Microsoft is in trouble. On so many levels.

This is a rant against some of Microsofts products. Apologies if it all sounds negative (Microsoft does do some excellent work – XBox isn’t bad for example).

But I am gathering anecdotal evidence towards why some people trust Microsoft software, while others don’t.

Here is a personal collection of some of the issues myself and others have had with their products, and why many of us have come to expect (rightly or wrongly) disappointment.

Snipping tool

Microsoft finally added in Windows 7 a tool for screen capture called ‘Snipping Tool’.

You run the program, click the mouse around the screen image you want to capture, and then save your picture.

And it works great. The first time.

The second time you take another picture and use the highlighter to mark up the page, it fails. Not always. But enough that you need to restart the program and capture the image all over again.

This is a simple repeatable bug that should never have happened (of could easily be patched). Argh!


I have seen the very mention of this tool send the hardest of developers diving for cover.

Never has one tool caused so much pain, suffering, and loss in terms of people’s life’s and productivity.

This tool is wrong on so many levels.

Merely installing it can corrupt your machine.
Deploying it is a bear.
It’s makes extensive use of the GAC.
It will silently fail without telling you why.

It’s just a plain old terrible product to use and work with (much like TFS).

Team Foundation Server

Name one source code repository system that:
– pessimistically locks files
– requires you to be online
– requires it’s own database,
– and takes something that is pure and simple and makes it overly complicated


This tool is terrible. When Martin Forwler asked his fellow ThoughtWorkers which version control systems they recommended to clients TFS finished near last.

Amazing how a company so steeped in software could get this so wrong.

One way to ensure you repel top talent for your .NET project is to insist on using BizTalk and TFS.

Do you have other examples?

Send me your favourites and I will credit you in an upcoming blog post about why we trust some companies software and not others.