The Customer Is Always Hosed

I stumbled across this piece from BBC News (via Lifehacker) this morning. Seems I’m not the only one to have decided that Vista ranks, in terms of average quality of user experience, just above a gasoline-powered pubic hair trimmer. Dell, being one of those kooky companies who use their customer feedback for something other than hamster cage lining, responded to the tide of discontent by (temporarily, at least) continuing to offer a handful of models loaded with XP. Naturally, the mothership in Redmond can’t imagine why anyone would voluntarily leap off the Vista wagon. But until they decide to roll up the January 2008 licensing cutoff for XP, there’s not much they can do short of demonstrating yet again their complete disdain for any who stray from the herd.

In keeping with the concept of providing insightful, everyman translations of corporate verbal diarrhea, here’s my take on Microsoft’s response to the Dell situation.

(Note: Quote is second-hand, and pre-mangled, presumably, by someone at the BBC. If I find the full text, I’ll update.)

In response Microsoft said that Dell was responding to a “small minority” of customers[…]

…’small minority’ here meaning nearly 11,00 customers of the second-largest PC retailer in the nation…

who had a very “specific” request.

…that request being, specifically, “Please don’t force us to use an operating system that makes us want to hollow out our PCs and use them as creative garden planters.”…

Honestly, the cheek of us consumers. If this keeps up, sooner or later we’re going to start believing that we should get to choose which products and services we pay for and use.

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