Customers and consumers - a difference

A Microsoft Slur in the OOXML Saga -- Who are their customers?

Years ago I read a columnist who talked about the difference between a customer and a consumer. The user of the software is the consumer. The person who makes the choice that gets the vendor money is the customer. Sometimes they are the same. But in a large organization they are often not, and a vendor will usually concentrate on the customer since that is where the money is. The consumer (user) is likely to suffer. Many of Microsoft's features/marketing in new versions of products make sense if you keep this distinction in mind. (And it's not just MS.)

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