Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sinofsky to the Rescue! ... (?)

There's a new sheriff in town, and he's aimin' to gun down any rootin', tootin' varmit that can't deliver what he committed to.

Maybe.

Mary Jo Foley probably had the most succinct characterization of Mr. Sinofsky: "...a strict, schedule-bound manager who keeps the trains running on time." Holy smokes, start handing out the brown shirts emblazoned with Vienna 2009 on the front and ... or else I'm fired on the back.

Follow-up elsewhere on this:

So Mr. Turner Johnson will have a Friday morning meeting to discuss this, available for webcast later. Interesting times.

My little take: I'm especially disappointed that we're not using this as a demonstration of accountability. Show that we're reshuffling to come in to get rid of whatever mismanaged mess there is within the Windows leadership. That would restore confidence. Even if this has nothing to do with executive leadership finally having a revelation, "What-the? Vista development sure hasn't been a success... light the Sinofsky signal!" it could at least be spun that way. What the hell is wrong with not only working to fix the problem (thank you) but admitting we're fixing a problem, instead of leaving it in some sort of unsaid, abstract wink to everyone to connect the dots. Sorry, them dots are going to continue screwing up.

According to commenters in the past, Mr. Sinofsky has kept a very open door to people who want to discuss problems getting Microsoft business done and what kind of solutions are needed. He's also been pretty pro-active blogging for recruiting new Microsofties (the kind of Microsofties who like their writing as dense as last year's fruitcake). And a little bit anti-Mini. Office does seems to get things done. I have no idea how many of the disgruntled comments or ideas to fix process have come from Office-softies. So, I'm willing to take a sip of the SteveSi Kool-Aid and have hope here.

(Oh, man. For some reason just had a flash-forward vision of our 2006 Company Meeting and yet another demo of Vista. Does it get an award for the most-Company-Meeting-demo'd soon to be released product?)

In the meantime, with this potential for leadership results (will Sinofsky lieutenants soon follow in his wake?) we also have ChrisJo keeping his word: on his internal blog, someone asked if he was going to own up to forgoing his bonus if we didn't make the 8/31/06 RTM date. He said "Yes." Simple answer. Solid leadership. I'd like to hear some more VPs and Partners kick in to that refreshing "Yes" choir.


Administrivia: flipping back into moderation mode for a while. Waaaaay too many zealots crapping out comments I've got to hunt down and delete. Hopefully a temporary state. Any ideas, Clay Shirky? And for all the passionate anti-Microsoft folks out there: I hope your satisfied now that you got that neener-neener-neener out of your system. I never mind reasonable arguments from the ABM crowd, but some of what's typed just makes me wonder if you hug your Momma with those naughty fingers.

Updated: gotta pay more attention to those president's names. Thanks for the comment correction.


129 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can an extremely successful company, with loads of cash, a lot of talented people, fail to ship an update to its OS for 5 years?

Only logical reason: Utterly incompetent management. The near monopoly in desktop OS created a communist mindset where sucking up, drinking the kool-aid, corruption at the executive level (all those huge bonuses for what?), good ol boys promoting each other, became the norm. Decay set in before long.

I think there is still time to take corrective measures, only because it is a monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Just call me Thomas. Is it me or are there more "talkers" than "doers" in the Sinofsky team? Vista is shaping up to be "CPM3 Revisited".

Nathan Weinberg said...

Wow, my headline in that pack makes me look like a raving lunatic.

Of course, this week has made me feel like one. I've always been very positive about Microsoft, and I think I'm moving more to your camp with the recent news.

God, it all pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

Putting Sinofsky in charge will not change anything. There's too much political infighting between Valentine and Jawad. Amitabh has instituted WAY too much process and is probably responsible for some of this delay.

WinDiv is doomed for failure - it's just the way the kernel is. Office was built on a fundamentally different architecture.

And very soon, Sinofsky will join the ranks of Allchin...hell, just put Burgrum in charge of Windows - cuz it's starting to look like MBS!

Silicon Valley Product Manager said...

It's the Soviet model first, then maybe French!

There are three possible scenarios a re-org can take:

1. French - from the French Revolution - a slaughter or massacre by the quilliotine; control is achieved by mass extinctions.

2. Argentine - individuals 'just disapper' (their photos appearing on milk cartons); control achieved by fear and uncertainty.

2. Soviet - people(s) fall out of power are shipped off to the Gulag and are rubbed-out of the annual Red Square Politburo photos; control achieved by selective swaps.

Microsoft has clearly chosen the Soviet model: some have been shipped off to the Gulags (e.g. "market expansion group"--yeah new markets in Siberia; other execs will "remain abroad till Vista ships" -- yeah so they cant be subpoenaed in the yet to come class action shareholder suits...lost about $10B in value the other day).

Now a new leader is picked from crowd of Politburo members...his job will be re-org Windows into a discplined code-writing product-shipping org; come hell or high water...or the long cold (and wet) winters.

The question is what model(s) will he use?

Silicon Valley Product Manager

Anonymous said...

Moderating posts is a thankless job indeed but thank you anyway for cleaning out the drivel. It's darned nice to have a place to intelligently discuss the bad (and good!) of MS without fear of reprisal.

Anonymous said...

Mini, that would be Kevin Johnson, not Kevin Turner as you said twice.

Anonymous said...

So Office 2007 is delayed. How the hell does shuffling Sinofsky to Windows make it any better.

If I were a stock holder, I'd be selling fast w/ these lame moves.

http://news.com.com/Microsoft+announces+Office+2007+delay/2100-1012_3-6053504.html?tag=nefd.top

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thanks for moderation. Those Apple Kool-Aid drinkers have short memories- 'cause Apple was just as fucked and stumbling about blindly 10 years ago, sinking time into disasterous projects (Copland, Pink, OpenDoc) and totally missing the boat on important stuff (the Internet). The difference is that they only had a billion or two cash as opposed to 30, and they'd frittered away their huge market share.

If there's anything to take away from that relevant to this blog, is that once Steve Jobs showed up and started kicking ass and taking names "(What did you use to do here?"), he turned the place around. A lot of peripheral stuff died (I STILL miss the Newton's handwriting recognition engine), but the core was better than ever. It seems to me that's exactly what MS could use- the discipline that comes from needing to surivive crisis. Maybe having bazillions in the bank and coming in each quarter is bad; maybe there needs to be an existential crisis before peoplem wake up.

Anonymous said...

This comment should probably be rejected...because it probably doesn't accomplish much except allow me to vent for a minute.

(Having been in Office) Sinofsky's blog always sounds like a whitewash to me. He glosses over things (in a way that he is either completely out of touch or just taking a very selective and favorable view) so in the end things seem much rosier than they are (but it is a recruiting blog). It reminds me of a scene in Hannibal:
Hannibal lifts off the top of the skull to reveal Liotta's brain. He ...cuts off a slice, tossing it into the frying pan. Liotta, still a bit loopy and unaware of what's going on says that it smells good. Hannibal feeds Liotta a piece of his own brain.
Except Sinofky is Hannable and the blog reader is Liotta.

Anonymous said...

Tell me if I'm looking at things a little off skew. Sinofsky? Are they kidding? He came from one of the most powerful but one of the most SCREWED UP product groups in the history of Microsoft. Office's Customer Sales logo has been and still is, "It makes your teeth whiter and your breath smell better..." or "what do you mean Office already does what you want it to do? buy it... it's our new product so it must be important!!"

I truly felt the management needed to change. The executive meeting I sat in back in December when we knew Vista would need to move to October (at best) due to the vast number of bugs led me to believe it was not going to go well. Who ever thought Office was any better off must not be looking at the current builds of Office 12 and must not be looking at the history of the product NEVER making ANY date they announce.

When will we get real?

positive changes afoot, regardless of changes up high said...

I am starting to see positive changes in my group. Go Go Gadget Changamatron!

I think one thing people need to try and do is not focus on the negative in that oh-so-native-to-seattle passive way. If you really hate something going on in your group, make it known. If you feel like your responsibility is to keep your head down but complain here in the comments, maybe it's time for you to move on.

Anonymous said...

I'm puzzled by all the worry about missing the Christmas sales, disappointing the box-shippers & the like.

I'd think the solution to this was simple.

Ship XP home/pro preinstalls after Q4 with a limited upgrade license which runs until 3 months after Vista ships, at which point the purchaser is obliged to upgrade. Ship this license at the cost of a preinstalled version of Vista. Give each purchaser a mail-in coupon to receive an upgrade CD/DVD on release.

End result:

Box shippers can ship preinstalled XP, whilst assuring buyers that the next OS is a "free" (already paid for) upgrade.

MS make as much revenue from the deal as they would if Vista was to ship Q4 (as long as they priced shipping/handling into the license cost)

Rogue box-shippers would be unable to provide the "free" upgrade vouchers - thus hopefully taking a bit of a chunk out of preinstall piracy at the same time.

Or am I being too simplistic?

Anonymous said...

What is most striking about this whole episode is not just the blatant lack of accountability but also the bizarre, cryptic mail sent by Allchin on tuesday. Honestly speaking, it was worded in such a way that it made it sound like we were on schedule - it was condescending to say the least.

Software projects will always run into unexpected delays - look, thats the nature of the business. But theres a limit you know..and at some point, you've got to show some goddamn sense of accountability. The ironic thing is, its really too late to do anything but be heads-down and try finish on time

PS Thanks once again for moderating posts

Anonymous said...

It dawned on me during the commute over the 520 bridge: I'm irritated with all the recent sh*t-flinging at the company, but I don't think Vista inherently sucks. I think it is just too ambitious a project. Just like WTT (WDK for external folks) What a piece of garbage WTT continues to be. I can't even get my daily stress runs to count in the stats pages lol!

Anyway, these big projects look great on paper, but when it comes time to implement, it quickly becomes a crap-fest due to the complexity. As a low level employee, I can't even fathom how you could possibly manage all this properly. Is there a comparable software project out there of this complexity? I doubt there is anything that matches the lines of code...

I think Windows should trim down the release cycle and become more like NASA. Instead of flying men to the moon, just do smaller, manageable projects here and there. A probe one year, a rover the next. Makes the news; gets the budget dollars flowing; keeps people excited.

We can do this with Windows. We did some awesome stuff with XP SP2. OCA hits went down big time. Games started working again. Data execution prevention opt-in improved security. Ok not the most glamourous examples, but I hope you get the idea: we made stuff really work.

Why not have Windows be a real subscription service? In order to download the next new feature, you have to subscribe and activate your copy. Don't want Windows Parental controls? Don't subscribe. Don't want Media player eleventeen? Don't subscribe... Don't want LDDM/avalon/glass? Don't subscribe.

KenP said...

First, calling it an operating system is a misnomer. It is a bloated 'user experience' that has no relationship to an operating system.

Second, XP ('ancient' 'years old') is the first stable general market OS you folks have produced. Yes, NT was a decent product and 2000 was fine and started the transition to the general market but XP is still good enough based on your history. And I have no incentive to rush to Vista.

You produce bloatware. And all indications are that the Vista bloat will follow Moore's law once again.

You aren't producing operating systems you are following a business plan. And you do that very well in a totally selfish and proprietary manner that has had its obvious success.

But, I really wish you'd quit calling yourself something you aren't.

I have used 2 stable OS's in my long life--CP/M on the 88 series and OS/2 w. 386. And I have used a reasonably stable x86 product with XP.

I guess you might call me a MS basher but I am also a realist. I have no incentive to be a masochist and run an alternative OS. But, the cost is all the crap MS makes me use a better processor and more memory than my 'real' applications require.

I run the applications that I want to use and they are on the MS platform. But I can live without the 'enhanced user experience' that you are selling. As a long time (retired) consultant and programmer to industry, I'd have no qualm in telling any former client to wait and wait whether Vista shipped tomorrow or in the next decade.

You are very accurate in one area--you folks are really full of youselves.

I think this is all a huge laugh. I recall Bill's comments back in DOS days about a bloated, decisionless IBM that he was out to take down. He should have read Pogo rather than computer journals--we have met the enemy and he is us.

Mark-Allen said...

Just a few quick comments before I continue reading.

Nice blog. Interesting comments. Well-written and valid points that should be heard higher up.

Although the comments here are mainly MS people talking about MS topics, I thought an outsider might add something different.

I'm just a simple sysadmin that has to install and maintain Windows but I agree that the direction the OS has taken with Vista/Longhorn is several steps backward. It appears that MS is losing sight of exactly what Windows is used for.

Basically it's just a tool; for business and for entertainment. Adding eye-candy doesn't improve the mix; it makes it more difficult to support and more expensive to re-train.

