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As an IT professional, I've read countless articles that compare one product to another. Whether they’re about hardware or software, these pieces always make me wonder whether competing companies realize that IT professionals don’t care to be caught up in the "I’m better than you" game. I’m sure these companies have done their homework, the results of which many of us can sum up by saying "Show me the money." Although this catch phrase might not hit the exact mark, I think it conveys the feeling. Maybe a more appropriate slogan would be, "Give us the features we need and will actually use." Let me describe a familiar scenario. You run into a problem with your hardware or software and think that the vendor must have addressed it—surely, other users have encountered the same concern, so a new version or model must exist. Instead, when you hit the support pages, the vendor directs you to a workaround.

In fact, the word "workaround" has become familiar. Why not tackle a problem head on? What has this world come to when we're given workarounds instead of improvements. Basically, the message that these vendors convey is "We're aware of the problem, but not concerned." Great, thanks for your opinion, keep up the good work. Most of the time, we're given a series of hoops we can jump through to possibly correct the problem. And even then, the fix might not suit our business needs or we might not have the time required to do so. Can you imagine if we all worked this way? "Yes, I know Susan can’t print to her printer. Perhaps she can connect to the one upstairs." Or, "Tom isn’t able to connect to the network? Can he use somebody else’s PC?"

You might be laughing at this point, perhaps because you’ve tried it, but you and I know too well that these workarounds don’t work permanently. Do we really want the duct tape approach to networking? I think that vendors need to get off the competitive kick and focus on their customers' needs. Those that heed this advice will naturally come out on top without having to play the "I’m better than you" game.