Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's A-Live!

First of all, I'm not writing to slam Windows Live and Office Live - I don't spend 100% of my time here channeling H. L. Mencken for the modern age. I have hope and interest in the new live offerings, and I hope time will help bring focus on to what new markets (and money!) these offerings will produce.

That gentle introduction aside... holy freakin' crap on a keyboard, what does it take for this company to actually do a demo right the first time!?! I guess the next funny BillG video can use our constant demo blunders as a backstory ("Quick, Bill! Stall! Improvise!"). That or just have a bulk neuralizer always on standby. In the meantime: I'm sure we had talented, well meaning, earnest people working really hard to get the presentation together and all, but... I'd be much happier for you to be employed elsewhere. If you can't put a demo together in front of such an important crowd, you don't need to be working at Microsoft.

Mr. Dave Winer has a couple of choice demo comments:

  • The net went down in the middle of the demo. It was the worst public demo ever.
  • [T]he net went down halfway through the presentation, just as they were getting to the demo, which was a total wipeout, biggest failure I've seen in almost 30 years in the biz. I think there's a pretty good chance they cut off our net access so we couldn't write about it real-time, if so, it was a brilliant move, but an act of desperation.

Whew. Some other interesting blog posts here:

So then this afternoon we had a virtual company meeting with SteveB and team. I enjoyed it (Steve even acknowledged the demo flame-out). I really appreciated the description comparing msn.com users to start.com (aka live.com) users. That resonated with me and filled in a gap: msn.com users are very different than start.com users and start.com is not stealing away msn.com users but rather filling a void we didn't have before, a void for users who have Google as their home page.

To me, we're filling the Alpha Geek void for Microsoft technology. We're providing an alpha-geek portal and set of services for them to build new, interesting results on-top of our services and gadgets and all that other cool stuff. Even my palms get itchy to start trying this stuff out. I'm sure Tim O'Reilly is a little crestfallen because I can't imagine him being too thrilled to be publishing Web 2.0 books for Microsoft Service technologies or to think Alpha Geeks would abandon Mac OS X for Windows. I think getting these early geek adopters is important because they are the mavens that will help tip an important balance to supporting our new services.

(In the meantime, I hope every enthused Microsoftie with free time can try developing interesting, instructive, shared tools and examples for developing against these new services. Unleash your inner Alpha Geek!)

So I liked what was covered at the meeting. We even have a tool called Mojo! Microsoft's got the Mojo! Kevin made a lot of good noises about agility when it comes to shipping and supporting these services. ChrisJo and (I believe) Christopher Paine are going to be looked upon as Windows leaders. Rajesh Jha is already leading the Office effort (and can probably use a lot of that past "software as a service" knowledge effectively regarding what-not-to-do).

As for agility and shipping software sooner and more often: just as Microsoft had a security epiphany, it needs to hit the brakes and have an agility epiphany. And I'm not talking about new processes and different ways to doing the same thing and calling some people chickens and other people pigs... I'm talking about effective, agile groups that have shipped software or services sharing what they have done. How have they tweaked or revamped the existing process? We need to have an agility week at the beginning of the year to focus on common sense techniques for producing high quality software more quickly and with less people, process, and overhead. Just like we have the wonderful Michael Howard for security, we need another firecracker for agility.

You can't just wave a rhetoric wand about and say we're suddenly shipping more often and it be so. People are going to try to do the same busted process and we'll wind up more screwed up more often. Those that have something that works for Microsoft need to share and be our beacons out of the pipeline.

My main two doubts about services at the end of the day:

  1. Ads are really going to pay for all of this? That's all well and good until someone figures out TiVo for services.
  2. How are we going to ensure we don't transition from DLL Hell / Versioned Hell to Services Hell? Anyone using our services need to be able to adapt to updates and bug-fixes in a timely fashion so that we don't have to keep around n-versions of the service and ensure they keep working.

My hope is that services can let some teams transition into smaller, more effective teams and the left-over people that are no longer needed can find splendid opportunities elsewhere in the business world.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I kept falling asleep during the presentation. I don't remember exactly what Bill said but it was something about "in the future you will work with other people" or something fascinating like that.

Ray Ozzie was equally boring. And the demos (even when they worked) were boring. Of course I didn't make it all the way through, so maybe there was some grand finale where someone sent an email or something thrilling like that. (I only saw someone search for 'cycling'! Wow, how was that possible!!! Our competition should just forget it!)

I don't think anyone has to worry about alpha geeks moving from Mac OS to Windows over this. I believe OS X already does email and search.

If this was supposed to be something interesting like a Steve Jobs presentation, let's just call it a failure. Steve Jobs is good at what he does because he makes people care. If anything, this presentation made me care even less (and I didn't care much when I started watching.)

Maybe Bill should 1) comb his hair 2) tell us why we care and 3) do a demo himself to show how "great" it really is. Of course, then he'd have to know something about what he was talking about.

Speaking of which, was it not totally obvious that he didn't know the XBox 360 ship date? Jeez, even I know that one!

Anonymous said...

"The network didn't go down, it was the VPN connection that did." But you know what? That's not how the press and analysts saw it. Come on! We have offices in Mountain View. We (company) could have come up with some failover solutions, maybe had the servers in MV, used a staging server for the "live.com" portion of the demo.

