Saturday, October 01, 2022

Another stick-up from Microsoft !

From my Substack column - why not join for FREE updates?

For a long time, Bill Gates’s outfit was fixing things that weren’t broke. Then it moved to breaking things that were fixed.

Now it’s doing it again, demanding money that I can’t easily afford since my energy bills have just more than doubled.

We’re all used to frequent compulsory ‘updates’ that interrupt your work, slowing the computer. A few years ago MS announced they ‘would no longer support’ the edition of Windows I was using and I had to go get a new laptop with the latest sparkly version of his software. At least the HP notebook was a pretty teal colour.

Waal, a few days ago I tried opening a Word document. ‘Updating Office’…ooh! … ‘Error.’ Seems it’s something to do with needing Windows 11 and please check your machine to see if it’s powerful enough to download. Oh and there was a reference to my existing Office licence being part of a bulk buy and its replacement is going to cost £80 a year, if I’ve got that right. Until then, no Word, no Excel - not even for access to documents I previously created.

But, haha, I can still open them, because I haven’t yet scrapped/donated the old computer; the one that starts up much faster, opens documents way faster and doesn’t shove black oblongs onto the screen with notifications that I didn’t ask for.

The corporations are making you purchase everything twice and three times. In music, vinyl to CD to a Cloud subscription system that may, who knows, suddenly terminate. In motoring, petrol to diesel then omigod not polluting diesel then madly expensive rare-earth electric. When they’re not ‘upgrading’ they’re keeping profits rising by making the product worse - remember the confectioners’ plan to produce Toblerone bars with fewer ‘teeth’ or replace the raisins in Cadbury’s Fuit and Nut with cheaper sultanas?

I think we reached ‘peak quality’ some while ago. When the market is saturated all that’s left is to heist the customers.

This is why I buy physical books (mostly) and DVDs - so cheap these days, hardly more than the postage. No batteries, no abrupt termination of service; can share, swap, resell, gift. Private property! The foundation of liberal democracy!

Bill, you’ve got all the money a man could ever want; why the hell didn’t you just go fishing, have a beer with your buddies, spend more time with your wife and children?

It’s a madness, this power thing. Include me out. Leave my stuff alone.


DiscoveredJoys said...

Libre Office is a suite of software (including word processing and a spreadsheet) that can read almost all Microsoft Word and Excel files. It is free, although contributions are welcome. It doesn't require you to upgrade Windows, although I guess in several years time 'old' versions of windows will not be supported for any software.

CherryPie said...

I keep getting a notification that my version of Windows will no longer be supported after January 2023. My computer hardware is not compatible with the latest version of Windows. As several things over time have stopped working as they should do this means I will have purchase a new computer to upgrade to the latest software (not just Microsoft).

It is all very annoying and also time consuming.

Paddington said...

Download Openoffice (free), which should open all of your Word and Excel documents.

Paddington said...

Even better than your story, there is a car manufacturer who requires a monthly subscription to have the seat heaters work, and is talking about doing so for the airbags.

Sackerson said...

Thanks for the tips and information, all !

wiggiatlarge said...

The reason there is no piece from me this week is that the latest 'update' from Windows has made much of my computer unusable, Libre Office which has never been a problem will not open any articles and displays error messges, lost codes and God knows what else, elsewhere is the same and some items can be downloaded but then nothing can be installed, thanks Bill.
As I said to Rolf, I have taken my angst out on a large dead tree in my garden with a chainsaw, I can think of other uses for it............