Microsoft on Twitter! Flanakin Microwalker on Windows 7!

Meet the Twitter account of @flanakin or Flanakin Microwalker - hes a senior development consultant for Microsoft you know.
Meet the Twitter account of @flanakin (Michael Flanakin) or Flanakin Microwalker - hes a senior development consultant for Microsoft you know.

*Disclaimer* Whilst some of our Microsoft faithful claim Im a hater and baiter, I would like to stress that this article is presented in a light hearted, tongue in cheek way with a serious question.  Why cant IT be fun every so often?

As Ive said before people who post opinion and have a net presence, should be accountable and able to justify their printed word.  Before I get onto the topic of my next challenge, please see the end of this post for a list.  Its an very incomplete list of apparently official Microsoft Twitter accounts.  If you have any corrections or additions please feel free to either post them here or send me an email:


As regulars here are aware, in between commenting on tech issues, I do like to challenge comments which I think need clarity at the very least.  Heres Flanakin hes a senior development consultant for Microsoft and would like to tell you a few things about Windows 7:

“wow… the polish on Win7 RC is absolutely beautiful… some small things are astoundingly better than the beta”

“repaving my oldest machine with Win7 RC”

and whats the spec of this old PC? Two months old is it?

I put the following to Flanakin (in relation to the “absolutely beautiful” comment , obviously without response at time of writing:

“and some not so? Looking forward to “XP Mode”? Is it right that theres no DirectX support? Thats value! #microsoft”

Of course theres been no response to me.  Another user has asked a similar question:

“l:ike what? I’m still waiting till it goes RTM”

To which our obviously impartial Microsoft employee has stated:

“there are just some small visual things… nothing extravagant… I’ll be switching all of my computers”

Thats not how it sounded when he was talking about his “absolutely beautiful” Windows 7 was it?  IMO he was almost reaching a state of euphoria on how great Windows 7 was, only after being asked we realize its in his words “nothing extravagant”.

So I decided to give Flanakin Microwalker’s site a visit. heres a snippet of what he has to say there:

“I’m an open source advocate, when it makes sense, and have a strong software engineering and architecture background.”

So your an open source advocate?  I dont know about anyone else, but im convinced. 😉

So I decided to send another challenge which surprisingly has not, at time of writing been answered either:

“I read your profile. Could you tell us “when it makes sense” (as per your site) to use open source? and what FOSS packages would you recommend for those tasks?”

Lets see if Flanakin answers.


  • @WindowsLive
  • @liveframework
  • @livemesh
  • @bizspark
  • @zunemarketplace
  • @wmdev
  • @microsofttag
  • @ch9
  • @ch10
  • @ch8
  • @mixonline
  • @MIX09
  • @SiteNamedDesire
  • @MicrsftTech4All
  • @MSDN
  • @adCenterBlog
  • 13 thoughts on “Microsoft on Twitter! Flanakin Microwalker on Windows 7!

    1. My “oldest machine” is 4.5 years old. I think Win7 is a beautiful OS, but my astonishment was more a relative astonishment compared to the beta. The down-played second tweet was about the fact that the visual aspects I really like about Win7 aren’t necessarily absolute reasons to upgrade.

      With respect to “open source, where it makes sense,” you can essentially look at that as “software, where it makes sense.” Open source bigots tend to think everything should be open source. I don’t agree with that, but I do like (and support) open source. I’ve actually supported a number of open source projects. My point was more to the fact that software should be chosen on its merits, not just the fact that it is or isn’t open source. Most open source software is crap; but, on the other hand, there are some absolutely fabulous apps out there.

    2. Thank you for the reply. Im pleased you seem to take the light hearted tone in good humor, it was meant that way.

      “My “oldest machine” is 4.5 years old.”

      And this runs Windows 7? Thats pretty good going. What are the specs for this machine? Im sure that will be interesting news for many, although for those wanting the “XP mode” its certainly not going to be powerful enough is it? and if you are correct a 4 year old PC running Windows 7 IMO shows how badly written Vista was when alot of machines at that time had problems with it. Taking you on your word, that to me suggests that Vista was wholly unsuitable to be released when it was.

      “Open source bigots tend to think everything should be open source.”

      Bigots a bit of a strong word, but yes I would agree with you. Since I think there are some very good proprietary alternatives to Microsoft products you’ll be pleased to hear Im not one of them.

      “but I do like (and support) open source. ”

      Yes, that is what I was interested in. I wanted you to give an example. I linked to your page so people could see that statement. You dont need to repeat it here, simply answer the question.

      “I’ve actually supported a number of open source projects.”

      Moonlight & Mono by any chance? 😉

      “My point was more to the fact that software should be chosen on its merits”

      Dont let Steve Ballmer hear you say that.

      “Most open source software is crap”

      Firstly I take exception to that. If a package does not perform as expected you move on, not cheapen the efforts of someone who has given their time to it for free.

