Microsoft, Stop Disrespecting Your Consumers

Confusion in updating the Windows 10 Mobile reinforces Microsoft’s communication team blunders


A year ago  I published an article telling how Microsoft’s decisions were pleasing me. In fact, Satya Nadella and engineering teams and Redmond products have done and continue doing a great job: they transformed the company’s image (Microsoft came to be “cool” and win fans), launched good products (overcoming the bad phase Windows 8) and opened to the market (who knew so many products and services for Android, iOS and Linux in the era Ballmer?).

It is so strange accompany the mess that the matrix communication staff has been committing all the time. It is advertising that does not materialize, release dates are postponed, rules change when someone wants … and often without any press release, only hidden statements and moves on Twitter that instead of clarifying anything, just spreading misinformation.

There are other flaws, but the latest came this week with the release of Windows 10 Mobile for older smartphones. Or rather, it happened in recent months, since the system “delayed” several times, about to turn joke. In October, the promise  was that he arrived in December. In December, the deadline was ignored due to end of year festivities. In January, the company sent e – mail to partners to warn that the launch would be in February. As you noticed when looking at the calendar, that date was also not met.

In addition, Microsoft had stated that all Lumias with Windows Phone 8 would be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. Time passed, the company did not touch more on the subject and, on Thursday (17), the update  came just for some devices, leaving aside models like the Lumias 925, 1020 and 520 (the latter, Windows best – selling Phone in the world).

In Microsoft’s words: “Because Windows 10 brings significant innovations, many older devices may not be upgraded without impacting the user experience. Our goal is tooffer the upgrade to Windows 10 only for the devices that we know will continue to offer a good experience. ”

What does that mean? Devices that are not on the list will receive the update sometime in the future or will be abandoned? Microsoft’s official statement ends there, then obviously we dig something on Twitter : “Devices with 512 MB of RAM  will not receive official update for Windows Mobile 10“.

No information on smartphones with superior hardware, such as the Lumia 1020, with 2GB of RAM. But another tweet hidden leads us to a topic on the Microsoft forum, written by an employee of the company to clarify the doubts of the update. Here is one of the questions: “I’m using a Windows build 10 Insider on my device, but it is not in the list of devices that will receive the Windows 10 officially. What should I expect for the future? “.

And the answer:. “If you already have Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview on your device, you can continue using the appliance without official support  will not offer upgrades beyond the current build 10586 . At some point in the future, these devices will also stop receiving Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview updates. ” Then, Microsoft reported that there are no plans for a second wave of updates. If your phone is on the list, congratulations. If not, sorry.

I could extend myself for other public relations disasters from Microsoft, as the case of Windows 10 free upgrade to pirate users, or the decision to offer unlimited storage in onedrive for all subscribers to Office 365 and then back claiming that users were “abusing” the offer (this after all stakeholders have already entered the service, which is at least bad faith by the company). But let’s focus on smartphones.

The problem of promise and violate the promise is that, besides being a lack of respect with the consumer makes the words of the company does not pay off anything. If everything can change at any time, why trust what they’re saying now?

It’s not like Microsoft was making the mistake the first time. Windows Phone 7.5, there was an expectation upgrade to Windows Phone 8, which did not materialize – instead, users received an update to Windows Phone 7.8 tamarin, which brought some aesthetic novelties to try to imitate the new system and continued with an application ecosystem even more laughable than today.

It turned out later that Microsoft knew that its mobile platform would have short life : in fact, the development of Windows Phone 8 began even before the release of Windows Phone 7, but the company chose not to tell this to users. The aim was ” to establish a new user experience approach and start creating an ecosystem for developers,” even if it meant stop support millions of devices already sold.

With Windows 10 Mobile, history repeats itself, penalizing consumers who did not know of the case or for some reason, continued to believe in Microsoft’s words. Not only smartphones with limited hardware are failing to get the update: devices that had many bugs during development were also left out. And that includes older models, but they were expensive at release time, as the Lumias 920, 925 and 1,020.

Of course, as we know how Microsoft works, all this may change. Any employee in Redmond can wake up in a good mood tomorrow and suddenly decide something positive for the old users. However, I can not remember any recent decision to “step back” from Microsoft (and there were many) that has been good for consumers.

Microsoft, stop disrespecting their consumers. And please, have a minimally transparent communication with the media, instead of hiding information in tweets.