For as fast as technology changes, so do the opinions of technology. Rarely do we, the technologically inclined, ever stop to think about just how far things have come. Whether you would like to admit it or not, one major change has been in Microsoft's reputation. It has gone from "The Evil Empire" to "The Kind of Evil Empire" in only a handful of years. Try to think back as to the last time you received an e-mail jesting at Microsoft. Can you think of anything recent? Probably not.
Let's face it, Microsoft has been doing a lot to work with its advocates and convince its detractors that it's not all that bad. But even so, there's more than just a few who love to hate the Redmond behemoth. In an interesting, pro-Microsoft article by Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, Anne Stuart talks about the ways to deal with Microsoft's naysayers. Not only does she go into great detail as to how Microsoft gives its partners several tools to combat arguments against the company's products, but she also addresses plenty of the complaints that would-be customers have about Microsoft software. For instance, one common grumble about Microsoft products is the hefty price tag that most carry, but one ISV says the software isn't really expensive, all things considered.
Wertz, of PC Works Plus, defends Microsoft against price-related complaints. "We do software and application development ourselves, so I know the cost of that," he says. "I haven't the foggiest clue what the costs are in developing [Microsoft] operating systems, but it must be incredible." He tries to help customers understand that that $400 software package is the en d result of billions of dollars in research and development, "not just more money in Bill Gates' pocket."
MCP Magazine also took the time to survey its readers, asking them how often they encounter customers who despise Microsoft. Some of the responses were:
Some people are just brand-centric, and that's not easy to change.No, not really. They just hate keeping up with upgrades.Yes, every day. I just let them rant.Yes. I don't bother [trying to overcome their objections]. They are in the "Microsoft is evil" camp—and they generally don't have any money to spend to bootYes, 10 percent of the time. Their objections are usually irrational and uninformed.
Here at Ars, it's easy to decipher who hates and who loves "The Evil Empire." Outside of this community, I rarely run into someone who has an absolute distaste for the company. Every now and then, I will find a person who says, "I hate Office because it does this when I try to do this." Typically, the real problem is that they are not using the software properly, although sometimes it is just a poorly implemented feature.
My question to you is: how often do you run into someone who hates Microsoft? What are their reasons? Do you try to convince them otherwise, or do you advise them to use a different, arguably better solution?