Microsoft badmouths Google competition - again
'Get your superior customer service here, darlink'
The days of Microsoft being able to ignore the competition or overstep “dirty words” are long gone, as evidenced by a corporate Office 2010 blog post written by the company’s customer service and support veep yesterday.
Perhaps Barbara Gordon has heeded the cry from her workmate Frank X Shaw, who late last week urged Microsoft staff to accentuate the software giant’s positives to anyone who cared to listen.
In a defensive post, Gordon takes a swipe at Google Docs in the second paragraph of her missive.
Sipping straight from Shaw’s Kool-Aid, Gordon noted that through her “conversations with friends, family, and with many of our largest customers that once they do need help, they are glad that we are there.” All of which fits in with Shaw’s mantra to the Redmonian troupe to big up Microsoft’s successes.
“The launch of Office 2010 earlier this month reminded me just how much this makes us different. When was the last time you called Google for help recovering a lost Google Doc?” asked Gordon.
“Were you even able to find a number? My guess is, no. In my opinion and the opinion of others, Google simply does not provide that level of service.”
Cue the sales pitch for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, which Gordon claimed comes bundled with superior support over the rivals.
But the very fact that Microsoft now has to speak to its customers about Google, shows just how much the company feels under pressure in the office productivity software game.
Gordon goes on at some length about the different types of support Microsoft has to offer to its customers, including via its Office.com website, on Twitter and Facebook, and even that quaint old method of being available on the telephone.
But she’s also quick to give the whole thing a reality check.
“Ideally, customers would never even have to reach out for help when using our products. But since that is not yet a reality for any company, we want our customers to feel confident that Microsoft will provide the best service and support tools and capabilities, allowing us to deliver a much better support experience versus our competitors.”
But doth the lady protest against Google too much? Arguably, yes. Office 2010 only hit retail shelves earlier this month along with Office Apps - which is Microsoft’s online rival to Google Docs.
That said, it will be months before we get a better picture of what impact, if any, the launch has had on Microsoft’s sales, and indeed whether it’s suffered because of the Mountain View Chocolate Factory’s rival product.
However, the very fact that Gordon has taken time out to chide the competition suggests that Microsoft wonks are already looking over their shoulders. ®
Microsoft are claiming that it's really, really easy and painless to get support from them?
Erm.. Wrong question.
"When was the last time you called Google for help recovering a lost Google Doc?"
Shouldn't that be :
"When was the last time you lost a Google Doc?"
Microsoft have lost the plot. first: you don't loose a Google Doc. Google's got that thing so backed up it's ridiculous. Second: Google doesn't do phones. (Though I do consider that a huge failing on Google's part, one for which they should be spanked.) Google does however offer many forms of online help that Microsoft are patently unable to offer.
Microsoft would love to sell you something to solve your problem, even if what they are selling isn't related to your problem. Helping you actually solve it hasn't been something Microsoft has done for ten years. Microsoft’s customer support is /marginally acceptable/ if you are a big enough company with a good enough support contract. If you are a regular consumer or SMB who buys their software outside of SA agreements, fugeddaboutit.
You can’t “spin” Microsoft’s arrogantly anti-customer approach over the last ten years as somehow not sucking. As much as I fear Google’s privacy-obliterating tendencies, and would never want anything to do with the control freak in charge of Apple, Microsoft is not someone I can look at as a warm, fuzzy bear. They are perhaps marginally less horrific overall than either Google or Apple, depending on what you vale.
They do however completely suck at “interfacing” with their customers, something both Apple and Google excel at. (Though in different ways, obviously.)
This is now the third article in as many days demonstrating vividly how out of touch Microsoft is. It’s sad that a software company with so much promise is flushing everything down the drain on pride and the “vision” of their old-guard.
MS need some new blood who are capable of making them a company people actually WANT to use rather than a company they feel FORCED to use. Sadly the people in charge can’t understand that “current market share” has little bearing on “customer satisfaction.” Their footprint is eroding because people are abandoning them just as quick as they are able. Lock-ins and a monopolistic legacy have given them a standing list of customers, but unless they clean up their act it will dwindle away to nothing.
Remember that Steam for Macs has suddenly made Apple an actual viable platform for home use. If either Apple or Google (or Oracle?) start getting their act together and offering a realistic server platform (buy Red Hat or Novell?) then Microsoft is in some deep poop. The vision of those companies is murdering Microsoft as is. If they combine competitive technologies including a killer client platform (OSX or ChromeOS), a killer consumer platform (iOS or Android) with a server stack then Microsoft is done.
Adapt or die.