Ask Leo: Why didn’t Microsoft fix this horrible bug?


By Leo Notenboom

I’ve complained about this bug for years and no one has an answer. It’s horrible – forums are full of people who are experiencing this bug and no one has an answer. It’s been there for years and Microsoft continues to just ignore us. Obviously, Bill’s too busy trying to make more money by forcing us to upgrade and doesn’t have time for bugs that impact lots of people. WHY WON’T THEY FIX THIS HORRIBLE BUG?

As you can probably guess, that’s a composite question representing questions (and comments and rants) that I get a lot. Basically, someone is convinced that they’re dealing with the Most Important Bug Ever and Microsoft – no, Bill Gates himself – is ignoring them.

Typically, there’s no satisfying the folks who have landed in that extreme position. I often do suggest – and it’s an honest suggestion – that they might be better served by a Mac or Linux solution because they’re not satisfied with Microsoft and Windows.

However, for those who are interested, I’d like to go over some of the things that factor into the process and why your Most Important Bug Ever might not get fixed.

And yes, why Bill Gates is not only ignoring you, but why he probably has no idea that you or your Most Important Bug Ever even exist.

No excuses

I do want to be clear about something: this isn’t about making excuses for Microsoft. They do screw up and miss important things from time to time. More often than not, it’s a case of not clearly understanding the priorities of their users, but even that is no excuse: sometimes, they get it wrong.

This is more about explaining and trying to understand the process and the incredible complexity of the problem, and with that, gain a little bit of an understanding about why a “bug” might not get resolved in a timely fashion.

To me, part of the “no excuses for Microsoft” position of what follows is that it applies to any and all large systems vendors. Even though I’ll use “Microsoft” in the discussion below – mostly because that’s where I have experience – the discussion applies equally well if you replace Microsoft with Apple, Mozilla, Google, Intuit, or any of a hundred other software manufacturers.

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This post is excerpted with Leo’s permission from his blog.

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17 thoughts on “Ask Leo: Why didn’t Microsoft fix this horrible bug?

  1. Agree, but wake up.. Switch to linux or a mac (I don’t think apple cares more) I’ts all about free software mind. The Microsoft model cannot work. One single company to maintain all pc using their os. I switched to linux all the way (90% the ten left gets virtualized). If the people working for different linux distros cannot fix your bug you’ll be able to do it yourself or paying somebody else to fix it. You don’t have to ask Torvalds permission to create something new. Windows is just a dead end. Great article by the way. I always find pc pitstop too much like windows lovers or working for MS..

  2. ‘YAWN”…if MS hadn’t started out thinking that dirty programming was ok (since the whole world became their ‘beta testers’), we wouldn’t be BUYING buggy programs in the first place!!!

  3. Leo the saying is that Microsoft could screw up a one-car funeral by lossing the body on its way to the wrong cemetery. Pity we can’t just bury microsoft! ! ! !

  4. “a composite question representing questions (and comments and rants) that I get a lot.” those who cannot see what he is saying, have already been assimmilated to the MS way of thinking.. you glance read but rarely digest what is written. Grab a coffee, find some quiet time and digest exactly what leo has written. Leo, I agree wholeheartedly!A good article, maybe a bit patchy, but yes, youre bang on the money!

  5. I personally don’t like the way this was presented to your public. It’s “bait and switch”. When I read the title of this report it gave me the impression that some new bug was discovered in some M$ s/w.
    That’s not the way to win friends and influence them!

  6. First of all this article is just a bunch of garbage , it seems as if Leo was quite bored and something happen to his windows and had to rant about microsoft . I have been a tech for about 14 years and I have yet to see a product that does not have bugs including hardware and software but , I will say this what I have seen , most of the time when someone reports a bug it is not the software or hardware it is the user puting in the wrong code or clicking the wrong button . I’ll admit microsoft is not perfect but hey what is so in closing I’ll say this ,,,Leo you had your rant and made no since , so take a deep breath calm down and try again but this time think before you type

  7. I have not read any of your prior articles, thank you for this one, now I won’t have to wast my time reading any in the future.

  8. I fully agree! LEO your a friggin waste of Time! I also see that you CONSTANTLY have these Articles & I take the time to read them & then wonder what the Hell I just read!? And this one, I thinking…hmmm…Yeah What Bugs!? And you NEVER seem to mention the Bug/Bugs???

    So whats the point?

