First, allow me to clarify that this survey is in no way scientific! But I'm
sure you knew that. Secondly, since...sadly...only about 20% of our subscribers
took the survey, the results have to be taken with a huge grain of salt.
Guess I'll have to offer up cash next year?<grin>
But it is interesting to see these results...at least I think it is. Hopefully,
many of you will agree with me. See where you fit in with the majority of
users who responded and read some of the comments folks added.
1. Which version of Office are
- Office 2000 - 38%
- Office XP - 36%
- Office 2003 - 18%
- Office 97 - 7%
Office 95 - 1%
- Office 4 - 0%
This one is particularly interesting to me. Just last week, someone told
me that they read that the majority of Office users are still only using
Office 2000. They were whining about my suggestion that they upgrade to Office
2003 with the justification that hardly anyone has upgraded
Well, seeing these results, this person doesn't know what he's talking about!
(But then...I already knew that!<evil smirk>)
Being an MVP and Office beta tester, I have the advantage of having all versions
of Office on my computers. I personally loved 2000!
I wasn't too thrilled with XP and, more often than not, would use 2000. But
now I am in love with 2003 and use it exclusively for my own work and as
often as I can convince people to upgrade when working with others.
Sales figures will surely prove our little graph is in error with the
real world. But in our little part of the world, it appears that most folks
are either using Office 2000 or Office XP (2002). And I suspect that many
are just waiting for 2003 to be confirmed as stable before they upgrade.
As someone who has been using Office 2003 since a year before it was released,
let me personally assure you that Office 2003 is a cool and very stable version.
Yes, Outlook got the biggest overhaul in this version. But as someone who
spends about 80% of my day with my face in Outlook...that was just fine with
2. Which Microsoft business application(s)
would you say you use MOST OFTEN?
- Word (word processing) - 27%
- Excel (spreadsheet) - 22%
- Outlook (email, used mostly in businesses) - 17%
- Access (database) - 9%
- PowerPoint (presentation) - 8%
- Outlook Express (email, used mostly in homes) - 7%
- Publisher (desktop publishing) - 4%
- FrontPage (web development) - 3%
- Project (project management) - 2%
- Visio (data diagramming) - 1%
As I said, break out the salt here. With 80% of our 5,300+ subscribers not
responding, we can't look at these percentages with any real accuracy. But
then again, I'll lay odds that the it may just be a fairly accurate overall
look. I mean, I'm sure Word and Excel users are
in the majority. And I bet Outlook is next in line with the rest falling
in line in about the same manner.
In fact, let's take a look at last
years results! Last year we had respondents who used these same apps in this
order of popularity: (Sorry, last year I didn't bother using Excel
to plot out the percentages as I did this year.)
- Outlook Express
- Front Page
And last year, we didn't even have any Project users who responded.
This year we have 2%...thanks much in part to Mike
Glen's fantastic training
of articles, I'm sure!
3. Which operating system are you running?
- Windows 2000 - 22%
- Windows XP Pro - 31%
- Windows XP Home - 19%
- Windows 98 - 13%
- Windows ME - 7%
- Windows NT - 3%
- Windows 3.x
- Windows 95 - 1%
- I use a Mac - 1%
- I use Linux - 1%
- I use Unix - 1%
These results are pretty much what I figured. Last year, Win98 users were
in the big majority and, at that time, I was one of you. I moved from Win98
to WinXP Pro, literally kicking and screaming. I had no interest in changing
over because I felt Win98 was working just fine for me and...let's say it
all together...I didn't want to waste time learning a
new operating system when this one worked just fine...if it ain't broke,
don't fix it!...right?
Luckily for me, Greg is much smarter than I am. So when my mother board went
belly up last year, he converted my new system to WinXP Pro. I wasn't looking
forward to it, but was quickly thrilled when I saw how stable it was. Now
I think of all the time I've saved not having to reboot over the last
year. That alone was worth it to me. But there's so much more about WinXP
that has spoiled me. I hate having to go back to Win2000 when I'm at the
office! Phewy! And you couldn't pay me to go back to Win98!
If you want to learn more about WinXP, be sure to check out my
series on the
4. How many working computers do
you have in your home?
I didn't spend tons of time analyzing all these results. So many are
just quick overviews. In the case of how many computers people have in their
homes, we had folks with as many as 9. But the majority balanced closely
from 2-4 with 3 being the calculated average in that field.
5. How many school age children
do you have in your home?
This one is interesting due to the fact that the clear number one answer to
this question was zero! I'll assume that we're spending so much time at our
computers these days, versus socializing, that the population is going down!<smirk>
What would you say are the main uses of your computer?
