Today my partner unplugged a number of network cables, not realising their importance. Now for about three hours my Windows 7 desktop will not find one of the computers on my home network (a networked file store). Two windows XP systems on the network successfully find this machine and can access it. Neither of the two Windows 7 machines on the network can do this. I have rebooted all machines, the two network switches involved, without success. I have seen this situation numerous times before and I think it likely that tomorrow morning to Windows 7 machines will probably have found the networked file store. I am really writing this to register my annoyance with Microsoft for allowing this problem (which I know very well is very widespread) to continue. I should add that I have turned the network discovery option off and on numerous times during this work. On the one and only one occasion did it actually find any computers on a network apart from the system on which I am writing this message. Meantime the XP systems could see them all. I weep, banging my head on the wall, and rage, not with just annoyance at my own situation, but with annoyance at Microsoft. The company has built a marvellous edifice of stable operating systems and the excellent and highly functional components of the Office suite, but with problems like this that persist for many years, users will depart (and in a huge number of cases have departed) for other systems which are lightweight, flaky, and in no way match what Microsoft did when it was doing its best. I confidently predict that in five or 10 years Microsoft will be something of a bit player with end user computing, and the main reason for this is that experienced users like myself have to put up with rank bad service that last for years and years and years, giving detriment to an otherwise good operating system. If you want to squeeze a bit more out of my spleen, I feel that Microsoft has really short changed users with its whole philosophy of developing its end user operating systems. Two examples: in Windows 8, the global search for a character string facility has been removed!! If they had the tiniest brain they would have enhanced this Windows 7 facility, for example allowing a user to type a Bing query that would search the contents of the computer. Second example: in our computers we still have essentially two file stores, one of e-mail messages and another of files. In a productivity aid like a PC this is nothing but plain stupid. If this problem had been addressed 10 years ago, as it easily could have been, by a unified storage system, Microsoft would have held a much firmer grip on computing. As it is, they have lost this by 10 or 15 years of largely piffling developments that have been manifestations of a total lack of strategy. RIP Microsoft!