Well, I was mid draft of a really long blog post about the quite astonishing announcement from the Small Business Server team, when yesterday I got the legs taken out from under me again by this announcement from the Microsoft Game Studios.
What a Disaster
Seriously, the two key products that I have loved and specialised in over the past 15 Years? (more for Flight Sim) are to be gone. In the case of Flight… gone again….
The really sad part is that, from what I can see is that in both cases it is a direct result of Microsoft simply ignoring its customers and ploughing on regardless. Many MVP’s, end users, even internal staff of Microsoft have – i know – been hounding Microsoft about its mistakes with these products in recent releases and they have simply fallen on with deaf ears. Its really, REALLY, sad.
I am not so worried about Microsoft Flight Simulator and Microsoft Flight. The reality is that FSX is a product that is still pretty good to this day, and with the fact that third party developers have a platform to work on that is not changing they are doing some pretty amazing things. Check out what PMDG are doing for a small example of great development work!
When it comes to Small Business Server and its regression into the new Windows Server 2012 product range… this worries me more. While I have no problem at all with the push Microsoft are making to cloud services, I do have real issue when they do it without much thought of the small businesses out there that want the wizards of SBS, but are over 25 users. Microsoft need to standardise the toolset that is available in SBS (now Windows Server 2012 Essentials) and make it available all the way up the product line if a client wants to grow past Essentials limitations on users or devices.
EDIT: I take the above back. Contrary to what I was led to believe, there is a migration path that keeps (most) of the toolset). Read here
I also have real issue with Microsoft simply “brushing off” the requirements of small businesses worldwide that DO need an internal mail solution. Not everyone can get high speed broadband worldwide (unbelievable I know) and those people will simply now look for a non-Microsoft alternative…. which brings me on to my next point…
I have never before seen quite so much push in the community for people to look for Microsoft alternatives. Its already clear that out of about every 5 desktops we sell now, 2 are Apple. I am also seeing customers requesting linux or simply NAS storage solutions again, which is a worrying trend… (not for me… but for Microsoft).
My renewal cycle for the MVP program of which I have been an awardee for 10 years, is coming up. I hope that Microsoft will be keeping the SBS MVP product grouping for one more year while the dust settles…. from there we shall see what happens. But the sad part is that I somehow now wonder…
Does any of the feedback us MVP’s give back matter anymore Microsoft?