Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Microsoft FY07Q2 Results

Well, hard to believe it's been three months already since the last quarterly results. Holidays and windstorms and snow storms have a way of compressing time, I guess. As has been a tradition, I'm going to put up this post before the results are out to provide a place for folks to comment as they listen to / read the results and also to later update and point to any interesting analysis.

I especially look forward to analysis by MSFTExtremeMakeover, Mr. Joe Wilcox, and Mr. Todd Bishop.

While no one is looking for a break-out quarter, lots and lots of us are looking eagerly towards the forward guidance and questions about Vista and Office 2007 uptake. And sales and deployment around SQL Server, VS2005, Xbox units, and Zune. Yeah. Just kidding about that last one, though I'm sure Zune is going to come up as part of the strategy Q&A. Let's see what color lipstick they choose for dressing up those numbers.

And I'm happy to see Mr. Liddell schedule an internal employee meeting to review our stock and performance. Though we could have used that kind of forum two or three years ago.


Post-results coverage:

It was interesting trying to judge the numbers by looking at the headlines alone. It was either us beating estimates or net income being off by 28%.

Please drop a URL into the comments of additional articles you find interesting.


Other going ons:

Makin' or Fakin' Shareholder Value! MSFTextrememakeover - Growing Shareholder Value Yeah, not so much. Great analysis. One of the comments echoes what no doubt many feel:

Lately, the 900 Partners get the bulk of the stock issued, and the people actually building the products fight for scraps. I don't think it's mere coincidence that the company is having so many execution problems. The [switch] from rewarding everyone to rewarding only the executive crowd correlates [pretty] well with the decline in productivity.

I've been avoiding the internal InsideMS blog as much as I can. But it's like an epic car wreck where I just have to peek in at least once a week. Pay pay pay is the drum the Microsofties are beating. Rebalancing the distribution back to the employees where it has the greatest impact has to happen.

Petals for Zuzu, Moolah for Wikis: I swear. The last thing you want to do sometimes is connect to a blogger. Before you do that, ask yourself, "Now then, what's the absolute worse thing that could happen? And how bad would it be if they all went screaming to TechMeme and it got picked up as a top wire story?" Fancy Vista laptops. Wiki editing requests. Is it such a positive for Microsoft to be so transparent?

When I first saw the Wikipedia brouhaha, my reaction was: "Dang, we should have had a blogger or someone who knows how to connect with the tech world handle this." Then I read the details. Oh. We're trying to play by the rules here. And we're seeing the results of that. Thanks. Considered us schooled. Anyway, Doug is cool is my book... I appreciated his comments in light of that "anonymous-bad" wildfire.

More:

BillG on the Daily Show: Bill Gates slated for 'Daily Show' appearance. That should be fun. Or exceptionally awkward. But maybe our parody folks will work with the Daily Show crew to finally put out some fun shorts that can be released to the public. If only I'd known sooner... I'm sure we could have worked out some kind of BillG chasing after Mini to the Yakety Sax / Benny Hill music.

Administrivia: I'm poised to move to the new Blogger (where you will get a comment feed!) but I have to wait due to the size of this blog. Continue thinking good thoughts.

Updated: added links to results / results discussion.


69 comments:

James said...

Did you see the pile-on in the comments at the Windows Vista Blog? The whole thing reads like the spin machine is in overdrive polishing the turd that is DRM. Why didn't Microsoft stand up to Hollywood and tell it "No, what you want will come back and bite you in the ass"?

Anonymous said...

Insidems is a joke. It strictly exists so people will post internally instead of here. Lisa makes almost no comments about what people are writing. Now she only wants to comment once a month.

Major issue right now is pay, with managers/reviews second. Nothing is going to happen to correct pay, due to "budgetary" reasons. Nothing is going to happen with management, because they watch each others backs. As for the reviews, that's how your get screwed with the first two items.

Lisa's credibility in my book is quickly declining. Like someone said in the blog "Unless Steve signs on, nothing is going to change."

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Chris Liddell's Downward guidance for Microsoft’s Xbox and online services

Anonymous said...

> Don't forget Chris Liddell's Downward guidance for Microsoft’s Xbox and online services

My optimistic view (uninformed guess) on the xbox situation is we're looking forward to a major cost reduction/upgrade on the hw in the pipe, say for fall 07, where we may start breaking even or profiting on the hardware sale. At the same time the next major game wave will hit, lead by halo3.

