Parallels' Bad Idea

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by dkp, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    They have an obligation to their paying customers to provide the best support possible for the product we paid for. It is my opinion they have not achieved that because they like you have ignored human dynamics. I'm an old school conservative and know about personal responsibility, but I also understand customer relationships and responsibilities, and again, in my opinion, the only one I'm qualified to offer, they have let us all down with this latest beta series. These betas are distractions that broke more than they fixed. Let us not forget that the last non-beta release was 1970 and it was pretty broken. Instead of corrections we have more broken beta code with new broken features. Broken in the sense that a large and upset constituent is not happy with it. Me? I have no problems with any of it.

    As for the obligation of protecting people from themselves, you really need to study liability laws. You more than me will be amazed by what you learn.
     
  2. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    we have parallels 1970 rolled out to over 200 users and we simply don't have the issues you're saying are plaguing the release. parallels is growing in popularity at a staggering pace. obviously the number of posts reporting problems is going to increase. did you expect otherwise?

    our clients want coherence. they want to use their bootcamp partition. they want usb2. these users would take offense to these "eye candy" comments. it's just as silly for a sysadmin to dismiss the value of these new features as it is for a user to say there's no need for a version designed to run windows2003server on an intel xserver. think "human dynamics". ;)

    in any case, i don't buy into this armchair quarterbacking. the parallels team is doing a great job.

    don
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2007
  3. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    111
    rereading thread with rested eyes...

    ...my apologies if my replies on this thread sounded harsh. at first i felt the original poster's opinions were overly harsh on the developers. rereading the thread i realize the original poster was in fact polite and trying to be helpful. solid advice i may say. sorry i reacted with a heavy hand. long week (server meltdown leading to 2tb of data restoration) and not much sleep. :)

    thanks,
    don
     
  4. Sheppy

    Sheppy

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    145
    Thank you! This is all that actually needs to be said. Parallels has told people it's a beta. If they choose to install it and it borks up their entire computer, it's not Parallels' responsibility.
     
  5. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    Hopefully that is not the view of their public relations group. It matters not a whit if it is their responsibility or not (it will take a class action suit to find out). What matters is each such catastrophic failure goes into the negative column at VMWare's advertising campaign.

    You seem upset over the suggestion that Parallels failing in some way but they are. If it helps, think of it as impeding their greater success. Parallels is a small company that cannot afford to be cavalier about the user experience they are currently mismanaging. What is wrong with encouraging them to take a structured approach to product testing, release, maintenance, and upgrade paths? Incrementalism without organization and which generates chaos and a bad support image is not how you create great products and loyal customers. The euphoria over Parallels is already evaporating, in fact, and VMWare's beta is being watched closely. I think they have a problem on their hands and no good can come by ignoring it.
     
  6. drval

    drval

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    490
    Enough!

    If you are really THAT upset then file the class action lawsuit. Otherwise, contribute to the problems being addressed.

    Or just start using VMWare if you think it is better.
     
  7. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    I'm not upset at all. I've stated here in the past that I'm probably Parallels' happiest customer. I've never had a serious problem with it and it has always met my expectations even if it doesn't quite match their brochures. And I don't think VMWare is better - I've not tested it so have no basis to compare quality. I think it is a new pressure on Parallels and I'll bet paychecks they do to. And what I've suggested in this thread *will* improve the product by improving the process. That was the point.
     
  8. joem

    joem

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    1,247
    Whatever that is. Note that you paid for the released product, and did NOT pay for the beta, which you don't have to use before it's well tested and released, and in fact, you don't even have to use it then.

    The betas are test versions of code with new features, and are NOT released software. They are made available for testing so we can provide feedback to the developers, and not so we can run production. They aren't distractions; they are requests for and opportunities to help with development of a solid product. Use the released product if you don't want to risk using buggy code.

    I'm running 1970 in production. Aside for the fact that it doesn't have all the features I want, I'm having no problems with it. It works fine. If I want more features, I'll have to wait until they come up with an improved version, or buy a competitor's product if there is such a thing. I paid for 1970 and I'm running it. It works. I can play with a beta if I like, but if I do, it will be in a test environment so that I can recover from bugs easily.

