What if Microsoft had waited?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by Niterider4, May 8, 2016.

  1. Niterider4

    Niterider4 Active Member

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    It is very interesting to me that the volume of new posts regarding bugs and issues with the Surface Book has now dwindled to almost nothing. This reflects my own experience, where my SB is now functioning as I expected it to function and as it was advertised to function.

    That leaves me wondering what would have happened if Microsoft had waited six months to release the new Surface. What if they conducted proper product testing and quality control, ironed out all the bugs, driver issues, and firmware problems, and released a great product right out of the gate?

    No doubt they would have lost six months of sales revenue. But hundreds of thousands of people would have been spared a frustrating, time consuming and often infuriating experience, product returns would have been a fraction of what they were, customer service could have been dealing with other issues (or no issues), and all those people would have much greater faith and confidence in the Microsoft and Surface brands, for a long, long time to come.

    For me, it comes down to the fact that Microsoft must have known. Bugs obviously happen, and drivers are often problematic, but Microsoft clearly made the decision to sell the Surface Book knowing that users would have exactly the brutal experience that many of us did have. I can live with a company that has an unexpected hiccup with a product launch and deals with it professionally and responsibly. I have much greater difficulty with a company that cynically launches a product knowing it is deeply flawed - that is a calculus that places Microsoft's profits well ahead of my best interests. It may have worked this one time, but is is unlikely to work again (at least on me).

    Was inflicting the half-baked Surface Book on consumers worth the incremental revenues? I don't really know. I wonder if Microsoft really knows. Maybe I'll forget the terrible experience that was the Surface Book for the first six months I owned it. Probably I won't.
     
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  2. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Active Member

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    You bring up a really valid point. I ended up going with an iPad Pro and a desktop. I really wanted the SB, but came here after owning the SP2 and it was a bloodbath. Decided on the iPad Pro 12.9.


    This was around January-February, I might add.
     
  3. BearFlag

    BearFlag Member

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    I agree with your points and I'm not supporting Microsoft's decision, but if I was given the option of getting the SB with hiccups 6 months earlier and told that it will improve to over time to a great product in 6 months, I would take that option.
     
  4. BearFlag

    BearFlag Member

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    The Surface Book was only announced several weeks before it came out. If you decided to buy your iPad Pro in Jan-Feb and MS would have waited until April to announce and release a bug-free Surface Book, wouldn't you have gotten the iPad Pro anyway since you wouldn't have known about the Surface Book in this hypothetical scenario.
     
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  5. flar

    flar Member

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    That's probably true, but I can't answer for eltos.

    (Full disclosure - I bought in early, had some problems, but it met my needs like nothing else on the market so I stuck with it and I'm glad I did now...)

    But, there are still the issues of:

    - The problems people were having turned away potential customers like eltos when the device was actually available. It's one thing to lose a customer to the timing of an opportunity, it's another to lose someone due to the realities of the offering.

    - Those who may have been turned to some other product are less likely to return as they'll be satisfied with their purchase and won't look back, even for future purchases.

    - Those who felt compelled to choose another product have probably told others why they went that route, which caused the impressions to spread. Even now, if they haven't been following the original product closely as elton has, they may still be spreading tales of woe.

    - The reaction of someone in that boat now that the problems have been mostly resolved is more likely to be "well, I'm still glad I didn't have to go through that" rather than "Oh, darn, if I'd only known I coulda had a V8!".

    - If someone hadn't done their research and gotten the product and decided to return it and go for something else, their resolve to avoid SB in the future would be quite a bit higher than someone who decided not to bother with it and may reconsider now that the storm has passed.
     
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  6. flar

    flar Member

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    I should add that the flip side, advantages they had for getting it out early, would be the number of customers they got from the holiday buying frenzy who may have gone with it on specs alone and, once they had it, decided to forge ahead due to purchase inertia (or in my case, the format was just too unique to find something else to fit the bill). Not everyone does the research that eltos did...
     
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  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Active Member

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    As a survivor who bought right out of the gate; then struggled with a Surface Pro 4; and finally came back to a Surface Book three weeks ago, I agree with @Niterider4 in that MS may have permanently lost some users because of the struggle to get the new Surfaces right. It is also very irritating that we KNOW MS knew these new Skylake Surfaces were an unmitigated disaster coming out of the chute. How much worse does it get than Panos' brag that you could close the lid and not lose a bit of battery - when most of us were burning up the insides of our briefcases from the office to home.

    But for me, it has been worth it, as the Surface Book is the Windows MacBook Pro I've always wanted.
     
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  8. KBoss

    KBoss New Member

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    I agree with you to an extent. There would always be bugs regardless if they decided to wait or not. If they did internal testing they still wouldn't have tested more than what 100? 200? at most. By selling them they can gather data on thousands of devices and pin point the issue faster with more data.
     
  9. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Active Member

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    That is a good point, but I sure would be more willing to give one a try than I am now.
     
  10. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Active Member

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    Actually there was an article that came out saying they laid off a bunch of testers and quality assurance folks. Think they might have helped without alienating folks willing to shell out well over a thousand dollars to bug test without knowing that upfront?

    Here it is:
    Satya Nadella Is Cutting 5,500 Microsoft Employees, Too, With Windows Hit The Hardest
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's hope someone learned something and the level of issues, both in numbers and severity, is never ever repeated. There is a history that speaks for itself.

    Many of the issues had to have been known, a few unknown. Regardless most were knowable and should have been known. Knowing and releasing would be cold and calculated or not knowing would be very incompetent; either leaves you with a bad taste.
     
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  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    What was cut was SDETs that were overlap from merging Xbox, Phone and Client into one unit, also the Development teams at Microsoft have switched to a DevOps model from a traditional Waterfall model....

    But the truth doesn't make for great clickbait....
     
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