I think that a lot of the user base frustration can be dividied into two broad concerns.
The first has to do with the way the rollout was handled. Due to the bugs with the rollout People have not been able to access their data. Instead of giving users some advance warning to perhaps do a back-up or that the service could possibly have some stability issues they deliberately chose to have a “Press Embargo” and not tell anyone. Clearly the goal was to have a media splash. Unfortunately, someone felt that media buzz was more important than ensuring the users were prepared. Now that the service does not work well these users feel betrayed. They cannot access the data they entrusted to SP and for many this impacts how they make their living.
Second, thee are some fairly boneheaded Functionality changes they made. For example, they disabled offline access through Chrome. This was a great feature for mobile professionals who wanted to get things done while on the go (Airplane or other place without a net connection).
Even the simple process of creating a new note got more complicated. On the “Old” SP you directed your browser to the SP homepage and clicked on the “Add” icon and started creating your note. When you were done you just selected the notebook(s) where you wanted to store it and added tags. Bingo You were done.
Now you have to pick out a notebook first. Then you have to go to the smartbar to add something. That opens a new screen/frame where the Title of the note is now the text of the note. You may have to delete the existing text in order to write your new note. You can add tags or add it to another notebook. But the Icons for “Save” are not intuitive (A Check mark?). Furthermore, there is no way to cancel creating an item. Even if you want to stop creating and click on the back arrow on your browser SP still saves it. Now you have to find it and manually delete it.
I don’t plan to use the social features, but I can see how they can benefit others. The loss of key functionality is something that is driving many existing users crazy. And the workflow needed to do things that were previously one or two mouse clicks is not often 5 or 6 clicks instead.
But perhaps the worst things I see is that they launched this with absolutely NO HELP DOCUMENTATION. How does any company do a complete makeover and then just through it out there and say “Have fun figuring it out”. If they had put together a set of tutorial videos it probably would have helped a lot. After several days of stumbling around I have figured out how to do things in a new way. That should never happen.
Let’s face it, the more you make your users click their mouses the more you are making the use of your web app dependent upon the speed and reliability of the user’s internet connection. To me, this just isn’t a very wise thing to do.
I haven’t abandoned SP. But the issues have been enough to cause me to look at alternatives. And frankly I am impressed by the recent updates to Evernote. If enough people do this SP is going to have to get a lot more NEW users to backfill the the number of eyeballs they will lose that help them generate their revenue.