Microsoft Discontinues Office Live Small Business is Another Letdown by the Software Giant
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Tags: customer committment Microsoft Microsoft office live small business Office365
As expected, today Microsoft had discontinued Office Live Small Business (“OLSB”) replacing the offering with Office365. Office365 provides business and consumers with basic productivity suite of products including limited functionality Office Webpps. According to Microsoft, they have done everything they could to provide Office Live Small Business users with advance notice. While these statements are true, many small businesses found it difficult switching from OLSB to either Office365 or another provider, simply because… they don’t have the time or resources to support complex migrations. What Microsoft failed to realize is that majority of small businesses are very busy with managing their core business, and most of them don’t have the resources to migrate pages of content, as well as emails and customer lists, including workflow to yet another system.
Based historical trends, Microsoft makes it difficult, if not impossible for small businesses to migrate off their platform using well known “hostage” tactics. Why? Because Microsoft neither understand, nor cares about small businesses. Another example includes Microsoft Office Accounting. Microsoft discontinued the product in November of 2009, while many small and medium businesses relied on this tool as their main accounting package. Microsoft introduced similar scenario whereby the product had no successor. On the announcement page, Microsoft included several links, including a link to Microsoft Dynamics site, implying that if you wanted to migrate off Microsoft Office Accounting, you would have to choose either Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV. Having deployed both solutions over the years, I must mentioned that it would cost a small business thousands to migrate to either tool, and even more to maintain and support it.
It’s a known fact that Microsoft owns mid-market and plays fairly well within an Enterprise. However, small-business to them it’s just another “black-hole” where they have been loosing money over the years, and losing money does not sit well with Microsoft’s shareholders.
There are plenty of alternatives that small business can take advantage of with minimal to no investment. Google as an example, one of the key Microsoft’s competitors, does not pretend to care about small business, they simply provide better, more agile, and more cost effective tools for any size business.
If you are a small business owner, think twice before jumping on Microsoft offerings, taking historical trends in to consideration. Make your decisions based on facts, not fluff. After all, it is your business, and no one cares more about it than you.
Until next time,
P.S. Funny, but after I published this post, I came across this great article by Charles Cooper of CNET - How I learned to say, ‘Hi, Google Docs; bye, MS Word’