Since switching to Mac OS over a year and a half ago, I have been in hog heaven. Truly. Almost every day I’m reminded of just how elegant and, dare I say, FUN it is to actually work. I’m not kidding, it’s a true joy and I’m reminded of this nearly daily because I also work in Windows every day and I’m reminded of just how painful computing can be on the other side.

A good portion of my day involves network management and I use a wonderful little tool called Remote Desktop to manage the many Windows servers I’m responsible for. RDP is primarily a Windows program, but, thankfully, Microsoft has Mac Version as well. I’ve been using the beta version of RDP 2.0 for quite awhile now and it’s performed quite well. I use it on a daily basis and can report no real problems with it. Well, that was until recently.

About a week ago, I was prompted with the following dialog box when I launched RDP:


Updating software on the Mac is a fairly common experience and it’s rather quick and easy so there was no reason for alarm. I selected the button “Download Latest Version” and was directed to the Mactopia site, which is Microsoft’s Apple Software section, and it was with this one click that the “Microsoft Experience” kicked in.

  1. Instead of taking me to a page dedicated to Remote Desktop, or even directly to the download file itself, I was taken to the Mactopia home page. “Hmm… oooook.”
  2. Left to my own devices, I had to search for what I was looking for until I found the link in the navigation for the Remote Desktop page.
  3. Once on that page, I then had to find the link to download the latest version and select it.
  4. That link sent me to the bottom of a new page which showed me another link to actually download the file. Of course that was after I figured out what the heck I was looking at.
  5. After waiting for the download to start for about 30 seconds with nothing happening, I click the link again… and again…
  6. I refresh the page and it’s then that I see that there’s a “Details” window that’s changing. So I click the link again, see that this small window in the bottom right corner of the page is providing me with details on the download.
  7. I scroll several pages of details until I find the actual download link at the bottom of the iframe window and click that bastard.
  8. The file finally downloads

But Wait… There’s More
After all that hullaballo, the file is finally on my hard drive and I go through the install routine to update the program. I relaunch RDP and I’m surprised to find that the same dialog pops up. “What the?!” Starting the process AGAIN I read the RDP page more closely and see in the sidebar the following:


I had to read that sidebar a couple of times to make sure that I understood it, but what I read was correct. After a convoluted 8-step process just to download the program and then go through the install routine, I learn that there was no need to do all that. Microsoft HASN’T actually released an update and not only that, they have no real indication when it will be ready. Just sometime in the next two months. And just to add insult to injury, instead of releasing an interim program with a revised expiration date, you’d prefer that I see this damn nuisance screen 800 times a day until you get around to releasing a new version.

W o w .

This is yet another example of where the user experience leaves me wondering “I’m I the first person to do this?” So much of what I do with Microsoft products leaves me feeling like I’m the first person to even try a product, much less run into a problem. This one thing may seem small from your side of the fence, but since switching to Mac OS, I have less and less of this kind of problem. When the “Microsoft Experience” rears its ugly head, it’s now it’s pulling from a deep, deep well of past pain and suffering.

I guess I’ll just have to wait until Microsoft releases an update in a month or two and just do what Microsoft suggests and dismiss the update button. Question is, how will know that there’s been an update if I’m ignoring Microsoft’s own update notifier?

Bunch of ass-hats.