“This is How You Treat Your Customers”

by Joey deVilla on October 3, 2007

Sign for “Hell” with icicles hanging from it.

A refrain we use quite often here at Global Nerdy is that Microsoft’s consumer offerings make you feel as though you’re dining from the table scraps from the dumpsters of the customers they really love: corporate drones running Office, Exchange and SQL Server. However, there are a couple of bright spots in their more recent consumer items:

This move isn’t just uncharacteristic of Microsoft, but in light of the recent Appledickery — that is, Apple’s war against its own fans — it’s downright inspired:

Twenty years ago, the portable music player of the time — the Walkman — could only be a Walkman since it was a single-purpose hardware whose sole task was to play cassette tapes. That era’s video players, cellular phones and handheld electronic games also faced the same mechanical limitation — each device could only perform its intended task. Under the hood, each of these device types was quite different.

These days, there isn’t much that separates music players, video players, phones and handheld electronic games. While the user interfaces are different, they’re all just general-purpose computers that vary in processing power and memory. This fact is not lost on the vendors, but many are hoping that consumers are still stuck on the mechanical-era “upgrade treadmill” mindset. Apple seems to be thinking this way, but Microsoft apparently isn’t. Kudos to Microsoft for treating their early adopters properly.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Andre Richards October 9, 2007 at 6:55 pm

> The iPhone’s “early adopter tax”

Maybe I missed something but didn’t Apple give a refund? Why are people like you still whining about this?

> iPhone “bricking”

Apple gave ample warnings and made the update optional (unlike certain MS stealth update tactics.) People who went ahead anyway and updated got what was coming to them. What’s the problem?

> The “gimping” of the iPod Touch. Despite the fact that
> the iPod Touch is running on the same OS

Big deal! Yeah, when I fly on an airplane, it peeves me off because those first-class guys get all the attention despite the fact that we’re flying on the same plane. The iPod Touch isn’t advertised as an equal to the iPhone. You want that, you get to pay a little more. That’s life. Apple’s not the only one playing that game. Quit whining.

> Kudos to Microsoft for treating their early
> adopters properly.

The Zune is an uninspired, wannabe product and MS is playing second fiddle–a role they don’t normally have to deal with. Of course, they’re going to do whatever it takes to impress their customers. But be honest about it. If they were #1 in digital music players, do you think they’d be doing the same? If you think so, I invite you to review MS’s history at some point. They don’t treat customers well when they’re the 500 lb. gorilla in a given market.

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