History about me:
Some would say I’m a Microsoft fan boy and they’d be right in most cases, I’m really a technology fan boy and I always will be. It started with a TI99 one of the first personal computers to be made. I was born in 1980 and in most places was the first generation to have a computer in the home my entire life.
My uncle worked for Texas Instruments on the TI99 team among others. So my father bought the personal computer from him which I still have plus a prototype laptop and others parts. The system came with TI Basic and was before the standard QWERTY keyboard. I begged my family to set it up often as I grow up so I could play Tunnels of doom or the Attack.
This was my first introduction to Microsoft before Dos or anything else they made software for the TI99. As I grow up I spent many nights at my uncles who now worked for Mesa State Collage in Grand Junction. One of those nights while we were dialing up local BBS’s on a i386 to play the PIT and Trade Wars 2002 he brought home a massive stack of disks from the collage on them was Windows 3.x (can’t remember which) we quickly PKZIPED all our games and apps to have enough hard drive space to install it.
We plugged in the mouse, wait what’s a mouse we all wondered. At this point most games were ASCII and Doom was keyboard only we had no idea what adding a mouse would do to gaming and the world.
Starting up Windows I was hooked, I loved the logical icon based layout and easy interactions vs dos and having to memorize each command or ask for help from family or the system. My family’s rule was I’ll show you once how to do it and how to use the /? (help) flag then you’re on your own. Since I didn’t live there I only got access every few weeks. But by the next time I came over Windows was gone due to space issues and the dislike my programming family had for the GUI interface. Still to this day GUI vs command line and Windows vs Linux are a common debate.
Needless to say I was hooked. I spent my youth taking apart systems and networking them for friends to gaming and share. Spring breaks were filled with LAN parties of Unreal, Half-life Modes, AVP and Rainbow six. I ran my schools computer lab and around the age of 13 started getting pimped out by my mother and family to fix their friends computers.
Fast forward to now, I’m 35 and it’s 2016. I’ve run a technology consulting and IT Department business for 10+ year on my own as a lone wolf jack of all trades. My Business is Don’t Panic Business Technologies and have been a MS Partner for 10+ years. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jbenisek
What I’ve done:
As a Jack of all Trades it’s always hard to list what you’ve done as I’ve lead and been a team player in hundreds if not thousands of projects in most industries and fields.
I’ve supported in business production almost every OS released by Microsoft including: Dos, Windows 3, 95, 98, NT3, NT4, 2000, XP, ME, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 2003, 2008, 2012, SBS, 3.1 Embedded, Mobile 5, Mobile 6, Mobile 8/8.1, Mobile 10.
Developed, hosted and support SharePoint in WSS2, 3, 2007, 2010, cloud and portal with project sites with more than a million visits managing $100 million public works projects and hundreds of users. As a InfoPath form designer I’ve created forms that have saved thousands in labor and resource costs.
Personally participated in each RC and Beta released by Microsoft for each Windows OS since Windows XP. Participated in 100’s of Microsoft Research projects, betas and products. With 100’s of Photosynths, Pivot collections of thousands, many Hyperlapse videos, tens of thousands of ICE images and so many other projects over the years.
I’m in the top 5% points on TechNet Forms(1), MCP XP, Beta Tester of the Month Live Mesh. I’ve spent endless hours supporting users and helping in forms, providing feedback on MS Connect and Research projects.
My Previous experiences with Microsoft
Over the years I’ve gone to events and interacted with support and partner services many times. I’ve been a TechNet and Action Pack subscriber and so have many of my clients. My experiences before the last few years were 9/10 with only ease of access to support and pre-sales a complaint. Microsoft often sent people to my area to meet me interact and help educate on what’s going on, Microsoft vision and promises to it’s partners and developers. I often felt like Microsoft’s teammate and they went out of their way to support and help me in my mission to help users of technology products have an enjoyable, reliable and panic free experience.
I build my business on this model on stability and honesty from Microsoft providing fast emergency access to quality support with a reasonable partner fee and requirement. I signed up a few business customers on a monthly unlimited 24/7 support plan. Coming from NT4, 2000, XP, 7, 2003 stable platforms this was a great business model and worked well until…
My Resent experiences with Microsoft
The New Microsoft… at first I thought thank God for exchange in the cloud my dreams are answered. But then we didn’t have phone or access to any support for the first few months to year of office 365. Only after months of bitching and partners complaints did the new lumbering Microsoft listen. Only then did I start to see what was going on. We spent months with massive failures and problems, Microsoft wasn’t talking to us, our teammate and partner that was alerting us about issues with a product they had already sold us, instead was now hiding why we had failures and what the current status of services really was. Investigations took time and resulting information was limited.