- ...mostly for email - 18%
- ...mostly for my own home business
work - 12%
- ...mostly for employer business work - 9%
- ...mostly for surfing the web - 15%
- ...mostly for banking and handling
other personal finances - 10%
- ...mostly for family work (photos,
accounting, bills, family records) - 9%
- ...mostly for shopping on the web
- ...mostly for school (research, homework)
- ...mostly for gaming - 4%
...mostly for entertainment (music, movies, DVDs) - 4%
- ...mostly for chatting with friends on the Internet - 3%
- ...mostly for web development (building, running, maintaining web sites)
...other, please explain - 2%
As for other uses, we received comments such as: entering contests,
learning software, club mailings, working with Scouts, personal research,
preparing classes, monitoring newsgroups, and online educational degrees.
There's obviously a lot of learning going on with computers. Whether people
are taking online classes, learning software or learning about themselves
through personal research and information. And it appears that a lot of folks
are figuring out how to use their computers to enhance their own careers
through home businesses. Personally, it always surprises me that...you hear
so much about online chatting...yet that is one of the lowest things people
at least admit to doing while online. These results are pretty much the same
as last year, although it appears that Home Businesses are getting more attention
And it also appears that maybe more folks
are trusting online banking. But that, obviously, concerns me due to
all the banking scams that have been floating around email these days.
If you haven't read my I'm
Mad as Hell article, please do...for your
own education! Personally, I've been banking online for about
8 years now! Yup, my bank was probably one of the first
banks to go online. Their first access was a proprietary DOS based program
that I accessed with my 14.4 modem! Real secure, I'm sure! Things have
greatly improved since those days. Most every bank has online account
access now. In fact, I wrote a personal check the other day for my niece's
birthday and had to confess that I had almost forgotten how to write a check!
Because I do all my check writing through Citibank's online service,
and have for many, many years, I think I hand write a total of 1-2 checks
Do you run an Antivirus program on your PC?
Thankfully, only 7% of the respondents don't know enough to protect their
PCs with an AntiVirus program. Although, you'd think that everyone would
have something running! There are so many free versions out there now, that
there's no reason why anyone should be behind a computer without an antivirus
Someone once complained to me that it was their prerogative as to whether
they want to run antivirus or not. But in truth, if they're part of the Internet
community, they're also putting others in jeopardy! Worse...those others
are usually their friends. I told that person...fine, if you want to be that
foolish, it's up to you. But do me a favor and make sure my email
address isn't in your address book!
8. If yes (we HOPE you do!), which
program/version do you run?
Norton AntiVirus seems
to be in the majority with McAfee a
close second, which is what, I'm sure, we all assumed. AVG runs
a close third, which
is what I use. Probably because they have a terrific free version. Other
names mentioned are: Kaspersky, BitDefender, eTrust InnoculateIt, AVAST, and
ETrust EZ Armor.
9. Did you first install your Antivirus
program because your computer became infected?
Only a very few people said that they resorted to using an AntiVirus program
due to actually getting infected.
10. If yes, and if you remember,
what was the name of the virus that infected your PC?
The virus Stoned was mentioned the most
in those few instances. Although I must say that I did crack up when I read
what one person wrote about what virus infected them...they said: "everything!
(state university)." Yup,
I suppose if you're running a university computer lab, you have lots of fun
11. How often do you update your Antivirus
- I use the automatic definitions installation
feature - 51%
- Daily - 27%
Weekly - 13%
- Sporadically - 4%
- Only when my program reminds
me to do it - 3%
- Monthly - 1%
- I didn't know I was supposed
to update my antivirus! - 1%
- Only when I hear of a new virus warning
It's nice to know that the majority of people out there, well, our readers
who responded, at least, know enough to use the automatic update for their
Although I must admit that I thought I had that setting selected
on my computer, but a reader gently kicked me in the pants not long ago reminding
me to update my antivirus after he noticed that my definitions hadn't been
updated in months! He'd received my monthly TechTrax notice and saw the automatic
notice at the bottom of my email. So I appreciated the fact that he made me
check and correct that issue! If you assume you are running on auto pilot,
you might want to just confirm that fact, too!
As for our 1% of readers who don't realize that they should update their definitions...yes,
you must do this! All antivirus programs use a database of information to
protect you. But your protection is only as good as the current data the
program has available to it. Updated information is constantly available
through the program's web site. So you need to regularly go to the program's
web site and download the latest data to keep your system protected. You
can do this manually or use the auto update feature that, I believe, all
antivirus programs have available.
