The title of this article will be made clear shortly as Ive had an “exchange” of posts with a Microsoft employee on Twitter.

Being that most of you have read previous conversations, I think you know what to expect, but suffice to say I will continue to look for someone who is willing to hold a sensible conversation on the merits of Microsoft products over the plethora of alternatives available these days.

Before I go any further I urge you (as always) to see the posts in context and would like to preempt any comment of “Why do you bother covering conversations on Twitter about issues like these?” – To which I would reply: a/ I am after debate b/ I am trying to find someone who is willing to justify/champion Microsoft products without resorting to PR posts or generalizations in an attempt to throw light on the issue that there are many alternatives to Microsoft products out there.   Is it too much to ask to get a Microsoft employee to respond to questions on products by the company they work for?  I think my challenges are fair and if they are not I would like to be challenged on them.

http://twitter.com/blevdog

http://twitter.com/_Goblin

So now lets move on to our latest Twitter conversation.   Meet Blevdog on Twitter.  In search of my “debate” I challenged a post of his where he said:

My take on #Microsoft. We make money. Plain and simple we provide our shareholders value. Jump on the train.”

Resisting the urge to make a comment now in regards to the figures released by Microsoft, Ill simply post my response to him:

What about your users value? OpenOffice? What justification do you have for the average user NOT to use OpenOffice?

What sort of value did you provide to all the users who had problems with Vista? or what about WM?

I believe people did “jump on the train” and they’ve now noticed they’ve missed their stop, they want to get off. #microsoft

Now as past experience has shown us, things usually go off on a tangent from this point on (especially if people are unwilling or unable to answer a challenge) so it was with little surprise that I saw these posted a short while later.

“Quality, supportability, user experience, interoperability..”

Eh? A non specific answer and I believe all the above relate to OpenOffice, infact Id go as far as to say that Ive found more users willing to help very quickly in the OpenOffice forums than with ANY (FOSS or otherwise) package Ive used (for your information though I still prefer Abiword, as ive said in the past)

Blevdog then goes on to say:

“So your contention is that problems with 1 product then the most profitable non-oil company in the world is not a good investment.”

This threw me, at first I believed he was trying to imply I was having a stab at capitalism (which Im not) in anycase it didnt matter, since all I asked him to do was justify why someone should NOT use OpenOffice (since he is an MS employee and ergo should be a supporter/user of MS office)

He then continued:

“By your logic commerce as we know it would cease to exist. there would be no investment because all companies have issues.”

Again, whats he trying to suggest I implied? All I asked was about OpenOffice and “value” in terms of WM/Vista.  Maybe his next comment would shed some light on this matter:

I need more dragons and ogres.”

…..or then again maybe it wont.  Was it some cunningly clever marketing answer that has gone completely above my head? or was he simply trying to throw ridicule into what I considered to be a fair challenge?…no, it appears he was making a joke.

So I followed on with:

“Eh? I was asking you to respond about REAL benefits of why someone should NOT choose OpenOffice… #microsoft”

Not to respond in a manner which to me seems like someone on LSD. Im trying to be adult here. #microsoft

“You seem to think my question on OpenOffice was a campaign against capitalism.I still cant work out your “ogres” remark #microsoft

(which I could) but I refused to dignify his ogres remark with an acknowledgement.  I went on to say:

“Maybe you see this all as a joke, if so fine. Ill try to engage someone else from Microsoft in discussion.”

and at this point, I could see Blevdog wasnt going to answer so I was going to leave it there.

Blevdog though decided to get in the last word and did respond a short while later:

“Probably for the best, you don’t really want to dicuss, but rather further your Microsft Fail agenda. The Ogres comment was a joke”

So I dont want to discuss?  Maybe this post will show that I do and maybe Blevdog will then want to answer the initial challenge I put to him.  I wouldnt hold your breath.

My final comments to him were:

LOL “Probably for the best” Best for who. I challenge you to quote this “fail agenda” unless you are calling me a liar #microsoft

and I was aware of your “joke” I simply thought it disrespectful since I asked a question. Tell me, as a #Microsoft employee, are you calling me a liar?

Or is your flippant disregard for my question born out of a realization that you have no real answer? #microsoft

and for the record, I managed to discuss with Jess Meats (a MS employee) quite amicably. #microsoft

The comment of Blevdogs that prompted the title of this post was:

Would you call tagging posts with the word fail and ask other people to send you tweets of examples of Microsoft Trouble an agenda?

To which I responded with:

No. I asked for photos. There are plenty of sites dedicated to BSOD’s etc. One could argue I am helping show that MS products…are used in a diverse range of businesses and public facilities. Was that photo not a #fail and was it not a #microsoft product?

Maybe you would prefer if the issues the Windows platform has suffered were just brushed under the carpet? are you really saying that I, with a blog of only 20000k hits can have a fail agenda with Microsoft? Do you think I believe I have any impact whatsoever?

All I am after is a debate, and to get someone to answer the numerous issues that have been brought up that are never answered.

For example, a problem with Vista is dismissed with Mojave as an example (in many cases) Microsoft has used it patent portfolio (IMO) as its “red button” and only now (IMO) when it realizes the value of FOSS is it is trying to backtrack.

lest you see a more dire result nextime than a -32% net profit loss (IMO)Has Microsoft worked out yet why many didnt like Vista?

Whilst you are claiming I have a MS fail agenda, please actually check out my comments on XP, 360 and the EU….if you dont want to do that, fine, but dont accuse me of any sort of fail agenda if you dont really know my opinions.

and as I was typing this I believed that was the last Id hear from Blevdog.  I was wrong.  Here was his latest:

“My apologies. I don’t have time to respond to your value question now, but will in the near future.”

Im sure he doesnt.  Although he seemed to have no difficulty before (albeit not answering what I was asking him)

I wonder what he’s appologizing for?  Is it for the implication?  (I seem to get alot of these when I try to engage an MS viewpoint in debate) or is he just apologizing for not answering the question?  I wonder how long the “near future” will be?

I am left wondering what on earth do I have to do to get a debate going in regards to Microsoft v Alternatives.  I have to ask myself if the answer is as obvious as some of the MS faithful on Microsoft Watch would have you believe, then it would be a really easy case for the MS employee to make.

So Blevdog, as I say to everyone, you are more than welcome to post a response here and since Twitter (IMO) does not give much room for fully justified response, I have created this post in order for you to have a full and detailed right of reply (if you wish).  I would though,  ask you carefully consider what you post in the future if you are not willing to answer questions.

I challenge your initial post of My take on #Microsoft. We make money. Plain and simple we provide our shareholders value. Jump on the train., since you are I believe a Microsoft employee.

I have this blog for the sole purpose of challenging and being challenged.  As you can see from my previous posts I censor/delete nothing.  Regardless of if you agree or disagree with me, you are welcome here and the whole spirit of debate (whoever is correct) IMO can only be a healthy exercise in enabling users to make the best choices for themselves.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com