    I think there will always be a group with an entitlement attitude that wants the world on a silver platter no matter how unreasonable their requests, and no matter even whether what they want is possible. They will not get what they are asking for and they will be unhappy because they feel entitled. I feel for them because they're unhappy, but they need to develop a realistic attitude.

    As an example of a request I'd like to make is a bug free OS from Microsoft (or Apple for that matter). I've been using MS software since the company started and haven't seen a bug free product yet. I have used the products successfully though, and I'm not really complaining because a bug free OS is an unreasonable request. Upgrades break things more often than not, but that's life.

    I'll close by saying that the entitlement attitude really, really frosts me. The world really doesn't owe me (or you, or anyone else) anything.
     
  9. Fredric

    Fredric

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    Very well put, Joem. I find it interesting that on the one hand dkp says that 1970 was "pretty broken", and in the next breath says that he/she has no problems with it and is one of Parallels' happiest customers. Can't have it both ways. I agree that the threads can get a bit confusing and that it might be helpful to subdivide them. E.g. problems by build, whether using Bootcamp, version of Word, etc. But this likely would introduce different issues.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  10. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    You are not seeing the entire tapestry - you are focusing on a pulled thread off to one side and missing the big picture. 1970 did not provide functionality the vast majority of users desire - burning CD's in Windows, USB 2.0 support, etc. I said 'broken', but incomplete is probably a better word. But it did not do what the brochures said it could, so 'broken' is not terribly inaccurate. I remain a happy customer because I never needed to burn CD's in XP and I never needed USB 2.0 in the VM's because I have that in the host OS, so yes, I can have it both ways. For my purposes I don't care that it cannot communicate with a Garmin GPS because I don't have one. That does not mean I don't recognize the problem it poses for others. It's not about me. Get it?

    And I did not suggest segregating the forum by application or version. I suggested segregating it by function: User issues for released production code here, beta tester issues in a beta forum. In addition I advised strongly they do a better job of screening beta testers (not everyone should be a beta tester because it requires skills not everyone has) and that they not release into a user support forum such as this the fact that there's new, untried code out there that oh, by the way, provides the most desired features everyone wants. That is an invitation to disaster and the explosion of threads here describing trashed installations is the evidence.

    To possibly clarify further: 1970 was the last production release. There have been several betas since. They are announced here just the same as the production releases. The betas are not related to production fixes in any way shape or form. They are not upgrades. They are beta releases of new product versions with new features that need testing. They are not service paks that contain only fixes for problems in the buglist. But that is certainly not how they are perceived by a large part of the already frustrated user base. That is partly end user naivety and Parallels's seductive policy. Surely you can acknowledge this but more importantly you must see that the suggested change can improve things for everyone.
     
  11. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    when did parallels promise this?

    the first release is just that...a first release. burning cd's in windows and usb2 implementation were not promised for the first release. 1970 gives us all they promised us - the new beta exists to help prep the next version that brings us more (some of which you view as "eye candy").

    don
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  12. drval

    drval

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    490
    I never saw the brochures you describe; however, I have seen the various notes that clearly described the BETA versions that became available. They were labelled that way as opposed to the lack of that labelling for the production version.

    I understand that some may misunderstand that but...do we really need the equivalent of labels on OUT toasters saying not to use them while immersed in a bath tub? Labelling something a BETA release is sufficient.
     
  13. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    You really need to cool down. The entitlement idea is entirely your manifestation. I'm proposing simple changes that are based on good business practice and customer support interests. Your putting this into the context of an entitlement is wrong minded and counter-productive and nothing to do with what I've introduced.

    I must say though that I'm surprised you take such a hard line on this given the great help and support you provide here. It seems out of character for you. I mean that in a complementary way - your efforts are not unnoticed.

    That aside, what can be so bad about what I've suggested? Nobody has really discussed the merits - there have been pointless distractions about my satisfaction with Parallels and which are also extremely wrong, but the message has been ignored. What could be bad about establishing a production support forum and a beta test forum where the two functions co-exist and each supports the needs of the user bases? And what harm can come from isolating beta release information from service pak info such that unwitting end users don't bite off too much. Does that not sound like a good business practice?
     
