No really, Frans wants a multi-line search in VS. I think his indictments are a little harsh, but statements like this worry me and prove that we still have a long way to go towards improving customer perceptions:
“A year ago I joined the Whidbey Alpha program because I thought it would give me some, maybe even a little, influence on the future version of VS.NET. Apparently not. What’s the use of joining these kind of programs then? The thrill of being able to peek into the kitchen where Chef Microsoft bakes ‘the next version’ ? Why bother? Why invest time testing versions, supplying suggestions while all you are really able to do is looking? If you want feedback Microsoft, do something with it or tell the community to not provide feedback at all.”
And this one made in his comments.
“Microsoft uses Betas and Alphas to get your feedback on their ideas. Not that your feedback really matters very much unless it is in line with their plans and ideas. Every single beta tester could say “that sucks” about a feature and be told “the decision was made before we told you about it”. That happens often, as I am sure you know.
I could offer example after example of things that have been changed based on user feedback from alpha or beta participants. And yes, I could give examples that go beyond bug fixes. Believe me, we get TON of user feedback and a mountain of feature requests with every release. And it doesn’t get any easier the more open we are. This is why we are going to have to rely on the community of users to use tools like the feedback center to help prioritize feature requests based on user ratings and votes. We’ve never had a system like this before and it will take some time to get used to it. Even in this case I’ve spotted at least one hole. Sean resolved the suggestion as “Won’t Fix”. To me, and most users this sounds like “We could care less and won’t ever get to it.” Internally I know that Sean is keeping spreadsheet of these suggestions for the next cycle that he can use for planning, but the bug does not reflect that unless you dig into the comments.
If you are a community member then I encourage you to constructively complain as loud as possible and continue to file and vote on your requests. It will only get better from here.
If you work at Microsoft I encourage you to be accountable to your user feedback and offer reasonable explanations in the cases where you can’t meet the needs of your customers. Early stages of relationship building can be tough.