Pyrrhic Convenience: The Microsoft Poetry Edition

After three attempts, my employer has finally managed to upgrade switch my laptop from Windows XP to Windows 7. Consequently, I have spent much of the morning achieving a zen-like state of frustration as I attempt to decrapify my desktop.

I mean, how hard should it be to point a text editor at a syntax file? Very hard indeed, it appears, because Windows 7 insists on obscuring the file locations behind libraries and ‘helpfully’ shortened path names, thus turning a simple file copy into a never-ending nightmare.

But I got there, eventually, and managed to turn off most of the notifications and other annoyware that comes as standard with Windows and I even changed my desktop background to a nice relaxing landscape. And, boy, do I need to be looking at a lot of relaxing landscapes right now.

Then I noticed that some of the applications weren’t using the Windows 7 themes deciding, instead, to do something completely different. A bit of flipping back and forth between windows confirmed that the software responsible for this unpleasantly jarring effect was… Microsoft office.

Or, to put it another way, the only company unable to properly write Windows applications is Microsoft.

So, back to the internet I went to see if there was any (no-obvious, wholly unintuitive) way of fixing this. As far as I can tell, there isn’t, but I did find this:

All I can see is “White”, “Light Grey”, and “Dark Grey”…which is equivalent to “Stormtrooper White”, Stormtrooper Light Grey”, and “Stormtrooper Dark Grey”. Did the Adams Family design the Office 2013…

Or better still:

Then, you launch the Excel 2013 app…and all the life is instantly sucked right out of Windows 8. You can feel it in your bones. The Office apps are a barren, Boot Hill-esque, cold wasteland….with grey and white tumbleweeds and gravestones. Then, you go back into Metro…and WHAM…it’s the Skittles rainbow monster voraciously attacking everything in sight. Nom nom nom nom. Big blocks of color coming at you….it’s crazy like…wow man…what a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas trip crazy! You are flying sky high with the bats and stingrays. Life is groovy. You then launch Outlook 2013 and WHAM…there you are…slammed down to the ground…back in Frankenweenie land ready to raise some dead animals or something.

Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like.

Odilon Redon once said:

What distinguishes the artist from the dilettante? Only the pain the artist feels. The dilettante looks only for pleasure in art.

May I suggest a new slogan for Windows 7, Microsoft Office and – I suspect – the whole stable of Redmondware: It’s not for dilettantes.

9 thoughts on “Pyrrhic Convenience: The Microsoft Poetry Edition

  1. I have to say that has saved my sanity. At least I can get around some of the utterly insane application choices that have been imposed on me. But Windows 7 is truly terrible.

    The whole operating system seems to be determined to get in my way as soon as I try to do anything. And this is by design and impossible to switch off.

    Windows XP, for all it’s Fisher Price graphics, was a reasonably solid, reasonably straightforward, reasonably workable operating system. It didn’t do anything well but, if you were careful, it would do everything adequately. Windows 7 can’t even manage adequate.

    Right now, I’m just happy that no-one is trying to inflict Windows 8 on me 😉


  2. Well, you can now put “artist” on your calling card! 😀

    Windows 8… if it falls flat it is the infinity (eternity?) sign. It probably signifies that is just an expansion of the problems with 7 …… 😉


  3. Maybe ‘failed artist’ 😉

    I remember seeing somewhere that Microsoft tended to alternate between good and bad releases. Windows XP was quite good, Windows Vista was a disaster. and so on…

    That would mean that Windows 7 is quite good and Windows 8 is, or will be, a disaster.

    This must be some new definition of quite good of which I was not previously aware 😉


  4. Indeed it isn’t. Apparently the Buddhist definition of Enlightenment has now been expanded to include someone who can sit in front of a Windows 7 PC for 8 hours without destroying their keyboard 😉


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