Microsoft and the Next Fix Problem

July 11, 2022

I spotted a now routine story about a bug in Microsoft’s software. The story “Windows 11’s ‘Resolved’ Outlook Search Bug Resurfaces: When’s the Next Fix?” reveals a key insight into the software giant’s technical method.

I noted this statement in the article about an issue with search functionality in the Outlook email program, one of the original landscape apps which are pretty much orthogonal to the mobile phone’s display:

When doing a search in Outlook on Windows 11 PCs, the email program sometimes fails to provide results relevant to recent messages…

Yep, search. Microsoft. Not working.

But the important facet of the story appears in the story headline; specifically, “When’s the next fix?”

The Microsoft softies have experienced many issues with search and retrieval. Unlike Elizabeth Barrett Browning, I shall not count the ways. However, I will point out that there is now a fatalism about Microsoft. Stuff goes wrong. Microsoft attempts to fix the problem. Then the problem comes back

Whether it is the outstanding security systems or the brilliance of Word’s fascinating approach to automatic numbering, fixes beget more fixes.

So here we are: Unfixable code, persistent issues, and a giant theme park of opportunities for people to make bad decisions, waste time, and hunt for security flaws.

Yep, next fix. Working11ood. Which time is the charm? Third, fourth, nth? Is there a macro for excellence? Wait, let’s roll that macro thing back.

Stephen E Arnold, July 11, 2022


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