The worst tech columnist in the world

I don’t normally like to reward really incompetent writers with traffic, but sometimes you just have to stop, point, and laugh.

Ladies and gentlemen, this article was published by Inc. magazine, which has been around for more than 30 years and bills itself as “the premier print publication for entrepreneurs and business owners.”

Why the Microsoft Surface is Doomed

Here’s the short version: Guy gets a rootkit virus on his Windows 7 PC. Pays $99 to Avast to remove it. Decides that this means DOOM for Windows RT.

Both the Microsoft support technician and the support technician from the anti-virus company Avast told me that “there is no way that any anti-virus program can completely protect your computer.”

Actually, I knew this already because I used to work in an operating system development group. One thing I learned back then is that any OS that allows applications to modify the OS will be inherently unstable and insecure.

Since Windows is designed to allow that to happen, both computer viruses and the gradual “rot” of the software installed on a Windows system are both inevitable. There is no way to fix the problem because it’s inherent in Windows’s design.

I’m assuming that when he used to “work in an operating system development group” his job duties primarily consisted of making coffee and emptying the trash.

Because, you know, all modern desktop operating systems (Linux, OS X, Windows) allow applications to modify the OS.

What’s refreshing is that the commenters on this insane load of drivel are handing this guy his proverbial hat. Reminding him that Windows RT is a completely different architecture and that it is basically immune to the current crop of Windows viruses. They would have to be recompiled for ARM and then would have no way to get on the system, because the Surface RT only allows users to install apps from the Windows Store.

They’re so brutally accurate, in fact, that the author felt compelled to add this update:

Just to clarify, I’m well aware that Windows RT is based on ARM architecture and that the stability and security problems with the mainstream Windows operating system may not recur in that environment.

However, in order to be viable as a new tablet architecture, the Surface will need to quickly attract a plethora of apps.  Microsoft’s plan to make that happen crutches on compatibility between the tablet-like layer atop Windows 8 and the Surface’s OS.

There is no question in my mind that Windows 8 will continue to be unstable and insecure because it’s part of the architecture and the addition of the tablet-like interface will make supporting Windows even more Byzantine.

That, my friends, is world-class gibberish.

PS: I would include the author’s Twitter handle, so you could make fun of him there, but as a commenter correctly notes:

Your Twitter feed speaks VOLUMES about what a hack you are. I can just imagine how many of your followers you PAID FOR considering you don’t actually engage with anyone and simply spew links to your latest silliness you call “writing”. Amazing.

Meanwhile, I checked at the magazine’s website and was relieved to find out that “Inc. permits links to the Web site.”


Update: More comedy gold as the author dives into the comments to defend himself. Sample quotes: “Think, people!” and “I can program in assembly language. Can you?” But this one out-gibberishes all previous gibberish:

No, but it does mean that I understand what an ARM architecture is. I was also the EDA columnist for Electronic Business magazine for several years. However, I’m sure that you can’t possibly conceive of the idea that somebody who writes about sales can’t possibly be technically competent. Even though sales is the heart and soul of the business world.

Do not think about that last sentence for too long. If you do, I am not responsible when your head explodes.

Also, I might have missed the best part: The subhead, which reads “Why you should think twice about betting your business on Microsoft’s new device.”

People are betting their businesses on this thing? Who knew?

[Update 2, the next morning]

I loved this comment:

First Name Last Name commented:

Everyone has covered the RT vs. Windows 8 thing, so I will leave that alone. I will, however, take issue with “Even if the Surface were the Ferrari of tablet environments (which it’s not) overlaying an extra user interface atop Windows is like bolting a Ferrari body to the rusted out chassis of a 1985 Pontiac.”

There is the obvious problem of attacing a (late model, I assume) Ferrari body onto an generic 1985 Pontiac chassis. If you are going to make a statement like this, you need to be more specific. Pontiac produced no fewer than nine unique models for the 1985 model year while Ferarri currently produces three road models. That leads to 729 different possibilities of Ferarri-on-Pontiac creations, which is too many. I am partial to the 458 Italia body on the 1000 hatchback, FYI.

There’s more, and the punch line is worth reading the whole thing.

Belated hat tip to Neowin for flagging the original post.

5 thoughts on “The worst tech columnist in the world

  1. Thanks for reporting on this. My mind is still reeling from reading the original article. I can’t believe the sheer lack of journalistic integrity in a flame piece like that from such an uninformed point of view. Way to go for calling him on this.

  2. Wait Ed, you forgot this gem:

    “The question is how long are people willing to tolerate the complexity of mainstream Windows when there are better alternatives. This is a problem that the Surface does not really address, which is why I believe it’s doomed.”

    I personally think he should get the Red Herring award for, The most logical fallacies in a single piece category. Maybe even the, writer posing as a knowledgable source award….

  3. I loved where he states he’s “part of an operating system development group”. Yet he doesn’t know how to remove a root kit. Priceless.

  4. Bravo!! Spot on. This guy definitely has a hard-on for Microsoft. The problem with articles like that is that the sheer level of venom masks any valid points the author may make. Of course, the author ignores a smashing success like the X-Box and Kinect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s