Charles Stross is one of my favourite writers. He’s a contemporary SciFi author, very imaginative and with an interesting sense of humour.
He also knows a lot about computers and software, having been a columnist for a computer magazine for some time.
Those two aspects of his biography positions him uniquely to criticize word processing software. And he hates Microsoft Word. Reading his essay, I felt vindicated, right from the start: "I hate Microsoft Word. I want Microsoft Word to die. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion. I hate Microsoft Word the way Winston Smith hated Big Brother. Our reasons are, alarmingly, not dissimilar …
Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination, a petty, unimaginative, inconsistent dictator that is ill-suited to any creative writer’s use. Worse: it is a near-monopolist, dominating the word processing field. Its pervasive near-monopoly status has brainwashed software developers to such an extent that few can imagine a word processing tool that exists as anything other than as a shallow imitation of the Redmond Behemoth."