My marriage to the Microsoft Windows platform has become a marriage of convenience


The love is gone, but I am staying for the children, biding my time until they grow up and leave the nest. The children being a couple of of Windows desktops, and two Sony Vaio laptops, all running the Windows XP operating system, which is rated by some to be the most stable operating system the boys in Redmond have ever produced after the customary missteps of the beta versions. The other children include documents encoded in Word, other software and peripherals.

I ditched the Windows Mobile 5 two years ago after having been initially  enchanted by the HTC 8525. The software updates and instalments proved unnecessary headaches and when expiring certificates rendered some of the features unusable, it was time to give the handheld the old “das boot.” I have never looked back and would be more than happy to use the former smart phone as a door stop. All the kings horses and all the kings men would never be able to drag me within sniffing distance of a Windows phone now. Not in this lifetime anyway.

My latest annoyance with Microsoft came this evening when I discovered that one of my laptops no longer has the Internet Explorer desktop icons. I do not use Internet Explorer in favor of the more robust and functional Firefox. However I do need Internet Explorer as an alternate browser, especially when visiting sites that require the browser to view or download things, the Microsoft Update website being one of them.

A search of the web showed that Internet Explore had been unbundled from Windows by Microsoft as a result of anti-trust litigation in Europe. The unbundling had been done through updates which in addition to the actual uncoupling of the browser from the operating system, erased the browser icon from the desktop. I had been too busy working with the Firefox browser to notice and now that I had, I didn’t know where to begin. Several proposed solutions, some of which involved editing the registry, didn’t work. Finally when I was near my wits’ end, I found this little software gizmo called the  Microsoft Fix it 50228 on the Microsoft website:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945402

It did the job, but I am still pissed that it took me all this time to find something which shouldn’t be too hard to find given the ubiquity of the problem of disappearing Internet Explorer icons  since the release of the soft-ware that uncoupled the browser from the operating system.  I am also pissed at the way some of these Microsoft updates  screw you over by installing stuff you don’t like.  The way the update prompts tried to push the bloated  Internet Explorer 7 or 8 was annoying.  One had to be vigilant about nixing it each and everytime.

I am so done with Microsoft its not even funny. The weird menage a trois between  Microsoft, myself and its hardware partners has run its course.

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