A stunning post from a Microsoftie

Earlier today I posted a link to a blog kept by a Microsoft coder who was grumbling about Microsoft’s operating system software and singing the praises of OS X. My post is here and the MicroTard’s post is here.

This set off the usual “which is better, Mac or Windows?” flame war in the comment strings. But here’s the thing. We just got an anonymous comment from a guy claiming to be the MicroTard who wrote the original blog post. If so, this is one brave guy, because he dares to say what nobody in Microsoft PR or executive ranks will say: Vista has problems. The comment is so good that I am compelled to reprint it here as a blog post. (If it’s not really the MicroTard, well, then we’ve been hoaxed. Boo friggin hoo.)

I suspect this really is the Microsoft coder writing this, and honestly, if so, it’s a good sign for Microsoft. The old Microsoft was full of guys like this, guys who said what they believed and didn’t give a shit what you thought and if it cost them their jobs, well, what the fuck. That, more than anything else, is what Microsoft was all about in the early days and it was the biggest reason that Microsoft succeeded. Yes, they also got a monopoly handed to them by IBM. Before you go rushing to chalk up all of Microsoft’s success to dumb luck, however, keep in mind that a lot of us in the Valley, if we were being truly honest, would have to admit (maybe not publicly) that we know plenty of companies that, handed the same monopoly by IBM, would have managed to fuck it up. We know those companies because we ran them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some fan of the Borg. God knows I hate the Borg more than any other living human being on the planet. Even so, back in the early days there were definitely guys there that I admired, if only because they were both smart and brutally honest and yes, total bastards.

But enough of my yakkin, as Marty DiBergi once said. Check out this comment. I’ve edited it a bit, and put the really interesting parts in boldface.

I’m the “Microtard” who wrote the post, and although I can’t stand the “My OS is bigger than *your* OS” argument, it wasn’t my intention to start yet another flamewar about it.

It had nothing to do with either OS being better. The reason I listed the complaints about Vista was that I thought we (Microsoft) need to own up to Vista’s weaknesses. These are things that need to be fixed. If it’s to the point that I can’t get my work done during the day without getting pissed off at Vistannoyances, then it needs changing.

That is, if MS employees are frustrated, I wonder what our customers are thinking.

As for OS X – I’ve been using it since the 10.1.3 days. It hasn’t by any means been perfect, though it’s getting better. There were some stupid Cocoa and Carbon inconsistencies, but they appear to be gone. It might be that I’m not using any more Carbon apps, but whatever the case, the current OS X experience is lovely.

People around here are scared to say so, but Vista, though it has a lot of potential, is currently just not *good*.

The reason I’m not especially scared is that I’d rather get fired for saying what I think than continuing to bottle it up while I know I’m not the only softie around who’s experiencing this frustration.