"When Microsoft was still building Windows 10, it launched the Windows Insider program to push fast and slow updates to customers who were also willing to serve as beta testers. Today, the company declared this approach was both inspired by Xbox and has created a network of 10 million “fans” that help test Windows via the Insider Preview program and the fast and slow rings within it."
Corporate VP Yusuf Mehdi wrote a LinkedIn post describing how this new approach has worked for the company. The quote is long, but worth reading in full:"
Any fan-centric company should treat that as just the starting point. In fact, every interaction with the customer after that is more important and should build a deeper relationship. Customers should feel like they have joined a community – a family. Don’t be a faceless company. Enable your fans to interact with real people at your company, people who are fans
What are they smoking in Redmond?
My first reaction to this declaration of amazing fan-driven support is best summarized as follows:
Mehdi’s claim that Microsoft has moved to some kind of magic, fan-loving paradise doesn’t pass muster. The company’s claim to always be learning from fans is insulting given the ways it has previously claimed to “learn” from its users. If you take Microsoft’s word for it, the company never learned the following, despite decades in the computing business:
- Customers, especially enterprise customers, like patch notes;
- Users do not like malware-style upgrade campaigns;
- Customers want control over telemetry gathering;
- People hate having their hardware rebooted without warning;
- Users hate having their systems upgraded without warning;
- Customers do not like having very little control over non-security updates, like drivers or features;
- Users do not like seeing ads in File Explorer;
- Customers do not like ads for Edge in their system tray.
It is farcical for Microsoft to pretend that it’s built a new and better Windows based on listening to what fans want when Windows 10, to date, has been two middle fingers shoved in the air at users who want some modicum of control over what data their machine shares and how it shares it. What really makes the situation hilarious is that Mehdi appears to actually believe his own codswallop.