Breaking: Microsoft exec to take over Healthcare.gov rescue

posted at 12:01 pm on December 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Everyone who loves Internet Explorer and Windows 8 will rejoice at the latest appointment from the White House to rescue its core policy from incompetence.  The rest of us will just marvel at the irony:

The White House is tapping the private sector for its next point man to fix the troubled Obamacare website.

The administration is set to announce that Kurt DelBene, an executive at Microsoft, will succeed Jeff Zients in leading the overhaul of the embattled HealthCare.gov, according to four sources with knowledge of the decision.

But DelBene isn’t just a Microsoft executive.  He’s also the husband of a Congresswoman. Guess which party?

DelBene is currently the president of the Microsoft Office Division and has been with the company since 1992. He is also the husband of freshman Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.).

Other than being the husband of a Democratic Representative, DelBene doesn’t dabble much in checkbook politics, according to Open Secrets.  Over three election cycles, he’s donated $16,540 to Democratic candidates, with a little over half of that coming in the 2014 cycle. His bio shows why he’s at least more qualified than Zients to take charge of a web-portal disaster:

As president of the Microsoft Office Division, Kurt DelBene is responsible for driving Microsoft’s global productivity strategy for information workers. DelBene oversees the engineering and marketing functions for a wide range of productivity products and services, including Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.

Previously, he served as the senior vice president for the Microsoft Business Division, responsible for the development of client and server software that collectively delivers to organizations and individuals a holistic productivity experience, including authoring, collaboration, communications, information sharing, and project management. In this role, he oversaw development teams in the Office engineering organization including Office desktop applications, Office Web Applications, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office Communications Server and Office Labs.

This frees up Zients to take his appointed position as director of Obama’s National Economics Council as planned on January 1. In his brief tenure as fixer, the promises of a revamped Healthcare.gov went from “fully functional” to “a significantly different user experience,” and the December 1 delivery didn’t even really produce that significant a change.  DelBene at least has the experience needed to assess a bad system and determine what it takes to fix it, a process that Microsoft has used on more than a few occasions for its own products at the expense of their consumers.

The problem is this — what it will take to fix the system and its gaping security holes is months of off-line development to make up for the failures in the 42 months HHS had to develop it in the first place. Without that option, DelBene will probably only be incrementally more successful than Zients, and consumers will continue to put their private data at considerable risk just to discover that the system isn’t enrolling them in insurance reliably.

Update: How could I have forgotten Clippy?


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Breaking: Microsoft exec to take over Healthcare.gov rescue

Quality security not included.

nobar on December 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I really wanted to make a snarky Clippy quote starting out “It looks like you’re trying to …” but all I keep hearing in my head is “Open the pod bay doors, HAL…”

M240H on December 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM

God, that was good. My co-workers are all giving me the slit-eye, wondering why I just laughed out loud while staring at my computer screen.

CaptFlood on December 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Matrix Runs on Windows XP

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I bet Snowden could get amnesty for offering to fix this.

Daemonocracy on December 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

This is the guy who managed the Office 365 release: a subscription-based cloud app that is so horrifically unspeakable that I can’t even speak of it.

That’s all you need to know. 0care is doomed and almost certainly was never intended to work.

ZenDraken on December 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I just had to download Office 2013 from Microsoft and install it for one of our computers, whose .xml tables look buggy in the Open Office app. The files look better, but as far as the installation process, it’s convoluted, invasive and pretty much tethers your information online to Microsoft in perpetuity. No wonder Team Obama picked DelBene for the job.

jon1979 on December 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

And let’s not forget FRONT PAGE! File name/extensions no one else recognizes/d but, hey, Microsoft did so what’s wrong with that?!?

Something tells me this Microsoft-Obamacare meld will work perfectly for everyone except the public.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

This is the guy who managed the Office 365 release: a subscription-based cloud app that is so horrifically unspeakable that I can’t even speak of it. That’s all you need to know. 0care is doomed and almost certainly was never intended to work. ZenDraken on December 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Office 365 bug allows hackers to steal credentials

Akzed on December 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Microsoft FrontPage (full name Microsoft Office FrontPage) is a discontinued WYSIWYG HTML editor and Web site administration tool from Microsoft for the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems.

