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Microsoft ISV Empower programme. Grrrrr!

Well, after reading about this in the thread last week I decided it was time to go for it.

I went though and (eventually) after 2 gruelling hours (caused by inflexibility in the MS website) managed to lodge my application.

Got a reply on Monday saying that they couldn't accept me onto the programme yet because I have a blank company website.

Hellooooo? Isn't the idea of the "Empower ISV" programme that it's for startups and new companies... to "empower" them with the tools they need for the first year.

They said the reason for non-acceptance was because without the info. on the website they couldn't verify I really was an IT company.

What sort of a response is that? They've got my company name, it's clearly a UK limited company. Within a minute they could have looked it up on companies house and seen it's an IT company that's been trading for 8 years. They could even get at my last years accounts.

But ohhhh nooooo. I've got to have a bloody website (that anyone could create with anything on it) to prove what I'm doing.

Anyway. I responded suggesting, politely, that they can check the validity of my application by recourse to the Companies House website and they failed to respond. Now I know that sometimes I can be a little brash in my approach but I like to give people one chance.

No reply. So today I wrote again simply asking if they could acknowledge receipt of that email. This is two polite messages. Restraint and a privilege indeed.

No reply. What sort of a fucking company is this?

I guess there's one group of people who pirate software because they don't want to pay for it, but there's probably another group, who would legitimately buy software, but get so pissed off by the processes and twats that Microsoft employs that they feel pirating is the more valid thing to do.

Perhaps those ragheads who keep trying to blow up the US were just previous customers of Microsoft.

Get me that phone directory. Is it B for Bin or L for Laden? I'm gonna join up.

Gwyn
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Gwyn,

No offense since you are obviously aggravated, BUT, the website does say you will need a company website to apply.  I havent applied yet because Im in the process of creating our website -- and now I'll DEFINTLEY make sure I do that before applying.

In the future, Id suggest you do all the steps they say before applying.

SteveA
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

<<Get me that phone directory. Is it B for Bin or L for Laden? I'm gonna join up.>>

I dont think he wants to do anything against M$. He and M$ are probably a part of the same conspiracy to make the average American go mad with fear, distrust and hate. Both of them are in league. Al Qeada (whatever the name of those crazy fucks) and Microsoft.

If you wanna hurt M$, dont use their products. Check out fuckmicrosoft.com website for alternative products. Sign up as a SUN partner.

Karthik
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I have a company website, it's blank.

The requirement I read says that within 6 months you must announce your product on the company website.

Perhaps the other requirement is buried somewhere amongst the 2 hour trawl.

I did ask them where it was specified but obviously they didn't reply so that's no good.

I admit I may not have followed the process, but really it's the fact that they don't reply that gets my goat!.

Anyway, Osama just called me back. We're popping out for a chat over a couple of sheep's testicles tomorrow night. He seemed a lot keener to have me in his partnership programme... and he didn't even ask me for any money.

Gwyn
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Oh, this is rich.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Good Lord. A response from Captain Joel

Pour quoi?

Gwyn
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

> Oh, this is rich.

Told you to go easy with the chocolate sauce on those profiteroles

Waiter
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Gwynn have you read the fine print of Osama's Partner Programme?  There is a little clause in there about suicide attacks that could prove to be a bigger headache than a blank website in the long run.

Also, the government is getting ready to really clamp down on terror cells, they are gonna get the RIAA to go after them!

Saddam Insane
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I'll agree the sign up procedure is byzantine in nature but its pretty clear that one of the requirements is that you have a running website with an indication that the nature of your business is to deliver software.

Mind, when I applied the Netgear router was having one of its off days (now replaced) so I had to make a number of calls to get it sorted out.  Then they didn't bother charging the credit card I'd put on the form but rang me another week later demanding payment.

Once that was sorted out it all happened and the big grey box arrived yesterday with scads of Microsoft marketing stuff as well as the MSDN release.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Well, Gwyn might be a little riled up here, but the basic point seems valid -- why should a new software development company that hasn't yet released anything be required to have a web site?

