Microsoft – an exercise in frustration

I’ve been investigating ways of testing out applications like Stuff to Do on Windows, and boy has it been frustrating. It’s not a fun task in the first place, as I’d rather be coding than trying to deal with crappy incompatibilities between browsers and operating systems.

I first looked into VMWare products, which look pretty good. The Workstation version has a free 30 day trial download, and the basic player is free of charge. Unfortunately the Ubuntu player packages appear to be seriously broken. Qemu also looks like a good possibility. I don’t care if it’s not blazing fast, just as long as reloading a page in IE doesn’t take 5 minutes. I think I could make either one of those options work.

However, the hairy, gorilla size problem is the microsoft operating system itself.

I don’t want to deal with Vista, because it’s a hog, and emulating a hog is bound to be slow. So I’d like to get XP, and since I’d prefer people to respect the licenses of software I write, I think it’s only fair to get a legitimate copy, even if my friends here in Italy will probably think I’m batty.

Overlooking the fact that the basic retail price is $200, which is somewhere north of double what I think is reasonable, it seems as if you can’t even download the damn thing and pay with a credit card. How antiquated is that? I want to be up and running now, not fiddle around with a CD that might arrive a week from now.

The end result: massive amounts of frustrating and nothing to show for it. That I would have avoided if I just found a cracked version. I think for now I’ll just put up some extra ‘get firefox’ banners on my sites:-/