The World’s Stupidest Troll

Today, I got yet another piece of hate mail from yet another idiot. This is an occupational hazard for a tech journalist, and normally I just hit the delete key. But this one was just too good not to share.

It was filled with the usual gibberish about Microsoft, and it included this paragraph as the key piece of evidence for my inability to be impartial about Microsoft:

It was extremely funny to read what you were saying about Windows Home Server 2011. They ditched the [Drive Extender]technology but as the public’s biggest advocate, you decided to grab your tail and run to the keyboard to praise it instead.

It took me a few minutes to stop laughing. I mean, of all the examples to choose, this had to be one of the most unintentionally funny.

I remember that episode well. It took me only a a few seconds to find the post, titled "How Microsoft can clean up the mess in its home and small business server business."

And here’s how that post started (I’ve boldfaced the good stuff):

If you want your customers to trust you, don’t lie to them.

That sounds like common sense, the kind of stuff you should learn in the first semester of business school, but apparently someone up in Redmond skipped that lecture. And boy, are they paying for it now.

Last week, Microsoft announced its decision to discontinue development of one of the core features of Windows Home Server, a technology called Drive Extender. I won’t rehash the details here. You can get an overview in this post from my colleague Mary Jo Foley and get more technical details in this thorough explanation from Peter Bright at Ars Technica.

Instead, I want to talk about how Microsoft delivered the bad news, and how in a matter of hours they destroyed their relationship with a large and loyal customer base.

Later in the post, I referred to Microsoft’s blog post announcing its decision as "a masterpiece of corporate muddlespeak."

In the middle of my post, I noted that "I spent 30 minutes on the phone with [a Microsoft product manager] last week, in a tense interview that I’m sure was as uncomfortable for him as it was for me." I remember that interview well. I asked a lot of tough questions and interrupted the Microsoft spokesperson repeatedly when he was refusing to answer difficult questions and was simply trying to spin the answers. It wasn’t a fun interview, but I got the answers my readers were looking for.

And here’s how that post ends, with my advice to Microsoft:

Finally, start telling the truth. The whole truth. Everyone knows there are issues with the new Drive Extender technology. Acknowledge them openly instead of trying to hide them under a bunch of doubletalk. Microsoft owes no less than that to the customers who’ve stuck with them for all these years.

So, let’s review: I accused Microsoft, publicly, of issuing doubletalk. I started the damn post by calling the company out for lying to its users.

And yet this idiot remembers how I "ran to the keyboard to praise" Microsoft on this issue.

He closes with this piece of advice (after, of course, calling me a "Microsoft tool" with "no professional journalistic integrity"):

I hope you do your due diligence next time to write and base your decisions with a modicum of integrity instead of letting Microsoft spoon-feed you information that may or not be true.

Sir, I pronounce you World’s Stupidest Troll. It will take a special effort to dislodge you from that lofty perch.

3 thoughts on “The World’s Stupidest Troll

  1. My favorite trolls are the one’s that ask you to “prove it”, when they know very well how to use Google just as much as you do. Not on new or really complicated topics, as those do require some evidence of proof that may not be easily available. But on simple items of easily obtained data.

  2. Ha ha, Ed. There aren’t a lot of folks out there who I would link with objectivity, but you are one of the few.

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