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Worst Microsoft Product?

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    Worst? Microsoft Works, because quite frankly it didn't. Thankfully it was a bundled 'free' product that I was able to swiftly replace with Office.

    Most Exceeded my Expectations? Windows 2000. I'd used NT4 and I'd used 95/98 but even I didn't believe the convergence would work as well as it did. Some of the tests we put it through at the time (e.g. taking a 95 hard drive out of one machine, putting it in a completely different set of hardware and then doing an upgrade install) should definately have failed, but they didn't. The first generation of Windows to really just work.

    Best? Server 2003. Simply rock solid stable and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Brilliant.

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    W3bbo wrote:

    Simo wrote: MS Barney comes in a close second.

    MS Actimates? Why were you using those in the first place, you eejit Tongue Out

    office mascot.

    Rumour had it .. a COM library had leaked out of MS that enabled you to make Barney say anything you wanted. Proabably too fantastic to be true.

    [and on vaguely realted note. British readers might like to know that BT's new SMS translation service, where u SMS a landline and your message gets converted to words, swears like a trooper. It's fantastic but v.v.childish]

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    Would I be cheating if I said OS/2?  'cuz I really think it's the most innovative, stable solution ever developed...

    ... Joking aside, I'll use that for my 'worst product used' as long as I can.  I'd use Bob or Windows ME, but I was never unfortunate enough for them to grace my desktop.  I'd go with Longhorn Build 4054 if it were a finished product, which it was fortunately not. Runners-up include the Office Assistant, which I used to disable the Office Assistant as quickly as possible; and douments like these: MS-ITS:C:\WINDOWS\Help\display.chm::/display_multi_monitors_install_secondary.htm

    For highest excess of expectations, I'd say Office 2000 Pro.  My install was a 7-CD Consumer Preview edition that only lasted 30 days, but that was quickly fixed with a simple batch file.  I thought it was far better than Office 97.

    For overall best product in terms of doing its job, I'm kinda stuck between VS2005 and the MSDN Library.

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    I don't know about worst, but I really like SQL Server and think it is definitely one of the best products out of Redmond.

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    John Galt

    Worst: Windows Installer. All versions.

    Very badly thought out in the first place, and getting more and more arcaine and irrelivent as time goes by. This thing is getting progressively worse, not better.

    I would say this product just needs to be chucked and replaced entirely at this point. They seem to be completely incapable of actually fixing it's problems and just keep tacking on irrelivent things that while wonderful, don't make it more usable and don't prevent the mess from happening that is now (try uninstalling 2005 just for kicks!)

    Runner UP: Visual Studio .net 2005... This thing is betaware. Big time.  I mean 2003 is buggy, but 2005 makes 2003 look like the most stable application ever developed for some bank or something.  If this is the new MS QA and development process at work, they need to go back to the drawing board.

    Best:  Windows 2000. When it came out, it was a major break through.  Considering Windows 98/Me as the alternatives, this thing was like god's gift. Windows XP improved on it, but it was Windows 2000 that was revolutionary at the time.

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    Deactivated User

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    To me every microsoft product has been exactly what i wanted, exactly what it said it was, and/or more.

    The only things that i would say would say that i disliked from microsoft would be....

    .NET Passport
    Why the hell are you remembered by your email, emails always change, hell i go through tens of emails a year.
    I think it should be based on just a simple ID number.
    And each account contains all the junk, so contact info, and email.

    That way i can have a unified passport with all my emails addresses.

    Yer, i just really dispise the .NET Passport for this.

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    W3bbo wrote:
    KosherCoder wrote: For that matter, forgive my showing off, I also have Windows 2 with original package and media. That was pretty bad, too.

    You could get some serious money for that.

    I also have an unopened Windows 3.0 box signed by BillG at the NY launch event. That's gotta be worth something to someone.

    </geek hubris>

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    Visual Source Safe is the worst software ever from Microsoft.

    I am shocked that I am the first to name this one worst, shocked.

    I HATE IT. (Never try to cancel a process, just ignore that button).

    Who has never had major problems with VSS?


    Best?  I can't decide, they are all outstanding.

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    Manip wrote: What is the worst Microsoft product or service you ever owned?

    Windows XP, Windows ME

    Manip wrote: And on a slightly more up-beat note, what Microsoft product far exceeded your expectations?

    Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, MOM, Virtual Server
    Manip wrote:
    And lastly, what is, in your opinion, the highest quality Microsoft product that does what it said it would do?

