Microsoft Sausage Love

Hot Dog Stand
Remembering “Hot Dog Stand”
Once Upon A Time, A Long Time Ago

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a company named Microsoft included a free and unique theme in its Windows 3.1 product. That theme was entitled “Hot Dog Stand” and is considered by some to be among the ugliest Windows themes ever. This TheNextWeb article entitled “World’s worst theme proves Microsoft once had sense of humor” provides more info, as well as a screenshot of the “Hot Dog Stand” theme.

Microsoft products have been around during most of Billy’s adult life and he’s no stranger to software application programs like MS-SQL Server, MS-Exchange Server and MS-Office. If implemented and integrated properly, those software packages can significantly improve business productivity.

In the digital realm, Microsoft is a lightning rod. Many people harbor strong opinions about the software products and the company:

The Haters

I’ve heard kids and their parents cussing out Bill Gates and Microsoft when school projects became delayed due to computer crashes. You know the drill — the student has been given weeks to complete a term paper but doesn’t start working on it until the night before it’s due. Invariably, their Windows computer senses the time crunch and begins to misbehave, requiring extensive patching or multiple reboots or both when time is of the essence. In the days of “Hot Dog Stand,” Blue Screens Of Death (BSOD) and General Protection Faults (GPFs) were commonplace. To complicate matters, printers would sometimes stop talking to their connected computers in shows of solidarity. Almost as if these products were programmed to sense vulnerability and to pounce on it at every opportunity.

The Fan Boys & Girls

Then there are the true believers, so intoxicated by the Microsoft Kool-Aid that they fail to consider or accept that other products exist, products capable of doing the job more quickly or more economically or both. It must say “Microsoft” on the label, else it’s no good. Spare me!

The Rest of Us

Many of us can get by most of the time with a simple word processor. We’re happy as long as the software works. Do you recall the last time you used Microsoft Word’s Bibliography feature? Or the Table of Contents? Or Index? No doubt they’re great features if and when you need them. Do you use them? Do you need them? Maybe, maybe not.

Love ’em or hate ’em, we applaud Microsoft’s inclusion of the “Hot Dog Stand” theme in Windows 3.1. As a company that’s inclined to sell ice to polar bears in winter, it’s truly amazing that they provided this fine work of art at no additional cost. Bravo, Microsoft!