Monday, November 22, 2004

The November Clip Show

Oh cry in the dark of night:

Jesus , update your blog for crying out loud

My apologies. Work has been incredibly jammed as we try to make progress ignoring the fact that the holidays are stealing precious work days from us and that key people are just gone. And there was the small matter of Halo 2. And Half-Life 2.

Well, if a clip show works for the Simpsons then I might as well give it a small try. Let's see what's been going on over the past few weeks...

So only has one post (as of today) but it's an interesting read. Ski4Burgers has made a few comments here at Mini-Microsoft. One issue Ski4Burgers has with Nat is that the 004/october/#18-October-2004 refers to my blog in a critical assessment of Microsoft. Ski4Burgers thinks it's pretty bogus to use a single source as a reference point:

I'm not sure who this guy at minimsft is (although I know he is a former employee of Microsoft), but to cite one blogger's opinion as a definitive source seems pretty dubious.

It is dubious, but you can't exclude the comments. A good bit of the comments here are very well written and informative (especially compared to their associated source material). As for the, ah, former employee bit: as of today my badge still worked. Everyday is a blessing.

But then again, on the internet, no one knows you're a dog...

The Giving Campaign is over. While we exceeded the monetary goal (Yay!) we were pretty lousy on the percentage of participation (boo). The malaise is still here. Snippet of a comment:

Really, does it have to be so painful and guilt-ridden? I thought we were supposed to feel good about being philanthropists - not having it shoved down our throat.

But for all the full-time employees out there who are just turned off by the giving campaign: just remember that you can give out-of-band anytime the spirit hits you and Microsoft makes it very easy for a matching donation to be sent.

So as we mourn the passing of delivered Micronews, fresh towels, and readily available office supplies and drinking cups, take solace in The Man still kicking in some bucks for whatever qualifying agency you damn well please to lay some money on.

De-Redmondization of Microsoft: interesting comment regarding how PSS is going in - it starts off with:

This will be the downfall of Microsoft. I used to work in PSS and I don't mind sharing my experiences with the greater public. When Microsoft started up their Bangalore operation, they wanted to test the process from an outside source.

And it goes downhill from there. Recently Ballmer himself was on-hand for the expanding Microsoft India campus. So I could do funny math and say, well, 200 new jobs there are representative of 100 new jobs here and therefore a saving of 100 employees... but no. I work with folks who'd be much happier, family- and geographically-wise, to work in India. I would hope that it makes it easier for folks here to transition back there (and then, you know, leave to start your own money making business). I figure this also allows us to deal with H1-B visa issues by just hiring more overseas.

But I don't see consistent quality software coming out of India. At least not quality world-class software. I'd be a hell of a lot more interested in them developing regional solutions for growing markets.

The charts of are still live. Google's taken a hit over the recent days. Microsoft's dip is because of the dividend. Apple is still taking off. And a $100 target for Apple? Dang.

And next-to-last: the grammar checker needs to help me out when it comes to "losing" and "loosing." Seems as though misuse there annoys people.

And finally: the typical blog dilemma: if you can't keep it consistently warm, should you delete it? While all exhausted and lacing up one evening, I wondered: should I just delete this blog? I've had my initial say. Longhorn, although delayed, isn't turned into the managed code mess I feared. I really don't have burning issues.

And I don't want to turn into a snarky commentary reacting to each rah-rah "Ooooo, you just wait un see! We's a gonna innovate us some shareholder value, uh huh!!!" Ballmer interview.

So, given the crammed nature of work and the holidays, things will probably be slow here for a while. I don't think I'll blow this blog away just yet. And, hey, the midpoints are coming up, and that's always a great time to help managers reflect on the joys of moving people out of Microsoft and into other rewarding careers elsewhere!


Anonymous said...

If it encourages you to keep going, check out the latest issue of Seattle magazine. You're in it, mentioned as a weblog to check out, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, hope the holiday crunch isn't killing you too bad.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, hope the holiday crunch isn't killing you too bad.

Al said...

I very much enjoy your blog. It's okay, by me, if you don't post frequently, but I do understand the self-enforced pressure to either post often or post never.

Anonymous said...

Re: quality software development done overseas:

Services For Unix - India
ISA Server (both 2000 and 2004) - Haifa, Israel
Speech recog - China

Keep on trucking. Good work. Enjoy your holidays and may your manager bring you 4.5 for your review ;)

Anonymous said...

I promise to never comment on the grammar again. Keep fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Natslies blog is interesting place: it does not allow anonymous comments. I guess it won't get much of the opposite views from fellow coworkers which won't post openly for obvious reasons.

As for fun, I agree, there is less and less fun. Long cycles with 80% of time spent fixing bugs. So you wrote great code and didn't introduce many bugs? So now you think you will be writing some new cool feature for the next release? No, no, no, go fix somebody's else bugs! So that somebody else gets promoted for shipping product on time.

Everything is now aligned with something else. Want to beat your competitor by shipping better product earlier? Tough, we are now 'integrated innovators' so you can't ship before Windows/Office/SQL/Visual Studio/MSN/whatever.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to quit blogging, please address one last issue before you leave . . .

What's with the proliferation of "Office of . . ." mailboxes? A sure sign of self-importance, we have a slew of them now.
A few years ago I remember getting some fancy HTML newsletter from some internal VP (who's now gone) and it came not from his mailbox but from an "Office of . . .". Hmmm, hadn't seen many of those, Steveb and Billg always send email from their mailboxes (I realize that they may get help with composition but there was no fancy envelope). A quick check of the GAL showed two "Office of . . ." mailboxes. Jeff Raikes and this new VP (who came from IBM). Jeff I could handle, he has paid his dues. But this new guy? It must have been negotiated in his hiring package . . .
Today in the GAL I count 10 "Office of . . ." mailboxes and most of the names I don't recognize. A sign of the times?

Anonymous said...

Please, don't quit your blog! I feel a little less alone knowing that others feel we as a company have gotten fat around the middle and could be doing better but instead continue to strive for mediocrity.

You should discuss the lack of risk being taken in Microsoft today. the petty turf battles and the death of the skunk works spirit which drove much of the innovation fir years.

Anonymous said...
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NewsMan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.