Yes, MS needs to correct the Windows team problem, but it also needs to reconnect with the users.

If anyone needs to see some good examples of what NOT to do with a good OS, slide over to the V/LH beta newsgroups and read what's being posted. It's quite an eye-opener.

Very real, very pertinant suggestions about what to change in the new build to get this puppy back on track to where people feel good about using it, and will make people go into the stores to buy it.

Just my two centimes.

If I'm out of place here, please accept my apologies and I'll stop posting and just lurk. But I did want someone to know there are a lot of non-MS people who care about Windows (and other apps, etc.) and have also worked very, very hard to help make it useful.

Final point: Mini, would it be possible to change the post time to post-time & date. It's difficult to see when something was posted: today, yesterday, last year?

many thanks, and keep up the good work. People outside do care.

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky seems to be in charge of Vienna, not Vista. http://www.hunterstrat.com/news/2006/03/24/more-skeletons-in-vistas-closet/

Anonymous said...

Kevin Turner is our Wal-Mart guy.

Anonymous said...

Here comes the new boss. Same as the old boss...

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the impact that slipping the Office ship date will have on other products. Office Live is screwed. Ditto the entire RTC/Live Meeting product set, and some of the MBS products and even some small products like Small Business Accounting. A lot of hard work by a lot of hard working people is being affected.

This is shaping up to be the biggest negative impact on employee morale ever in the history of the company. Ballmer and his SLT need to step up, accept accountability (it's a company value, Steve) and demonstrate their commitment to removing the source of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Are people really attributing Office's success to Sinofsky? Sure it ships on time, but I think its more a product of the managers working under him than Steven himself.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday in a meeting I jokingly said that Vista wouldn't be out before the Beijing olympics. And today there's an article that says 60% of the Vista code needs to be re-written.

But seriously: was it "demo-ware" that was shown at company meetings? If MS had any integrity left, they'd take the demo-ware to the trade shows and only show potential ship-mode installs internally. Oh, but wait. We're talking here about a public company -- you have to assume everything will leak so you can't afford to show things honestly. You have to spin even the stuff you show to your own employees.

Too bad. If you really think Microsoft would be better smaller, then perhaps it'd be good for you to get the perspective I have: outside the company. Things look so much clearer when Bill isn't signing your cheques.

Come on out! The weather's fine.

Anonymous said...

To the Windows team I say this: you should be very excited that Sinofsky is coming over. It may take a while for him to fix things, but he's the person to do it.

If you are an IC Dev/PM/Test in Windows, you will see eventual benefits from this move. Sinofsky is a big believer in fairness, consistency and work/life balance. Ask people in Office how many death marches they've been on. The answer is zero.

If you take a look through the Office org (including Client, Server, Shared), count how many PUMs, Directors, or GMs there are. You can probably do it on one hand (maybe two). That's not an accident. Sinofsky is not a big fan of the PUM model because it can lead to fiefdoms (see: Windows org). He's more about letting smaller, flatter product teams of Dev/PM/Test do the right thing and be hard core about carving out a vision and sticking to it. And that means not doing every feature you want in a single release and adding 1000 DCRs after you're code complete.


Anyways, I'm sure everyone in Windows will eventually be exposed to his style. I recommend giving him a chance because he's probably the best guy at Microsoft to fix the problems.

Anonymous said...

Here's one of the 60% must be rewritten articles:
http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Computing/Platforms?Article=/Computing/Platforms/R7G5G6U4

I'm not in Windows, but this just can't be right.

And no way the Media Center stuff can be 60% of the OS. And, given the complexity of the automation and check-in system, there's zero chance one could start from scratch now and ever expect all the tools to let it in... even if the new code threatened to huff, and puff, and blow it's way in.

Anonymous said...

Wake me up in 2009 when Vista SP2 has been released. Until then, I will use 2000/XP and Win32.

Forget .NET as well as all the useless eye candy. My software has to do real work today! Unlike Microsoft, I view saving customer's time as the value I deliver.

PS: Not all software is a script to be executed over the internet.

TiggTigg said...

I hope someone (Sinofsky? Ballmer?) is reading the comments on Mini. Here's one from the previous post that I found particularly galling:

"*sigh*

I'll be sad if Steven leaves Office. I don't know what to say about Windows. I interviewed with them when I was in Office and was told by an interviewer--confidentially "this really isn't the place for a woman." I should have reported that crap.

So much for my peaceful morning...

By Anonymous, at 12:16 PM "

Wake up MS. It's 2006 and if this type of crap is still going on in your house, you need to clean it.

Commenter: You should have spoken up. That's OUTRAGEOUS.

Saddest thing about the comment: Not one reader/commenter expressed any outrage about it. Where's your esprit de corps? Where's your inclusivity? Aren't we all in this together?

Hey Windows Leadership: Why doesn't this kind of BS make you angry enough to want to FIND OUT what's really going on in your business and eliminate the problem? It starts with YOU and it cascades downhill FROM you.

Is anybody reading or listening? Steve B.? Lisa B.? Steven S.? Anybody??? Anybody????

armadillo said...

Hi,

I don't get it. Does this mean Sinofsky will be stepping down as head of MS Office? Has he already stepped down? Or is this all a rumor?

If S. leaves office, it would be a darn shame - he's doing an awesome job IMHO ... Anyway, could someone please crystallize what's happening for my simple mind to understand?

Also, wtf is Vienna? I thought the next version of Windows was supposed to be Honeycomb or some shit like that?

goleta said...

If Vista is delayed for another 5 years, MSFT likely will still have much of the enterprise market to itself, as most companies don't really want to go through the painful upgrade cycle all over again. So XP will still dominate.

But MIT's $100 educational laptop and $200 business laptop for poor countries will dominate those markets that MSFT couldn't care less about. It'll become MSFT's biggest threat in 5 years when those countries are comfortable with Linux enough that more if not most jobs that can be done remotely will be outsourced and Linux will be the De Facto OS. Linux will have 25 to 50% of the worldwide market share by then.

The market leaders of Linux web applications that tap into the Linux human resource is going to be big. Billions of eager and hard-working Linux users and programmers in the currently impoverished 3rd world countries are going to make Linux web application developers very rich.

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky is the "on-time delivery" guy?!? LOL! There have been very few improvements in Office over the years, lots of dropped features, and tons of redundant development of the same functionality in different products.

And now Office 2007 is slipping (at least) to the same schedule as Vista. "The company remains on track to complete work on the 2007 Microsoft Office system in October of this year and is planning to make the product available to the business customers through the volume licensing program in October 2006. Retail and OEM availability of the product are scheduled to coincide with the retail and OEM availability of the Windows Vista™ operating system in January 2007."

"on track"??? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING???

How many more delays will there be? Are there any companies still waiting for Office 2007, with its bloated disk, memory, CPU, and screen requirements, plus tons of user training to do? I bet there are tons of trials of Writely and Zimbra going on right now ...

Anonymous said...

"We did some awesome stuff with XP SP2. OCA hits went down big time. Games started working again. Data execution prevention opt-in improved security."

You're right about these things being far from glamorous; they're things an end-user should be able to expect from an OS. "Awesome" is when you add new compelling (and not unnecessary) features.

Anonymous said...

QUOTE:How can an extremely successful company, with loads of cash, a lot of talented people, fail to ship an update to its OS for 5 years?

I've always believed it to be simple complacency. I don't think IE7 would be showing up for XP right now if Firefox hadn't enjoyed the success it has.

Likewise, Vista is needed to slow the advance of several not-yet-there but way-too-close for comfort alternatives that are available today.

Problem is, IE7 only needs tabbed browsing support and a security roll-up to become relevant to many Firefox users again.

Vista needs to be truly impressive on all fronts to stop iPod owners from falling in love with OSX and others from loving how quick, slick and cheap Linux distros like SuSE have become.

The mindshare is going and marketshare will follow.

Skeptic said...

I think its going to be easy for Sinofsky to make an impact in Windows land. Make sure the right teams are in place. Make sure everyone knows the goals for the next release. Put in place some milestones, with quality requirements, and keep to them. Put some stuff on the long term track, two or three releases out and some stuff on the short term track.

Me said...

I spent two years in DevDiv, and I can't say I'm surprised by this. What I am surprised by, though, is that it seems that Microsoft has jumped the shark entirely. Windows slips? No shocker. Office slips? No shocker. Office AND Windows slip? A bit of a shocker. Office AND Windows slip AND a rewrite... again? Shocking as hell.

If I remember correctly, half of the cool features of Vista were yanked so that Microsoft would be able to ship it in 2006. Now that it's shipping in 2007, doesn't that make the yank pointless? Now we just have half a new OS coming out when we originally expected.

Finally, two notes about the rewrite:

1.) Two rewrites in as many years means that someone's head should roll. Eventually, responsibility should be placed on Bill and Steve's desks if no one else will take it. That's their jobs.

2.) If 60% of the OS is really being rewritten, I'd venture that Vista won't make January 2007, either.

Overall, I'm quite disappointed -- I'm a UI freak, and I'm really looking forward to Aero/Glass.

Anonymous said...

It is unfathomable that MSFT could miss the year on not one, but both of its main cash cows with collateral fallout to numerous other products (i.e. the euphemistically
named Dynamics), and Ballmer would not be forced to resign. Frankly, if Gates or the BOD didn't insist on it, you would think that just a personal sense of what's right would cause him to at least offer it himself. At a minimum, he shouldn't be hiding behind Allchin and instead should send an email to all employees (and shareholders too for that matter) apoligizing for the fiasco and shouldering responsibility as CEO. Wasn't it just a few years ago that he told employees that Vista would ship and be great "Beat on it"? Well, unfortunately, a lot of employees and shareholders did just that while senior mgt continued to lead the entire market in insider selling. And what do we have to show for it? A total fuckup. If Ballmer had any spine, he would add a voting button to that email whereby employees could vote for him to stay or step down. After this latest episode, I find it hard to believe he would win that referendum. But if he did, I could live with that and at least it would show that he was prepared to hold himself accountable and leave if the numerous failures on his watch have blown his internal credibility as badly as it has his external one.

Onepissedoff shareholder

Chucklepants said...

I don’t work for MS, nor do I have anything to do with software, but found this blog interesting after getting a link from another site. The things you guys were complaining about just make me think that your employer has gotten ridiculously top heavy and bureaucratic. You’re suffering the results.

I took a look at Hoovers and found that MS has 61,000 employees. Contrast that with Apple, which has 13,500, and Adobe with 3500.

Of course Apple has a bunch of people who work in their retail stores and a bunch of engineers who design computers and iPods. I don’t know how many work in software, but it can’t be that many out of the total. With the exception of xBox MS is software only.

Apple software makes a desktop OS, server OS, and Apps. You guys do relatively the same, except with about 7 times more people.

Adobe offers a group of apps that are quite sophisticated, and work extremely well. The entire graphics industry relies on them for their livelihood. I’m one of those users. They offer upgrades, usually worthwhile ones, on an 18-24 month schedule; like clockwork. The upgrades are usually have few major bugs. Again they do that with 3500 people.

An earlier poster linked to another site

http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Computing/Platforms?Article=/Computing/Platforms/R7G5G6U4

The site had a memo sent out by your Johnson guy that only highlights the problem. It included:

“The PSD leadership team I've put in place to align against these key objectives includes:

Steven Sinofsky, SVP Engineering, Windows and Windows Live Group
Brian Valentine, SVP COSD
Blake Irving, CVP, Windows Live Platform Group
David Cole, SVP, Online Business Group
Yusuf Mehdi, SVP, Chief Advertising Strategist
Mike Sievert, CVP Windows Client Marketing
Will Poole, SVP Market Expansion Group
Bob Muglia, SVP Server and Tools Business Group
Sanjay Parthasarathy, CVP Developer and Platform Evangelism
Brent Callinicos, CFO and CVP Finance Group
Rick Thompson, CVP supporting a special assignment
Darryn Dieken, Technical Assistant
Brian "Skip" Schipper, GM Human Resources
Mary Snapp, CVP and Deputy General Counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs”

The only things they missed was “SVP for Nose Picking and Ear Wax Removal” and “CVP for Toilet Bowl Cleaning and Sparkling Clean Floors”.

It’s just ridiculous. You end up with 12000 little fiefdoms; all clamoring to “look good for the boss” – whichever of the umpteen bosses there happen to be. The result is that things don’t get done or get done in a timeframe that’s 10 times what it should be. It resembles the way government works, and that ain’t good.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how they talked Sinofsky into this gig. I wish him luck, and hope for the sake of all the hardworking sincere people at Microsoft that he's able to bring change. It's going to be a long painful battle, but he's certainly capable of it.

