Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Defining Important

My computer's "Support Assistant" interrupted my work to tell me -- in bold red letters -- of Important Actions Needed. And what kind of important? "Take immediate action to help maintain your computer's stability or security." There was something about protecting the hard drive and improving access to driver updates.

Oh, and Netflix.

Since it knew I'd already allowed myself to be interrupted by the Important Actions Needed, the Support Assistant also used that interruption to suggest a few other little adjustments that are recommended but clearly less important, like a BIOS update and something it described as determining whether the system is functional enough to use the operating system.

It had seemed previously like the Support Assistant had been aiming to help me keep a stable system on my laptop. It was plausible, anyway. There is clear business reasoning for helping customers stay happy with their products, one of those things where their goals may correlate to my goals in mutually agreeable, mutually supporting ways. But it looks like maybe they're going in a different direction now, blurring the line between "we want to help you" and "we want to conquer the world with you in it."

There's something to be learned here about priorities and communication, because sometime, somewhere, somehow, someone made the decision to categorize Netflix in the high-priority get-it-fixed group, and the whole system lost credibility in the process.

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