So maybe we're better off taking a breather for a few months. I imagine this is a traditionally slow time of year, so we may not have a choice anyway. We can use the time to clear out expensive inventory.

I understand Chris mentioned something like this in the call, but I didn't hear it directly.

Competitors get some opportunity to toot their horn louder and catch up of course, but these little battles and shufflings of resources are part of a larger war.

Anonymous said...

The downward guidance for xboxes doesn't matter too much, IMHO.

We're being cautious because we've seen great sales so far and have therefore decided not to lower the price. That's a plus in my book.

If you look at the situation, it's a head-to-head between xbox and wii, and people are already cluing in to wii not having spectacular graphics and hi-def caps. Anyone with interest in consoles who owns or is buying a hi-def tv (and those numbers are picking up!) is going to buy a xbox even if they already have a wii.

So we'll own the living room, sell media centers by extension and are going to make a killing on vista and office.

How's that for not bad?

Anonymous said...

Rebalancing the distribution back to the employees where it has the greatest impact has to happen.

Right. As soon as hell freezes over. Employee cost also rides in on a budget. Just because you felt the budget will or should be realloc-ed, doesn't mean it will happen.

You people keep forgetting Microsoft is a business. Businesses tend to keep costs down to a minimum and wish to maximize profits.

About the only way you can affect a change in Microsoft's treatment of partners versus employees is if employees start walking out on MS, en masse. Since most MS employees who are on here bitching about their pay can't even manage their personal finances and have mortgages out the wazoo, the likelyhood of that taking place is slim to none.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Ry Jones said...

I'll see how long it takes to become ex-Microsoft. Anyone internal can read the latest entry and read my comment. My guess is my badge won't work in the next hour or so.

Anonymous said...

>Pay pay pay is the drum the Microsofties are beating.

The issue that pay has become is due to other reasons.

Those other reasons are the size of the company now (bureaucracy), the fact that "playfulness" seems to have dwindled over the years, and of course, the daily minting of new millionaires is becoming past history.

Most people at MS love what they do (or at least have done at some point in their career). If you are a geek, love technology and have money *enough* to eat and keep a roof over your head; have some kind of transport running, be happy! You derive your additional salary from the enjoyment you get in just doing the job ("Am I REALLY getting paid to do this fun stuff??")

If you aren't a geek, and money rather than passion for technology is your #1 agenda item, then why stick around? The reason that your pay is not what you wish is because YOU allow it to be so by staying.

Anonymous said...

"...So we'll own the living room, sell media centers by extension and are going to make a killing on vista and office."

Maybe for Xbox but, be advised, we'll be making a "killing" at a declining rate with lackluster Vista and Office; our captive audience is getting restless for civility and respect AND products that have features making them want to upgrade.

So far, the tea leaves say OEM only for Vista. No biz for 2 to 3 years and no consumer upgrades. Office? Why go backwards? Killing? Perhaps a maiming or minor injuries. No killing on my horizon.

Anonymous said...

>> If you are a geek, love technology and have money *enough*
>> to eat and keep a roof over your head; have some kind of
>> transport running, be happy

What about married geeks with kids who wouldn't mind to retire one day?

Anonymous said...

>> What about married geeks with kids who wouldn't mind to retire one day?

Gag. Get some perspective. If you work at Microsoft, you most likely make far more than the average family in Seattle.

Here's some free financial advice: Make due with the smallest, cheapest, closest-to-where-you-need place that will fit your needs. Given the rent-to-buy price ratio, this may well be a rental house or a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. It may be renting a large shared house with another family.

Make due with the cheapest and most reliable used car you can find, if you can't take the bus where you need to go. Set a strict budget for entertainment, eating out, toys, etc. Send your kids to public school.

Max out your 401(k). Max out your ESPP and diversify it into low-risk investments as often as is tax-friendly. Invest any other income into your retirement funds.

Have your spouse get a part time job if he doesn't work (maybe he's a stay-at-home dad).

Even if you only make $60,000 at MS, and he only makes $10,000 part time at Starbucks, then congratulations! You make WAY more than average, have great benefits and a great retirement plan.

Hair dressers that do these things retire. Chefs that do these things retire. Even (gasp!) Microsoft employees who are not partners and make 65% of the median income in our industry retire.

Anonymous said...

Here's some free financial advice: Make due with the smallest, cheapest, closest-to-where-you-need place... Make due with the cheapest and most reliable used car you can find, if you can't take the bus...Set a strict budget for entertainment, eating out, toys, etc. Send your kids to public school...Have your spouse get a part time job...

