Google and Microsoft: A race for the bottom

Who should be more ashamed: Google for Wi-Fi spying or Microsoft for general ineptitude? Cringely readers weigh in

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But it wasn't all Google all the time here in Cringeville. In "Psst, Microsoft! Here's how you unseat the iPad," I suggested that Microsoft give Windows 8 -- er, Windows RT -- tablets away for free, just to survive the Apple onslaught, and I asked readers what they'd be willing to pay. Not surprisingly, nearly all of them liked my price point best.

But for reader and iPad fan D.C., even nothing was asking too much.

As a former Windows enthusiast, I've watched way too many of my days evaporate with unexpected rebuilds of Windows systems for myself and clients. When servicing Windows networks became an ethical issue for me due to their inherent unreliability, I eventually stopped taking new Windows clients. ...

I happen to own an iPad, because when I turn it on, it works. ... I have a Linux machine because it is incredibly reliable, easy to use, and I never have to pray that the key code will work, because there isn't one! Both machines keep working without a lot of fuss. That has never, ever been the case with any version of Windows I've owned.

Finally, in "Now accepting applications for Internet Hall of Shame; inquire within," I discussed the newly christened Internet Hall of Fame and asked who readers would place in a shrine honoring the dishonorable. Reader K.O. immediately suggested Canter & Siegel, the immigration attorneys widely credited with sending the first spam (via Usenet groups, not email) in 1994.

But Cringe fan Enderland nominated Mr. Churros himself, Bill Gates. His achievement:

... putting Internet Explorer on millions (billions?) of computers, thereby making the world's most popular browser a hodgepodge of versions that vary widely in their ability to ward off attacks, from poorly to godawful, but which all have one thing in common: a resistance to W3C standards.

I don't know. I think Gates might be a little lonely roaming the hall as the only Microsoft representative. Don't you think little Stevie Ballmer ought to join him?

What tech issues are getting under your skin? Scratch your itch below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Google and Microsoft: A race for the bottom," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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