      “here are some absolutely fabulous apps out there.”

      and again I say, give examples.

      Im sure you are an educated person. You know exactly where I am going with this post. Whilst you have tried to give politician style answers, you know as well as I do they are not the ones wanted.

      The whole reason I challenged you is that I am struggling to believe a person with your position could or would ever start saying which FOSS packages they thought were better. Microsoft wouldnt like it, the shareholders wouldnt like it, but more importantly (IMO) Ballmer wouldnt like it.

      As I say I believe you knew where this was going, dont think readers will be satisfied with a fudged answer like that.

      “Open source bigots tend to think everything should be open source”

      “Proprietary bigots tend to think everything should be proprietary how else can they get their hands on your money?”

    3. The machine is a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 32-bit 2ghz processor and 2gb RAM. I’ve been using Vista on it since beta 2 and haven’t looked back since. I use this laptop as a dev/media machine it’s worked perfectly fine. It’s actually performed better than it did on XP, believe it or not. Actually, let me say it’s been cooler than it was with XP. Vista is spectacularly better than XP and I hate the fact that I have to deal with one machine still on XP. Heck, I don’t even have an interest in XP Mode. You should remember that XP Mode is a necessity only because app vendors are either lazy or just plain don’t care about their users.

      Yes, “bigots” is a strong word, but that’s how I meant it. I have no problem with true open source proponents. It’s all about choosing software on the merits.

      The largest open source project I was on was DotNetNuke (DNN). I’ve also supported a number of other small efforts, but nothing too notable. I’ve even talked to people about making their code open source and committed quite a bit of time to make it so. Everything I’ve worked on personally in the past 5 yrs has made it into the community in one form or another.

      I don’t care if Ballmer sees my comments. Just because I work for Microsoft doesn’t mean I agree with (or even like) every decision made by the company. It’s a company of people, who each have their own comments and opinions, hence the tweet you initially commented on, which was between two Microsoft employees.

      I’m an open book. If you want to see what apps I use, check out Wakoopa @ Some of the apps I use on a daily basis include TortoiseSVN/Subversion, 7zip, Notepad2, jQuery, GhostDoc, and, of course, Chirpr (another project I work on). There are others, but I’m not here to prove myself.

      Just like I don’t care if Ballmer (or anyone on the way up to him) sees my comments,

      I’ve always been very vocal about my distaste for some Microsoft software. I truely believe Microsoft is a great company with great people and great software, but that’s not to say it’s perfect. There are a ton of examples that I don’t have the time or desire to go thru. Since you apparently won’t be satisfied without at least one example, Subversion has a much better approach to version control than TFS. Need more? Firefox has a better extensibility model than IE; iPhone has a better UI than Windows Mobile; Gmail is a much cleaner, better performing interface than Hotmail; and, Groove has to be the worst app I’ve ever used. (How’s that for not making MS leadership happy?) On the other hand, .NET is a much better platform than Java; Office 2007 hit the streets with the most innovative UI enhancement I’ve seen in a very, very long time; Windows Vista and Windows 7 continue to prove to be the best operating systems in an ever more complex world; and, well, you get the idea. Before you say it, I started off on a Mac, I’ve tried Ubuntu Linux, I used to work with Java and started my professional career on the Oracle/Java stack. I’ve been on that side and my decision is obvious. I work for Microsoft because I believe in the platform and vision for the future. The bottom line is, companies aren’t evil, people are.

    4. Very nice response, this isnt a question of me being satisfied with your answers, its simply asking for the question to be answered (which you did)

      I asked you to clarify since the original answer you put here was simply a repeat of what was on your website and that had already been mentioned in the article.

      I am encouraged you embrace the ethos of alternatives even though you obviously have a Microsoft background (by employment)

      However nothing in your list of apps would really annoy management IMO and certainly not affect the products or cashcows that Microsoft will be relying on.

      OpenOffice? Saying that the UI in WM is not as good as Iphone skirts around the subject of an OS that is truly disgusting IMO (in relation to WM)

      FF and IE? Well at the end of the day we know MS is going to have to tow the EU line (or will it?) and I think that MS is conceeding the browser war (or its certainly not as bothered in it as it is say Google or OpenOffice.)

      .Net developer? We have something in common. I too have a Vista experience everyday. Its certainly not like yours.

      Moving on, you champion Gmail however your reason for doing so is a better performing interface. Thats hardly going to annoy Ballmer, when youve missed out the points that Hotmail is reportedly a big culprit in relation to spam accounts and of late had some “issues” in relation to its servers.

      Quote “You should remember that XP Mode is a necessity only because app vendors are either lazy or just plain don’t care about their users.”

      No, its not. Come on. If you were a small indi software house would you keep your software Vista compliant if your customers are not demanding it in enough volume in order to make it cost effective?

      Lets have a look at “dont care about their users” and consider that there may be issues closer to home that relate to that comment.

