Sunday, March 11, 2007

Stirring the Microsoft Comment Pot on a Rainy Weekend

I'm quite impressed with the incoming amount of comments. This week, I'm just stirring the pot here - I'm slammed busy at Microsoft and my free time is consumed by developing a strategy to blow the remains of my fun money with an expedition to Molbaks (because you must have a plan before entering Molbaks, lest you succumb to vertigo given all the abundance).

They Done Gone and Published a Whitepaper About It: the commitments tool gets a write-up as a showcase piece here: Facilitating Effective Employee Reviews at Microsoft. It might just be jumping the gun to slap the word "effective" in there. I suppose we can expect a write-up on the other tool, Career Compass, Real Soon Now. If I wanted to go for the cheap laughs I could whip up something ripping into the Career Compass tool. While I've been turned off by the initial heavy investment of time (not only as an employee but also as a frazzled manager), I hold some hope in my heart that the payoff is out there and that it doesn't become a time-sink like it is now.

Some reactions to the new HR tools below. I'd also like to read positive impressions of the tools. No, really. In the meantime:

(1) It IS NOT HR's job to have me waste time that I should be spending working with customers, improving my skills on our new technologies, or maybe trying some of that 'life' part of work-life balance going through the BS that is Career Compass and then not getting any "how you're doing so far" feedback on my mid-year.

(2) Career Compass - Christ, what a nightmare that thing is. Tons of busy work, and nothing that I think will ever make a difference in my career. But on the plus side, it did force me to look at how long I've been in my various roles, which helps me get started on my resume. [Mini: same here.]

(3) (What is the rest of the world going to think when they see how complicated the MSFT review process is. It's ironic that we're actually proud of such a monstrosity.)

This is clearly proof that the devil finds work for idle hands.

(4) It wasn't enough for HR to screw around w/the review process and form every review period to justify their existance. No! They had to come up w/CSPs, Career Compas and force us to use crappy Infopath. [...] This is surely a sign that HR has too many people and too much of a budget.

Office 14: Not-so-great / Great! Looking towards the next version of Office, we have some back and forth:

(1) [...] I am at a loss regarding what in the world it is we're going to be selling that is actually interesting to an end user. I ask people what they are excited about on their team and, by the look on their face, you would think they had just caught me with my hand in their pocket. Everyone is just shuffling along, spec'ing or developing or testing whatever boring thing comes their way.

(2) I work in Office too and have a different experience. Most of the teams I work with (Word, Excel, Visio, Proj, Server teams) are well into feature-speccing and prototyping already. Some teams (you probably know which ones...) even have shorter term deliverables. I can guess that some teams (for e.g. the one where everyone left after 2007) are still in a state of limbo and are trying to figure out what to do for 14. I interact with Windows on a frequent basis and I think things are significantly worse there, though.

(3) I work in Office and I've just about had it. I've looked over our O14 planning documents and tried hard to convince myself that the product will be worth 2 more years of my life. But it isn't going to happen.

Office is has a unhealthy combo of bureaucracy and senility. There are more than a few people here who are just hiding behind process to mask their own incompetence. There are even more people here who are just collecting a paycheck while newhires shoulder their work load. I've gone through a few years of this now and I'm done.

Looking For Career Love: the last Office comment above ends with the question:

So my question is this: Office is dying. Where in MS can we start living again?

And:

Random side-question: Which groups do people think are *awesome*? and which ones should be avoided? why so?

Are you in an awesome group? Tell us about it. Awesome-ness should be rewarded by lots of people pounding on the door to get in. Remember that the new intent-to-interview policy prevents you from being locked into your job or your product release cycle. If your last interview loop to get into your current position is over eighteen months ago, you're free to pound on the door on some awesome group and prove you're awesome-worthy, too, and move on up.

Well, unless your VP is going to step up and officially stop your transfer. Has that even happened to anyone?

