January 12, 2007

I was once sitting with a client in the offices of a major operating system development company, which shall remain unnamed, for now. The program manager for an “Advanced” new version of the OS was presenting information to try and convince us that the company had overcome its reputation for unreliable software. At one point, he put up a pie chart, representing data they’d collected on a broad sample of actual failures.

He pointed towards the largest slice of the pie. “As you can see, 85% of on-site, production failures were the result of user errors, so we can ignore those.”

My mind just flipped. I didn’t say anything, since I was supposed to be cooperating in a multi-company project, but I was gibbering up and down my mental halls.

85% of their failures were the result of user errors. And they didn’t see that as a problem.

All I’m going to say now is, I’m sure glad I use a Mac.

UPDATE: OK, it’s not really fair for me to use this example as a Mac promotion. All I’m really saying is that for the program manager of a major operating system to stand in a room full of high-powered disaster recovery professionals and state that 85% of their downtime could be ignored because it was caused by stupid users was astounding. It demonstrated a degree of cluelessness that was mind-boggling.


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