The Best and Worst Microsoft Products

 
 
By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-06-24
 
 
 

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products

By eWEEK Labs

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Best Products

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Best Products

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Active Server Pages

1. Active Server Pages



Though Microsoft was, in some ways, late to the Web party, Active Server Pages was a strong entrant into the server-side scripting arena that came to dominate Web applications. Developers found ASP easy to use and flexible, and, for its time, it was a strong performer.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Active Server Pages

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Exchange Server 2003

2. Exchange Server 2003



Exchange Server 2003 was characterized by simplified management, better support for third-party security plug-ins and new server-side ActiveSync support. Everyone used it, and few complained much about it-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Exchange Server 2003

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Office 97

3. Office 97



Office 97-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Office 97

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - OneNote

4. OneNote



OneNote-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - OneNote

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Visual Studio .NET

5. Visual Studio .NET



Recognizing that the Web was changing the way applications were developed, Microsoft decided to change its flagship development platform to meet the needs of this new age. Visual Studio .NET took a Web-centric approach and launched new coding ideas that helped maintain the company-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Visual Studio .NET

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows 2000

6. Windows 2000



Windows 2000 managed to increase system stability and ease configuration by pulling together features from the enterprise Windows NT line (the kernel) and from the consumer line (full 32-bit and plug-and-play support). While Windows 2000 proved full of holes over time, the operating system was a major leap forward for business customers on both the server and desktop sides.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows 2000

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Powershell

7. Windows Powershell



Even though Windows was born from DOS, its command line has been weak when compared with Linux and Unix competitors. With Powershell, Microsoft brought a powerful command line back to Windows, providing developers and Windows enthusiasts with a robust new way to control their Windows systems.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Powershell

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Server 2003

8. Windows Server 2003



With the many security headaches caused by Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft realized that it had to make big changes to regain the trust of IT administrators. Windows Server 2003 took a much stricter approach to security than 2000, with most services turned off rather than on by default. As a result, Windows Server 2003 has proven to be a very stable and secure server platform.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Server 2003

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - WSUS 2.0

9. WSUS 2.0



Windows Server Update Services 2.0 effectively killed off the third-party patch management industry. With Microsoft finally coming around to provide client update tracking, policy controls and reporting in its free product, third-party vendors were forced to expand their products to manage a wider variety of security postures.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - WSUS 2.0

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Halo

10. Halo



Though not strictly a Microsoft product (it was developed by Bungie Labs), Halo is published by and mainly seen as a Microsoft product. Indeed, it may be one of the best and most successful Microsoft products ever. This immersive, kinetic and highly enjoyable video game is probably responsible for the majority of Xbox sales.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Halo

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Worst Products

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Worst Products

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - ActiveX

1. ActiveX



When Microsoft first announced ActiveX, we said it was a terrible idea-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - ActiveX

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Bob

2. Bob



What a great idea: Let's build a cartoon interface to Windows so people can manage their personal data and computer using "real world" interactions. Actually, this was a bad idea-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Bob

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Hotmail

3. Hotmail



Hotmail was a hot bed for spam.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Hotmail

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - IIS 5

4. IIS 5



Probably nothing caused more pain for IT administrators at the turn of the century than Internet Information Services 5. Some of the most damaging worms of all time used the security holes in this Web server to steal and destroy company data.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - IIS 5

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Internet Explorer 6

5. Internet Explorer 6



If you look at market share alone, the IE 6 browser was a massive success. It dominated the browser market and is still the most widely used Web browser. But IE 6-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Internet Explorer 6

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Outlook Express

6. Outlook Express



True story: A Labs analyst upgraded his browser to IE 6, which included an upgrade to the latest Outlook Express. When the browser didn-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Outlook Express

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - SQL Server 2000

7. SQL Server 2000



The SQL Server 2000 database was a bigger breeding ground for viruses than a kindergarten classroom in January.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - SQL Server 2000

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - SMS 2.0

8. SMS 2.0



In 2000, Systems Management Server, the progenitor of today-

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - SMS 2.0

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows ME

9. Windows ME



The -

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows ME

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Registry

10. Windows Registry



Sure, it seemed like a great idea to have a central place where software vendors could store all their app-specific settings. But the hives grew so large and so convoluted that no one could comprehend them, let alone clean them up properly. And ISVs still put their .INI files in the c:\windows directory.

The Best and Worst Microsoft Products - Windows Registry

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