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Microsoft: Purveyors of the finest BORK since the 1990s

Bork!Bork!Bork! When it comes to bork, Microsoft has always been ahead of the game.

To be honest, we should have seen this one coming. We at Vulture Central do like our acronyms after all. However, it took veteran Microsoft employee and current Azure Stack HCI customer lead Carmen Crincoli to remind us of the true meaning of bork.

BackOffice Resource Kit, of course.

“Who can forget the good old MS BORK family,” said Crincoli in a lengthy Twitter thread detailing where Microsoft’s greatest hits go to die. Who indeed? Certainly, the company’s predilection for borkage has given this column so much material over the years.

It seems unfair to tar BackOffice with the bork stick. It was, after all, a pretty good deal back in the day. It also predates Microsoft’s current obsession with subscriptions and slapping either “Azure” or “365” onto everything. It even dodged the thankfully short-lived habit of sticking “.NET” on any product unlucky enough to fall under the gaze of the marketeers.

The Register spoke to Crincoli, who was amused at the bundling of enterprise-level software like so many end-user apps. Then again, “the ’90s were wild,” he said.

BackOffice 1.0 takes us all the way back to 1994 and contained Windows NT Server 3.5, SQL Server 4.21a and Microsoft Mail Server 3.2. Its last hurrah came in 2001, when the likes of Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000, and Exchange Server 2000 were bundled in the pack. The subsequent Small Business Server was scant consolation.

Crincoli also took his followers on a tour of the boneyard (now renamed “archive” by deeply unimaginative decree) where elderly versions of DOS and LAN Manager could be found, doubtless sitting in armchairs, watching daytime TV and smelling faintly of cabbage.

Still, whenever the topic of bork comes up, Microsoft is invariably invoked. And now, it seems, with good reason. ®




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