Microsoft At It Again…

windowsseven Microsoft has made its Windows 7 “Release Candidate” version available to download. While this should be good news for the company, it already started generating negative feedback all over the web, a place where news like this spreads pretty quickly.

What’s the issue this time? When you upgrade to Windows 7 and you select the “express install”, it will change your default browser to… guess? Yes, Internet Explorer. Of course you have the option to select “custom install” and you are asked to select your default browser. Most users will select the express route.

The expected reaction has already occurred, other browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox are fighting against it and the public is taking sides on the matter generating some bad comments on the web.

But what’s funny to me is thinking about who makes these kind of decisions over at Microsoft, obviously they don’t understand the game as it needs to be played today. We were playing a different game five years ago, the world changed and these people are not aware of it.

Today, the user controls your brand. People value honesty, transparency, truth and fairness over your multi-billion ad campaign. How is it that having the power and the resources Microsoft has, they are not capable of reinventing, to change their message and re-brand, try to be more likable. How stupid it is to continue with these strategies that brought so much heat to the company ten years ago. Today, somebody at corporate decided it was ok to bring back the “browser controversy” to the table, or simply ignored it. Either way…

On top of that, they are clueless about timing. Right when Firefox is gaining so much market over IE, with a culture behind it, a user developed platform and an underdog story. Can you predict that this strategy will slow down Firefox‘s momentum? I don’t think so. I know there are users that will not even notice their browser has been changed, but the user that took the time to download FF will get it back in place.

This is not just about the technical aspects, this is corporate ego and not knowing what’s up out there. Microsoft needs to start listening to the user.

In the meantime, if you use IE, I strongly recommend you go to Firefox and give it a test drive. “Once you go Firefox, you never go back”… or something like that.


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