If Microsoft Made Office Equipment

I’ve been thinking lately how much I hate Microsoft and their increasingly useless interfaces and I remember my own past doing office work and wondered how that would have been different if Microsoft sold real, physical office equipment and not software that becomes more difficult to use with each new downgrade (I refuse to use any word with ‘up’ in it to describe it).

So here are a few to get started.

You walk into the office one morning and find a new typewriter sitting on your desk. The keyboard is slightly different and you waste a bunch of type having to make corrections and/or start over.

You’re in the middle of typing a document and a repair guy comes in and saying that he’s going to ‘upgrade’ it takes it away and you sit staring at the wall for a few minutes until he brings it back with assurances that it’s been ‘improved’. The main thing you notice is that the J key doesn’t work at all now and the U key always types twice each time youu uuse it, which is very fruustrating.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania microsoft update meme

How I wish this were an option….

One morning the file cabinets have been changed and the size of the drawers was decreased so that you have to fold each piece of paper a little to fit in the folders.

One day instead of the copy machine producing a copy by the machine you have to go down three floors and pick up each copy in a room that is usually locked.

After lunch, you find the typewriter keyboard has been completely reorganized with the z and y kezs reversed which makes tzping verz confusing. Also the carriage return has been removed so you have to hit reverse 90 times to get back to the beginning of the line. This is supposed to be more “intuitive”.

Two weeks later the typewriter has been reconfigured so that the old paper size no longer fits and you have to throw out five boxes of typing paper and buy new Microsoft standard siye Pay-per. The new paper size doesn’t fit in the new filing cabinets.

Also the staplers have been removed and you’re expecting to use Microsoft Attach-it, an awkward device that presses papers together but which stops working after a day or so.

The week after that the filing cabinets change again, to another awkward size that no paper fits in. Also all the alphabet tabs have been removed. It’s more ‘efficient’ to put all the tabs on the outside of each cabinet. The only problem is that once you label a drawer the label can’t be changed, (nor can the drawers be changed). You need to buy a new cabinet if you want to put the files that go under C in the A-B drawer.

Finally, you arrive at the office one morning (rather close to an important deadline) and find the locks have been changed and you need to buy a new KEE to get into the office. Locks have been put on all the equipment and you have to get a new KEE authorization for each piece. Oh and the keyboards have all been rearranged again.

I can’t express how much I dread the horrible news that there is some new change Microsoft wants to make. Productive work requires, among other things, continuity and the goat fuckers at Microsoft either don’t understand that or don’t care.

The absolutely best version of Microsoft Word was 1997-2003 and almost every change made since then has made work more time consuming. I’ve got a lot of work to get done this Summer but I’m also hoping to be able to find a better system…

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1 Response to If Microsoft Made Office Equipment

  1. Mike says:

    The high prevalence of destructive design changes is a bit confusing to me. There are so many of them these days that it has to be about more than just smartphones (these changes often make software work worse on smartphones, too).

    I can’t quite figure out the sociology of it. Yes, there is increasing societal authoritarianism and that’s part of it, but even that is not enough of an explanation.

    So I am left searching for the etiology. No large-scale event admits just one reason for its occurrence, but even those I can think of add up to not enough explanatory power. Has there ever been a previous time that terrible, user-harmful design has achieved such dominance in any other field? I can’t think of any, though the use of weird speedometers, voice alerts, and other annoying interfaces in cars during the 1980s comes to mind. That, though, only lasted a few years.

    The design field should just be disbanded, as like economics it is mostly harmful. I do hope we get past this stage of user-hostile design, though I thought it would end years ago and has not.

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