One Little, Two Little, Three Little... VPs? First Blake Irving, then Christopher Payne and Dan Ling. Those shoes dropping lead to all sorts of speculation. You'd hope that if this is mass-house cleaning that the clean-out happens in a fell-swoop vs. being a slow duration that leads to Street anxiety. Of course, if it is house cleaning, we'll never know because we're too dysfunctional to actually admit to moving on a leader for failure to lead:

One comment has this take on Blake:

Blake is leaving because he can't stand Sinofsky, he doesn't want to follow Sinofsky's organizational principles and strategy and has simply lost the fight. Sinofsky is way too influential even for mighty Blake.

The fun part is gonna be watching the domino effect as Blake's MSN boys club gets dismantled for good. That division is doomed. By the time the long due cleanup is finished, the train to compete will be long gone.

Other call-outs: Very nice entropic organizational Brownian motion closer on this comment regarding three big things wrong with Microsoft:

Without a mission, it’s impossible to create a technical or marketing strategy. Without a mission/ideology, Microsoft will continue to be killed by internal entropy and organizational Brownian motion. However, a salesman cannot create a great mission statement, and his peer product person does not seem to be capable either (see above).

BizDog leaves behind a very nice long comment worth taking time to read in full. A snippet from near the end:

Our core problem as one of my friends put it is many of our products work better together than our people do. Fixing that is a cultural thing and all the HR tools, comp packages and other rantings won't fix this. Leadership will, but we are devoid of that at the moment.

MSFTextrememakeover I've fallen and I can't get up - Chart goodness. Or, well, badness. There's charts.

And one last comment to rain on your financial future:

Meanwhile, April is approaching and a lot of options will expires worthless.

Updated: s/bad gerund/proper past tense/.

236 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 236 of 236
Anonymous said...

On Anonymity
There have been a lot of comments on this and other blogs about the anonymity of InsideMS, minimsft, and other blogs.

The technical reality is that it is relatively easy to figure out who you are. Think of the great lengths that virus writers go to in order to hide themselves – yet they always end up getting caught.

If you come on this blog and say something that gets flagged by a three letter government acronym, you will be caught.

If you post something on InsideMS that is far enough across a line to justify termination, they will terminate you - as they should.

If, however, you don’t cross one of those lines, nobody likely cares enough to figure out who you are.

Signing your post
The problem with using your name in your post is that you have now put your management chain into an awkward position.

Best case, assume that the entire management chain agrees that Vista missed the mark. At some point in your chain, someone is going to have to talk to KJ. Then it flows downhill and you’re damaged goods at best.

An even better scenario is that someone writes a story and quotes you on the front page of a trade rag. Think of the position you have just put your management chain into. Do you really want to put yourself into that position?

As a manager, I will fight incredibly hard for my team members. However, at some point, I will stop. I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. I’m only willing to take “take one for the team” so far. Most people have limits on how far they will support someone. If you push them past that limit, don’t feel betrayed when they are no longer standing behind you.

The cost is too high
I’m sure there are plenty of Microsoft execs that would like to find out who wrote a particular comment and “get them”. Some are probably even stupid enough to try.

Think about what would happen if someone were fired for speaking their mind even moderately professionally on an “anonymous” internal blog. First would be the backlash from the community. Next would be the PR nightmare. Next would be the lawsuits for singling out the one or few commenters.

That’s why Lisa can guarantee anonymity. It’s not that she’s ultra powerful or that we are Microsoft’s biggest asset. It’s the shitstorm that would ensue.

So, be smart and relatively professional and don’t worry about your anonymity. After all, it’s at-will employment, so they don’t technically need a reason to send you packing.

Posted from corpnet :-)

nff

Anonymous said...

>Here's an idea: sell your MSFT stock and move on.

What makes you think the people posting here (except for those with exercised options) would even have any MS stock?

I get the sense that its just people who see real problems and solutions, like a first shooter game, its a test of intellectual power, not to mention a need to return to Microsoft all the years of frustration at being forced to use MS in the first place.

Anonymous said...