"We see that Internet is important for small businesses." What is this, 1995?? Statements like these give us the "me too" company moniker.

I want to believe!

Anonymous said...

You're right that this isn't going to make me move from OS X. www.live.com is pretty dead in Safari. It's a search text field. That's it!

Anonymous said...

no way to have service hell, services lie in the server side, thus in full control.

Anonymous said...

does it really need to be THAT ugly?

OMG... it will certainly not attract any OS X users that way... it's the worst GUI and presentation i've ever seen.

in the pictures from niall kennedy, there's a picture of bill gates standing in front of the screen showing "the Microsoft live platform" slide.

at the bottom right of this screen there's a section related to "other devices"...

it's showing a bondi blue iMac... geez... is that signaling NEW Microsoft landmarks anno 2005??

sad.

you MS guys should come out more often.

Anonymous said...

Start.com does not pass W3C XHTML validator. When we finally start making standard-compliant Web sites?

Authentication is Passport again. Will it ever go away?

Anonymous said...

I was expecting a lot of life from live.com. Unfortunately it doesn't have anything to offer at this point except a broken looking version of start.com. Sorry I forgot, it also shows my mails from mail-beta - big deal. Now listen up, this what you guys need to do to compete with Google

1. develop a kick-ass search engine, search.msn is good but not great. Simply put the best of the best behind this mission. Use resources from MSR. Use some stuff from http://rwsm.directtaps.net/usage.htm.

2. compare the search engine's performace with google's and make the results public

3. totally remove advertisements in search results. Add them back when your market share improves significantly. Make some silly excuse like you didn't want advertisements in beta or something. Do-no-evil google does it all the time.

And here is something to ponder:
Microsoft is the owner of Windows-OS, right? Then why is Google's Desktop search so much faster than MSN's.

Make the best search engine friends - that is all that counts. It seems like you guys are outsourcing search research to China - bad idea. keep it closer to home. Anybody can make a portal like start.com or live.com - I can knock it off in 3-4 months. But search engine is different and that is where the talent and power of MS comes in. You can do it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/11/01/us_company_subpoenas.html

Anonymous said...

Following this post by Jeremy Zawodny

http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/005606.html

I ask myself: As a medium website/weblog owner, how can I make more money cooperating with MS?

If I can't, forget about me.

If I can, show me how.

Anonymous said...

no way to have service hell, services lie in the server side, thus in full control.

I remember that time at the data center .... when the power went out.... meanwhile, in Redmond, ... nothing ... 'cause the power's out at the data center.

A company with billions of dollars could afford a cogeneration system but they don't have one at their data centers.

http://www.capstoneturbine.com/

So, across the country, I'm using a web service that uses code running at a Microsoft data center ... and POOF!... the power goes out at the data center.

Anonymous said...

Agility won't happen without a bigger source of change. There are too many employees in the base that have gotten old, had kids and aren't willing to be agile because it might require a re-org which might eliminate their position or God forbid make them learn something new. Since many of them used to be hard core, they know that they don't want to be like that any more. They'd rather rest (although there's nothing to vest). Remember, MS Employees are not stupid. They know that they can get away with doing next to nothing for a really long time. And now that sullied veterans are in positions of power, they're going to do everything they possibly can to prevent harcore achievers from making them work evenings do things in ways that are new and require thought.

My suggestion is to have a separate rank/eval outside of the immediate team/org. This way people will be encouraged to do 20%-like projects and can't be dinged by people who hate that they create work for them.

Live is cute but it's all be around before whether it was hailstorm, bcentral, MSN, MSN Messenger (remember phone calls in version 4?) or whatever you want to call it...With Ray Ozzie around the only difference is that it might work through firewalls--which based on today's demos you better hope it doesn't need a vpn.

work from home moms said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh Adams said...

what a totally not-spam comment!

Anonymous said...

no way to have service hell, services lie in the server side, thus in full control.

Service hell will be nasty. Think you have service 1.0 that uses an XML field called zipcode. It uses only 5 digits. MS decides to upgrade that to a #####-#### field. Now the original service gets upgraded and requires a full 9 digit zip code. If someone is using that service...it could break their current code. This is a very basic example.

That is service hell. You could have to support multiple versions of the same version unless you want everyone to upgrade very quickly. Inside our company, we can't get our own groups to upgrade to internal written code quickly... I can't imagine trying to get external groups to do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm also concerned about service version hell. The service will have to simulaneously run and support concurrent versions of Windows Live.

Passport has had this kind of service/client integration for a couple of years and bugs where really a pain.
And of course, it's always "easier" to workaround a bug on the service-side rather than by deploying new client-side bits...

Another thing: I hate the expression "in the cloud". It seems like a nice way of avoiding saying "on Microsoft's network of servers".

Anonymous said...

"Windows Live" is essentially and admission that MSN is completely worthless not just as a brand, but as a product.

Hopefully people aren't confused about this, because it's very simple:

Windows Live = MSN with a different brand name

It's nothing more than that (other than hype). The products aren't changing much (just a little additionally web functionality that doesn't work very well).

This is a nice little play for some quick press, but not much more than that.

Anonymous said...