Hey, you should write our recruiting promo literature. That speil is sure to have the top students in the world lining up for a MSFT blue badge. Can't think of a better way to attract people with the talent to work anywhere they want than to tell them how non-stellar their financial condition will be at Microsoft.

Seriously, if you work at Microsoft, you are paid better than the average hair dresser. He's right about that. But we don't need hair dressers. We need A-team developers, and if you work at Microsoft, you're paid less than the average A-team developer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Even if you only make $60,000 at MS, and he only makes $10,000 part time at Starbucks, then congratulations! You make WAY more than average, have great benefits and a great retirement plan."

Oh? And your income stats would be from where? Remember that the median West Coast income is higher than the median US income.

WE INTERRUPT THIS COMMENT FOR A REALITY CHECK.

According to http://www.seattlehousing.org/Housing/income.html, which cites $38,950 as 50% of Seattle median income for a family of 4, my conclusion is that you're wrong that they're "way above" Seattle median income unless it's for a family of 2 (12% above, which could be considered "way" by some). In fact, the MSFT/Starbucks family would be 10% BELOW the median Seattle income for a family of 4, and a couple hundred dollars BELOW the median income for a family of 3. The figures I cite were from March, 2006, and are updated annually. The picture probably won't get better for your hypothetical $70,000 family in a couple months.

And I guess you plan on them living in one of the less-expensive areas of King County, which might require 45-60 minutes of commute in each direction on top of an already-longer-than-King-County-worker-average typical Microsoft work day. Median incomes for Eastside neighborhoods are substantially higher than those cited on the web for King County.

Anonymous said...

Insidems is a joke. It strictly exists so people will post internally instead of here. Lisa makes almost no comments about what people are writing. Now she only wants to comment once a month.

...

Lisa's credibility in my book is quickly declining. Like someone said in the blog "Unless Steve signs on, nothing is going to change."


+1 for this post. Lisa seems to want credit for "listening" without being responsive. It's as if she's doing a company-wide "Listening Tour" at which she merely takes notes, but doesn't answer any questions or respond to any pain points.

So far - not helpful at all. Just further fodder for depression and lack of motivation. :-(

Anonymous said...

>> If you work at Microsoft, you most likely make far
>> more than the average family in Seattle.

I don't give a shit how much average family makes in Seattle. I'm not "average". I've spent six fucking years and a ton of money on school. I like to think that I know quite a bit more than your average Starbucks barista, too.

TheKhalif said...

Howdy, Mini

Your next post to follow this should be about Office 2007 and how far its come.
This is the first Office package that is worth the money, so MS will sell a lot of this.

Vista is looking really good also, though of course some people just can't be pleased.

Anonymous said...

It's as if she's doing a company-wide "Listening Tour" at which she merely takes notes, but doesn't answer any questions or respond to any pain points.

Haven't checked the blog this weekend?

There was a response to one of the most frequently-lamented-topics. I didn't like the response, but at there was a response.

Dare said...

>I don't give a shit how much average family makes in Seattle. I'm not "average". I've spent six fucking years and a ton of money on school. I like to think that I know quite a bit more than your average Starbucks barista, too.

If you were that smart you'd be able to figure out how to find a job that rewards you as richly as you think you deserve instead of impotently complaining on some anonymous blog.

Anonymous said...

RE: I've spent six fucking years and a ton of money on school.

Ah, the humility and of the average 'softie.

Where in the world does this sense of entitlement come from? Is this a Gen-X thing? I see this attitude alot in InsideMS as well.

"I work at MSFT so I deserve:
a short commute
a big salary
a big house
a new car
the world to kiss my feet
etc.

Geez Looeeezzz.

It appears someone is buying the B.S. that HR and the recruiting machine is selling.

This falls into the "be careful for what you wish" category. All those people complaining about the cost of housing in the U.S. are saying that MSFT should open up satellite offices. Well, that wish will soon come true. Many U.S. positions are being replaced (not one-for-one, but fading out of the U.S. and reappearing overseas) by engineers in India who have 6-8 yrs of university education and will work for half the U.S. salary...and be grateful for it!

Check the hiring numbers. The majority of the new hires are NOT in the U.S.

Watch the attitude because you might soon be working along side that barrista you're currently scorning... (I hope you can make a double-tall, no-foam, latte!)

