I design web sites for small businesses and I think I do a good job of it at a good price. Now, Microsoft is going after my slim little business with their new Office Live project. They are giving small businesses domain names, web hosting services, and web site design tools away, for free. I would not mind competing with Microsoft head on, I think I would whip them. I have much better customer support and think I am a better designer. It is the ‘free’ part I see having trouble competing against. What is Microsoft doing giving stuff away for free anyway? I thought they were the ones making all the money. Who do they think they are, Google?
Who knows, maybe it will be a big flop and drive more business my way (yeah, it’s called being delusional). I used to think that given the choice, any smart small business person would opt to pay a little more for a better product, but that idea was shaken a few months ago when I was underbid. As unbelievable as that is, it is true, I was underbid for a web site by a guy in California. I was not too worried about it because I was busy at the time and was sure that the underbidder would do a substandard job and the client would came back to me in the end. Well, the site does look pretty dreadful and it is not even done. That was one of the reasons, aside from being underbid, that I lost that job, the client wanted it done more quickly then I could do it. The other designer promised two weeks. Well, its been three months and I still see design changes occurring. I wonder if the client is being charged more in the end too, I bet so. But all this just goes to my point, cheaper (and free) are too tough to compete against these days, regardless of the quality. I think we have Walmart to thank for that in no small part.
Now I will just have to find something else to do with my time, I have done it before and will do it again. We just have to hope that Microsoft does not enter the field of Veterinary Medicine, then Jen and I are really screwed.
And all this on my birthday, thanks Microsoft…