Have you ever used the search “feature” on Windows 10? It is all kinds of bad. For example, I have “Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio” installed and it is in the start menu but type “sql” and you get nothing! It actually makes me quite angry that a company that makes billions off of millions of customers can have something so broken in-place for so long. Maybe if I type “Microsoft” it might find it but why? I don’t think it is called than, in my head it is SSMS or “SQL Server Management Studio”. Also, Microsoft has loads of products and I have around 40 installed on my machine so typing Microsoft is no good. On one machine, I typed “update”. No results. Que? I looked through and sure enough, there was Windows Update. Bad, bad, bad. Don’t even start me on Cortana. MS think it is powerful and AI and whatever, it is garbage and just confuses me, sometimes I have to keep pressing escape until I can get back to the start menu that is exactly a menu and I know what is happening.

A similar issue exists in Visual Studio and although I can’t work out whether it is caused by background stuff churning away, it makes the search for a solution really slow. The default screen is the search box, and that would be really useful, if it worked. Type in “Surveys”, one of my solutions and you can sometimes wait 20 seconds! Yes. 20 seconds for a local search of probably no more than 50 recent files, if that. You could probably use literally any method for searching those in code and would struggle to make it take longer than 100mS, so why is it so bad?

Why does it make me angry?

Because a massive company who enmploys 10s of thousands of people and judging by the way some of them talk on github, they are not stupid or shy. So how does somebody create either of these “features” when they are absolute junk? Who releases a search box that takes 10 times longer than browsing the file system? If it really is held-up by background processes then fix that problem first - defer them, make them take less resources, make them block less, whatever. Same for Windows search. You might prefer results that start with something or that are an exact match but how can search for SQL not find something with SQL in the name? I would say that the feature is worthless, it is shameful even that not only was it released, that all these years later, it still doesn’t work. Noone at Microsoft has managed to work out why it is broken or they don’t care after charging you upwards of $100 for a licence.

These aren’t just annoyances (and to be clear, they are not the only guilty party) but they actually erode trust and respect for a supplier. In mind, there are so many examples of MS just not doing their job properly or where their response is “just upgrade” that if a decent alternative arrives, I, along with many others I expect, will simply jump ship. What is it that people often say about paying over the odds for Apple products? “They just work”. I don’t fully agree but there is something that feels much more like you don’t get to release crap, you would rather keep a quite dated UI that hasn’t added much functionality over the years because you know it works.

After everything, Microsoft then start touting Windows 11. Why should I upgrade when Windows 10 still has all these bugs? What happens when I upgrade? Some things might be fixed but there is a massive chance that even more things will get broken and then “just upgrade to Windows 12”.

Come on Microsoft, come on everyone. Don’t despise the small features, the everyday things that either make people say, “I love this software”, or make them get angry and punch the watercooler. If it’s the second, they won’t be your customers for long.