*On a side note I want to say of any service or product Office 365 has been the shining light after those issues were addressed and phone support was added for all plans. With the exception of SharePoint team sites and OneDrive for business. Office 365 has worked well and taken a major stress off IT departments around the world. If a Backup solution is created for Mailboxes in Cloud and OneDrive fixed it will be almost perfect.
The stable platform I had built my business model on wasn’t there anymore. With Windows 8 then 8.1 then update after bad update I started to have non-stop problems in all my client offices. Windows mobile 5 had been dumped with promises of greatness if we just get away from the old core. Same thing we heard with Windows embedded 3.1 and NT core.
Now it’s years later we’ve had time with the new Microsoft and I’m frustrated and disappointed. I’ve had no choice but to cancel services and stop using products that don’t work and aren’t stable enough for production use.
Public Image and Relations:
Until the last 2 years this wasn’t really an issue for me but due to how these actions were taken and continue to be taken I’m concerned and becoming actionable as an example this blog post which took some time.
The steps taken to auto pre-load Windows 10 is abusive and over the line. I’ve had many problems caused by this choice by Microsoft and I protest. This has caused not only productivity loss but confidence loss in Microsoft’s brand. This shows your bottom line is more important than the rights and personal choices of your customers. In my mind this is a very sad day. I’ve read both sides and I feel I must speak out. This isn’t the coming world I want to live in. I would rather have freedom than security. If forced/harassed upgrade paths are the only option then I’d rather not be a member of your team. The Internet was built on personal freedom and choice. That brings risk, and I’ll accept that risk a long time before I become a slave to a corporation. You can’t be our teammate and partner in this technology new age then abuse and force us to use broken bad products and services, even more so after releasing Windows ME, Vista, mobile, car and Windows 8 failures, for our own good or not. That’s not how relationships work whether you’re the government or a giant of a corporation.
Partners fees were raised from a TechNet $150/year to the required Action Pack at $475/year the software and number of Cals has been changed in the action pack so it’s much less than it was in the action pack we had a few years ago. Only after many complaints did Windows 10 Home/Pro even get added to the Action Pack. Access to old software needed for Dev and Support staff has been modified or removed. While the access to Partner support has been reduced. This is almost $40/month as a technologist consultant by himself it’s too much. Whereas $150/year was perfect. All I want is access to the ISO library and a few support calls a year.
Last I’d like an ear to talk to with some ability to fix things when your lumbering giant abuses small businesses like forcing volume license purchasers of Windows 7 who didn’t purchase/support the broken Windows 8 Software assurance to buy Windows 10 at $199/Cal. They were smart enough not to buy Windows 8 which we all agree was broken. So you punish them. They are they only customers that don’t get Windows 7 free because they listened to you and bought a volume licenses at your suggestion instead of retail. It’ll end up costing them double the cost to buy as a volume customer than it would have retail. That’s bad business. Windows 8 was a massive failure accept it and stop making others suffer because of it.
During a time of low to no business adoption of Windows 8, 8.1, Mobile, ARM, Car and now a slow adoption of Windows 10 Microsoft increased partner fees, decreased support and released products with less stability than a 13 year olds android app.
I’ve tweeted, emailed, called, asked for managers to call me back, email corporate and had no meaningful conversation communications with support. I’ve given plenty of feedback I’m frustrated and unhappy but no one wants to take responsibility and ownership of these failures and issues which means the brand damage done wont ever be healed. Typical lumbering soulless corporation these days. I think if Microsoft was born today it would be killed by the giants.
Cancelled Microsoft Partnership, Action Pack, TechNet
The entire Microsoft ecosystem is broken. Lets start with Onedrive for Personal which isn’t Onedrive for Business (which is SHAREPOINT). Live Mesh was tested and released as a solution to sync, cloud storage and virtual desktop needs. It was a great product and met our needs. It was dumped for SharePoint which after years and years still can’t store the basic amount of data needed.
I currently have a photo image collection of 600GB-1TB and growing, with GooPro at 4k and a 4k screen I need more every day. I’d like to sync and have access on any of my systems and in the cloud. But the now current size cap for Onedrive Personal is 100GB a few months ago it was 300GB that’s not even 1 SD card these days much less a GoPro and SLR1 Photoshoot. So I have to cancel my subscription and go somewhere else. Office 365 + OneDrive(SharePoint) is a joke. As it can’t store more than 5000 files per folder or sync 50k files and it’s performance is like dial-up. I’ve also tried team sites and after months of problems, and support unable to fix I gave up. My phones camera roll has more than 5k files in one folder.
