Microsoft Corporation convinced me this week that I should buy a new Apple computer. At least when something goes wrong with an Apple computer, I can take it to the nearest Apple store and get it repaired, whether the problem is with the software or the hardware. But when I install an on-line security software update from Microsoft and it totally disables my Dell or Hewlett Packard computer, I have no quick and easy solution to getting it fixed. The hassle is endless.
For example, recently when I called the local HP repair center in Beachwood, Cleveland, Ohio to make an appointment to bring in my in-warranty monitor for service, they did not answer my telephone call, nor did they return my call after I left a message with my phone number.
Even after a follow-up call explaining that I was a magazine editor and needed service right away, no return call. Ever! So much for HP service-and HP computers. I ended up going to Office Max in Solon, Ohio and buying another monitor that got me up and running in one hour.
So, why did my computer with the Windows XP operating system go down in the first place? It seems that Microsoft transmitted a weekly security software update that was so deranged that it shut my computer down and returned it with the "Blue Screen of Death." What could I do? The last thing I would ever suspect would be a software bug from a Microsoft update!
Especially when I manually rejected downloading the update at that time. Apparently, Microsoft ignored my wish to download the update later and just took over my computer. After the catastrophic event, I tried rebooting my computer by following all the directions that popped up on the screen after re-starting it - before the "Blue Screen of Death" reappeared- but none of them worked. I was stuck with a dead computer with all my loaded and inert Word files for the next magazine issue. Fortunately, I maintain a Western Digital Passport (320 GB for $70!) for backup and was able to use another computer with a Vista operating system to finish writing the articles for the March issue.
But, I still cannot resolve in my mind how Microsoft could do such a thing by accident! They are too smart. There are only two possibilities: Either their "offshore, deep-discounted" programmers have a basic cultural problem understanding our American software "language," or Microsoft did it on purpose! For example, I suspect the Windows Vista OS was designed and programmed offshore; that is why it has had so many bugs and problems, so much so that IT managers at many major corporations have rejected it.
But why would Microsoft do this on purpose? Because their sales are down and they targeted Windows XP so we would get frustrated and buy the new Microsoft Windows 7.0 to replace it! Believe it or not, stranger things have happened. In my opinion, today, a large corporation will do anything to make a buck!
Now regardless of the reason, a week after the Microsoft cyber attack, my Windows XP-based Dell is still dead. It came with pre-installed software, so I do not have a boot-up disk to put in the CD/DVD drive. Nor do I have the time to sit for hours on my telephone waiting for Microsoft assistance, nor trying to find a reputable computer repair center that will fix it free. After all, it was not my fault or a computer failure. So how is Microsoft going to repay millions of people for all the millions of hours and dollars that were lost because their ISO-9000 Quality Procedures did not work -or worse, was it really a conspiracy?