Ha, and it only cost ya a coupla hunnerd dollahs.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

MS will do for 0b00baCare what it did for NBC.

Akzed on December 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Blue screen of death panels.

ReaganWasRight on December 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Picture Obama trying to enter the White House through a window Microsoft logo.

Christien on December 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM

President Clippy.

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

I never liked Clippy.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Clippy is a racist!

Deafdog on December 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Haha…

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Quality security not included.

nobar on December 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

When has quality security ever been associated with Microsoft?

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

I bet we’ll all be offered really cool Screen savers.

ToddPA on December 17, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Laying odds that the “new logo” for Obamacare will look like this.

This is just too easy: birds of a feather and all…

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Thus, explained is the comments section at Politico…all those Leftwingers entertaining themselves page after page with doxing anyone who isn’t “them”.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I never liked Clippy. He always struck me as judgemental as the woman on my Garmin GPS. The sound of disgust in her voice when she “recalculates” is enough the make sure you turn when she tells you to.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I have mine set to the female British voice. I have dubbed her “Limey Bitch”.

DethMetalCookieMonst on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

DelBene at least has the experience needed to assess a bad system and determine what it takes to fix it, a process that Microsoft has used on more than a few occasions for its own products at the expense of their consumers.

Not necessarily so. All IT experience is not equal. What’s he going to do? Revamp the database do it runs on Access? Id be impressed if it was someone from SAP or Oracle, with enterprise experience. Microsoft not so much.

AH_C on December 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

The web site can’t handle more than a few simultaneous users. Are you sure it’s not ALREADY running on Access?

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Maybe they should try turning it off and then turning it back on?

DarthBrooks on December 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Breaking: Microsoft exec to take over Healthcare.gov rescue

So the problems of slow response times and possible identity theft will be compounded by requiring a reboot of the computer multiple times throughout the process.

Great!

rukiddingme on December 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I’m sure the first thing he’ll do is replace all the Unix boxes in the back end with Intel-based Windows Servers running SQL Server.

If all goes the way I think it will, I’m gonna get a two-fer: Obamacare goes south and takes Microsoft’s reputation with it.

Kafir on December 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Hey, government, HERE’s an idea:

Ditch Obamacare AND it’s pathetic website AND get a refund from the dingbats who were paid to create/run it, AND fire the guy from Microsoft.

After that, let the US consumer chose what medical insurance they want to buy and from whom and leave them alone to conduct their business.

How much has all this “Obamacare” cost us so far? Now we have to pay Microsoft to “fix” the site? Who do they think they’re fooling? I mean, honestly, how stupid do they think people ARE?

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM

ObozoCare reminds me of Humpty Dumpty – all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put it together again.

bw222 on December 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

We will also be required to buy some licensed software to access the healthcare portals. Wait for it.

Kristamatic on December 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I never liked Clippy. He always struck me as judgemental as the woman on my Garmin GPS. The sound of disgust in her voice when she “recalculates” is enough the make sure you turn when she tells you to.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I have mine set to the female British voice. I have dubbed her “Limey Bitch”.

DethMetalCookieMonst on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

You know, I hope, that you can turn Clippy OFF.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

So, they hired a guy with ZERO experience with actual, you know, websites.

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Oh good. Looking forward to the Obamacare app pre-loaded on the XBox One I got my son for Christmas.

Selkirk on December 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM

There is only one man who can fix this.

Leeroy Jenkins.

Christien on December 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

There is only one man who can fix this.

Christien on December 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

The Great Svengali. We will all have to be hypnotized. A cult is not powerful enough.

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

There is only one man who can fix this.

Leeroy Jenkins.

Christien on December 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

At least he has chicken.

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

LEAVE CLIPPY ALONE!!!