Anonymous said...

>>I've spent six fucking years and a ton of money on school.

Apart from showing that you have evidently spent a ton of money and six years at school, what is the point of your post?

If you imagine that a degree is your guaranteed passport to a life of plenty and a good job, I'm afraid it just ain't so - may have been for our parents and grandparents, but not any longer.

And we are all competing with extremely competent and well-schooled folks from all over the world; we are all increasingly becoming a commodity. So as with any product that is becoming commoditized, you have to differentiate. So as long as you're the best, you'll do fine.

Anonymous said...

"Your next post to follow this should be about Office 2007 and how far its come.
This is the first Office package that is worth the money, so MS will sell a lot of this."


I have taught DisplayWrite, PFS, Multi-Mate, Volkswriter, WordPerfect and all versions of MS Word and Word is the best. Word 2003 the best of the best.

Word 2007 is a step backwards. But, I suspect it will bring me lots of business. Thanks, Microsoft, for all the very real FUD!

Anonymous said...

Haven't checked the blog this weekend?

There was a response to one of the most frequently-lamented-topics. I didn't like the response, but at there was a response.


I don't check my mail all day long on weekends (sorry ;-). I did check just after posting here, so read her response and I agree - I didn't like it either. Not sure it's worth responding to but...I probably won't be able to resist spending 5 minutes on it tomorrow. I expect you could write the same post I will, since it's so obvious what's wrong with her response. Addressing pay/COLA without addressing level and review (Limited II) at the same time is pointless. They're all part of the same broken system.

But...I'll save the whole post for tomorrow. Catch it over on the other side! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've spent six fucking years and a ton of money on school.

Obviously you didn't learn much at school as swearing has a direct coorelation to a limited vocabulary

Anonymous said...

Well, true to form, I have suspended, temporarily, my new Microsoft AdCenter account. You know, the one like Google where you place a small ad and pay for the clicks.

It's been three days and I've had a few hits but there's a bigger problem: MSFT promised a $100 bag of clicks as an enticement. Guess what?

Nowhere to be found. Now, I am piling up the hits and thus the expense with no $100 to deduct from AND...I don't trust Microsoft...once again...to get this right! Hence, the suspended account...until they contact me and get it right.

True to form, nowadays, especially with OfficeLive, MSFT has just thrown something together and caveat emptor. This is NOT the way to do business even IF you give away $100 in clicks.

Doesn't this embarrass you just a little?

Anonymous said...

I must be an oddball here. I think the benefits at MSFT are great. My pay is decent (lvl 56). I can afford to feed my family, travel, and send my child to a private school. Granted, I don't live 5 minutes from campus, but that was a choice. I live somewhere more affordable to leave me extra money every month so I can have the fun. Yes, my wife does work (non-MS), but that is a choice.

The only thing I can complain about are the pay raises and reviews. Raises are poor for a company this size, and reviews don't mean squat since everything is decided before one word is written. Unfortunately, it took me three years before I figured it out.

Anonymous said...

Oh for ....

Look: For those clutching the belief that they're being worldly and insightful by lauding the fact that the poorest pay at Microsoft is higher than the national average, snap the #$@! out of it. You're not being culturally progressive, and aside from perhaps yourself, nobody's snowed.

Someone comments that hairdressers that make $60K retire. Uh-huh. So, do you want the talent pool supplying the world with hairdressers to be the technical talent pool for Microsoft? What? There's a difference?

Yeah, well - there's a reason that surgeons get paid more than hairdressers. Think there's a similar reason attached to technical positions?

For the inane arguments that "Nobody PROMISED you a house! Who said you should be able to afford a house!?!? Lots of people can't afford a house! ..." Obviously, nobody was promised a house. People who vent their frustration on not being able to afford a home are reflecting on their interpretation of the relative state of their income. If they pick up and move to the Bay Area, they'll find a house further away than a dream - it'll be a psychosis-induced fantasy. However, pick other employers in other parts of the country. In truth, holders of positions equivilent to most of those at MS do usually end up in the financial strata that allow them to own a home. In some places (some of them aren't places I'd want to live, I admit), palatial homes.

The last time I heard someone preach [i]Count Your Blessings[/i], it was from someone who made 3x as much as me. I still don't know if he realized that his point was lost in the differential.

Anonymous said...

