I’ve been cursing extensively this past week because I’ve had to work on a Windows computer, using Microsoft Office Suite. People who sit next to me must think I’m going insane, though I usually curse in a foreign language so as to not offend my neighbors…but I guess that could be even weirder. I can’t help it though, using Microsoft products puts me in a rage. Two questions nag at my soul: why would Microsoft unleash such awfulness into the world and why is it that despite being awful, they still have a sizeable matrket share? Why ? WHY GOD? Why would you allow this travesty to happen?
Now before you think I’ve lost my mind, let me explain why I loathe Microsoft to an unspeakable degree. Admittedly I’m a designer therefore I’m a Mac user. As such, I’ve gotten used to the simple interface where I just doubleclick on my hardrive icon, and a window pops up that allows me to easily navigate to the file I want. Why Windows has an extra layer of complexity to file searching, I have no clue…well needless complexity is really the hallmark of Microsoft product. But there are other problems with their offering. Let’s go over them one software at a time:
Explorer: Did you know that Explorer is not compliant with web-standards? If you’re a user, then it might not affect you, but if you’re a web designer then you know that Explorer is a goddam nightmare. EVERY SINGLE BROWSER EXCEPT EXPLORER is compliant with the standards, and it boggles the mind that even now, in this day and age, Explorer refuses to join the crowd. As a web designer, it means you have to do extra coding to make sure that the website behaves correctly on Explorer. Also, all Microsoft email clients mess up email designs.
Powerpoint: I’m going to bitch A LOT about Powerpoint, as it’s the software I have to use most. Biggest gripe right now? It crashes all the freaking time over the stupidest things. Trying to style a table? It’s liable to crash. Trying to nudge an object a couple of pixel to the side? It’s liable to crash. Trying to preview your presentation? It’s liable to crash. The incessant crashing is perplexing because I have software that does things more difficult that making presentations (like 3d software) , and they never crash.
Aside from the crashing, it’s a terrible software to design in. It’s like a box of Crayolas when what you really need are oil pastel. And Powerpoint’s default settings are awful: default line spacing is 0 pt leading. The first rule of typography is that you never set body type with 0pt leading: it’s ugly. Evidently, every single presentation I’ve ever touched needed to have the leading adjusted and I have to go through two menus to access those settings. Keynote is the Mac equivalent of Powerpoint, and the software developers had the good sense to give ready access to all these typography settings which are ESSENTIAL for design. And what makes it worse is how slow Powerpoint is. I have to wait several seconds before certain menus become accessible.
Excel and Word: I don’t use these two software a whole lot…it’s because they’re even more awful than Powerpoint. If you’re writing a term paper, or just typing numbers into a worksheet, then sure, it’s adequate. But design? A f’ing nightmare. Word, by default, gives you a document with margins that prevents you from laying out the document as you’d like. You have to dig around in the settings to get the damn thing to behave correctly, and even then, Word might decide it prefers to drive you insane instead of just doing what you want it to do. Excel isn’t much better: I recently learned that if you want to copy and paste a worksheet from Excel, you need to have the document in “normal view”, or else an outline shows up around the pasted object. And despite what the name implies, “normal view” is not the default view. Why Excel draws an outline in one view and not the other, I, again, have no f-ing clue.
So in summation, all these softwares are finnicky, badly designed, with awful default settings, they’re slow and crash all the time. It boggles my mind that Microsoft has been consistently releasing these horrors into the world, and that apparently they’re still in business. I’m thinking at this point that Microsoft is the work of the devil and I’m not even religious.