Communication 101

As a customer, as a consumer, as a shareholder I expect a certain level of communication.  And today during the 06-055 Security webcast I received a "communication" that the WGA tool was updated.  Mind you this is a "non security update" being discussed in a Security webcast.

Earlier this month I went to a presentation on business communication… and talking about the 'critical communication' that sometimes gets lost when one person expects one kind of communication and gets delivered another.  This is a prime example of a loss of "critical communication".  I expected a blog post on the WGA blog for this kind of update occurred.  There is none.  While I don't expect to see such an announcment on the WGA forums, given the past outcry over this piracy tool, as a shareholder of Microsoft I hope someone up there learned from the lack of communication in the past to better communicate in the future.

Lessons to learn:

  • Learn from your past mistakes here and tell us ahead of time that a WGA update will occur, what it's doing and what to expect.
  • Don't have it as a bullet point on an Out of Band Security Patch webcast (it's not a security update, is it?)  If I had not attended for the 06-055 bulletin issues, the first way I would know is seeing an update on a system under my control.  Just like I've bugged in the past to the WSUS folks.. I should not have to go to the computer to see what patches will be there.. I should be informed ahead of time so that I know what to expect and it's more of an 'audit' process.

As someone who has stock in this company called Microsoft, all I respectfully ask as a Shareholder, is that someone takes a moment to post to a blog.  I expected that they had learned the lesson of communication the last time the WGA hit the you know what.  Apparently they didn't.  Or perhaps my expectations of where the communication would be regarding a WGA update was wrong.  I was hoping that the WGA blog or forum would be a communications vehicle to better prevent this lack of communication.  Maybe my expectations are wrong?  I don't know.

What I do know is that I don't accept the "we don't have the bandwidth" excuse that I'll get sometimes.  I have the bandwidth to test patches and deploy them in my network, I have the bandwidth to beta test stuff, I have the bandwidth to help Microsoft make a better product.  You, the company of Microsoft has the fundamental responsibility to communicate to me in cases like this.  I understand the issues of limited resources even in a large company… but communication is a fundamental tool that cannot and should not be overlooked by any organization.  I now have to find the bandwidth to go to machines to figure out who's getting offered up WGA and why so that when I get questions about it, I am ready to communicate.

Without "critical communication" at the appropriate time, things can become critical.

Communication.  It's part of being human.  We all need to do more of it. 

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