Monday, May 31, 2004

VFP - Open Letter to Microsoft

Link to a letter from the international community to Microsoft.

What's interesting about this and it should be noted is NOT that the team isn't doing what they can do - but rather a plea to get that channel wide open so that every FoxPro developer knows what they can do and what they should expect MS to do to help promote VFP.

MS has already stated that VFP has at least 6-8 more years ahead, if not longer. Asking how long now is almost a redundant point. What is more valuable is how MS can help promote the product.

For example, there was some buzz right before VFP 8 was released that MS might get some marketing materials about FoxPro into the hands of government or Fortune 500 companies. I've never seen it so I don't know if that ever happened but the Brazilian letter brings up a great point about Clipper. Many companies still think of Fox just as a replacement for Clipper. Lack of awareness? Definitely.

But the issue for MS becomes this -

1. how can Ken, John, Randy et al with their limited staff hit every company?
2. What type of marketing would be helpful to YOU (developers) in talking to existing customers? MS did publish a few items about FoxPro when 8.0 was released but maybe they weren't clear enough?

Would it be better if they printed a million copies and sent them to every customer who ever owned VFP?

I just recently got an email from someone in Canada who basically said "How can i be a great programmer in visual foxpro if i MUST learn how to use other kinds of programming languages ?" While this may be a little naive (of course, you have to accept other ideas and realize there are other languages) - it says something very important.

FoxPro solutions work on their own - so why not promote them that way as well?

VFP - Open Letter to Microsoft

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