Get a better business/customer relationship model: A rant about Microsoft and M-Audio

I have recently had some poor experiences as a customer.  You may be reading this and say “Well, who hasn’t?  Get over it.”  I could.  I could also move on to buy different products, but I feel the need to say something, because what these companies are doing is plain wrong.  So, my decision is to write, in hopes that in by writing, a conversation may develop and people learn from it.

The companies in question are M-Audio and Microsoft.  Microsoft goes without saying they have been blaming users since 1975.  My issue comes from the fact they have decided it is the users’ fault that the Lumia 1020 will not be upgraded to Windows 10.  Instead of owning up to their own problems and fixing it, they have decided to roll the responsibility onto the users.  Jerkwads.

On to M-Audio, which exists under the umbrella of InMusic.  A number of years ago I purchased a Delta 44 soundcard for my recordings, which has been a great workhorse of a DSP.  It has allowed me to have a modest number of ins and outs for my own purposes, and it has done me well.  The Deltas have been great cards for people who have purchased them, but since M-Audio has changed hands between Avid and InMusic, they completely dropped support for the Deltas, refusing to develop new drivers since Windows 7.  I have contacted them several times and petitioned them to upgrade their drivers, as their drivers are completely dodgy in their current state.  Their customer service people shelved it as “in consideration”, which basically translates into “We’ll be nice to your face, but we’re really not going to do anything about it”.  M-Audio used to support their legacy devices, of which the Delta cards are very much that (being made during Windows ’98 days).  They clearly are not that type of company anymore.  Instead, like Microsoft, opt for a business/customer relationship model of forcing upgrades on the consumer by pulling support from older products.

As to my phone, I will likely be moving on to an iPhone.  I have enjoyed Nokia for years, but they are not the company they used to be.  Regarding my issue with my soundcard, I am happy to say that I have upgraded to an RME HDSP 9632, with a Behringer ADA8200 ADAT interface:


RME HDSP 9632 and Behringer ADA8200 gracing the studio.  Sounding good so far, and I have a lot of peace of mind with this solid combination.

How does a business stay relevant or viable?  In other words:  how does it keep making money?  Does it do so by making products so new and cutting edge that people want to buy the latest and greatest?   Alternatively, does it do so by forcing old products out of relevance by no longer servicing older items, thus forcing consumers to upgrade?  These are things I think of when I am considering my own business models, in light of my own experiences as a customer of M-Audio and Microsoft.  I think “be awesome” is a good business model to adhere to.