>> If the product teams do a tech fest, they can kick MSR's butt.

Yeah, right. Take it from an MSR insider - no matter what YOU think, product groups don't hire the best and brightest. I've seen interns here that could wipe the floor with senior SDEs in other parts of the company as far as IQ and pure mental bandwidth are concerned. A lot of people here are unbelievably, scary, off the charts smart. Believe me, even if they don't produce anything at all (and it's not the case), you don't want them working for Google.

And no, product groups by their very nature can't do fundamental research. You can't really implement a speech recognition system if you don't know the basics of machine learning.

There are few exceptions (Tablet, Speech, SQL), but those folks would not say what you just said - they work very closely with MSR.

Anonymous said...

"XBox was a success becuase it didn't lose as much money as some other products."

Xbox is a success because it's on a track to make money. That's in stark contrast to the other consumer hardware flops that we wasted money on: the SPOT watch, Ultimate TV & LG LRM-519 PVRs, WebTV/MSN TV/MSN Companion, etc.

Plus, where would we put the money? Windows and Office are already so fat and bloated that there's nothing really to stuff in there that would not start turning off people. Windows CE has got a 50/50 shot of suvival against free OSes, in the embedded market the most important criteria for an OS is that it's cheap. Ditto for Windows Server, it's competition is free, nearly as good, and more fashionable among nerds at the moment. Putting more money into MSN/Live/Live Search is equivalent to flushing it down the toilet.

You whiners better get down on your knees and pray that Xbox succeeds; there aren't that many more markets MS can really expand to and expect to have a shot.

MSFTextrememakeover said...

"You need to look at the big picture.Xbox and Xbox 360 was a great investment.Microsoft has lost more money on dumber things that NEVER worked out."

(sigh) Well, there's a business investment justification I bet they don't teach at Wharton...

Anonymous said...

Take it from an MSR insider - no matter what YOU think, product groups don't hire the best and brightest. ... And no, product groups by their very nature can't do fundamental research.

As it happens I agree with you, but let's push your idea to its logical conclusion: MSR is full of brilliant folks, but by the same token they aren't willing to sully their hands with the backbreaking grunt work of actually making something shippable. With the exception of the groups you listed and other groups willing to make the investment in talent, us mental midgets do indeed not have the ability or time to make use of MSR's half-baked prototypes. Therefore, we must conclude that MSR is worth exactly zero to most of MS. Oops.

And we all know what happens to people who don't pull their weight.

Anonymous said...

Lets assume that MS sells 100 million or more xbox 360s.Think of the money that will be made from that installed base.Look at the different ways that installed base will generate revenue.

*Royalties from retail game sales(pure profit)
*Royalties from Xbox live marketplace(pure profit)
*Royalties from from xbox live arcade(pure profit)
*Xbox live subscriptions
*In game advertising revenue(pure profit)
*Sponsored Live competitions
*Movie downloads(pure profit)
*Music Downloads(pure profit)
*xbox Peripherals


This isn't a business plan. This is the equivalent of playing Roulette with $6B+. It's been over a year since launch and the 360 *STILL* sells fewer units per month than the PS2 in the U.S. The PS2! It gets even more embarrasing if you look at the international numbers. MS has already downgraded the cumulative number of units they expect to ship by June to around 12 million consoles and I'm not exactly seeing a huge groundswell for anything other than maybe the Wii. I have a VERY hard time believing the 360 will see 100m units anytime soon, if ever.

Anonymous said...

Xbox is a success because it's on a track to make money.

By what accounting method? Are you simply going to forget what it cost to get here? There's a very big hole that the division needs to dig itself out of first.

You whiners better get down on your knees and pray that Xbox succeeds;

Yes, I'm beginning to think that this was the missing Step 2 in the business plan.

Anonymous said...

RE: After all, it’s at-will employment, so they don’t technically need a reason to send you packing.

Quoted directly from the MSFT Management Handbook of Employee Motivation.

Keeperplanet said...

