How’s Microsoft doing with community involvement? (updated)

Update: Jen Lussier has blogged a summary of the talks she had at the MVP summit last week. Take a look!

I’m at the Microsoft MVP Summit in Bellevue, WA this week (and having a simply lovely time, thanks for asking!)  MS Community Program Manager Jen Lussier tweeted:

Looking 4 MVPs in Redmond 2 talk about how MS employees can engage better in the community. Game? DM me #MVPsummit #MVPsummit2012 #MVP12

You can bet I replied, bent her ear for 45 minutes, and then dragged two other MVPs over to take over chatting.  I think it’s an excellent question, and I think it’s simply outstanding that Microsoft is asking the question in the first place.

I’ve had opportunity to talk about this in recent days: Sean and I are putting together a “how to become a DBA” seminar (which focuses on the soft, non-tech side #ShamelessPlug*) called DBA Roadmap. In the introduction to the seminar, we found ourselves talking about the truly wonderful SQL community, and the very communicative and supportive Microsoft SQL Server teams available to the world at large.  I don’t know of any other technology group with such a large and open community involvement.  So yeah, this is fairly close to my nerdy, nerdy heart.

On the other hand, there are definitely improvements that they can make.  (The session feedback forms from the MVP Summit alone probably have a ton of complaints helpful suggestions.) 

Now, I have my own set of praise and suggestions for the PMs, devs, and testers at MS, and I’ve had my say here today. What I’d like to know is your opinion. Yes, YOU, mister-or-missus DBA, BI dude, down-in-the-trenches accidental DBA, MVP, MCM, blogger and/or speaker. You might not be here this week, or ever, or might not have the time to catch Jen L. and bend her ear. So: What is it you have to say about Microsoft community involvement? 

Happy days,
Jen McCown

*Yes, I use hashtags outside of Twitter. #DealWithIt

One thought on “How’s Microsoft doing with community involvement? (updated)”

  1. As an end user/customer/consumer, I feel that it is nearly impossible to communicate any of my concernes to Microsoft such that they will actaully address those concerns. In other words, I’ve reported Microsoft software flaws, such as WMP Now Playing’s opening above where it was last closed when the Taskbar is located at the top of the screen and Tasbar auto-hide is disabled, a flaw that has existed for over a year, a flaw that exists on all Windows 7 machines, to Microsoft, but they haven’t fixed them.

    Microsft hosts community forums, such as TechNet and Microsoft Answers, but those communities consist of people trying to make Microsoft software work correctly because they can’t get through to anyone at Microsoft. Microsoft’s involvement in those communities is almost non-existant. They seem to be comfortable relying on the good will of others to solve the problems their customers encounter.

    I assume Microsft would like me to pay a multi-hundred dollar price tag for Windows 8, an operating system that includes the same two flaws I’ve detected in Windows 7, one of which I mentioned above, but how can I pay so much for so little and maintain my self-respect?

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