Bill Gates on the Windows user experience, in an internal email from 2004:

"Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up. But that is just the start of the crap."

Amazing how little has changed in the last 15 years.


Bill Gates didn't even want anything to do with the tire fire that was Vista. 😂🤣

I'll say though, I really enjoyed envisioning Bill about to rage quit and/or franticly typing this email in disbelief in what was unfolding in front of him.

@fribbledom I think he really liked the 'Start' menu.

I was working at Microsoft when Win 95 shipped and went to the launch party. They had licensed the Rolling Stones song 'Start Me Up' for the TV commercials, so it was playing on a loop. I hate that song now.

@fribbledom This would be a great moment for the "Every OS sucks" song 😏

@fribbledom yeah. I mean, I use Everything Search from rather than mess with the start menu these days

@fribbledom My favorite little detail: "This is after I was told we were doing delta patches to things but instead just to get 6 things that are labeled in the SCARIEST possible way I had to download 17meg"

17MB of Windows Update being cause for distress! How times have changed.

Granted looking at disk prices were around $1/GB in 2004, whereas we're at something like $0.02/GB these days, so by my hard drive inflation calculations that 17MB cost about what you'd spend per GB today 😱

@fribbledom … in some ways it's gotten worse since then!

I tried logging in to my Microsoft account a few days ago and had "fun":

After that I spent several hours trying to get Windows (which updates pretty much every time I turn it on and/or off!) to install more updates that is somehow had not already installed.

@fribbledom I also had to smile when reading the part about the performance of windows update. This could be about Windows 10 as well...

@fribbledom actually, Windows UX isn’t quite this horrible anymore. I have a Windows development machine at work and it gets me quite far. My biggest issue is usually open source software that silently assumes unixy things about its execution environment ;)

@Xjs @fribbledom Same! I run Linux as a free way to jailbreak my computer, but otherwise am fine with using Windows for stuff my university preinstalled for me.


'So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated' - Christ - that is absolutely priceless !

...and when Bill Gates (or any senior manager) says 'I am quite disappointed', I always think it's brilliantly understated and carries a quiet air of menace.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!