Well I sure would like to try it out, but I'm an OS X Alpha Geek, and all I see is a search bar.

But the real reason this should be an issue is that Live doesn't work in Safari 2.02, which just became the first browser to pass the Acid Test (hello, you know, standards).

For any web service to be really taken seriously, it's got to be standards-based, and standards-driven.

But it doesn't sound that exciting anyway, despite all the hype. Guess I'll have to fire up the PC and check this out in Exploder.

Anonymous said...

It looks pretty interesting, and if they keep the project going long enough for the developers involved to actually get it to the level we've heard rumors of, it should be impressive. I doubt the brains at Microsoft are going to be pleased by the low yield of an advertisement supported site, though. I'm also amazed at how ambiguous Microsoft is about many elements. For instance the cost of the IM -> POTS service after the beta.

I largely agree with the following post (even the comments on gadgets. As an ISV I wouldn't waste a second on gadgets, as there is zero revenue potential. The "misdirected nerds" are busy in open source land and are highly unlikely to feed their innovation into Microsoft).
http://www.yafla.com/dforbes/2005/11/01.html#a150

MattyDread said...

Nobody should be surprised that the demo crashed. At the last two Financial Analysts' Meetings, the MSN demos were always a debacle. I don't know who's in charge of setting up and running demos for MSN, but they should have been fired ages ago.

TheKhalif said...

You can't just wave a rhetoric wand about and say we're suddenly shipping more often and it be so. People are going to try to do the same busted process and we'll wind up more screwed up more often. Those that have something that works for Microsoft need to share and be our beacons out of the pipeline


That would be great if lots of people weren't known for taking credit for the ideas of others. It is really screwed hen you work hard for somehting and some lazy, worthless manager(s) claim itr as their own and give you a shitty review on top of it.

(Yes, it happened to me more than once at MS.)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but as OS X alpha geek - no way I'm moving. And no, I didn't only try it on Safari. I ran it on Firefox/XP, too - and it's so utterly visually underwhelming, it's not even funny. Plus, it doesn't offer anything that's not offered by a dozen other places.

And yes, I read the "Firefox coming soon" comment. Note to MS: *All* the movers in the technical space use Firefox, Safari, anything but IE. Nobody cares a lick about IE - it's universally reviled and only has its markets share because it's pushed on users.

The fact that's really disturbing though is the "non-getting" of what web services are about by Mini and some of the posters here. There's a fundamental misunderstanding about services and service APIs. (Service hell? "What if the zip-code presentation changes"?) If that is a reflection of MS, I'm not surprised they can't put together anything decent in the web space.

Anonymous said...

I think some of your comments are interesting and insightful, but your constant desire to get rid of anyone who makes any kind of mistake is irksome.

I'm sure you've screwed up at some point in your career, yet you're still employed. Making mistakes is often a better way to learn than being successful.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully people aren't confused about this, because it's very simple:

Windows Live = MSN with a different brand name


B-but, I thought Ballmer said that in Holland and Korea, they say "I'll MSN you!"

Are they going to "Windows Live" people now?

Oi. What's really irksome is this need to preface everything with "Windows" now. I envision Vista's menus as a sea of Windows Mail, Windows Media Player, Windows Internet Explorer, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, etc.

Anonymous said...

Yusuf (MSN) was a complete jerk in the whole show. He spoke about hiring 800 people at MSN in the last year and what did they deliver..the copy me-too-like-google crap they put out.

MSN's revenue with all that headcount upped..even GOOG and YHOO added close toa 1000 people, they jumped their revenues too...you just don't add people and boast about creating me-too, not so creative crap.

MSN needs a better vision and better execution and for me, I am probably putting up my resume again, I can't believe I relocated so far to work for a "creative company"....and my managers are all here talking about re-orgs and politics..geez, what about software and services?

Anonymous said...

Do people do anything except live on the Internet now? I feel so left behind. I hate instant messaging. I get annoyed that every time I turn around, I have to connect to the internet to do anything. I do use the net for some information, but my life just doesn't revolve around it.

BP/CMB said...

"I think some of your comments are interesting and insightful, but your constant desire to get rid of anyone who makes any kind of mistake is irksome."

I think he might be referring to MS's bad track record generally for doing product demos. Based on what I've seen both first and second hand, they would be better off just doing Powerpoint slides with screenshots (and of course have two backup computers with the same slide show loaded and ready to go, and a secondary projections screen, just in case the primarily one comes unbolted from the ceiling and crashes to the stage!)

I give MS credit though, it looks like they are at least headed for the right hemisphere of computing with this move. We want our computers to become cheap, almost disposable and we want all our stuff to be accessible wherever we happen to be. The Windows paradigm doesn't do this (nor does the Linux or OS X paradigm for that matter). I've always thought that ultimately something like Linux will "win" the OS wars because we will no longer care about the OS.

Microsoft's search for something to rescue Windows/Office is sort of like someone who has once won the lottery and is now spending all their winnings trying to win a second time. I really think it's more about ego than good business, and if the customers needs get met somewhere in there it will be pure coincidence.