12. Do you regularly check your
manufacturer's web site for updates for any of these drivers?
- Do not update Print drivers - 23%
- Do not update Video drivers - 22%
- Do not update other drives - 30%
- Do update Print drivers - 10%
- Do update Video drivers - 11%
- Do update other drivers - 4%
The bad news is that few folks bother to update their drivers. I know I can
be guilty of this, too. Again, it's a matter of not worrying about it if
things are going well.
But anyone who works regularly in tech support can tell you that the majority
of flaky problems can be fixed with new drivers.
Did you buy a computer that was originally running Win98 or OfficeXP...or
any other older applications or operating systems...and you've recently upgraded,
but now you're having problems like your screen freezes or things take a
long time to open, close, switch views, etc? You blame the upgrade, right?
Most likely, it's the fact that your older computer is running an outdated
video driver. If you update it, free, from the manufacturer's web site, you'll
most likely discover that your system runs better and errors go away.
Same goes for Print drivers. Do you still have that ancient printer hooked
up to a computer that you've updated with a new system or new application
and you blame the application for not being able to print to the printer?
Did you ever consider the fact that maybe that program was designed to run
with a print driver created in this century?
Although I desperately need to update this article, you'll find some further,
basic information here: Maintaining
As for what other drivers do people update, we received the following comments:
Motherboard, RAID system and BIOS updates, DVD-RW; Digital camera,
scanners, and sound cards.
Although I leave the motherboard and bios update considerations to Greg, yes,
DVD, digital camera, scanner and sound card are also items that you'll want
to check for updates from the manufacturer. Updated drivers not only fix
old problems, but, occasionally, also have cool new features added.
13. Do you regularly check for
and install application service releases and patches?
Well, not a lot of people may bother with driver updates, but it appears that
everyone knows the value of installing a patch or service release!
86% say they regularly install all updates, with only 14% who don't. Why don't
14. If no, you don't regularly
install updates, please tell us why you don't do this:
Well, here are some of the major reasons why some of them don't...
- windows updates screwed up the operating system on one of my computers.
- Never thought to
- Inexcusable neglect
- I forget. I update when something goes amuk or I read about a security patch.
- I do this periodically (ie when I have some spare time that I'm willing to
devote to this task - very rare!) rather than regularly
- Didn't know I was supposed to
- I check -- but don't always install -- because with some patches, the cure
is worth than the disease -- e.g., Microsoft's
draconian Outlook e-mail attachment security "fix."
True, it's easy to forget or to feel you don't have the time. And I know a
lot of people wait for others to be the guinea pig and see if they have
problems before installing it themselves. I've been guilty, myself, of both those
For those of you who forget, know that software developers are getting much
better about designing automatic updates and/or reminders in their software.
Of course, a lot of people also run to shut off those reminders because they
hate being nagged! As for Microsoft, they have web pages that will scan your
system for you and let you know what you're missing. You can use the links below
to check your system.
A lot of software manufacturers are creating this type of site. So be sure
to check to see what other apps you can update from web pages. And if you're
concerned about whether you should update or whether you trust scanning sites
like this, then I'd strongly suggest you read Greg's terrific article: As
the Worm Turns...Your Computer into a Zombie.
What type of Internet connection(s) do you use (or have available to use)
in your home?
- Cable - 41%
- Modem 56.6 - 28%
- DSL - 22%
- Modem 14.4 - 0%
- Wireless - 4%
- T1 - 3%
- Modem 28.8 - 1%
- I do not have an Internet connection
at home. - 1%
- WebTV - 0%
- T3 - 0%
Last year, the majority of users had a 56.6k modem with Cable running a close
second. Again, although these aren't scientific results, I'm sure that it's
still fairly accurate that the tide has shifted and most folks are now taking
advantage of the continually advertised cable services.
For those of you who are using cable, you'll want to check out Vic
Ferri's article: Cable Internet—Are You Being Capped?
And for those web developers out there who are developing all those flash
and eye candy applets on your web sites, you'll want to note that there are
still a big majority of folks who are running 56.6k modems! Heavy pages will
cause potential visitors to bail from your site. So as they say...KISS =
Keep It Simple, Stupid! And remember, more and more blind users are hitting
the Internet every day. They don't care about eye candy, they want good content!
Do you have a home network?
A lot of people now either have set up a home network to share devices such
as Internet access or printers and scanners, or they wish they had this setup.