    Windows 2000

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    JohnAskew wrote:

    Visual Source Safe is the worst software ever from Microsoft.

    Best?  I can't decide, they are all outstanding.

    You mean except for VSS, don't you?  

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    Absolutely %100 I mean not VSS as outstanding. It is the rabid dog of the lot.

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    How many of these bad products on this list didn't come from Microsoft though? I think FrontPage was a product they purchased. And did they make SourceSafe? It seems to have a very non-standard Microsoft look to it, did they buy this product as well from someone?

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    It doesn't matter who coded it.  It's Microsoft's name on it.  They could have recoded it if they felt that the product wasn't up to their standard.

    Besides, very few Microsoft products comprise code written entirely at Microsoft.

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    I'd have to agree with the VSS post. Especially for remote work. It's not bad when working in the office, but when I go out to a client site and try to hit the VSS through a VPN connection, it's very painful.

    Best product would have to be Excel. You can do just about anything with that app.

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    I am probably experiencing unconsciously intentional amnesia.  (Who really wants to remember the worst food they've ever eaten...?)

    One product that should go into the Hall of Shame is Visio 2000.  Microsoft bought this product from Visio Corp. (they paid 1.3 billion dollars!!!), so I don't really know who was to blame, but this product was just cursed... the box should have had a large red label: ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE.

    This was pre-MSI, they had something called the Visio Installation Manager.  First it didn't even install the product, it installed prerequistes and forced a reboot.  Then what would typically happen was that nothing would happen, i.e.

    Step 1: Install Prerequisites
    Step 2: Reboot
    Step 3: Goto Step 1

    (This apparently happened because the Installer didn't wait long enough for the CD to spin up, and silently failed.)  So then you'd go to the Visio site and you were told, "Sorry, we sold out to Microsoft for 1.3 billion dollars, we're a little busy buying yachts and Ferraris right now, could you please go to Microsoft."  And of course you went to Microsoft for support and there was nothing because the product was so new.  So then you went back to the Visio site and discovered the unmonitored, un-responded-to Product Support Forum of The Damned where people were complaining about how they couldn't install, or couldn't unintall, or couldn't roll back to their old version of Visio, or couldn't read their old documents, or how their computers were stuck in a reboot loops or had spontaneously burst into flames, and Why hast Microsoft forsaken us, [C] etc. etc. etc.

    If you want to get a rough idea of how bad this was, go to this page:

    Be sure to scroll down to the funny pic at the bottom.

    I think Microsoft eventually came out with an SR-1.  Since then I've noticed that Visio "hotfixes" tend to be around 40-50 MB in size.

    I still have an aversion to using it.  If someone offered me the choice of cleaning out a bathtub drain that was clogged with someone else's hair, or using Visio, I'd go with cleaning the drain, because it would somehow seem less repulsive.

    Exceeding my expectations?  I still remember how Visual Basic 1.0 blew me away: you dragged controls onto a form, wired up controls to events, then compiled and ran with one click.  No "build process," no makefiles, no linking, no object files, no resource scripts... I remember thinking "This is the future of programming..."  Now, all IDEs are like that.  But that first one, wow....

    Have to agree about .NET too -- at first I was taken aback by the ".NET" moniker being slapped on everything, but eventually I "got it."

    Highest quality product -- another tough question.  In another life, I used to administer a Novell Netware 3.11 server; you couldn't kill that thing.  It was just rock-solid.  You could walk up to the server with a baseball bat and physically pummel it, and the console would probably spit out, "Is that the best you can do?"

    I have the same kind of fondness for Windows Server 2003....

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    Deactivated User

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    At least Bob came with a handsome sticker in the retail package.  (Still have mine on a toolbox somewhere in the garage!) I can't even say that about MS Dogs or Wine.  (heh...) 

    Thinking back... the 900mhz cordless Microsoft phone and the Digital Sound System (both of which ended their effective lifecycles at the release of XP...)  nice timing on both counts...

    Assuming we can't count Me (because even that would be too much of a "tip of the hat" to its mere existence..), I'm going to have to also vote for Works.  Notably, the pre-"Word-lite" versions of Works... I loudly declare the Works collection as "Microsoft's Greatest Misses".  ^__^

    And although, yes, Barney sucked... it remains a recordholder in my book for "Best MS Knowledge Base Titles Ever", at

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