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Bold prediction, he will work on for 4-6 moths and THEN come out and say the website needs to be taken down and completly reworked. Possibility of sucess..zero.

falcaner on December 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Reminder:

Another big legacy for Microsoft Bob: Melinda French, product manager for Microsoft Bob, became Mrs. Bill Gates in 1994, while development on Bob was in its final stages. Melinda’s a very private person, a driving force for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Three Czars in six weeks. Hmmmm

pat on December 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

WARRING! WARRINING!

This guy, in spite of his inside connections is certifiably far more qualified then then “HealthCare.gov has so far seen.

Here is a major and I mean MAJOR potential problem. Micro soft has historically had the bad habit of writing Hardware Specific Software. What that means is they have a planed intent to write all other operating systems out of the picture. If you are using a MAC or Linux you will soon be out of the picture. Next they like to write required hardware updates into the software so that the only way to use the sites is to get all new Microsoft capable hardware. In other words it could be a big, big move to create an absolute Microsoft monopoly.

If this is to happen just watch for Apple to close it out in the courts.

jpcpt03 on December 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Clippy: “It looks like you didn’t like our prices. Would you like to a. report yourself to the IRS?, or b. sign over your home and car?”

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Prediction: Clippy will be renamed Barry.

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

What will they say when he says they need to scrap the whole thing and start over? Oh, wait … it’s a Microsoft guy? They haven’t innovated in nearly 20 years. No vision. No courage. No chops. So we’ll just see a few patches here and there. If it works, it works. If not, too bad — live with it.

Paul-Cincy on December 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

So is anyone starting a pool on how long Kurt DelBene lasts in the ‘job’?

Marcola on December 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

“It looks like you are a republican donor. Would you like to wait for DHS or self-report at the train station?”
Clippy

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Mr Bean is in charge of ObamaCare????

hahahahahahahahahah

His first day on the job.

faraway on December 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I never liked Clippy. He always struck me as judgemental as the woman on my Garmin GPS. The sound of disgust in her voice when she “recalculates” is enough the make sure you turn when she tells you to.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I have mine set to the female British voice. I have dubbed her “Limey Bitch”.

DethMetalCookieMonst on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I LOVE Limey Bitch. Having been married, I’m comfortable with the patina of not-so-subtle disappointment with which she colors every effort to guide my clueless Yankee a$$ from Point A, to Point B…

CaptFlood on December 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Hilarious – now OCare will cause BSODs.

Ward Cleaver on December 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Ed –
You mean the websites aren’t working perfectly on day one seventy eight?

verbaluce on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

NotCoach on December 17, 2013 at 12:15 PM

That never grows old.

Ha ha ha

gwelf on December 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I agree… that never grows old!

I’m just surprised the dumb fool still pokes his head in on threads once in a while. Doesn’t he know that he’s a laughingstock? Any normal person would be embarrassed to show himself in a room after crapping his pants in public with a comment like that!

dominigan on December 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Man, I haven’t thought of Clippy in over ten years.

He was kind of cute and wanted to help, but he was more an officious PITA than anything.

MisterElephant on December 17, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Oy vey. Here’s an idea: How about, instead of importing just hot-shot managers, you bring in top notch engineers! You know, the people who design and build complex systems.

MJBrutus on December 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Anyone notice in the pic on the front page under the headline, that paperclip looks like Huckabee.

petefrt on December 17, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I don’t get all this geeky tech talk and why the trolls are constantly trying to change the subject to, of all things, windows in their offices (!?)…

…but ObamaCare *is* still reducing the cost of insuring America.

Right?

Tsar of Earth on December 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Oh yeah… Microsoft. O’care is now guaranteed to go down the toilet. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft does occasionally get some things right, but then you have Windows 8 and IE10 and IE11. Not enough? How about the fact MS has trouble with porting .CSV files effectively in .NET. Granted EXCEL can do it, but have you ever tried a .NET macro? I could point to several websites full of geeks who have tried… with varying results.

And then there is another mystery. Once upon a time, we were able to select files in a directory and print them… in order. If you haven’t noticed, this is a core requirement for businesses – like say invoices? Now if Joe Shmoe has to print 200 individual .DOCs (or .PDF’s, take your pick), so he highlights them and says PRINT. First of all, the function doesn’t appear unless you make a change to the registry and secondly, you get them all printed in random order. Now it takes a third-party product to do what should have been there in the first place.

