Dear Microsoft:

Dear Microsoft:

Listen, I am rooting for you. I love me a good comeback story, and it seems that you are dialed in right now.

And I’m glad.

But, look, you’ve got to respect me a little bit more.

I have two of your products: Office 360 and Xbox One.

And they both annoy me in exactly the same way.

I don’t play the Xbox one very often at all. I use Office360 as infrequently as possible.

When I open either, they both want to update. I don’t need the latest version.

I need to use the software.

I remember last year when I bought my Xbox. I couldn’t play Forza for like 6 hours because it needed a system update of some sort. Then it had to download Forza. This was after I signed in and jumped through all of your hoops.

I opened my Xbox the other day to play Rayman with my kids. I was logged out because I had to change my password.

Before I could log back in I was required to grab a giant update. No games would play. All of my downloaded games required a new update, probably the Xbox360 emulator or something.

What a drag, man.

So I let it do its thing in the background.

Whenever I open Microsoft Word, I know that it’s gonna want to update and bounce the dock. It’ll interrupt me and ask to close. It’s fine that you want to update, just do it in the background. I gave you permission to check automatically.

Here’s what I want:

  1. Don’t punish me for using your software occasionally. Let me work for a while and then ask to update tonight, tomorrow, in an hour. I get that you need to.
  2. If you MUST update (say once a quarter, max) for real reasons, do that behind my back. Make it so it’s hard not to bypass that.
  3. When I buy a product, no barriers to using it. I was a first time Xbox person, just wanted to race cars with my kids. Hooked up the Xbox at 6pm on a Friday night, and it took 4 hours to let me in is bogus. Respect my money. Let me play, then update. Who wants to wait to use something?
  4. Update in the background, like Chrome does. I think Chrome sets the bar for updating, doing it, seemingly while the software is running. Be like them.
  5. During updates on a Mac inherit the devices norms. Don’t bounce the dock, and make a show out of it. Just do your thing and be done. Go through the App store if you can.

That’s it. You have other issues (your Xbox One UX seems to inherit the worst mistakes of Windows 7 and an iPod Classic). But this one? This respect thing?

Well, it’s got me concerned. Maybe it doesn’t matter and we all just accept that 20% of the experience will be antagonistic. I’m not likely to get Office 360 again. I won’t if i can help it. I know that when Red Dead Redemption II comes out that I will need to plan on having it update for 4 hours before I can play.  So I’ll be annoyed at you between now and then for the time you’re planning on wasting.

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Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is writing this blog. He's a startup veteran, having built a company called Simplifilm. This blog is about things that he's starting to - but may not actually - think yet. It publishes irregularly.
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