Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Microsoft Updates: A Microcosmic View of a History of Bad Judgement?

In the narrow context of being my past days as a small business network admin, I did a fair amount of work with SUS, WUS and WSUS through the years.  I even published some video tutorials over at which may or may not still be in operation.  I used to post a fair amount of topical content and forum feedback over at as well.  And I maintain my family home computers with WSUS as a regular habit, because I like it that much.  It’s easy to setup and use and works great.  But when I occassionally review the latest catalog of Products, I’m reminded of some of Microsoft’s bad judgement (as if I never made any bad decisions, right).

Just take a look at the current WSUS products listing as of October 2009.  Amazing.  Look at it for a few minutes before you continue on to my rant beneath it.  Otherwise, my rant will not make much sense.

All Products
BizTalk Server
BizTalk Server 2002
Host Integration Server 2000
Host Integration Server 2004
Host Integration Server 2006
Developer Tools, Runtimes, and Redistributables
Report Viewer 2005
Report Viewer 2008
Visual Studio 2005
Visual Studio 2008
Exchange 2000 Server
Exchange Server 2003
Exchange Server 2007 and Above Anti-spam
Exchange Server 2007
Exchange Server 2010
Expression Media 2
Expression Media V1
Forefront Client Security
Forefront code named Stirling Beta version
Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Definition Updates for HTTP Malware Inspection
Forefront TMG MBE
Threat Management Gateway Definition Update for Network Inspection System
HPC Pack
Compute Cluster Pack
HPC Pack 2008
Internet Security and Acceleration Server
Firewall Client for ISA Server
Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004
Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006
Live Search
Search Enhancement Pack
Microsoft Research AutoCollage
Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager
Data Protection Manager 2006
Network Monitor
Network Monitor 3
Office Communications Server And Office Communicator
Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Office Communications Server 2007
Office Communicator 2007 R2
Office 2002/XP
Office 2003
Office 2007
SDK Components
SQL Server
SQL Server 2000
SQL Server 2005
SQL Server 2008
SQL Server Feature Pack
System Center Online
Category for System Center Online Client
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
Systems Management Server
System Center Configuration Management 2007
Systems Management Server 2003
Virtual Server
Virtual PC
Virtual Server
Windows Essential Business Server
Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Setup Updates
Windows Essential Business Server 2008
Windows Essential Business Server Preinstallation Tools
Windows Live
OneCare Family Safety Installation
Photo Gallery Installation and Upgrades
Assistant Installation and Upgrades
Windows Live Toolbar
Windows Live
Writer Installation and Upgrades
Windows Small Business Server
Windows Small Business Server 2003
Windows Small Business Server 2008
Windows 2000
Windows 7
Windows Defender
Windows Internet Explorer 7 Dynamic Installer
Windows Internet Explorer 8 Dynamic Installer
Windows Media Dynamic Installer
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 Server Manager Dynamic Installer
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server Manager - Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Dynamic Installer
Windows Ultimate Extras
Windows Vista Dymamic Installer
Windows Vista Ultimate Language Packs
Windows Vista
Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003
Windows XP x64 Edition
Windows XP
Microsoft Works 8
Microsoft Works 9
Works 6-9 Converter

Ok, first off: Do the product names really have to be THIS fucking long?!  Really?  It’s getting beyond stupid into the realm of seriously embarrassing.  The fact that their competition isn’t beating the shit out of them just on this point is another embarrassment on their part.  Apple?  Come on, this is WAY too easy.  I’m talking easy as a white kid from Encino walking into a Crips hang-out with cash hanging out of every pocket and staggering drunk.  Can you see where this would go?

Google, Apple, IBM, EMC, Symantec, RedHat, they should all be lining up with their brass knuckles ready for a beating.  Jobs himself would be collecting the entry fees at the door of course (he’s not a beater anyway, Schiller would handle that for him).

Second, just looking at the categorization for a bit, you should see some real head-scratchers.  Just under the “Windows” category there are some really bizarre placements.  Why is all the IE stuff there?  What the hell is “XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003” anyway?  I can’t find that on any of their product pages.  Why is Defender here? And, why aren’t Silverlight and CAPICOM up under the Developer Tools and Runtimes category?

Third, what’s up with the splitting up of the System Center catalog?!  I thought the marketing focus was on their coherence and complimentary aspect.   Looking at this you’d think they were all made by other companies and hate each other.  Maybe they won’t sit next to each other on the bus, like quibbling siblings or something.  And what happened to Windows Server 2003 R2?  Is it gone?  No longer supported?  And why isn’t Live Search under the Windows Live category as well?

Very bizarre stuff.  But the one thing that always jumps out at me with the most irony and melancholic despair is “Windows Ultimate Extras”.  It’s like the last sad clown to stroll off the circus floor back through the curtains when the spotlights are shut off.

Someone really needs to crack the whip and clean house on this mess.  It’s really that bad.  So bad, that I’m embarrassed for them and I don’t even work for them in any respect whatsoever.

The entire list needs to be cleaned up, re-organized, re-sorted, and it would not only work better for WSUS admins (and System Center ConfigMgr admins) but would put a little more lipstick on this squealing pig of marketing history.  I’m not saying WSUS is the pig.  I’m referring to the company’s history of naming products.  I could go on, but it’s making my head hurt.

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