They Mess Up, I Pay

I think I now know the secret to infinite wealth, or at least a part of it. A Microsoft product that I use started giving me problems. While searching for a fix I found this message on their web site.

“A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft …(snip)… If you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 service pack that contains this hotfix. To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site…(snip)”

I could not download the hotfix on that page or anywhere else. So if I understand this correctly, the hotfix is available at no cost when it gets added to a service pack, which may come out months from now, but I need to pay for it (or rather for the support call) if I want to fix the problem immediately.

When it suits itself Microsoft goes ahead and makes Windows automatically download a hotfix, install it and even reboot my computer. And here they cannot give me a link to download the hotfix and fix the problem myself. I need to cough up the dough to fix a problem they created or wait for months for them to hand it to me for free.

As a software developer I am disgusted at this kind of behaviour. As long as software is written by humans, there will always be bugs and goof-ups. The least that a developer can do is take accept responsibility, come up with a solution and offer it to the user for free.

Ironically, as I type this I can see the familiar Windows icon of a yellow shield in my task bar. Hovering the mouse over it shows me the message: “Updates are ready for your computer. Click here to install these updates.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Deelip, I paraphrase a paragraph from John Walkers book, The Autodesk File.

    ‘Deveolping new product is difficult. I know…..people used to ask us about ‘our vision’ and we would answer “we don’t really have one but we know somebody who does”. No vendor in any market knows as much about his product, how it is applied, its shortcomings and what is needed to make it better as does the customers using it’

    He goes on, saying, “Hibris, borne of detachement from the real problems facing customers, has doomed many technogly companies. That’s not going to happen at Autodesk, because we still don’t enough to chart the future of anything. But we listen patiently, and we take lots of notes”

    Fine words, applicable to us all; but the problem as the people with the foresight move aside for those that just run companies customers move from being important partners to being important only for their ability to contribute to coffers.

    You currently have a great policy relating to product support but as your company becomes a larger entity would not your experience become, also, your customers.

    What happens, to your customers Deelip, if your retired in the next few weeks?????

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Deelip, I paraphrase a paragraph from John Walkers book, The Autodesk File.‘Deveolping new product is difficult. I know…..people used to ask us about ‘our vision’ and we would answer “we don’t really have one but we know somebody who does”. No vendor in any market knows as much about his product, how it is applied, its shortcomings and what is needed to make it better as does the customers using it’He goes on, saying, “Hibris, borne of detachement from the real problems facing customers, has doomed many technogly companies. That’s not going to happen at Autodesk, because we still don’t enough to chart the future of anything. But we listen patiently, and we take lots of notes”Fine words, applicable to us all; but the problem as the people with the foresight move aside for those that just run companies customers move from being important partners to being important only for their ability to contribute to coffers.You currently have a great policy relating to product support but as your company becomes a larger entity would not your experience become, also, your customers.What happens, to your customers Deelip, if your retired in the next few weeks?????

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul: “You currently have a great policy relating to product support but as your company becomes a larger entity would not your experience become, also, your customers.”

    Not necessarily. McNeel is an excellent example of how making money is not everything.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul: “You currently have a great policy relating to product support but as your company becomes a larger entity would not your experience become, also, your customers.”Not necessarily. McNeel is an excellent example of how making money is not everything.

  • Jimmy Bergmark – JTB World

    Not sure this will work in this case. But can be worth a try.
    http://blog.jtbworld.com/2007/08/download-microsoft-hotfix.html

  • Jimmy Bergmark – JTB World

    Not sure this will work in this case. But can be worth a try.http://blog.jtbworld.com/2007/08/download-microsoft-hotfix.html

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Yes Deelip I think you and McNeel, from the little I have seen, should be commended. But there is the ‘bigger’ question for both, your ‘retirement’.

    There is a real possibility a customer may outlive your time in the industry, what thought have you given that in relation to your business/customers.

    This is not a question couched in criticism Deelip, it is a question we all face in business, succession.

    None of us like to think the worst but if we are creating something of lasting value we have to think past the period of time we have total control.

    What are your thoughts?

  • R. Paul Waddington

    Yes Deelip I think you and McNeel, from the little I have seen, should be commended. But there is the ‘bigger’ question for both, your ‘retirement’.There is a real possibility a customer may outlive your time in the industry, what thought have you given that in relation to your business/customers.This is not a question couched in criticism Deelip, it is a question we all face in business, succession.None of us like to think the worst but if we are creating something of lasting value we have to think past the period of time we have total control.What are your thoughts?

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul,

    I get your point. All I can say is that you can control something till you have control over it.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul,I get your point. All I can say is that you can control something till you have control over it.

  • Anonymous

    For some (all?) of the Visual Studio hotfixes, you can try the MSDN Code Gallery. Appears to have download links for the hotfixes.

    http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/

    In the ‘Popular tags’ box, click on ‘Hotfix’.

    If you can find the right KB article, look for a ‘download’ tab.

    Explanation at:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2008/04/19/a-new-home-for-visual-studio-hotfixes.aspx

    Good luck, Thomas

  • Anonymous

    For some (all?) of the Visual Studio hotfixes, you can try the MSDN Code Gallery. Appears to have download links for the hotfixes.http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/In the ‘Popular tags’ box, click on ‘Hotfix’.If you can find the right KB article, look for a ‘download’ tab.Explanation at:http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2008/04/19/a-new-home-for-visual-studio-hotfixes.aspxGood luck, Thomas