If I were better at math, I'd sit down and calculate how much time I've wasted on Microsoft products.
Defragmenting hard-drives, downloading virus signatures, replacing obscure .dll files. I used to take pride in the fact I knew how to solve computer problems back in the day. I'd be the guy people call whenever they faced a printer that wouldn't cooperate or a drive that wouldn't start up. Though I still receive those phone calls and emails, I am no longer that guy.
I gave away my last PC to a little mainland Chinese girl who came to Singapore to study a few months ago. The only piece of hardware I own that has Microsoft on it is my XBox 360, and it has given me grief just like the old days. Only this time I do not have a keyboard or any diagnostic tools to troubleshoot it.
If you have a faulty 360, you call a hotline. They attempt to "troubleshoot" it over the phone, basically checking if you have the XBox plugged in. When that fails they schedule an appointment 3 weeks from the day for a one-to-one exchange.
I've been there, waited and done that. I brought home the replacement set. I even bought 2 new games. I had a little spare time in between the onslaught of deadlines at work. I ended up spending that spare time trying to fix the faulty replacement Microsoft has given me.
I called the hotline again. It'll be another 3 week wait, while the warranty continues to elapse from the date of the original purchase. I can't believe it – the most reliable gaming system in my home is a Mac. I can't even trust Microsoft to make a console – how on earth do we allow them to power software that drives most enterprises around the world?
I ask the guy manning the hotline if he could bump me up, considering they had given me a faulty set. He laughs a little and apologies, then asks me if there's anything else he could help me with. I ask him if a refund is possible. He repeats his previous response. I then realise that I was talking to a human representation of Microsoft products – they mean to help, but end up wasting your time.

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