It’s Never Microsoft’s Bug

All software above some complexity threshold has bugs and that threshold is fairly low – Just about any software that does anything remotely interesting has bugs.

Microsoft’s software, especially Windows and Office are insanely complex – they got so complex because they are so capable and I wouldn’t want to replace them with a simple alternative (you can read what I think about simple software here).

If you write software eventually you will run into a Microsoft bug (if you’re software doesn’t run under windows than it’s a bug in the Linux kernel or Rails or a Google service you use), once you verify that it’s not your bug you may be tempted to leave it alone – after all it’s their bug and they should fix it.

Well, the world doesn’t work that way, if your program doesn’t work because of a bug in the system it’s your job to work around the bug and get it to work.

You may think it’s not fair but your customers don’t know who is responsible for a bug – but they do know when something doesn’t work.

You can read Raymond Chen’s blog to see it also works in reverse, Microsoft often gets blamed for bugs in non-Microsoft applications.

This post is inspired by a limitation of Microsoft Excel, to get Excel to read CSV files produced by yaTimer I had to degrade yaTimer’s CSV functionality, it makes me mad but now everything should just work and (hopefully) everyone will be happy.

posted @ Monday, June 2, 2008 2:07 PM

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