MS Windows is so insidious because it frames most people's view of the digital world. And it has lots of deliberate smudges that colour that view in unfortunate ways, creating (and dashing) expectations (and learned helplessness) that aren't to anyone's benefit other than Microsoft's...

Microsoft are quite despicable. Look at email.connectingup.org/t/i-e-c - this is the web view of an email I just got from 'Techsoup', who exist to addict non-profits to MSFT proprietary software (offering 'donated' MSFT software at 'almost free' prices, so NGOs don't adopt instead)... and now MSFT, having addicted them, are jacking up the price and forcing them to switch to subscription pricing. Yuck.

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A couple years back, the charitable foundation I work for took up MSFT's donation programme for Azure-based hosting (they gave us a USD 5k 'credit' for hosting services for a year). Azure was demonstrably less capable, needlessly complex, & uninformative compared to other cloud providers we were using alongside it. When our 'credit' ran out (Azure doesn't tell you how much you've spent on their dashboard - that's an extra $$ service), turned out our instance was costing USD600ish/month 1/2

Rather than risk having to pay for that again in future, with all the issues we were having (did you know that Azure Linux instances don't support Websockets by default?), we migrated our Azure instance to a higher spec DigitalOcean droplet... costing USD 40/month. Yes, something like 1/15th the cost. We haven't regretted the move for an instant. We similarly ditched AWS, with massive productivity gains & substantial cost reductions. I can't believe businesses use either of those services. 2/2

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