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Microsoft is listening

Last week I got an email from Rupi Sureshkumar, who works as a Program Manager at Microsoft. According to her LinkedIn profile, she is “focused on understanding the voice of Office 365 customers“. Rupi asked if I would be interested in a Skype meeting with her about Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Of course, I accepted her invitation, sending he a link to the last post in my series of about recent issues I’d experienced with Office 365 installation and activation. Coincidentally, I had just posted it (here) when Rupi’s email arrived. If you’ll read those over, you’ll understand readily why I wanted her to know about my issues before our meeting.

That meeting itself was a typical customer feedback session. First, Rupi showed me a set of slides with questions about Microsoft 365, Office 365 and Windows 10. I was delighted to have an opportunity to tell her my true opinions and thoughts. She also answered questions about my recent issues with Office installation and activation. However, my point here is not what we discussed. Rather, my point is to tell you that Microsoft really cares about consumer and user opinions and feedback.

First: an admission. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Microsoft and Windows fanboy. I am not ashamed of this: my Twitter profile presents what I want to say about myself for anyone who cares to look. I always defend Windows telemetry on various forums and tech sites, because I readily see and understand just how it benefits me and my Windows usage. Another good example for this kind of thing is Cortana. By allowing my PC to “phone home” whenever it needs to, Cortana has learned a lot about me. Today, it serves me much better than it did before learning all it has about me, my activities, searches, and so forth. In addition, I always check the option to participate when programs ask if I will allow them to send data back to Microsoft:

Likewise, participating in the Windows Insider Program for Business and the Office Insider Program is something I do with equal pleasure. I like it very much that I have a direct feedback channel through the Windows 10 Feedback App, though I confess I am not terribly active in using it. Instead, I focus on educating my fellow Insiders by writing tutorials and assisting on forums, making Windows 10 videos and so on. Modesty has never been one of my faults. I know what I can do, and I feel strongly that I am more useful to the Windows and other Microsoft product communities in playing this role. Here’s another reason why I don’t provide feedback as often as I should: my issues are almost without exception already known to Microsoft, and get posted in the Windows 10 release notes as “known issues.”

This frequent section in Win10 release notes usually captures most of my Insider Preview issues.

In fact, I recommend that you readers do the same. Join the Windows Insider and Office Insider programs. Let your PC phone home whenever it needs or wants to. Really! Prepared to defend my stand when members of tinfoil hat brigade read this, I can assure you that Microsoft is not interested in you personally. If I call one of my ex-wives a witch in Teams chat, and say she is currently flying her broomstick searching out new victims, Microsoft won’t contact her to let her know what I said. When photos from a party where I might have humiliated myself get uploaded to OneDrive, Microsoft won’t print them and post them on the cafeteria walls on the Redmond campus to give a good laugh to their staff and visitors. In other words, please rest assured that Microsoft really, really isn’t spying on you. They’re interested in data in the aggregate and interested in how their software is being used, what kinds of errors it’s throwing or problems it’s causing. They could care less about any personal information that comes along for that ride, so to speak.

That’s why I implore you to participate in all surveys that Microsoft posts to social media or emails to you. In most of those surveys there’s also a question whether or not they may contact you regarding the survey. Always answer YES and give them your email address.

Here’s my most important point: Microsoft will not only listen your feedback. They appreciate it, are interested in it, and will consider it carefully when deciding how to improve, enhance or (let’s be honest about this, too) fix their products.


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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