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Thread: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

  1. #16
    Ray Collins Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?


    "Yair Alan Griver [MSFT]" <yag@microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:3c4f72f1$1@10.1.10.29...
    > Well, I can't tell you what's been done so far, but I'm planning on doing
    > the following:
    >
    > 1. Hanging out in newsgroups and the web.


    Generally "high end" users or users with a problem/issue who are looking for
    an answer then depart. Looking at the names and occupations of these people
    (when they are provided), not what I would call indicative of the VB
    majority.

    > 2. Going to conferences and talking to people.


    Corporate/Govt.

    > 3. Going to customers and talking to them.


    Corporate/Govt.

    > 4. Going to User Groups and talking to people there.

    Mostly Corporate/Govt.

    You can see why this version of VB is so focused on enterprise development.
    If you actually break down the sales numbers for VB how many copies do you
    sell to corporate vs. individuals/small business ? When counting I mean VB
    not Studio.

    The things that the "high end" of town want to do can be done by any number
    of development applications. They can hire in the talent required, the small
    end of town has to use their own resources. Unfortunatly the number of
    products that deliver for the small end of town is disappearing rapidly.

    Somewhere along the way M$ either forgot or decided to ignore what made VB
    such a popular product. It will now be interesting to see how much they
    suffer for it.

    > I'm also looking for various survey information that I know exists here
    > somewhere (remember, I've been here 7 or so days so far). If I need to,

    I'll
    > go further.
    >
    > But, I won't do all of it today. Or tomorrow. Though I have managed to get
    > to a Seattle-based UG this week.
    >
    > btw, If we posit (as you did in a prior message) that there are 3 million

    VB
    > users out there, for me to talk to the majority is impossible. Will there

    be
    > a survey done? They're done all the time. FWIW, in the past 10 years, I

    was
    > called twice. Just lucky I guess.


    Or you live in the same counrty as the developers. :-)

    > Right now, I'm in planning/learning mode.
    >
    > yag
    >
    > "Ray Collins" <Ray.CollinsNoSpam@Bigpond.com> wrote in message
    > news:3c4f5979@10.1.10.29...
    > > Since you didn't bother with a response to my post in the other thread I
    > > will post it (in part) again here.
    > >
    > > Here is a thought for you, stop giving so much weight to the opinions of

    > the
    > > minority of VB programmers that hang out in newsgroups like this and ask

    > the
    > > majority of registered users what they think about VB and what they use

    it
    > > for.
    > >
    > > I have been a registered user of VB since version 1 and never has

    > Microsoft
    > > communicated with me except to tell me there was a new version and how

    > much
    > > it would cost to keep up. In this day and age how much could it cost for

    > M$
    > > to survey their registered users ? And having asked them maybe listen as
    > > well.
    > >
    > > I think it is a safe bet that what the majority of past/current VB
    > > programmers want is not the same as what the "high end"
    > > VB programmers that you love to talk to want.
    > >
    > > What are you going to do about talking to and listening to the majority

    of
    > > VB users ?
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  2. #17
    Ray Collins Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    Corporates !

    Who talks to the small/medium business people and the individuals who
    purchased VB.
    It would be a good idea for M$ to take a look at the sales breakdowns and/or
    registered users and see if maybe they have been listening to the wrong
    group.

    Maybe the VB community isn't really who they think it is.

    "Rob Teixeira" <RobTeixeira@@msn.com> wrote in message
    news:3c4f77aa$1@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > "Ray Collins" <Ray.CollinsNoSpam@Bigpond.com> wrote:
    > >
    > >Here is a thought for you, stop giving so much weight to the opinions of

    > the
    > >minority of VB programmers that hang out in newsgroups like this and ask

    > the
    > >majority of registered users what they think about VB and what they use

    > it
    > >for.
    > >

    >
    > Interesting that both you and Karl seem to bring this point up, because my
    > experience is quite the opposite. Aside from these online forums, I've yet
    > to see a real-life VB programmer who hasn't adopted .NET. All the clients
    > I'm currently working with are moving (quite happily and successfully I

    might
    > add) to .NET.
    >
    > The problem is, who's judging "majority"?
    > I certainly won't claim that a majority of VB users feel one way or the

    other.
    > I highly doubt you, I, or anyone else in this forum has hard data to

    determine
    > who the "majority" really is to begin with. You might "feel" you know who
    > they are, but is that really fact?
    >
    > Having said that, I do agree with you that it would be a good idea for MS
    > to interact more directly with the community.
    >
    > -Rob




  3. #18
    Dan Barclay Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?


    PMJI, but I can answer a couple of those.

    > If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    >problem?


    No more problem than for someone who wanted to stay in DOS or VB3.
    Certainly those handled our applications *then*, so are you proposing
    we should not have moved forward?

