Microsoft is locking down while the whole world is opening up
Before the dawn of the Internet, you have to pay big bucks to access to MSDN and TechNet articles. They comes periodically on CDs. Those who have them, will have a very competitive edge over those who don’t. So it was a big surprise when I first found out that the MSDN and TechNet articles can be available freely on the Internet. Opening them up is surely a welcoming move.
However, I don’t understand why, Microsoft is locking them down again.
Recently, when I was searching for Windows related technology, when the answers are from MSDN or TechNet, I would click on those links first without much thinking, because those are the official answers. However, to my greatest surprise, all such links are now blocked! Microsoft now insists that I have to first login into a Windows account before I can view those technical articles. This is absurdly insane!!!
I remember that there was a time a narrow-minded site called expert exchange or something domain the top technical search hits. When you click those hits, you will only find yourself see the question but blocked from the actual answers. You have to register to the site, login and pay $$$ before you can see those answers, which ironically might not be correct any way. Who the hell would visit such site again? That stupid site might still exist today, but everybody is turning to the Stack Exchange sites for answers now, whose tag line has been “You don’t need an account to view the answers”. Such openness is one of the most important factors of its huge success.
While the whole world is trying to be more open, Microsoft now is locking down its MSDN and TechNet articles. Which smart-ass’ idea is it? I’m not always use my own personal computer, and even I do, I only log into that stupid hotmail account once every blue moon. Locking users like me out? Fine, Microsoft, I was doing you a favor visiting your sites, so that you can show your site has a bit of popularity. I can do totally fine without visiting your stupid sites now, because it has always been true that better explanations are always elsewhere, on howto sites, or blog sites, etc. Why would I bother to jump over the hoops just to view a mediocre and unclear answer?
Microsoft, your smart move is not locking me out, but is locking yourself out from this open world!