For those of you still wishing, you might want to read Greg's series of articles
in Computor Companion on
setting up a home network. You can access those articles through this link
18. Do you use a firewall on your Internet
What is upsetting for me to see is the number of Internet users who still
don't know how vital it is to have a firewall protecting them from outside
Do you know that there are tons of people out there who run scanning
devices that search the Internet looking for connected computers that
don't have firewalls? Yup! And when they find one, they know the user
isn't wise enough to know what they are doing...because if they were, they'd
have a firewall!
Maybe you figure it's not important, because you don't keep important, personal
information on your computer. You don't do banking on your computer, so there's
no access cookies on your system that hackers could get to steal your money.
Okay, but did you know that these folks can easily install software onto
your computer without you knowing it. And if you're connected to the Internet
with a 24x7 type access, such as cable or DSL, they can then use your
computer as a zombie system to appear as the source for all kinds of spam?
Or worse...child pornography! They certainly don't want to be shown as the
source for this type of activity! So they find users who don't know what
they are doing and use their computers to ship out their trash. And
when the authorities track down the source—they end up knocking on your door!
Some computer geeks recently ran a test and discovered that it only took about
20 minutes of being online, unprotected, before their system were locked
into by hackers! See this article for details:
will deliver better security any day now.
Don't be a fool...protect yourself from becoming a victim to abuse. There
are lots of free firewalls out there or use the one
in Windows XP, if you
have that version. Note that the new update of Windows XP, SP1 (service pack
1) will have a new Security icon easily accessible in the control panel.
Within this consolidated area you'll be able to easily find important security
settings, including your Firewall, which, I believe, will be turned on by
default. Yea! You can read more about WinXP SP1 here: Windows XP Service
And if you don't understand what a firewall does or want more details about
using one, see Greg's Firewall
article from last month.
19. If you are using a firewall, what
is it's brand? (who makes it?)
As for what firewalls are you using, it appears that the one that comes with
WindowsXP, Zone Alarm and Norton (Symantec) are the most popular. Some of
the different answers we got were:
- Black Ice
- Zone Alarm
- Linksys Router
- Norton Personal Firewall
- draytek vigor200e
- Netopia Router
- Netgear Router
- Netopia R910 VPN Firewall/Router
20. If you do use a firewall, is it
software running on your computer or is it a separate hardware device?
Most of these being software firewalls versus hardware.
21. If you are using Windows 98, 2000
or XP, do you use the Internet Connection Sharing feature to allow other
computers on your network to use the Internet?
Okay, so we don't like to share!
Maybe that's because, as we saw with the kids section, we don't have people
in the house with which to share? Or maybe, we don't want our spouses knowing
what we're doing?
Whatever the reason, only 24% of respondents share devices through home networks.
70% don't share and 6% have no idea what we're talking about!
For those of you who don't understand that you can share devices,
such as everyone making use of that one color printer or connecting your
Internet to one computer and letting everyone else get out that same door,
you might want to check out Greg's home
networking articles for more information.
22. Do you have a scanner?
23. Do you have a color printer?
your computer have a DVD drive?
These were all pretty much the same results and all fairly high. Yes, about
80% of those responding all have scanners, color printers and DVD drives
on their systems these days.
25. Did you buy your PC in order to
do home video/electronic photography?
Alternatively, only 20% of the respondents admit to purchasing their computer
to take advantage of video or photos. I'm sure many more do use it
for that reason, but there's so much to use a computer for these days, I
guess this question isn't as relavant as it was a year ago when we wondered
Of those of you who do use a lot of computer photo equipment, most are using
USB ports, which has become a terrific convenience to use.
27. If you use your PC for video, which software
suite do you use for editing?
As for what programs you're using for video editing,
we see these mentioned:
- Pinnacle Studio
- Serif MoviePlus / Nero 6
- Nova Video Explosion Deluxe 1.5
- Ulead Photo Impact
If you record to DVDs, you might want to check out Greg's
article on that
28. For photography, which software
suite do you use for editing?
When it comes to photo editing, there's, obviously, a bigger list from which
to choose. These are the ones folks listed in our survey, with the most popular
being Adobe PhotoShop and Paint Shop Pro, in that order, followed by (in
no particular order)...
- ACDSee 5
- vivicam/vivitar came with camera
- PhotoShop Elements
- Adobe Elements 2, IrfanView, Kodak EasyShare
- Sarif Photo Suite;Draw and Page, both Sarif
- Canon software (came w/camera)
- Microsoft Picture It
- U-lead Photo Impact, CompuPic
- ArcSoft, ACD Foto Canvas, GIMP 2
- LView Pro and MicroGraphics
29. Do you use a screen reader to assist
you when using your PC?
