Friday, January 29, 2016

How Microsoft ignores it's own customers


microsoft darth vader evilAt ninety five percent of my clients use Windows, including myself. Many versions of Windows are good products. Buuuut we've seen what monopolies do. A small company cares about its customers until it becomes a big company.  Then profits matter more than satisfied customers or employees.  Then the company becomes a monopoly and stops listening to its customers entirely.  This is what happened to Microsoft, a company always ready to use the marketing department to ruin almost any product.

Windows 7 was a very popular product but it did TOO much. You could buy and run all kinds of programs and Microsoft wouldn't make any money on them as it had no "Itunes Apple Store" type closed market.  So they wrote Windows 8 which totally confused everyone, had not much online help and forced people into an MS marketplace where they were supposed to buy "apps" for and love it.  Nobody did and the whole thing fell apart.  A shiny bit of lipstick on Windows 7, Windows 8 sales were so bad that the company had to give away copies of Windows 10 in order to maintain it's market share.  What about Windows 9?  Ugh, see below. Not only did the company not listen to it's customers it told them what they were going to like.

steve ballmer vanity fair magazineThe architect of this stupid nonsense was executive Steve Ballmer. He is rich. So rich he makes Beverly Hills 1 percenters seem broke by comparison.  In 2015 his net worth was about $22 BILLION dollars.  Hired in 1980 as Microsoft's 30th employee he pretty much kept putting more zeros on his paycheck every year. Now he is the 21st most wealthy person on Earth.

That kind of power, combined with being in the same work environment for years, makes it unlikely anybody is going to criticize you.  Although known for his high energy product demos he apparently forgot everything about sales and marketing.  His massive attempt to make Windows 8 work on everything was a huge flop and and he was eventually ousted from the company in 2013.  Oh, sorry, he "retired."  I would be forced out too if I had let the Apple Iphone become a huge hit, let my stock price stagnate, lost billions of my companies dollars in bad acquisitions and produced the poor selling Surface tablet.  In 2012 Forbes magazine called him "The worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company."

On news of his "retirement" Microsoft's stock price rebounded!  Ballmer was forced to slink away, fighting with MS founder Bill Gates and leaving bad blood at the company.  With nothing going for him other than billions upon billions of dollars, Ballmer spent $2 billion to buy basketball team the Los Angeles Clippers.  The previous own was hideous racist scumbag Donald Sterling who was forced to give up the team due to anti-Black and other comments.  Ballmer brought fresh energy to the team and the players and coaches love him.  He is doing a very good job and no doubt having a lot of fun in this new role.

Have a Ball, Ballmer, just stay away from Windows!

You can find more good consumer advice for folks in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills at For more on this issue see How Microsoft Ignores Own Customers.

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