Scoble wants to know why people hate Microsoft. Well, here’s what the company really needs to realize. You’re not smarter than us, so lose that pretense in your software. That Office is constantly trying to predict what it is we’re trying to do, only to fail and get in the way most of the time, is infuriating. It’s not good enough that I can now train your wizard to stop capitalizing words when I don’t want to. Just give me a "No Half-Baked Predictive Behavior From MS Research Guys Who Try to Justify Their Salary to Steve Ballmer" check box option at install time, OK? This shit just doesn’t work. It tries to automate tasks that don’t take that much to complete manually in the first place, only to create a sense of helplessness and hurt productivity a lot more than it could probably fix it. The green pixie magic that outlines cells likely to contain a formula with errors is a lot more useful. It’s not interrupting me and it’s solving a real business problem (lots of spreadsheets out there contain errors and it can take a lot of time to hunt them down).
Case in point in Outlook 2003: when you group entries by field with the reading pane on the right, it doesn’t behave in the same way as when the preview panel is at the bottom (which is the way it always worked). How do you group by ‘From’ and sort by Date with the right preview panel? You can’t, because there’s a retarted "Arrange By" feature that will get in the way. I just want to drag and drop column headers to the Group By box like I always did (and like the feature behaves with the reading pane at the bottom). That’s because, you see, you don’t really have column headers anymore with the reading panel on the right. Thanks for delivering a good feature (reading panel on the right) only to totally screw up its power user interface.