Individuals by and large do not need a spreadsheet program at all. They need something to manage their household finances (maybe) and that is a special purpose program, not a spreadsheet. More and more we also don't need fancy word processors. Party invitations go on the web. Most business transactions are done by almost unformatted e-mail. Official documents still need to be printed, but those are all boilerplate with a few blanks to fill in. You don't need Word for that.

People still depending on Office for day to day activities are like zombies. They've gradually learned to stop killing trees and lining up at the coy machine or printer, but they are still using tools aimed at printed paper. Their way of doing business is dead, they just don't know it yet.

What will a Microsoft look like that makes most of it's money doing web services? To be honest I'm not sure the company wants to work that hard. I think they would much rather do what Apple is doing, milk the computing franchise while transforming into something else, like home entertainment. Only I don't think you can get there from here (I don't think the party will last much longer for Apple either) and as those devices continue to comoditize we'll be back to buying such things from Sony or one of the up and coming Chinese companies. Unless Americans change rapidly we really don't need a "made in USA" face on these products at all.

The biggest question I have about the announcement is why does all this stuff only work with IE? That is so "business as usual" for MS. A great SURPRISE! effect would have been for it to be standards compliant from the start. Sure Microsoft has the resources to add Firefox (how about Safari, Opera?) support later, but WHY? Why piss of the millions of users already committed to another browser? Why implement something, KNOWING that you are going to turn around and re-implement it for the other browsers? From a technical point of view it seems really brain-dead. As if this whole thing was rushed out the door. But of course we know that wasn't the case. Right?

Anonymous said...

Mini, as an outsider and small business owner your hypothesis of slim and trim Microsoft are on track. Just from reading posts/opinions you could probably shed about 40% of the MS workforce. This is based on positive and negative comments / posts. As a business owner this is how we pick those that stay and those that go.
The team members that we had the opportunity to meet this year were all upbeat and focused on their task of "getting software out the door" as well as immediately identifying ways to make it better for an sp or next version.
We are not in the software business but an end user. IMHO, I think this is where your problem lies. Focus on the end user, after all these are the people who buy your products.
Would like to give a big thank you to the team that worked with us and included us (a small business) in the nether regions of the country in releasing their new software. Excellent job!
Just as an aside, get a new ad agency who will cut the dinosaurs for Office. Lame beyond belief!!!

Anonymous said...

to all the posters who keep whining that live.com doesn't work on firefox:

1. patience. it will.

2. ie has way more users so it makes sense to launch a service targeted at the platform that affects the most people. google and yahoo do the exact same thing because it just makes sense. it's not because they're trying to lock people into ie. if you had a big business to run, you'd launch on ie too or you'd go out of business.

3. it's ironic that msft is known as an arrogant company when it's the "os x alpha geek" crowd that comes off as arrogant, petty, impatient, and totally unreasonable. chill out.

Anonymous said...

live.com, start.com, terrible UI in firefox. I have no idea what it does??

MS guys learn from google. Let me list a few:

Google News (beta)
Google Maps (beta)

When they release something, it has the "WOW" factor...sooo elegant that makes me fall in love and dream google :)

TheKhalif said...

I hate anonymous comments

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Mr. TheKalif, how are you? It looks like you have a lot to say given your level of participation here.

How about recreating your blog (http://supergeniusguy.blogspot.com/ ?) and focusing what's on your mind there so that there's a place that you own with your message?

Tell your story. I see it in bits and pieces here but I think you would do better to put it all down in a linear fashion.

Sorry for posting this anonymously!
:-P

Anonymous said...

DevDiv has shipped VS2005 and .NET2.0 recently. This is a huge code base. A lot of work. Maybe this is not a step in the right direction from the philosophical point of view, but it was a big work and a lot of innovations. Something worth to be shown.

www.live.com looks like some student was doing his homepage and abandoned in the middle. Is it really worth to be shown? In 90ths everyone was making Web-"portals". What is the difference, except it has XML and DHML inside? The same news+stocks+weather crap.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. VS2005 is one kick-ass product. Hands down the best IDE in the world.

Anonymous said...

Learn from Yahoo too. See their feature packed, solid, mind-blowing map release and compare this to the live.com farce.

Anonymous said...

Take the example of Microsoft Live Mail a.k.a Kahuna. While PM Imran has a link about his dog in the Today's tab, he doesn't bother to even ask about the name of the contributor of a feedback or bug report. How about some respect for a user who is using miserable Internet Explorer to report bugs and suggest features? I am apalled by the Callous attitude of Imran, which shows whenever he writes something in his blog. And to tell you the truth, the new beta mail sucks. It is sluggish and very buggy, doesn't work on anything other than IE, and the screen layout simply won't work in smaller screens. I don't think it is any match for Gmail. Guys unless folks like Imran, who are in charge of things, tighten up Microsoft is destined to fail.

Anonymous said...

"Firefox support is coming soon. Please be patient :-)"

Ahh... sweet! Complete with colon-dash-backet! Let me guess... Couldn't afford a proper smiley, or simply hoping to remain accessible by sticking to ASCII?

Windows Live: redefinig amaturish. I say!

Daniel (I don't do annonymous) Walker
Former Wrox Press employee(remember them? They did a good line in "applied hubis" too!)

TheKhalif said...

Hey there, Mr. TheKalif, how are you? It looks like you have a lot to say given your level of participation here.

