Monday, November 07, 2005

VS Service Packs, Big City Critics, and Shareholder Check-Up

VS: A recent comment points us to a blog entry that wraps the VS 2005 crash / hang problems up in a pretty package:

Scott Wiltamuth (Visual C# PUM): Servicing plans for VS 2003 and VS 2005 . Snippet:

We have plans for two service pack releases for the first part of 2006:

·         VS 2003 SP1 is scheduled for April 2006.  We have done much of the work for this release already, and are anxious to get it to you.

·         VS 2005 SP1 is scheduled for the first half of 2006.  We will be more specific about the date in a few months, once we have more customer data.

Eric Maino followed up the post-Whidbey MQ, though, with the post MQ... did I hear service pack? that clarifies that MQ is not about producing a quality-focused service pack but rather turning into a more agile group and tuning internal processes. I do hope any time spent on quality in the code base can be fed into fixing major issues that customers might run into.

It's interesting that the two VS 2005 posts here received some of the most negative feedback in a while. Too alarmist? Molehill to mountain? Well, I've received plenty of black-eyes dealing with regressions in Whidbey over the past year, so I'm always half-cocked now when it comes to finding customers dealing with their own issues in the RTM quality, especially over reported issues angering our customers who pay good money.

(Oh, and Darryl: I don't mind helping to provide some good source material and links and all, but how about a link back or a mention or throwing some kind attribution bone?)

Rolling Thunder: So, with VS and SQL Server out the door... let's look for more positive things to talk about... hey, that stock price keeps going up! Any day it goes up at least $0.01 is a good day, and as of late, since the Live announcement, it's been on the up trend. Go, Pipeline, Go! I was always happy to play with Start.com but I got to say I was very surprised to see it thrust upon the world as Live.com. It was like yanking that talented high-school thespian off-stage and throwing them into the lead on Broadway (no offense to Start.com folks). The Big City critics were not kind.

Joe Wilcox again bemoaned the Microsoft attitude of "launching" products way, way, way before they are ready for primetime (Is Live DOA?). I, too, believe the time of launching just an idea is past us and when we have a big shindig, it has to be because we're launching something that's polished and ready to take on the world.

Not to bring up Apple and Steve Jobs and all that, but... when Mr. Jobs announces the new consumer hardware, it's not a prototype. It's something you can go to the store and buy later that day. It's done. Well, okay, it might scratch a little. But it's not some distant thunder.

I also mentioned how I thought Microsoft's growth in the Start.com space was a way to go after the Alpha Geeks. I still do, but what I forgot is that you have to take a moment to ponder what the Alpha Geeks are currently geeking over. I remembered Mac OS X. I forgot about Firefox. Yes, if you're going after the Alpha Geek mavens, you'd better understand your persona a little bit better and make sure your work can even render in their world. Playing nice in a Firefox web-based world is important. It's important in that the Alpha Geeks are the 4.5 contributors of the technical world. There are things they can do and people they can influence in a way no one else can, and if your coolness doesn't ever render on their screen, they're elsewhere.

Ship it! There's been talk of shipping often cropping up, looking at ship cycles of 18 or 24 months, for the major products. I've seen it as having been spoken by Mr. Ballmer but I haven't seen a direct quote yet. I (obviously, as of late) don't want to ship for the sake of shipping, but getting on a closer cycle like this is a good thing. And a forcing function that kicks out contributors and No-Birds who can't keep up.

Shareholders, how are we doing? So shareholders (Microsofties and non-Microsofties), take a moment, if you would, to consider what you expect out of this company over the next year and how on-track we are to deliver on your expectations. What's going well? What not so well? What are your expectations of Microsoft post shipping VS, SQL Server, Office, and Windows?

The coming year holds the greatest potential in a long time for Microsoft given that, to paraphrase Steve Ballmer, we're shipping just about every product we have. The stock has all the potential in the world to rise out of the horizontal slump it has been in. But will it stay there up there and keep growing? Will this be a thrilling ride to the top and then back down into the mid- or lower-twenties?

Personally, I think we can hold our ground and continue improving if we:

  • Focus on what it takes to streamline the development process of getting fantastic features out there and shipped.
  • Take on common sense, agile strategies to reduce wasted energy (and to identify redundant staff).
  • Sell to the consumer. The everyday Joe and Jane. What does Microsoft even mean to them? Sure, kiss the IT decision maker if you must, but start wooing the consumer with software products and services that delight them and that make their lives easier and that makes them appreciate Microsoft as a great company.
  • Decouple the product groups as much as possible. Coordinate, but do not depend upon. Trust, but verify. Integrated innovation is what landed us with this stuffed pipe.
  • Other improvements you'd like to be assured of?

(Work duties call and the only time I'll be spending here during the next week is deleting naughty comments. See you next week.)

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gosh Mini.........
Your blog has started to go a bit stale. Am I the only one who thinks that the sparkle is missing?

Please regard this as constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

A note on the live.com and start.com browser compatibility issues. There is plenty of cross browser html and css available, there should be no reason that MS can't make this stuff work on all standards compliant browsers. Google does it. Do they just have better developers than Microsoft?

The whole point of the web and "web 2.0" is cross platform. If Microsoft ignores that, then they'll have missed the point once again.

The web is supposed to be a write once platform but then we all know who ruined that, and they're probably trying again now. Every browser needs to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. The best browsers are the ones that properly display standards compliant html. The rest will be "managed out".

I think customers have had enough of Microsoft's IE only or IE first attitude. Any more of that will only help to drive customers away.

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

To the second poster: unfortunately MS is not the only company guilty of this. My company's intranet (based upon our own technology!) is only rendering properly in IE... and I have a feeling that our customers will suffer from this, too, if they run our portal.

In the internal newsgroups the developers are getting quite some flak for this though, so there is hope left...

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

To Anonymous 3 and 5:

Mini has said multiple times that this blog is as much about the responses as his own posts. What do your responses have to offer? Anything specific or constructive? If you think mini is being unclear or unfocused, why don't you bring some focus or clarity yourself?

If this free anonymous blog isn't meeting your personal high standards, I don't think we need to tell you where the door is.

Accusing mini of being too focused on his/her (anonymous) celebrity? Yeah, that's likely.

So you're feeling "ashamed" of his posts? Well don't beat yourself up over it. If you feel you can make a better difference with your own blog then what's stopping you? Then you can refer your friends to your own blog and stop living your life in such horrible shame.

