Why is it that any time you attend a Microsoft-hosted event, inevitably you will find in the crowd a couple of hugely obnoxious folks who can’t keep to themselves their petty little rants and raves about how Microsoft hasn’t measured up to whatever yardstick they use to measure software companies by?
Today, I attended a Microsoft Shared Hosting Event, a day-long session where they reviewed the Microsoft Hosting Solution and talked a bit about DotNetNuke and Community Server. At the end of the day, they gave a (very early) preview of IIS7 and Visual Web Developer (which is in Beta 2 at this point).
The first hour of the seminar was dominated by two of the attendees blathering on with one little whiney complaint after another: “How come NT4’s IP address management panel was so messed up?” “Why doesn’t ISA work properly with my IIS web server?” “How come nobody returns my calls for support?” (I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that one)
It was agonizing.
Then the presenter starts talking about SPLA, Microsoft’s licensing agreement for service providers. This is actually a really nice deal for web hosters, as it licenses almost everything you need on a pay-as-you-go model where you simply report your usage every month. The license is reasonably priced and easy to work with, and all in all is a great deal.
“How much is it?” asks one of the blowhards? “Well, it varies from product to product. Windows 2003 Standard Edition, as an example, is $18/mo per processor.” “I don’t believe it. You’re lying to me.”
And so went the morning.
My favorite was when the two of them got to griping about how Microsoft had let one of their promotional programs for FrontPage web hosters fizzle out. Now, keep in mind that this was a program they implemented in 1997 or 1998 to promote FrontPage providers. You had to do an install of the server extensions and go through some validation to prove that you installed it properly, and in return, Microsoft listed you in a directory of providers.
Lots of us got some business from that directory. These guys were hacked off that the program eventually fizzled out.
Let me tell you, I probably still have 80% of the customers I got from that program, so I’d say I’m still benefiting from it. Besides, programs have beginnings, middles, and ends, and this one had well outlived its usefulness. Not to blowhard guys. “When are you going to give us that back? We needed that”. I hope they go out of business.