This is strange.
In the last six hours I have been invited to two webinars each of which will only run in Internet Explorer and each by companies who ought to be a tad more ecumenical. These aren’t small companies either they are Microsoft and Oracle.
Oracle wanted to brief me on some of their announcements for Oracle Open World, the annual user conference that will draw about 40k people to San Francisco in September. I’ve tried to get into other Oracle on-line invitation-only events before but their software won’t even allow me to see the goings on. This one is the same.
Microsoft asked me to sit in on a series of briefings but they advise in the email “You must have Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 installed to view this webcast.” Well, I don’t.
I also don’t have any intention of buying more proprietary software especially for something that should be as free and open as a browser. I have a Mac that is happy to run Safari, the Apple browser, as well as Firefox and Chrome.
Now hear this guys, I am out of patience with this nonsense so I am going to scrap my customarily diplomatic demeanor and cut to the chase.
You are not going to attract more customers by making your stuff more proprietary. Those days are over and out and they ended with the IBM 360 architecture.
In case you haven’t noticed we’re living in an age of standards and open architectures. Unfortunately, much of what you offer has at least a little that’s proprietary and it’s not top shelf. Can you say Ubuntu, Safari, Chrome?
I know Apple has lots of proprietary stuff too but they don’t make you feel like a leper by keeping you out of one of the basic levels of communication on the Internet. What’s next? Will Outlook email only communicate with Outlook? Will Oracle only trade data with other Oracle databases?
To repeat, this is not how you build a user base or loyalty. This is a retrograde action for a set of policies that died a long time ago and are apparently embarking on a zombie life-cycle.