Sometimes you hear a quote that is simply too good to pass up. It is one you want to repeat. Today I read an article where Randall Kennedy stated that "Microsoft's entire marketing campaign for Windows 7 is predicated on a lie."
Their entire marketing campaign for Windows 7? That is a bold statement.
InformationWeek states that Microsoft is pushing the idea that the community helped to make what Windows 7 is. They state that Microsoft is indicating that customers shaped what Windows 7 is. InfoWeek then goes on to state that this is not true. That Microsoft had a solid understanding of what they wanted Windows 7, Microsoft didn't really bring on people until later, and that they are on record as ignoring feedback and requests for earlier access.
So did customers shape Windows 7?
InfoWeek goes on to make an even bolder statement. They take credit for shaping Windows 7.
Windows 7 is a Better Vista
Windows 7 is a better version of Vista. I believe nearly everyone will agree to that. I agree that feedback on Windows 7 was late in the process and had limited impact on the final product. I do believe, however, that most of the changes for Windows 7 were decided before a lot of the public input was obtained from the betas. I believe most of the public feedback on the product was obtained with the release and use of Vista. I believe the community did drive Windows 7, but that they did it as feedback on the horrible issues that Windows Vista presented. I believe Windows 7 is more like a new release of Windows Vista, only done better because little things are fixed and drivers already exist.
Did we shape Windows 7 like Microsoft stated? I'd argue that we had a big impact on it. I surely wouldn't give InfoWeek all the credit, nor would I state that Microsoft ignored its community. After all, ignoring your community is a quick way to failure.
What do you think? Is Microsoft lying?