Keep it up mini. You're making a difference and at the same time helping other people with productive posts to make their own difference.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7,

Anonymous 3 here. To answer your question, the comments you refer to (let's call them 3 and 5 for simplicity's sake amd might as well throw 7 into the mix) invoked an impassioned defense for the validity, power and privlege of the Anonymous.

Useful cocktail of comments, it seems.

Anonymous said...

More anti-competition nonsense
http://news.lp.findlaw.com/ap/o/51/11-07-2005/37810008733f9b24.html

Why exactly is it illegal to sell a new product at the price we want? It's not like we're giving it away or paying people to use it.

Anonymous said...

Mini,
This Blog started off as a fantastic example of how a single voice CAN make a difference. But now, you just can’t seem to extend those 15 minutes.
GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS.
Work on the problems you started out trying to solve (getting good employees, keeping them, slim the company down).
You know… You’ve become like one of those “flash-in-the-pan” movie stars that stands in front of the camera and says “I’m really focused on starving children in Africa right now.” It’s understandable. I mean, who wants to be known for just ONE thing when all these people are watching. Please come back Tom Cruise… We like your acting; we don’t need you to solve all the problems of the world… Mini? Are you in there?

Anonymous said...

Make up your mind, Mini.

Do you want to cater to the Alpha Geeks, or do you want the stock price to go up?

"Alpha Geeks", as you call them, tend to go for free stuff. If it isn't Open Source and free, they tend to not care. Linux didn't explode because it was good. It exploded because it was free, and then people acted on it until it was good.

On the other hand, if you maximize your earnings, you will be doing work that the Alpha Geek just won't care about. They will go back to their free, new technoliges, and have fun improving them.

So what do you care about more -- your share price, or the geek quality?

Anonymous said...

How can you not be absolutely raving mad at the fact that SP1 for Visual Studio 2003 is shipping 3 years later???!!!! This is precisely why open-source tools gain so much ground. How much has Eclipse changed in 3 years? Let's ask Ward....

Who da'Punk said...

Holy smokes, folks, the first wave of comments make me wish I wore a tie so that I could yank it about like Rodney Dangerfield and muse about lack of respect in the world. I post what I post. Your time is just as precious as mine and if you chose to invest it elsewhere please do so. But it would be even worse if I snapped to and danced out text to meet your desires according to your missives.

If there's a particular message you're looking for, perhaps the person best to provide it to the world is you. Stop complaining about what you're reading and start typing and sharing.

Or find something else to read.

Mini.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to cater to the Alpha Geeks, or do you want the stock price to go up?

Apple has ended up with the Alpha-Geek crowd and their stock has also gone up, though I don't know if the two are related. Nor do I know if Apple ever went after the Alpha Geek crowd (I can't imagine that even being a thought that crossed Jobs' mind).

I believe the point here is that Alpha Geek == Influencer (I think Scoble has been talking about getting the influencers in our camp as of late). If you have the influencers in your camp, greater things might happen in the long term.

Anonymous said...

re: staleness and sparkle and root returnin': I have read this blog long enough to notice that past post as being a retrospective rehash looking back at some previous posts. It happens. It used to take a week or two to happen, but it happens. Hopefully that "back to basics" post will have a gravity pull for mini's muse.

Just for blast from the past:
http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2005/09/back-to-basics.html

that was just two months ago. Then the reorg and publicity hit. I agree... the muse probably got on the wrong train.

or... is it that the commenters work in VS and would appreciate the attention to be elsewhere? 8-)

are there mini-suppliments in the meantime?

Anonymous said...

you want to see redundant staff eliminated? Go talk to your execs who are still hiring like crazy as if collecting trophies.

Anonymous said...

Mini,

I join the few others regretting the focus and clear mission you had in the previous posts. When I read the latest posts about VS, I thought that someone else wrote them.

As you said, you're free to write whatever you want, and we can read someone else's blog. But your blog sparked something inside a lot of people. You’ve put into words what a lot of us were thinking. Today, people are looking at you, as the guy who can change Microsoft.
This is a heavy stuff and I could understand you may not want to carry it -- but I surely wish you do, and keep your focus on your campaign at making a better Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the blog is getting bored. I understand, that real problems can't be formulated here, because they will never be addressed. But changing seats or adjusting the process slightly can't help.
The worst thing in Microsoft is that top managers lost the feeling of reality. Maybe they are under false impression, that they do not need to feel reality anymore, they are so powerful, they can create own reality. This is partially true, because there is a generation already which do not remember pre-microsoft computing era.
And as a result, it creates an atmosphere of formal lie inside Microsoft. Noone raise real issues, just read mails coming from the top: we always do an excelent job, we always on the top of innovations, customers love us, etc. No issues. We do not have issues. Only maybe just change seats to make our products even better.
But all of it can't finish good. The software progress is already depressed by Microsoft for at least ten years. Our software getting bigger and worse. I can't imagine developer who will love VS2005. Only maybe someone with just VB experience. We have spent several years to redo VB. What we were doing in SQL for 7 years? We just redo and redo, and making it bigger and slower. The real innovation is not here. We are dinosaurs. We must die. And make a space for different smaller, faster and smarter mammals.
The good thing that we could die organisationally, not physically. But I'm afraid, I'll die physically before it happens.

Anonymous said...

The paranoid individual inside me starts to wonder if there isn't a "purposeful" effort of some anonymous individuals to flood the comments with "the sparkle is gone, this blog is meaningless" posts to combat the negative light Mini can shine on things.

Are people seriously that upset that Mini linked to some first-hand accounts of major bugs shipping in VS2005?

It wouldn't be the first time people in MSFT have taken to astroturfing. Just be aware is all I'm saying. This blog seems fine to me, just as interesting as ever, and at the perfect time. While competitors are shipping and announcing new products left and right (and left and right...geez, slow down, Apple! Intel Macs in January?!), it's still a whole other year for the big company gamble, Vista, to come out. You think publicity is tough now? We still have another twelve months to go. So get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Stale?

What else is there to write about Microsoft?

* It's a fading monopoly.
* The stock is flat to down for five years.
* The 11 billion shares used to grow the company and attract talent is coming back to bite
* People are leaving the company for high growth/exciting places to work like Goggle.
* It appears the top management is focused on extracting out as much wealth from the company before the stock nosedives when revenue growth passes into negative range.
* All attempts/projects attempting to generate new areas of revenue growth are washes to outright disasters like the Xbox/360.
* And Balmer is doing a good job of convincing the computing world that no one of any competence is at the wheel at Microsoft these days.

