Microsoft really, really wants small businesses to start buying Vista instead of XP. For the next three months, they’re offering “Windows Vista Small Business Assurance,” which gives free support and “one-on-one coaching” from “specially-trained support agents.”
Support is available 10 AM to 7 PM Pacific time, or 1 PM to 10 PM Eastern. (In case you’re wondering, that’s 10:30 PM to 7:30 AM in Mumbai, so THAT doesn’t explain it! Could it be that they’re actually providing this support from the West Coast?)
More details on the program available here and here. Now here’s the question: Is there anything in the description of the benefits of Vista that makes you want to upgrade your PC from XP? Or that makes you want to introduce a new PC running Vista into a business where everyone else is using XP?
What’s that? Some of the new features in Vista sound interesting? Did you know that you can add lots of Vista features to XP?
I suppose I like the idea of having my clients call someone other than me when they can’t figure out how to do in Vista what they’ve been doing for years in XP, so I don’t knock Microsoft for trying the free support idea. But it’s certainly not enough to make me start recommending it. As long as I can still get XP preinstalled with free upgrade rights to Vista, that’s what I’ll be buying. (Yeah, yeah, I know … I’m not really getting upgrade rights to Vista, I’m getting downgrade rights to XP. Same difference.)
By the way …
Although Eric Ligman proudly announced the program on his blog, he obviously didn’t write the copy for the WVSBA FAQ. The FAQ includes a question about the difference between WVSBA and Microsoft’s Software Assurance program. The FAQ’s answer is that “the Software Assurance program is an ongoing licensing agreement for larger enterprise organizations.” Really? Try telling Eric that small businesses don’t need Software Assurance.