No, really. I’ve been a SharePoint MVP for a couple of years now and it’s great. My award cycle renews in April and I’m looking to receive the coveted Silver Sow award for SharePoint again but for awhile now, something else has caught my eye. It’s that silly little application that everyone uses, Notepad!
You know all about Notepad. In fact, it’s deployed to every Windows machine out there. Yup, every single machine. Let that sink in for a minute. It even can’t be uninstalled so it’s almost like Internet Explorer (but much better). It’s used worldwide and I bet you yourself have used it every day (or at least once in your lifetime). I’ve heard even Bill Gates and Steve Balmer use it whenver they right click and select View Source on a web page like Google to see what those crazy guys are up to (Bill and Steve don’t use those “enhanced” versions like Notepad++ or Notepad2).
What’s so great about Notepad you ask? Here are some interesting facts:
- Notepad saves files with a .txt extension and has no formatting or styles, making it suitable for editing any file at all.
- It can edit traditional 8–bit text files as well as Unicode (both UTF-8 and UTF-16, and in the case of UTF-16, both little-endian and big-endian files)
- Notepad has been around since Windows version 1.0 in 1985 (it might be older than some of you out there)
- Notepad does not require a lock on a file (like Wordpad does) so it can open files already open by other processes
- Like Visual Studio, it already has an edit and continue feature as you just keep on going as you’re working, no mess, no fuss
- Notepad supports headers and footers (just like Word) and you can insert the current Date and Time by pressing F5 (go ahead, try it, betcha didn’t know it was there did you?)
- The current version number is 5.1.2600.2180. That’s a lot of builds for such a small program.
- Notepad only uses about 4k of memory which is a lot less than Word or Visual Studio uses.
- While Notepad is not a .NET application, it already supports NoTouch deployment as it’s installed by default.
- Notepad fully supports the “It just works” motto by Microsoft
- Nobody has ever reporting having to use Task Manager to shut down the Notepad process or Notepad hanging their system
Notepad is the perfect Agile piece of software, as it only implements what it needs. No RSS feeds. No stupid tabs. No silly Ribbon or fancy dropdown toolbars. There’s no crazy COM interface or unnecessary managed code bulk, it’s just plain old good C code.
So you can clearly see why I want to be the first Notepad MVP don’t you? I however have a quandry. A dilemma if you will. You see, you can only be awarded for one product as an MVP at a time. So much as I want to be a Notepad MVP, I would have to give up my current SharePoint MVP status in order to achieve this. This in itself isn’t a bad thing considering I would be giving it up for Notepad but I must do my due dilligence here, namely let’s compare SharePoint to Notepad to see if being an MVP in one is better than the other.
|Notepad is already installed on every machine and no configuration is required.||SharePoint takes about 1/2 hour to install and another 10–15 minutes to configure.|
|Notepad requires less than 100,000 bytes on your hard disk.||SharePoint requires 512,000,000 bytes on your hard disk|
|Notepad can work with any type of files.||SharePoint only supports Microsoft Office files (natively).|
|Notepad runs on all versions of Windows (including 3.x and Vista)||SharePoint only runs on Windows Server 2003.|
|Notepad is free.||SharePoint Portal Server costs $3,999 USD per server and $71 USD per device or user connecting to it.|
|Notepad can be taught to anyone (including Grandma who has never seen a computer before and thinks her cordless phone is a wonder of technology) in less than 10 minutes (assuming Grandma is awake for the whole 10 minutes).||SharePoint requires expensive training and sometimes, people still don’t get it.|
|Notepad supports custom headers and footers when printing.||SharePoint pages can’t print a damn.|
|Notepad launches in under 10 seconds on practically any hardware.||SharePoint launches in about 2–3 minutes on high end server hardware.|
It’s painfully obvious how much of an advantage Notepad has over SharePoint. I mean, the cost savings alone for an organization… that just writes itself.
Of course, there’s also the problem that Notepad isn’t a recognized product for the MVP program, but as a Notepad MVP I’m willing to look past that. If you support and nomimate me to this honorary status I promise to:
- Always push Microsoft to include Notepad on every single operating system they produce and never change it
- Support and contribute to the Notepad Microsite where everyone can add their experiences with Notepad for everyone to see
- Hold frequent webcasts on what’s new with Notepad and offer Notepad related swag
- Show how Notepad can benefit your Enterprise and how easily it integrates into complex business proceses using BizTalk (Notepad is an *excellent* Xml editor too!)
- Solicit the book vendors to write the first Notepad Unleashed book and make it available as a downloadable e-book that Notepad itself can read.
So here’s to that old 69,632 byte program on everyone’s hard drive that we can’t do without. Here’s to the day that, like when Halle Berry accepted the Academy Award in 2003, Bill Gates will present the Notepad MVP award to me personally at the 2007 Global MVP Summit. Here’s to Notepad! The everymans (and everywomans) editor of choice!