It really amazes me how a multi-billion dollar company with that many geniuses doesn’t understand how businesses operate.

As an I.T. professional, I find it both amusing and sad that basic functionality is lost in favor of what is “trendy.” I fully expect the H.H.S. website to be littered with confusing tiles, that will run only with IE 10 or 11 in emulation mode, and that will crash and burn with the following message flashing on a blue background.

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Turtle317 on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The Titanic has a new Helmsman!

cajunpatriot on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Everyone who loves Internet Explorer and Windows 8…

Isn’t that the same as saying, “Everyone who loves the Blue Screen of Death?”

Western_Civ on December 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Been lucky with MS OS so far. 98 SE, 2000, XP, and now 7.

My good luck’s gotta run out eventually.

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Have you applied SP1 yet. Chances are you can’t. They hosed the SP installer because they modified it to make it very difficult if you have anything other than a single-boot vanilla PC. And now it fails even on that simple platform.

Hmmm. Wonder why they did this.

Tsar of Earth on December 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Welcome to Obamacare, I love you.

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Oy vey. Here’s an idea: How about, instead of importing just hot-shot managers, you bring in top notch engineers! You know, the people who design and build complex systems.

MJBrutus on December 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

If you were a top notch engineer, would you want to be associated with Healthcare.gov? I’d bet IT people who have touched this debacle are going to claim they were unemployed before they admit to being part of the team that rolled out Obamacare.

And the irony is that Healthcare.gov really didn’t need to be a complex system until the administration decided to get too clever with hiding the true costs before the system captured all your PII.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Microsoft exec to take over Healthcare.gov rescue

…so we should rename it “Healthcare ME”??

The Blue Screen of Death becomes even more scary…on a very personal level!!!

landlines on December 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM

This’ll work. I just love the way Microsoft Office 2011 runs on my Mac. /sarc

jix on December 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

It’s serious only when they enlist Dilbert.

Deafdog on December 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I LOVE Limey Bitch. Having been married, I’m comfortable with the patina of not-so-subtle disappointment with which she colors every effort to guide my clueless Yankee a$$ from Point A, to Point B…

CaptFlood on December 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Lime Bitch is….well….a bitch in Philly.

DethMetalCookieMonst on December 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The web site can’t handle more than a few simultaneous users. Are you sure it’s not ALREADY running on Access?

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 17, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Heh.

We will also be required to buy some licensed software to access the healthcare portals. Wait for it.

Kristamatic on December 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Isn’t that what Illinois is forcing on all would be CHL applicants. They can only apply online and must get a digital ID. But when talking about voting rights, “Oh noes! We must not restrict voting to valid Govt ID”

AH_C on December 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

So how much is this going to add to the cost of the “affordable” health care act, or is the guy just doing this pro bono out of the goodness of his heart? He’s a software engineer and he’s expected to help overhaul a web site? I’m not an expert, but aren’t those two entirely different things? Besides, it’s the PRODUCT itself that sucks, the only cure for that is to burn it to the ground.

scalleywag on December 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Obama continues his Joe the Plumber promise of spreading the wealth around…to his political donors.

Murphy9 on December 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Isn’t that what Illinois is forcing on all would be CHL applicants. They can only apply online and must get a digital ID. But when talking about voting rights, “Oh noes! We must not restrict voting to valid Govt ID”

AH_C on December 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

So can we find a black Illinoisan (that doesn’t live in Chicago or anywhere in Cook Cnty) to sue IL State Police for this?

Nutstuyu on December 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

And I can’t wait to scare verboloser with my Bushmaster Concealed Carry permit!!!1!11!11!1!1!

Nutstuyu on December 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Or was it non-nonpartisan?

Nutstuyu on December 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

The administration is set to announce that Kurt DelBene, an executive at Microsoft, will succeed Jeff Zients in leading the overhaul of the embattled HealthCare.gov, according to four sources with knowledge of the decision.

Well, that was FAST!

