Another day, another rant at Microsoft…
Christmas is coming, so the Christmas Card production line has started here at the Witte Wand. We’ve got about 100 cards to send out to friends and family each year, and I use mailing labels to save a bit of time, rather than addressing each envelope by hand. My everyday printer is an Canon inkjet printer, but because I want waterproof labels, I prefer to print them on my trusty (20 year-old) HP Laserjet 5/5MP printer.
So I duly fired up the printer, opened the Word document containing the mailing labels and attempted to print them. Nothing happened, apart from Windows 10 giving me a singularly unhelpful error message: “Printer in an error state”. The printer was fine, a selftest worked as expected, but Windows was insisting that there was an error. After some further detective work I discover that the cause of the problem is not the printer, nor the printer driver, but the Windows 10 software driver for the LPT (parallel) port.
It turns out that the November update to Windows 10, to bring it up to the latest version of Windows 10 (version 1511), has a brand new version of the driver for the LPT port – and it doesn’t bloody well work.
Apparently, one of the first things that Satya Nadella did on becoming the new CEO of Microsoft, was to let go a large portion of testers in favour of the programmers doing their own testing. While I’m sure that this saved Microsoft a chunk of money, did no-one bother to point out to Nadella that programmers do not always make good testers? Testing is a skill in its own right, and often programmers will miss bugs in their own code because they are too close to it.
It seems to me that the end result is that Windows 10 was released in July both buggy and incomplete, and now with the November update, we, the customers, have a brand new batch of bugs to deal with.
I am not a happy bunny at the moment.
Addendum 2 March 2016: Well, three months after Microsoft broke the LPT driver, it appears that they have finally fixed it. No apologies, and no acknowledgement from Microsoft that there ever was a problem until this one sentence announcement buried away in the Microsoft Answers forum. Bad show, Microsoft, bad show.