What Exactly Is Microsoft Doing Here?


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Who really needs the upgrades that the software giant always comes up with every 2-3 years? Did the customers ask for the upgrades at all? Or they need something else that the giant always ignores?

There is this Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) in Windows Live Messenger. It says that “Microsoft uses this information to improve the products and features you use most often and to help solve problems.” Is it true? What has happened so far?

After all, what do customers use MSN for? Real-time communications? File transfer? Or even fun? If real-time communications, why don’t they use mobile? Wouldn’t that be more effective? If file transfer, why don’t they do email? Wouldn’t that be more efficient? If fun, why don’t they pick up their PSP? Wouldn’t there be more choices and more fun?

What has this CEIP really done for the customers?

Then, there is another free service offered by Microsoft called Windows Live Hotmail. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch. A small fee will be charged if the customer wants better services. But is it really better?

From June 2007 to February 2008, I emailed their customer support and even copied Bill Gates for a problem that has been bothering me for quite some time. Below is the last message I received from them.

“Thank you for writing back to Windows Live Hotmail Technical Support. This is Paul and I am responding to your issue on deleting messages. I understand how important it is to have this issue resolved and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Daryl, I appreciate the feedback that you provided. We know about the problem that you are experiencing, and the product development team is currently working on a resolution. The exact date that it will be resolved is not known yet. If you must take any action, such as download an update for the software, you will be notified. If you do not need to take any action, we will resolve the problem without notification.

We appreciate your continued support as we strive to provide you with the highest quality service available. Thank you for using Windows Live Hotmail.”

The exact resolution date is not yet known!? For almost one whole year!? Provide me with the highest quality service? How?

Then, for all the feedback I received from the giant throughout the period basically carried similar message.

“Thank you for writing back to Windows Live Hotmail Technical Support. My name is Alex and I gather when you delete an e-mail message, you are prompted to a different page. I understand how frustrating this may be for you.

Daryl, the problem that you have experienced with the product remains unresolved. We understand that it is frustrating to wait for the resolution. The product development group is still working on a resolution, and we do not yet know when the problem will be resolved. We apologize for the delay, and we appreciate your patience.

You are valuable at Windows Live, and we look forward to providing you with consistent and effective service. We appreciate your input and involvement in our Windows Live products.”

Do they know exactly what they are talking about? And do they know what they are doing here? Are they doing the right things for their so-called valuable customers, or are they simply doing things right just to please whomever they want to please?

Daryl Choy
Daryl Choy has worked with companies of various sizes, from multinational corporations to small and medium enterprises in a wide variety of industries. His responsibilities have ranged from sales and marketing to system development and human resources.


  1. Is there any relationship between touchpoint experience and business results?

    The more positive the touchpoint experience the better the business results?

    How come this relationship does not seem to apply to the software giant?

    Daryl Choy
    Make Little Things Count


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