Dear Steve:

On July 29, 2005, in Rants, by

Dear Steve: 

I used to call you Mr. Ballmer, but we’ve swapped emails a rare time or two [yes he does email back] and I’ve used this blog venue a time or two as well so I think I can call you Steve now.  I just read where you announced in front of a bunch of beancounters that you’ll be selling a “new” higher priced version of Windows and Office that will be high end desktop editions. 

We have plans in the Vista generation to introduce an Enterprise edition”

Oh please don’t.  It’s bad enough that we have to deal with convincing folks that Windows XP Home is …well..for HOME and not for an office, it’s bad enough that the Dell Small business sales catalogs feature XP Home, it’s bad enough to wade through the versions of Office [and no ..the Student and Teacher edition should not be a valid version for a small business].  But when you say you’ll have an “Enterprise version” that will have high end features…watch it, Sir.  You know us small businesses can [and many times do] have more of your new technology than older firms.  I’m 110% Borg now [the added 10% is due to the Smart Phone we just got].

Don’t say “Enterprise” and only think Big Business.  Show me a large firm and I’ll show you a lot of older stuff.  Show me a small firm and I’ll show you a firm that’s a lot more agile.

Be careful in your targeting of this product, Steve.  “Enterprise” is a state of mind, not the size of a firm.


3 Responses to Dear Steve:

  1. Tim says:

    Seems like a safe bet that an ‘enterprise’ version is going to be above any sort of ‘professional’ edition, so you should be fine. Given the fact that features, price, or target audience have not been released, it seems like there would be no reason why any size business couldnt use whatever amazing features an ‘enterprise’ edition offers.

    Ufortunetly though, an ‘enterprise’ does generally refer to a big business. But I would agree though, Im fond of saying ‘There is nothing small about small business.’

  2. Amy Babinchak - Harbor Computer Services says:

    Microsoft is pricing itself out off the Office software market. My small biz clients grimmice when they have to purchase a new version and I don’t blame them. Microsoft really made their mark by offering Word and Excel at much lower prices that what the other word processing and spreadsheet solutions were charging. If they aren’t careful the same thing could happen to them.

  3. Jeremy says:

    The fact that most small businesses are the ones using the Professional version of Office is exactly why I think MS wants to have an Enterprise version. The name "Enterprise Version" might get those large business that are still using Office 2000 or XP to actually upgrade to Office 2006. That’s where the real money is. Get one large enterprise to upgrade (like a large bank or auditing firm or something) and that’s worth thousands of small business upgrades. Honestly, I think the "Enterprise" version should be dumbed down and the "Pro" version should have all the bells and whistles. Make it easy on those big slow firms. 🙂