Microsoft: Making money at what cost?
In the last few years, Microsoft has launched more than 20 new operating systems including different versions of the Windows platform. For the sake of novelty, Microsoft has sacrificed compatibility leaving a trail of unhappy customers struggling to cope with hardware and software that do not work, having paid amazingly high prices.
Many of the changes have been absolutely cosmetic or, to put it in other words, Microsoft has sold as new and marvellous software what were after all mere cosmetic remakes of old software programmes charging its customers over the odds. After every failure came a new version of Windows that was supposed to be the ultimate solution and in fact was no more than a collection of software bugs and software that has became more and more vulnerable to hacker attacks. In recent days, we have learnt that Microsoft own systems were hacked.
After the launch of Windows XP came Windows XP SP1, SP2 and SP3 to be followed by different versions of Windows Vista 32 bits and 64 bits. Windows Vista reminded me of the failed attempt to combine multimedia with networking capabilities known as Windows ME. After Windows Vista, came a short lived Windows 7 both as 32 bits and 64 bits versions. The number of different systems is such that it is difficult to keep track of the changes and with the wide range of possibilities the number of incompatibilities is appalling. Microsoft is running instead of walking and in the process it is damaging its own reputation.
You only need to check the number of pages in Internet that refer to problems encountered by loyal Microsoft customers that feel extremely frustrated. Now it seems that Microsoft is more interested in pleasing shareholders than in pleasing its own customers and, when big companies stop pleasing their own customers, short term gains become long term losses because they start playing into the hands of their competitors.
The strategy of any business should be 'make it simple'. The more complex the operation becomes the more opportunities there are of thing going wrong and things are going wrong.