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Giving Microsoft The Credit itís Due
Douglas Chick


I think like many people, Iím overly critical towards Microsoft when I shouldnít be. I never complain about Unix or Linux or Netware. The reason is that I donít use those other programs. Perhaps if I did I would complain about them as well. Maybe its because Microsoft is just an easy target to pick on. I once accused Microsoft of biting the hand that feeds them, but I see that I too do a little hand nibbling as well.

My friend Ted Doyle in London put it in perspective for me when he asked, ďIf you complain so much about Microsoft, why do you continue to use their programs?Ē He has a really good point. Especially since I havenít even considered changing. And itís not because I have never used other NOS either, I have. Iíve used Unix, Linux, Netware and Banyan Vines, all fine network operating systems, and I might also add each one with their issues.  Iím always being told that I should replace all of my servers with Linux, from people that donít even have jobs. So itís probably not a good idea to take their advice. I like Linux, but I donít want to fiddle with it at work. (Enter Hate Mail Here)

Why do I stay with Microsoft?

Years ago when I lived in and around Redmond Washington, I wanted to become a network engineer. Even though the Seattle area is Microsoftís domain, back then the ruling network operating systems were Netware and Unix. At that time I had a strong impression that Netware was an exclusive club that I felt was impossible to get into. The program was expensive, the people arrogant and it was difficult for an outsider to get a look in. I also felt that my every attempt to obtain a copy of the program so I could learn Netware was blocked by rules of membership. Finally after much effort I was able to land a copy of the blasted program, costing me considerable expense too, and I began installing it in every imaginable scenario I could think of to try to give myself enough experience to sell myself as a network administrator.

One day while hurrying through the Half-Price-Bookstore to make in home in time to watch Red Dwarf, a British comedy on PBS, I stumbled on a copy of NT 3.11 or at least I think that was the version number. I began playing with that and because it looked so much like Windows for Workgroup it was pretty easy to manipulate. When NT 3.51 came out I was all over it. I abandoned Netware and Unix and decided just to specialize in NT since there was no competition. It paid off; within the next six months there became such a high demand for NT administrators that I became a full time Network Administrator, instead of a part-time consultant out of my house.

I know at least twenty more people that have the same or similar story about how they made it as a network administrator too.

Microsoft might be a lot of things to a lot of different people but if not for them I donít think myself, my wife and brother and the over 30 people I helped become an MCSE get jobs in the computer field would have had the same opportunity.


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