A train-wreck can only hold one's attention for so long.

Anonymous said...

Stale?

What else is there to write about Microsoft?

* It's a fading monopoly.
* The stock is flat to down for five years.
* The 11 billion shares used to grow the company and attract talent is coming back to bite
* People are leaving the company for high growth/exciting places to work like Goggle.
* It appears the top management is focused on extracting out as much wealth from the company before the stock nosedives when revenue growth passes into negative range.
* All attempts/projects attempting to generate new areas of revenue growth are washes to outright disasters like the Xbox/360.
* And Balmer is doing a good job of convincing the computing world that no one of any competence is at the wheel at Microsoft these days.

A train-wreck can only hold one's attention for so long.

Anonymous said...

You don't want to be in the situation where the PHBs are saying, "Buy Microsoft", and the technical people are saying, "No, Microsoft is a bunch of losers, go with JBoss, Apache, Eclipse, and here's a bunch of technical reasons why."

Note that I am not saying that the other technology is necessarily better. I am saying that the tech people may want something other than Microsoft because of either technical or emotional reasons, but they can blow enough tech-speak at the PHB to convince the PHB that technically, the best choice is not Microsoft.

What you want is the situation where the tech people are telling the PHB, "We've got to get some of this new Microsoft stuff, we can do so much more with it." Again, it may not be because the Microsoft stuff is technically any better, but because the tech people want it. Why do they want it? Not because of the Microsoft brand. They want it either because they really think it is better, or because they think it's cool.

So, the point is, the alpha geeks matter a lot. They matter because they are kind of the arbiters of what's cool, and they have influence far beyond their numbers. You want them on your side. Play nicely with them.

(Now, personally, I despise all this "cool" part. I think decisions should be made on the basis of the best tool for the job, not based on coolness. But even there, nobody can know everything. So when trying to evaluate a couple of competing tools, the tech people often have to listen to somebody else's opinion (or, better, experience) with certain tools, and we're right back to why the alpha geeks matter.)

No, Mini hasn't slipped a few gears. He's right. Live had better work on all browsers, just because customers have all browsers. And it had better work in particular on the browsers that alpha geeks disproportionately use: Firefox and... whatever it is that runs on OSX. Safari, is it?

MSS (watching his geek cred go down in flames for not knowing what the OSX browser is...)

Anonymous said...

What the HELL is up with the bugs that go along with all the "service Pack" upgrades that give you error messages later, like "Domain name not found" and not until you click the damn thing thirty times, will it disappear!

And by the way, you could at least spell Balmer right! I guess that's not part of the job description...

Anonymous said...

I'm happy Microsoft Released this. I'm coding away like a mad man with just the default tools. I love it. I think it's just cool fad to bash the big guy, but I'm a happy customer, they get my $$.

Anonymous said...

funny how anonymous posters called others "anonymous posters". A few posters say they don't enjoy the blog anymore and suddenly there is a conspiracy theory that MSofties are out to poison the blog. Mini is busy pulling comments that are not showering praises on his new found celebrity.

I understand the importance of this blog to those so called "alpha geeks" who want MS to bow to them or wish MS dead or both. Still they don't want to pay for software and are conjuring stories about how google is going to save the world. The alpha geeks are happy MS seems to be imploding from the posts they see here. If only they knew.....Poor google, now they are being seen as the emerging big evil in Silicon Valley.

Anyway quick tip to those that want to post their views but are afraid that Mini will yank them because they don't follow the typical MS-bashing. Post your comments during the day. Mini is scared shitless to work on the blog from work incase the ITweb sleuths nab him. Maybe he is aware that they are closing in.... Sorry I can't say more on that.

TheKhalif said...

I'm happy Microsoft Released this. I'm coding away like a mad man with just the default tools. I love it. I think it's just cool fad to bash the big guy, but I'm a happy customer, they get my $$.

Ditto, I love VS 2005. I haven't even used the RTM yet and I know it will be SUPER, to coin an MS term. I want all who found bugs to actually write something that has a purpose and see how it works.

I can't wait to see the first ASP.Net 2.0 websites. I'm even changing web hosts to use ASP.

misterorange said...

Hey Mini, great post. I've been reading you for awhile now.

I think the difference between this post and others is that you did the following:

- You want MS to cater to Alpha Geek Influencers

- You want MS to make a ton of cash

Google broke the advertising business model wide open. Microsoft broke open the desktop space. They have "web initiatives" which do nothing for mom and pop (unlike placing context-sensitive ads in strategic places), and even less for Alpha Geeks.

Why? Because even though it was free it mocked (and STILL doesn't work with Firefox).

If you can't work with Firefox out the gate, just let it go. You're not going to win the Alpha Geek crowd. You'll only be ridiculed.

But with 10% of the internet on Firefox, whatcha gonna do? Alienate 10% of potential purchases or interest? What is more important?

MS takes -forever- to release software packages, yet we hold you over a fire when they have bugs in them. Why? Two fold:

- MS has historically been "We release it with very few bugs. You should be trying VERY hard to break our shite."

However...

- Release early and release often is completely reliant on online users keeping their software up to date and available to be patched.

These two camps battle one another, with Bad PR infesting the first, and a straining on resources (including the dev staff) with the latter.

From the outside looking in, it seems like MS suffers what is basically Grandfather Process syndrome: With enough bureacracy and processes put into place to keep a company of that size stable and managable on a herd-like scale, you simply can't be agile. Releasing early and often breaks dependencies and causes headaches.

Modular will not happen in a company like MS without serious disconnect from what others are doing.

Gmail doesn't invade Froogle which has absolutely no impact on Google Talk. These services and applications are developed in a vacuum and join the others by proxy, not by design.

Good luck, I hope you post more often instead of less often. I truly believe this blog has done a lot of good for the company that is Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

Resolved: Microsoft is better-served when it is engaged in aggressive competition with other companies or platforms (e.g., Google, Apple, Netscape, IBM, Borland, WordPerfect, OSS/FSF), and much of the recent stagnation is a result of having killed off (Netscape) or seriously wounding (Apple, Real) competitors in such a way that there was no compeition in most of their markets.

Discuss. (Feel free to take either side of the proposition.)

Anonymous said...

