My note of apology to Microsoft


These Microsoft rants are starting to get tiring, don’t you think? I feel like every morning brings in another disappointment from my largest partner, and since they don’t seem to be talking about changing or sending me a cease & desist letter I think it’s time I stopped beating this dead horse.

It’s a little bittersweet to be honest, I love Microsoft, they have very impressive workers and processes, I continue to copy them in a number of ways as I grow my company and to be honest, I really would have loved to have a job there in the long, long ago. Today, they are a tired, frustrated, directionless mass of incompetence and if you read their blogs you’re starting to see the frustration build too.

Steve Clayton recently asked on twitter (paraphrasing): “Why does Microsoft get beaten up about every piece of beta software but Google is instantly forgiven?”

On the face of it, poor Steve is seeing a double standard. There is only a slight distinction. Google is a search advertising company with at best a few years of software writing expertise that addresses big pains for free. Microsoft is a 30 year old software enterprise, with talent and history to the beginning of computing time. Microsoft ought to be held to a higher standard. But even when the playing field is leveled, Microsoft is a company that buys solid commercial products, destroys them, puts them through years of alpha, Customer Technology Previews, betas, release candidates and sprinkles in a little bit of pullback and re-release magic. No company should be allowed to slide for taking stable products and destroying them through the process of rebranding, sorry.

You want forgiveness Steve? As a Microsoft partner of 13 years, I have forgiven you for Windows 98. I have forgiven you for ME. I have forgiven you for the ::$DATA dumping raw ASP code into the browser. I have forgiven you for the SQL slammer, Nimda, Code Red. I have forgiven you for deadend products, one after another, stuck in perpetual unstable condition. I have forgiven you losing your focus and starting to compete with me, your partner. I have forgiven you for the unethical treatment of your partners and being generally predatory towards your consumers and partners. I have forgiven you for your licensing.

There comes a time when even I am not able to forgive you, I think you need to address this with a higher power.

Just to make sure that we’re all on the same page here, I do not feel like I am better than Microsoft or that Microsoft owes me anything – believe me, I know who the bitch is. However, the problem with being a street prostitute without a pimp is that when you’re out and about trying to make a dollar and the customer pushes you on all the problems and lack of direction, you have nothing to provide them with. I need Microsoft (as a pimp) far more than Microsoft needs me as a Vista/Server/Office-pushing whore.

Yes, Microsoft is that incompetent. Here, check this out. They gloated about this mega data center push, how they signed up a 70,000 seat Coca Cola customer to Exchange hosting. Look at the email they sent out the other day:


Again, this is not a joke. This is a dead serious official letter sent to the Microsoft customers indicating that they are likely to be out for about 24 hours lights-out total outage. Not to some ancillary vapor bullshit service like Mesh or Grove – but to the entire Microsoft productivity suite that supposedly Microsoft manages for them.

Apple ads are becoming true. Why even bother? Is there any sign, public sign, that anything is getting done? Because makes it seem like things are A-ok. Why am I wasting my time trying to bring this to your attention?

In that light, I want to thank and apologize to Microsoft for my rampant frustration. Last year Steve Ballmer promised me that Microsoft Online will open up a whole new set of opportunities for Microsoft partners. I didn’t know that he meant their incompetence would make me look like a shining star – but thank you, we’re now heading towards double-digit headcount increases on a monthly basis and we’re pushing ahead. Thanks to Microsoft.

I’m going to dedicate more time to working with Microsoft SMB and Microsoft SBSC partners and try to focus on the positives because.. well.. it doesn’t sound like this is helping anyone and until you can come out in a public way and explain to your customers why they should trust you I don’t intend to either.

Rock on.

9 Responses to My note of apology to Microsoft

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