30. Do you use voice activation to assist
you when using your PC?
31. Do you use any special fonts (enlargements)
or special screen colors to help you view your monitor better?
Across the board, about
20% of the respondents use some type of screen reader, voice activation
or large fonts. I know TechTrax does have a fair amount of readers who have
special needs, such as being blind or physically disabled. And those folks
are using computers more and more each day to access the outside world when
their bodies make it difficult to do it on their own. Computers are opening
up the world to more and more people each day!
32. Do you regularly have to reformat
and style complex MS Word documents created by users who don't know how to
proper use formatting and/or styles?
Wow...lots of folks out there reformatting messes
for other people! And I would like to personally thank all of you
who offered up your email to me by consenting to discuss the problems we
have with formatting these types of documents.
I'm not exactly sure how I plan to query you
further at this point. I was originally thinking of just asking you a series
of questions. Maybe it would be worthwhile to start a user group to discuss
these issues regularly? Although...maybe you folks aren't interested in hashing
over these problems on a regular basis? Guess that should be one of
my first questions?
Whatever we decide, know that I will be in contact
with you all shortly after this issue is published. First to thank you and
then to see how we can best commiserate and whine about those people who
give us their junk to format! "Arrgghh, he used shift+enter at the end
of every line!"<smirk>
34. Have you entered your email requesting
a regular subscription notice from TechTrax?
Now for my favorite part of the survey,
TechTrax!<grin> Turns out 98% of the people who took the survey are already
regular subscribers to TechTrax and, although many have just come on board
over the last year, most have been reading TechTrax for a year or more. Many
since the beginning! I guess that means that most of you who filled out the
survey are our more loyal, lifers? Thanks so much for your vote of confidence!
We love you, too!<smile>
35. Which department in TechTrax do you
think you read the most often (your favorite)?
As for which department you like best in TechTrax,
it's obvious that most folks find the Office department the most useful,
as it does cover so many applications. But it's also great to see that so
many of you love it all!
- Microsoft Office - 35%
- I read the entire issue each month
- Operating Systems - 10%
- Technology - 5%
- Escapes - 4%
- Welcome (opening page) - 3%
- Accessibility - 2%
Assessment Tests - 2%
Cool Web Sites - 2%
Feedback to TechTrax - 2%
The Soapbox! - 2%
Using the Internet - 2%
Web Development - 1%
36. Have you ever taken any TechTrax
As for my own curiosity, it turns out that about 20% of you have taken an
assessment test. Wanna bet most of you took the Valentine's
37. What programs or technologies
do you wish you had time to learn?
This question is always interesting. And yes, we do try to help you out by
finding folks who can teach you about the things you want to know more about.
Last year folks said they wanted to learn more about web development and
programming...and we were lucky enough to find folks like Aaron
Forbes and David
Bartosik to teach you more about web development, as well as folks
Blake and now Matt
Billock to show you all types of ways to program solutions.
So let's see what types of major things you want to learn now...
- Web site building
- Java, VB, VBA
- Object Orieented Programming & Linux
- Graphics Programs
- ASP, WIndows networking, Windows 2000 server administration
- Excel, VBA, XML, programming
- VB, Visual C++, Access Excel (last two I know a bit but would love
- MS Excel Formulas
- Frontpage (or Web design)
- Remote desktop
- XML, XSLT, ASP
- Visual C#
- Flash, more about Photoshop
- Photoshop, Qarbon Viewlet Builder,
- All the Office programs in detail rather than superficially.
- Publication design, Illustrator, can't figure out resolution issues
- MySQL, XML
- Dreamweaver / Flash
- Digital photography
- Project Server, etc..
- PowerPoint, Excel, ezines and ebooks
- Programming Web Services, and interacting with them via Microsoft
- C, C++, .NET, ASP, PHP
- Digital video
- MS Office
Alright now...allow me to comment on some of these items.
First, to the people who want to learn MS Office...where the heck have you
been? Click the TechTrax
Archive button above and choose MS Office as the
department to see all the articles we have there. We've been teaching you
office apps in hundreds of articles for two years!<smile> And if you
need help with Office problems, Linda
Johnson runs a
user support group! Also notice the Training button above in TechTrax.
There you can find alternative resources for more formal learning.
And for those of you wanting to learn VBA...well, did you realize
Thorpe has been teaching Excel VBA for what, 4-5 months
now? And he's a great teacher...he taught me when we worked together!
So get your butt over to his articles and start learning! If numbers aren't
your thing, I have a Word
AutoForms and Beginning VBA course available
in many formats, including many
free lessons that you can find on MouseTrax.com.
