@Bass: The one thing that is quite clear is that you have not worked in a environment where Security is the most important thing.
Thick clients on Windows, Android and iOS that use certificates, especially self signed certificates when an app is installed, means you can be certain that the device using your system is authorised, you can get the MAC address and hardware identifier, and revoke the certificate at will.
In a website you are sandboxed from the device so move to the world of tokens, which works, but as an add-on to Roy Fielding's dissertation which makes no mention of proper security (in fact it barely mentions security so I don't know why you keep referring to it?).
The problem you have is like an ATM machine where you can give me your bank card and PIN and I can take some money out and give your card back to you. There are a lot of cases where you only want the person whose card it is to use it.
We are constantly debating this issue where some of my colleagues are web only, even they now realise that using certificates to identify each call to your system is security done right, when you add the exploits evildictaitor highlights, the weakness of the web as a security platform becomes academic.
@Ian2: As a number of Niners have already started, Audio on Surface and Windows Mobile is complete underpants, so much so that 99% of musicians will never use this.
I have a Windows Mobile phone that I don't use because is cannot play lossless audio which is ridiculous.
@Bass:In case you missed it, most of your anti-Microsoft stances are now an irrelevance. Azure where most of Microsoft development resources are going does not care about the OS.
Someone posted a video of Office a few days ago showing that even that is now being developed to run on Windows, iOS and Linux and you can expect a lot of their other applications to follow suit.
The traditional arguments on this forum where people take sides due to preferring an OS or Application e.g. Open Office Vs Microsoft Office is dead in the water now, so most of the haters will have less and less to say because the one clear difference that Satya is making is that the days of treating Windows or Linux as a religion are over, including the applications that run on those platforms.
@RealBboy360: This week is already turning out to be pretty dramatic with the Office Everywhere announcement.
Personally speaking, Telerik, ComponentOne, DevExpress, Infragistics etc and all those types of companies are having to adapt or die as the direction Microsoft is taking is going to drive them out of business anyway, the reality is that there is no third party ecosystem or Partners really anymore for Microsoft.
Microsoft's future plans are about doing what Telerik, ComponentOne, DevExpress, Infragistics have always done, so those companies are all going to have to seek new business which is competing with Azure.
The UI frameworks we have been obsessed with as developers through the noughties are no longer the focus for Microsoft, so the aforementioned people that have made money by creating time saving tools can either hang onto their current customer base for the next ten years and see sales steeply declining year on year, especially since most of them are tied to Windows, and that isn't a first class citizen to Microsoft anymore.
@BitFlipper: Of all the things Microsoft are going to be protective about, how activation works for Office is surely at the top of the list.
I don't find it acceptable to have to go through what you are going through, especially since it is a failed update. I think if this is reported on connect, there is some chance an update will be rolled out with a fix, rather than escalating it through 1st/2nd line support as this is a software issue and not a hardware issue.
Depending on the tone of the original post, I'm sure Larry Larsen or blowdart may be able to get access to the individuals on the office or windows phone team (or tech extraordinaire Gov Maharaj) or ask you to send your contact details, I have seen ScottGu answer posts here on Channel 9, just as long as the tone isn't belligerent.
When you work supporting customers the first question you ask yourself is "what is the quickest way to resolve this issue?"
The person you spoke with at Microsoft has targets, and could have spent 3 hours on the phone diagnosing issues in a way that you would find "engaging" but he thought, you know what?, BitFlipper can re-install office in 15 minutes, so that is the quickest solution, let me save both his and my time.
That person you spoke with is now enjoying a cold beer, his boss paid him a bonus for being efficient, as 99% of office users (me included) have installed Office 365 and it just works.
If you want detailed and technical assistance, file a bug on connect, and the person that wrote the code can investigate this bug. Support departments function on both fixes and workarounds, you clearly object to workarounds, so connect is the best way to achieve a detailed response
@spivonious: The actual problem is a systems issue, and something your network administrator needs to address, not the programmer in my opinion.
Your responsibility is to ensure that if there is an error, suitable pages are presented to the user. Your network administrator and DBA should have alerts set up to notify them when the server/database is not available, and look at addressing the issue.
Is it a backup running, or other processes on the server causing conflict or problems? We have some websites running on server 2003 and applications accessing the database via web services on 2008 boxes from all over the country 24/7, and very rarely (never if I am honest) have we had connectivity issues to databases. Where there has been an issue, the people being paid to maintain the servers have had to come up with a solution.
The fix is to improve the availability of the servers and databases, not finding elaborate methods to report errors to users. Just my own 2 pence.