“Your Majesty, they have stormed the Bastille”, exclaimed an aide of King Louis XVI.”Is this a revolt?” asked the King. “No, Sire, it’s a revolution.”
I am so mad at Microsoft that I am looking for a way to break out of the Microsoft prison. Without ending up in the Apple prison, of course, which is even worse than the Microsoft prison, and certainly more expensive. Microsoft is a prison for regular inmates like me. Apple is a prison for uppity inmates who don’t mind paying extra for special prison privileges.
I have been a loyal user of Microsoft products, first DOS, then Windows and Office, for about three decades now. But at this point, the wise leaders of Microsoft somehow managed to make me hate their guts with vengeance.
As far as I can tell, the Windows 8 upgrade is a disaster that was born in the mind of an arrogant slave master. The “tile system” is a completely useless, primitive and counterintuitive collection of dumb icons if you use it on a PC rather than on a smart phone. My mouse often hangs over a corner of the monitor for what seems like an eternity before something that I can click on finally appears, if it ever does. And when I try to use a track pad on my laptop, the screen simply disappears and is suddenly replaced by one of those tiles that I will never use.
It took me months to discover how to access commands and functions that I was used to in the Tower of Babel created by the new system of Tiles for Idiots in Windows 8. Of course, with Windows 8, first you have to set up a Microsoft e-mail account to even be able to use the system so that your government and hundreds of greedy, ruthless corporations could better spy on you with every mouse click you make.
If Microsoft’s plan was to piss off as many people as possible with the Windows 8 upgrade, they have succeeded already beyond their wildest dreams. I remember that when I first bought a new PC with Window 8 on it, I was thinking to myself that next time I should probably switch from iPhone to a phone that has the Microsoft operating system on it since I will learn all about it on my PC anyway. That was probably the main (and the only) idea behind the Windows 8 upgrade.
But in the meantime I have grown to hate this arrogant dictate of Microsoft that somehow manages to completely ignore what hundreds of millions of PC users might actually really want by trying to leverage their near monopoly of the PC operating system and in this manner extend their market dominance also to tablets and smart phones in the name of ever greater profits. Based on Microsoft’s results so far, Microsoft only managed to shoot itself in the foot with the Windows 8 upgrade, which I consider a downgrade.
I may or may not continue using my iPhone when my contract expires in 5 months. It is very expensive and I don’t really need a smart cell phone that much, especially since it is used to spy on me. But after my experience with Windows 8, I would not touch a phone that has the Microsoft logo on it with a ten foot pole.
For me the last straw was when Microsoft announced that licenses for new Microsoft Office products would have to be repurchased, again, again, and again, every year. So how much will Microsoft Word, which used to cost less than 150 dollars in the old Microsoft Office package, cost now?
I bought my Microsoft Office package on a CD for about $150 in 2007 and I am still using it now. Which means that it cost me so far a little over 20 dollars per year. The 2007 version of Microsoft Office came with a license for up to 3 PCs, but as I was replacing old computers with new ones, I discovered that I was able to use it on more than 3 PCs. Every time when I junked an old computer and installed Microsoft Office on the new one, I was able to register it without any problems. Until the last time, when about two months ago, I got a message that this product cannot be registered. But when I tried to register it for about the 7th time, I was finally successful, which is why I am still writing this post with MS Word.
Most people may no longer remember it, but Microsoft was the first corporation that came up with the innovative idea of obligatory registration of software packages online something like 15 years ago. Up until that point, a single user was able to register a single piece of software on as many computers as this single user was using until the same user decided to purchase an upgrade of the same software package. Which means that up until that time, software manufacturers had to try to sell upgrades based on new features and better functionality.
That simply is not true anymore.
I will definitely not buy a new version of Microsoft Office if it means that every year, I would have to spend a hundred dollars for a product that I already purchased and paid for on every PC and laptop that I use. It is more than just highway robbery. How is this different from being forced to pay protection money, again and again, to a mafia bagman? Tony Soprano himself would have been proud of this ingenious racket.
I think that even people running the Microsoft Corporation understand that there will be serious blowback from Microsoft Office users who just might become former Microsoft Office users. I also think that the Microsoft Corporation may be just testing the market at this point to see to what extent captive consumers can be manipulated while preparing a plan B in case the inmates in the Microsoft Bastille prison start making too much noise.
The chances are that once the 2007 version of Microsoft Word that I legally own becomes “uninstallable” on a computer that I also legally own and thus unusable, I will need to replace it with something else.
I know that there are free products that I can use, like the openoffice.org and libreoffice.org products. I looked at the word processing modules in them, and they are not bad. I still prefer Microsoft Word, but probably mostly because I am used to it by now, although it has a lot of truly unexplainable features. For instance why are “Greek and Coptic” characters bundled together in special characters? There are only about 5 million Copts on this planet, while Greek characters are used probably a billion times every day in mathematical formulas. Which Microsoft genius came up with that idea?
It looks like within a few years I will have to learn the word processor that comes with openoffice software because so far I like it better than libreoffice.
Unless, of course, I go back to WordPerfect, which is a much better word processor than Microsoft Word. I have already downloaded the WordPerfect X6 trial version with built-in PDF software, and so far I mostly like what I see. Of course, it may be again mostly because I am very familiar with it as I have been using WordPerfect from 1987 to about 2004.
But I have not been able to find out on how many computers I can install WordPerfect X6. I am willing to pay a hundred dollars for the WordPerfect X6 package. That is a fair price. But I have 3 desktops and 2 laptops.
Does anybody know on how many computers I can install the new WordPerfect Office? I have not been able to find an answer to this question, possibly because WordPerfect does not want me to know. If it works only on one computer, I will probably start using openoffice and then convert files to MS Word.
I am not interested in being moved by the software prison warden from the Microsoft prison to a WordPerfect prison.