I also have a free Word
VBA user group that consists of about 300 terrific
people who enjoy helping each other learn. And Ray
Blake has been showing
lots of Access code, as well as David
Horowitz who has been dealing with
some Word and Outlook coding.
For you admin types who want to learn more about servers, be sure to check
out articles by Greg
Chapman and Dennis
Roche. Granted, most of those articles are more for the established admin
versus the newbie trying to learn. But maybe we can whine a little and get
them...or some talented admin out there<hint, hint>...to write some more
basic network/server articles to teach we weenies who want to learn (me included!).
As for those of you who are interested in VBA/ADO, ASP/ADO and Dreamweaver/Web
Site development...all I can tell you at this point is that one of the reasons
that I'm taking a few months away from TechTrax is because I'm working on
courses for each of these three subjects. The VBA/ADO course will be
first...linking AutoForms to Databases. But I hope to get them all out in
the next couple months. You can keep an eye on my TechCourses page for details.
But I'll announce it when I do finally get them all out of my head...where
they are currently nagging at me!
Quite a few of you mentioned you wanted to learn QuickBooks. Well, good news.
I work with a guy who knows the program quite well. He's a little off the
wall<smirk>, but fun and quite quick witted. Luke Rush joins our team
this month with a tease to let you know that he promises to be back in September
to start a series of lessons on QuickBooks.
And Danielle Teska, a wonderful artist and recent college graduate also joins
us this month. She will be teaching you graphic design. In fact, she's currently
getting more training at a big publishing house in New York. But she'll be
back here in September to show you how to use programs like Photoshop.
And on the MVP side of things, we've also just picked up Terri
knows all about Tablet PCs and those aspects of mobile computing. Personally,
I'm on the edge of purchasing myself a Tablet PC...I just don't know enough
about them. So I know I'm very excited about having Terri join us so I can
learn all about this very cool new technology...that we'll all be using in
the near future, I'm sure!
As for all the other items, like C++, .NET, PHP, et al...maybe we'll get lucky
and someone out there reading this happens to be skilled in these areas and
would like to share his/her knowledge with us all by joining the TechTrax
team to begin writing lessons in those subjects? If you think you would like
to become a TechTrax author, click the Feedback button
above and let me know. We're all volunteers here, so you won't get paid...but
we'll make you famous!<wink>
38. Please tell us what you think is
the BEST thing about using computers:
39. Please tell us what you think is
the WORST thing about using computers:
These questions can be fairly obvious to many
of us. Learning—good, spam—bad! But beyond my Young Frankenstein
impersonation, I look for some of the more interesting, insightful and intriguing
answers. Last year I was quite moved by a quadriplegic who uses computers
to bring the world to him. Someone, who I believe is still a subscriber?
There are many comments I could make about
many of the comments below...but I'll leave them to your enjoyment. Although,
I do find it interesting that you find so many of the same things under the
good and bad categories, including porn! So as someone recently said to me...it's
a matter of relativity!
- The leisure time freed up by having a device that can perform
most menial-labor tasks for us
- You can research any subject
- it's made the world seem a lot smaller, since talking to
someone half a world away is only as far away as a few
mouse-clicks and keystrokes.
- Making life easier
- Access to information 24/7; handles repetitive stuff easily
- They keep me employed.
- Getting and editing your work faster and BETTER. And by
not using up pencils, Think of the tree's we've saved!<g>
- Makes a career out of a hobby.
- Bank account access
- The ability to communicate and solve problems with people
from all over the world.
- It beats the h*ll out of pen and paper. Anyone who ever drew
and revised flowcharts by hand knows exactly what I mean!
- Free Porn
- The ability to keep track of my schedule! I'm lost without
having access to my scheduler. It keeps track of things long
after I've forgotten - handy that way.
- I don't have to write with a pen.
- More rewarding than TV;
- They can do ANYTHING! Just wish I could be as smart...
But wait! I AM just as smart 'cuz I'm the one making that
computer do anything! Cool.
- I love to puzzle and that what it is all about
- On a personal level it's because it's made it easier to keep in
touch with family and friends with email and instant
- the challenge of figuring out why it won't do what I want
- Research tool - I no longer subscribe to magazines. I do take
a few that are offered free and sent to my work.
- I tend to focus on what it is doing rather than making it part
- Microsoft's "we know what's best for you" attitude in its
- Being regarded as a computer expert by the rest of the family
and having to spend ages sorting out their mistakes or
- Porn on the internet
- Cost of software
- Time waster
- when it doen's boot or a window's system file becomes
corrupt or lost and you have to format and clean install to get
it up and running again.
