microsoft month one

Microsoft doesn’t seem to know how to cater to its audiences that well.

I’ll be honest, I’m a huge fan of Microsoft. That’s why I applied and that’s why I love being here. But sometimes it gets tough. I have an inane amount of Microsoft related gear and Microsoft related experiences – I even bought a Microsoft webcam the other day because I didn’t bring my Logitech one.

But even so, I usually get envious about what other companies do, specifically for their fans, and it becomes easy to see things that Microsoft just doesn’t do well.

Sometimes it just gets really aggravating to feel like a second class citizen when you really want to help out.

Did you know that it’s been at least a year or more, and still there’s a bug on the Windows 8.1 lockscreen where your first couple of letters of your password won’t register because of the lockscreen slide animation? But the fact that you typed stills registers, just the code will never validate and you’ll have to re-enter your password, probably several times. It’s ridiculous.

Did you know that using Visual Studio’s Windows Phone 8 emulators over Wi-Fi will sometimes cause your Internet to suddenly die? The way they designed the Hyper-V virtualization causes it to share the network port with your computer’s Internet connection, and at some point in time it just decides to take the port completely, leaving your laptop without Internet.

Did you know that when you’re developing for Windows Phone and Windows RT, you’ll find out that important functionality of Controls has become deprecated? So even though they’ve added new stuff, it’s missing the touches that actually make it usable. The DatePicker tool had the formatting property removed, which let you specify how you wanted the date to look like as text. As of the currently release, that option is not part of the 8.1 DatePicker which just makes the Control absolutely useless.

Do you know how sad it is to move from MSN Messenger to the broken piece of software that is Skype? Did the world just suddenly forget about CTRL+TAB when you have multiple conversations going on? Skype doesn’t even have a way of properly navigating through conversations. Skype has one of the most broken interfaces I’ve ever seen. And I can’t even send an offline message?!? I just can’t understand how you can create software like this.

Did you know they killed off the popular Zune music services and replaced it with the broken Xbox Music services? Did you know they willingly downgraded the Windows Phone 8.1 default music application so that 1) it now takes 5 seconds to load song titles when I’m looking through the song list and 2) the song limit on playlists is 100!?!?! Who even makes decisions like these…

And to top it off, as a developer here that actually wants to fix these little, but hugely annoying nitpicks, I don’t even have access to the ability to help. Instead I’m given a fenced off project that has limited interaction with Microsoft. In fact, it’s meant to be isolated enough to give me a taste of how it feels, but in reality it only ends up making me feel like my project is insignificant. I’m part of a team, but not really. I’m lucky to be able to sit in a group with some team members, but there are other interns that don’t, and just sit in their own private rooms. I just want to help out and at every turn I hit brick walls. And I know it’s up to me to overcome them, but sometimes it’s just too much and too many barriers. I’m a Windows fan and even I’m getting frustrated at trying to help Microsoft. I can’t even imagine how people who’ve been screwed over from Microsoft’s decisions time and time again feel. It’s insane.

Microsoft needs to change. They’re trying to change, and it’s really cool seeing a lot of the management moving and direction shifting. I can’t wait to see what E3 brings for Xbox. But I’m also really scared about how much a company I love is getting trashed and attacked daily by almost everyone, and as a fan and the biggest critic of Microsoft, how poorly they seem to be responding to everything.


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