    >Is VB.Net missing some feature that you were hoping for... one
    >that VB6 doesn't have?


    See below:

    Dan
    Language Stability is a *feature* I wish VB had!
    (#6)

  4. #19
    GregD. Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?


    "Ray Collins" <Ray.CollinsNoSpam@Bigpond.com> wrote in message
    news:3c4f7b6c@10.1.10.29...
    >
    >
    > > 4. Going to User Groups and talking to people there.

    > Mostly Corporate/Govt.
    >
    > You can see why this version of VB is so focused on enterprise

    development.
    > If you actually break down the sales numbers for VB how many copies do you
    > sell to corporate vs. individuals/small business ? When counting I mean

    VB
    > not Studio.
    >
    > The things that the "high end" of town want to do can be done by any

    number
    > of development applications. They can hire in the talent required, the

    small
    > end of town has to use their own resources. Unfortunatly the number of
    > products that deliver for the small end of town is disappearing rapidly.



    As spokesman for the "Small End of Town" what makes you feel the need to
    upgrade? If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    problem? Is VB.Net missing some feature that you were hoping for... one
    that VB6 doesn't have?

    Greg Davis



  5. #20
    Mark Jerde Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    GregD.,

    > If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    > problem?


    Where do you buy it? We recently added another person to our
    consultancy, and some time in the future he may be doing some
    software development. But he doesn't own VB6.

    Some of our clients are businesses whose notion of ROI is
    fielding a working system for a number of years. One client is
    a multi-site, Oracle-on-refrigerator-size Sun shop. They're
    part way through a multiyear government contract. Do you think
    they're very receptive to adding another architecture to their
    system? No, we need to work within their current architecture.

    So, since VB6 isn't for sale anymore, and doesn't even come on a
    new MSDN Universal subscription (from what I could tell from the
    lists) the new guy is working his way through a Delphi tutorial.
    I hated Pascal in college, and I still don't like it very much,
    but MS didn't leave us much choice.

    -- Mark



  6. #21
    W.E.(Bill) Goodrich, PhD Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    In article <3c4f72f1$1@10.1.10.29>,
    "Yair Alan Griver [MSFT]" <yag@microsoft.com> writes:

    > Well, I can't tell you what's been done so far, but I'm planning on
    > doing the following:
    >
    > 1. Hanging out in newsgroups and the web.
    > 2. Going to conferences and talking to people.
    > 3. Going to customers and talking to them.


    WHICH customers? That is the key question. How are you going to get
    beyond the "Corporate/Government" and hobbyist groups - or are you?

    > 4. Going to User Groups and talking to people there.


    As others here have pointed out, the measures you describe here are
    mostly going to yield a heavily weighted sample, rather than one which
    represents the broader user base. Specifically, they seem very likely
    to miss the very large population of "non programmers" - people for
    whom programming is not an end unto itself, but is an occasionally
    used background activity (much like writing or arithmetic) used in
    service of their "real" jobs and/or interests. These are the people
    who were sold VB as a user friendly package allowing beginners (the
    "B" in BASIC) to quickly and easily produce functioning Windows
    programs. They are not developers. They are not even hobbyists.

    These are the people for whom the answer to your earlier "Is there a
    lot to learn? Yes. I it worth it?" is a resounding No! They are the
    ones who spent a few minutes with a book or tutorial getting far
    enough along to launch a "Hello World" app, and then a couple of hours
    over the next few days learning just enough to be able to point and
    click the UI and cobble together some simple calculations in the
    relevant IDE-generated functions. While their code is not likely to be
    as elegant as that of a trained, professional programmer, it does what
    they want, how and when they want. It solves incidental problems,
    rather than creating commercial products or the like.

    They are also the people for whom VB.NET represents a large step
    backwards.

    > I'm also looking for various survey information that I know exists
    > here somewhere (remember, I've been here 7 or so days so far). If I
    > need to, I'll go further.


    While you are doing so, find and go through the self-descriptions in
    the registrations of people who bought VB (rather than getting it as
    a part of VS).

    > But, I won't do all of it today. Or tomorrow. Though I have managed
    > to get to a Seattle-based UG this week.


    Like the people in NGs and Conferences, members of UGs are almost
    exclusively those for whom programming is an end unto itself (as a
    hobby, profession, or aspiration).

    > btw, If we posit (as you did in a prior message) that there are 3
    > million VB users out there, for me to talk to the majority is
    > impossible.


    But to talk to statistically representative samples thereof is not.

    > Will there be a survey done? They're done all the time. FWIW, in the
    > past 10 years, I was called twice. Just lucky I guess.


    Do you suppose that had anything to do with your MVP status and what
    went into it?

    > Right now, I'm in planning/learning mode.


