MS-GearUp.com is the biggest busted piece of crap I’ve seen yet! Yeah, it works fine if you’re starting a new agreement from scratch, but if you’re trying to do a quote for a renewal/2nd/3rd year open value agreement it is hopelessly broken. It’s either truly "smarter" than you, or… it’s acting like it’s smarter than you. Not to mention that tech support is email only for this, which is next to useless since it would take 3-4 days to explain what you’re trying to do to some guy in another country who has no clue what you’re talking about in the first place and is about as woefully untrained as the Licensing/Partner Resource Desk people. Wait, maybe I should call my SBSC T-PAM? No, wait, maybe I should have them call the Licensing Desk and conference in the Partner Resource Desk so they can all have a big 3 hour conversation and still come to the conclusion that I should talk to my ALP because NOBODY has any F&#KING clue how the H3&& this stuff is actually supposed to be properly licensed. Oh wait, Eric Ligman knows… He’s the guru, but what’s his email address again???
Maybe I should just take my customer to the Microsoft store with my "buddy’s friend’s cousin’s neighbor" and buy all their software at a super discount. That’s what everybody seems to do around here anyway. What’s wrong with Microsoft, can’t they get a handle on this $H!T?
The real problem with licensing is not piracy but the stupidity of the vendors and support system that is supposed to enable these sales. If it wasn’t such a cluster-f&#k to figure out what to buy and who to buy it from they’d sell a lot more of it. Honestly anymore I just call the vendor, add up the licensing myself based on what the client has, buy it according to what the vendors tell me and walk away. If it’s wrong then who cares, Microsoft’s not going to do anything about it in the first place. Case in point, I have a previous customer who still has an active Open Value agreement that didn’t pay their 2nd year to my knowledge and should have been terminated, but it’s still Active. WTF?
Not only that, but the certification logo programs are largely a joke. Half the partners in the local phonebook have misused Microsoft’s logos according to the guidelines they posted. And it isn’t just locally that it’s messed up, check out the Seattle phonebook if you really want a laugh.
The bottom line is, if Microsoft wants us as partners to sell more of their software they need to get out of the way. The programs need to be simple, there should be a single point of contact that is smarter than an outsourced human phone directory, and the products themselves should be of better quality than the previous versions…. to the average person, not just us geeks. Case in point, half my clients are on Windows Vista and the other half are on XP. The ones on Vista were mostly early adopters and had few issues, but many have had so many line of business applications fail to run, even after trying to fix them with compatibility toolkits and such, that they are now seriously considering downgrading back to Windows XP until their software comes of age, which could be a decade for some of these people!
For these people the perception is that Vista is buggy and doesn’t work. Many are waiting for SP1 before reverting back to XP but this has tarnished Microsoft’s already shaky reputation for buggy software. I personally really like Vista, don’t get me wrong… but for some people it just doesn’t work, at least not yet. I can’t have it all my way but come on…
Anyway, my caffeine is starting to wear off so I’ll be going now, but I seriously hope somebody does something about this stuff. I seriously doubt it though.