My LAN connecting my XP laptop to my Windows 7 workstation was working perfectly. But I had to go mess it up by wiping clean my Laptop hard drive and installing Windows 7. My software all installed more or less smoothly, and I was ready to go – but I couldn’t network. Hey, I couldda crawled under my desktop on my hands and knees every time I left on a trip to plug in my flash drive and sneakernet files, but I’m getting old(er). I couldda used LogMeIn from my destination when I needed something, but Microsoft always does some upgrade or other that shuts down my workstation. LogMeIn goes, “knock, knock.” But no one’s home.
So I did the desperate thing and called MS. Five minutes and problem resolved, right? No, five techs, including two from their network SWAT team, and problem still not resolved. Until the last one, sweating hard, finally fixed it – four hours later. From a customer relations standpoint, total disaster. From a process efficiency standpoint, total disaster. Unusual? Maybe on the outer edge, but well within the range of what MS can (or can’t do).
So what’s the cost to MS – other than throwing away money on decreasingly less-than expensive labor? In terms of Windows and Office, I think none. At least not now. But whenever MS strays outside their monopoly markets, swat. Customers are going to slap them down. I don’t think it’s hurting them now other than wasting labor money. But where I believe it will kill them is doing anything outside of what they do now – and even stuff they currently do outside their bailiwick.