@Dare:

>> instead of impotently complaining on some anonymous blog

Workin' on it. :) As Microsoft turns into IBM and PMs like you begin to run the show, it's not that good a company to work for anymore. 50th place in the ranking of best companies to work for reflects that, I think. It's below Starbucks.

Although, Microsoft is good for one category of people - those who work just hard enough to not get fired (as per Office Space). If you do that, you can stick around for decades. It's not like it's easy for a PM to find a job on the outside, anyway. No one needs that many BS artists.

Anonymous said...

Someone said: I must be an oddball here. I think the benefits at MSFT are great. My pay is decent (lvl 56). I can afford to feed my family, travel, and send my child to a private school. /snip/ I live somewhere more affordable to leave me extra money every month so I can have the fun. /snip/ Raises are poor for a company this size.../snip/.

Well, you might make "good money" now, but if the poor raises you've noted (which are pretty much always less than the cost of living) keep up, after a few more years of the cost of living going up (including private school & college tuition), you will most assuredly not be saying the same thing; you will be taking a pay cut every year.

Anonymous said...

Haven't checked the blog this weekend?

There was a response to one of the most frequently-lamented-topics. I didn't like the response, but at there was a response.


Yes, there was a response, and no, I didn't like it because it wasn't what you would call accurate.

Anonymous said...

The top gripe on the insidems blog is about pay - as it seems to be here. Well... not anymore. Lisa has said that the topic is dead and will not address it anymore. Horray! Now we can spend time on insidems on topics nobody cares about! 5.0s to all who made insidems possible!

BTW - thank you MS for providing velet parking since there is no parking on this side of the city. Yesterday somebody had their car stolen from in front of my building because the valets leave the keys inside the cars - brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, Vista is out.

Anonymous said...

> Lisa's credibility in my book is quickly declining.

+1. I am a partner. My pay has declined compared to the partner pay in 2000/2001. Low level people live in houses suitable to their income. I need the cash to maintain my standard of living.

Anonymous said...

To the Morons and Jackasses thread on the CRF:

At the risk of deflating the pomp and B.S. of the commenter, I, the Moronic Jackass who made the original comment, thought I'd respond.

Regardless of the difference in the standard of living between Redmond and Hyderabad (for example), the "apples to apples" comparison is what Microsoft (or any multi-national company) pays in salary to get any particular job done.

To them, it's just a job with a salary cost. If the salary costs for a job in the U.S. are $100,000 and $50,000 in India (or Puerto Rico, or wherever they're building new off-shore locations), it's cheaper to do the job in India. Period.

If it happens to be YOUR job that falls into this category, then YOU (Einstein) will be the one asking "do you want fries with that?" Not the guy or gal in India.

Wake up and learn the macroeconomics while you're smelling the coffee...that YOU are serving.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, Vista is out.

And check out what it did for the stock price!!! A few more days like this, and people will start retiring in droves!

Anonymous said...

If the salary costs for a job in the U.S. are $100,000 and $50,000 in India (or Puerto Rico, or wherever they're building new off-shore locations), it's cheaper to do the job in India. Period.

Only if it get's done right. The quality of the work I've seen outsourced to Hyderabad has been terrible. On the other hand, the quality of the work I've seen from Indian nationals working in Redmond has been good-to-excellent.

My guess is that the cream of the crop in India comes to the US to work. Because, you know, the pay's better over here maybe, and smart people aren't so dumb, regardless of where they come from.

That's what the "globalization is outsourcing our jobs" crowd doesn't get. Globalization works both ways. Companies might have bigger pools of talent to choose from, but the talent has more employeers to choose from too.

In the end, you get what you pay for. Which is why Microsoft has a surplus of do-little partners and a shortage of competent managers.

Anonymous said...

Another month or so and MSPoll is coming out. Maybe we should just mark everything with low numbers and really screw up their curve :-)

Anonymous said...

What an underwhelming launch for Vista. I suppose it's befitting an altogether underwhelming product.

Amazingly, I actually love Office 2007. Once I could find the darn "File" menu, that is.

Anonymous said...