Me, a modestly senior person at Microsoft (not headline worthy, but have reported to people who make headlines), have had it. The latest slip of Vista, and the yawn-fest that will be Vista when it does ship, has me in conversations with companies whose names start with "A" but not "G". I need a change of scenery. Time for me to help slim down Microsoft one tiny little bit.

Anonymous said...

How is putting someone else in charge of Vista going to change things? This Sinofsky character is now going to come in high on his horse, trigger happy and will put pressure on everything and everyone in order to deliver Vista by 2007. If he has an ounce of brain (which I assume he does), he should not be exerting pressure on the staff - because everyone who is in the 'cover your ass' mode, will cut corners to meet deadlines, and then Microsoft is going to release another steaming pile of crap, an excuse for a "stable, new" OS..... and afterwards spend a ton of money in maintenance. The vicious cycle does not end.

On the other hand, if this guy's smart, he'll reinforce the good things that have been happening in the Vista group, and mostly let the people, who are already under enough pressure as it is anyway, finish the product, the "right" way (without grandstanding or slave-driving them).

Change of management doesn't mean shit... It's the engineers that's gotta do the grunt work - LET THEM do it without harassing or demoralizing them.

Anonymous said...

Ask people in Office how many death marches they've been on. The answer is zero.

You've never worked in Outlook, have you?

Hint: retention/MS Poll numbers there are considerably worse than anywhere else in Office. Of course, it hasn't helped that they've spent huge amounts of man-hours writing and testing code that had to be unceremoniously dumped in Bill's koi pond for each release: Exchange Local Store (2000), Hailstorm (2003), integration with WinFS (2007).

And 'Office ships stuff on time'- hahahahahahahaha (says someone who's seen slips on Every. Single. Release.)... "there's not so much process"...roflmao (I've seen bugs go through THREE LEVELS of triage)...

Sinofsky seems to have some clues, but just because they put a new captain behind the tiller of the Titanic does NOT mean there aren't icebergs ahead. I will be more impressed if they seriously modularize Vienna with the goal to be able to ship something, ANYTHING every 24-36 months.

Anonymous said...

Buck up guys, you are writing the most complicated piece of code in history, of course it is painful to work on and it's still buggy and its getting delayed again and again. When the .NET version of Windows gets widely deployed it will be game-changing. I really don't think pundits understand this yet, but it will be obvious 5 years from now. I'm selling GOOG and buying MSFT. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

In resonse to the earlier comment on using a voucher system to allow for free upgrades, the Windows registration and activation mechanisms already allow for a mechanism for Microsoft to get information on new users of the consumer sales of Windows XP Home and Pro.

Given all the negative reaction to Windows activation in the past, it would be a pleasant surprise for users if the activation mechanism was used to send them a free upgrade to Vista withot any voucher system. More information would have to be captured but users would probably willing supply it if they were receiving a free upgrade in return.

This could be incorporated into pre-installed windows bits for sale during Q4.

Anonymous said...

"What the hell is wrong with not only working to fix the problem (thank you) but admitting we're fixing a problem."

Shouldn't the first step be "admitting that there is a problem"?

Anonymous said...

Two things I like about Sinofsky:

1) He's an outsider. That at least implies that it's felt that those in Windows don't have the skills/chops/whatever to fix things.

2) He's sent the first exec mail I've ever seen while in Windows that mentioned the customer. As in "improve the lives of customers". It's almost as if he believes "your potential... our passion..." or something.

Bonus good thing. He set up an internal blog *the first day* he was in charge.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting blog with lots of interesting viewpoints, though most seem to be from inside Microsoft.

Re: the Vista slip:

If I were a shareholder, I would be furious.
If I were an employee, I would be demoralized.

As it is, I am a user, and I think what you'd find across the user base is -- we really don't care.

In fact, the delay is actually probably a good thing, because it delays the day that MSFT stops supporting XP, which works pretty well as-is...

Anonymous said...

Some of the blame may also lie with Intel.

http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2006/03/23/no-no-no-damnit-no-damn/#comment-7400

For those of us who took CE/EE instead of pure CS in university, we all know that great software is only made great when there's great hardware underneath it.

The Wintel alliance has finally started to show its fallacies. In fact, Intel has MS by the balls considering Otellini sits on Google's board!

Anonymous said...

I'm on the Vista beta and thought it was interesting yesterday to see a flurry of bug closings with the status being "Won't fix", "By design" and "Can't reproduce." It definitely smacks of sweeping the dirt under the rug.

Anonymous said...

If you take a look through the Office org (including Client, Server, Shared), count how many PUMs, Directors, or GMs there are. You can probably do it on one hand (maybe two). That's not an accident. Sinofsky is not a big fan of the PUM model because it can lead to fiefdoms (see: Windows org). He's more about letting smaller, flatter product teams of Dev/PM/Test do the right thing and be hard core about carving out a vision and sticking to it.

What are you talking about? Windows ditched the PUM model awhile ago and went with centralized dev/test/pm under discipline-centric directors. Agree we need focused feature teams of dev/test/pm but I don't think it's a matter of replacing the PUM model, which really doesn't exist in Windows any longer.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider I think a big part of MSFT's problem, right now, is that its management is tied to this idea of the 'cult of the lone individual' - a King Arthur, who will save you all... It's like a bad plotline from the idle dreams of an Open Source groupie, to be honest!

They are also far too focused upon their developer 'community', and not upon their customers, either!

In fact, they seem to have glommed onto the fact that it is the open source community's developers - and especially its star developers and leaders (yes - the Larry Walls, the David Heinemeier Hanssons, and the Linus Torvalds) that is what drives that community forwards.

MSFT management's big mistake has been in trying to emulate that model.

The primary reason that is wrong, IMO, is that open source is not a business: it does not need to turn a profit: open source people like me will 'keep on working on it' (as your dear old Bill once said, of the Linux kernel) while it continues to interest us to work on it. What your company does, in the meantime, is rather immaterial - and the fact that Larry Elison, or Michael Dell, think it's cool, too, is just, like - well: "Hey, Larry thinks we're cool - when is Larry gonna get cool? - Nah, Larry don't need to get cool - Larry can just buy another yacht! - Who needs to be cool, when you can have a fleet of yachts?"

Speaking as an Open Source developer, myself, (one who is not especially hostile to Microsoft and certainly not towards its developers) I can say that I do not, personally, want to see any of you people out of work - nor even living in the world of Hell that I see described here - at least by the one or two posters, that I can genuinely believe work at Microsoft in some capacity (the rest are just Slashdotters, if you don't mind me saying so, Mini).

However, constantly shuffling in some big name to take the helm and solve things will not help. You're a software company. Even the likes of Anders Hejlsberg - someone that anyone with even half a grasp of computer language design can admire - has any residual traces of his charisma sucked out of his products by the time it gets to your marketing division, and we get the 'C# .NET Gold Portal Community Developer Home Edition' version.

So, if I may say so, I don't think all this guffabout 'if only Steve Jobs was running things' (assuming any of that avtually ,i.is,/i> posted by Microsoft people, of course), is anythuing other than "We need a new leader talk". People, you don't need a new leader - you need a new line of products. Hell, even I will design for your stuff, if it doesn't suck (there, obligatory derogatory remark from a self-confessed open sourcer).

Anyway, I genuinely feel sorry for you guys, I really do, and I really hope you sort things out - but ditch this bullshit with the 'great saviour' stuff, because that only works in open source :).

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem as I see it as a former MSFT employee. Part of the problem is what is mostly discussed on this site:

[1] Microsoft is too big
[2] Microsoft has become bureaucratic
[3] Poor Morale
[4] Burnout due to the stress of the review process and workplace.

These are the reason why I left Microsoft and a five year project especially in now considering the commitment that developers have to make to such a project in the aforemention environment only leads to a chaotic project. Therefore I'm not surprise. And this is coming from someone who worked on the CLR team.

There was an article written by a former MSFT employee in the Seattle Weekly who zero in on the vastness of Windows. Vista could have been delivered in a more timely fashion over the past 5 years if Windows was more modular in design and delivery.

Ironically Windows Embedded is quite modular and could be the basis for the OS as components could be "sown" into the system. The CLR in fact could become the O/S with services build on top of that and eventully the existing kernal replaces.

But the point is that unless Microsoft figures out a way to do smaller and incremental delivery then this "change the world" approach will always lead to disarray with CYA and the rank and file paying the price in bad reviews or other reprisals.

Anonymous said...

How can you say that Jones reply of 'Yes' to turning down his bonus as he promised to do shows leadership. Someone in his position should have known when he first made the promise that it couldn't be done by August and being intellectually honest about it then would have been leadership. Now the only way for him to show leadership would be to give up his bonus and his position by resigning.

Anonymous said...

"Don't underestimate the impact that slipping the Office ship date will have on other products. Office Live is screwed. Ditto the entire RTC/Live Meeting product set, and some of the MBS products and even some small products like Small Business Accounting. A lot of hard work by a lot of hard working people is being affected."

I have to respecfully disagree with this comment.
As a tester of the new version of SBA (Alpha refresh) and the beta of OL your comment is way off base. These employees that I have been working with have a one up on Windows, they actually take feedback from their customers and incorporate into the very products you so fondly dismiss. Don't under estimate the value that user feedback from testers and newsgroup customers provide and the SBA Team has incorportated into service packs as "get new features download the free update now" spotlight. This is where your Windows and Office divisions differ. One is receptive and the other is not.
Personally I'm happy to see the reorg, don't know Mr. Sinofsky but have met and do correspond with many employees related to the above mentioned products, all to date I would very much appreciate them working for me. Out in the real world, they are very few and very far between.
Remember that there are a lot of actual users out here that are vested not by stock but actual our $ investment in your software and provide free feedback to those who will Listen just for the opportunity to test.
Instead of free soda and water could someone there stock some Koolaid? HR maybe? They have many flavors.

Customer

Anonymous said...

Jones says he is going to pass on his bonus this year. Okay, but why was it a foregone conclusion that he was going to get one? Must be nice to take such things for granted.

Anonymous said...

"Anyways, I'm sure everyone in Windows will eventually be exposed to his style. I recommend giving him a chance because he's probably the best guy at Microsoft to fix the problems."

I had the chance to hear this guy speak today to an all-hands meeting for Networking.

Without a doubt, there is a profound positive difference in the effectiveness with which he communicates - at this type of meeting at least (it's the only data point I have).

He was well-received, answered pointed questions candidly, and put our VP (and IMO all of the others in Windows, incl. BrianV) to shame, by using strasightforward everyday language and appropriate anecdotes to illustrate his points, instead of the usual fluffy, content-free Dilbertesque exec-speak that we have all come to know and hate in recent years.

His big challenge is going to be kicking some firmly-entrenched butts straight onto 156th Avenue, and exorcising the destructive fiefdoms alluded to above.

I hope it happens - it really needs to. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Anonymous said...

To the Windows team I say this: you should be very excited that Sinofsky is coming over. It may take a while for him to fix things, but he's the person to do it.

If you are an IC Dev/PM/Test in Windows, you will see eventual benefits from this move. Sinofsky is a big believer in fairness, consistency and work/life balance. Ask people in Office how many death marches they've been on. The answer is zero.


It will take years in a group as large as Windows to make a difference in their culture.

With a corrupt peformance review system, he will not know who to keep and who to fire. He, of course, doesn't believe it is corrupt so he'll start with the low scores.

Hopefully, he will work from the top down giving many in senior and middle management the option of "seeking other opportunities" as he moves down the org chart.

After he sweeps out those with low review scores (any in senior management?), he'll have to figure out who is actually technically competent and who is politically competent. Likely, the politically competent people will convince Sinofsky that they are the technically competent ones. Him, being a company man, will believe them and fire a fair number of the technically competent people and call them collateral damage.

Later, the politically competent people who can't actually ship a product will get fired when it becomes clear they aren't technically competent enough.

Sinofsky will then have to hire technically competent people to replace the politically competent and technically competent people he fired.

Of course, most of those candidates will be interviewed by people who are more politically competent than technically competent.

The cycle continues....

It will take a while .... a long while.

There are program managers and others who have never worked on a shipping product during their career at Microsoft. That would be a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

It is unfathomable that MSFT could miss the year on not one, but both of its main cash cows ... and Ballmer would not be forced to resign.

Look, you don't understand this game. Ballmer engineered this mess. I was in his office arguing with him about this "Integrated Innovation" idea where he was betting the company on a radical new windows (winfs, avalon, indigo, etc.) plus a completely windows exploitive version of Office.

