Microsoft Hopes to Issue Patch Giving People Better Reasons to Upgrade

Redmond, Wash. (SatireWire.com) – Less than a week after kicking off what it called its “most important” software launch this year, Microsoft today conceded Office XP contains a major bug that causes potential customers to find no reason to actually buy the software.

XP Bug

While Microsoft said it became aware of the bug only this week, Office XP beta testers claim they alerted the company to the problem months ago, but their warnings were ignored.

“We tested the software on any number of machines and platforms, and despite several allegedly useful additions, we continually found ourselves wondering why most people would really want to spend money on this thing,” said Rob Crimble, a business software consultant in Eugene, Ore. “That’s a rather serious flaw in the software, and in quality assurance.”

Microsoft said it will release a patch, tentatively called, “Update for Desirability Vulnerabilities,” as soon as it can formulate better reasons to upgrade from previous, perfectly useful versions of Office, which includes popular programs such as Word and Excel.

When the product launched, the company touted XP features such as “Smart Tags” and “SharePoint” services for better collaboration across networks, features that Microsoft claims can save its users 10 percent of their time during the day. However, analysts, who note that demand for Office XP is low, said users will forfeit that 10 percent trying to figure out how to use the new features, and lose an additional 10 percent justifying the price of the upgrade to supervisors.

For now, the company has posted a Critical Update alert on its Web site to explain the error: “When a potential customer is parsing the decision to upgrade to Office XP, certain features of the software may return insufficient data, causing a conflict with customer needs and resulting in a failure to consider paying for and overwriting their current version of Office. This problem has been observed with all versions of Office XP released 05.31.01. A patch is forthcoming.”

Bugs are commonplace in software, but the XP error is considered more serious than most because it’s a “Level 2 Conflict,” said Gartner Group analyst Kevin Gilreedy. “It’s both a programming bug and a marketing bug. In other words, ‘I don’t need it, and I don’t want it.'”

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