Everybody is talking about this $1.6B in deferred revenue from coupons but nobody is explaining how it works. Can somebody help me out? I understand that computers for the past few months have been coming with free Vista upgrade coupons, key word being "free." How is Microsoft going to make $1.6B this year on something that people will claim for free? Even if it costs a certain amount to exercise a coupon, what's the guarantee that anybody will spend money to upgrade to Vista? Surely they don't expect everybody to upgrade, the same way it's assumed that not everybody will send in mail-in rebates for a product.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>Everybody is talking about this $1.6B in deferred revenue from coupons but nobody is explaining how it works. Can somebody help me out? I understand that computers for the past few months have been coming with free Vista ....<<<<<<

When people are buying these computers they are actually buying Vista and prepaying for it. So Vista is not free. It is like Microsoft has started selling Vista before even releasing it. So by some accounting rules, Microsoft can't claim that revenue because Microsoft has to still provide that service. If for some unforeseen situation (impossible to imagine in Vista case), Microsoft is unable to fulfill its obligation under technology guarantee program then Microsoft will have to return that money back to buyers (in that these buyers get free XP).

Therefore technically Microsoft can't book this revenue in the books. Even if accounting rules had allowed Microsoft to book this revenue, then still Microsoft had to put the value of its obligation under liabilities, hence even in that case this money won't be counted towads profits.

Most of the people who purchased qualified computers under technology guarantee program will get their CD by end of March. Some people may not submit their XP product key by March 31st, in that case they are waiving the rights to Vista (i.e., they are happy to keep XP for the pre-payment of Vista). Some who fill it on the last day on 31st March, will get their CD mailed in April. So technically this part of the revenue will move to the next quarter. This is believed to be negligible.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who found it really annoying they put a picture of Allchin in the Vista commemorative edition? This product shipped in spite of that idiot, not because of him.

Anonymous said...

+1. I am a partner.

-1. You are a troll.

Anonymous said...

>Another month or so and MSPoll is coming out. Maybe we should just mark everything with low numbers and really screw up their curve :-)

Lots of luck with that. Despite all the fireworks, the poll numbers didn't move dramatically last year and were still in the range of what I would consider okay.

I'm guessing the commenters here and on InsideMS are mostly the bottom-feeders of MS and a lot of the comments kind of back me up.

Anonymous said...

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/corporate/who_runs_microsoft_now.html

toby said...

I'm sure we could have worked out some kind of BillG chasing after Mini

Which brings to mind the variety TV show skit in "V for Vendetta" where the Chancellor chases "V" around the studio. At least, in V4V, there was a "happy ending"...

Anonymous said...

To those who think you're making good money at MSFT - when was the last time you looked for a job on the "outside"?

Microsoft is a company like any other, with it's own unique personality and culture. There's nothing magical about it. For anyone who's not happy, it's likely that greener pastures do exist.

Somewhere.

But what percentage of MSFT is on some kind of work visa that restricts their mobility?

Anonymous said...

An interesting take on executive compensation:

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197001027

Perhaps you guys who think executive compensation is too high can make a go of it at the next shareholder meeting and see where it goes? They are, after all, the owners of the company.

Anonymous said...

> Lots of luck with that. Despite all the fireworks, the poll numbers didn't move dramatically last year and were still in the range of what I would consider okay.

Looks like HR speak.

Anonymous said...

I am L66 GPM. I have been at MS for the past two years. I was a VP in a tech company before I joined Microsoft. I got my W-2. My total compensation in 2006 is 158K from all sources.

It looks the partner ( two levels above me ) makes about 10 times as much, the VP makes about 20 times as much, the SVP makes 40-60 times as much and the president makes 200 - 400 times as much.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to get a gold star bonus award, is that highly selective? Typically what is the award amount?

Anonymous said...

"Am I the only one who found it really annoying they put a picture of Allchin in the Vista commemorative edition? This product shipped in spite of that idiot, not because of him."

Its always easy to blame those at the very top. Others may blame those at the bottom. Like you always hear, the true answer lies somewhere in the middle. (hence: this site's frequent position on middle management)

Anonymous said...

>Looks like HR speak.

No, I actually work for a living.

Put whatever you want down on the poll. I'm just pointing out last year's call to action here had little to no effect, along with everything that implies.

Anonymous said...

>That should be fun. Or exceptionally awkward.

Message to Bill (Gates) and Steve (Jobs): "It's not about your khakis" Tyler Durden, from 'Fight Club'.

Or maybe in Jobs' case, its not about your turtleneck.

It is amazing how hell bent each competitor assumes that their DNA is the one everybody should have instead of asking the question, "how do we work better together to give the customer a better experience"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, Vista is out.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 6:21:38 PM

Well don't rush out and buy the full version when the upgrade installs onto a fresh HD. http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5932

This should really drive up stock prices!

Anonymous said...

