Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Plenty of MS Office Hype But Where is the Support?

For Microsoft's fiscal year ended June 30, the unit that includes Office had operating income of nearly $8 billion, on revenue of $11 billion. The company's overall revenue was $40 billion. It is fair to say that Office is the flagship earnings product for Microsoft, but as an Office developer I feel short-changed.

While massive resources and support are available for VB.Net, Visual Studio, and SQL Server, Office Developers get short shrift. Most Office applications are deployed in small businesses and within corporate units, so the fancy but complex and costly-to-maintain enterprise interfaces offered by VSTO and SQL Server are not relevant, yet the support focus is on these enterprise tools. All the talk about supporting Office Developers is just that.

A case in point: I applied for an MS Office ISV "buddy" under the ISV Microsoft Buddy Program, where an MS specialist is assigned to you as a direct MS support contact. Nothing happened for 6 months, and on enquiry was told a match could not be found! I suppose they were embarrassed and soon came up with a "match", who turned about out be an evangelist for VB.Net with no real interest in Office...

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