The Weather Report

Friday Confessional

Well if you know me very well or you read my articles, you may have gotten the feeling that I am not the biggest Microsoft fan. Though Microsoft has been a big part of my life in technology, especially having worked for a number of hardware companies and now software, they have held for me so many disappointments that I pretty much had written the company off.

As a young man I had always been attracted to Mac’s. My first system was a Mac plus with 4mb of Ram and I actually had a 20mb hard drive that was built like a tank and weighed just as much. That was pretty awesome stuff. I had played with Tandy’s and actually originally wanted an Atari ST as it had a midi interface built in which allowed music composition. This was something that was a hobby for me at the time.

I had played with Mac’s in school and loved the all in one format that the Mac Plus provided. Well at some point I left Mac and dove into the world of PC. It started with a used 286 that I quickly gave up for a new 486DX2. Boy did I think that thing was cool, but the simplicity that I left with the Mac was something I would not find again until I bought an Apple Powerbook somewhere around 2001.

You see, up to this point there were driver issues and IRQ settings, error screens and of course the dreaded blue screen of death. These issues on top of hours and hours of botched OS upgrades, complete reinstallations, and countless other hassles really set in an almost hatred for the Windows platform.

Though this wasn’t the only thing that had me with a feeling of disdain for the company. One of the companies that I had worked for had provided us with one of the original slide cell phones running the Windows mobile OS. This thing was the biggest “POS” that I had ever used. It would constantly and suddenly reboot, it was almost impossible to make a phone call as that didn’t seem to be its first function. Overall it was a complete mess; and of course there is Internet explorer, I won’t even touch that one.

Well here we are in the present, and as much as it pains me to make this confession on this Friday February 15th, 2013, I will do so with conviction. I kinda, sorta, like Microsoft Bing. Whew, there, I got it off my chest. Bing has kind of been a long running joke for me. I have been a Google user since its early days and really couldn’t see myself making any kind of change where this was concerned.

I figured no one would use Bing and it would just be another half-baked solution that I had come to expect from the company. The site is actually laid out well and the features as well as search results are very intuitive. The multimedia aspects are just all around better, allowing you to preview video content as well as images right from the search screen. The news site is better and the all around experience, look, feel, etc. is superior. I gotta give it to Microsoft on this one, they have convinced me. Though I am not a complete convert yet, “I still use both Google and Bing,” I am finding myself more and more on Bing’s site.

OK so one last confession, Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone’s, not so bad. I have had a chance to play with Windows Phone 7 on a Nokia handset and Windows Phone 8 on the HTC device. Both were good experiences and I would have no problem recommending them to people. Though it might take someone peeling my iPhone from my cold dead hands and replacing it with a Microsoft Phone to get me to switch, at least I can no longer say never!


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