Has Microsoft become the good guys?

#1

For decades Microsoft was the poster child for using virtual monopoly power to beat down any and all comers. However, it seems to me that under Nadella they’ve become arguably the greatest force for good in the tech world. Putting this in P&R because this has been political (break microsoft up!), and is religious to Mac-heads… though it could easily go in a different category.

The case for MS as a good guy:

They are arguably the leader in accessible computing and gaming:

https://blogs.microsoft.com/latinx/2019/05/03/how-the-xbox-adaptive-controller-is-helping-va-medical-centers-support-veterans/

Embracing Linux and Open Source:

April Fool’s got me:

Non-April Fools look at Open Source @ MS:

Securing Elections:

And others. Compared to Apple, Google and Amazon they really do seem to stand out lately…

Thoughts?

#2

Microsoft did become better. The dot Net framework for linux is a nice touch. But one of your article is an april fool’s text.
They are not an open source company.

#3

Bugger. I’ll fix it as they have gone hugely open source in a lot of ways (such as acquisition of GitHub). Was rushing and didn’t catch it.

#4

Microsoft conceded to Linux because the writing was on the wall that micro-services on the cloud* was going to be on almost every company’s shopping list, and that only makes sense with an OS that can be broken into whatever pieces you want. So they cleverly contributed code that made them able to compete there, which is good and all, but that’s about it - they’re not going to document AD, switch to ODF or contribute anywhere where they lead on the market.

* I’m still not sure how this works for a normal sized company (i.e. fairly small), the tooling is fairly complex (there’s a lot to learn to start doing something simple) and the pricing is inevitably confusing, but for computations that are only done a few times a day it should pay off easily. And it makes great availability easier to offer.

#5

No.

They’ve gotten better, but mostly they are less evil because they are less relevant.

Diego

#6

In terms of consoles, Microsoft is definitely less evil than Sony.

#7

I’ve been feeling like Microsoft is the good guys for a while. Once they dumped Steve Ballmer for Nadella and fixed the Xbox One mess upon release they’ve been really great.

#8

Well, 10 years ago they were trying to destroy Linux, so I’d say they improved, yes. Mostly. Visual Studio Code is amazing (probably the best moddable IDE-like code editor around, actually), they’re commited to making development environments more flexible and engaging in Windows, etc. In fact, their support for developers nowadays is much better than anything in the Ballmer “developers, developers, developers” era, which is kind of ironic. ;)

Of course, Windows 10 is a trap, their web UIs are some of the worst around (and they could easily do better if they wanted to), they still don’t want Office on anywhere but Windows, and the official dotNet for Linux stops at version 2.0 (though at least they stopped trying to kill Mono)… so of course there’s a lot of reasons to think of them as the bad guys still. But it’s fair to say they’re a lot better today than they were a few years back.

#9

Uhhhh, that’s just a misunderstanding of how .net core works. .Net Core 2.0 is much more performant and a much later revision of .net than .net Framework 4.8 (they are just terrible at naming), .Net Core 3.0 is coming out at the exact same time for Linux as it will for Windows, and .net Core 5.0 (the next major version) is also coming out Simultaneously for both (and ios and Android).

#10

Hmmm. Well, I have .Net code around that I couldn’t get working with .Net Core, and had to use Mono instead. Might be because it needed something beyond the “core”, perhaps, but it was still a less-than-desirable experience for someone who is not a full-time .Net developer.

Anyway, good to know they’re extending their support for the framework in other platforms, since it is actually a pretty interesting feat of software engineering. If it had been truly multiplatform from the start, I’d probably be using it far more today. But better late than never, I suppose!

#11

Yeah .net core changed the framework API between .net Framework and .net Core, and it wasn’t quite a smooth transition at version 1 though they’ve made the transition easier lately. At my last gig I was 100% a .net developer using Linux without any Mono usage at all (both on the dev side and server side). Mono actually was unusable for us as it crashed too often for our servers.

#12

That’s interesting info, really. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate that.

#13

Yes, the naming is confusing, that’s why they made the .NET Standard 2.0 to make everything clearer :-D

Hopefully it will get less confusing now, the next version will just be .NET 5.0 - the old Framework retires at version 4.8, and what used to be ‘core’ will now be the only official .net (‘Xamarin .net’ will also be baked into it, afaik).

Not sure what you mean by this. Office has been om Mac and IPhone/IPad for quite a while…

#14

Well, according to friends, it’s a subpar experience in any platform but Windows. I wouldn’t know because I don’t really use Office at all (and use either Google Docs/Sheets or Libreoffice when I need anything of the sort).

#15

This definitely was not true in my experience. It was a number of years ago, but Word on the Mac back in the early 00’s, was actually nicer than that on Windows. That’s certainly subjective, but objectively, it was not some kind of stripped down version. Microsoft definitely wasn’t trying to avoid putting office on OSX.

Nowadays, I find the office interface to be over-done and clunky… I am really not a fan of the dynamic ribbon thing.

#16

Hmmm, that’s interesting info as well. Thanks! MS is a bit less evil now. ;)

#17

I have also heard anecdotally that Excel on Mac is shit. We’re a Mac shop, sadly, and the finance people all need to remote into a Windows term server running Excel because their local Excel isn’t good enough.

Also, fuck Macs.

#18

Why not dual boot?

#19

#20

My son was able to attend Microsoft’s Build conference in Seattle yesterday, as a student. While he was there, they gave all the students in attendance a new Surface. That was pretty awesome. As a high school kid, he was able to sit and talk with a sr. security engineer, a recruiter and a bunch of Microsoft Learn and GitHub folks one on one.

He came home pretty excited. Msft is doing a nice job of student outreach for sure.