Robots? Windows? Help!

13 December 2006

I'm sure not whether to be very scared about Microsoft's plan to dominate the world of robotics software, or feel relieved. The press release that breathlessly introduces us to the glorious new world of robots - with control presumably wrestled from the grip of Far Eastern technocrats who want everybody to feel the cold metal embrace of in-home automatons - tells us about "surveillance robots that can defuse roadside bombs" and "robotic arms that perform surgeries" as well as "automatons that seek out and smash all forms of Macintosh computer". Sorry, I made that last bit up.

But it's hard to get over the fact that this is Microsoft we're talking about. The company that wrote the operating system that now powers many cash registers in shops - something I have recently become aware of after watching several crash in quick succession. Well, the crashes were quick. The reboots were the painful bits as the queues behind doubled in size.

You can imagine that bomb defusing robot getting to the blue wire, red wire decision suddenly discovering that two security updates and a new version of AntiBomb are now available - "You must restart now for these updates to take effect", as the LED counts down to the last five seconds.

The good news is that we need no longer fear an army of unstoppable Terminators bent on the destruction of the human race. Only bot-net armies reprogrammed by spammers to sell V!@gra door to door.