A few weeks ago, I thought it might be fun to play with Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash, source of endless ugly unusable websites. So, I went to the website to download the trial.
Now, Adobe is a company which makes various creative software with a large user-base in the web design industry. Through its Macromedia takeover, it now also produces Flash, server-side language ColdFusion, and a few other bits and pieces.
Anyway, try visiting the site. Try to download the trial version. Note that each page takes a few minutes to load, and that occasionally it will just fail entirely with error messages in English and what I think may be Japanese.
Well, maybe their Internet connection isn't all it could be? Not so; when I FINALLY got through all the signup pages and so on, the software downloaded at about two megabytes per second.
So there is one obvious culprit left. Adobe's site is written in their proprietary server-side scripting language, ColdFusion. I've never liked the idea of ColdFusion; it's strange and unstructured. But even if I did like it, I'd be very, very cautious of any product whose manufacturer is unable to sensibly implement their own website in it.
And then there's MSDN. MSDN is Microsoft's support and documentation site for third party developers, who, remember, are more or less entirely responsible for the success of Windows and thus Microsoft. Getting a page for any random Windows API function seems to take 10 to 20 seconds. Really. In this day and age. The search appears to be entirely useless (in fact, a look round the Internet indicates that the generally preferred method of searching MSDN is with Google).
Remember that Microsoft also has a server-side language (ASP.NET) and that they have a search engine with which they would like to compete with Google.
I really can't understand the thinking behind these sites. For a company who produces tools to make websites to have a website which is un-usably slow can surely not be a good idea. Microsoft's neglect of its developers seems particularly surprising; they really are enormously dependent on them, after all, and a lot more development nowadays is done in situations where the target platform doesn't really matter (web applications and so on); if another system is cheaper to develop for because programmers have to wait 20 seconds for each page load on MSDN, while the other system has working online documentation, people may start to choose it.