I was arguing for incremental innovation, Steve wanted the big bang. I told him that he was blowing smoke and that the integrated innovation was a myth. He thought he had things that he didn't (like outlook getting insanely better because of winfs, or insanely cool data driven network applications enabled through winfs, indigo, avalon). I tried to reason with him as an engineer, but you know how it is when you are trying to deal with salesmen...

He said flat out that because of SA, he had a year or two of wiggle room before revenue would be impacted.

Steve bet the farm on this one and he lost big time. He knew how risky this was, but it was a bet he was willing to take. A big bang that worked would have been insanely rewarding for all. If it didn't pan out, so what. Microsoft would continue to reap the benefit of the existing monopoly. No downside on this bet. None at all.

Now, put your bean counter hats on. Steve made a huge bet that had enormous upside and virtually no downside. All thats lost is the huge payoff.

The slip is really insignificant. The delays, the bad press, the internal morale issues are all insignificant. PR can handle this over time. People will forget.

Because of the monopoly position Microsoft holds, virtually all PCs sold carry the microsoft tax. This was true during the win95 era, the win2k era, the xp era, and will continue to be true during the vista era.

Steve made a huge bet that failed, BUT microsoft's revenue and profits will not suffer. Name ANY other CEO that could architect something like this where the upside is huge with virtually no downside.

Steve is your hero. He is responsible for the continued dominence of Microsoft and should be praised, not lynched.

Steve and I have had our differences over the years but in this space, he is unlike any other. He is a master and you guys really need him.

-an ex microsoftie, now at a competitor.

Anonymous said...

"...What are you talking about? Windows ditched the PUM model awhile ago and went with centralized dev/test/pm under discipline-centric directors..."

The PUM model still exists in Networking. And fiefdoms is quite accurate.

Anonymous said...

These guys are fixing bugs and finding bugs everyday:-

Software Dev Engineer
Software Dev Engineer/Test

And then these guys come to work, sit in meetings, and help make *some* decisions:

Program Manager
Test Lead
Dev Lead

Then there exists a chain of command all the way up to Jim Allchin that exists mainly to coordinate, communicate, cross-group collaborate, a lot of passing status up, pass info down. They also manage the managers who in turn manage those who manage (for upto 8 levels in some cases), do some politicking, "grow their careers" although nothing major has shipped for 5 years, do reviews, sit in "strategy meetings", justify their existence by having more status meetings and so on. These include:

Director of something or the other
Senior Director
General Manager
Product Unit Manager
Group Manager
Group Program Manager
Other fancy titles

I mean there are so many frickin layers of management, to manage the bloated group, that got bloated in the first place due to feature bloat, it is frickin unbelievable. Some layers are needed no doubt, just not clear where the fat is, or if it is spread out nice and even among all layers.

And then there are these people, and I am not sure what they have been doing the last 5 years (no fault of theirs, just the way things are):-

Product Manager (not to be confused with program manager)
Usability engineer
Product Planner
Senior Product Planner
Graphic Designer
Documentation Specialist (Writing docs for Vista for 5 yrs now?)

Even more unclear is what their leads, managers, directors, and General managers have been upto the last 5yrs.

In fact, the entrenched bureaucracy is a fact with more or less the whole company, more so in Windows and MSN groups.

In the town hall meeting today, Brian V said he suspected some time back that Vista will need to slip. Then he started talking with all the groups to assess the amount of slip. Precisely in his own words, it took him 5 weeks of time to talk with all the groups and then to realize that a 8 week slip is needed. Tell me this, what kind of bloated software project needs 5 weeks of status gathering to realize a slip of 8 weeks is needed?

If and when Vista ships, it will truly be a miracle of Biblical proportions.

Anonymous said...

This is good

ballmer has to resign anyway. or eventually get fired.

under his leadership, we did not foreseen the major evolution waves that happened during these last years: modular os, virtualization, portable audio/media, search. in all fields, we either lost, or suffered significant challenges.
and he never listened to people talking about security, until the platform got in real trouble. and that was an awful lot of money to recover.
and to top it all, he can't make sure his managers deliver our os, which is by the way, our core business.

this is more than enough. i have had more than enough of his stupid smile and incompetence. he must leave. he's a ceo, he's unable to read the market, and he’s unable to execute as well. we don't need him. we will be better without him. see you, steve. GET OUT!

Anonymous said...

Hey Windows org. Thanks! MS as it is today wouldn't exist without Windows. While I'm reading a lot of decent suggestions here, I also see an awful lot of whining. If you work at MS and care about the future of the company, destructive, self-important, whiny comments here aren't going to help. We as a company need Vista to succeed. As cool as you think your job in XBox, mobile, MSR, MSN, Live is - all those divisions owe their existence and collect their paychecks thanks to Windows. So if you're in Windows. Thanks! I really appreciate what you're doing. You should be proud - you work on the most important product at MS. Vista will be awesome when it ships. For those not in Windows - stop pointing fingers and do something constructive. Self-host, provide feedback, run stress, develop a cool gadget, ...

Enough already! Yeah, things are far from perfect so be an advocate for change, but in the meantime we've got an OS to ship.

Anonymous said...

He's sent the first exec mail I've ever seen while in Windows that mentioned the customer. As in "improve the lives of customers".

If he really believes that, he should fire half the management in WinSE. The motto for that group should be "We screw the customers". I can't count the number of times I've been in their war meetings seeing customer bug fixes get rejected for ridiculous reasons:

* It's only the first report of this bug
* It's only a small company
* It's a fix in a "risky" area
* and so on...

At the rate WinSE is going, we may have no customers to sell Vista to.

The Nog said...

I think consumer excitement over Vista has become really deflated with the delay announcement, which seems to have caused a lot of pent-up frustrations in the press to be released against Microsoft. At this point, Vista just needs to ship not to get a new version of Windows out, but so Microsoft can quickly move onto the next thing, and everyone can try to distance themselves from this disaster as much as possible and move on. That kind of damns Vista as a sort of red-headed stepchild, but so be it.

Anonymous said...

Why would those divisions not exist without Windows? Can't office be ported to other OSs? Can't Live run on Linux? Can't XBox run a custom OS?

It's hard to argue that Vista is crucial to company's success, but let's keep WinDiv hubris under control a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Steve is your hero. He is responsible for the continued dominence of Microsoft and should be praised, not lynched.

The operating system monopoly on PCs that Microsoft has is responsible for the continued dominance of Microsoft.

Steve is a salesman selling a monopoly product.

You said it yourself.

Because of the monopoly position Microsoft holds, virtually all PCs sold carry the microsoft tax.

Anonymous said...

Now a new leader is picked from crowd of Politburo members...his job will be re-org Windows into a discplined code-writing product-shipping org; come hell or high water...or the long cold (and wet) winters.

The question is what model(s) will he use?


Sinofsky does not like "negative people". He feels people who are critical of Microsoft and still work there are subversive especially when they share those views with others at work.

If the gulag is anywhere but Microsoft, he'll put you there if he thinks you're a disruptive influence.

He identifies a symptom as a cause - critism.

There have been partners on this blog venting that developers suddenly do not know how to write code.

You have developers on here saying that there is so much process that they can make very little progress on actually writing and checking code. One developer even said that they have forgotten how to code while working at Microsoft.

Vista is a very large software project that outstripped Microsoft's processes for managing software projects (e.g. developers do their thing, testers do their thing, managers say no to new features at some point, testers and customers find bugs, developers fix bugs, when the product meets a quality bar, ship it).

There are too many moving parts to be managed for the processes in place. Management set all the parts in motion at once instead of untangling the components and working on them a few at a time per release.

The processes introduced in reaction to all of this are choking progress rather than guiding it.

In other words, the State knows best (but really doesn't).

Anonymous said...

Product slips are part of the MS business, like it or not. We deliver software to the masses in a much different scale than any other company, and as Steve and Bill like to point out, the "big bets" in OS and architecture have to be left to us... in their view, "who else will/can do it?"

The issue with that is that the big bets have been developing right before our eyes. The sea change in the software services, delivery, information aggregation and open environment have been astounding in the last 5 years once you step back and look at it. It's tough to characterize new Windows UI as a 'big bet', or any of the other Windows specific innovations as "big bets" because in the end, they are only focused mainly on the Windows/MSFT stack. The world has moved beyond that argument, and when we innovate across our interoperable stack, it's less and less compelling to users and developers who see the world differently. So we end up in this silo attached to a franchise that is having less impact instead of Microsoft being "the software company"... we are just "the windows company"...

I've argued this point for years and years here. The notion of building protection/defense instead of thinking of the changes of computing and delivery is a tough one for Sr. Management to grok.

So, the slip sucks. It's significant enough of an issue to throw in the towell on CY06 a full 7 months before it was to be delivered... but the issue that lingers with me three business days after the announcement, is that neither Steve nor Bill have sent a company wide memo on this - to talk about the issue - to provide information/feedback/direction/leadership in a way that only they should... and this, my friends, is a telling signal that they see it as a "divisional" problem instead of a company problem.

This has been a great company for well over 13 years for me and most who have been here that long - but the attorneys and lobbyists run this company now - it's not a product focused organization at any level (excluding the dev/tester element, no i'm not one) and that is absolutely sad. I knew it was time to leave when you find out that there are actually people at the company with the title "chief of staff"... we truly are like the government...

Leave it to the lawyers, lobbyists and PR flaks to clean up the mess, the technology, partners and customers come second these days.

Anonymous said...

I understand why many people think that the news says that Office is slipping, because that's what the mainstream press appears to be reporting. But I would expect internal people to understand how this whole "marketing" thing works. Office RTM date is Not slipping. (Perhaps it should, but that's a different issue) The fact is that MS saves tens of millions of dollars by launching Office and Vista at the same events, same posters, same documents, etc. The thing about being available to enterprises before the end of the year is all about getting those "end of fiscal year" deals: a company has money left in its IT budget that it will lose if it doesn't spend it. So they spend it on software they may not even install for 6 months, but then they have it. So it's very important to sales figures to have the software available at the end of the year.

PS - The comments about Sinofsky's flat org are right on. Hopefully he can clean out the tens of levels of middle management in Windows before all the productive people jump ship. He needs to come out right now and say that he is going to get org depth down to 8 or something like that across the board, no excuses. Let's get those leads reporting to a lead reporting to a director reporting to a dev mgr reporting to a director back doing useful work rather than filling out TPS reports.

ThunderRiver said...

Very well said! This is the right mindset that Microsoft leaders should have.

"Hey Windows org. Thanks! MS as it is today wouldn't exist without Windows. While I'm reading a lot of decent suggestions here, I also see an awful lot of whining. If you work at MS and care about the future of the company, destructive, self-important, whiny comments here aren't going to help. We as a company need Vista to succeed. As cool as you think your job in XBox, mobile, MSR, MSN, Live is - all those divisions owe their existence and collect their paychecks thanks to Windows. So if you're in Windows. Thanks! I really appreciate what you're doing. You should be proud - you work on the most important product at MS. Vista will be awesome when it ships. For those not in Windows - stop pointing fingers and do something constructive. Self-host, provide feedback, run stress, develop a cool gadget, ...

Enough already! Yeah, things are far from perfect so be an advocate for change, but in the meantime we've got an OS to ship."

Anonymous said...

Microsoft is a victim of its own success. Specifically, a victim of Win95.

That concept; the big release. The groups of people lined up in stores with boxes clutched to their chest -- all with the Stones pumping out "Start Me Up" as the soundtrack.

That was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Will probably never NEVER happen in the OS world again.

The OS has moved to being a utility - like a lightswitch - people just want it to work.

The excitement has moved to the network: web-services, ipods, blackberries, thin-clients is where the current excitement is. Face it, XP is "good enough". Word, Excel, Outlook, et al is "good enough".

On the OS devel side, Microsoft has completely missed the "release early, release often" incremental release mentality. Instead, like a degenerate gambler, MSFT continues to try to search for the "next big hit".

Watching MSFT try to get Windows XP Ver 2 (aka Vista) out the door as become painful to see. Like sissyphus pushing that rock up a hill.

IBM had its decade of pain, get ready for yours.

Anonymous said...

@9:04 PM We've heard this soo many times. Add some constuctive critisism and we may take you seriously.

@11:30 PM Hear hear. Teamwork people! All the incessant whining is not going to help Microsoft move forward.

Anonymous said...

Even more unclear is what their leads, managers, directors, and General managers have been upto the last 5yrs

My favorite title - "Chief of Staff". Go ahead, search for that title in Headtrax. And tell me again, what is it that they do in a software company?

Anonymous said...

"God, it all pisses me off.

