How is this not fraud?

I built a new computer because my old one was ~10 years old, getting flaky, and slow. After a few hiccups it works fine, as near as I can tell. I have both Windows 10 (because they don’t sell Win7 any more, and I got a good deal on it) as well as dual-booting with Linux. In the interests of maintaining current on popular technology, and because I could not find my MS Office 2007 disks which I had installed on my old machine, I bought a license (again, a very good deal) for Office 2019.

So where’s the fraud?

They advertise WRT MS Office that you have complete control over your privacy, and loads of improved features. What they don’t tell you is that you can’t have both at once, chump.

Specifically, if you don’t enable the install big brother and digitally rape my machine I mean “All Connected Experiences” option, then you don’t have even such basic features as HELP, for God’s sake. And, naturally, I cannot find a nice complete list of what sorts of things get tracked and shared with Microsoft when you sign up for the full experience; in this case, I’d strongly suspect that silence is evidence of mens rea.

Not being able to use something as basic as in-program “help” without having to reveal your digital full Monty also says that the product is totally broken, in that it will not be able to do much more than Wordpad, circa 1998, when you are in the woods and not connected to the inter-tubes. It’s totally crap-for-brains or evil-intent design broken. This isn’t even shitty H1B programming, though I’m sure I’ll find plenty of those, this is VP-from-the-top design-level fuck-the-customer stuff. So – no more MSFT for me. Ever. Unless there is a provable major alteration in corporate culture resulting from imprisonment, mass impalements and an auto-de-fete, or at the least truly epic levels of fines (epic, like, balance the US Federal budget and MSFT mass-lays off employee sized).

This is the opposite of “empowering” the customer. It’s enslaving them. Welcome to 1984, comrad, and NewSpeak, brought to you by the smiling Borg-faces at Microsquish.

7 thoughts on “How is this not fraud?

    1. I’ve not been a fan of the last decade’s worth of trends in design or implementation, and avoided all upgrades possible as they appeared to mangle old, solid, usable features in favor of corporate Big Brother “Connectedness” and “remote control” features. Current first-hand experience confirms that impression. You can’t even print crop marks. The ENTIRE POINT of crop-marks is that they print on the paper. The MSFT solution? “Use another program.” They’ll show them to you on-screen, but they are not printable. Da fuq? I can’t tell at this point if it’s more caused by insanity, morons at the top, or evil intent, or if I should just embrace the healing power of “and.”

    1. not particularly familear with that one, thought I’ve heard of it. I also have Libre Office installed. But I installed MS Office because it’s the “industry standard,” and though my current job uses all things Chrome/Google I might very well change at some point in the future, and being up on the current version of things would be good. But, good lord I’m about to pull my hair out at all the stupid design decisions I’m coming across. Aside from invasive WRT privacy, if you were to go on a week-long trip to the woods on a laptop with a big battery, you’d still not be able to access things like “help” because the basic help stuff isn’t even on your local machine – it’s all online, requiring an internet connection to even use basic functionality. Doing something as simple as printing two-sided on paper on a printer that supports it appears to be beyond it’s capabilities.

      If I want to print page-range, like page 11-16, it even manages to totally screw that up! How? In order to have the page numbers work out (you know, “1” being in the footer of the actual page one of the story text), then you have to use sections. You start the pagination at the start of the new section with “1.” Ok, so far, so good. But I’ve got ~10 pages of “front matter,” and I don’t want it printed. If I print page 5-16, then it starts at page 5 of the first page, and prints to page 16 of the second section (which is about page 20 of the total document). But, if I up it to page 12-16, then it only prints 5 pages, pages 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 from the second section. Which page number is it using? The answer is, apparently, “it depends!” This isn’t something that people are doing now for the first time – it been done since the early 90s, in MS works, if I recall. Not rocket science. But the geniuses at MSFT have been living fat and stupid for too long, promoting people for having the right politics or family connection rather than brain cells or customer concerns at heart. It’s for corporations, not individuals.

  1. I know it’s considered a copyright, and not a patent that is good for only 17 years. But it seems to me someone could make a system that wasn’t so…geeky. For lack of a better term.
    It seems to me that one could make a mint by simplifying this…racket. Once again,for lack of a better term. It seems this whole thing is built around gathering information to train AI with. Not so much for the customer. The customer is made to feel like a mark in some flim-flam swindle.
    It’s like Bill Gate never got out of his mom’s basement. He’s still down there in full gamma rage against the world. Even though he could buy have of it. Come to Jesus, Bill. He’ll help if you ask.

    1. I’m pretty sure he’s sold his soul to the other side for his success, either to The Cabal (to use Neon’s and Sundance’s term for them), or in a more literal sense for the afterlife: his wife openly wears an upside-down cross these days. It sure does seem odd that so many fabulously wealthy and successful people, who rose to prominence, wealth, and fame seemingly easily by being in the right place at the right time where so many others failed, have foundations and claim they are leaving only a pittance to their children and the rest they will “give to charity,” when those same “charities” seem to be rather political when you examine them closely. Hmmm, it’s almost like they have made a deal of some sort.

      Nah, must just be a coincidence.

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