    Then perhaps you can learn from the errors of your predecessors. They
    heavily weighted their information-gathering toward relatively narrow
    segments of the VB user base, and ended up favoring design features
    which encourage those narrow groups but discourage the wider VB
    community.

    In a recent thread, I described a project for which VB.NET was not
    appropriate (but VB6 was). While the individual details varied, the
    unanimous reply from the pro-.NET people here (who responded) was
    "change the project to suit the tool". Some parts of the potential
    customer base for VB.NET may be willing to change their projects to
    suit the tool, but many more are going to be re-evaluating whether the
    tool (VB and/or .NET) is worth the trouble. And the loss of "beginner
    friendliness" is going to be a factor, as is the loss of language
    stability (as Dan Barclay has described at length). As will the history
    and perceptions of security problems, OS instability and errors, and
    vendor instability (and lack of trustworthiness).

    --

    W.E. (Bill) Goodrich, PhD

    *-----------------------*--------------------------------------------*
    * CHANGE YOUR SEXUALITY * http://www.nyx.net/~bgoodric/ctg.html *
    * * *
    * Without Aversive * ctgcentral@earthlink.net *
    * Behavior Modification * Creative Technology Group *
    * or Drugs * PO Box 286 *
    * * Englewood, CO 80151-0286 *
    *-----------------------*--------------------------------------------*

  7. #22
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    > You can see why this version of VB is so focused on
    > enterprise development.


    Ray: VB has been focused on "enterprise development" since version 4.0. That
    hasn't prevented people like yourself from using it for standalone desktop
    apps and myriad other creative applications. Similarly, the fact that
    Microsoft is marketing .NET as an enterprise development platform does not
    prevent you from using it to develop the types of apps you've been able to
    develop in previous versions of VB.
    ---
    Phil Weber



  8. #23
    Ray Collins Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    You mean like edit and continue :-)

    What I was looking forward to was opening up my code in the next version of
    VB and maybe removing some work arounds I may have 'cause they weren't
    needed anymore, adding some *cool* new feature of VB7 that I hadn't thought
    of but now that its there I will use it and recompiling and getting on with
    the rest of my job.

    I should have been able to just use the new version to do what I have always
    done and pickup on the new stuff in it as I needed it or wanted it. I can't
    do that with vb.Net, from the time I open it its all new and a massive
    uphill climb that just doesn't seem to be worth it 'cause there is nothing
    surer than by the time I master it the lunatics will change it again..

    VB6 does what I need to do at the moment, but I would love a decent menu
    editor :-)
    But I have my copy and can keep using it, what about the new starters who
    can't buy it anymore?
    Of course I expect the numbers of components to start drying up so after a
    while that really useful feature of buying the bits I need won't be
    available anymore. :-(

    "GregD." <gdavis@No_spam.citynetworks.com> wrote in message
    news:3c4f9e4c$3@10.1.10.29...
    >
    > "Ray Collins" <Ray.CollinsNoSpam@Bigpond.com> wrote in message
    > news:3c4f7b6c@10.1.10.29...
    > >
    > >
    > > > 4. Going to User Groups and talking to people there.

    > > Mostly Corporate/Govt.
    > >
    > > You can see why this version of VB is so focused on enterprise

    > development.
    > > If you actually break down the sales numbers for VB how many copies do

    you
    > > sell to corporate vs. individuals/small business ? When counting I

    mean
    > VB
    > > not Studio.
    > >
    > > The things that the "high end" of town want to do can be done by any

    > number
    > > of development applications. They can hire in the talent required, the

    > small
    > > end of town has to use their own resources. Unfortunatly the number of
    > > products that deliver for the small end of town is disappearing rapidly.

    >
    >
    > As spokesman for the "Small End of Town" what makes you feel the need to
    > upgrade? If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    > problem? Is VB.Net missing some feature that you were hoping for... one
    > that VB6 doesn't have?
    >
    > Greg Davis
    >
    >




  9. #24
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    > Where do you buy it?

    Mark: Have you asked Microsoft Sales? I'm told MS will continue to sell VB6
    for some time after it's officially "discontinued." You also have the option
    of purchasing a license for the current version of Visual Studio and
    "downgrading" to an earlier version (see
    http://www.microsoft.com/permission/...htm#Downgrades ).
    ---
    Phil Weber



  10. #25
    Ray Collins Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    No, but it didn't make it harder for me either :-)
    Maybe if they weren't so focused on the enterprise stuff VB may have gotten
    some of the simple things like a decent menu editor years ago.

    I want to build a Lego house and they have given me a Lego technical set to
    build it with, and the Lego plans for the house I built last time don't work
    with these new pieces. :-(

    By the time I work out what all these new pieces are for I won't want the
    house anymore or somebody else will have built it.

    "Phil Weber" <pweberonline@fawcette.com> wrote in message
    news:3c4fc9ec$1@10.1.10.29...
    > > You can see why this version of VB is so focused on
    > > enterprise development.

