoft follows the profits. I might love my Windows phone or my Band, but Microsoft loses money on every single unit they sell, then it's pretty hard to justify keeping it alive, just because Greg really loves it.</span></p><p>I'll remind everyone that Google, too, will have its "Microsoft moment," where it either kills a core service <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">that you can't live without</span>, takes an app in a different direction than you'd like, or doesn't keep pace with the latest and greatest shift in the momentum of the market. It's inevitable.</p>

  • Pierre Masse

    16 April, 2018 - 5:27 pm

    <p>I did (and felt) the same. Great post. Thanks.</p>

  • Minke

    16 April, 2018 - 5:56 pm

    <p>By the way, for those willing to test out some flavor of Linux a very simple way to start is to go to EndlessOS. They have a slick executable you download to install and run EndlessOS alongside your Windows installation. I have both running on this computer. I use EndlessOS for most of my normal computing but it is nice to know I still have Windows there in case I need something not available on EndlessOS. Updates happen automatically in the background and so far I have had zero issues with the installation. It is the slickest Linux distro for the non-techy I have tried, yet offers very good functionality for most normal users. My father's Windows 7 laptop was totally crapping out with all sorts of system issues, so I instead wiped it and installed EndlessOS as the sole operating system. Totally rejuvenated his laptop. I would rate its ease of use and performance right up there with a Chromebook, but with greater capabilities.</p>

  • cayo

    16 April, 2018 - 7:02 pm

    <p>I guess you get what you pay for. You go to school and work hard so that you can afford a better house in a nicer neighborhood, better food, longer vacations, better college for kids. </p><p><br></p><p>It's the same thing with the hardware and software you use. My family (IT guy, physician and two college students) can afford premium Windows 10 desktops and ultrabooks, iPhones and Office 365. </p><p><br></p><p>Android phones and tablets, Chromebook and Google Docs? No thanks.</p>

    • Minke

      16 April, 2018 - 8:19 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#263259"><em>In reply to cayo:</em></a></blockquote><p>The point is that the OP doesn't feel he is getting good products. I don't see him complaining about the price. I've used and owned every version of Windows and before that DOS before anyone knew what that was, and just about the same with Apple products. Frankly, I currently prefer Google's Gmail, Drive, and my Pixel 2 to other products. I also use various flavors of Linux on my personal desktop and laptops. They provide me with better functionality and performance, and save money too as a bonus. I do like the XBox and I miss Windows Phones, but Microsoft gave up on them. I still use Windows and Office at work all day every day, and I would switch our business over to G Suite if I could convince the others.</p>

      • cayo

        16 April, 2018 - 8:37 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#263278"><em>In reply to Minke:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>The OP did say "ridiculous Apple price tags". I don't agree. I think that premium Android phones are too expensive for what they offer. It's not hardware, it is Android. </p><p><br></p><p>Also, I think the G Suite is a mess. There is no chance for the company I work for to switch to it, but if it did…I would find a better job. </p>

        • curtisspendlove

          16 April, 2018 - 9:30 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#263284"><em>In reply to cayo:</em></a></blockquote><p>I love my Apple devices, but they are certainly overpriced. So are the premium offerings from other companies. However, I’m willing to pay those prices because I like the experience. (Same reason I buy the cars that I do, the knives and kitchenware, etc.)</p><p><br></p><p>Also there is zero correlation or causation between the quality of a job and the office suite it pays for. </p>

          • cayo

            17 April, 2018 - 1:08 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#263300"><em>In reply to curtisspendlove:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>That is exactly what I said. I am also willing to pay more for premium devices.</p><p><br></p><p>I don't agree with you about the office suite. While the basic editing tools are available in G Suite, most users will hit a roadblock sooner or or later. And it will usually be a different issue for different users. G Suite is too expensive far what it offers. If you are cheap, you can use free Google Docs, but MS Office on the webs is free as well. .. </p>

    • Bats

      16 April, 2018 - 10:05 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#263259"><em>In reply to cayo:</em></a></blockquote><p>FYI….there is no such thing as a premium Windows Desktop or Ultrabook. LOL…have you ever read the Microsoft and Apple hardware forums? The word "Premium" is a gimmick for the word over-priced. Case and point, Microsoft Surfacebook. </p><p><br></p><p>So you mean to tell me, that if you buy a more expensive computer, you're gonna get a better job? WOW….does Consumer Reports know about this (lol)?</p><p><br></p><p>You know what? What you said about hardware and software…that's what the Apple people were saying in the 90's. They said that the quality of their hardware and software was far superior to anything by Microsoft. LOL…I don't think people are better were better off or made better investments in life due to the Operating System or the Processor or video card in their computers. That's insane!</p><p><br></p>

      • cayo

        17 April, 2018 - 1:21 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#263308"><em>In reply to Bats:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>You are telling us that a basic laptop, heavy, with a slow HD and low resolution, is for you the same as a premium lightweight ultrabox? You sure are easy to please. </p>

    • gregsedwards

      Premium Member
      17 April, 2018 - 4:17 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#263259"><em>In reply to cayo:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think you could have put it a little more tactfully, but I get your point and kind of agree with you. I think it's a bit unfair to judge a company solely on their free services. I think it speaks to Microsoft's revenue model relative to that of Apple or Google. With some obvious exceptions, it's kind of impossible to pay for most Google or Apple services that so many seem to prefer. Gmail, Google Maps, and even Android itself are all free. Same for most Apple software, including iOS, although you might consider the device itself is the cost of using them.</p><p>With Microsoft, you generally get what you pay for. I don't have any major complaints about running out of space on OneDrive or being unable to use features in Office 365. Because I pay for Premium, I'm not bothered by ads in my email. In fact, <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">I don't generally see ads in Windows for Office 365 or anything else (the exception is the Spotify ad in Groove, which is a bit curious given that anyone who previously paid for Groove Music Pass has long since been transitioned). Generally, </span>I'm not as concerned about what Microsoft does with my telemetry or browsing data, because they've already made their money off me on the front end.</p><p>That doesn't mean that I won't complain when I think a device or service comes up short. I think the Xbox content-sharing model is ridiculously convoluted. I think the Game Bar should allow you to broadcast any app that's not displaying copy-protected content. I think Movies &amp; TV should rejoin the Movies Anywhere service. I think Groove should still provide a subscription service. I think Cortana should support more skills and integrations. I think Microsoft should still actively develop Windows 10 Mobile, until they're ready to release its replacement. I think Microsoft should release Band 3. And that Xbox streaming stick Brad scooped. And a new LifeCam that supports Windows Hello.</p><p>If they do, then I'll keep evaluating and using their paid services whenever possible. And I'll judge competing services against that.</p>

  • Minke

    17 April, 2018 - 5:27 pm

    <p>A lot depends on your needs in software too. I understand there are people who live in spreadsheets and can't live with the limitations of Google Sheets, and there are people who have 10 years of emails organized into 150 folders in Outlook who can't see any other system. The bottom line for all of us is comparing products vs. cost, and including any other criteria that matters to each one of us. Myself, I find that Google's online products offer me better functionality and I pay less (in my case nothing) for them. One small example. I collaborate with people editing documents and we can both easily have a Google Doc open in real time, watching exactly where the other person is in the document and what they are doing, and then we both have the exact same edited version. All done in real time. No track changes, email the thing, accept corrections, send back, waste of time.</p>

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