/Church Lady Tone

Key West Reader on December 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Ha, and it only cost ya a coupla hunnerd dollahs.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:07 PM

MS Didn’t actually create Front Page. They traded source code with a company in North Andover MA for it and some other apps.

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Besides, it’s the PRODUCT itself that sucks, the only cure for that is to burn it to the ground.

scalleywag on December 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Betcha $5 that is exactly what Zients said…. LMAO!!!

Key West Reader on December 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

DelBene will fail at getting the website sorted out too.

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:07 PM

The Titanic has a new Helmsman!

cajunpatriot on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

/OICE BURGH, DEAD AHEAD SIR~

Key West Reader on December 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

MJBrutus on December 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Who wants to work on water tight doors after hitting the ice berg? Not a chance.

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Key West Reader on December 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Great minds and us too!

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Awaiting ACA Service Pack 2 with barely contained anticipation…

PatHenry on December 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Yeah, but you have to have the right build number.

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

It’s, it’s…Clippy!

Sloooowly I turned…step by step…inch by inch…

bandarlog on December 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM

DelBene announced his retirement earlier this year and was going to be out of Microsoft next year anyway. He headed office NOT windows. Microsoft is a flaming pile of liberalism. I know from where I speak.

ihasurnominashun on December 17, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Interesting that it’s M’soft doing the bailing.

If I recall, one of the releases of M’soft office was delayed multiple times – I can’t remember which but the reason is critical: SECURITY. That version had massive security problems. It got SO bad, that M’soft had to call one of its competitors, one known for security in SW, hire a number of its programmers to bail out the release.

I’ve said it before and will repeat here, they won’t get it to work. Either it was designed to force single payor or the consultants were amazingly incompetent. Both ways are bad for Americans.

MN J on December 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

The comments here concerning a CEO from the private sector and a multi-mega gazillion dollar company to boot should make us take a moment and think about the nature of free enterprise capitalism and where it’s been headed long before we ever heard of Dear Leader.

I feel the economic problems run deep and way back into our history and Obummer is doing little more than exacerbating the problem and speeding us towards what many feel is a foregone conclusion-economic disaster.

A truly stable, real free enterprise economic system should be able to withstand anything “they” (Socialists, bankers, NWOers, Cloward-Piven adherents, pick your poison) can throw at it.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 17, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Turtle317 on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Neatly summarizes the ALT-F4ward Obama Administration…..

Athos on December 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Awaiting ACA Service Pack 2 with barely contained anticipation…

PatHenry on December 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Yeah, but you have to have the right build number.

dogsoldier on December 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Somehow, I don’t think the ACA ME (Millennium Edition) is going to work any better on the millennial’s than ACA 0.1 did when it was launched on 10/1/13 – or ACA 0.6 when it was launched on 12/1/13.

Athos on December 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Turtle317 on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Neatly summarizes the ALT-F4ward Obama Administration…..

Athos on December 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Wait for it…. Wait for it…

Microsoft ME v. ii

/Barack Obama version.

Key West Reader on December 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

WTF does Microsoft know about consumer websites?

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM

What does Microsoft know about consumer anything?

Being a longtime user of the MS Flight Simulator series, I got a first-hand look at how shoddy MS had become over the past few years in their “software development”.

In 2003, FS 2004 came out. Still using it. And it’s still being supported with add-ons by a ton of 3rd party developers and programmers.

A few years later, MS came out with FS 2004′s “successor”. It was called Flight Simulator X.

When I installed it out of the box, I was shocked by how much in the way of computer resources it used. It’s a hog.

And then when I got to actually try it out, I flew to New York City. And there was the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, above New York Harbor between Brooklyn and Manhattan. I uninstalled it immediately and haven’t used it since.

And then just 2 years ago, MS decided to go a step further, with a web-based flight simulator called MS Flight.

It crashed and burned on takeoff. MS almost immediately ceased production and laid off most of the designers.

Del Dolemonte on December 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

WARRING! WARRINING!

This guy, in spite of his inside connections is certifiably far more qualified then then “HealthCare.gov has so far seen.

