I recall sitting in the press conference as then-president of WordPerfect mocked Word and how badly Microsoft implemented its word processor. Two decades later, Word is still a poor product with which to write.
I was reminded of that long-ago incident when a software company today invited me to take part in a new product announcement. Most use WebEx or GotoMeeting. This company decided on Microsoft's Live Meeting, and what a bad choice it made to go with a Microsoft product.
A few minutes before the event was to begin, I did the usual: copy'n pasted the conference URL into FireFox, and then I clicked the Join Meeting button. FireFox downloaded an RTC file, and then Windows asked what it should do with it.
I did a quick google to find that RTC files are for Live Meeting. I read that a client needed to be downloaded manually. How odd, I thought; WebEx and GotoMeeting download clients automatically.
I found the link and began downloading the Live Meeting client. The download proceeded slowly, because the file was large. (WebEx and GottoMeeting clients are small and download quickly). Meanwhile, the online meeting had begun, and I was missing out on the visuals.
Download complete, the installation began... and then halted. The client needed DirectX 9, which was not yet installed on this computer. That's odd: WebEx and GotoMeeting run just fine on this computer, the one that's closest to the phone -- which is why I use it for online meetings.
I switch to my netbook computer, because (1) it runs Windows 7 and I had just installed AutoCAD 2010, which also installed DirectX 9.0; and (2) I could move it close enough to the phone.
The steps started over again: email the conference link to my gmail acct; paste it into FireFox on the netbook; click the Join Meeting button; wait for FIreFox to download the RTC file.
This time, Windows 7 offered to look for what an RTC file is. It consulted Microsoft's Web site for file extensions, and reported back that the filetype was unknown. WebEx and GotoMeeting don't have this problem.
This time I knew I had to download the Live Meeting client, and so another wait while the obese file downloaded and installed, finally. By now I had missed the first 15 minutes of the meeting -- 15 minutes of Dead Meeting, as it were.
So, again we can see that if Microsoft didn't have it monopoly position, the low quality of its software would have ensured it would have gone out of business long ago.
Microsoft. You will always be #last in my book.