In or out of the default, no way to win, really

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/11/17 15:01 -05:00, original URI:

Microsoft tends to get criticized, no matter what they (by which I mean we) do.

They (by which I mean customers) hate that the default install the additional IME, keyboard, font, and code page files(ref: What isn't in the default install for NLS).

But of course someone else (customer again) would be disturbed when we (Microsoft) "fixed" this, concerned that The fonts directory is freaking huge in Vista.

And then of course other people (customers again) are installing more fonts then any human could really want and trying their best at blowing their font cache. Obviously if several hundred fonts is too much then several hundreds of hundreds of them would be stratospheric.

Anyway, when we (Microsoft) remove the instructions to install files conditionally since we (Microsoft) no longer need to install them, people (customers again) point out the problems of the smaller intl.inf.

And then just the other day, someone else noticed you could install code page files anymore, and asked urgently:

...customer has an application that uses iso 8859-7  (WinXP and Win2000); after upgrading to Vista business he sees no option for elot-928 (iso 8859-7 ) and he is saying that the codepage has been removed and has been looking for it and ways to set it on Vista.

Ah, the concern was that because someone noticed that the additional code page install option had been removed, and they assumed this meant we had removed the code page.

I suppose we could have cluttered the user interface up with the note that you don't have to install the code pages because they are there, but I think the right call was made there.

But it does seem challenging sometimes to do the work to address a customer concern....

The happy note is that for the application in question the behavior will be better. Though clearly this does not always impact customer behavior. :-)


This blog brought to you by ๐งพท (U+27fb7, a CJK Extension B ideograph that is not on any legacy code page)

Abhishek on 18 Nov 2008 2:28 AM:

"Obviously if several hundred fonts is too much then several hundreds of hundreds of them would be stratospheric."

Err... Stratospheric, or Catastrophic? :)

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Nov 2008 2:51 AM:

Well, maybe either. I was using the "taller, bigger" metaphor but it is pretty outrageous as scenarios go and could be catastrophic. :-)

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