By Nathan Weinberg, at 9:53 PM"

This in a nutshell sums up the impact of this latest fuckup for me. Here's the author of the best and most positive blog covering MS. A guy who, one his own dime, gets up everyday and writes about the great things happening at MS and even spends time dispelling some myths about competitors. And here you've managed to even disillusion him. MS: Get your SHIT together. Nathan, keep the faith. At some point, even MS has to recognize what's been obvious to everyone else for 3+ years now and do a major house cleaning starting at the top.

Anonymous said...

"How can you say that Jones reply of 'Yes' to turning down his bonus as he promised to do shows leadership..."

Agree. When it was first posted months (years?) ago that he'd made that statement, I posted that giving up your job was a commitment whereras giving up your bonus was a gesture. So now he's failed and may or may not give up his bonus so what's been accomplished? In most businesses, if you fail on your commitment then you forfeit your job. In Windows, if you fail on your commitment for 4 years, one guy may give up his bonus?

This all reminds me of the Chicken and the Pig story:

Moved with compassion, the chicken said to the pig, "I have an idea! Let's give those children a nice breakfast of ham and eggs."
The pig contemplated the chicken's suggestion and said, 'Well, for you, that would involve a small sacrifice; but for me, it would involve total commitment!"

MS needs a lot more total commitment and a lot less token gestures of sacrifice.

ChessPlayingAustrian said...

I believe almost everybody who posts here is dramatically overestimating Microsoft's future share of the OS and Office Applications market.

Over the last year it has become very clear that Apple and Google are huge threats.

Apple is obviously going to market a rival OS that run on Intel machines.

Google is obviously building an Office suite that follows the software-as-service model.

Software-as-service that is free and paid for through advertising is going to happen and it will be the dominant force very quickly.

Also, computer hardware is getting very cheap, and continues to get cheaper. The cheaper the hardware, the more expensive software appears to be (if it costs cash to use).

When free software is good enough, PC vendors will be motivated to market hardware that has the free software because the margins will be higher. By analogy, think of brand-name vs. store-brand in the large grocery store chains. The stores have higher margins on the store-brand products.

Microsoft will not adequately meet these challenges and must first go through mega pain first. IBM went through pain before coming around again. Microsoft is heading in the same direction, obviously.

Anonymous said...

"The slip is really insignificant. The delays, the bad press, the internal morale issues are all insignificant. PR can handle this over time. People will forget."

Sorry, I'm the original poster and while I agree with all your recs to Ballmer, I totally disagree that this was a win:win bet. See, I'm a shareholder, and when MS fucks up like it did this time and has consistently for the past 3 years, we underwrite the impact directly via the stock taking a hit or indirectly via continued chronic market underperformance. In particular, this fuckup comes just as MS stock was finally catching a serious bid from institutions. Now, that's over and MS is dead money for another 6 mths. So please don't tell me that Ballmer's a genius. Under Ballmer, MS stock has trailed all major averages for 3 years for a total underperformance of 60%. His failures have cost investors literally $100B's and he needs to go. Period.

Drei said...

Steve and I have had our differences over the years but in this space, he is unlike any other. He is a master and you guys really need him.

-an ex microsoftie, now at a competitor.


Is that Marc L again? Nice of him to drop by ;-).


These guys are fixing bugs and finding bugs everyday:-

Software Dev Engineer
Software Dev Engineer/Test

And then these guys come to work, sit in meetings, and help make *some* decisions[snip]


I'm not making apologies for management, but I think you're lacking a good deal of perspective on what it takes to work on big products.

Without the leads, the ICs would most likely work on whatever catches their fantasy or according to their scale of priorities. Leads set priorities, assign the tasks according to capabilities and push back on what can't be done.

Managers take the more important triaging decisions (BOL) and help your group get items approved in other wars, or get support you need (be it a minor fix or a big DCR) from other groups. An IC, unless very decorated, simply has not the same amount of pull in a foreign war as a dev/test/pm manager.

Higher up lies the financial responsibilities - you have your budget and your list of tasks - minimize the first while maximizing the other. It's not very clear to me if that is all they do, but it might be simply a required parent node for their subtree - you probably don't want a CVP with 25 PUMs as direct reports. One simply can't time-slice efficiently to keep all of them on track.

At VP level, the responsibilities include recruiting a key industry expert that provides essential insight into evolving trends (or a college buddy), designing the 5 year dominance plan for that niche, securing BillG's nod of approval for it and then delivering the goods. If it goes well, you go up to do the same thing at the next level. If not, oh well, you still have your massive grant, a shack in Tuscany to soothe your broken heart and a horde of devs on which to hoist the blame.

Anonymous said: If he really believes that, he should fire half the management in WinSE. I can't count the number of times I've been in their war meetings seeing customer bug fixes get rejected for ridiculous reasons:

* It's only the first report of this bug
* It's only a small company
* It's a fix in a "risky" area
* and so on...


Too bad you've been in all those meetings and came out without the basic tenet of a QFE. It is masively expensive and very risky. Corner cases (your small company example)are rarely worth the risk. I agree, it sucks to be a "corner case" but don't tell anyone that you, in turn, do good on all corner cases in your activity. WinSE are rarely experts in the areas they inherit, and making the wrong "simple" fix could have a devastating butterfly effect 5 layers away. They are loathe to assume this risk, are undermanned to do adequate regression testing and usually don't have the support of the area devs, who are now heads down on the new component. At best, they'll offer you a workaround. As all engineering, software is a trade-off. Firing the WinSE managers for saying 'no' won't change it one bit.

Anonymous said: Why would those divisions not exist without Windows? Can't office be ported to other OSs? Can't Live run on Linux? Can't XBox run a custom OS?

Office is ported on another OS, Live can run on Linux, but Xbox can't run a custom OS. Actually, it does run a custom OS, but it's stitched from swatches cut from WinOS. Like, say, DX. "Porting" it is re-writing it. But, in any case, what's XBox doing in the same paragraph with Office and Live? Is that an allusion to the superior XBox devs coming to the aid of clueless Windows people? Xbox have their own issues to worry about, such as the upcoming (delayed) pack which is being done by Windows people.

Anonymous said...

"More than HP, and Gateway, I wonder what those MORONS at Microsoft were doing to cause Vista to not ship on time?"

- Jack Cafferty on CNN Saturday morning, just 30 minutes ago


People, we are getting SHREDDED by the media. They're all talking about a "little company called Apple who's stock has been doing GREAT of late." - PR at MS is NOT going to be able to smooth things over this time round.

Sinofsky needs to trim the fat from WinDiv management ASAP! And THEN, publicize that to the media. Our Devs and Testers are our most valuable employees. Sinofsky should talk to THEM about which of their bosses need to get fired.

Anonymous said...

While Mini and quite a few commentors have alluded to this, no one has really directly pointed out that what is happening here is essentially a war of different cultures.

Ballmer, and especially Windows , have spent a good deal of time blowing smoke about the importance of the customer, but the truth is that decision making just doesn't get made with the customer (or the shareholders) in mind. Allchin's conf call and email on the slip is a pefect example of this. He spends his time worrying about texas hold'em being included in the o/s, it's no wonder his email sounds confused.

Kevin Johnson at first glance seems to be really looking at the customer and the shareholders (and keep in mind that these two groups overlap more at MS than probably any other company -- i.e., lots of customers are also s/holders).

This is about changing faith and culture: the cylons vs. the colonials. I work in Platforms, and have seen so many people -- and mostly women, alas -- leave the division in the past year. they're all leaving because of the culture or lack there of.

The culture must change, and this change can only be driven by increasing accountability, which should then help drive teamwork.

If we do not change the culture, the market will change it for us. Like it or not, MS probably should be taken over by outside interests, and the BOD sacked along with most of the senior management.

Who knows.... good luck steve, ray, kevin.

Drei said...

but the issue that lingers with me three business days after the announcement, is that neither Steve nor Bill have sent a company wide memo on this - to talk about the issue - to provide information/feedback/direction/leadership in a way that only they should... and this, my friends, is a telling signal that they see it as a "divisional" problem instead of a company problem.

Bingo. Complete radio silence. Not that there was a lot of time to think about it, but all this debacle has quite a few oddities sticking out.

1. When David Cole announced his departure, Steve chimed in. When the biggest division of MS is undergoing massive changes, not a peep, be it a "whoo-a! I'm pumped up!" or anything a bit more dense. Is it possible they're all out of town and unreachable, that the reorg happened hastily, without a Secret Gathering, or ..?

2. The following people seemed to have been punished: Will Poole - exiled to a 3rd world country of a division, Chris Jones, for not given Will's place and Brian V, for not being given it all of Windows. Amir transitioned from being Chris' peer to being his subaltern and that can't be all that pleasing. Then Sinofsky is coming in heralded as the Great Saviour, and you just know the others are grinding their teeth while typing the congratulatory notes. Two excerpts that caught my eye - Chris J saying about Steven "he has a lot to learn", as in "yeah, you may be put in charge, but this is Windows, Bucky, not PowerPoint." The other was Amir thanking Will, saying "we would not be here today without him". Of course, we could have been much better.

3. The disappearance of Will Poole is just as puzzling as his sudden rise. Who and why was he pushed so quickly up to lead the entire WinClient? Of all 5 or 6 VP emails sent around, not one thanked him for his stellar job. Yes, there were some obligatory "thanks" but it all indicates he has been violently removed from grace - could he be that the teams most in arrears were under his supervision? I don't want to name names, but Brian V has repeatedly given only one example of teams that need help.

Again, I hope Sinofsky brings a fresh eye to old problems and maybe we can claw back at least 2 weeks of those 8. That would be something.

Anonymous said...

Got a friend of a friend who says his friend has a patented thing called Gopoint that allows users to navigate quickly right from the pointer.

Seems it's a graphic requiring only one click. This guy says Microsoft has it and is delaying the consumer intro of Vista to install it.

Makes sense, since it really sounds cool compared to other "new" features of Vista.

Hope he's right and hope he gets paid by Microsoft. I hear they already won't return his calls. Makes sense, too.

No matter what the latest ads say about the "evil empire" they still do evil. 'Spose that means none of their employees could work for Google! ;o)

Anonymous said...

(Excessive use of caps, but yes, I am yelling

IT'S NOT THE OS!!!! (must be said in Ahh-nuld voice)

IT'S NOT BALLMER !!!(although I have no respect for juvenile behavior and woefully inadequate performance)

IT'S NOT DEV !!! (We have some of the top guns in the industry (and most of them bathe even. )

IT'S NOT TEST !!! (what's left of it)

IT'S NOT EVEN PM (oh that was hard to type)


IT'S ALL THE PROCESSES, STUPID!

Onerous, repetitive, redundant, and self-perpetuating processes, that even repeat themselves and duplicate already redundant processes.

Ask anyone at any level about whether they 'do more for less result' than they did a few yrs ago.
-More reports
-More 'gates' (so what are things not better?)
-More automation (which finds fewer bugs, but Darren won't admit that)
-More status reports
-More meetings
-More meetings
-More PMs hired
-More PMs managing PMs
-More pseudo-milestones
-More slide decks with 'creatively filtered' data to send up the food-chain
-More features that few seem to want, and even fewer can make a compelling argument for
-More feature cuts of stuff that might have been useful
-More GUI changes seemingly for the heck of it
-More SKUs incomprehensible to the customer - Ultimate, Pro, Business, Light, Left-Handed, Abby, Bubba, Toby... Is there one that will just work? Is there one that will actually be tested before kicking it out the door?
-More VPs than, uhh, than, well, actually, is even imaginable. Go look at the list and I'll bet you cannot recognize more than a handful, even some that are in your own food chain.
-More people who want to leave the org, but are not given permission to interview.
-More quality, productive people quitting MS (bad attrition, maybe even sad attrition)
-More time that open reqs are left unfilled because of unreasonable expectations.
-More workload for those left.

The only things in Windows org that are Mini'd are:
-Number of people actually testing sw, rather than spinning wheels writing code to test areas that already are stable.
-OHI scores
-Number of people who want to stay
-Number of bugs found/fixed for a given amount of effort/time.
-Number of days when you could go home feeling like you did something worthwhile.
-salaries and compensation relative to effort and accomplishment


Do more, with less, for less, in less time, until you drop. Or leave.

I left. Now I make more, in less time, with less process, and accomplish more. Now if only I could let go, and stop venting.

Not like Sinofsky and his minions would listen to a rank and file peon anyway. - gauntlet thrown

John C. Welch said...

Just as a minor point that others have brought up:

Office runs on multiple OS's now. Has for years. Office:Mac.