How about recreating your blog (http://supergeniusguy.blogspot.com/ ?) and focusing what's on your mind there so that there's a place that you own with your message?



At least make up a name. When I get around to it, I'll update my blog. It's not as fun as I thought it woul dbe.

Anonymous said...

Boys and Girls, keep your ESPPs and those now worthless options. MS is going to eat up Google soon, real soon. But before I dig into the "Live" thing, a few comments about the posts I have been reading here.

I have been at MS for a very long time. I agree with some of the posts about managers and stack ranking. I also understand that these are whinings from book-smart, street-dumb employees who haven't figured out how to perpetually excel at MS. I feel your pain, with your ivy-league degrees and the feeling of entitlement, only to be brow-beaten every review period by those people that sure know how to succeed. Yes, I am one of those perpetual 4.0 over-achievers who cannot be denied no matter the evaluation format adopted by any team. If I come to your team, in 2 weeks you will know that the 4.0 has been hijacked and you better hope for a 3.5 or less.

As much as most of you complain about stack ranking and the curve, the fact remains that average achievers will always be identifiable. I know that some people slip through the cracks and become managers but again if you are a super-achiever working for this dumb manager, you will know how to take advantage and excel. It is an art, and most of you that complain here need to find your way to Boeing where your average skills will ranked very high.

Lots of these whiners have remained in the same team for ages because they have no transferable skills, cannot learn anything new and complain whenever a new technical fad comes out, or simply are just average below the radar performers. In Microsoft, average just does not cut it. If you do the work you are hired for, you are an average employee at MS. Take your 3.0 and shut the eff up.

In all my years at MS, I have had 3.0 twice. When I joined MS (newbie = 3.0) and when I stupidly announced my intention to leave my group several months before the review process. I have learnt my political lessons. My good managers like having me around because I make them look good with my exceptional results. My bad managers are jealous because they see me as a threat. The trick is figuring this out quickly and escaping before anyone ruins your record. Yes it is sad but it is true at any company in the US.

Back to the "Live" thing. For those complaining about how it looks in Firefox or Safari etc, my answer is that you find the longest pole in your backyard and go do to your rear-end, what Dick Cheney recommends. You folks are open source zealots that will never like MS even if we discover the cure for AIDs. Go back to the blinking green cursor on your Linux boxes and figure out how to install a sound card driver.

Google is in deep doo-doo, I tell you. This is how MS starts with eating peoples' lunches. Of course due to the anti-trust thing, SteveB cannot use the same line he used for Netscape that came to pass. People are missing the key element. "Live" is not replacing Windows or Office but will "Supplement" them. Only old MSofties can see the subterranean innuendo there. It used to be "Embrace and Extend" (think about all those apps and companies we've bought), then "Embrace and Extinguish" (think about all those apps and companies we've bought and killed - somebody spell FoxPro), now it is "Supplement not Replace".

The power of the monopoly will be still be intact here and will infact be leveraged (Yes, Bill and Steve carefully chose their words and avoided any such statement). By the time Google realizes the depth of what is involved here, the deed will have been done.

For those complaining about the look of the Live.com site, you guys are really newbies. I worked on Access 1.0, which was one of the crappiest software ever shipped. But today where is DBase, Paradox, Sybase and the rest? We eff'ing killed them. Yeah go ahead and say MS doesn't innovate but note that all the innovators have gone bankrupt and are dead.

For those talking about crashed demos during "Live" in SFrisco, this shows that you guys are just fresh hires that haven't developed the thick skin required for software engineering, or if external to MS, you are one of the open source zealots referred to above. If you were around during the Win95 days, you will just laugh this off as SteveB did in the virtual meeting. IT DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. Heck this crash was not even as a result of our software glitch. The WiFi went down - Big Deal. BTW did anyone notice that www.google.com and all google web properties including blogspot went down last night 11/2 at around 11pm for several hours. YES, GOOGLE.COM WAS DOWN AND UNREACHABLE FOR HOURS!!!. I have checked my news sources this morning and no one has reported it. Guess if it was microsoft.com the press would have been screaming.

Finally as one who has seen my share of purported Microsoft-Killers (Java, Linux, etc), I tell you boys and girls that you are about to witness another of those events where employees come out as millionaires. Save your options and ESPP, and hang on for the ride. Delays or not, Vista will ship. "Live" will happen. Google will soon be confined to feeding off the scraps of the net. Check your history books about what happened to Eudora, Groupwise, Netware, Lotus Notes, Oracle, Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, etc.

Oh before I forget, Thank You Google for waking up the lion. Now sit still while we have you for dinner

Anonymous said...

Back under your bridge, stupid troll.

Miguel said...

Google's outage was due to an Internet infrastructure break. Can happen to Microsoft data centers too. Anyway, I'm hoping that Gadget developers can spur some innovation.

Anonymous said...

For the first time in ages, I'm actually pumped up by something SteveB and BillG said. I think the whole "live" concept makes total sense. It ain't ground-breaking, but geez -- keep the current biz model and add new ones -- how can you argue with that? Upper mgmt finally gives us something IMHO worth rallying around.

p.s., to the self-absorbed individual who's so proud of his ability to steamroll his coworkers on his way to 4.0s: please get a vasectomy.

