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Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Trouble with Microsoft.


As a purely ordinary PC user, i.e not a corporate or business user, I thought that I would put my views forward as to why Microsoft has missed the boat somewhat and allowed others to pass them by in the ‘keeping up with trends’ race. First of all, I feel that every corporation or manufacturer, in whatever area they are, needs competition. Without competition, you would simply stagnate, there would be no one to ‘keep you on your toes’ to encourage you to be innovative or imaginative. You would tend to sit on your laurels because you would be the only one available to your customers, and they in turn would have no other avenue to compare your products with. There would simply be no incentive to improve.

Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, if you had the market all to yourself, you would have little need to listen to feedback from your customers, what they would like in the way of improvements, the future avenues they would find useful, so feedback would not be as important either, you could just move in any direction that you as a business felt was right or suited you. Which users feedback should you listen to as a huge business anyway? The one’s who make you the most profit? Or have done in the past? In Microsoft’s case, this has tended to be the corporate user simply because they were the ‘cash cows’ as they were the largest PC users, and also needed Microsoft’s Office Suite.

The ‘none corporate’ user were in the minority, not a lot of none corporate users owned their own computer in the past, but now things have changed. Slowly over time, we the ‘ordinary’ none corporate user have grown in number, we own PC’s, laptops, iPads, smart phones, and our needs and wants are no where near the same as the corporate user. We want to share, form communities, make friends online, share stories, photos, communicate, and be able to sync instantly our files and photos across our devices without hassle, as long as we have okayed that sync.

Because Microsoft was listening to the wrong audience, they have allowed themselves to lag behind the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook, who haven’t been as concerned about concentrating their listening to the feedback from their corporate users. Today technology has a different set of users, still growing in number, whilst the corporate user, at least in my neck of the woods, is still stagnating and falling behind by still using Windows XP as their operating system, probably because of the cost of re-training their workforce to use a new version of Windows. In fact, I would imagine that there are more none corporate users who have made the leap to Windows 7, and will do the same with Windows 8. It could also be the same story with MS Office as well, but as I am not party to sales this is only a guess on my part.

So where does all the money come from now? The large corporate user, or the ever growing number of ‘ordinary’ users? If you are only looking and listening in one direction, you miss the ability to listen to the requests from the other direction, and can end up lagging so far behind, that it’s going to be hard going to keep up.

(I’m only a Granny, and this post is my personal view of why I think Microsoft need to take a long hard look at who’s feedback they take notice of.)



  1. I was very dissapointed with Windows 7. I find it fussy and not as easy as XP. Not being a technical sort all I ask is that the operating system be easy to use. It seems all they've done is changed the graphics and added steps to certain functions that aren't needed. As soon as any company becomes huge, the largest in their particular industry, they think they can do no wrong. They try to dictate what consumers want in stead of listening to what they want. Look at what happened to General Motors, once the largest corporation in the world, they stupidly kept trying to sell second rate vehicles, lost there huge market share and went bankrupt. The bigger they are the worst they are.

  2. I assure you that Windows 7 is far easier to use, setting up wireless is a doddle and connecting other equipment is as easy as plugging it in, no faffing around with finding drivers etc. I love it!

  3. I agree W7 is easier to use than XP, especially with Control Panel issues. My beef is that MSFT starts things, but doesn't finish them. Then drops them along with millions of customers. I had 2 websites using the Office Live Small Business platform. I started with the beta and transitioned to v.1.5. That's where it stagnated for 3 years. Now, they are dropping it for something new and much more expensive. Then, I have a perfectly good XP desktop that functions as a weather station server. I used WLSync to keep the station data backed up. MSFT walked away from that too, abandoning all support for XP in Windows Live. Finally, remember WLSpaces? MSFT got bored and walked away again. That's three strikes right there, and I'll be thinking long and hard before getting hooked into another MSFT venture. As a contrast, I started using Blogger just about a year ago. In that brief time, it has been continuously improved and enhanced. Skydrive? After these experiences I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I have never been one of those MSFT haters. For me, it's a local business that I have known and loved since the early '80's with my first 64K IBM PC. Sometimes, however, it seems that MSFT hates me.

  4. Couldn't agree with you more Dave. It's as if MS can never make its mind up in what direction it wants to go. But I blame most of it on who's feedback they take notice of. I'm not saying that corporate feedback isn't important, don't get me wrong, just that as others have proved, its now not as important, and ALL feedback from whoever your users are should be given just as much weight. Where is the community now on Windows Live? Gone, so watch that all now be abandoned as well.

  5. Good post TG. We are still on XP at work but should be changing soon. Another reason for corporations not keeping up with the latest is that they have to make sure that all of their other programs will be compatible with the new system. That's why we still have IE6 at work too. Luckily we have Firefox, but the security filters block some photo's and being able to comment on some blogs. Otherwise I would have wrote this when I was there today.

  6. I forgot to mention, I am trying out Twitter now. I see that you have been on it for quite a while and I am wondering how you like it, and if you plan to use the new picture upload tool. I want to try it but it isn't available to me yet.

  7. Fill me in Gerry! Which new picture upload tool is this then? I've somehow missed this. I use Twitter a lot, prefer it to Facebook to be honest with you.

  8. I couldn't agree with Dave more. I am so disappointed in how Microsoft uses us with free stuff then dumps it later. Who knows when photo storage there will disappear also. I am just still experiencing sign it problems here at blogger. On a different not I just wish for faster internet connections which may be coming soon to my area with G4 or is it 4G satillite internet next winter. I pay right now almost 70.oo a month for only 512kbps downloads speeds. The new system will offer the higher speeds for less then what I am paying now. It's about time for some of us really rural people with no other internet access to get some deals and higher speeds.


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