  14. Hagbard

    Hagbard

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    29
    I am also a very happy and satisfied parallels customer, but I think the initial post is very perceptive, accurate, and helpful. I don't understand why the initial post is perceived so negatively by many respondents, because it seems to me to be an attempt to provide outside feedback in a positive way to the developers.

    I also believe the product would benefit from more focus on making the core technologies as stable, robust, and flexible as possible.
     
  15. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    it's one of those love/hate threads. i love some of the ideas regarding splitting the fourm up so there's a separate place for beta testers to go....i hate the "eye candy" and "1970 is broken" comments.

    the original poster went a bit far with his remarks on the later. one person shouldn't try to judge someone else's values. what's perceived as "eye candy" to some is substantial usability improvement to others.

    don
     
  16. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    People like to shoot the messenger when it's easier than addressing the message. One only has to review the 1970 and 3036 release posts in this forum to see where they started to stumble. A lot of people had problems with 1970 as seen in that thread and the plethora of threads that followed. But see in particular, the 3036 release touts that it is a free update and has lots of new features. That is the mistake I saw and raised in this thread. Then quickly there came 3094 and 3106 which were corrections to both 3036 and 3094 - all with a pedigree that goes back to 1970 thanks to that update statement. Certainly there is the disclaimer at the bottom but if anyone's still reading that far the damage was done at the top of the page.

    I don't know why 'eyecandy' is such a hot button but since it is I do regret using the term, but my first choice was 'fluff' which I think would also push some buttons. It's just a word. It has meaning to me thus: the user community needed fixes and promises fulfilled and they got coherence. They needed fixes and they got transporter. They needed fixes and they got Boot Camp support. Meanwhile, they still need those fixes and promises fulfilled. They needed fixes and they got fluff. They want to use their Garmins and they got Boot Camp support.

    They thought they were getting an update and they got a beta. Show me where I'm wrong (not you, Hagbard - I agree with you :) )
     
  17. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    ...[snip]...
    nonsense. a direct quote from the 3036 announcement page - near the top. it clearly states it's a beta and that it "will be" a free upgrade:

    We are continuing our efforts for bringing you even more feature-full product and we are making our latest Parallels Desktop for Mac Beta Build 3036 early available to you. It will be one more FREE update of the currently available version.​

    you're way off base. bootcamp support was one of my clients' most requested features. coherence addressed a usability issue where your entire windows virtual environment covered your osx environment. these are substantial improvements. not fluff or eye candy.

    you say you're not having issues but then you point to the increased traffic as a sign that parallels dev team is failing, instead of it being due to the substantial spike in popularity of parallels. you're not making sense. if you have advice for the developers, why not contact them directly at beta@parallels.com?

    don
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  18. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367

    Don - we're not having the same conversation. Perhaps you've not read all of it, I don't know. This is not about me and problems I'm having. I'm not having any. That is not a universal thing. Lots of people are having problems. This is the Technical Forum - I'm talking to them! The issues I've raised are not limited to beta code or even beta testing.

    Boot Camp: Excellent idea. But next version, please. Can we get the problems in the current version 2.2 fixed some time? Did they abandon that? Are they not building blockpoints and releases with support cycles? If they are it's not obvious. It appears there's a single stream of fire and forget. Problems solved in the next beta. Does it not?

    Oh hey, look at the time. I have to pick up my laundry in Singapore...
     
  19. don montalvo

    don montalvo

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    there's no guarantee the develoers read every post on this forum. that's why they requested you email them at their beta@parallels.com address with any feedback. to paraphrase, "maybe you're not reading between the lines...i don't know." they clearly state in all their beta announcements:

    As usual, any feedback is extremely appreciated at beta@parallels.com mailbox.

    don
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  20. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    We continue to have two different conversations. In this thread I'm not interested in the beta. I'm not even interested in the released code. I'm interested the the process of releasing them and of supporting them. At the process level.
     

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