Dear Microsoft,

Why do you hate me so?

Sure, I admit I haven’t been your biggest fan for quite a while now. Windows Vista……. what were you thinking!

But hey, I’m not some over zealous Apple fan boy. Computers are tools, they have jobs to do. I prefer those jobs to be done on Apple products and software, but I believe in using the right tool for the right job. I use Windows when I need to, same for Linux and it’s many flavours.


So, when a customer needed to run Windows on their Macbook Pro to collaborate with a Windows user running MYOB software (they only had a license for the Windows version), I happily suggested we grab a copy of Windows 8.1 and run it under a virtual machine using VMWare Fusion. And that’s where the frustration started……




I head to the Microsoft website to see what I need. Go on, have a look, and see what I was greeted with…. There’s no information there. It’s absolute crap. What version does what? So I head to the online store…. again, what version do I need?? 8.1? 8.1 Pro so I have more “networking”??? Upgrade? WTF !

Oh, and you can install it on 5 machines it says in the fine print. Cool. Oh no, there’s even finer print… You can install on 5 machines, if you buy 5 SEPARATE licences, one for each machine…. nicely worded there Microsoft….. that will certainly have people sitting at home wondering why it won’t install on a second computer.

But wait, it gets better… $150 for Windows 8.1 or $399 for Windows 8.1 Pro? But you still won’t tell me what the difference is? Let me guess, you’re charging an extra $250 to enable some networking features that you probably ripped from open source software anyway… AARRRGGGGHHHH…. Thank you. There is now actually steam coming out of my ears.


So, we need it, we’ll get plain old Vanilla Windows 8.1 for $150. Okay. Can I just buy it and download it? No, I can’t. Microsoft needs to check what Windows I’m running to see what version I can get. But wait, I’m not running Windows yet, I want a new installation. FAIL. Why will you not let me give you money and download your software, like every other respectable software developer out there. Oh, you’re worried about piracy are you???


Guess what Microsoft? At least HALF THE PIRACY of your products is surely because you make it SO DAMN HARD to buy them legitimately!!


After wasting way too much time on Microsofts website, I give up. I’ll have to find a boxed version at a retailer… no problem. Or so I thought…..


I ring around everywhere, no one has it available. Of course. I want to purchase Windows, I want to give you money Microsoft, why are you making it impossible to do so?


I finally find a small computer shop that says they have a copy I can purchase. So, I drive on over there, and lo and behold, what do I find? Yes, I’m greeted with the computer shop we’re all familiar with. Loads of old computers and parts scattered everywhere. Everything seems to be in complete disarray. It’s the sort of place that I wouldn’t trust my worst enemies calculator, let alone take a computer that has all of my information on it. And what am I told by the one person in there playing in that mess? The man that sells things isn’t here, he’ll be back in half an hour, if you wait, maybe.


That’s it, I GIVE UP ! Life is pointless, I can’t go on. You’ve won Microsoft, you’ve beaten me down to the lifeless zombie you so desire in a customer…..

Actually, no, I will not surrender. I know another way!

My customer needed to get up and running, and ASAP, so I couldn’t waste any more time trying to hand money over to Microsoft. So what happened? I had an old copy of Windows XP, so I pulled it from the machine it was on and installed it in the Virtual Machine for the customer, transferring the license over. They’re up and running, they can work in MYOB and they’re happy, job done.

But I’m frustrated, annoyed and debating the merits of tracking down the Microsoft management team one by one and dragging them from whatever no decision making team building information gathering committee they’re currently wasting time in…… Oops, I said that out loud…..

At least it was a nice reminder of why I moved to Apple in the first place…..