Warning : personal life and rant in this post, keep reading at your own risk.

I open Zite once a day and flip through the latest Programming, Movies and Tech news.
This evening – again – I captured a glimpse of an article title something like “Steve Jobs was right: the iPad killed the notebook”.
I am a mac user and an admirer of Steve Jobs but I can’t see the point of such title. Even had Steve Jobs claim the iPad had killed the notebook and that turned out right, I doubt he cares for the applause now. RIP. Second, Apple sells notebooks, too and I’m sure they hope that Notebooks are anything but dead. Actually, when I travel to Paris for work, I am surrounded by people who play on their phones, sometimes read on their iPad and often work on their notebooks.
This is actually why I love Zite, I see what the tech world has to gloat about and I pocket links to valuable articles.

Moving forward, this evening, even though I’d love to go pass out, I try and dedicate a moment to fix my neighbour’s computer.
It is a brand new Sony Vaio notebook with Windows 8. (See, notebooks are still being bought) and it works just fine.
So why should I fix it ?
Because when my neighbour starts it, it says : “Your computer does noto have an antivirus, it is at risk”.
My neighbour is like many Windows users out there, she is not tech savvy but rather worried when it comes to computers. Worried it might break down for obscures reasons leaving her without facebook and MSN access (well, Skype, as it is now).
And like many developers out there, I am always buried under a stack of computers people need me to “fix”.
And therefore, this evening, I am about to protect this little notebook’s life by trying and installing Windows Security Essentials on it.
As I discovered it, this was to be difficult. Windows Security Essentials is not for W8, I must simply use Windows Defender. Simple, right ? WRONG –> RANT !

1/ Dear Microsoft, it took ten years for my neighbour to buy a first notebook, get DSL, go online, open an hotmail account, use outlook, and gather friends on facebook.
I’m sure it took her at least 20 minutes to find out the “Turn Off” was in the “Start” menu but, hey, she got used to it, her friends got used to it, it was “computers” and they all dealt with it.
Now, seriously, why did you change everything ?

2/ Microsoft, can’t you decide how you want your OS to run ? Should it be this weird full screen square interface (let’s call it WFSSI) or should it be my usual Windows 7 desktop ? Switching from one to the other with the Windows and ESC key is just weird.
My neighbour’s email was all over the place. She had them open in the WFSSI and also in a Firefox tab and also in an IE tab and I’m sure she would also have them in Outlook. So how should it be ?
How is it exactly that I access my apps from the desktop ? Oh yeah, I click on Windows Key + C and then start typing it. I’m sure my neighbour will think of typing “winword” to write a letter.
It’s just weird and feels like the decision to break away was not even fully made. It’s a mix of two worlds.

3/ Did you run some kinda of championship at Microsoft’s to elect the engineer who came up with the most hidden place for the new location of the turn off button ? Or did you simply invest in electricity production for the next 5 years ? How do you expect my neighbour to turn off her computer ? Why would she even think of clicking on her name in the top right corner of the WFSSI ? That is providing she find out to get back to the WFSSI in the first place.

But Microsoft is not all to blame here, they are good things in this OS. This laptop runs fast, the app search is actually not far from a launcher or a spotlight geeks love on OS X or Linux.

4/ Dear Sony, why do you install crappy software on your pretty looking hardware ? Why do you install TWO (!) McAfee software which can only protect your notebook for 30 days WHEN WINDOWS 8 SHIPS WITH an antivirus / malware detector software, unlimited and for free ? Do you think of the embarrassment / pain / fear / trouble / waste of time / annoyance / … you are causing to your users ? After 30 days, their shiny notebooks “Maintenance Center” status turn to orange (and later to red) because their computer is not protected.

5/ Yes, I understand business, if McAfee pays you to install their software hoping to grab customers, can you at least make it simple to remove said software ? I mean, when disentailing McAfee, I’d want Windows Defender to work right away.

6/ I suppose Sony is not to blame here but McAfee is the culprit. Yes, after removing McAfee (if you ever stumble on the Control Panel in the new interface) you’ll realize that Windows Defender is still de-activated. You must Google your trouble to find the McAfee removal tool, run it and reboot (how dare you ask me to reboot, I can’t even find the shutdown anyway) and now Windows Defender is rolling.

7/ After doing nothing but REMOVING things, this computer runs better than when she bought it. Tomorrow, my neighbour will feel so safe carrying it back to her house with its little green flag in the task bar.

That’s a class act, guys. Good job.

If you are wondering what’s happening to the PC notebook market, don’t turn your heads to the iTouch devices and co. Just take a look at what you are shipping. My neighbour is 65 years old and she’s telling me : “don’t buy a sony” , “my son says I’d be better of with that iPad thing”, “oh, I see you use Apple”. She couldn’t care less for the tablet vs notebook debate, the Mac or PC thing, she just wanted to go on mail.live.com. You care to help her out ?

Never mind, I’ll run a Linux Mint install party in my backyard next week.

Filed under: Me myself I, Windows

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  • About Me


    photo of Samantha Halfon Samantha Halfon
    Software Engineer
    blueKiwi software
    Paris, France
    I enjoy playing with my computer(s), listening to Bob Dylan (and related artists) and watching movies (especially if they were directed by Martin Scorsese or John Cassavetes). Sometimes, I play a little guitar... If not doing any of the above, I am either riding a small red bike around Paris, or, making videos. About my videomaking please check out World Wide Angle and its blog.