Posted by: Tim Hunter | February 22, 2013

Microsoft, You Finally Did It

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Ever since I got my first computer back in the 1980s, I’ve been a Microsoft guy.  They’re the local company, I had lots of friends that worked there and so, I decided long ago to stick with them, through thick and thin.

Thick and thin including learning DOS, living through the blue screens of Win 95, believing them when “Windows Me” was going to be the next big thing, upgrading to XP, then Vista, then Windows 7.  Every innovation, every brag that “Oh, THIS is it!”, I bought, hook, line and sinker.  Oh and did I mention, I also bought a Windows phone?

However, with Windows 8, I have finally hit the wall.  We’re at the stage where this “all the answers” software should be able to handle most computers, or, at least, come with a warning like, “Sorry, this probably won’t work perfectly on a Dell Inspiron.”  Almost everything about it is pretty cool and the potential is there for even more fun, but ever since I installed the Windows 8 version of Skype on my laptop, it shuts down every time I try to launch it.  I mean, start the program, have it load, have the screen look pretty with all the options and the address book, and the second I click to dial someone–I get the Windows 8 version of the Blue Screen of Death.

I’m pretty adept at figuring out computer problems.  Over the years, I’ve learned a lot and can fix most issues.  Basically, the problem is that Windows 8 doesn’t like the camera on my laptop.  I’ve gone to the Skype website, I’ve gone to the Windows 8 site for troubleshooting and none of the solutions have corrected the problem.  Oh, sure, I’ll keep looking, but after three hours of my time and three weeks in a row of not being able to Skype with my daughter, her husband and the grandchild, I’m done.

In my younger days, I was known to spend an entire weekend figuring out what was wrong with a computer and, most of the times, doing it….or bringing in reinforcements.  When I hit up a friend and got help, I watched everything they did and learned so I would be ready for the next time.  But after another night of searching the Internet for a solution, I finally thought of one this morning.

I ordered a Kindle Fire HD.  A little 7-inch tablet that set me back $250….but that will let me Skype with confidence.  On a nice side note, if you haven’t discovered Amazon Prime yet, you can pay $79 for a year and get basically their version of Netflix….PLUS, FREE 2-day shipping on everything you buy at Amazon during that year.  The annual fee would almost pay for the shipping.

You can’t say I didn’t try.  I believe I bought that first PC with 20MB of Hard Drive and a monochrome screen back in 1982 for $2,000.  That’s 31 years of trying to go Microsoft, of putting up with the ridicule by the cool kids from Apple Mac High, but I’ve hit the wall.  I’m ready to have technology work for me, rather than against me.

And may I also point out one other imporant thing: Microsoft owns Skype!  Wouldn’t you think you’d want your own products working together?

Microsoft, you finally did it.

Tim Hunter

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Responses

  1. Iknow I don’t know you but, had to reply: I saw the title and anticipated what was to come – this sounds so familiar; my husband has had to play tech support om my brother-in-laws windows 8 computer twice for the same issue (he calls windoews 8 a holy chaotic mess – something like that), his wife (my sister just bought her kindle fire because she’s ‘hit a wall’, well-just doesn’t like it.
    Windows 7 does work for my son sice he has to use it for on-line School, but from someone who is mainly on a linux run PC – had to comment…..hope thhings work for you :)

  2. Tim, I was a MS guy from day one. Learned BASIC on an Apple IIe but left it as soon as I understood it and didn’t look back until Grad School and Unix took over my daytime life, but nights I was still in DOS mode. Then Win95 and I got real jobs and I was a network guy with Windows and TCP/IP. Then a rocket scientist and black networks under NT. Servers, IIS, all the MS acronyms.

    For the last several years I’ve been writing code that runs on MS servers, but I’m writing it on my MacBook Air, and validating the output on my iPad. Making calls on my Android Phone, and I was very tempted to just get the iPhone 5 to complete the set with my Apple TV.

    You know what? My stress levels are much lower. I printed Christmas card labels in one shot without cussing for the first time ever. The things I do work the way they are supposed to. Yes I had to put MS Office on the Air for work, but I only use it to open files from co-workers who refuse to use Google Docs.

    If it wasn’t for the RDP I need into MS Servers I’d probably drop all the way down to a Chromebook, but then I couldn’t play World of Warcraft, and that takes care of the last of my stress.

    Don’t think ill of Microsoft, they are doing only what they think is right. Just like IBM did…


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