Cancelled OneDrive after 6+ years as a customer.
Researching solutions, please post your suggestions below.
*Side note when I contacted support by chat to increase my space it took them an hour and 5 different people to tell me that more space wasn’t offered. When the websites all sad it was and the options were there a few months ago. Now they are all gone. Chat tells you to call this number, when you ask the automated system for Onedrive support it says support is only offered by chat and hangs up. Then chat send you to another number which forwards to you another number, who spends 30 minutes to figure out that plans not offered any more. The cost to Microsoft over this one call would easily covered my $12/year fee+ the cost to host my 600GB of files is less than the money they paid 5 different support people to waste my time on something they should have already known.
If this doesn’t show Microsoft as the lumbering giant with no idea what it’s doing and what small firms it mowing over, I’m not sure what will. Google does unlimited image and video backup even if it’s not full quality it’s a better solution, they also offer much more space for purchase and it works, has a pause button, is allowed to be closed and isn’t forced integration! Simple features every program should support.
Broken Promises of real Security, Password solutions and name game
I’ve been here since the early days so I’ve heard all the promises and if we just ditch NT core we’ll… If we just ditch… Well it’s 2016 and the Username/ Password nightmare is now worst than ever and it’s Microsoft fault. Every single day I have to explain why Office 365 and Microsoft accounts use the same username but can have different passwords and only work in some places and not others, or only work if you select the right option. In some apps it’s called a work account, others a corp account in others office 365 or even still Exchange… It’s a stability and support hell hole you created. So now we might have a Windows Local Password, Microsoft Account, Domain, Office 365 and Admin account all for each and every user. You promised in .NET this would STOP! But instead you fixed it then broke it then Dumped .NET! Your image issue isn’t the NAME, STOP dumping the name because you damaged it with BAD products and broken promises. Every time you change a name I have to have 200 conversations about it 2 or 3 times because no one cares to remember what the hell your doing! They just want it to work and do their job so they can go home. They don’t care what it’s called so just leave it what it is!
Failed Windows Mobile Solution (A name change wont fix)
I personally have used a Windows Mobile phone since the Compaq IPAQ which I hacked from Sprint to work on Verizon. Before that I had each PDA OS Microsoft offered, I also supported Palm and many others. I feel they are a critical part of my life. They must sync and integrate with my Ecosystem. But the Microsoft Ecosystem is broken. I’ve had a Lumia 822 from day one, then upgraded to a Lumia Icon. I’ve had to warranty the 822 and Icon both once over simple hardware issues. Before that I used a Omnia. I’ve also used Android and I support Apple iPhones.
I like the concept of Windows Phone and the ability to integrate into my ecosystem (if it worked) currently there isn’t anything on my Windows Mobile phone that works which wouldn’t work on an Android or Apple. In fact many things that don’t work on my Windows Phone do work on Android and Apple even if they are Microsoft products.
For the last 6 months of the Windows Phone preview my camera hasn’t worked and crashes, for the last month even screen caps don’t work. Onedrive, Groove, Xbox App all crash and fail in major features. The battery and overall performance is BAD. Copy/Paste takes minutes to work. Text Messages take 20-60 seconds to load the pervious messages, then takes 2-30 seconds to post a message.
The final release of Windows 10 Phone was set for a few months ago. I’ve reloaded my phone many many times because the preview was so unstable or unusable I gave up and went back to W8Phone which is just bad too. After on going promises and failed builds I’m tired of waiting for a mythical device that’s released with quality and stability then isn’t released on Verizon the largest US Carrier, isn’t stabile and costs $800. It often makes me wonder why you’d layoff so many people before you release a single stable device. There are still issues with Surface products both hardware and software. A Surface phone doesn’t excite me much because a name is just a name. W10 core is the problem.
For all the things that didn’t work in Windows 8 Phone Cortana was one that did, and she was great. Then here came Windows 10 to fix everything. I spent a lot of time training myself to use Cortana for Call this person, schedule this, text that and I was good, fast and productive. Now I get errors most the time, she’s stupid, can’t hear me and angers me more than helps. After the 3rd 4th 5th try I’m pissed!
