Microsoft–Whoops, We Did It Again! Visio Developers Deserve Dunce Caps

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We just downloaded Microsoft’s new Visio 2007, and here’s what we think. Britney Spears may have shaved her hair off, but Microsoft’s Visio development team should shave its head off. Hey—when you have a non-functioning piece, why not just lop it off?

Here’s the deal. For years, we’ve used Corel’s iGrafx Process 200X for our Visual Workflow workflow and information flow mapping. Frankly, iGrafx is awkward, a bit unstable, and often a pain in the you-no-what. By comparison, Vision is more refined, more stable, and using it would allow us to reduce the number of applications we support, which is embarrassingly large. But…

But…after we’ve mapped often in excess of 100 pages of workflows, even 200, converting Visio docs one page at a time using a cumbersome process, into a hundred or more mini-files that can be inserted into Word documents——is a horror show. Not to mention that the resulting Word files get so bloated that we can’t e-mail-attach them to send to most of our clients—even after we convert them to PDFs. Hello FTP transfer, which should be history.

iGrafx? So simple. With a couple of mouse clicks you can publish multipart iGrafx documents into single Word files—no matter how many pages. Plus, the files are extremely compact. And, you can edit them from inside Word, if you need to tweak maps.

Now why can’t Microsoft integrate with Office like that? That’s also simple. Microsoft developers design software for themselves, from inside product silos. We’ve seen that with the Dynamics CRM program, which has several fatal flaws from the user/IT perspective that would affect many of our clients. Customers be damned. Hey, we’ve been screaming about this Visio problem for years. Including to some senior Microsoft people. But this isn’t a learning company. Nor a customer-sensitive customer. Not even a customer needs based company. Just a marketing-driven monopoly. The kind of company that usually rots from the inside out. So why even bother complaining about Dynamics. Better to steer clients elsewhere.

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