Hey Microsoft, What Gives?

If I try to shut down my computer while Microsoft Outlook is running, it doesn’t work. Instead, I get a message box informing me that I need to close all Microsoft Office applications before shutting down Windows.

Hey Microsoft, what gives? You wrote Windows. You wrote Office. You wrote special-purpose code that detects (and aborts) a Windows shutdown while Office is running. Why not just have that special-purpose code, you know, just shut down Office for me? Yeah, that’d be great, thanks.

The sad thing is that I bet there really is some reason why not. Some corner that some sad coder got backed into, in which something dreadful would happen if the normal Windows shutdown sequence was able to run roughshod over Office. Some integration between Office and Windows gone horribly awry, I’d guess. And a dialog box that violates three or four different human interface guidelines was the least awful way out.

Programming is a tragic enterprise. No matter how good your initial intentions, the cruft of mortality always finds a way to sneak into the code.