[i]Microsoft is better-served when it is engaged in aggressive competition with other companies or platforms[/]

True, but the one fight everyone remembers is the Netscape one, though, isn't it? because why? Because (appart from the fact that Nestscape 4.x wseries were ALL bloody awful browsers) after winning that war Microsoft just let the whole thing fall into disarray. They won the war and then couldn't find any use for the peace. Meanwhile Amazon, Yahoo, and (insert some other well known online brand that has missed my attention, here) grabbed all the space that was actuallybeing used by all those IE users. What was it all for, if the company was going to that with it?

I mean, let's be honest. How long did Microsoft let it's browser languish at 6.0 before threatening to update it?

The entire IT world was sitting back and thinking [i]"well, what the f**k was that all about, then? Sure we got 'Knife the babay" and that stuiff about teh 'oxygen supply'...and a few other embarrasingly macho quotes that made Microsoft look like a bunch of half drunkedn assholes... and a bunch of people lost thir jobs at Netscape... But WHAT, exactly, was that all about?"[/i]

A few people out of their livelihoods, and we are left with a deault Windows browser that I have heard regular people (I mean users: noy "Alpha geeks") people referring, laughingly, to as the "broken grey rectangle"?

And, when faced with Safari (no tabbed browsing - unlike KHTML - less reliable at blocking popups than the KHTML it is allegedly based upon) Microsoft retreated from the "OS X" platform without a whimper siting the fact that "Apple owned the OS and so there was no way they coulkd compete..." (Gee where'd they get THAT idea?)

I mean Apple were deploying a browser in version 1.0 that was based on nthe most marginal of marginal browsers, and Microsoft just retreated! What's going on? Even the Berlin Wall needed a sledge hammer to bring it down. Apple brought IE-for-Mac down with a feature-reduced Konqueror!

This is Reason Number 1, why people don't trust the Microsoft monoply: they fear that Microsoft's main aim has become to actively DRIVE any innovation out of the market and then sit back and rake in the cash - same as always.

Anonymous said...

.

Anonymous said...

Decouple the product groups as much as possible. Coordinate, but do not depend upon. Trust, but verify. Integrated innovation is what landed us with this stuffed pipe.

What products could you actually decouple?

Wouldn't you have to write so much extra code just to not depend upon another group that you create a different reason for not shipping in a timely manner?

Anonymous said...

A note to somebody who wrote about decoupling the product lines ...

Here is my 2cents

The idea is bull crap and without merits at all. MS is a 30 year old company with strong foundation in OS and everyone of their flagship products relies for some part on OS. Would you be able to separate Office from Windows? I doubt it.

MS stock is going up, which makes me feel really bad. Pissed off, I didnt buy it when it was around 24.XXX.

As far as mini's blog and the whole nine yards - Mini's comments seems to indicate that he is not a Mr. Incredible. He is ONLY trying to report problems more like a thoughtful and investigative journalist.

He is himself said he writes his own thoughts and the whole idea of management cut down and all that is way out of the door.

I know for a fact that this will be yanked because mini may get offended. ooooooo but do I care ...

Anyway YOU'ALL have to understand one thing. This blog is worth a piece of shit because the administration doesnt listen to you. Did you read the latest news that MS is going to hire 1000-1300 programmers for MSN.

Lot of comments about VS vs other free tools. I have been using ONLY VS-6 and I am happy with it. I started using VS-7 and boy it is pretty good.

Dont come to this blog and exaggerate that VS will crash your work. Hell yeah - what are you a 50 year old crackpot who doesnt know to save your work as you type along. Even my mom knows that ...

The product is simply outstanding except for speed. Great UI stuff.

What I dont understand is if MS keeps hiring people like sheep of herd, how is it going to help the org? I doubt it is ONLY going to go down.

I think in all honesty MS stock will definitely go higher next year considering XBox and Vista and office. But face it, the company is no longer a cool company to work for.

And all you guys should wipe off your arrogance and ego when you think next time, anybody who didnt get into MS is inferior.

Surely I would be suprised if mini the man is, will let this post survive.

Who da'Punk said...

Surely I would be suprised if mini the man is, will let this post survive.

Well, I have to say, when I read your comment I was a bit quizzical, like a cat pondering a Picasso. How could I delete something like that?

Mini.

Anonymous said...

re: [i]Microsoft is better-served when it is engaged in aggressive competition with other companies or platforms[/] & Anonymous @ 1:52....

If IE proves anything it proves in many ways this is no longer true. IE may also mark the turning point where this change started...

With IE MS could have released a for-pay product that cost say $50. Obviously having a built-in web browser API for apps makes a lot of sense (given then number of apps that want to render HTML). MS could have built some simplistic standard COM API into Windows that IE plugged into and provided some minimalistic browser (navigate, backwards, forwards. No other features - no favorites, etc...). The great part is it would have faced no competition! Netscape couldn't componetize their browser (hence the reason MS won AOL).

But the for $$$ product (and MS could have had the same liberal licensing as Netscape initially) could have turned into a revenue source. And that revenue source could have provided for sustaining browser development. Who cares if a new platform is the browser if you win that platform too? Had MS done this they would have still won the browser wars - IE won because it beat out Netscape 4. Netscape abandoned 4.xx in favor of the Mozilla code base and it took them 5 years to get back to IE's level.

Sure IE would still be facing the competition that is Firefox today but it'd be actively providing a revenue stream. And it seems that in general MS's strategy has become:

Phase 1: Windows|Office += Shiny new product.
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: Profit!

You gotta wonder: why doesn't MS think it can win anymore? why does everything have to win by being strapped onto Windows? And when MS gets a competitor these days the solution seems to either involve Windows or Office.

And it's not that it's bad for Windows to support these new things... but why does MS think it's the only way to win?

Take for example MSN search. These days internally MS is talking about relavancy and about how they're converging on Google (and exceeding in certain markets). So if MSN is about to win in relavancy why the sudden need to bundle MSN search w/ Windows via "Live"? What if MSN starts kicking Google's ass in relavancy, users start switching over and then Google blames it all on the Windows<->Windows Live bundling? How many billions is that lawsuit going to cost?

And finally is MS ready to make sure that Windows Live actually is a revenue stream rather than a bunch of free stuff to kill Google?

Anonymous said...