    >
    > Ray: VB has been focused on "enterprise development" since version 4.0.

    That
    > hasn't prevented people like yourself from using it for standalone desktop
    > apps and myriad other creative applications. Similarly, the fact that
    > Microsoft is marketing .NET as an enterprise development platform does not
    > prevent you from using it to develop the types of apps you've been able to
    > develop in previous versions of VB.
    > ---
    > Phil Weber
    >
    >




  11. #26
    Mark Jerde Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    Phil,

    I had heard about "downgrades" before but I found nothing about it on the MSDN
    Subscriptions site.

    At this point it is mostly philosophical for me. MS has discontinued VB6 so
    that settles it. I don't buy the dented cans at the grocery store. Besides
    that, the only reason I can come up with for MS abandoning VB6 is they are
    *only* interested in getting their hands in my wallet on a software
    subscription basis.

    For me to be at all interested, there would have to be a large button
    displayed on the MS web site, "How To Get VB6".

    -- Mark

    > > Where do you buy it?

    >
    > Mark: Have you asked Microsoft Sales? I'm told MS will continue to sell VB6
    > for some time after it's officially "discontinued." You also have the option
    > of purchasing a license for the current version of Visual Studio and
    > "downgrading" to an earlier version (see
    > http://www.microsoft.com/permission/...htm#Downgrades ).





  12. #27
    Patrick Troughton Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?


    What evidence do you have that makes you believe VB.NET will be any less "stable"
    than previous versions of MS Basic. Keep in mind that neither QuickBasic
    nor PDS was 100% compatible with VB1, that VB1 for DOS was not 100% compatible
    with VB1 for Windows and that VB3 was not 100% compatabile with VB4. For
    all you know, VB.NET could be the most stable and long lasting version of
    BASIC Microsoft has yet to release.

    /Pat

    Dan Barclay <Dan@MVPs.org> wrote:
    >
    >PMJI, but I can answer a couple of those.
    >
    >> If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    >>problem?

    >
    >No more problem than for someone who wanted to stay in DOS or VB3.
    >Certainly those handled our applications *then*, so are you proposing
    >we should not have moved forward?
    >
    >>Is VB.Net missing some feature that you were hoping for... one
    >>that VB6 doesn't have?

    >
    >See below:
    >
    >Dan
    >Language Stability is a *feature* I wish VB had!
    > (#6)



  13. #28
    Dave Lewis Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    Mark

    Mark Jerde wrote:

    > GregD.,
    >
    >
    >>If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    >>problem?
    >>

    >
    > Where do you buy it? We recently added another person to our
    > consultancy, and some time in the future he may be doing some
    > software development. But he doesn't own VB6.



    Umm, BestBuy. Amazon.com. Lots of other places. Just 'cos .Net is
    out, doesn't mean VB6 or VS6 has been yanked. In fact, going by MS's
    schedule, they won't stop selling it until later this year (when it will
    be 4 years old, BTW). Also, only MS *owns* VB6. Anybody else just
    buys a licence...

    --
    Dave Lewis


  14. #29
    Dan Fergus Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    GregD,

    MSDN subscription?

    Dan

    "Mark Jerde" <mark.jerde@spicedhamverizon.net> wrote in message
    news:VA.00000064.03076e03@spicedhamverizon.net...
    > GregD.,
    >
    > > If VB6 handles the applications you write then what is the
    > > problem?

    >
    > Where do you buy it? We recently added another person to our
    > consultancy, and some time in the future he may be doing some
    > software development. But he doesn't own VB6.
    >
    > Some of our clients are businesses whose notion of ROI is
    > fielding a working system for a number of years. One client is
    > a multi-site, Oracle-on-refrigerator-size Sun shop. They're
    > part way through a multiyear government contract. Do you think
    > they're very receptive to adding another architecture to their
    > system? No, we need to work within their current architecture.
    >
    > So, since VB6 isn't for sale anymore, and doesn't even come on a
    > new MSDN Universal subscription (from what I could tell from the
    > lists) the new guy is working his way through a Delphi tutorial.
    > I hated Pascal in college, and I still don't like it very much,
    > but MS didn't leave us much choice.
    >
    > -- Mark
    >
    >




  15. #30
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Are Customers Microsoft's Number 1 Priority?

    > I had heard about "downgrades" before but I found nothing
    > about it on the MSDN Subscriptions site.


    Mark: I found the info in about one minute by searching for "visual basic
    downgrade" at http://www.google.com .

    > At this point it is mostly philosophical for me.


    Yes, I suspected that perhaps you were more interested in complaining than
    in actually receiving the answer to your question, but I thought I'd give
    you the benefit of the doubt.
    ---
    Phil Weber



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