On Microsoft

Microsoft, OwnWebNow
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Just wanted to clear the air a little because I got an email from a Microsoft PM today that said, paraphrasing “We want to keep you as an MVP and a fan of the product”. So for him and all the other Microsoft people who seem to have their heads chopped off on this blog on the daily basis, here was my response:

I’m still a HUGE fan. It’s what I run on my desktops, laptops, phones, game console. The only things in house not running Microsoft are the router and the file server. So there is no love lost here.

Business-wise, Microsoft is killing us. The bigger we get, the more we spend on process and change control of Microsoft products yet our SLA and satisfaction ratings are in the toilet because we have run out of excuses to explain to people why we can’t get by one week without a problem. Not just that, but with every issue there is a “cascade fault effect” by which we are blamed for every remotely related issue to the problem and have to prove it’s not our fault by fixing it. Then just when everything is back in order we get blindsided again.

OWN is in a very interesting edge of the server-based services. Because everyone and everything is remote we don’t have the benefit of setting our own risk tollerance that Susan talks about all the time. Our risk is the day of, or in some cases like the latest DNS warning, weeks before Microsoft produces a hotfix/patch. We patch immediately because we are a large enough target, with a large enough pipe and buffet-style storage that make us a target for anyone field testing their latest exploit. You can’t set your own risk level by blackholing /21 sized subnets access to port 80, it’s a different scope of service.

My biggest beef with Microsoft on the business side is the lack of business owner level type of threat assessment that is as readily available as their marketing. When a business owner is down due to a Microsoft patch, hotfix, etc I need Microsoft to corroborate my story and act like my partner. I need my customers to be able to see the problem, confirm with Microsoft, and let me go about fixing it without having to sit in with the management of each affected company and try to explain technical jargon to a customer without a way to back it all up through doing my own forensics, technet articles, newsgroup posts, etc.

But since I know that Microsoft’s upper management reads my blog and knows just how hardheaded I am… How would you like it if your partners got together and created a public site to collect and share issues related to latest hotfixes and patches in the open so that customers themselves can see the the wide death-toll counts?

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