About "alpha geek". Who will use Firefox as not an alpha geek? Linux - obviously. C++ with all its templates? These people. Real professionals use three main instruments: Power Point as a design instrument, VB to make UI and Excel to keep track of their stocks. Real professionals are not interesting in such crazy thing as programming. Only money matter. And who all these guys who are saying about elegant programming, functional languages and name MS soft "blowware"? Definitely alpha geeks. MS will not deal with them. They buy nothing as customers and they can't write MS quality code (slow and big) as employers. MS will deal with top management of big companies and directors of IT departments. These folks know what real professional needs. These folks will buy VS2005 just because they do not want to buy all these tools developers asked them to buy. They will buy just one and work is done. No need to think about compatibility of these tools. The real professional hates thinking even more then he loves to calculate stocks. The dark side is that he still will need to hire some alpha geeks to make it working. These guys can make everything working somehow. Even VS2005 and .NET. Weird people.

Anonymous said...

"Sell to the consumer. The everyday Joe and Jane. What does Microsoft even mean to them? Sure, kiss the IT decision maker if you must, but start wooing the consumer with software products and services that delight them and that make their lives easier and that makes them appreciate Microsoft as a great company."

1) Kill the dinosaur ads and give some indicator of product capabilities in our marketing. The Gateway ads on Tablet PC are much better than what's put out by Microsoft!

2) Sales works hard to woo the consumer as well as IT decision makers. We have to balance resources and budget against high impact revenue opps - and we're getting better at it. We spend many a late night helping customers with issues that may not gain attention with the product teams and I think there's opportunity for improvement on our feedback cycle.

3) Premier Support deserves a lot of credit for being on the frontlines with customers and providing excellent service! I'm sure there are exceptions, but my customers seem very happy with the support they receive (when they're willing to pay for it).

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say, when I read your comment I was a bit quizzical, like a cat pondering a Picasso. How could I delete something like that?

Funniest. Comeback. Ever. :)

Anonymous said...

The Gateway ads on Tablet PC are much better than what's put out by Microsoft!

I was at the Pro when I saw this on TV and my brain went 'Alright! We have a nice Tablet ad!!' - then I realised it was a Gateway ad, and whats worse - I didn't even see a Windows logo anywhere?
A few minutes later I fell off my exercise machine when I came across the freaking dinosaur ad in the latest Business Week....
Sorry for the slightly off-topic posting Mini - thanks for doing a kick-ass job with the blog.

Anonymous said...

Soma confirms VS Service Pack plans:

http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2005/11/08/490694.aspx

Anonymous said...

It's a cliche, but Microsoft is the new IBM.

All these talk about solutions, when the answer is simple, as Mini has been saying since the start of the blog. Microsoft is simply too big. If it was smaller, it would have more of a culture and focus and less management bloat.

Other companies are shipping a product every three months with 1/10th the manpower.

Anonymous said...

Weakest shareholder meeting I've listened to Mini - and I've listened to many. Some interesting comments from Ballmer:

"we've never used the stock market to measure our performance"

Translation: our stock performance sucks now so we no longer reference it.

"it's not the time to dial back on investments"

Translation: MSFT probably is going to do something bigger a la AOL.

"the outlook for the company has never been brighter"

Hmmm...and yet growth has never been worse and Gates is floating around internal memos citing Ozzie's dire concerns and talking about the new wave of threats facing the company.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Ballmer presentation w/o insulting someone. This time the CFO who he followed by saying "now I'll switch from New Zealand to American". Making fun of people's accents is always a crowd-pleaser.

Speaking of the CFO, he was okay but didn't have much agenda time. Gates sounded particularly tired/bored/flat - even for him.

All previous investments were of course on track despite significant evidence to the contrary. The recent "Live" move wasn't MSFT doing something 3+ years too late after looking increasingly left behind, but rather the USS MSFT boldly going where no man has gone before.

The Q&A was the weakest I've seen. Not sure where they got these shareholders from but most sounded like they'd been rounded up around Pioneer Square at midnight. Unlike previous years, not one tough question on the stock once again underperforming the market. No question on the f/up that has been Bus Sol. No questions on anemic growth. No questions on search still being a distant also-ran to GOOG despite assurances to the contrary. In sum, not one challenge to the Gates/Ballmer "we're the strongest we've even been and getting stronger" smokescreen. Indeed, the only real tough question was about the Director election policy - and even that guy didn't raise the issue of company underperformance. And of course, no increase to the below-market dividend. Finally, all board members got re-elected and by 97% - so your/my/other's efforts to withhold our vote didn't even result in a noteworthy protest %. Net net, as a shareholder, I'm very dissapointed in mgt for their continued lack of candor. Do they really think we're stupid enough not to see that many of the previous emerging bets are either failing or at least way late in paying off, that growth is weak and that MSFT once again is behind the curve and at risk despite "web services" being an obvious play to all YEARS ago? Similarly, I'm dissapointed in my fellow shareholders for not providing the accountability for this mediocre to pathetic performance deserves.

Anonymous said...

Re: And of course, it wouldn't be a Ballmer presentation w/o insulting someone. This time the CFO who he followed by saying "now I'll switch from New Zealand to American". Making fun of people's accents is always a crowd-pleaser.

-------------

Dude, go find a tree to hug. And eff yourself while you are at it. Whiner!

Anonymous said...

"we've never used the stock market to measure our performance"

Yes, that was very stupid. He's standing in front of shareholders who's ONLY barometer for success is the stock and effectively says "sorry, that's not one we're focused on". I've already seen several write ups with this as the lead. Great message for the market : "MSFT CEO isn't focused on the stock" - no wonder it sold off into the close.

Anonymous said...

But the for $$$ product (and MS could have had the same liberal licensing as Netscape initially) could have turned into a revenue source. And that revenue source could have provided for sustaining browser development. Who cares if a new platform is the browser if you win that platform too? Had MS done this they would have still won the browser wars - IE won because it beat out Netscape 4. Netscape abandoned 4.xx in favor of the Mozilla code base and it took them 5 years to get back to IE's level.

No, IE won because it was bundled with the operating system. Microsoft captured average users by forcing them to have IE. If you wanted to run Netscape, that's fine - but you'll always be starting out with a computer that has IE built into it.

Requiring users to *pay* for IE would have killed its default-installation advantage. Since it was not by any means more technically advantageous than Netscape, forcing users to choose (instead of choosing for them by a default install) would have meant victory for Netscape.

IE's victory related in no way to technical merit. Reference Scott Berkun's site; he worked in IE 1.0 - 5.0, and has some rather biting comments about the current status of the browser.

What the Mozilla codebase has been doing for the past 5 years is not simply playing catchup. The last 5 years have seen it become so much better than IE that not only are people willing to abandon their default IE installations (Firefox having recently achieved 10% market share), but it's spurred Microsoft to actually do more work on IE. After obliterating Netscape, Microsoft sat on IE. Only now, feeling threatened again, do they find a reason to innovate and improve. I fear this is a too-often-heard story with Microsoft products.

