What's with Microsoft's inability to provide global services?

Miti 1982

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Jul 4, 2012
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I have been having this frustration for quite some timenow and today I got to the point that I decided to write about it.

Regrettably, there is no thread that encompasses all ofMicrosoft's services so I am posting this in the off-topic lounge.

The issue itself - the availability of differentMicrosoft services is very dependent on the country and one can only get thefull experience if living in one of 10 countries around the world. Elsewhereone starts facing different limitations.

For better or for worse I happen to live in Bulgaria,which is quite low in the list of all tech companies when it comes to servicesto provide.

Nevertheless, Google has enabled most of its globalservices for Bulgaria; Spotify, Netflix and Amazon video have done the same;even Apple have enabled the option to rent and buy movies and music in iTunes.Going quite back, Nokia had all of its services available in Bulgaria despitethe fact that it was in a time before Bulgaria had even joined the EU and mostpeople had a hard time finding it on a map.

I will discuss the virtual assistants at the end, butthey have quite a lot of differences as well, regrettably Cortana trails behindGoogle and Siri by quite a stretch.

So here are some of the services and their availability:

  • Bing Rewards – the US only (previously includedthe UK as well)
  • Cortana – international but quite limitedoutside of the big 7 (US, UK, Germany, China, Italy, Spain, France)
  • Cortana app for iOS and Android – only the USand UK
  • Xbox Live Gold – 42 countries, list available inWikipedia (previously it was only 16)
  • Grove Music – guessing 42 countries as well?
  • Movies & TV – same 42 countries?
  • Microsoft Hardware – very limited availability(talking about the high-end stuff, not the mice and keyboards)

My point is that I:


  • have to keep a UK account so that I can buy anXbox Live Gold subscription (Sony enabled the PS Plus for 70 countries, all ofthe EU included) and get free games, online play and so on.
  • cannot use Groove Music nor Movies & TV.
  • have to set Windows in a specific way to getCortana to work and it is quite useless for finding stuff like restaurantsdespite the fact that Bing is able to manage very well on that front.
  • cannot get the Cortana app on my iOS devices.

So, comparing the virtual assistants.

Google beats all not only with data but also languagesupport and automatic detection of names of places in different languages. Soasking a something like “Give me information about Цар Освободител” willactually work.

Following the last update of Siri, it has become quiteuseful as well since it no longer tells me “I cannot find places in Bulgaria!”when asked for Italian restaurants nearby.

Many queries in Cortana still just open a Bing searchinstead of providing the relevant answer.

Cortana on the Xbox is also very slow to do anything, sowhile before I just had to say “Xbox pause” and the movie would stop almostimmediately now when I say “Hey Cortana, pause” it takes between 5 and 15seconds to react. Also, a new option is that it will come back with “Theinternet and I aren’t communicating right now, please try again later.”

All of this is makes using Microsoft’s services veryfrustrating. I would totally understand I it was a small company with a fewhundred thousand devices in stores worldwide, or Apple, who target only (ormainly) the high-end sector. But Microsoft has a few billion devices out thererunning Windows and making services available in some markets, or having badtranslations is not good at all.

Thus, finally, my question to Microsoft and anyone whomay have an insight – when will Microsoft’s services become really “global”?

Thanks!
 

libra89

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Feb 6, 2015
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I have to agree with you.

I think Microsoft is failing big time on this. They might not be able to roll everything out but they should at least aim for some things. I don't know when Microsoft will do that but I really hope that they get a clue sometime.
 

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