I am L66 GPM. I have been at MS for the past two years. I was a VP in a tech company before I joined Microsoft. I got my W-2. My total compensation in 2006 is 158K from all sources.

It looks the partner ( two levels above me ) makes about 10 times as much, the VP makes about 20 times as much, the SVP makes 40-60 times as much and the president makes 200 - 400 times as much.


I'm afraid that I'm not positive whether to believe you or not. Your number is low.

If $158K is your total take at level 66, you're not visible, you're not appreciated, and you're not setting your superiors world on fire. If that really is your total at level 66 (in Redmond. God knows what levels are used for elsewhere), watch yourself. You're an easy target for future low reviews.

OK, I just deleted most of my post. Your assumptions about partner and VP take - not including SPSA - are way off base. There's a huge variance in partner pay and VP pay, depending on the person. For instance, if I had to guess (not even knowing who) what the partner above you was making, I'd guess $225K-$300K (not including SPSA :) ), not the $1.58M you supposed.

Anonymous said...

Some insight into the minds of our leaders:

http://iowaconsumercase.org/lc-5.html

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that I'm not positive whether to believe you or not.

The L66 GPM is obviously more believable than you. He has been MS for two years so no much option/SA to exercise. Besides he is talking about his overall compensation in W-2 so when compare to partners and VPs, same number should be compared. Your guess are more off and misleading.

Anonymous said...

Some insight into the minds of our leaders:

http://iowaconsumercase.org/lc-5.html


Bear in mind, when reading those communications, that they were written 12-16 years ago. How much have you changed and/or matured in a decade and a half?

Anonymous said...

If $158K is your total take at level 66, you're not visible, you're not appreciated, and you're not setting your superiors world on fire.

Agreed.

OP, how long have you been at 66? If you just got promoted in September, perhaps you're below the median salary for that level because you're new to it? If you've been at 66 for two years, then your number is more disappointing. Not enough data to tell for sure.

OP, I'm many levels below you. See Steve Sinofsky's blog for hints on where Test falls in the compensation food chain (not highly). Yet my gross last year was within 20-30K of yours. Primarily this is thanks to very competitive review bonuses, even for an SDET.

By the way, I'm an industry hire too. They got me four years ago, possibly you, and numerous others hired from industry 2002-2005, at bargain rates. Industry salaries were at best not moving, and at worst trending downward for new hires, due to market conditions.

What will help you now is what the above poster suggests regarding visibility, setting your superior's world on fire, and the rest of the yada-yada usual tactics. It's the strategy I use, and it works for me, but success with it is not universal because of the unpredictability of management.

What also may help is bouncing out for a while, and bouncing back in at a higher salary, as inconvenient as that option may be. Lisa says it doesn't work, and it may not work for everyone, but it did work for more than one individual in our GM's org. Coincidentally these were 2001-2002 hires who left mid-decade and recently returned.

If someone insists on supporting math for the bounceback strategy, I'll explain how local employment trends support these claims.

Anonymous said...

I am L66 GPM. I have been at MS for the past two years. I was a VP in a tech company before I joined Microsoft. I got my W-2. My total compensation in 2006 is 158K from all sources.

It looks the partner ( two levels above me ) makes about 10 times as much, the VP makes about 20 times as much, the SVP makes 40-60 times as much and the president makes 200 - 400 times as much.


I'd grade you a low 3.0 for your communication skills. Maybe thats why your overall package is low? As a GPM one of your primary responsibilities is to communicate the product your group is working on and how the product makes customers "enlightened". Your first impression to me was a low 3.0. Perhaps your superiors feel the same way?

Anonymous said...

check out this memo from Michael Dell:

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/business/stories/other/02/03/3dellemail.html

Some highlights:

1. Stock award vesting goes from 5 years to 3
2. Above market raises still planned
3. No bonuses, but still the option to reward people who may deserve it
4. Setting bonus guidelines against realistic targets
5. Elimination of middle managers across the company

Looks to me like we could implement pretty much every one of these ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Hey, write something about the Microsoft Office team keeping Research's search ribbon out of Office 2007. Seems like a classic case of NIH. "We didn't think of it so it must be confusing." Why is this not even a Powertoy? It's like Office needs to absolutely suppress it to make themselves feel better.

