A few years back there was a PDC in Los Angeles and alpha builds of Longhorn were released. There was so much hype and so many promises that when Vista/Server 2k8 was finally released the build up to them practically guaranteed failure. Fast forward to now when just about every pundit loving to take pot shots at Microsoft is saying that Windows 7 is the answer to our prayers. Mark my words, it will not be. It too will be set up for failure. In addition to the “what the heck is that?” that we’re having to deal with in the marketplace is the huge annoyance of what this churn is doing to the partner ecosystem. At the Server 2008 launch in Fresno I said that XP would be available after 6/30 through the downgrade right programs via the OEMs. People in the audience didn’t believe me. People do believe the “I’ve heard”.
“I’ve heard Vista sucks.”
“I’ve heard that it’s harder to find things.”
When in reality from my own interactions with co-workers, employees, clients and most importantly, my Sister, it’s the IT pros that are dealing with the change the worst, and the end users, as long as their program icons are plopped on the desktop, they are happy campers. As my sister says, Office 2007 was the “Whoa, where is everything!”, not Vista. And once she installed the “training wheels” for folks, people settled in, began the transition to the ribbon bar and now after several months hardly use the training wheels at all.
What really upsets/concerns me the most about Microsoft lately is the marketing engine it once was, seemingly is no more. Instead it’s letting it’s partners take the heat, and putting folks like Brian in extremely awkward positions. Microsoft pushes it’s partners to get into managed services by touting Erick Simpson and Matt’s Managed services books and podcasts. “Be a trusted advisor” they tell the partners. But how can Brian be a trusted advisor if the very company he relies on for trust has Steve Ballmer at the MVP summit say “Vista is a work in progress” and others say things like “This is v1 of UAC” and says no more XP after 6/30 on one hand and then the OEMs come back and say they will be offering it until 2009. Makes people really want to jump on V1 doesn’t it when you say things like that.
Steve, think of your business manager roots. I’m not asking you to lie to your customers nor your partners, but a little Vista love out in the marketplace would go a long way to showing me that you understand that your business impacts Brian’s business. Right now you are letting him hang out there to dry in the marketplace of his customers.
Stop that please.