Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Microsoft Dinosaur

Why insulting your customers is not a good way to get them to buy your products

Every time I see those damn Microsoft Office dinosaur ads my blood boils. I paid a lot of money for my new copies of Office97 Professional and Developer's Edition, as well as Office XP Developers Edition. They both work fine on the machines I installed them on. The advertised ones don't work; none of my customers have them either, mainly because their hardware still runs Windows 98SE.
Microsoft was delighted to sell me these products when they were released. Now they want to insult me by saying that they sold me a dinosaur. What a bunch of arrogant, manipulative money grabbers! When did they forget that "the customer is always right"?
I don't recall seeing a "sell by" date on the package. Yet every time I get a fatal error on Access97 I get the wonderful error screen shown below. Perhaps they should put that in their advertising.
Their new ads are just a reworking of the same old tired "latest and greatest" theme that they have been cranking out for years. Frankly, I'm sick of it. It's a pain in the neck installing patches for products; but it's even more painful when obvious problems are no longer patched. Support is part of the deal, and as long as customers are using the product, it should be supported. Not everyone can or wants to upgrade. Please don't insult the ones who don't upgrade and expect them to remain loyal customers.

And don't insult your customers by implying that they hit the wrong button. They didn't decide on the default placement of the buttons, did they?

1 comment:

Yuhong Bao said...

FYI, back in the Office 97 era, there was indeed no formally defined product support lifecycle for Office. This changed in Oct 2002 when a formal lifecycle policy came into effect and it was applied to Office 2000 and later as well as most other MS products. Back then it was at least 5 years of mainstream support + 2 years extended support (later extended to 5 years in mid-2004). FYI, all remaining support for Office 97 ended in January 2004 after 7 years.