      I was quite happy to go along with what you were saying, however Ive had extensive Vista experience and its a whole lot different to yours. The mainstream press say so, customers say so but more importantly the sales figures show its not the raving success MS wanted it to be and why many years down the line we find Netbooks with XP deployed, XP support being extended and even an XP mode on 7.

      Putting that asside, lets hear then what Windows 7 offers the customer that cannot be achieved either natively or via 3rd party software in XP.

      While you at it, take a look at performance results on many sites in regards to XP/Vista, and ask yourself why WINE seems to do a better job of XP compat than Vista or the “XP Mode” on 7 (IMO)

      If you are saying Vista is great and you have no interest in XP mode, will you be staying with Vista then? Whats the advantage of 7.

      Quote “Just like I don’t care if Ballmer (or anyone on the way up to him) sees my comments, ”

      Brave words. Id just make sure the chairs are hidden if he pays a visit to your office.

      Quote “The bottom line is, companies aren’t evil, people are.”

      Yes and we’ve seen the underhanded practices on the net before by certain proprietary firms (or if you like proprietary people) have we not?

      Thanks for replying.

    5. Just to say in something here, the oldest PC i was able to put Windows 7 in was on a 2001-03 School PC. It was faulty so my teacher let me a go at it. If i remember right, it was running on a very low clocked Pentium 4 and the RAM was about around 200MB, so the only thing i upgraded was the RAM to 512MB and see if it will install from there. The install took about 40 mintues and well it works. I don’t know how but it does. It works faster then the Windows 2000 computer i have to use in class and it’s the same specs but just the RAM increased.(they took out XP and put 2000 due to one, performense, and second is the security at the time).

      Also @openbytes, do you think the Android OS on a netbook is exciting or not for you?

    6. Hi Alex.

      Yes Im sure the system did take a Win 7 install, although I would question the amount of space left on the HD after it. Also you seem to imply that the speed to acceptable, however, Ive found that Windows users as a rule have much lower standards when it comes to operating speeds. (probably years of being victims of malware and bloat, added with “the vista experience”

      That being said, what on earth would you want Win 7 on an old laptop for? Thats what XPs for and unless you go for the hobbled Windows 7 starter (which Im not sure you will be able to) you will probably find the cost of Windows 7 is more than the value of your machine.

      In addition, try performing a few tasks at once and come back with your observations then. Just because you can boot it doesnt mean it will be fit for purpose.

      Obviously a 2001 laptop wont be able to play the latest DX software, so why bother with the expense of a Windows 7 install at all? except to have a play with the freebie until 2010.

      MS faithful said for a long time that getting a system on old specs was the remit of Linux and made fun of the fact that a linux rig did not need to be cutting edge. Now it appears everyone thinks making Windows work on an old system is a great idea and everything is forgotten.

      Microsoft IMO will change its mind on a whim and quite happy to jump on any bandwagon if it sees competition making a success of it. Ipod/Zune. Google/MSlive. Unfortunately IMO it doesnt quite understand what makes a product good and thats why its different schemes are being overtaken or in some cases completely beaten by others alternatives.

      Android on a netbook? No real opinion. I support the ethos of alternatives that are best for the consumer at hand and try to stay away from naming a particular one. Id say Id judge an OS on its merits and my experiences. Thats why I use Linux at home. I can find no justification in the Windows platform.

      Windows users in particular seem to forget that unlike what Microsoft tries to imply (IMO), the OS is not the answer to life the universe and everything.

      An OS should be something that sits quietly and unassumingly in the background as possible using as little system resources as it can and acting as a launchpad for other apps.
      It should not be something in which to try and push more of the companies products nor should it try to be a jack of all trades.
      Maybe thats why the EU is involved in regards to anti-trust? Maybe thats why the Windows platform (IMO) is the bloated monster it is, and more importantly maybe why MS have finally woken up and see that many users are wanting a tight secure OS where they have total freedom in the packages they choose to run on it.

      From what Ive seen Windows 7 is fine. However the operating speed is still far inferior to what I expect of a Linux distro and the footprint Win 7 requires IMO is totally unacceptable to me.

    7. It has about 32GB Left out of 38GB the tower has. Also, yes i don’t know why anyone would put Windows 7 on a old laptop. I see no point of it. I can understand if it’s to test if it will work but i would rather to have XP or a Linux distro (Like Ubuntu or Fedora) on it.
      Since today, i was able to perform tasks and see how much it could handle. It handles good for a regular class room(Nothing for like a image editing or anything like that.). It just starts to get sluggish when you have about 3 IE tabs open to sites like engadget or joystiq. But everything else runs okay. To me, it’s at least faster then Windows 2000 that was on it before. I was also having like 4 Explorer windows open, MS Paint, Word, WMP, and other stuff i can find right away to see if it will start to freeze up but it just handled it. It got a bit sluggish again but it could handle it.

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