Okay, I’m pissed now.

Can I rant for a bit on Microsoft? (Which will probably cause a flock of nerds to come here and follow suit on the basis of that phrase alone, but whatever.)

Occasionally Windows will download updates, and some of these will require a reboot. Most of the time, I’m told that I have updates, I can start the process of installing them, and when they’re installed I’m told I have to reboot to complete the process. Often I’m nagged on this point every five to ten minutes or so. However, when the updates are more critical than critical, Windows downloads and installs it itself, then just up and spontaneously reboots at 3 AM with no warning. (No word if the phone rings at Hillary Clinton’s house when that happens.)

Now, I routinely leave my computer running for days, weeks, even months on end, often with several files open. It’s not a big deal that my computer will spontaneously reboot with Office programs, since they have AutoRecover (although Publisher 2003’s is iffy at best), but Notepad files are not so lucky. And while many of you might say that it’s unwise to leave my computer running for so long with files open and unsaved for so long, that doesn’t justify Microsoft discriminating against people like me in such a… pissing-off manner. Especially when laptops encourage the practice by allowing you to simply close them instead of actually shutting down. I don’t like finding myself comparing Microsoft to someone hacking into my system and controlling it from afar, and I doubt Microsoft does either.

Windows’ “I’m sorry” message after rebooting reads as follows: “Windows recently downloaded and installed an automatic security update to help protect your computer. This update required an automatic restart of your computer.” If this update is so important, shouldn’t I get some sort of warning that my computer is going to reboot itself without an opportunity to save my files? I don’t even have a clue about it unless I happen to catch the little “downloading updates” indicator appear in the systray, and then don’t dismiss it since nothing else comes of it. Shouldn’t I at least get a notification when the installation is complete telling me my computer is going to reboot at 3 AM? One that isn’t tucked underneath the arrow to open the whole systray, but that actually pops up while I’m working? I understand that some people like me might decide to try to push back the reboot, but can’t you just tell them that the computer is going to reboot and to start saving files? Better yet, be as obnoxious about it as for your less critical updates?

(I’m actually okay with Windows and Office otherwise. I’m morally opposed to monopolies on principle, but I’ve used Windows for years and I’m not likely to gleefully switch to Mac anytime soon, and I doubt many Office imitators have as many features as Office.)

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