Gates vented frustration with Windows in 2003 e-mail


— 3:18 PM on June 25, 2008

Even Bill Gates isn't immune to a bout of frustration over Windows' sometimes convoluted design. As Gates prepares to retire from the company he co-founded in 1975, Seattle PI has unearthed an interesting e-mail from one the antitrust suits against Microsoft. Dated January 15, 2003, the e-mail includes a long rant Gates wrote to then-Windows chief Jim Allchin about the ease of use of Windows XP.

Gates open his message by saying, "I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don't drive usability issues." He then goes into detail his attempt to install Windows Movie Maker with the Digital Plus Pack, which apparently involved a labyrinthine trip through Microsoft.com and a long installation process that wreaked havoc on Gates' Start menu. The rant includes gems like, "In fact [finding a download link for Movie Maker] is more like a puzzle that you get to solve," and "These . . . names are totally confusing. These names make stuff like: C:\Documents and Settings\billg\My Documents\My Pictures seem clear."

Hit up Seattle PI for the full e-mail. Amusingly, Gates said of the e-mail last week, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."

 
   
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