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Microsoft hates you

I'd like to take this time to discuss two computer application interface elements, one that is useful, and one that is obsolete. The two elements are:

  • Overstrike Mode: If you accidentally press the "Insert" key, assuming your keyboard still has one, then nothing will appear to be different, except that next time you try to add some text into the middle of your document, some of the text in front of it will disappear, for no reason that will be apparent to you. This is called "Overstrike Mode", and the only indication as to what is going on appears on the
  • Status Bar: The status bar takes up a small amount of space at the bottom of your application, and it is in many cases the only place you can look to see important information, such as whether or not you are currently in Overstrike Mode. Of course, having learned that you are in Overstrike Mode, you will always press the "insert" key to turn it off, because it's never what you want. Never.

Given this, you would think that every application would have a status bar (useful), and that we would get rid of the pointless Overstrike Mode (obsolete) once and for all. Unfortunately, Microsoft takes the opposite view: most applications still have the pointless and error-causing Overstrike Mode, and yet with the new and hideous XP theme, Microsoft is axeing the status bar from as many applications as it can.

Thanks, Bill.

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