Anonymous said...

I have been at MS for a very long time.

It doesn't sound like it: it sounds like you're just some dweeb, come in off the street.

In fact, in all likelihood, you probably actually, mean MSFT well, with all that "look at how big my weenie is" talk (and, but extension, how big MSFT's weenie is, I guess) but it actually just makes us all look like a bunch of assholes. Why anyone would need to post such an obvious spew of koolaid annonymously, I can't think. I've never heard anyone involved in serious software development at MSFT use the "go configure your sound card" argument against Linux for about four years, either -it's childish.

Sorry.

Fill under trash.

No hire.

TheKhalif said...

In all my years at MS, I have had 3.0 twice. When I joined MS (newbie = 3.0) and when I stupidly announced my intention to leave my group several months before the review process. I have learnt my political lessons. My good managers like having me around because I make them look good with my exceptional results. My bad managers are jealous because they see me as a threat. The trick is figuring this out quickly and escaping before anyone ruins your record. Yes it is sad but it is true at any company in the US.


Are you aware of the foolishness you just spouted? On the one hand you say that only average people get bad reviews, then you say if your manager is jealous of your abilities, you have no choice but to "abandon ship" so that he can't SCREW YOU.
So basically what you're saying is that you're happy because you are one of the geniuses responsible for the troubling times at MS and that anyone who wants to practice skills rather than asskissing is just an average person who likes to complain?

No wonder everyone of any substance is leaving!!!!

TheKhalif said...

Finally as one who has seen my share of purported Microsoft-Killers (Java, Linux, etc), I tell you boys and girls that you are about to witness another of those events where employees come out as millionaires. Save your options and ESPP, and hang on for the ride. Delays or not, Vista will ship. "Live" will happen. Google will soon be confined to feeding off the scraps of the net. Check your history books about what happened to Eudora, Groupwise, Netware, Lotus Notes, Oracle, Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, etc.


And before I forget all of those companies relied on the Windows Desktop, Google is not reliant on the Windows desktop directly. Unless MS learns to "play well with others" the story will stay the same.

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

Finally as one who has seen my share of purported Microsoft-Killers (Java, Linux, etc), I tell you boys and girls that you are about to witness another of those events where employees come out as millionaires. Save your options and ESPP, and hang on for the ride. Delays or not, Vista will ship. "Live" will happen. Google will soon be confined to feeding off the scraps of the net. Check your history books about what happened to Eudora, Groupwise, Netware, Lotus Notes, Oracle, Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, etc.

It's not 1995 anymore. All those products you listed were client apps. Microsoft doesn't seem to know how to compete on the web. They tried to stave off the web and succeeded for half a decade via IE and their attack policy against Java. Microsoft the company is also quite different from what it was ten years ago.

I sense the tech industry "tiring" of Microsoft. Blu-Ray is using Java (let's face it, HD-DVD is dead in the water). Google is tops. People are openly embracing alternative technologies, and now Windows and Office are only around because they are the old standards, and they're being threatened by the web and OpenOffice.

I think a lot of Microsoft's announcements lately are technologies searching for a problem.

Anonymous said...

Boys and Girls, keep your ESPPs...Yes, I am one of those perpetual 4.0 over-achievers who cannot be denied no matter the evaluation format adopted by any team. If I come to your team, in 2 weeks you will know that the 4.0 has been hijacked and you better hope for a 3.5 or less.

Bravo. That whole post was great satire. The sad thing is how many of my coworkers fit a slightly toned down version of this elitist, high performing smugness.

Anonymous said...

A few comments for the troll post ...

1) I agree with your comments about stack ranking except that I don't share your enthusiasm. What does it say about the concept of stack ranking when people like yourself (anonymously of course) have the goal of destroying coworkers to get a better score? It doesn't speak highly of it. The issue is that every review 1/3 of the people at the company are demoralized. You can do all the 4.0 work you like, you won't be able to make up for how demoralized they get, and that affects the bottom line of the company.
2) As TheKhalif has noted, the net is not a Windows property as the examples you cited are. Virtually all of the big websites use non-Microsoft server product to host their sites, but even ignoring that, it's not an OS or an Office application. Unlike the examples you cited, Google is a household name and Linux is certainly growing in popularity.
3) If Windows Vista has even so much as a link to live.com in IE when it ships, Microsoft will get slapped down pretty hard. This will be watched even more closely now that it's called "Windows Live".
4) Windows Live is really just MSN rebranded. Looking at Live.com, I think it's going to be another Microsoft Bob (check your history books on that one), except this time they'll have floundered their chance to really make a killer app. Honestly, the people at MSN are f*cking idiots.

All in all, I agree with several posters. I don't believe that the stock price will be making millionaires out of rank and file employees anytime soon and I don't believe 1) you get good review scores or 2) you've been at the company a long time.

Anonymous said...

ie has way more users so it makes sense to launch a service targeted at the platform that affects the most people. google and yahoo do the exact same thing because it just makes sense. it's not because they're trying to lock people into ie

OK, then answer this: will the service work well on any reasonably standards-compliant browser by the time it's out of "beta"? Or will there be stuff that only Windows or IE users will get, and you second-class Mac/Firefox users had better settle for whatever crumbs we deign to give you?