Here is a major and I mean MAJOR potential problem. Micro soft has historically had the bad habit of writing Hardware Specific Software. What that means is they have a planed intent to write all other operating systems out of the picture. If you are using a MAC or Linux you will soon be out of the picture. Next they like to write required hardware updates into the software so that the only way to use the sites is to get all new Microsoft capable hardware. In other words it could be a big, big move to create an absolute Microsoft monopoly.

If this is to happen just watch for Apple to close it out in the courts.

jpcpt03 on December 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I’m hearing the new platform will be RANTS (Redundant Array of NT Servers)

http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20110227

But maybe that’s just a rumor.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

My collie says:

So now, in addition to Patch Tuesday, we will have:
1) Misdiagnosis and Malpractice Monday,
2) Seriously Overmedicated Wednesday,
3) Outrageously overcharged Thursday,
and, of course, everyone’s favorite,
4) Unnecessary and invasive medical procedure Friday.

CyberCipher on December 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Matrix Runs on Windows XP

kcewa on December 17, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Thanks for sharing. That was funny.

ITguy on December 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Always trust Microsoft government?

David Blue on December 17, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Yeah, let’s hire the worst desktop guy (I guess Balmer declined) around to fix an online system. Makes total sense. Embrace the suck, y’all..

platapapin on December 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Been lucky with MS OS so far. 98 SE, 2000, XP, and now 7.

My good luck’s gotta run out eventually.

22044 on December 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM

That’s because you did the smart thing and avoided the intermediate crappy releases of 95, ME, Vista, and now 8. I predict that every other release of healthcare.gov will suck.

Kafir on December 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Once upon a time, we were able to select files in a directory and print them… in order. … It really amazes me how a multi-billion dollar company with that many geniuses doesn’t understand how businesses operate.

As an I.T. professional, I find it both amusing and sad that basic functionality is lost in favor of what is “trendy.”

Turtle317 on December 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Every time I upgrade my OS, I lose one or more simple, useful functions that the PowerGeeks decided I didn’t need anymore.

And it’s not just MS – my Linux / Kubuntu did the same thing on the last make-over.

Sometimes, I just really miss DOS.

AesopFan on December 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Blue screen of death panels.

ReaganWasRight on December 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Bumper Sticker nominee.

AesopFan on December 17, 2013 at 9:16 PM

So the guy who wrecked Office 2013 now gets a chance to wreck Healthcare.gov? Swell.

mitchellvii on December 18, 2013 at 6:33 AM

Does this mean Sebelius will be going home to Kansas, finally?

Amazingoly on December 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

You know, I hope, that you can turn Clippy OFF.

Lourdes on December 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I am going to have to ponder this new information.

Also, I just lost all my gadgets under windows 7 last week. Not the end of the world, but the clock and temp were actually somewhat useful. Windows Help says that if you have done a system restore, that might have caused it. No word on how to actually, you know, fix it.

TexasDan on December 18, 2013 at 11:43 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX8yrOAjfKM

Medbob on December 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Does this mean Sebelius will be going home to Kansas, finally?

Amazingoly on December 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

We Kansans have a strict “NO RETURNS ON A USED SEBELIUS” policy.

No exceptions.

Even though he was a fellow Democrat, her lieutenant governor took over quickly and fixed all of the problems Sebelius created in Kansas as governor…in about 30 days after we got rid of her. It is clear that failure follows her on a short leash.

landlines on December 18, 2013 at 2:07 PM

To risk a HotAirism, Microsoft to fix Healthcare.gov? “What could possibly go wrong?”

virgo on December 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Microsoft, in general, overall does a good job. Because they run their business like a business.

Wait until the business manager find himself handcuffed and hobbled by every government limitation/requirement/expectation and the tons of red tape and paperwork.

Either he’ll fail, or quit in disgust. I’m guessing inside of a couple months he’ll have quit or we’ll have some messaging to “control the expectations” of what will be done.

gekkobear on December 19, 2013 at 3:20 PM

*dink* *dink* *dink*

I see you were going to flip the page. Can I help you with that?

Murphy9 on December 20, 2013 at 3:42 AM

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