Dear Microsoft: No means no.

I switched from Windows XP to Ubuntu in 2007. I used Ubuntu exclusively  for tw0 years with my only real complaints being the inability to play games like Portal or run Photoshop . The purchase of a nice new Canon EOS 40D a few months ago made native Photoshop support a necessity.

When I started shopping for a laptop it quickly became apparent that I was going to be forced to purchase Windows Vista. Dell had some systems with Ubuntu preinstalled but saved their best for Vista. I held my nose and ordered.

Truth be told, after a brief adjustment, I found I kind of liked Vista. Sure it has its foibles but none of them seem so bad when you are upgrading from a seven year old computer (running the latest Ubuntu!) to a shit hot new laptop with enough power to make even Vista seem snappy.

But something had happened in those two years of Ubuntu usage. I had become accustomed to thinking this was MY computer. It was not a sales platform for some Silicon Valley company that wanted to upsell me to a “pro version”. It was not something I was allowed to use as long as I submitted to being served up advertising (like in MSN or Yahoo messenger). There was no corporate agenda being surreptitiously advanced through default settings (like ripping to Windows Media Format or Apples AAC by default just to propagate the format) or bundling programs together (iTunes).

Internet Explorer 8 appeared a several weeks ago as an “Important Update” in my Windows updates.  With IE8 struggling to get beyond a single digit slice of the browser market, it was obvious who the update was important for. Microsoft was chastised for the scummy practise at the time and I decided to deal with it by choosing the “hide this update” option and assumed that would be the end of it.

Checking out the details of a subsequent batch of updates gave me a bit of a start:


IE8 again? Didn’t I just say no to this? I guess technically I said “hide this update” but its the closest to “NO” that Microsoft allows. Once again I chose “hide this update” and hoped Microsoft would respect my wishes. After all, this is supposed to be MY computer right?


So here I am again, a new update and once again, IE8 is listed as an “Important” update. This is now my third time telling it to “hide this update”, when will Microsoft learn that NO MEANS NO!


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