Readers Sound Off About Microsoft's Strong-arm Sales Tactics (6 letters)

Thank you, Don Tennant, for having the guts to report the story on Microsoft's marketing tactics ["Rotten Effort," May 15]. I hope that this will help others, and even Microsoft, see that alienating customers is not a good business strategy.

Sam McCoy


I am just as disgusted by Microsoft's sales tactics as I am by its deliberate lies about competitors, its own delivery dates and other practices that have made the company rich. I wish corporations would finally get fed up with Microsoft's behavior and switch products.

It's amazing how many Microsoft customers get treated poorly like this or have to deal with Microsoft product defects but keep on buying its software.

John Columbus
Columbus Consulting Group
New Hope, Minn.

When I was CIO at a major international bank a few years back, I received a letter demanding that I supply proof of licensing by providing an audit conducted by a Big Five auditing company. The concept of a vendor creating a system that is almost impossible to administer, then using the ensuing chaos to sue customers, just left me cold.

I wrote back thanking them for their letter and for raising the issue of license compliance. I indicated that I believed we were substantially overlicensed because we had purchased PCs with software and because we were a Select customer. I indicated that we would be seeking refunds for unused licenses. I didn't hear from them again.

Waleed Hanafi

I have seen this a number of times to a lesser degree, but Tennant's editorial was a good way to let consumers be forewarned and more proactive in defending themselves from an aggressive and somewhat ethically questionable sales tactic.

James D. Cobb
Vice president for national accounts
Tampa, Fla.

The last paragraph ("The folks at Microsoft should have done their homework. They would have realized that trying to intimidate Dale Frantz would be a fruitless effort. And what a rotten fruitless effort it was.") makes it sound like this was a singular event, peculiar only insofar as Dale Frantz was the wrong guy to pick on. Microsoft's cynical creation of a euphemism like "engagement manager" for this kind of thug is deplorable.

Steve Cavender
Chief technologist
First American Payment Systems
Fort Worth, Texas

Janet Lawless is very aptly named, considering the activities that she is engaged in.

It would have been great to read that Auto Warehousing responded to her e-mails by promptly transferring all of its computing to Linux (thus permanently resolving any Microsoft licensing issues).

But that would be a fairy tale, not real life.

Tom Welsh
Basingstoke, England


Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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