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VoxPop: The Users Speak

By Net4TV Voice
(May 23, 1999)

Some WebTV users wondered who he'd been listening to to get such a strange view of his customers.

Seems like "they" have sadly become out of touch with what their customers really want, and that will be the untimely downfall of WebTV....
Glen de Korne'

It doesn't fit at all. I want to be able to access the internet fully as promised by webtv . Who cares about watching tv. I don't need a webtv unit to do that, I already have all I need or will ever want on the television side .

I believe Mr. Perlman is out of touch with his users and if webtv keeps going toward more tv features I will leave webtv. I want to access the whole net, I do not care one bit about tv features. I want more internet features.

I am very very disappointed. I want/need to access and process information--those wants are just as strong from 10 feet away. I would rather be on the net than watch tv. Thinking of us as the "uneducated masses" who want to be on-line with our tv to be "entertained" is an insult.

I think he should get his head out of the sand and see the "enhanced" picture of what we really use webtv for!

It doesn't fit at all. My tv was working just fine when I bought webtv. Why would I want enhancements? If Steve continues down this road he's making a serious mistake. He will soon realize that the majority of his subscribers don't give a flying fig about tv enhancements and will quickly dump their webtvs for the competition. There's no way I'll be keeping mine.
Laurie Murray

If the vision continues, people will probably want to get rid of their webtv's. Very sad that he doesn't pay attention to what everyone wants.

I don't know where Steve Perlman is getting his statistics from, but he didn't ask me or the other users of Webtv, what we prefer, because he wouldn't have made such a statement if he did. I bought Webtv for it's _INTERNET_ features, _NOT_ to watch TV. I have 4 TV's in my home and don't need Webtv to tell me what, when, how or why to watch TV. I've been doing that for a long time, on my own, without any help from him. I don't even let commericals or ads dictate, what I buy, eat, wear, etc. Regardless to what the head honchos of large corporations think, most consumers do know how to think for themselves.
Delia Timmons

Someone needs to tell Mr. Perlman that "denial" is more than just a river in Egypt. This type of blatant, "in your face" contradiction is once again, a slap in the face to all WebTv users and only continues to damage his credibility, if possible.
ariadnee carter

His vision is based on the fact that if they get everyone to believe this nonsense they won't have to do the upgrades that will enable us to surf the web easier and better!! It's a money thing!!!

I bought this ONLY for the internet options. That is what I pay my $$$ for every month, and if it doesn't start improving (internet improvments) then I won't be paying for this service for long.

He has a great product, it's too bad he doesn't know how people use it. They use it for the internet.

Mr.Perlman's vision is not 20/20! He's not in touch with his customers. It's shocking, when you think this man runs webtv, and has no idea whats really important to his customers!
Nelson Tankus

If I wanted Tv to be my main thrust I would buy an enhanced 1000 lines per inch unit and dump my WEBtv.Indeed I am interested in learning not watching Tv.
Arnold P. Freedman

I am interested in communicating with people-- If I want to watch TV I will watch it-- not thru a PIP ( which I don't have anyhow )
Anita Barker

I can't imagine Mr Perlman could be as foolish as his quotes would lead one to believe. First and foremost, people want freedom. That is what the internet promises. I bought my webtv as an alternative to using my computer to go online. The tv is the social center of most american homes so it seamed like a good place to hook up a piece of equipment that would give ME control over what was on the tv screen. That's what its all about, freedom. TV is spoon-fed entertainment, generally, and enhanced tv is just another spoon going into your mouth. THEY would still be in charge of the information WE receive, and in this information age it would seem proposterous that people would stand for that. Webtv is just catering to the cable companies and to future advertisers that's all. They want to cover as much of the field as possible. But what might end up happening is that some competitor will give us the freedom we want.

Do you see a plane? Does he think his name is Tattoo? He most definitely is on Fantasy Island!!
Gary D.

I bought my webtv for internet access. I bought my television to watch television! Perlman's “vision” of the future seems to be more of an “hallucination”!! TV enhancement is just not that big of a deal for me and especially from webtv! As usual, Perlman is so out of touch with his customers that it easy to see why there is so much dissatisfaction amongst users.I still enjoy my internet access with webtv, but I personally think that Steve Perlman suffers from a potentially deadly form of “Ostrich Disease”!!
Kathy Davis

I'm not sure of his vision, but I'm sure that internet access is far more important to "me" then enhanced TV. Do I use the features now, sure! I would not spend $25.00 a month for electronic TV guide. Thanks

It doesn't, but that doesn't surprise me. I bought webtv beause it seemed to be a better way to get on the net than using the public library pc's. I'm still using them to view the REALLY good websites (read java enabled). Too bad Perly boy thinks webtv should just be an over-glorified cable box, he's desrtoying a good thing.

what planet is he on?

