Complexity Kills M$’s Customers

The Register has yet another fine article on M$’s jerking businesses around just for permission to use the hardware they own. The article is OK:
“One of the biggest complaints from customers regarding Microsoft was the complexity of licensing, with some joking that a degree in the discipline is needed to get close to making sense of it.” but you really must read the comments by those anguished customers. Here are some examples:

  • One Anonymous Coward wrote, “And this is the key issue, price. Having persuaded the management where I work 2 1/2 years ago to go onto an OVS I am now having to explain to them that actually it is now about 25% more expensive! What extra 25% value are we getting?”
  • Destroy All Monsters wrote, [SARCASM ALERT] “It is absolutely justifiable to make customers pay for the faster CPUs they enjoy, because, after all, these other companies’ (i.e. Intel’s) work is not being Microsoft-taxed by default! The customer paid for hardware out of his own pocket! Without giving Microsoft a cut!! This is irresponsible, akin to refusing to pay VAT or income tax, which goes to the support of widows, children and roads. What is the world coming to when QUALITY work by Redmond is no longer appreciated and people start to dispute adequate remuneration! Microsoft could decide to just withhold its products, leaving you die slowly in the basement with an unsupported NT kernel and a festering IIS, so be grateful!” and
  • another Anonymous Coward wrote, “Perhaps you’re referring to the features that simply make their own products merely usable? Or the ones that constantly raise the CPU and RAM requirements just to boot to the desktop? Or the ones that change 20-year old user interface conventions in an attempt to have a leg on the mobile/touch/tablet market? Or the ones that provide backwards compatibility at a huge cost in security? Or the ones that force users to endure non standard compliant products for the sake of “embrace, extend extinguish”? Or the ones that restrict what you can and what you can’t do with your software such as, god forbids, install it on another machine? Or the ones that restrict what you can do with your computer, such as changing its motherboard?”

The tide is working against M$ as it raises revenue not by selling performance/price but by hiding its price in bundling with hardware or complexity one way or another to fool the customer. Eventually customers catch on and there will be a backlash. I’ve seen that backlash grow from tiny shifts a decade ago to explosive rearrangements of the IT landscape. The train wreck has started and it can’t be stopped. I just hope only the guilty suffer in the result.

See Microsoft tarts up software licensing to fend off 'a few clicks and a credit card' rivals.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to Complexity Kills M$’s Customers

  1. dougman wrote, “Sharepoint can be replaced with Mediawiki, and the entire business can edit/add/delete material.”

    Mediawiki is useful for what it does but it’s not so good for sharing actual data rather than summaries and images. It’s a bit too “high-level” for some things. GNU/Linux, of course, is the answer to most problems in IT. At one school where I worked, I created 700 user-accounts in 15 minutes and each one had his own website. Whatever they wanted to show others could be dragged into a folder and if it was HTML, everyone else could see it and use the data instantly. I would say a good general-purpose IT-system needs a few such tools: Mediawiki for text/images in documents/articles, a good database of images, searchable of course, tons of databases and search-engines, and blogging and newsletter software. Everything that used to be done on paper and all the data that paper carried should be accessible to the folks that need it 24×7 wherever they are. Just paying for the licences M$ would demand for such a system would multiply the cost of IT. It’s all $0 with GNU/Linux and even small organizations can afford the software and the hardware to run it. Teachers were always amazed when they learned what PCs could do if not encumbered by M$.

  2. oiaohm says:

    dougman really exchange will be replaced by openchange solutions over the next 12 months.

    zenytal for example will be providing cloud images. This will allow people to host a Exchange equal with what ever service provider they choose with what ever legal protections they choose.

    Sharepoint replacement is like alfresco. Mediawiki is really not a Sharepoint replacement. You need something cmis class.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_Management_Interoperability_Services

    There are about 6 to 8 open source replacement options to share-point. Due to better database and clustering than share-point. They are also quite massively used by large enterprises.

    Really this change Microsoft is doing is all about cutting out having to pay a middle man. Result a little more time before the lower income shows up in Microsoft Balance sheet.

    Future MS Office products will support CMIS.

    Really the only big keystone left is WSUS in the Small business market with Windows Server..

  3. dougman says:

    Exchange and Sharepoint are two bloated – overpriced POS.

    Exchange can be supplanted with Gmail for business. $50/year per person

    http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html

    Sharepoint can be replaced with Mediawiki, and the entire business can edit/add/delete material. Think of it as a large corporate-hive that knows all, or even perhaps a business-wide catalog for operations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki

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