Lost in Cyberspace

Microsoft just isn’t having a good year.

The dubious Mojave experiment. A strange series of advertisements with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. The botched Yahoo! takeover. Net books promoting Linux to the masses. The refusal of XP to die.

And now, yet another emergency patch to fix a critical flaw in Explorer.

The patch itself isn’t such a big deal. Sure, it hurt a few million users, but despite that, Microsoft got a patch out, and their publicity machine went into overdrive assuring the world that it was working hard to keep the interweb safe.

But what must have stung is the number of press reports which ended with the advice to ignore the Redmond recommendation to tweak Explorer settings, and just download a different browser until the patch was released.

To take one example, Sky News quoted an expert who recommended a ‘switch to another browser until the patch is released, as the malicious code only activates when it detects Explorer.’

Microsoft knows that, every time someone tries a different browser, they may not come back.

And if they can live without Explorer, how long until they realise they can survive without MS Office, or discover life without Windows?

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.