Microsoft Confuses Me

I will preface these remarks by saying that this is not intended to be part of the movement to bash Microsoft. The main purpose is to gain some feedback – and, perhaps, some understanding of Microsoft’s approach. It truly befuddles me, on two levels.

The first reason that I am befuddled is this article reported by The Associated Press:

“WASHINGTON — At least two federal government agencies are refusing to upgrade their computers with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system, citing concern over costs and compatibility issues.”

link: Federal agency bans Microsoft Vista

I would think that this would be a nightmare headline for the Microsoft marketing department and the response should be immediate. This is a corporate customer and the purchasing power of government agencies is huge. Not only does this seem bad from an earning perspective but it would seem that this sort of headline does nothing positive for product placement. If Vista is in the corporate environment and people are exposed to it at work, wouldn’t that increase the likelihood that these people will use it at home? One would think that, for the sake of customer relations and public relations, Microsoft would have a team of people working directly with these agencies to resolve whatever problems or concerns there may be. And, in doing so immediately, it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to publicize the attention to customer care and its corporate focus on resolving any product problems. Instead though, the government agency has placed an “indefinite moratorium” on Vista upgrades and generated unflattering headlines.

The second thing that confuses me is Microsoft’s lack of response to The Associated Press. I would think that Microsoft must have a top notch, well paid public relations department. One would think that it would be the public relations department’s responsibility to be “ahead of the story” on such an issue. It is an opportunity to have the national and international press showing a company concerned about any problems that its customers might be having. It is simply free positive publicity and it eventually would enhance earnings and the corporate image. Instead, “Microsoft did not return calls seeking comment“. Were the people in the public relations department and / or marketing too busy to respond to The Associated Press?

It is not a revolutionary or new age concept to prevent bad press. I just don’t understand why a global corporate enterprise like Microsoft, with a huge number of very bright people, is not paying attention to the basics. When did customer care become passe?

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations

[tags]Microsoft, Vista, upgrade, customer care, public relations, marketing department, federal agencies, the associated press, catherine forsythe[/tags]