Does Microsoft Care About Its Customers… Really?

I have been thinking about the recent flap over Microsoft’s response (or lack thereof) to the Daylight Savings Time issue. This has been a “known problem” for two years, and I understand that they had to address it to customers in the window from November of last year (after the last time change) and now… but, there seemed to be no really clear plan… no helpful notices along the way, and no regard at all to businesses that were still running what Microsoft regards as “legacy” versions of software. Notably, Microsoft Exchange 5.5. If you have Exchange 5.5, there IS a fix for internal calendar issues with the time change, BUT they were not provided to customers unless the customers paid a special $4000.00 fee! In this situation, it could be viewed by customers of Microsoft as A) paying a penalty for their not upgrading as Microsoft wanted them to, or B) extortion! Where is the “customer care?” Where is the desire to “go the extra mile” for customer relations?

Is Microsoft SO arrogant, SO sure of its market share, that they don’t really care about customer needs? Having dealt with them as a system administrator for many years, sadly, the answer appears to be…. yes. They know that they have you by “the short hairs.” You will do as they say, you will take what they give you, you will pay what they require… or, what?

Well, some are going to look elsewhere, given enough grief. I have only HALF jokingly said to folks where I work, “Well, we could always go to Sendmail!” Or Postfix, or Zimbra, or, or, or… Microsoft may not believe it, but there ARE alternatives. And they may find out soon, just how many there really are out there. The hard way!

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