Kent Compton

Software runs the world!

Updated: What would you like changed/improved in Windows Live?

Updated: What would you like changed/improved in Windows Live?

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Updated Post (posted on March 4, 2009):

Several keen observers sent email to me about my newly established livewish email address gently reminding me of an already established communication vehicle to get feedback to the Windows Live team. 

The official and preferred feedback mechanism to connect with and give ideas to the Windows Live teams is via: https://feedback.live.com/default.aspx

Mea culpa.  The feedback.live.com system does a terrific job and I was remiss in not pointing it out in my original post.  I still believe in frictionless communication so the email address will still be active but you should only use it as a last resort (e.g. you’re at 30K feet on a non-WiFi connected airplane and just have to get your suggestion queued for us).  I simply won’t be able to keep up with the emailed suggestions I’ve been getting so the feedback site is a much better choice.

Its also worth noting, if you need support for any of the Windows Live services, please go to https://support.live.com/default.aspx and if you have Hotmail specific questions, go to http://windowslivehelp.com/Default.aspx  I’ve mentioned it before but the official Windows Live team blog is http://windowslivewire.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

My original post below has been updated in a few places (denoted via the red font).  I never anticipated my simple blog post would get picked up so far and wide (I feel like Scoble <grin>).  THANK YOU to those of you who have already sent in your suggestions. 

Your humble planner,

Kent

Original Post (posted on March 3, 2009):

Most people feel it is too hard to give someone at Microsoft their feedback for how they’d like to see the product’s work.  I know I felt that too when I was a non-Microsoft employee (and I still feel that way as a consumer of other company’s goods and services).  I believe this has changed for the better in recent years with the proliferation of blogs (which allow comments), Help | Send Feedback (for Windows Live products), etc. 

My goal as a product planner is to remove any interference/resistance between the great ideas you have and our ability as the product group to implement them. 

Invariably, after a company puts in place a feedback system there are a few people who say “why should I give my ideas to company x just so they can make money from them”.  They have a valid point, and for those people who have the inclination and talent to write software, maintain it, support it, globalize it, etc. I encourage them to get coding—the world needs more great software developers and applications.  However, the feedback we want as a product group is much more granular, think feature-level or simplifying the steps it takes to get x done, not ideas for an entirely new product.

If you have an idea that you think would make, for example, Windows Live Mail, work better please submit the idea to http://feedback.live.com   If you send email to the following email address you’ll receive an auto-reply email asking you to submit your ideas via the feedback web site.   

Livewish at Microsoft

I’m sorry for the image.  Its a hack to lower the likelihood of spam bots easily obtaining the actual email address.  I chose this email address because its easy to remember and it allows several of us (starting with me) to read the email and then forward the email onto the appropriate planner in Windows Live.   However, the email address’s backend process (me!) simply won’t scale to meet the number of suggestions its receiving. 

Please understand, that we receive numerous ideas just because you’ve sent your suggestion doesn’t mean it will make it into the product in question in the next version, or the version after that, or the version after that version.  This is due to a process called prioritization where the release’s theme, overall usefulness in lieu of another feature is determined (since resources such as developers and their time are finite), a target audience is defined (a power user feature versus an average user feature), etc.  

We’re always looking for ideas that impact a wide swath of people and with great frequency.   AutoCorrect is one of the greatest features that positively impacts hundreds of millions of users each day that we probably get enough credit for.  In fact, I wish that Windows Live Writer (and lots of our other apps) supported AutoCorrect because while I type fast I have an incredible knack for mistyping or misspelling the same words over and over.  That’s a feature idea that I’d like to see be implemented in more of the Windows Live Essentials products. 

Long story short, we’re listening… (even if it via https and not as much via SMTP :-) )

Thank you for using Windows Live.

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