Zune, Xbox Music and Groove
I love music when Microsoft created Zune I bought one first day I could. I had over 7500 songs when I cancelled Groove. I’ve owned a Windows Phone mainly for music access for many many years. I bought zunes and enjoyed them. But since the New Microsoft every time I open Groove it asks for money per song. I signed up for Zune to never EVER pay per song like iTunes which I HATE!!! I feel like a 3rd class member. It often takes minutes before the listen with music pass even shows up. Many songs aren’t playable in the pass. I wanted a unlimited solution that worked on all my devices even if I had to have a windows phone then. Zune did that, Xbox Music was close then Groove and the New Microsoft killed it. I spent 3 weeks trying to get a playlist to sync with my xbox one. I even created a playlist on the xbox one then added songs from my phone and W10 computer and still after saying it was syncing for hours, for weeks nothing. I’m frustrated and I’ve given up on the New Microsoft. The Groove app crashes hourly and only plays when on screen. What a joke. All features we had in the past gone each release. It’s not an upgrade if I have to plead for each feature every single release. Same with Xbox One vs 360. I shouldn’t have to beg to get basic features I previously had.
Cancelled 2 accounts of Zune, Xbox Music, Groove after 6+ years as a customer.
Went to Spotify for now as a test. I had 7500 songs in Groove.
*Side note even after I cancelled Groove they still charged me and I had to spend a second hour with support getting my money back. This puts me around 2 hours of support time just to cancel.
Lack of Stability and lost sight of platform:
Microsoft has lost sight of being a stable platform where apps don’t crash hourly but monthly or yearly if ever. I’m not sure if this is the former CEO fault or the new one but I don’t care anymore. I’ve given you hours of feedback, years of support and service and you are still unable to deliver a simple solution to our sync, music, mobile, gaming and backup nightmares much less cloud virtual desktops, true security and real stability.
You say you’re listening but you don’t seem to hear us:
When Windows 8 went into it’s first preview/test almost everyone using it strongly objected to the new start screen. We told them our users wont adopted this without a fight or a massive learning curve. But Microsoft didn’t care to listen to use, instead they created charts, studies, flooded the talk with why we must, if we just, and promises. Every single one failed. Windows 8 was the worst adopted business OS released by Microsoft in it’s history. Yet now with Onedrive it all starts over. Microsoft and their bottom line know better than the people supporting and working with customers and users every day. Once more they tell us what we need and then shove it down our throats. I wish the same wasn’t true with Microsoft Game studios and Halo 5, Halo MCC and other products.
I really thought we were getting so close to a working integrated ecosystem but it’s 2 years later and Microsoft is still spinning and playing us. They’ll end InfoPath without a solution to replace it. They’ll release update after update that lock systems up, kill performance and productivity yet when we complain their solution is to force everyone to accept these failed updates. Fast and Slow wont fix this problem. I’m at the point were I’m turning off Auto updates because every week I get complaints about new performance issues or crashes due to updates. Just writing this simple blog post on Windows 10 Pro, 5th gen i7, 4k screen I’m having IE11 performance issues and problem thank God I didn’t use Edge.
Xbox Live and PC Gaming
Xbox One is a great hardware box with a unstable core OS Windows 10! I loaded Windows 10 as soon as I could get a preview, it’s good overall but it’s unstable. Apps, Games and Edge are all unstable and crash often. AMD/ATI hasn’t released a stable driver in months. Upscaling to 4K is a joke and often a lot of programs don’t scale or work at all much less LogMeIn or RDP. I’ve had to turn off most features just to get apps to start. Suspend mode has caused Xbox One and Surface 4 users to suffer. Lack of real world testing seems to be a major issue with Microsoft hardware these days. Games like Halo MCC after 2 years are still unstable and have major issues. Matchmaking and Party chat are broken more than not. Even thought we have 60/100mb connection today games on Xbox 360 match make in a 1/4 of the time vs Xbox One. Games released 10 years ago perform better than AAA titles today. We have tested. We can play 1-3 matches in Xbox 360 Halo 3 in the time it takes to match make one in Halo MCC. Even though they fixed matchmaking in Halo 5 they broke the game engine by using Halo 4 garbage. Bungie created and delivered greatness so you hire 3rd rate 343 instead.
Your bottom line over quality is hurting your brand and products and I’m your canary bird, listen or go the way of HD DVD’s!
I have none other than to speak out and stop funding and supporting. I’m frustrated, if you are too please comment below.
or email me firstname.lastname@example.org