Thursday, December 09, 2004

Does Microsoft care about politically correct speech?

Just a quicky: here's a link back to lushootseed's comments about Microsoft and it's view of customers: Does Microsft really care about you? Another Microsoftie! It starts off with:

I have been watching Microsoft's moves in the last couple of years and nothing that I see tells me we are heading in the right direction. Does that mean it is going down? Not anytime soon. It is going through what IBM went through in the last couple of decades with and it would take a good few years before a major re-structuring happens like in IBM. Here is why...

Part of this echoes with what is bopping about in my little head right now: we are lavishing so much of our efforts on pleasing the IT departments of the Fortune 500 that Microsoft is fading more and more in the mind of everyday consumers. Our brand is losing vibrancy. Not recognition. Just vibrancy.

Homework: what's your 30 second elevator speech regarding what you work on?

Another post by lushootseed that brings a wry grin to my face: Ashcroft working for Microsoft? Sometime in the past half year politically correct speak has trickled its way down through management and it's quite the fun show: "Hey, did you know you're in Bug Hell-I-mean-Jail?" Or, "Could you please send me your status for this week's War Team-I-mean-Team Status Meeting?"

There's this great little wince at the "I-mean" part and you can almost visualize the ^H's issuing out from their mind.

But then my grin fades and I realize someone on the payroll is actually putting time and effort into correcting terms that have been since long before I joined Microsoft. Most of the people I used to work with would have quickly called BS on this and went merrily about using the traditional terms. What's scary is that we were told to use the new terms and *bang* everyone did. What the hell?


Anonymous said...

Umm... who pays for software? The unwashed masses or corporate enterprises? Doi!

Anonymous said...

What does this say about Microsoft as a corporation?

It may be understandable when people don't follow rules they don't really understand or find morally objectional.

But this reaction just sounds wrong. This is the kind of rule that couldn't be any easier to follow. And yet, people are deliberatly ignoring it.

Rules can change, but people have to give good reason for the change. Just saying "I don't like this rule" doesn't cut it.

What are the possible reasons that someone would not follow this rule? The only reason I can think of is: "I don't want to."

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention that we're not allowed to use some industry-standard terms for fear that they will be misinterpreted. Examples are master, slave, blacklist, and whitelist. Because someone who's not used to industy terminology might report MSFT to the ACLU, I guess. *shrug*
Let's face it: these decisions are made because we live in a world full of frivolous lawsuits. This applies doubly to the US. And there are no such things as "internal communications". In today's world there are enough subpoenas, Halloween memos, and fear of both that "internal communications" only exists inside quotes. Welcome to America!

Be glad we work on software and not plumbing supplies.

Anonymous said...

Or it could be argued that anti-social people in a relatively new industry are creating naming standards that symbolize some of the worst qualities of human nature.

Sociable people don't have a problem adjusting to society.

Anonymous said...

>I realize someone on the payroll is actually putting
>time and effort into correcting terms that have been
>since long before I joined Microsoft

Probably the same person who wrote up the MS Values bullshit. I mean seriously, that is a lot of BS to come up with. Do ya think that person got a 4.0 for that shit?
What irks me the most is to see some people in those videos and what not , TALKING TO ME ABOUT VALUES when they were the ones who were guilty of all the strong arm tactics in the past (that we got dragged into courts for).

Anonymous said...

Bug Jail became "Bug Cap" for at least one group. "Ship Room" has sort of replaced "warroom" or "warteam". The first pressure on that one was right after 9/11.

Anonymous said...

Wow we must be behind on the times cos we still use bug-jail, war and our GM says 'fuck' a lot

Anonymous said...

It's a big company. Not all groups use the same terms. There's "Bug Hell" too.