XCopy deployment…but what about XCopy installation

November 1, 2005


XCopy deployment…but what about XCopy installation

Like many other ASP.Net developers, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final VS.Net 2005, SQL 2005 and ASP.Net 2 bits off the MSDN site. This past weekend, after what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get the 4GB+ DVD images downloaded. Knowing that the installation programs would want a clean slate, I first uninstalled everything, including .Net 2 beta.

I then proceeded to install the release version of .Net 2 (small download) just to test some apps that I have sitting around. Everything worked as expected. Great!

When my downloads were finally completed, I proceeded to install VS.Net 2005. The install program complained right away that the old bits need to be uninstalled. And it was right…I had missed the Document Explorer. Click – click – click…it’s uninstalled. Nope…that didn’t do it. Still complaining about something.

I couldn’t figure it out and finally decided to take a shot in the dark and uninstall .Net 2 Release version. That did it!

Now, I may be exaggerating, but that is just INSANE. To require uninstallation of the .Net framework (release version) to get VS.Net 2005 installed is just plain stupid.

Microsoft needs to fix this, and while they are at it, can we dispense with installation programs altogether. With all the talented engineers on Microsoft’s payroll, isn’t there a small team that can replicate what has been available on the Mac for two decades now…just copy (or XCopy in Winspeak) files and you are done. Microsoft should stop trying to impress us with spiffy U.I.’s and focus on getting the basics right first. 

I want to be able to copy a folder containing an app’s files from a CD or DVD onto my computer and have the application work without sitting through five minutes of progress bar hell. (And don’t even get me started on app restarts and system reboots.)

So Scoble and whoever else at Microsoft is listening…for the love of God…fix this!!! Free us from installation and progress bar hell.

Maybe we should add up all the time people worldwide have spent staring at progress bars for the last decade and send Microsoft a bill. Let’s see, if 50 million people each spent two hours waiting on app installations in the past decade and the average hourly rate is $25/hour, that’s a cool $2.5 billion. Spend even 1/1000th of that and the problem can be solved.

If Microsoft’s engineers were forced to evaluate features in terms of productivity dollars, Windows would be a very different beast. Too bad for us that user productivity is only a marketing mantra at Microsoft.





Founder NftyDreams; founder Decentology; co-founder DNN Software; educator; Open Source proponent; Microsoft MVP; tech geek; creative thinker; husband; dad. Personal blog: http://www.kalyani.com. Twitter: @techbubble
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