The danger for any company of the stature of Microsoft is that it begins to believe its own press releases. Far from being the marketing wizard it once was, the company appears to be sitting on its marketing laurels, doing things the way they have done them in the past with no real understanding of how the marketplace has changed in the past 25 years.
They will change, eventually, as new blood comes to the company or sales continue to decline. But that’s not what we want from Microsoft, and that is not what will best serve accountants who use its products.
A compendium of ideas, products, rants and raves from the viewpoint of the author.
The author has no financial interests in any of the products mentioned. Feel free to
disagree, or to share your ideas by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– User Discussion Groups. In a world grown fractious and polarized, it is nice to find civil places where people politely share knowledge and ideas. These are the forums, which I use extensively to learn more about accounting, technology and products I use. I belong to discussion forums for my Goldwing cycle, DirecTV, BlackBerry cell phone and computing tech support. And I visit them almost daily.
– Broadband Stimulus Dollars. I noted last month that there was almost no way that this program would truly stimulate jobs to pull us out of recession. Now the schedule has bogged down, the rules are changing almost daily, and the inspector general of the Department of Commerce is stepping in to investigate the whole mess. Anyone still want the federal government to run a National Broadband Plan?
– YouTube Rippers. I got dragged kicking and screaming to YouTube, a service that has no clear business model, is burning through money faster than an ex-spouse, and has a lot of dubious content. But I do find it of value to sometimes take a snippet here or there for personal review at a later date, and for this there are a wide range of websites and software solutions that allow you to convert YouTube videos (called ripping the videos) and store them. What remains to be seen, when the courts finally rule in on this, is whether it will be deemed legal.
– Advertising on Twitter. Okay, let’s go over this again. Really cool Internet services that have no business model must eventually turn to one of two models to survive — they will either sell your personal information to marketers or inundate you with advertising. Twitter is the latest to announce it has changed its terms of service agreement to enable advertisers to target its users directly. Prediction: Facebook is next.
Windows 7. While I have blasted Microsoft’s increasingly
inept marketing efforts for the Windows franchise, this operating system
is easily the best since Windows XP. Smaller, better, more secure and
with some interesting new features, I’m betting that most accounting
firms will want to make the upgrade … after the first Service Pack,