- This is largely a philosophical viewpoint, but arguably the
increase in leisure time may be the worst side effect of the
computer. The increase in free time actually puts more stress
on the owner as they try to find things to fill up this new
time, and they end up stressed and high-strung.
- sitting at desk all day
- Security concerns
- they're time-wasters. I hardly ever re-typed or re-formatted a
typewritten letter. Now, because I can... I do...
- You can spend to much time researching any subject
- You don't think anymore all you do is let the compter do it,
also it is very addictive
- The WWW (World Wide Wait)
- a million diversions
- Microsoft no being open source so the REAL brains of the
world could seriously patch up the "Holes" in the operating
system. I don't think it will be four months before a "Hole
that need patching" will show up when Longhorn is released.
I'm guessing next decade! 2010
- Network administrators
- Typing, but I have not found voice recognition very helpful.
- Having to waste time on protecting it and getting rid of spam.
- Powerpoint (scourge of the modern world, and source of all
- a million emails a day
- All those wires snaking all over my table. Yeah, yeah, I
could go wireless--when I win the lottery.
- Driver support from manufacturers that don't care, and the
price of software (That's why mostly FOSS is good for me).
I just wish the microsoft OS line were more affordable for the
people who don't need to pay a car payment worth just to use
- The worse thing about using computers are the fact that you
have to be very careful about where you go on the internet.
There are so many people out there who would gladly use
- Probable detriment to eyesight.
- Dealing with people who refuse to master computer
- Crackers, those idiots with nothing better to do than to try to
infect our computers with viruses.
- The on-slaught of viruses and how some pass them on
because they need to educate themselves on how to protect
- Reliablity of operation - they are always breaking down!
Why? "It was working yesterday" "I haven't changed
anything" "It has crashed" "It just freezes" "My
locked up" etc etc etc etc ................................... I am a
support engineer, did you guess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
now...for the Million Dollar Questions!
But first, a personal comment as a developer and support professional...while
you read these comments, many of which are conflicting...think about what
YOU would do if you were responsible for these issues...how would you solve
One side wants more features...another wants less bloat. One wants things
to work more automatically by default...another complains that MS is
too controlling because there are too many automatic defaults! And everyone
wants the developers to work harder to make the products even better...but
everyone also wants it all to cost a lot less!
What's a mother to do!
40a. What I would like to see
changed, related to Microsoft is:
(Note, again there
are lots of similar answers, so I'm picking a few either one of the majority
or some of the more usual items to post here.)
- Microsoft Excel
- Being able to change the default save location in OUTLOOK
instead of having to use My Documents
- Easier integration with other programs
- Making their products more affordable
- more stable browser
- Caps Lock
- Complete Reveal Codes
- Reduce vulnerbility to viruses!
- better integration of the products.
- Powerpoint - Make it easier to change templates for
- I would like to see Word become more like WordPerfect.
- Old documents get confused by retained hidden coding. I
would like to see them remove and replace old coding rather
than allowing the old coding to remain in the background to
sneak out when it so desires.
- Office, the Taskpane removed
- not responsive to user needs
- Visual Studio .NET
- All products, improve reliability and security
- easier registry management
- HELP FILES are getting less intuitive
- Smart Tags
- Better tutorials
- Nothing specific
- One program for spreadsheets, word processor, databases, e-mail, etc
- I am pleased with Microsoft Products. I have been a
Microsoft fan for many years and they seem to keep getting
- Get rid of the drawing canvas
40b. Give a BRIEF description of how
you'd like to see this item changed:
(Note...many of these specific comments about things that should be fixed
to work in these apps, ARE things that do work or were fixed! So if you don't
see your comments here, I'd suggest you ask about these issues in a user group
or through TechTrax Feedback, because many of the answers are out there, you
just need help finding them. Sorry I don't have the time/space to be more specific
- Making their products less expensive
- I'd like them to lower the price, especially of their
development tools like Visual Studio.Net.
- Consistency in short cut keys
- Finish the job of software development before release - it like
cars - send them to the market and let the new owner
discover the bugs,
- I'd like a more open licensing scheme. The current scheme
in place from Microsoft assumes guilt on the part of the user,
which is unconstitutional regardless of how true it may be for
- sorry. I am quite happy with these products
- No clue. I now know enough about the computer to be
- BETTER SECURITY
- make them cheaper. I live In Israel and it is a fortune to buy
each time their is a major update and you know the new
- I'm all for open software, but MS directories should NOT be
open to other software writers to add/overwrite their own
- All third party software/drivers etc should be placed
elsewhere. Likewise with the registry. This way, you would have a definitive
Windows, which would be easier to maintain.