Note what the MacBU does with a tenth? of the WinOffice team, even if you ONLY use the Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Outlook teams as a comparison.

They're small, tight, and they work in a community that is simultaneously both a loyal customer and a rabid opponent.

In some ways, working for the Mac BU is like being a black MD at a KKK hospital. But they do great work every day. They ship when they say they'll ship, and when they can't ship a feature, they say so, without doublespeak, and keep working until they CAN ship the feature. The Office 2004 11.2.3 update was a sterling example of this.

It's not that no one at Microsoft knows how to do things the right way.

It's that Microsoft ignores the teams that do this all the time.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! ... and what about the Partners of Microsoft? Partners are suppose to be the "backbone of Microsoft". Out of sight, out of mind.

Perhaps having Burgum in place of Sinofsky isn't a bad idea!

Anonymous said...


Too bad you've been in all those meetings and came out without the basic tenet of a QFE. It is masively expensive and very risky.

You haven't worked WinSE have you? By the time a bug goes to the war meeting (at least last time I was at one), developers had already spent the cost of investigating and researching/writing a fix. You can argue that there is some cost to building a hotfix and lesser cost to testing (though hotfix testing is almost always part of service pack or security fix testing) - but hotfix or no hotfix, MS already pays out the development cost to investigate a fix.

Not every hotfix (or security fix) is risky. Where's your risk line for a fix? A simple "code red" fix in IIS, an OCA fix, or perhaps a check for a memory allocation failure. If you think everything's risky, perhaps you should send mail to Chuck and Brian to stop hotfixes if you really believe that.


WinSE are rarely experts in the areas they inherit, and making the wrong "simple" fix could have a devastating butterfly effect 5 layers away.


This a pretty poor statement - I've seen people WinSE who are even better than the core component owners. It just so happens these people jump ship to better places than WinSE once they're that good.


They are loathe to assume this risk, are undermanned to do adequate regression testing and usually don't have the support of the area devs, who are now heads down on the new component. At best, they'll offer you a workaround.


Last time I checked, I'm sure they were fixing a lot more than just checking for memory alloc failures and buffer overruns. You ought to look in their bug database and see what they work on.


As all engineering, software is a trade-off. Firing the WinSE managers for saying 'no' won't change it one bit.


There's always a tradeoff, but WinSE is running it like a pendulum that's stuck at one extreme and not swinging the other way.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree that this was a win:win bet.

You are mis-reading. I didn't say that Steve viewed this as a win:win bet. I said it was a bet with huge upside and virtually no downside. Loosing the bet will not cause financial ruin within microsoft or within the industry. Its monopoly stranglehold on the pc industry provides revenue and profit growth that is very lucrative. Its not growing at 30%, but really go look at the numbers and you have to agree that Microsoft's revenues and profits are doing well.

See, I'm a shareholder, and when MS fucks up like it did this time and has consistently for the past 3 years, we underwrite the impact directly via the stock taking a hit or indirectly via continued chronic market underperformance.

I think Bill and Steve's arrogance during the Antitrust days have more to do with the stock price than Vista delays. When the judge ruled, our stock was cut in half instantly.

The continued delays of Vista and Office have absolutely nothing to do with the performance of Microsoft stock. I garuntee that Vista and Office have already been accounted for in its stock price and the market has spoken load and clear. These two pieces of software will have virtually no impact at all on Microsoft's growth prospects. With or without these two products, Microsoft will grow at a reasonable rate that is a function of overall PC market growth. Microsoft collects a tax on each PC sold in the world. It works hard to change the tax rate slightly but thats about all it can do.

Microsofts stock is performing poorly becasue there is no indication that it is doing anything that will lead to 20-40-40+% growth, even for just a few years. Look at the numbers! What $8b product is Microsoft working on this year that will provide it with 20% growth? You think Windows Live is going to do that this year or anytime soon? What about Windows Live Search? Steve wants to win here, BUT for it even to matter, Windows Live Search has to displace Google 100%!

Steve's bit bet was that an "Integrated Innovation" release of Windows and Office, just might generate a 1-2 year upgrade pop that if it really panned out would be worth the $8-$16b for a year or two. Thats unlikely to happen now because there just isn't enough substance and value in either of these products to spur an upgrade surge. Instead, these products will be assimilated through the normal pc run rate, and through SA agreements that are already in place. Its too bad this didn't pan out, but the idea was a good one, and if WinFS, Avalon, Indigo + Windows Exploitive Office had hit, your stock in Microsoft would have doubled, easily.

Microsoft is not a growth company, but people are pricing it is if it were. It is a rock solid company that has a solid monopoly, is immensely profitable and generates a very very large stream of $$. You should be happy to have a stock like this in your portfolio and you should be encouraging the board to increase the dividend. Thats the only way to make money on Microsoft. My god, they paid you all over $30b last year right? At the rate that Microsoft generates $$, that special dividend can be paid out every other year, easily.

Anonymous said...

WinSE - Windows SE

I have been seeing all these posts about WinSE sucks!

Do any of you even have a saniest idea on how hard it is to be a sustainaibility org?

Having worked with WinSE very closely, I have to say they are the BEST DAMN sustaining org in the world! Sure they have layers of management here that are totaly incompetent but the passion that lives in the IC's in this group is fanatic.

Have you seen a GDR release schedule? It's a well oiled machine that keep's on cranking out quality. Over 85% of GDR make it out on a very aggressive schedule and the regression rate is lowest in years. Not only do they fix the security issue but fix a junk load of variations too. (Most SE testing finds security variants that are not fixed by core even though they have gone through a "security push". And all this by entry level SDETs who have been here less than 1-2 years. Imagine ... Remember the WMF SSIRP at the start of the year? It went out in a week! Try that with any team in Microsoft and see the quality you get! Folks worked over the New years weekend and spent 48+ hours in office ) Dont even for a second think that Core conterparts havent given them better positions in Core teams. Talk to any core team that has interacted with WinSE and almost 75% of them will agree to hiring folks from WinSE without even an interview!

The Devs in WinSE are some of the smartest I have seen in the company. They are in WinSE because they like what they do.

But WinSE has its problems too. Upper Management sucks! Too much of process at times and the compensation for the work they do is pathetic.

But compare it to the rest of Microsoft and it's an amazing place to be at if you love working on windows.

Anonymous said...

Ballmer IS out of town for a couple of weeks, I don't know about Bill.

Those of you who think that PRE*** is too ominous really need to think about the entire process. (I'm a builder)

If a fix is needed and caught before cheking in by these processes, you've just saved the company millions. The earlier a bug is found in the process the less likely the end-user will see it, this cuts SE from having to spin more cycles to fix it, and mitigates the risk of a post-ship bug.

You may not like it, and I don't blame you. But the tax on you is worth it. Build quality is better than I've seen in 5 years.

Richard Gadsden said...

I'm one of your end-users. I test and recommend new software and s/w upgrades to a thousand user org. I appreciate that a thousand Windows licences isn't much of a hill of beans, of course.

"I will be more impressed if they seriously modularize Vienna with the goal to be able to ship something, ANYTHING every 24-36 months."

Someone has the answer. You've had a reasonably solid OS kernel and core since 1993 - that would be Windows NT 3.1. You eventually put a decent UI and a decent networking system in by 1999 in Windows 2000.

Win XP has some nice stability improvements over 2000 - Luna, I can take or leave, but the better registry code is nice. Win2K3 has a few features that are really useful - getting rid of the RSL has probably done more to actually help real users here than anything else in 2K3, because we can actually log more than 25 people on to one Citrix server now.

My point is that you've got a pretty solid OS kernel and a decent UE in WinXP/2K3. What you should be doing now is writing lots of little updates and seeing where they are up to every couple of years. Anything that's ready to ship gets packaged together and released as a new OS.

Looking at Vista/Longhorn, one good feature is the new IP stack with IPv6 integrated with IPv4. Great idea! If that one comes with a dozen other nice improvements and you release every 18-24 months then you'll start selling people on SA again.

And if you want/need a big update, then write it in parallel. Keep the existing OS supported and back-port the UI innovations on the existing OS onto the new core platform. You might remember doing this before; it was called NT4, when you wrote a nice new UI for Win95, and the back-ported it to NT as NT4.

Anonymous said...

Where's Ballmer and Gates as this "60% Vista re-write" PR fiasco is playing out across the blogsphere and mainstream media? They were happy to plaster themselves all over the media just a few weeks ago reiterating how Vista was on track. But when it came to delivering the delay news and the massive subsequent fallout, suddenly both have developed agoraphobia. Times like this are when leaders are meant to show their stuff. Instead, all we hear from Gates/Ballmer is [crickets] while Allchin does his lame-ass, dishonest and totally self-serving spin and folks like Scoble are left to try and address the rising fallout. Time for Gates/Ballmer to go - their leadership failures have been apparent for 5 years now but of late, are becoming ridiculous. And where the hell is the BOD and why aren't they doing their job of oversight as MS mgt spins, misrepresents and in some cases just outright lies?

Anonymous said...

I believe almost everybody who posts here is dramatically overestimating Microsoft's future share of the OS and Office Applications market.

You got to know that most people that post here are 1) Other OS freaks that masturbate to every bad news from MS; 2) Pretend (fake) MSFTies; 3) Bitter fired & managed out, or resigned ex-MSFTies; 4) Perpetual Underperformers that are scared of their fates; 5) Bitter, deserved or underserved victims of the performance review process

....plus an occassional but very infrequent sprinkle of wisdom from 1) Solid performers; 2) Solid ex-MSFTies who are doing great elsewhere; 3) The real Customer (we know who you are); 4) Positively minded and concerned msfties;

If you have ever posted here, ask yourself the category you belong to. If you are a non-MSFTie who lurks here, it is more difficult especially since you cannot easily discern those fake "I work at MS" posts. And you are thinking "Oh my God, the ship's about to hit an iceberg".

Personally - the pot pourri of unintelligible and intelligent posts provides a good social experiment. While I worry sometimes about having to go through lots of trash before reading comments worth my while, hey I don't have to surf elsewhere like slashdot to read vitriol against MS since those guys are all posting here now (albeit in fake MS clothing).

On the Vista delay, it is unfortunate that Windows folks (at least the informed ones) do not post here. Which is good, it means we are honkered down working:) Mini does not work in Windows either. So let me help us out a little bit here since the press haven't even read the news release they are printing.

BTW who am I? I am one of the several components owners who consulted with Brian on this latest Vista stuff. And to be honest, Vista is nothing so different from the complex beasts that Brian has nutured to fruition in the past. Of course if you have been here for only five or so years you'd think Vista is the only challenge MS has ever faced. But I digress..

Yes the original plan was to get this puppy out August ending to ensure the two classes of OEMs (Direct and Indirect, e.g. Dell and Circuit City) had a level playing field for the year end Vista fueled hardware & software sales. Vista is being delivered with a bottoms up project management method where each component's (and there are hundreds) schedule make up the master. So the Brian review showed a few components (I can count with the fingers on one hand) needing a few more weeks to wrap. Because of the nature of these components (input vs output) there is no other alternative other than adding these extra weeks (half in Beta 2, 0.25% in RC1 etc).

Now Brian has humongous titanium balls - Go check his history from Exchange 5.5 to Win2K etc. He has his rules that cannot be overriden and some of these are:

1) If it ain't done, I a'int serving it. Period.

2) A customer will soon forgive you for shipping good stuff later than you promised but will never forgive you for shipping bad stuff on time.

The added time was not even much, prolly 6weeks (or 8 worst case) and will serve mainly those few components. Over 90% of the Windows components will be Vista complete in June and then cruise along the project ending dance to August as originally planned. However the added time pushed overall RTM to mid-October.

For the Dells, HP/Compaqs of the world this was not a biggie. They can still be ready for Black Friday and the holidays. But to the indirect folks who get their orders through a myriad of 3rd/4th/5th/6th party manufacturers several continents away, this means they will not be able to participate in the year end bonanza. Microsoft could have said "Screw You", you should have arranged better channels for this puppy, but we didn't. (Actually if I were Fry's, I'd sue to delay the RTM if MS went ahead with the mid October RTM)

So the decision we came to was that after the Oct RTM, only the business part will be enabled. Those folks use other arrangements different from OEMs, and the consumer side will be enabled in January, giving the indirect OEMs the time they asked for. These are the same bits, RTM'd in October. No extra work is happening for consumer release. Unfortunately for people, the press picked up on the January date, and before you knew it the story was now that Vista has been delayed to January - which is a crock of Bull. It would be funny but some msfties were confused too.

The fact that this was announced in March, several months before, should have hinted that this was a controlled move. But that didn't work obviously (although the real story is beginning to emerge which is why I am writing this without the fear that I am revealing too much).

