• CraigInTexas



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    • in reply to: Welcome to our twentieth year #2516393

      I’d like to second Daniel’s comment… love AskWoody for the helpful content and the personable style!

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    • in reply to: Dymo declines #2516388

      Your column hit home with me. Thanks for taking the time to describe how the laws of entropy (“you only think things can’t get worse”) apply to the world that PC users live in.

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    • in reply to: The worst software in the world #2465637

      Your column about MS’s poor quality, especially with their games, today hit a nerve with me. I daily play Mahjong and Sudoku, the free versions. I’d love to add some comments to your list…

      • I have paid for subscriptions of Sudoku in the past but as you noted their management of subscriptions was so frustrating that I gave up. The game would not recognize me as a paid user or would lose track of my consecutive days of play (which meant I’d lose the simple awards that rewarded consecutive play).
      • At home I use a desktop and a laptop. In the past I had to use one PC as their system seemed to treat each system as having its own history with no overlap. This was mostly corrected but the system still seems to lose track occasionally if I switch from one machine to another. Alas, you can’t usually tell until after you complete play for a game and then it’s too late as the system will have reset your consecutive days tracker.
      • Don’t forget that MS did make some key updates to both games probably over a year ago.
        • Sudoku’s Daily Challenge got the Ice Breaker version of the game. This is a nice addition to the Daily Challenge but (for me) it’s more time consuming to complete the daily  challenge.
        • For Mahjong, the Daily Challenge went from 3 games to 5 games.
        • For both games the additional versions are entertaining but there was no choice for people that didn’t want to commit more time to these. This was rather harsh for people that enjoyed the games and weren’t looking to spend more time.
      • Because the games are not really reliable about tracking your daily progress, I try to play the games after midnight. This way if I realize that MS has lost track of my progress, I can play the game(s) for the same day again, which usually keeps MS from interrupting the count of my daily progress.
      • Starting a game may often open the browser to display a news page showing info about the game. This is rather annoying as you can’t control this and I cannot ever remember the updates having any real value to me as a regular user/player.
      • It seems worth mentioning that paying for these games – that are mostly the same as they’ve been for many years – has little benefit. The money reduces the amount of ads that you have to watch but the money from the subscriptions is not going into improvements in the games. It would appear that the games are “easy money” for MS without any ongoing commitment to improving quality or user satisfaction.
      • On Sudoku, there are several UI annoyances.
        • The Ice Breaker can take quite a bit of time to create a puzzle. It often appears to be frozen even though it mechanically reports that it’s working. Restarting the game usually results in a much quicker generation of the daily game.
        • There is no way that I’ve found to disable the unnecessary animations to celebrate completing a game. These animations are not hair-pulling annoyances but there is no value to me as a regular user/player and I don’t want to see them.
        • If you click away from the game for any reason, the game goes through some process to remember where it was, adding more seemingly unnecessary delays in playing.

      In spite of these annoyances, I still enjoy playing both games. MS is missing an opportunity to both realize more income and generate more customer satisfaction from “low hanging fruit” with its lazy and greedy approach to these games. If they would commit resources to improving these games many people like me would be willing to subscribe to these games.

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