Why I Am a Disloyal Jerk

I am a terrible, disloyal man. In 1994, I sent about ten letters to technology companies asking for free stuff. I was in the Navy then, but I wanted to get out and start a publishing company. I needed computers, printers, and software. I figured the easiest way to get that stuff was to ask.

One company came  through: Microsoft. I even got a personal letter from Bill Gates about a week after my shipment arrived. He commended my chutzpah but asked me to never tell anyone Microsoft gave me free software.

They sent me two licenses for everything they sold at the time. Windows for Workgroups, Windows 3.1, Office 4.3c, etc. I promised loyalty.

In 1995, my company was flailing, but I'd gotten a job as MIS Director for a small healthcare company. When our CEO agreed our mix-and-match technology needed to be standardized and upgraded, I repaid Microsoft. I had also learned VB, MSSQL, and rudimentary C++. I was a Microsoft developer.

For the next 15 years, I pumped Microsoft. I was coding with .NET before they called it .NET. As a programmer, DBA, architect, and software engineering director, I remained doggedly loyalty to Redmond.

But my loyalty to Microsoft has waned.

Have you searched in Outlook 2013? It sucks. And that's their latest version.

Have you seen Windows 8.1? It's terrible. And the market agrees.

Microsoft writes software for RFPs, not for people.

My coding today is all AngularJS JavaScript. I like APIs. And my desktop OS is Elementary, a Linux distribution.

I have many reasons for these changes, but they all boil down to simplicity. On the laptop I'm using right now (HP Pavilion), Windows 7 takes about two and a half minutes to boot. Elementary takes less than 30 seconds.  Business Insider's home page take about 15 seconds to fully load in Windows, just four seconds in Elementary. JetBrains WebStorm (my IDE) takes about one minute to open in Windows, but only 20 seconds in Elementary.

I just don't have time or patience for Microsoft.

If want people to be loyal, make their lives simpler. Don't make them wait. Don't expect them to enjoy your work. Instead, let them get done with it. They'll thank you.

Loyalty has its limits.