Points of views from all sides to round up right quick:
Vic Gundotra - taking up the space left behind by Lenn? Anyway, Vic has an optimistic post In defense of the company I love where he calls out why things are great and only going to get greater. A snippet:
I'm working on software that is going to touch virtually everything I can see out the window of this plane. Almost every home, police station, hospital, store, school and church is running our software today - and Longhorn is going to make things a lot better in a lots of ways.
The challenge I see, Vic, is explaining all the great things in Longhorn to those people in the police station, hospital, store, school, and church so that they can get behind adopting Longhorn vs. feeling that it's something to be foisted upon them. I will tip my hat to the requisite hat-trick needed to conjure up the tangible benefits of Longhorn that isn't built in a comparison of what's wrong in XP and right in Longhorn. Show us how it directly saves us time and makes out life better. Folks are happy enough with the Jenga tower that is XP. Why go and switch that for a new set of blocks?
One place to start: how about making Jeremy Wright less disappointed: My Disappointment With Microsoft
The point I'm making is that Microsoft has to change or die and they know it.
In my view, Microsoft is not the walking dead, nor a wounded animal, nor in any kind of trouble today. In my view Redmond is struggling to take the company and the millions of existing customers into the next era of computing. That is a fairly tall order. It's easy to just say, new product X leaves the old one behind. That isn't cool to the customers of today.
And a big point: Microsoft must change. I agree, change is coming. Change is either going to be something that happens due to deep intellectual insight by our executive leadership or something that will be forced upon us due to desperation and paranoia about survival.
From my point of view, we need a big huge disruptive reorganizational change that blow apart the executive fiefdoms that have allowed so many people to work on so many cancelled projects and never-ever ship profit making software products. And easily identify 10% of the employee base that we can move on to let them contribute to companies that are a better fit for them. Due to goofs, a reorganization of some-sort will no doubt happen, if only to relevel the playing field and obscure any comparison between past performance and current performance of product groups.
A good use of "shareholder" money? Bribe, er, entice these ineffective contributors with a goodbye compensation package. Summer's coming up and who wouldn't want six months pay to let them look for that next job?
Finally, Microsophist kicks in with another point of view from a Microsoftie and what's going on within Microsoft. Atom feed is here: http://microsophist.blogspo t.com/atom.xml . It takes a while to build up a series of posts to define a point of view and best of luck to Microsophist to contribute a defining voice. A snippet:
Things are amiss at Microsoft. Some of the problems are new. Many have been around since the beginning but no one noticed or cared because they were too distracted by the piles of money they were making and that rapidly approaching retirement date.
If you work at Microsoft, you should know what I'm talking about. If not, well, you must be pretty easily distracted. Or you're a VP. Or a kid we just hired out of college.
Now you. Yes, you... you incredibly good looking smart devil you. What ever point of view you have, pro, con, whatever, please take a moment to contribute. Contribute, whether between commenting or posting in your blog or posting within an anonymous blog (for a good reference, go to the EFF guide to safe blogging). Or beyond blogs and communicate your point of view to editorials or fund-investors in Microsoft. It would be a delightful short-term result, for me, if some of our hard questions and issues actually start bubbling up into the common discourse and begin being directly asked of the executive leadership. And they gave thoughtful answers. And even better, began thoughtful change.