Microsoft has changed – and I’m not just talking about the obvious stuff that’s in the headlines. Two years ago I saw a pre-beta product and gave feedback to the PMs that this product needed serious changes. I was ignored (FYI, I was not alone in my opinions and in giving this feedback). 18 months ago, I saw a beta release and I gave the same feedback to PMs. I was ignored. 12 months ago the product was released. I blogged about the issues, was quoted by some big tech press names, and suddenly I was Mr. Popular with the PMs and marketing folks. I gave my feedback and I was ignored. 6 months ago the product went through some big changes, but the issue was still there. I commented on it, and once again the marketing folks and PMs were all over me. I gave my feedback … and I was ignored.
A few months ago I found out that someone listened. Enough people like me spoke up. And maybe my market predictions had come true – not that anyone would ever admit that! The product was going to change. And guess what – that change did arrive.
Thank you to the team involved.
The Microsoft that I’ve been working with has changed a lot in the last 24 months. The secrecy of the Sinofsky era is over. Stuff that me and other MVPs have fed back to product groups is being listened to – I wish I could share those stories!!! I’m certainly not saying we design anything. And I’m not saying that everything we feedback is done. But I do see a correlation between feedback and product changes.
If you have feedback then give it to Microsoft. Please don’t make the mistake of telling some local rep – they probably will forget it straight away. Your feedback need to go to the product groups. Microsoft announces forums for feedback every once in a while – I blogged about one yesterday. Take advantage of those. MVPs like myself and Didier Van Hoye actively request feedback before we go to the MVP Summit in Redmond to meet those PMs – take advantage of that too. I might be a jerk in dealing with some comments on this site, but I note the constructive ones and take those ideas to Microsoft.
Microsoft has changed a lot. It was extremely noticeable when we MVPs were last there. It’s a fantastic change – it was by far the most engaging experience I’ve had in Redmond. They really want our feedback to avoid the issues that we saw in the past. So take advantage of this and get the product that you want.