Remember that no RTM date was released externally (although it was an open secret we were gunning for Aug/Sept). Also remember that the boxed versions on the shelf is not where the bucks lie but with the movement of ancilliary stuff like hardware & software. And lastly, although I say this with all humility and not the legendary MS arrogance, Vista's competition is XPSP2 which is owned by, ahem (insert subdued throat clearing), Microsoft. There are no losers with this arrangement, everyone including the indirect OEMs will get their piece of the pie.

Of course this long post will not answer all your questions but all I can say is that if you have a friend in Windows (I know people think we are a special breed but we are ordinary folks like you), please ask them to invite you to the October RTM party - Brian is planning the mother of all ship parties. Vista and LongHorn Server may be the last chance for such an event that will record something on the Richter's scale.

Note that I have not addressed the fire this guy, fire that guy, this guy sucks, that guy is lame, posts. Likewise I didn't address the PSD reorg, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Vista stuff but Kevin was forced to announce earlier than planned because Sinofsky's new assignment had leaked. That PSD announcement further fueled the mis-conception of the Vista announcement as a calamitous issue. As strange as outsiders may see this, Microsoft has a culture of self criticism and a lot of the times, we tell ourselves how badly we suck in certain areas. That's why we produced the IPOD developed by MS parody. That's why our meetings are called war rooms, where you better be prepared to shoot or get shot. That's why there is no clandestine effort to find and fire Mini. And that's why we enjoy reading Mini. Although for my sake I'll ask that Mini continues to moderate so that us Windows guys don't have to waste precious Vista time riffling through waste to find gems.

Thanks for reading...

Anonymous said...

I just loved this quote:

Amir thanking Will, saying "we would not be here today without him"

exactly right, but maybe not in the way he intended

Anonymous said...

WHO will get Sinofsky's spot @ Office?

This seems to be the big blank spot in the latest news.

Who da'Punk said...

Thanks for reading...

And thanks for posting your comment. Especially for the whole Vista / Brian perspective, which deserves to be shared more broadly.

As for the whole Mini-space entomology... it's interesting to read your point of view there, too, though I'm not aligned with your bucketing percentages, probably.

A category #5 said...

>Thanks for reading...

Thanks for writing it, it was a refreshing blast of honesty. However, your message doesn't seem to be making it out to the public or the MS internal community. Why not say this as bluntly as you have said it instead of the sugar-coated spin we are putting out?

Anonymous said...

The following people seemed to have been punished: Will Poole - exiled to a 3rd world country of a division

Now I'm curious - which country have they relocated him to?

The disappearance of Will Poole is just as puzzling as his sudden rise. Who and why was he pushed so quickly up to lead the entire WinClient? Of all 5 or 6 VP emails sent around, not one thanked him for his stellar job. Yes, there were some obligatory "thanks" but it all indicates he has been violently removed from grace

Guess who's going to be the next VP to defect to Google! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Now Brian has humongous titanium balls - Go check his history from Exchange 5.5 to Win2K etc. He has his rules that cannot be overriden and some of these are:

1) If it ain't done, I a'int serving it. Period.



His balls are usually hidden by his matronly floral print dress.

His Exchange achievements were more related to the people he had under him than anything he did.


The added time was not even much, prolly 6weeks (or 8 worst case) and will serve mainly those few components.

Several years late plus 6 to 8 weeks later ... Oh revisionist one!

Anonymous said...

Guess who's going to be the next VP to defect to Google! ;-)

I don't think so! Will is about as welcome at Google as he is at Microsoft.

-ex microsoftie who knows Will, now at Google

Anonymous said...

Allchin put Will Poole in this position surprising many at the time. What's not surprising is his performance. Few will miss him. This is a good sign BTW

Anonymous said...

Re: Will Poole

We have yet to see exactly where he will land, but my guess is that this is a paid vacation. Look at Eric Rudder, look at others. He still gets all his options, grants, etc, his fat paycheck and he may have to spend some time in another country...but puh-lease, is that punishment? Send ME to another country with his salary. No, things will not change until we find some people being made examples at a very senior level.

Anonymous said...

Like iPod packaging video is the following also from Microsoft (this is funnier than the iPod packaging video)

http://old.tuaw.com/2006/03/24/the-history-of-microsoft/

Anonymous said...

WHO will get Sinofsky's spot @ Office?

This seems to be the big blank spot in the latest news.


I think it will be most likely taken by Simon Witts, current CVP for EPG. Simon and Ballmer go back a long way and MS has always made a TON of money from the Enterprise. I wouldn't be surprised if Witts is the new Sinofsky.

Anonymous said...

Of all the execs on Presspass, I noticed that Martin Taylor is now a CVP. He used to be GM of Competitive Strategy and had Bill Hilf reporting to him as the Director of the Linux Open Source Analysis Labs. He has done a lot of work to stop the onslaught of Linux. Look for him to be a rising star very soon.

The Nog said...

Yes the original plan was to get this puppy out August...

The original plan was 2003...you'd think the self-critical attitude you speak of would have intervened to take action at some point.

Anonymous said...

How can an extremely successful company, with loads of cash, a lot of talented people, fail to ship an update to its OS for 5 years?

First, start a 'science project' version of Windows with 1000s of developers but no vision, no plan and no leadership and shout "Go!".

Second, start 3 parallel Windows projects (Tablet, MCE & XPS2) pretending they're minor updates whereas in reality they're major major projects.

Third, forget to assign enough resources to servicing existing OS releases (Win2K, XP Server, etc) so main-line teams are pulled in to fix issues at random.

Fourth, realize part way through you haven't invested enough in security even with SP2 so redirect more resources to security in the middle.

Fifth, don't pay any attention to LH for 3 years, then realize it's toast, reset it from a completely new code base with half-baked processes and immature tools.

Sixth, bet the farm on 3 totally new investments: integrated search, limited-user accounts and component based setup without having done any research to determine if they're even viable in the time available.

That's how you fail to ship for 5 years. Frankly I'm amazed it's only taken them 5 years.

anonymous said...

Mini, comment on this!

http://davidbau.com/archives/2006/03/25/vista_and_the_altair.html

It's probably the most important article yet...

Been there, done that. said...

I've seen "X really didn't do anything, it was the people that worked for him" in the comments a couple of times. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT. Management's JOB is to find, hire, and retain great people in their organizations. I don't expect Steven or Brian to write code, specs, tests, documentation, etc. I expect them to lead and surround themselves with people with complementary skills and smarts. If you are expecting management to do IC-type work, well, that's where some teams have been and it doesn't work any better.

On the "Vista was a controlled slip", that's simply not true. It IS true that the Vista project as a whole is run better than just about any Windows project in the last 10 years, but it is hampered by the fact that there are 2x-5x too many people on the project. They will make it, and Vista won't suck, but people and teams are going to be burned to a crisp by the day it ships.

Yes, I worked in the Windows division, and no, I did not leave pissed off and embittered (much).

Anonymous said...

"You got to know that most people that post here are 1) Other OS freaks that masturbate to every bad news from MS; 2) Pretend (fake) MSFTies; 3) Bitter fired & managed out, or resigned ex-MSFTies; 4) Perpetual Underperformers that are scared of their fates; 5) Bitter, deserved or underserved victims of the performance review process"

It's too bad that you treated yourself to this stupidity, because the rest of your post was articulate and very informative. FYI, if Allchin's email and/or the company's external PR statement had included any of that detail, perhaps the response would have been different. Instead, his email reads like everything is on track and openly lies about the slip being a "few weeks" when in fact it's at least 6-8 weeks - as you acknowledge. Finally, if you think that folks are evaluating this news in light of just this slip, you're naive. This latest slip is being evaluated in the context of a product that is 3-4 years late to market vs initial expectations and a management team that to this day, has trouble admitting it's late or has been mismanaged. Instead of blaming others for the reaction, the Windows group should really take accountability for what has been a monumental fuckup and figure out what to do in order to ensure that it never happens again.

Anonymous said...

"Microsoft is not a growth company, but people are pricing it is if it were. It is a rock solid company that has a solid monopoly, is immensely profitable and generates a very very large stream of $$. You should be happy to have a stock like this in your portfolio and you should be encouraging the board to increase the dividend. Thats the only way to make money on Microsoft. My god, they paid you all over $30b last year right? At the rate that Microsoft generates $$, that special dividend can be paid out every other year, easily."

Agree that MSFT is not a growth company. Disagree that is it priced like one - it's not particularly. Also disgaree with you that the delay of Vista hasn't had an impact. IMO, it's likely had a major financial impact by making annuity licensing options less attractive (when MS can't ship squat for 5 years, why buy a 3 year maintenance contract?). More importantly, it's undermined confidence in MSFT's ability to manage itself and execute. WRT increasing the dividend, completely agree but shareholders are virtually powerless to apply pressure and Ballmer/Gates could give a shit. Hence the buyback that doesn't really buyback and instead goes 100% to pay off options dilution to insiders. WRT the $30B payout, it was more like $35B and was the stupidest move in corporate history. LT holders didn't benefit from that move at all - they simply swapped $3 taxable cash for what ended up being ~$5 of share erosion and MS earnings are negatively impacted for all future periods due to the loss of interest income on the $35B. The only winners there were institutions, traders and Bill/Steve. And no, at the rate MS generates cash, there's NO way it could pay out $35B every other year and as above, to do so would be idiotic. Increase the ongoing dividend - yes. More one-time payment fuckups for the benefit of institutions/traders/insiders - no.

Anonymous said...

Microsofts stock is performing poorly becasue there is no indication that it is doing anything that will lead to 20-40-40+% growth, even for just a few years. Look at the numbers! What $8b product is Microsoft working on this year that will provide it with 20% growth?

Microsoft's stock has also done poorly because, despite several "stock buybacks", the number of shares has not decreased.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=MSFT&annual

Microsoft's employee performance compensation costs are at the point where shareholders are not getting their fair share of the company's revenue.

Research & Development costs went down between 2004 and 2005. More offshoring?

Anonymous said...

>> THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT

No, dude, you don't understand. There are two things you can say about your manager:

1. That you did good work thanks to his efforts. This is VERY RARE at Microsoft, if you get a manager about whom you can say this, do not go work anywhere else no matter how uninteresting is your product.

2. That you did good work in spite of his efforts. This, on the other hand, happens all the time here.

I don't know what people can say about Sinofsky, but if his reports were doing good job this doesn't automatically mean he's a genius.

an Optimistic Office dev said...

"Holy smokes, start handing out the brown shirts emblazoned with Vienna 2009 on the front and ... or else I'm fired on the back."

What information are you basing this comment on? Sinofsky & his management do not just fire everyone, they work to keep things on track, if they're way out of whack you reallocate resources or cut/postpone the feature.

The Office and Windows cultures are very different and getting some intermingling above the IC/Lead level is a good thing, take the best from all sides. In the past we've seen GPMs, DevMgrs move between the two but unable to make changes due to the higher up forces. While it's true Sinofksy alone can't change things, without replacing high up management the culture in windows isn't going to change.

Being outside of Windows I don't have an accurate view of Windows vs Office but a few things that I've seen/have heard of that can be improved:
> Many levels of management, fiefdom (commented by many)
> Lots of titles/jobs in windows that just don't exist in Office. How many 'release managers' are there in Windows? do they know anything about what they're releasing? Such a title doesn't exist in Office -- its a small part of a few people's jobs to do the same work and have knowledge of what they're releasing.
> Getting more real engineering work done at more levels in the chain. Leads/Managers should still be involved in the codebase/testing/design whatever and living in a world of meetings and goals to create more meeting/process.
> Getting budgets in check, for example we all want cool high end hardware when it launches but one notch lower is a lot cheaper & you're able to upgrade more frequently and still save money.
> Too many decisions have to go all the way up to Allchin. The infighting of the fiefdoms in Windows result in tons of decisions having to go all the way up and with all the layers of management in the way it takes forever to resolve disputes. In Office some differences are (1) the chain isn't as far to go up if such a thing happens, (2) if a dispute has to go all the way up its deemed a management failure and something Sinofsky/etc coach them on so it doesn't happen again.
> Start shipping. Yeah Office slips from its original schedule almost every version (except OfficeXP which did not) but the order of magnitude of the slips is hugely different. Office slips a few months, windows slips a few years. The last huge office slip was Office96 and many leasons were learned from it. Did anyone learn from NT5? To make things worse for Windows the longer it takes to ship the less people you have that have EVER shipped. Given retention rates, windows has around 50% its people that have never shipped a major OS release?
> Communication outside of your title band. In Office we reguarly hear stories about Windows folks ignoring eachother & office when mails/meetings are requested from lowly-ICs and leads. Only if someone has a big manager+ title do they get a response. You shouldn't need a big title to get respect.
> Deathmarches, required weekend working? In Office you're held accountable for the schedule you define originally so maybe every once inawhile you work on a Saturday or do some late nights to meet your own aggressive schedule, but never weekends mandatory.


