[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

arrogance toward customers

  I don't want to get embroiled in the
  operating-system-from-god-versus-the-operating-system-from-hell debates,
  but I think that there's a point about the industry to note in the posting
  that I'm commenting on:
  At 02:17 PM 11/12/97 -0500, Norm wrote:
  >     Reading the article only enforces what I've known for years, the
  >vast majority of the computing public are nothing but chumps (the word
  >'lemmings' comes to mind too).  As far as I'm concerned M$'s marketshare
  >only brings home what P T Barnum said years ago.
  I want to point out the contrast and the contradiction between the high
  moral stance taken by advocates of OS/2 (an IBM product) and the current
  spate of "Work the Web" commercials. Have you seen these commercials? They
  are arrogant beyond, well almost beyond, belief. They make billg look like
  the Woz in comparison. They are intentionally anti-consumer, anti-student,
  anti-scholar. They come from Lotus, an IBM company. From these commercials,
  I think that IBM must agree that consumers are chumps, lemmings, and
  suckers. Yet, somehow, we are talking on this list as if that attitude
  characterizes only Microsoft.
  If there is a belief in the software publishing community that customers
  are chumps, and if that belief is held by Microsoft, I want to urge you to
  recognize or admit that this belief is far, far from being restricted to
  The first license agreement came from IBM (you know, the piece of paper
  that says, "Warranties! You don't need no stinkin' warranties!") not from
  Microsoft. The revisions to the Uniform Commercial Code that will largely
  eliminate liability for software defects were drafted with significant
  influence from  lawyers for IBM and Apple and Oracle and Intel and
  Microsoft (and many others), not just Microsoft. These revisions will also
  have significant anti-competitive effects (see my talk Friday, or check
  http://www.badsoftware.com/nader.htm for the paper that goes with the talk).
  Microsoft happens to be the biggest kid on its block, but we have serious
  problems with product quality, with premature shipment of bad code, with
  false advertising, and terrible support -- we have these problems
  throughout the industry. Competition among the players in this industry is
  shrinking--and that's a big problem because the sorry state of product
  quality will be fixed only by competition or by regulation--but that
  competition isn't being killed off just by Microsoft.
  I have tremendous respect for IBM, as I do for Microsoft. But I think that
  the Work the Web commercials from IBM, the FTC action against Apple (see
  http://www.ftc.gov/os/9708/c3763ord.htm ), and this absurdity from
  Microsoft at http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/17.44.html#subj11 , all point
  to the same issues.
  The troubles with Microsoft are just a symptom of a deeper disease. Burning
  Microsoft will be a symbolic act, not something that will get at the
  underlying issues.
  -- Cem Kaner
  Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D.				       Attorney at Law 
  P.O. Box 1200           Santa Clara, CA 95052             408-244-7000
  Author (with Falk &  Nguyen) of TESTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE (2nd Ed, VNR)
  This e-mail communication should not be interpreted as legal advice 
  or a legal opinion.  The transmission of this e-mail communication 
  does not create an attorney-client relationship between me and you.
  Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication 
  without seeking the advice of an attorney. Finally, nothing in this
  message should be interpreted as a "digital signature" or "electronic
  signature" that can create binding commercial transactions.