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Doug's Mailbag: Microsoft Support Life, Outsourcing Issues

After Doug commented on the news that Microsoft will be offering limited troubleshooting for expired Windows Service Packs, here are a few of your responses when asked how long they should support their products:

Even though I would personally like to see Microsoft support their products as long as someone is using them, I can also see that nearly everything we buy has a warranty that expires over time. If the customer chooses to continue using the product after the warranty expires, such as a car, then they need to pay out good money to get the product fixed by someone else.

When it comes to software, the Internet provides a wealth of information and free help that can keep many of Microsoft's products going for years on end. So I am torn on this issue for the home user.  

However, when it comes to the corporate environment where hundreds of thousands of dollars may have been invested in Microsoft, then I feel that support should be provided indefinitely for a MODEST amount of money. Give the corporations as much time as they need to upgrade. Microsoft will still be making some money off their older products, the customer will be happy and more likely to buy their newer stuff when the need arises and users feel confident that Microsoft will support them long into the future.
-Joe     

I thought they were to support a product seven years after it was retired?
Government mandate?
-Anonymous

For three years after the release of the first service pack for the next version of the product. For instance, three years after the release of Windows Vista SP1, support for Windows XP should end.
-Pat

One reader shares insight on why outsourcing IT support overseas may not be a good thing:

My company, which I often refer to as the biggest company nobody's ever heard of ($11B annual revenue, 45,000 employees in 11 countries), is a systems integrator/project and program management enterprise-class vendor.  If we were to outsource OUR IT operations, how in the world would we compete and win such work from prospective clients?  I can just see the conversation now…

 Yeah, that will win us lots of work!  LOL
 -Mercury

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Posted on April 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM


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