- I'm fed up with bad software/programming, that leaves its
garbage all over my PC.
- That all Office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint,
Access, Outlook) have a more consistent object model and
ease of data exchange.
- I would like to see a 'novice' template user activated in each
program, with simplified tool bars, menus and only one way
to do stuff. Yeah, right.....
- I would like to see updates that work ... not just a bandaid
approach to patching holes all the time. Oftentime one patch
destroys another function in the program. Then you need
another patch to fix that ...
It seems to me that Bill Gates has the money to put out a
- I have exactly what I need from every Microsoft product.
- More consistency across products. Easier navigation. Easier
- Here's my pet peeve: in Excel to perform a find/replace it's
ALT/E, ALT/F, ALT/R, ALT/A... in Word it's ALT/E,
ALT/F, ALT/P, ALT/I - it's like the guys at the Microsoft
office don't speak with each other. That ought to change.
- Licensing of individual copies is too cumbersome.
Requirement to call MS in the event of a hard drive loss a
needless intrusion. MS too controlling.
- I believe my biggest gripe about Microsoft is the way they
try to "help" the user with things that are maddening to
someone with at least a basic level of proficiency. Examples:
the adaptive drop-down menus, that disgusting paper clip
monster, and automatic hot links. Remember, these are just
some examples. I know how to get around these and most
others. What bothers me is the attitude that Microsoft's
software will have (or even default to) things that,
collectively at least, are aimed at people who are barely able
to function with a computer. Worse yet, most of these assists
are either annoyingly cute or are more hindrance than help.
- They need to make using a Windows OS or the applications
safe and secure WITHOUT my intervention. all i have to do
to drive a car safely is fill it with gas, change the oil and
otehr fluid, get it tuned up occasionally, and wear my
seatbelt. Computers need the same ease of upkeep.
- Microsoft seems to be forgetting that there are still LOTS of
people needing help. Help files do not tell the whole picure.
For instance, I went searching for a listing of MergeFormats
and can not find a conclusive listing.
- Improved integration with Excel. Many Slide decks that I
build are based on excel spreadsheets, but importing those
sheets directly to Powerpoint results in (at best) a cheezy-
looking spreadsheet-on-slide presentation, and at worst
completely garbles the data. I'd like to give a presentation a"powerpoint" look, with "excel" power behind it.
- I love smart tags and wish they were even more available in
Accross apps is the key here.
- Get rid of those stupid smart tags once and for all.
- I find the built in and on-line Help difficult to use. More
robust examples of how and when to use certain advanced
features would be appreciated.
- How do you perform survival maintenance on old systems
(say, my mom's WIN 98)? Microsoft seems to have left
Windows Update by the wayside.
- I would like to see more "Step-by-Step" enhanced tutorials
included with the programs.
- Make Word more stable, and give us the ability to remove list
templates from the docs.
- Microsoft has at least acknowledged security should be a
priority. They have been doing a good job of realizing that,
but need to do better. Thier OS should install secure by
default. It keeps getting better, but I still do not understand
why they put a firewall in Windows XP but did not turn it
on by default. I would be willing to bet most users did not
even know it was there. They are working hard at increasing
their own security and the awareness of their users. They
need to keep at it.
- It should be altered to allow computer users the freedom to
set up their own computers to do what they want them to do.
NOT as MS people think it shoud be.
Also include applications that can talk to each other half-way
decently and put all data files in one location instead of a
host of locations. Address books are data, e-mail is data, etc.
- I'd like the spell/ grammer check tho be truly British
English, rather than the mish-mash currently in use which
frequently makes little or no sense.
- I would like to see Same as Previous turned off as the default.
Small, but I am overwhelmed with this question and lack
in time to sufficiently respond.
- I would like to see a task wizard or something that walks the
user step by step through the process of creating a template.
Kind of a template for a template type thing.
- NO ACTIVATION
- I would like Microsoft to make it easier to find SELF help.
Sometimes, an error as it displays on the screen is not
searchable in the MS Knowledge Base. Often, logical
expressions don't return desired results. Cryptic error
messages don't always provide clues as to what's going on.
- Overall, best thing Microsoft could do would be to reliably
develop and release secure, bug-free product rollouts. The
parade and quality of patches we have today is absurd. Some
days, I'm tempted to wipe the box clean and not re-install
any of them.
That's all folks! Hope you found something in here either useful or thought