If the answer is the first case, then more power to you. If it's the second, you're not getting it, please try again. There's simply no reason in 2005 why choosing a different OS or browser should relegate you to second-class citizenship on the Internet, other than sheer laziness and/or a desire for lock-in.

I've worked at MS when we made choices exactly like that (provided "uplevel" and "downlevel" clients, where we were using all kind of ActiveX proprietary crap for the uplevel stuff, and everyone else gets leftovers), so I'm well familiar with this (admittedly, this was in the days before DHTML and Javascript were mature enough to do what we did in ActiveX). Show me things have changed, and I'll happily send you money- I might be a Mac user, but the dollars you get from me spend just as well in a bank as a Windows user.

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

Oh, and while I'm at it, Mini-

If you want a good example of mini-Microsoft, check out the Macintosh Business Unit.

About 200 people ship:

- Virtual PC
- The Office for Macintosh suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Entourage, which is the Mac version of Outlook).

Now granted, the MacBU folks use some of the code and resources from the Windows side of things (since, while they do keep separate codebases, they have to integrate some changes otherwise they couldn't keep reading WinOffice documents, and vice versa), but think about that for a minute. 200 people can basically ship a version of Office, win awards for it, and so on. And they don't have the advantage of being able to take a shuttle to another building to talk with the OS people (Apple's sort of notorious in the industry for handing out exploding cigars to their developers- "Yeah, that technology we announced at our developer conference last year? Dead. By the way, you need to support a new processor now. And switch compilers.")

I wonder what would happen if you cut the WinWord/WinXL/WinOutlook team down to 200 people...

Anonymous said...

Ads...

Yes.

Why?

Because this is clearly a network oriented venture. The more people participating, the more valuable it becomes. And there are a LOT of people who won't even look at it if they have to pay a subscription. If it doesn't reach critical mass it will be just another online failure.

But if the virtuous cycle of more users -> more value -> more users happens, revenue from advertising could be huge.

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

Some of the problem is that I don't think you MSFT devs actually want to "crush" Open Source, at all! Am I wrong? After all, yes, some of Open Source is lame, but a lot is very very cool... and it's the cool you guys don't want to crush. I guess that, even the lame, you kinda allow some wiggle-room for - it's inevitable in that kind of development model.

The problem is, you MSFT folks under strict orders to hate people you don't actually hate: maybe people who, in some cases, you actually admire a bit...

It's hard, isn't it? Being ordered to hate people and drive them out of their livelihoods on the behest of people who will personally profit from such an action, but who won't necessarily hand those benefits on to your selves...?

Even if you were that mercinary a creature as to go along with such a plan, you must surely question why you cut of the cake wasn't bigger than it is?

I'll lay my cards down. As a pragmatic Open Source developer, I have to say, I mean you MSFT people no harm. If you build something I can interoperate with, then 'so much richer the world is', IMO. I like the idea of calling on webservices, or APIs, or document types, that you guys provide, and delivering corresponding resultsets that you guys can pick up on, and work with. I'm not a Unix fascist, even though I like Unix. I see Open Source as being something way beyond some version of "free Unix". I'm willing to learn new technologies, and I don't mind if they're from MSFT.

The point is, cool stuff is cool stuff: it should be allowed to thrive as such, without needing to use words like "leveraging" or "market share". Cool always wins, if it's given a free rein (ultimately, the only other choice is koolaide, after all... which is a lonely way to be).

Maybe I'm an idealist (what Open Source developer isn't, to some extent?), but the truth is, I like building stuff for my customer's own requirements - stuff that helps them get their job done. If that nvoles interfacing with MSFT products, I don't mind - I just wish it was easier!

I hope and believe you guys are like that, too. To be honest, I'd like to work with you... but it's those belligerant little "denyers" at the top of your corp., that piss me off! The ones who want to lock-in... and build little empires.

Little is the word, too, isn't it? 'Locking in', denys markets the chance to grow. 'Locking in' keeps markets small.

I mean, look at Samba: the Samba team doesn't tell you guys how to define you network, it tries to work with it. But the marketingdroids at MSFT say it must not be so....

So CIFS/SMB file system remains the enemy with the olders in HP-UX and IRIX, and Netware, etc. rather than become an industry standard!

Is MSFT a market leader, at the moment? Hell, yes: of course it is... but only because the entire industry is having to follow behind it, wherever it goes on its ponderous way.

I'll tell you this: I don't actually trust Google, all that much, but I trust them to come up with some mega smart ideas, and I don't blame you guys for thinking that the same isn't true of MSFT anymore.

What a shame!

Anonymous said...

>The problem is, you MSFT folks under strict orders to hate people you don't actually hate

Rarely have I seen anyone deriding open source in MS, and the few times that I have, the person was quickly answered and corrected. There is intense focus at all levels on how to get people to use our products instead of OSS, but I'd hardly call that hate.

The notion that MS, as a whole, hates open source is merely a fantasy of the OSS lunatic fringe.

Anonymous said...

