Reply to post: It's a sad story actually...

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

Anonymous Coward

It's a sad story actually...

"It's not surprising that Microsoft wants to have its cake and eat – it always has."

In my opinion Microsoft is capable of doing some great things. I know there's sometimes also a bit of controversy involved but even so, some of their work was pretty slick. For example I still enjoy the new ribbon interface, and not just that: it has also been adapted by some of my other favorite software products (Visual Paradigm in particular; this is an UML modeling / IT design tool) and I honestly prefer the ribbon over the classic icon toolbars.

Then I also think that Microsoft can also sell this product decently well. I still remember that classic OneNote commercial which I think was pretty funny (guy does shopping while using OneNote to maintain his grocery list and all sorts of stuff gets added (candy canes!!), then it finally hit him: his kids are messing around ;)).

The main problem though is that Microsoft somehow can't make a decently appealing starting consumer product and / or environment. There's always something wrong. Take the very first Windows Phone: it didn't have a todo and you couldn't even sync anything with your desktop. To add insult to injury geeks such as myself couldn't even mess with their own phones, only after paying Microsoft $100 for that privilege. It's really strange how that never really took off....

Now, they also know how to turn it around eventually. Many of their products started out in a horrendous way but ended up as small pearls (in my opinion anyway). Expression Web for example (web editor tool) was pretty much a disaster at first: not very stable, quirky interface, etc. But in the end it was really quite good. I even bought a license a few months before it was discontinued and made available free of charge, and I never regretted that because I honestly believed it was well worth the money.

The problem: a bad start gains you bad publicity and bad experiences. And once people jump off your bandwagon then good luck trying to win them back again. That is in my opinion Microsoft's biggest undoing.

If you want to gather a serious fanbase you should work *with* your customers, not make it seem as if you're working actively against them (anyone remember Visual Studio? "Now, without ANY distracting colors", it was a plain out disaster). I've chatted with many veteran Visual Studio users who even went further than my dislike (I eventually enjoyed VS 2012, I still use it today) and didn't even bother with that: they stuck on 2010 because that did what they wanted, and even had a good color scheme.

As said: I honestly believe that Microsoft has the potential it needs to make this work. But they seem so caught up in their own twisted ideas of "change is good, change sells, we need change" and without ever bothering to think about what the consumer might think.... That is just a recipe for disaster.

And I think it's a sad story because Microsoft could be a lot better and more respected than they are now.

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