At best, it might be rather silly to publish a web site when you don't have anything to offer to the public.  Having a web site for Xyzzy Corp that just says "Exciting software products... coming soon!" isn't particularly useful.  At worst, if the company's operating in stealth mode, announcing your presence to the world might be counterproductive.

Robert Jacobson
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I think the solution to all these problems is to just use Linux and open-source tools!

Ducking.  Running.

Ken Klose
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Robert - You're absolutely right. And this is one of the points in my reply to them.

I thought about ringing up the "regional support centre" but the country code was 49, I think, and I've got no idea where that is but you can bet your arse it's not going to be somewhere where they understand English without you having to repeat youself a lot in children's language.

Gwyn
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

0049 = Germany.

Your implied comments about Germany are inappropriate.

Karel Thönissen
www.hello.nl

Karel Thönissen (www.hello.nl)
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Did I make any implied comments about Germany?

I may have implied in wherever 0049 is (Germany it would appear), English is not their native tongue. And within that country there will be different abilities of speaking a foreign language, i.e. English.

Based on these facts, and also my previous experience with foreign call centres, the probability is that I am going to get someone who does not speak English as well as an English person.

ps. Your response was wonderfully efficient as I have come to expect of 0049ers.

Gwyn
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"ps. Your response was wonderfully efficient as I have come to expect of 0049ers. "

You've already offended the Germans, don't bring the San Franciscoans into this.

Emperor Norton
Thursday, March 04, 2004

I think it says a lot about Gwyn that when the time came for him to choose either a) drama or b) to slap a hasty wizard-generated FrontPage site up on his  websapce to satisfy MS's program requirement, he chose drama.

Stop feeding the trolls, people.  Eventually they just slither back under the bridge from whence they came.

Norrick
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Buddy, if you're going to have a stroke everytime a multi-national doesn't reply to your emails within a day or two, you're either going to have a short life, or a miserable long one.

If you don't like their club, don't join. Go somewhere else.

Nigel
Thursday, March 04, 2004

I had a problem with my Empower ISV application and I called the 0049ers. They spoke excellent English (better than the average Londoner), were polite and resolved my problem quickly.

John Ridout
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Gwyn,

I am not a 0049 myself, I am a 0031 (-8. We are known for Piet Mondriaan, De Stijl, Edsger Dijkstra, Minix/Amoeba and Python.

Karel Thönissen
www.hello.nl

Karel Thönissen (www.hello.nl)
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Known for what exactly?

[g, d, r]

Robert Jacobson
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Karel, I was thinking, windmills, tulips and soft drugs.

John Ridout
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Gwyn, just announce a "Hello World" app on your webshite, a brain dead requirement deserves a brain dead response.


Thursday, March 04, 2004

Regardless of whether or not Gwyn overreacted, this is what I loved the most about the whole story:

"They said the reason for non-acceptance was because without the info. on the website they couldn't verify I really was an IT company."

If this is true, it's about as braindead as it gets, IMHO.

Or maybe it's just the new age dawning. It used to be "If you saw it on TV, it must be true". In the 21st century, it becomes "If it's on your website, it must be true".

Hmm... Maybe I should set up some websites and give MS a ring. They have money to spare, and I could sell them some hot (well, bloody cold, actually) property on Mars, with a view to the ex-sea.

--
"Suravye ninto manshima taishite (Peace favor your sword)" (Shienaran salute)
"Life is a dream from which we all must wake before we can dream again" (Amys, Aiel Wise One)

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, March 04, 2004

"Hellooooo? Isn't the idea of the "Empower ISV" programme that it's for startups and new companies... to "empower" them with the tools they need for the first year."
[...]
"Within a minute they could have looked it up on companies house and seen it's an IT company that's been trading for 8 years."

Uh, so are you new or are you eight years old?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Both!

I've been consulting through the company for 8 years, but now I'm going to start selling my software through it. An IT company but two very different purposes.

Gwyn
Thursday, March 04, 2004

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