How sweet. My brother is sticking up for me. The truth is, I told IT guys to update their servers and I got pounced on. Funny enough, today it was reported that Microsoft had trouble updating its own servers. Yeah, it's tough. Yeah, when you load patches it'll probably screw things up. Wait a second, SQL Server isn't being run by idiots. First of all, it's a server that costs thousands of dollars. Second of all, why is it so hard to patch? Microsoft really needs to do a better job here. Some things I'd like:
1) Make a full patched version available to MSDN Subscribers the day a patch is released. Why is that important? It's easier to simply clean install and reload everything that way. Remember the day that Windows XP was released? There was 20MB of various patches to download and install. That's ridiculous.
2) Have a central place where everyone can go look for the latest version of their software. Heck, this is one time I wish Microsoft would do a scan of my hard drive and say “hey, you have an old version of SQL Server loaded, here's a newer one.”
3) Make it so that patches don't need to reboot my machine. You want me to take down a server that might be serving thousands of people at the same time? Yeah, right.
4) Use your stupid product activation for something useful. After I activate something, why don't you have your software check occassionally with Microsoft and tell me when new patches are available? “Hey, Scoble, you have SQL Server v. xx.xx, but there's a patch for that, click here for more.”
5) Start a weblog with an RSS feed. Everytime something at Microsoft gets patched, or updated, write it to that weblog. That way every morning I could check and see if Train Simulator has some patch or something.
6) Instead of charging per copy for software, how about charge per year? Just like MSDN Subscriptions? Sell me a three-year membership to SQL Server. Yeah, I'm sure the Linux freaks will hate that idea, but software costs money to keep up to date. Why not make your customers pay for it? Why not make it impossible to run if you don't keep it up? Hey, that monopoly power has to be good for something, right? If folks want to run the same version of something for ever, let them move to Linux. Guess what, after Linux gets up to 10% market share the virus writers will start attacking it too.
Anyway, I still stick by my guns. If you're gonna put servers up there, make sure you can support them long term. Too many companies don't have patching policies in place and don't have a duplicate set of servers to test on. The excuse that “my custom software may stop running” is just lame. Folks, you're “professionals” remember? I wonder if any other industry gives these kinds of excuses? This isn't a Microsoft problem, it's an industry problem, and we better solve it together or we're gonna lose billions of dollars in downtime. [The Scobleizer Weblog]