Anonymous said...

"The last 5 years have seen it become so much better than IE that not only are people willing to abandon their default IE installations (Firefox having recently achieved 10% market share), but it's spurred Microsoft to actually do more work on IE. After obliterating Netscape, Microsoft sat on IE. Only now, feeling threatened again, do they find a reason to innovate and improve. "

Don't agree with everything else in your post but this part is unassailable imo.

Anonymous said...

"It's a cliche, but Microsoft is the new IBM."

I hear this a lot but it's not the greatest analogy. Yes, of late MSFT looks big, slow and stupid a la IBM. And yes it still drives large revenue and income despite this like IBM. But MSFT's business model is almost totally different. For one, it's primarily software-based vs services or hardware. Two, it doesn't enjoy 1/20th of the lock-in switching costs that IBM enjoyed/enjoys. Three, MSFT has a largely indirect model with heavy reliance on OEMs and partners versus IBM's legendary direct sales force. That's a plus from a leverage point of view and a huge negative wrt customer account knowledge/control/execution capability.

Folks making this comparison and esp MSFT mgt should keep this in mind. In particular, if MSFT continues to sit back a la IBM, the results are going to be a lot less successful a whole lot sooner imo.

Anonymous said...

Post 1
Your blog has started to go a bit stale. Am I the only one who thinks that the sparkle is missing?

Beg to differ, but as an outsider looking in, this and all comments posted here actually give something that has been lacking at MS. Comments from employees about the work they do. Actually your comments mirror what everyday businesses go thru no matter what the size.
Mini's focus is correct IMO, lean and mean only means exposing the deadwood employees and getting back to those that produce $ for the business they work for. If you think you have a better idea than for whom you work for then go and freakin do it.
Just remember that we have possibly already had it and are formulating it and the rest of our business offers into our next opportunity...

joe said...

He's standing in front of shareholders who's ONLY barometer for success is the stock and effectively says "sorry, that's not one we're focused on".

Thats actually not that bad of a comment by Balmer... I've seen, and work for, people who say, "If we work on improving the business, the stock price will take care of itself, and we do not do anything to try to influence the shareprice other than raise our revenues and raise our bottom line"

So... What Ballmer said wasnt that out of the ordinary, except that in MSFT's situation, there has been little growth in fundamentals to support share price gains.

---

As for "MSFT is becoming IBM", Thats only if MSFT can execute the transition.

MSFT will need to create the crack salesforce to Golf and Dinner CIO's and CEO's, and an army of consultants to take care of their clients.

Anonymous said...

"Another simple tool I’ve used involves attracting developers to use common physical workspaces to naturally catalyze ad hoc face-time between those who need to coordinate, rather than relying solely upon meetings and streams of email and document reviews for such interaction. "

Found this in Ozzie's email. Looks like offices might be on the endangered list...seriously, can't we all just use IM?

Anonymous said...

Re: "Staleness", Safari, KHTML and Konqueror. Don't worry about the naysayers. I find most of your posts interesting, despite having successfully escaped the prison of MS software, at least at home. I'm always interested in knowing what's up in the "Evil Empire". As someone who writes for a living (technical reports) they can't all be Pulitzers. Or as one of the old-timers in my line of work once said, "Fsck 'em, if they can't take a joke!"

Never used Safaria, so I can't comment on that, which obviously makes me less than an alpha-geek (delta? theta? ...whatever) but I use Konqueror aand Firefox about equally on both FreeBSD and Debian. Just depends on what I'm doing. Frankly, I prefer either to most of the competition -unless I just want something super-fast, in which case Dillo runs rings around eveerything; but rendering is another question.

Good luck trying to turn back the tide with your bare hands. Bureaucracy and cronyism always increase with time.

Anonymous said...

"Thats actually not that bad of a comment by Balmer... I've seen, and work for, people who say, "If we work on improving the business, the stock price will take care of itself, and we do not do anything to try to influence the shareprice other than raise our revenues and raise our bottom line"

Yes, and had he said that, I could have lived with it. Instead, he stated "We have never really used the stock market itself as a barometer of our success" and went on to talk about products as being that metric w/o connecting the dots. First of all, that's complete bs - the stock has always been an internal barometer of success - until of course it stopped performing. Second, that's not the impression any competent CEO of a publicly traded company would leave his long-suffering shareholders with - unless of course he thought his position was unassailable. Third, given the abysmal performance of the stock under his leadership (which by the way wasn't even mentioned or acknowledged during the meeting - as usual), it's hugely self-serving. And fourth, even if it were true, the track record on the product side given Vista's delay is hardly impressive. So I guess this means the company is a failure on even its own new metrics? Seriously, I'm not trying to quibble but this is unacceptable in an experienced, supposedly media-savvy CEO who should know that any mention of the stock given its horrendous multi-year performance has to be crisp, clear and leave no room for concern that MSFT mgt is anything other than laser-focused on growing revenues/earnings and ultimately driving the stock.

Anonymous said...

Stop carping about the stock price. The fact is that at the height of the dot com bubble, MSFT was grossly overpriced. Given the anemic growth rate, the stock may still be overpriced depending on how you do your valuation.

The stock market itself has traded sideways for the last two years. No one is putting money in stocks. Instead they are buying grossly overpriced houses and condos. The sheeple will get sheered when the housing bubble pops--it topped out in June. They then might be ready to once again move back to stocks, provided we don't plunge into recession once the HELOC spigot gets turned off. If the housing crash is serious then expect people to raid their 401Ks causing MSFT to trade lower along with the rest of the market.

Eventually MSFT's intrinsic value will catch up with its price and the stock will go up from there.

Anonymous said...

Macho Weaner wrote:
Dude, go find a tree to hug. And eff yourself while you are at it.
-----------------
4.0 Insightful.

Anonymous said...

"Stop carping about the stock price. The fact is that at the height of the dot com bubble, MSFT was grossly overpriced. Given the anemic growth rate, the stock may still be overpriced depending on how you do your valuation."

At the height of the dotcom bubble, MSFT had a tremendous growth rate and huge earnings unimpaired by the emerging sink holes. It also had already been under pressure due to the anti-trust matter. So it wasn't that grossly overpriced. Agree it is overpriced now given still anemic growth, much higher headcount costs and all the emerging and legal drains on earnings.

"Eventually MSFT's intrinsic value will catch up with its price and the stock will go up from there."

