Home > Computers and Internet, Organizations > I think Microsoft should redirect the blame more often

I think Microsoft should redirect the blame more often

That’s a pretty dangerous title, I know. The worst thing that could happen is for a company to start blaming other companies for problems which are there own. I doubt this would happen though, because the other companies could sue the whining company for slander, and that would be the end of that very quickly. Plus, due the depth and breadth of Microsoft there’s hardly a tech company out there with whom Microsoft doesn’t partner with, as well as compete with. And if a company got in the habit of shifting the blame unjustifiably they’d lost partners really fast.

There are some situations where I think that Microsoft would benefit their customers by publicly saying what did happen in certain situations, and is happening in other situations.

Today was the announcement of the “Where’s my phone update” that was kind of a step in the right direction. Microsoft doesn’t list the carriers which are holding up the update process, but one can figure it out. Hopefully this does put pressure on Microsoft’s partners to be holding up their end of the partnership, instead of consumers thinking that it’s Microsoft that’s putting the breaks on everything.

The Yahoo! Mail Windows Phone 7 debacle. Microsoft figured out who the cause of the phantom data uploads were, but then wouldn’t say who it was. While I understand that it would be bad policy to figure out the root cause, tell the press, and then tell the partner who’s causing the problem, if some random blogger hadn’t figured it out, Microsoft never would have said who it was. Microsoft should have told Yahoo! given them a week or so for the fix, and then announced what the problem application was so consumers could make changes accordingly.

Microsoft still gets crap for the Danger SideKick debacle, and it wasn’t their fault at all.

Now the problem I’ve wanted fixed for years. One of the annoying parts of using a computer is trying to delete, read, modify, move a file and the error that’s returned is that another process has the file open and you can’t have a file handle for it. Whether it’s manually in explorer, or some exception thrown in a service and you’re pouring over log files, the first thing you want to know is “Who has it open?” I understand that if an application received the error message that by the time they crawled every processes handles, that the process which had it open could have closed the file handle. But at the time I was trying to open the file, the OS did know which process had the file open. And the operating system could have saved that information off. Windows should save off the name and PID of the process which had the file handle open, and then after receiving the error the denied process can ask the OS who had the handle open the last time it tried to open that file and the OS could tell the application. Then the application could put that information in the error message. I think if this happened that Anti Virus’s would get a lot more scrutiny than what they do today. And in other some cases this information helps find computer virus’s. Either way, I’d love it if Microsoft built a way in Windows to show who the problem is, instead of just letting me know that there is a problem.

I don’t know how many partners Microsoft could keep if they did this, but I would love it if Microsoft would publish the investigations of when updates broke applications. Microsoft works very hard to not have an update break a computer, but it still happens. If people complained to Microsoft that an update broke their computer, and Microsoft got their engineers working hard on the problem they would find in the vast majority of situations that the broken application was doing something wrong, and the fact that it was working previously was just plain luck. If instead of creating gigabytes worth of shims that Windows has to store, Microsoft made it easy for consumers to find what the problem really was, it would make for a better ecosystem. Sure, plenty of people would be mad at Microsoft because their program was working one day, and then a Microsoft update came out, and their application stopped working, so obviously the problem is Microsoft. But if the same companies applications kept on breaking, again and again, and the reasons kept on being that it was crappy code that shouldn’t have worked in the first place, I think that people would become warier of companies/developers which produced crappy code. And as a result the Windows ecosystem would be healthier because it would be more difficult to write semi functional applications, and only well written applications would become the dominant ones.

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