OOC: Dear Microsoft

You piss me off.

I could just stop there, but having served in the software/hardware technology industry for nearly 20 years with a specific focus on UI/UX, I feel compelled to give you a detailed critique as well as offer you the best solution to the issue at hand.

THE BACKGROUND

You see, I own an XBox 360. I use it primarily as my home entertainment media center, as well as for gaming. My wife enjoys its ease of use and it has been very liberating for us to cancel our cable service and rely solely on the offerings of XBox Live.

I’ve been an XBox Live Gold customer for ten years.

I also own a Kinect, that remarkable piece of technology that is taking robotics programming to the next level in many ways, but that’s a separate rant.

THE PROBLEM

The heart of the issue is this – The Kinect is a USB device, a “plug n play” type of approach. The Kinect knows who it is and what it is connected to. The XBox itself knows there is a Kinect attached. There are very clear lines of communication between the two devices.

So why oh why do I have to see the same repeating, piece of shit commercial advertising the glories of the Kinect every one in three videos on XBox Live when I already own a Kinect AND have an XBox Live account? There is nothing more for me to buy from you so knock it off already!

THE SOLUTION

The solution is simple and straightforward really:

  1. Spend the one day of programming time and QA testing to create a patch that simply specifies that if the XBox has a Kinect plugged in, don’t show the Kinect commercial. I’m already a well paying customer. If the XBox doesn’t have a Kinect plugged in, advertise away. Learn from Apple. Most iOS apps have a free version that spams you with advertising. Want it to go away? Buy the full version. Since I already own your full version, remove the ads. Period. Very smart and cost effective approach.
  2. A second option would be to spend a little more time and develop a smarter engine. Allow game developers to buy advertising space, or advertise XBox Kinect and XBox Live memberships, again based on whether the XBox has those things attached to it already. Be smart. It makes it look like you’re progressive when you give a rat’s ass.

I’m not really asking for a lot here. I mean, sure it would be nice if you would fix Media Sharing on Windows 7 so I could reliably refresh my files list on the XBox, but hey, you’ve moved on to Windows 8. Maybe you fixed it there. I doubt it though since only a few million of your users asked for this feature.

But seriously, we know that the next gen consoles are coming soon. We know that things like Smart Glass are important to you, that you’re focusing on the home entertainment market and trying to poise yourself as the premier solution for the average user. The best way to do this is to pay attention to the details, and to all your users, technically oriented or not.

Listen to feedback. Stop being the Microsoft of old and build an actual relationship with your customers. You keep spamming my email inbox about how appreciative you are of me being part of XBox Live’s 10th Anniversary celebration, so give us both a present and fix this shit.

Sincerely,
Your average annoyed Microsoft customer

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3 responses to “OOC: Dear Microsoft

  1. Hey Windows 8 is a piece of junk. I installed it on my brand new pc only to find out that they changed the whole networking thing, so I couldn’t connect to my old Vista pc and use it for either network rendering OR storage. Ended up calling Microsoft and telling them my Vista DVD had cracked…they sent me another one….

  2. The whole Windows 8 experience totally pissed me off…I didn’t make the jump from Windows 7, but I purchased it (8) because it was cheap, The interface is ugly and disasterous, clearly meant for a tablet PC or whatever. I didn’t think about shelling over the $30 or so and pay for another Vista CD through the MS Replacement Dept til afterwards.

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