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March 10, 2006
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Bad Code is Good Business"
I’ve been busy over the past few months sorting through and testing a lot of “Me2Web2” applications.
I do this periodically as my own feeble attempt to catch a glimpse of the future — as well as garner some new approaches to resolve some very tiresome bottlenecks I find in my own personal work-flow.
It’s part of my quixotic pursuit of the holy grail of Web 2.0 — the convergence of email, VoIP, online social networking, blogging, personal branding & promotion, content management (CRM), customer relationship management (CRM), etc. — something I call “Personal Communications Management” (PCM) for lack of a better term.
I realize that Microsoft bashing is a fairly trivial pursuit these days. However, my last week has been a re-cap of a common torture, gratis Microsoft. I was testing a bunch of very cool outlook plug-ins. Many of the ones I tested I really wanted to keep using BUT — I had to weigh the “added feature benefits” against the usual “dramatic outlook performance declines” and — Guess what? Outlook almost always wins! At the end of the day, no matter how great the application is, it doesn’t make sense to use it if Outlook is going to grind away interminably every time you try to access these new features.
This is why NewsGator was a great idea but always a “non-starter.” You have to REALLY REALLY get some pretty huge advantage to be willing “Pay the Microsoft Performance Price”.
In the end, I tend to keep Outlook (and Windows in general) as “stripped down” as possible to avoid the inevitable Microsoft Wait.
And I’ve always felt suspicious about Microsoft’s commitment to improve their products. I’ve always assumed that the mass movement to each new OS upgrade, Office upgrade, or Service Pack is really driven by the faint hope that “maybe this version will finally work right”. Of course it never happens. Or if that old bug has finally disappeared, two new ones await to vex.
I really felt resigned to my fate this week when I realize I might actually have to start using Exchange. And the only reason I’m putting up an exchange server is because the outlook client is just such a stand-alone dog. And I hate reinforcing Microsoft by constantly getting sucked in deeper and deeper, and paying more and more, just because their products “suck” [pun intended].
It’s certainly a great business model when you can get your customers to buy crappy entry level products and then continue to up-sell them with an endless chain of products that get crappier and crappier (and slower and slower).
Anyway, I was venting this morning about this relentless “sucking effect” of Microsoft products with a colleague of mine, a former Microsoft insider, who responded, without hesitation —
“Just remember Chris: For Microsoft — Crappy Code is Good Business.”
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hmmmmm... To quote you: "Itís certainly a great business model when you can get your customers to buy crappy entry level products and then continue to up-sell them with an endless chain of products that get crappier and crappier (and slower and slower)."
Sort of like first selling friends and family on the "guarantee" of promissory notes as lead-ins to quasi-Founder's Stock buy-ins, -eh? Ye ole "good-money-after-bad" chain? >hrrr-rrrumpf!
Sacred Cow DUNG, indeed! Something sure smells, ...an' it ain't just "Late Capitalism".
Posted by: Farmer Ted at March 13, 2006 12:41 PM
Great reading, keep up the great posts.
Posted by: JiggaDigga at April 7, 2006 12:35 AM
Microsoft can afford to keep creating crappy code. Their users are already sucked in too deep..
Unfortunately the rest of us smaller companies must get things right the first time :).
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