Category Archive

Posts in Microsoft

February 16th, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series

Very pretty and pleasing to look at, but why can’t it show me today’s date entirely? Aggressive styling becomes a low-grade irritation when routine information is obfuscated, even where the full message is easy to guess.

(Update: Luke Wroblewski considers this in more detail, via Daring Fireball)

January 19th, 2010

It’s time to stop using IE6

I’m filing this under “ZDNet Imitates The Onion”.

I wish security vulnerabilities were the only reason why people should stop using Internet Explorer 6. Web developers have been campaigning steadily and conducting user outreach for many years to instigate upgrades. IE 6 support inflates web development budgets (because of the added work necessary to support an outlier platform), results in websites that aren’t as good and useful as they could be (because of client demands for full feature parity across all supported browsers), and a host of entrenched attitudes regarding web design that should have been shaken loose six or eight years ago. Unfortunately, as a web developer working on contracts I rarely have the option of arbitrarily cutting off IE 6 users, and currently most IE 6 users are themselves unable to upgrade.

January 14th, 2009

Interview with an adware author

Fascinating, detailed interview with the programmer behind Direct Revenue, responsible for the adware on several million Windows computers whose owners didn’t know better.

January 8th, 2009

Songsmith promo video

“Microsoft, huh? So… it’s pretty easy to use?”¬†¬†Apparently the research prospectus required finding a karaoke game to glue to one of Apple’s iLife products. Update: Songsmith freestyling over David Lee Roth’s vocals in “Runnin’ With the Devil“.

July 9th, 2008

Microsoft uses very large words

Microsoft support document 955020 addresses the possibility that Vista’s spellchecker may mistakenly claim the names Friendster, Klum, Nazr, Obama, and Racicot are misspelled. It offers an updater which will fix this problem.

The package which adds five additional words for the built-in dictionary consists of eight DLLs totalling 56 MB. By comparison, William Shakespeare’s complete works contains over 905,000 words and is 5.3 MB.

The manual workaround is to type a word, right click it and select “Add to Dictionary”.

In older news: Microsoft addresses software accessibility.