Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore on Checking Boxes

“We are going to keep coming back. You might get one answer today, you might get another answer later,” he says. “We’re not done until we’ve checked all the boxes.”

And that really is the problem, it’s about coming back to a product after a big launch to tell your user that you got it wrong and that you need to fix bugs and check off some more boxes that you didn’t think were all that important the fist time. The one thing that Microsoft has never understood is that making a great product is not about checking off boxes from a long list, it’s about blowing those boxes right up. You need to ship GREAT products from day one, especially in the mobile space where things move so fast. Look at the Nokia 900, a beautiful phone that is now completely useless and can’t even run the new OS. A flagship phone that is obsolete months after it’s overly hyped launch. Then we have also been using these brilliant insulated box liners for a lot of produce and they work very well so have a look at those if you are in a similar situation.

Never talk about what you will be doing; sell the product you have now, stand by it and make damn sure it’s ready at launch. Sadly Microsoft will forever be cursed by its culture of shipping crap too soon out of beta and trying to fix it later with service packs. Just look at Android, the number of phones that get to benefit from new OS release gets shorter and shorter with every release. It’s pretty much become common practice to ditch entire product lines and release new hardware with new Android releases.

Even Apple, that has mastered the art of shipping good products, has been caught out with poor apps at launch (maps, passbook, ping) and OS glitches. However, they stand by the iPhone line, release patches regularly and have dependable OS release cycles that don’t alienate the previous generation of hardware. But they can only do this because they put so much care into making the best product and coupling it with incredibly well written software. Apple never checks off boxes, they are the one that make the boxes important in the first place and then they proceed to make them insignificant with the next release while everyone else is still chasing. Sadly Joe and the Microsoft team still don’t understand this. Stand by for “Windows Phone 8 SP1 r3 beta on the Nokia 925” in a few months.

via The Verge