Microsoft often has a problem with dogmatic adherence to its own faulty user testing, which by the way has concluded such howlers as "everyone will love Clippy" and "let's make the function keys on our keyboards very difficult and confusing to use with F Lock". So naturally in that vein, Office folks have helpfully concluded that "people hate search!" and refuses to enhance its new interface with a feature that is a clear no-brainer.

The feedback system is badly broken when managers can make such boneheaded moves.

Anonymous said...

I got my W-2. My total compensation in 2006 is 158K from all sources.

You conveniently left out stock based compensation.

Anonymous said...

Hey, write something about the Microsoft Office team keeping Research's search ribbon out of Office 2007

What makes you think that just because you're an overpaid research hotshot you can come in late in the cycle and have your pet feature disrupt our schedule? We were tight on time and managed to still ship on schedule. What do you think would have happened if we had taken on and integrated new functionality late in the cycle? Did you talk to our VP about slipping the ship date by a month? How much spare time do you think our localizers had? Or maybe your research prototype served all 36 languages already?

Shipping a real product is different from hacking together a functional prototype. It takes care and planning and attention to details that you appear blissfully unaware of.

Anonymous said...

If $158K is your total take at level 66, you're not visible, you're not appreciated, and you're not setting your superiors world on fire.

If you've been at 66 for two years, then your number is more disappointing.

Folks, you can check salary levels here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002853223_washtech09.html

Data is on target. Now, L66 GPM says he/she has been at MS for only two years. This means that he/she probably did not receive large stock awards. 2 awards 2000 shares each vest about 800 shares minus tax, making it maybe 550 shares. 130K salary (typical 0.95 - 0.98 compa-ratio for a newcomer) + 550 shares @ $30 + some bonus make is about $160K.

Now, if you are L62 making closer to the max for your level, maybe $105-110K, and you have 5x600 shares awards vesting 600 shares minus tax (and maybe, God forbid, stock options from 2001) and good bonus, you may be making close to $130K.

Anonymous said...


OP, I'm many levels below you. See Steve Sinofsky's blog for hints on where Test falls in the compensation food chain (not highly). Yet my gross last year was within 20-30K of yours. Primarily this is thanks to very competitive review bonuses, even for an SDET.


This is the biggest lie I've ever heard. As an IC SDET, first of all, you're probably not higher that a level 62, at the most. Are you telling us that last year you grossed almost $140K?

Anonymous said...

> 1. Stock award vesting goes from 5 years to 3
2. Above market raises still planned
3. No bonuses, but still the option to reward people who may deserve it
4. Setting bonus guidelines against realistic targets
5. Elimination of middle managers across the company

Looks to me like we could implement pretty much every one of these ourselves.

-
This is already implemented at Microsoft but only for the partners.

Anonymous said...

Shipping a real product is different from hacking together a functional prototype. It takes care and planning and attention to details that you appear blissfully unaware of.

ROTFL! I'm a customer, not a softie, so your fire is not only aimed in totally the wrong direction, but it just reveals the close-mindedness that kept a valuable UI feature out of the product. Maybe you were the guy who created Clippy. If you guys hate each other that much, it's no wonder your (well-designed) software still manages to ship with so many functional gaps.

Anonymous said...

The L66 GPM is obviously more believable than you. He has been MS for two years so no much option/SA to exercise. Besides he is talking about his overall compensation in W-2 so when compare to partners and VPs, same number should be compared. Your guess are more off and misleading.

... and ...

Folks, you can check salary levels here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002853223_washtech09.html

Data is on target. Now, L66 GPM says he/she has been at MS for only two years. This means that he/she probably did not receive large stock awards. 2 awards 2000 shares each vest about 800 shares minus tax, making it maybe 550 shares. 130K salary (typical 0.95 - 0.98 compa-ratio for a newcomer) + 550 shares @ $30 + some bonus make is about $160K.


To the first responder:

You're assuming that PARTNER = SPSA beneficiary. Some people have been made partners since SPSA was laid out, so that assumption is dangerous.

He said $158K. Did he get a bonus? A $10K bonus wouldn't surprise me here if he's doing a fair job. $148K for a level 66?

Your accusation that I'm not comparing like quantities falls short. Certainly, there are partners and VPs that bring in millions each year - some only in salary, and it gets even more obscene when you include their stock. However, that isn't everyone, or even necessarily most.

For the friendlier, second responder:

You're using an old graph. The brackets have moved since then. Add another $10K-$15K on. You don't seem to attribute anything to bonus here, but focus on stock. Any reason why?

evden eve nakliyat said...

thankks