  9. Which bugs?! I read the article because of the title then you never mention any bugs and just rank on Microsoft. I’ve never had any serious problems with Windows since Win98 SE and Millennium since Win 2000 came out it’s been pretty much smooth sailing for me and now with 7 it’s even better. I agree with both Robert and Mason above, all operating systems, software and hardware have bugs. Hell Linux is open source it’s all about fixing bugs and reporting them to make it the great operating system it is now. I don’t believe Bill Gates is ignoring the issue of the so called HORRIBLE BUG, maybe he doesn’t know what your talking about just like us. Which bugs?!

  10. This could be the most useless article I have ever read. I began reading it expecting to hear about a particular bug, but all you did was talk around it. Is there a point to your article other than to say that Microsoft isn’t always responsive to the desires of its customers? Is that really a surprise?

    Thanks for wasting my time

  11. I forgot to mention data loss, yes, data loss sucks, not doubt about it! Windows has never caused any data loss problems for me! I have a performance computer for gaming, its not anything ridiculous, but it is custom built and not something you could just buy assembled in the store. It has been known to run quite hot when the room temperature is high. I’ve had this computer two years now, I’ve had Windows XP, Vista, and 7 on it. Never have I had data loss problems, drivers problems, or any other bugs. I’ve never in my life yet seem Windows 7 blue screen, and I’ve used it the most. I buy quality computer parts, and I make sure that they’re compatible, and I take good care of the hardware as well as software, which is what anyone should do, most don’t. With that, I’ve had no problems. No bugs. If Microsoft’s product does something that it was NOT intended to do, I am SURE that they would correct it… especially data loss.

  12. I read your article, and basically all you explained was that Microsoft is just like every other company on the planet, they’re likely to NOT fix problems experienced by few customers. No Microsoft isn’t perfect, but Apple, IBM, nVidia, AMD/ATi, Intel, and many other computer technology companies aren’t any better. Most of this article was based on your concern for “bugs”, bugs of which you never explained or gave any examples on. WHAT bugs? Sure Windows has bugs, the XBOX 360 has bugs, the Zune has bugs. However, for the most part, they all works as advertised and intended. I’ve personally never had any problem with any of Microsoft’s products. Apple and their brilliant iTouch 4th generation has bugs crawling all over it, but it still works and does what its supposed to. A common bug on my iTouch is not something that I care to explain in detail, but it could EASILY be fixed with an iOS update, but since the 4g has been out… never has it been fixed. A bug, that does happen to prevent your from using the device properly, which is important of course, that apple will not fix. Like you said, they’re “ignoring” us. I don’t believe any of the companies “ignore” their customers. I think that even if a million customers complain about something, perhaps, that million of a message won’t reach the company. You say that these bugs that Microsoft “Ignores” are the most important bugs of all, but how? I’ve never found any bugs in Windows 7 that were critical. Important how? As long as Windows and other products do as they’re advertised, I shall be satisfied with them.

    • Mason…you forgot to mention that Microsoft led the way. Before they set the example of just how stupid consumers are, software companies worked their butts off to put out the cleanest product possible.

      Bill Gates saw the foolishness of hiring ‘beta-testers’ to clean up the programs when the consumers not only would pay a hefty price for the bug-ridden programs they put out, but the public would certainly let them know about the bugs. As time went by more and more companies jumped on this wagon and more and more beta testers found themselves out of work!

      Gates a computer genius? NOT A scam artist? YES!!!

      (There are some folk who call it ‘good business sense’… to this ‘old-timer’ it remains a SCAM)

  13. In 2002 while developing a new commercial Windows application for the public I ran into a real bug in Microsoft’s internal WMI system.
    I reported the problem to Microsoft. They worked with me for 3 months to verify that there was indeed a problem in the WMI. They agreed that the WMI has the problem that I identified.
    Then they told me that I would have to make a “business case” for them so they could internally justify paying their programmers to fix their own bug.
    Since I could not bring my program to market without their fix I could not make that “business case”. So they refused to fix the bug.
    That bug still exists, and now that same bug is in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft does not like anyone who points out a real error of theirs.
    Microsoft makes their point very directly by effectively saying “You WILL do things the way Microsoft wants them done, and Microsoft will compete with you by keeping you out of business.”
    I hope this saves others the time they will spend in any attempt to compete, line of code for line of code, with Microsoft, who will ruthlessly, and legally, beat you into the ground.

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