MS do not want to crash any soft. MS is not intereesting in soft. MS want to grab markets. It is how MS works. It does not create markets, it grabs existing markets. Balmer said recently: Google has a market, it must be our market. Netscape had a market, now it is out of business. The difference is that Google created his market as well as Netscape created his market. MS did not create any new market ever. I do not know about anything, MS created. MS is coming to existing promising market and push everyone out. This is a style of business. This is bad in long term -- it causes a depression of market and as a result all problems we have.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the frustration about the new transgender surgery coverage happening before Lasik ever gets covered, think of this...Even at 15K a surgery for the transgender, the volume of them will be minimal compared to the number of Lasik procedures that would be done (I know I'd be in line for a Lasik if it were covered). On the plus side, the line above the TG surgery mentioned new/expanded coverage for hearing aids.

Anonymous said...

The notion that MS, as a whole, hates open source is merely a fantasy of the OSS lunatic fringe.

And the "Me too"-fan boys of the Microsoft Lunatic fringe, as well, of course!

Witness:
"Go back to the blinking green cursor on your Linux boxes and figure out how to install a... blah, blah... semi-imformed waffle... my big cock... you're all weaners... Microsoft will eat Google... here, catch this chair..."

Anonymous said...

"Check your history books about what happened to Eudora, Groupwise, Netware, Lotus Notes, Oracle, Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, etc."

All of those products are still around. Smaller market share, mayhaps.

Except for Notes -- that still is growing 20% a year, and has more users than most MS products.

Oh, and Oracle. Oh, yeah, what a failure that company was, what with buying other major players and being one of the behemoths of the industry.

So... what was your point?

Harris said...

I think the microsoft sharea in a good conition, not very high but not very low wither and it has a good market, better then GOOGLE who have shares of $350. every toher it company has to rely on Microsoft for their products.

Anonymous said...

I think the comment earlier about the Mac Business Unit (aka Microsoft's Red-Headed Stepchild) and its 200 employees really hit the nail on the head. However, I think Microsoft simply wouldn't want the publicity of letting a bunch of people go, because it would look so bad to the industry (I can see the entry on www.f*ckedcompany.com now). Maybe after Vista ships, the the company can think about paring its employee counts down to streamline them.

Microsoft is just way too big, in too many markets, doing too many things. It's lost a lot of its identity and focus.

I take a look at companies like Apple and how much they've come along with a brand new operating system in the last five years. Of course, they had a lot of open source code to rely on, but that just illustrates their efficiency and strategy. And one of the interesting things Jobs has said is that it's just as important at Apple to say "no" to a 1,000 things.

But, I think nothing that gets posted here will change anything. Microsoft will continue its insane pursuit of Google instead of just being Microsoft and putting out great versions of Windows, Office, and a few other things. Instead of a 1,000 things that most of which suck (new MCE, blech)...

Anonymous said...

"All of those products are still around. Smaller market share, mayhaps."

'mayhaps'. understatement of the century. To cover the "big" players you mentioned - Novell is still on the wane - and Notes 20% growth - where did you get that fact from? show some stats to back up your marketing-speak. I've worked with over 100 companies in the past year from a messaging perspective - those on notes are either migrating to exchange, or are planning to stick with their current notes version due to not knowing what is happening with the product. That doesn't look like 20% growth to me...It's pretty clear that IBM's main interest in notes is as an outlet to generate consultancy revenue. no more no less

Anonymous said...

"Just like we have the wonderful Michael Howard for security"

LOL - are you kidding me? The last thing we need are more Michael Howards. He was the fellow who inflicted threat modelling on us all, and the 1-month security push that did nothing except fix an arbitrary bunch of buffer overruns. Michael Howard is an example of part of the problem with Windows these days - too much process and bureaucracy and theory, and not enough cutting features and getting the hell out of developers' way so we can finish the product.

Richard Dun and Mario Dun said...

You know, that guy who asked earlier about interoperability is right. Will MS Office Live work for Firefox, Safari, or Opera?

I'm not against Office Live. It would be kindah cool to collaborate with some other author LIVE through WORD Live--which is one possible application of this new product. But if it's not interoperable with other browsers...

I'm not a fan of the ACID test. I think standards made by a committee are usually stupid and slow. There's no reason why IE can't make the rules for all WEBPAGES to follow. As long as the browser context is useful, easy to learn/use, who cares if it's a major company that owns the rules. However, i do take exception to monopolies that abuse their power. There's no fault in being number 1 but deciding to that you don't need to improve IE anymore,and then proceed to dismantle the IE R&D--That's just evil.

Microsoft can't be trusted to hold another position of power. I don't trust them. And if you don't have that trust, how are you going to ask people to manipulate their private content (.doc, .xls) online?

Anonymous said...

how do I send you an email?

Check out this link to see why MS isn't going to return to growth mode.

http://www.sterlinghoffman.com/cgi-bin/index.pl?p=newsletter/articles/article214.html

Doc

Anonymous said...

The horse left the barn a while ago - there's already folks out there like Solve360 - http://www.norada.com that add useful small business tools to the mix and already support Firefox, Safari, and even IE!

Gone are the days when Microsoft can just walk into a new field and be guaranteed to dominate it within a couple of years. Microsoft has no idea what people actually need in collaboration tools. They’re two years behind technically, and about 20 years behind philosophically.

internet marketing said...

Appreciated your thoughts.

Steve @
http://www.lifeincome.org

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