Perhaps getting this high level co-mingling we'll help remove barriers between Windows/Office. In Office people see windows as producing nothing new and a few years late, and windows says Office isn't doing anything new so who cares if its shipped a couple times while longhorn has been trying to release. This management change probably isn't going to fix that but maybe its a first step.


I (mostly) love working in Office and hope Sinofsky can do some good in Windows and pass back the things Windows does that Office is missing out on.

Podus Rex said...

I have a few comments about the slip:

1: I really don't think that this slip will be all that harmful in the medium to long term. As others have pointed out, it is better to ship a solid product than a buggy one. It takes guts to hold up a release to make it right, and too often PMs and managers won't do that (see the NASA catastrophes for excellent examples of that "shipping at any cost" mindset.

2: There is a constant theme on this forum about the useless middle managers and the overburdening and stultifying process at MSFT. I think part of the problem is that MSFT hasn't historically paid much attention to the management track. Usually a decent dev gets moved into management and rapidly reaches the Peter principle. Despite all the words from on high, people management is really not respected nor rewarded at MSFT. Thus teams are often run chaotically, and process is poorly implemented.

Now, considering process: the problem isn't really about process, it is about the type and implementation of process. I can't beleive so many on this forum continue to subscribe to the myth that leaving devs and PMs on their own will improve things. Yes, in a 10-person startup, perhaps. In an engineering organization of hundreds to thousands of people, no. It is the "hundred monkeys problem": hundreds of coders cranking out code wihtout some kind of organized process won't produce a good product--it will produce a buggy mess.

For some reason, software companies (and I've worked at many) seem to think that they are special, and that processes developed over decades for organizing and delivering small and large scale projects are too pedantic for such smart people as us. Waterfall, Scrum, or any other general model will work well if it is followed. Project management isn't rocket science, but it does take some intelligent management and discipline.

Oops, I forgot...MSFT doesn't believe in project management! Instead, it uses a broken PM model that doesn't work either.

Flackrum said...

As an end user since Windows 3.1, I realize I'm not your intended audience. So I hope my comments don't add too much outside noise to a good blog.

First, I'm glad that you folks have a place to voice concerns (semi?)anonymously amongst your peers, and more importantly, to management, some of which must be reading this (and hopefully taking some constructive notes).

I'll reserve my buzz-driven critiques of Vista for another time, but I will say that no one in my small circle of influence considers the delay of Vista as significant.

The above poster was right, (MS)Vista is still only competing against (MS)WinXP in the eyes of consumers I know. Linux and OSX aren't there yet.

From an outsider perspective, it's good to be able to get a feel for the human angle you folks provide, it takes a little of the "M$ is evil" away and helps bring things back to reality.

BTW, I have to admit it's taking a lot of self-discipline not to say "this is what I want in an OS."

Good luck and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

>>You got to know that most people that post here are 1) Other OS freaks that masturbate to every bad news from MS; 2) Pretend (fake) MSFTies; 3) Bitter fired & managed out, or resigned ex-MSFTies; 4) Perpetual Underperformers that are scared of their fates; 5) Bitter, deserved or underserved victims of the performance review process

>It's too bad that you treated yourself to this stupidity, because the rest of your post was articulate and very informative.

Having been here awhile, I think his list is spot on. Why do you think it's stupid?

Anonymous said...

Research & Development costs went down between 2004 and 2005. More offshoring?

Undoubtedly yes. Somasegar heads that Indian Research Lab - I'm sure there was a lot of hiring that went on there as soon as he got promoted to CVP.

It won't be long until MBS and the other "uninteresting" product development gets shipped off to India. Very soon, only Office and Windows will remain in Redmond alongwith the field sales and marketing organizations.

Anonymous said...

First, start a 'science project' version of Windows with 1000s of developers but no vision, no plan and no leadership and shout "Go!".
...
Sixth, bet the farm on 3 totally new investments: integrated search, limited-user accounts and component based setup without having done any research to determine if they're even viable in the time available.

That's how you fail to ship for 5 years. Frankly I'm amazed it's only taken them 5 years.

> The best comment I have seen on vista delay on this forum thus far. Even now a lot of devs are checking in features under the guise of bug fixes. It is not the devs fault, it is their managements fault. If we didnt have quality gates - we will have another alpha longhorn right now.

Anonymous said...

"Having been here awhile, I think his list is spot on. Why do you think it's stupid?"

And which of those segments do you fit into? If none, what makes you think you're in the minority? My issues with the statement are that it's a gross generalization, likely untrue and irrelevant anyway. This blog's value is the comments which, a few filter lapses aside, are generally quite thoughtful. What the motivation is of the poster has little to do with that -the ideas either stand on their own or they don't. For a couple of year now, the posters on this board have overwhelmingly been saying that MS has problems, while MS mgt has been overwhelmingly telling the world how everything was great. Who's been more accurate based on results?

Anonymous said...

Mini,

I had reiterated this in my previous posts - a lot of people refer to execs here by their email aliases - what this causes is even more spam and even more of a headache for their assistants that try and flag the most important emails for their bosses to read. Of course, some of the blame lies with people like Ballmer who openly advertise his email address at conferences and events, but there are others like Sinofsky, Valentine, and Chris Jones that don't do that.

Can we have more moderation on revealing our execs' email aliases please?

Anonymous said...

>And which of those segments do you fit into? If none, what makes you think you're in the minority?

Category 5. Whether it's 5a or 5b is left as an exercise for the reader.

>My issues with the statement are that it's a gross generalization, likely untrue and irrelevant anyway. This blog's value is the comments which, a few filter lapses aside, are generally quite thoughtful. What the motivation is of the poster has little to do with that -the ideas either stand on their own or they don't. For a couple of year now, the posters on this board have overwhelmingly been saying that MS has problems, while MS mgt has been overwhelmingly telling the world how everything was great. Who's been more accurate based on results?

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. What I mostly see is people with no understading of business principles, people with no understanding of software engineering principles, devs, testers, and PMs with big egos, and similar dreck. And that's *after* Mini filters out the crap.

Sorry, I see no convincing evidence the original poster is wrong in his assessment.

Anonymous said...

Surely guys, Microsoft sounds like any othyer big corporation in the world. It is always the fault of the management and never off the workerbee. Well, imho the truth is in the middle. Both are at fault. When you work in any project and you see it failing, talk to the projectleader. Never be shy to step in his/hers office and discuss the problem. If you have to go over someone's head, well, the so be it.

Also remember you grow into a company, but you also grow out of an company. When you find that happening, well, be wise and leave. After that only disappointment will follow. It is you what controls your life and not something else!

Have written that, let get the focus back to Vista. If it is that bad and 60% of the code has to be rewritten, then i wonder about the figure. Is it 60% of the new code or off all the code. If it is the latter, well, how bad is WinXP then?
Makes me wonder. I hope it is the first part.

How much is salvable from Vista to make an WindowsXP SE? Perhaps that might help to get things going and hopefully inspire you people again.

Anonymous said...

let get the focus back to Vista. If it is that bad and 60% of the code has to be rewritten, then i wonder about the figure. Is it 60% of the new code or off all the code.

I wrote the detailed explanation explaining the delay and maybe should have addressed this 60% rewrite story. I thought it was too nonsensical and I can bet no MSFTie gave this line another look.

Please for the love of all that is good, just ignore this story. This is the kind of story spun by the same people that said every xbox 360 was exploding and melting. Do you know how many components make up 60% of windows? Even TheOnion.com will not dream of such a caption.

When MS resets a project, no bones is made about it, like the alpha longhorn project that suffered due to the major workitems XPSP2 and SRVSP1 turned out to be.

I hate for anyone to be unfairly labelled as a blumbering idiot who has no iota of how software works. If anyone keeps repeating this 60% rewrite line, they are in danger of being thrown into the same unfortunate category as the originators of the very dumb assertion.

Thanks for indulging me one more time...

Anonymous said...

So the Brian review showed a few components (I can count with the fingers on one hand) needing a few more weeks to wrap.

I assume Microsofties can count to at least 15 with the fingers of 1 hand, and 31 if you include thumbs.

Anonymous said...

"When MS resets a project, no bones is made about it, like the alpha longhorn project that suffered due to the major workitems XPSP2 and SRVSP1 turned out to be."

Comical. LH wasn't "reset" - 2 years of development effort was scrapped. Additionally, while XPSP2 and SRVSP1 didn't help, they wouldn't have changed that ultimate result. Even the lastest Vista slip is blanketed in Allchin's ridiculously inaccurate and misleading email. Sorry, when MS "resets" they do everything EXCEPT acknowledge exactly what happened and exactly what will be corrected in order to rectify that.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of The Onion,

Microsoft Vista Delayed

Microsoft Vista, the first major overhaul of the Windows operating system in five years, has been delayed until the beginning of next year. What do you think?


Michael Lopez,
Systems Analyst
"This is going to severely impact my timetable for creating Vista-based viruses."

Anonymous said...

How can you trumpet the accomplishments of a VP whose organization hasn't released a product customers *want* to upgrade to since Office 97?

Office may make the company money, but their cookie-cutter approach to software hasn't resulted in customer happiness or substantial growth rates. It's just a cash cow that will be milked until it's dry.

And the initial Beta of the latest version of Office is so bad that I had to remove it from my system. For the first time I have LOST productivity to a beta version of one of our products.

Don't lose yourself in the Sinovsky kool-aid. AFAICT his org hasn't done anything impressive in a while.

Anonymous said...

Could I open my mouth and insert foot?

There's three themes I'm coming across - okay, Deanna Troy impersonation "I'm sensing something" :-) - One, head management hasn't got many friends these days at Microsoft One. Two, a lot of people are sure bureaucracy's the problem, and Microsoft's bureaucracy is itself bureaucratized - fleas on fleas on fleas.... Three, having read "The Mythical Man-Month", this whole Vista/Office mess makes me think of the IBM S/360 and OS360 projects. Frederick Brooks wasn't too highly impressed with the effort needed to muddle through, and thought it could've been cut drastically.

I could add more, but at the moment I'm too tired to think straight. Ciao!

Anonymous said...

Just an outsider looking in:

Who is going to claim responsibility for the mess?

Anonymous said...

I have not worked with Sinofsky, but I have heard him in a few occasions presenting internally. There is a different "aura" that can be seen around him and the way he communicates brings definitely good vibes.

After 20 years in this industry, I can tell you for sure that "gut feeling" about people and projects is a skill that I recommend to be developed and works much better than pure logic and research reports.

For the sceptics and Wall Street vultures, I can give you one FACT: there has been a huge improvement from Office Beta1 to Beta1 Tech Refresh (it is not even Beta2). I was impressed how reliable, well manicured and stable it is. If Sinofsky was able to cut that out with one of the most complex products to develop and innovate, I am placing all my chips on him.

When I say complex, I want to make sure that people realize that Office is not the Three Stooges anymore (Curly, Larry & Moe = Underline, Italic and Bold). That role was left to OpenOffice, a lowsy copycat that is getting fatter as more features copied from Office 97 are added.

Wait and see. I am totally BULLISH on Vista and Office. And politics will not get into the middle of it. Go Si, Go!

By the way, Microsoft is not Chaotic. The same BS and political challenges I face here happens everywhere else. And I can tell they are MUCH WORSE in the firms I've worked with. Furthermore,I continuously confirm this fact with friends and colleagues in the industry.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting looking back on articles from 4 years ago and see where opinions have shifted and where we continue to fall into the same pitfalls.

Sinofsky did good things for Windows 7, but I didn't feel like there was very little creativity in creating it. Also, as Sinofsky is such a big proponent of shipping on time, it also means that we as an engineering team are much more risk averse.

I'm hoping this isn't the course we will follow forward for Windows 8.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft India - MGSI is hiring now, lots of opportunities for 3-7 years of experienced employees. Might be they are thinking to expand in India though, the salary is not as per standards that we expect from best employer. Salary structure is goofed up completely even there is lots of talk going on about the work done in MGSI. I am curious to know what these people do? Microsoft marketing is too good. New people are ready to compromise in salary if the good work is there. Please let me know if there are any ideas about the work done in MGSI. I hope it is not as bad as in Microsoft Development center Hyderabad