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Dear Mr. Microsoft

Week of October 21, 2001

Dear Mr. Microsoft,

I am becoming increasingly irritated by your ScanDisk screen which pops up on my desktop from time to time. This screen always manifests itself when your operating system manages to crash, hang, or otherwise do something completely ridiculous to the extent and the effect that I am forced to disengage my power supply and let it rest and recuperate for minutes on end.

Your ScanDisk screen says I must learn to shut down my operating system properly by going to the Start menu and choosing the Shutdown alternative. Dear Mr. Microsoft, I certainly know more about using operating systems than you do about building them. I always go this route if I am able, but when your operating system suddenly refuses to respond, when my entire screen goes black dark when I hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete as a last resort, I have, simply put, no other alternative, and I would appreciate it if you and your cronies would refrain from instinctively lashing out at me, your poor unfortunate user, when you know full well the likelihood is great that it is your fault.

Mr. Microsoft, I have considerable experience in the world of operating systems, perhaps more than you, and I have seen and used complex systems such as IBM MVS and DEC VMS and never, I repeat never, have I been witness to the haphazard and sloppy behaviour your systems so eagerly exhibit. These other systems, complex as they are with far from the trivial taskload of your own, are able to stay up and running for years at a time, and yet your dinky little contraptions, with - and please take no offense - relatively little to worry about and trivial in all comparisons cannot stay up for more than a few hours at most. I really wonder what would happen if the truly vital computing science activities of our planet were left in your incapable hands; in fact, Mr. Microsoft, I shudder at the thought.

My advice to you, Mr. Microsoft, is to either get your act together and produce a simple yet elegant and singularly stable operating system - or to go back to your MBASIC and leave us alone.

Respectfully Yours,
John Q. Microsoft-(L)user (the 'L' is silent)

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