Microsoft needs to wake up

Dare Obasanjo writes:

The main problem is that Microsoft is good at competing but not good at caring for customers. The focus of the developer division at Microsoft is the .NET Framework and related technologies which is primarily a competitor to Java/JVM and related technologies. However when it comes to areas where there isn’t a strong, single competitor that can be focused on (e.g. RAD development, scripting languages, web application development) we tend to flounder and stagnate. Eventually I’m sure customer pressure will get us of our butts, it’s just unfortunate that we have to be forced to do these things instead of doing them right the first time around.

This is very true. I’ve written about Microsoft products in one form or another for seven years now. At one time Microsoft was a company I truly admired because they seemed to “get it”. Not any more. If there isn’t anyone to compete with, Microsoft drops the ball.

Let’s look at an example…there was a post on the Internet Explorer blog that IE7 will have tabs. It has to have tabs, this shouldn’t be news. The only reason why IE7 is going to be released prior to Longhorn is because of Firefox. Millions of people had to switch browsers before Microsoft woke up and released that we (as users) realized we could do better.

That is what saddens me about Microsoft. When I used to talk to Microsoft developers you could hear the enthusiasm in their voices. The product features showed their enthusiasm. Microsoft is only as good as their employees – that is true for any company. When I read the IE7 tab post, I realized that something is missing. Is it that the developers “get it” but are bottlenecked somehow and are unable to produce? Is it that there isn’t a true understanding of how bad IE6 is compared to Firefox? IE7 needs to be better than Firefox for me to switch back…get it? That’s how Firefox users feel. We’re happy using Firefox – Microsoft is going to have to give us a reason to come back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Microsoft and I think I am being fair. I was extremely excited when news on Xbox 360 was released. I was giddy with delight when I saw some of the games I will be playing on my Xbox 360. I wasn’t swayed by the fact that, spec wise, PS3 trumps Xbox 360. I realize one important thing – it should. It’s coming out six months after Xbox 360, it’s supposed to be better. It has to be better – Sony gets it.

Microsoft needs to get it.