Saturday, 19 September 2009

Microsoft WinQual - An Oxymoron?

Microsoft has a website dedicated to helping partners develop and test quality software that targets their platforms. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have been dog-fooding their own standards.
  1. Their site is not internationalised. I live in the UK and, as such, I would like my dates to be dd/MM/yyyy and my words to have significantly less 'z's, thank you very much.
  2. It has a headline banner stating that the entire site will be offline the 2nd Tuesday of every month for 'future planning'.
  3. If you forget your password it emails your company's administrator asking them to reset it for you. Imagine my surprise when I received an email requesting that I reset the password for myself!
  4. I am currently trying to submit our test results to certify one of our products as 'Compatible with Windows 7'. Unfortunately, "The Windows Quality Online Services Web application is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later."
  5. The site only works with IE6 or higher (no support for Opera, Chrome, Safari or Firefox).
  6. Finally, they provide 64- and 32-bit versions of their self-test software. After spending quite a few hours running through the 32-bit tests (as Virtual PC doesn't support 64-bit OSs!) I was delighted to receive the following message from the website: "This site only supports 64-bit submissions."!
As a small company these acknowledgements are very important in allowing us to play with the 'big boys'. Come on Microsoft, a little help?

Follow up...

To top it all I've just tried adding the tested product to our Gold Partner status to increase our points tally - but it fails. The submission ID does not match their database records. Luckily the WinQual site has a satisfaction survey on the main page, so I thought I fill it out and submit some feedback. Yep, you've guessed it - "Page Not Found".

And finally...

Apparently the reason my partner program won't recognise the submission ID is that it takes a minimum of 15 days for the services to sync with each other. I'm sorry, this is still 2009 isn't it!?

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