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ASK HN: Is Microsoft Windows Rude?
3 points by MichaelRo 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
I sometimes accidentally press Enter on the Windows login screen and I get the rather rude message "Provide a pin". No please.

I tried on Linux (don't have a Mac) and it's polite as I'd expected a prompt to be: "Password didn't work. PLEASE try again".

I mean like, didn't your momma teach you to say "please"? Is this the standard nowadays, so the product manager at the most used desktop OS in the world thinks it's OK to omit it? "(fuck you), provide a password!".

I wonder how Mac handles this issue.

I don't mind the terse messages, it's functional. It is rude for allowing applications to steal application focus. You can thankfully use a hack to disable this though.

They intentionally avoid platitudes and trying to personify the operating system, if I remember the design guides correctly.

In an analogy to the Berlin Wall, sounds to me how the obnoxious intimidating Soviet border guard would ask for your documents. "Show me your documents!", in a threatening, intransigent manner. You're a peasant at their mercy, don't like it, you can go f yourself. There's no need for politeness in a police state.

The "please" before "show me your documents" that I'm getting at EU border entries makes all the difference in the world.

Micro$oft apparently considers it's unnecessary.

And yet, using "please" for demands is more commonly seen as authoritarian. Even spawning a game referencing such fake platitudes: "Papers, Please."

Well you can't eliminate the authoritarian element completely but I still prefer "Pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the f**g car".

I went into a client to do some enhancements many years back. All the UI messages were in one file, stuff like "You must enter birth date". I thought they were a bit brusque so I global edited the file so they all read "Sorry, you must ...". Whatever else I did, the staff loved me to bits for that.

I find superfluous pleasantries from a computer program unneccesary — I know English is generally leaning to a overly-polite side, but there is really no value in personifying a computer (this annoys me with ChatGPT default style too).

Do you really get offended that computer is being direct at you?

I mean, it usually has things it wants to do with your PC, which it considers much more important than anything you might want to do with your PC. If it's feeling generous it might give you a countdown before it clobbers all your stuff and does its own thing. Infamously, if you try to adjust its behaviours, it often complains, asks you to justify yourself, or just straight up changes the settings back.

If that's not rude, I don't know what is.

The nonverbal indiscretions such as reverting your settings, or proliferating advertisements seem rude to me more so than the message text most of the time.

On linux my sudo is configured to use swear words if i misstype the password.

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