MSFT has underperformed the market by some 70% over the past 3 years. This is not a market phenomenon it is a MSFT phenomenon. Few CEO's with that record of accomplishment would still have a job. WRT the future, MSFT will have to still be growing and still be around for your scenario to unfold - neither are assured.

Anonymous said...

The most worrying threat is this share buy back scheme, IMO. There are billions of dollars in the bank, and billions of shares to buy back... "Billions and billions", as Carl Sagan, might have said (but probably didn't).

Buying back some will make the remainder a bit more scarce, but spending all your available cash, just to improve your credit rating isn't necessarily wise...

But, hey - I'm not an accountant - thank God. I just hope someone knows what they're doing.

On a side note, may I ask what "eff yourself" is supposed to mean? Is this some way of being grossly offensive without recourse to harsh language? Listen, you either win you case by clearly reasoned argument, or you resort to hurling semi-articulate abuse... but, "eff yourself"?! What kind of pussy are you?

Anonymous said...

"Buying back some will make the remainder a bit more scarce, but spending all your available cash, just to improve your credit rating isn't necessarily wise..."

It's not really a credit rating thing (MSFT has no debt) its an EPS thing. Agree it's not the best plan in the world. Better would be accretive acquisitions for example but MSFT mgt obviously doesn't feel those are available and/or practical - at least for MSFT (although watch out for a massive non-accretive brain fart via AOL). Increasing the dividend would also be good esp since it's currently tied for 2nd-to-last place in the entire Dow 30 - along with one of the worst stock performances (INTC's decision today likely increased the heat on that side fwiw). Still, the buyback is better than simply hording the cash and at least now it's being accelerated so might actually have some chance of reducing the float before MSFT mgt further dilutes it. Note that from 00-04, shares outstanding actually increased despite $20B+ of buybacks. Even last year, the [larger] $8B repurchase on the year reduced shares outstanding modestly but shares/options/grants combined actually went up (see the 10-K). There's no way that MSFT is going to drive double-digit earnings growth unless that reverses - hence the accelerated buyback. But of course, a "show of confidence in our future" and "returning money to investors" sounds a lot better than "gotta do it because growth just isn't there" or "the astronomical bonuses we're paying our snr execs is taking up all our buyback money and then some".

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Jeff Matthews on the recent MSFT memos:

bills hideaway part II

TheKhalif said...

According to Teh Inquirer, MS is now using, or is purported to be using, leaks to increase confidence and visibility. Lord Bill has really outdone himself this time.
Lord Bill rallying the troops

Anonymous said...

"According to Teh Inquirer, MS is now using, or is purported to be using, leaks to increase confidence and visibility"

Not sure those memos served to increase confidence or spread visibility - atleast positive visibility. That said, the whole release looks orchestrated and one Seattle writer even stated the MSFT provided the memos. Perhaps now that senior insiders have gotten through most of their personal selling at higher prices (see the insider stats), the company wants the stock lower in order to get the best bang for the buck on the next round of buybacks (before they bail and dilute it again next Q - and so on, and so on).

Anonymous said...

"Increasing the dividend would also be good esp since it's currently tied for 2nd-to-last place in the entire Dow 30"

What does a larger dividend do that a buyback doesn't?
There's a large constituency who still have options that would be devalued by increasing the dividend. In fact since the dividend hasn't done anything for the stock, it should be stopped altogether.

Anonymous said...

"What does a larger dividend do that a buyback doesn't?
There's a large constituency who still have options that would be devalued by increasing the dividend. In fact since the dividend hasn't done anything for the stock, it should be stopped altogether."

For one, it goes directly to shareholders vs the buyback which for the most part has gone to mitigate dilution and even then, not very successfully (read - it's really gone to pay insiders). Second, dividends provide predictable returns - something many investors desire/require as do many institutional funds. Third, dividends historically make up a significant part of the market's historical overall return - so it makes sense generally and especially when you haven't delivered market performance for three years in a row and still expect shareholders to stay with you. WRT to the dividend reducing the value of options, not necessarily. If, as a result of a market dividend, the stock becomes more attractive overall, then it will likely perform better which makes your options more valuable. WRT not having done anything for the stock, that's impossible to prove/disprove. However, I would argue that its impact has been muted because its so ridiculously low AND mgt stopped regularly increasing it despite having done so to start. If you're really talking about the one-time $3 payout, that was a brain-dead idea in the first place and proved to be a even bigger failure in practice. The only people who benefited from that one were traders, large institutions and and Ballmer/Gates (although the latter gave his earnings to his charity) - everyone else inclduing regular shareholder got royally screwed.

Anonymous said...

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8DPVUR04.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan=db

Did we get off S. Korea anti-competition for cheap?

This sounds like its one of the companies but the govt is going to keep investigating. Can anyone following the case provide insight?

Anonymous said...

"This sounds like its one of the companies but the govt is going to keep investigating. Can anyone following the case provide insight?"

Believe it's the company that alerted their anti-trust group and you're correct that the Government plans on continuing the investigation regardless. Oh well, another $30M paid out despite management's assertions that they've done nothing wrong.

TheKhalif said...

Oh well, another $30M paid out despite management's assertions that they've done nothing wrong.


The tally is now more than a lot of companies are worth. I think the mountain of cash has gone to the heads of management.

They seem to feel they can pay off anyone so it doesn't matter if their actions are well meaning or malicious.

Not the best way to run a company. I think the total has now surpassed $10 Billion.

Anonymous said...

I just heard a rumor that Gordon Mangione is leaving the company. Can anyone confirm or deny? If so, anyone know where he's going?

Anonymous said...

here is a lot of talking about features and possible bugs of VS.NET.

My post is comming from another direction, from the customer side, in other words I'd like to share my experiencies of an attempt to actually buy the VS.Net.
Whe have external developers that have to build and test their software in our house for a couple of reason. Because we're not a software enterprise (we working in the tourism branch) I called the Microsoft Hotline for a presales phone. I dont needed any support and I dont wanted to complain about something. The only thing I wanted is to buy you software dear microsoft. I needed a little advise from you if I should buy a msdn subscription or server2003 and VS.Net. Obviously, Microsoft is not interested in selling software, because the sales people that they hired, set a new standard in stupidity and ignorance. The phone call was completely absurde!! The sales person was not able to take up my needs an make me an offer. For some reason he was alway talking about sql server licences... It was the worst phone call since a long time. I dont have a good feeling about this company.

TheKhalif said...

