VFP: Microsoft supports VFP

Posted on October 26, 2005. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’ve seen a few threads on UT lately where people have been questioning Microsoft’s support for VFP. And I guess this isn’t really a new view for some people.

However I’d like to challenge the notion. So, let me list a few of the areas where Microsoft has been supporting me personally, and the VFP community generally, in Australia.

As many of you know I helped put together the OzFox conference last year. Not only did Microsoft give it press in their MSDN Flash developer material, but they supplied the Xboxes and giant plasma screens for the Xbox room, tons of free stuff for give aways, and they donated a not insignificant amount of money to help cover costs. Additionally Ken Levy’s flight was covered by Microsoft and he donated a copy of VFP9 as a prize.

In the coming week I’m going to announce a local VFP developer conference (call it OzFox Lite) to be held over a weekend at Microsoft’s headquarters here in Sydney. Microsoft will effectively be providing us with a full conference venue (including pizza, drinks and coffee) for a weekend, for free.

Next, let’s look at the Sydney VFP User Group. Microsoft hosts this meeting every month, providing staff, pizza and soft drink, and continual support. Earlier tonight they even threw in a great prize. And they also provide this for the Melbourne group.

Finally, consider my previous post about OzFoxRocks – Microsoft is providing a high speed site for our podcast whilst we get our server link upgraded.

There are other small things going on all the time – you don’t get to see how Microsoft staff help out VFP developers all over the place.

The VFP community in Australia has had nothing but support from Microsoft over the last couple of years.

VFP as a product might not be getting the huge marketing budget other products are getting, but it is getting a definite budget for continual improvement for the next update (Sedna). And look at how much effort they are putting into ensuring it works with .Net and upcoming Windows versions. This is the real support we need, and we are getting.

This year VFP has been growing. There is a real sense of excitement about the product. All the Sedna initiatives, conferences, community projects, user groups and even online book availabilities are signs of this.

I feel supported.

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One Response to “VFP: Microsoft supports VFP”

RSS Feed for Craig Bailey on Microsoft Comments RSS Feed

Hi Craig, your experiences are great, but unfortunately Microsoft != Microsoft. 😉 The support varies from country to country. For example in Czech the support is superior, in Switzerland it’s great, but here in Germany it’s nonexistent. You even get called an idiot for stil using it (happened to me when talking with one of the Support Heads at an official MVP meeting in Munich). Similar experiences at the worlds largest Computer fair “CeBit” in Hannover: MS Germany is not willing to present the product there. Even though they don’t even have to provide a presenter (the last years the german usergroup always provided two people to show VFP), they now don’t even want to provide a single PC at the booth, which is filled with hundreds of PCs for everything else MS wants to show.
Such discriminations are really hurting.

Therefor, depending in which country you are, and with which stubborn individuals you have to cope with, the VFP support varies extremely.


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