Knock knock who's there, Bill Gates. Bill Gates who? Bill negates most of the new internet features annouced by webtv a while ago.
Mike Chapina

Totally opposite. When I bought wbtv I had never even heard of Enhanced TV.

I bought a Plus because 1: I got a good deal for the box/keyboard combo and 2:because I could install a printer with no hassle. I use the internet features far more than the enhanced tv--turned into an internet junkie because of webtv.:-) Though the tv stuff is nice, frankly I would have bought webtv if it outright turned my tv into a full-time internet monitor.I communicate with relatives more, joined an on-line community, learned a lot by surfing the web. Thanks for a cool, relatively inexpensive invention.
Karen Nelson

I am SHOCKED that he said that... He has ahold of one of the best products of the century, and he is missing the boat on how to market it. I basically stopped watching tv the day I bought webtv plus. (I'm not I've used a computer on internet before. I PREFER USING WEBTV. I find the thought staggering that us WebTVers that prefer the INTERNET ACCESS FEATURES OF WEBTV appear to be tossed aside as insignificant. It's scarey. If that is his public viewpoint, then perhaps the future for us is limited. Visit my site, and see how serious I am about my WebTv...I LOVE MY WEBTV MR. PERLMAN!

It doesn't describe me or most of the users that I have met online.

I think if Steve Perlman wants to know what his users want, all he has to do is sit in a chat room and find out.

I honestly believe that Steve Perlman is aware that "The Majority" of WebTV subscribers would much rather go the "enhanced Internet" route than they would the "enhanced TV" route. BUT, even though he does not publicly admit this "FACT", he is saying to_all WebTV subcribers_, "This is MY dream! Hey, you, get off of my cloud". And he is going to do what it takes to make him the most money, without compromising, TOO much, his dream of: "Steve Perlman invented TV2".
Thomas Charles Smith

We have several tv's in our home, this one is used for internet access only.I have a classic unit and have felt no need to upgrade to a plus. Since learning html I'm making a homepage I'm proud of. Buying Webtv was all about the internet only!

Looks like I'm one of the few .. from what Steve says ...

What's wrong with him? How can anyone in his position be so removed from reality?

!80 degrees opposite. Perlman has access to all WebTv users. Has he conducted a survey about WebTv users interest? WebTv with its internet and e-mail access is the greatest entertainment/education value I have ever purchase. The internet is the TV promise TV programers never delivered. The internet is so successful because TV is such a failure. Internet is the greatest advancement in the promotion of education/knowledge since the printing. It just so happens that it can be delivered over TV.

It would be nice to watch what I want' when I want. On the issue of why subscribers bought Webtv, Perlman is either a Bold-Faced liar or doesn't have a clue! Either way we are screwed!
D. Smith

Mr Perlman should go to work for a tv network. He sure doesn't understand the needs of the internet community.
Jerry Schmidt

Perlman obviously has no clue and has done no research to see what Web TVer's really want and need. I speak for myself and many friends in saying TV is so unimportant when it comes to Web TV for our purposes. Perlman needs to speak with us directly instead of his incompetant crew of PR reps.

I think he's off the wall.Let him spend some of his "quality"time eavesdropping on the sig/html/etc.discussion groups and see the marvelous inventive webtv users enjoying the fruits of their labors and their willingness to help other webtv-ers. I may be wrong but I never came across a discussion group for "tv enhancement".
Ray Boniske

My hope is that he fully understands we want enhanced internet features, yet only "trumps up" the tv features for the benefit of the media and advertising interests. Unfortuately his statements also reflect what the general public's view of what Webtv's capabilities are... just a fancy way to watch tv. They have no idea what we are capable of and are amazed when enlightened.
Dave Dickerson

Why would I pay $250 for a box and keyboard and a total of $40/month (WebTV and ISP) just for TV listings and a list of TV-related sites?

I have been a Webtv owner/suscriber for 1 1/2 years. As far as my own case goes, Mr. Perlman's vision does not match my own in the direction that Webtv is headed. Internet features have more priority for me than do TV features. They always have. And always will.
Matias Martinez

Tv is not important to me any more. As far as I'm concerned there's never anything good on. I'd rather play around on the internet with my webtv! I'm always learning something new about the world around me!
Eileen Briggs


Perlman's vision is just another example of how out-of-touch he really is with Webtv users. People originally bought Webtv because it gave internet access and was easier to to operate then a computer. That is STILL the main use of the unit. Where there is more then one resident in a home....the majority of people don't even have Webtv connected to their main TV. (The one with all the features they DON'T need Webtv to provide.)...Because there is usually one person that would rather be on the internet then watching TV. The TV manufacturers do very well in giving us what we want in a TV set.....Perlman should stick to why we want Webtv and NOT try to compete with them.

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