My post is comming from another direction, from the customer side, in other words I'd like to share my experiencies of an attempt to actually buy the VS.Net.

No one can buy VS 2005 yet. RTM doesn't mean available. It means that it will be available soon. Amazon says Nov28.

Anonymous said...

Regarding:
"Yikes! Jeff Matthews on the recent MSFT memos:

To quote that same Mr Matthews...

What I suggest, Mr. Gates, [is] give up is those twice-a-year trips to the woods.

Instead, I suggest he get on a bike, ride to the local Peet's, and watch what people are doing with the internet, and the iPod, and the Blackberry.


Does thet mean that Our Great Helmsman needs stop "hugging trees and eff'ing himself" so much :)?

Anonymous said...

Do you people not realize that you are the stock price? You have to believe in yourselves before you can make money other than your freakin paycheck! Mini's reason for this blog is correct. We own our business and as an owner I can spot employees that are just here to get a check and whatever perc's that are envolved, they are gradually phased out as inconsequencial to our business success. Large, medium, small makes no difference. If you cannot make a positive difference for yourself our your company everyday then go bog down our competitor. Resume means nothing if you cannot produce results.

Anonymous said...

>> before you can make money other than your freakin paycheck

That's just sooo not gonna happen anymore. There are no stock options, and stock grants are truly pathetic until you're something like L63+. Sure, a lot of people buy ESPP, but by now most of them have learned to sell it right after buying to get 10% profit (minus taxes and penalty).

nadim said...

Yeam Mini...i think u have become too bloated..more like a Maxi-Microsoft. You need to slim down.

Anonymous said...

"That's just sooo not gonna happen anymore. There are no stock options, and stock grants are truly pathetic until you're something like L63+. Sure, a lot of people buy ESPP, but by now most of them have learned to sell it right after buying to get 10% profit (minus taxes and penalty)."

Stock-based comp is a bonus not a right. If it's not worth more, it's because you and your coworkers/management collectively have failed to product the results necessary to drive that. If the reason for the latter is management bloat/inability, focus on that. If on the other hand, it's attitudes of resignation and entitlement like yours, simply move on and make room for someone still committed to growing the company and the stock.

Anonymous said...

"Do you people not realize that you are the stock price?"

Agree with this except that the skew towards snr mgt comp has really gotten attrocious esp when coupled with a near total lack of accountability. Additionally, these jackasses almost universally dump their stock every time they get it (see the recent insider reports). The message that sends the street is truly horrible. For example, when they see a Burgum unloading $10M's of stock every year despite pathetic business results, what's the takeaway? I think it's a) there's little accountability for results at the senior level and b) MSFT is increasingly a polarized culture with a [generally] hugely overpaid elite, that in many cases aren't performing and aren't held to account. While at the other end, a sea of [mostly] modestly paid worker bees who are under constant pressure to perform and cut back on expenses. That's hardly a reward system that's going to foster a "team" attitude nor drive the results necessary to move the stock. IMO, Gates/Ballmer should be taking a careful look at these issues (skew between high and low, accountability and snr mgt unwillingness to hold the stock)and making some changes asap. BTW, before someone chimes in that I'm a socialist, I have no problem with snr mgt getting significantly larger paychecks - as long as those are within reason, justified by results (i.e not $20M bonues when the co's core product gets delayed 3 years on your watch), and the individual(s) demonstrate their confidence in the company by actually holding the stock for more than 5 minutes. Given the performance of many of the company's senior most "superstar" leaders, I'll take the second stringers who still believe in growing the company vs using it as a personal ATM to keep them in the style they became accustomed to back when performing was relatively easy and they could accomplish it.

Anonymous said...

Given that Gates and Ballmer are both Harvard guys, they might have fought a little harder in their own backyard. I saw the other day that State of Mass. is dropping Word for OpenDoc. This will no doubt turn heads since Mass. is the exemplar for higher ed.

Anonymous said...

Face it, working at Microsoft is hell. They hire 10,000 people a year so that they burn through 2,000 a year. I was there, I fixed a lot of stuff and then they just kept burning me by working 14 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Anonymous said...

If the reason for the latter is management bloat/inability, focus on that.

Hey, maybe someone could start a blog about that...

Look, the days of everyone making zillions off stock options ain't gonna happen at Microsoft, ever again. It wouldn't be good anyway, simply because the only way to do it would mean Microsoft crushing more companies under their bootheel in pursuit of 100% of the money and market involved in computer software.

Thus the dilemma- how can we get startup-style rewards for hard workers in a company that's matured like lots of companies do? And if it's not going to happen, we can't expect 14 hour days for weeks and weeks at a time any more, right?

Anonymous said...

We saw the perfect example of how bloated we have become this last week with Sony's rootkit exploits.

It took us a full WEEK to classify it as malware after discovery - F-Secure had removal kit almost immediately. Our spokesman was saying "we're not sure how malicious it is", etc, AFTER the first sploits were released! What kind of message does that give to people?

This isn't acceptable. Critically pending security decisions should be given the highest priority, and empire building mgt should keep out of the way.

Anonymous said...

>> We saw the perfect example of how bloated we have become this last week with Sony's rootkit exploits.

Okay some education in Legal and Sustained Engineering. Don't take it the wrong way.

You want us to give Sony a chance to get a 500 zillion settlement like other souls have been getting lately?. Have you ever wondered - Why can't IE just block/remove the add-on/helper feature that opened the gates to Malware/Spyware? Or make the app authors go through a WHQL kind of certification before being allowed to install as we do for drivers? XPSP2 could have easily acheived this, mind you.

It is because of the EULA in those apps that nobody reads. People agree to install those nuisance apps when they click "Yes" on those CD player/Game/Tool etc. Sony has this root kit in their EULA. Sorry we have to be more careful about that because people know we have deep pockets and they have learnt that we rather settle rather than fight.

Haven't you noticed Adobe trying to sneak in the Yahoo toolbar when you install their 7.0 update? What's that about? Should MS also release a patch for blocking/removing that piece of shit? Or declare it a spyware that it is?

Anonymous said...

As a shareholder, I have sold almost all of my Microsoft stock because the company is simply not moving more quickly to get out of the rut it is in.

I will know the time is right to buy when the huge middle management burden is removed with a large RIF. I believe this is imminent and that some businesses will be sold.

If you want to survive you need to get smart. Try reading "Corporate Confidential" written by a former HR executive that has consulted with Microsoft.

Andrew MacNeill said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.