>"Plus, where would we put the money? "

Oh thank you so much for asking. If Adam Barr can sell his lawnmower, heck, I can help you with this selfless plug, but mini will probably bounce this.

If anyone at Microsoft has trouble spending money, I am looking for funding for a startup, that I can probably guarantee a 1000% return (minus my 51% holding in the company) in value over a seven year period, baring galactic catastrophes etc. It is directly related to using Microsoft based software products and it is not a pda or a cell phone or game box.

In fact, it would probably be a good investment to do that a hundred times to various entrepreneurs. Certainly the efficiency of effort would increase also a thousand fold compared with the level of return MS is seeing these days.

Guaranteed free of political nonsense. Think how far a dollar can go if completely free from inside msbs.

Or, if you want to just throw money away, I am in need of about $30K to buy components and machining services so I can build a electric actuated celestial observatory plus the 20 inch telescope in my trailer. I'll even throw in $150 for Adam's lawnmower.

Anybody who reads this blog knows where I am. :~)

Anonymous said...

>> And we all know what happens to people who don't pull their weight

In this case I can tell you exactly what will happen. About 70% of the folks you fire from MSR will re-surface in Google Kirkland a week later.

I'm not even a researcher, I just write code and contribute to papers researchers publish every now and then. I'm an ordinary grunt just trying to learn things an keep up with the new stuff. Back when I was in a product group (for 7+ years) I thought I was creme de la creme also. The truth of the matter is, most of the things Microsoft is built upon are commodities by now. There are half a dozen usable operating systems and at least a few decent office suites available to anyone for zero dollars zero cents. Sooner or later people will figure this out.

Granted, it is hard to see more than a couple of years out. But one thing should be clear to everyone - five years from now Office and Windows will matter much less than they do now. And I'm not some sort of Web 2.0 batshit insane fanatic - web probably won't be "it". It's just that you can't sell commodities at a premium forever.

Now, the question is, what do we do? Do we allow PhDs in MSR to advance the state of the art (and patent/transfer the ideas), or do we just fire them all and hope that Windows/Office gravy train will run forever?

Anonymous said...

Dilbert on Career Compass:

http://dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2007031349101.jpg

Honestly, if I didn't know that Scott Adams doesn't work at Microsoft, I could have sworn he's here.

Anonymous said...

someone wrote:

[b] Its just a matter of how fast can MS cost reduce the hardware.[/b]

And, can it get anywhere near profitability before the shelf life of this console generation has passed.

Seems like Xbox1 didn't make it in time. Xbox360 has done a smarter job of controlling the IP to provide for more flexible manufacturing of the chips, but it's already been out over a year and isn't outselling PS2 yet. You can't get "economy of scale" without the "scale".

Cedar Court Frappuccino said...

I bet the 'MSR insider' above is http://kschofield.spaces.live.com/
Kind of silly to compare MSR researchers with product team people. MSR hires PhDs exclusively, and product teams usually hire straight out of college. These are two very different kind of people. To say that PhDs are smarter than college grads and conclude that product teams don't hire the best and brightest and MSR does is nonsense. And we at MSR know very well that the best and brightest among PhDs prefer Academia -- Stanford, MIT, Berkeley -- or Google over MSR. In the last 4-5 years we haven't been able to attract most of the great people we were after.

Schofield is known internally as a management laptop. Yes, MSR management is as bad as management throughout the company, and its lapdogs' noses are as brown. Ling, the retiring MSR VP, has a habit of promoting mediocre people who agree with him uncritically and report those who don't. Lucky for us, and for MS, that group is slowly making its way out. Breese took off a bit over a year ago, Ling has just left, Schofield will hopefully soon follow, and so will the others, you know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft has shut off new registrations to the Soapbox site (Microsoft's YouTube killer). Problem? Too many bootlegged videos. Not a good thing to have when your lawyers are sitting down with Newscorp and GE lawyers to try to figure out to pull the rug from under YouTube. Its really the best Microsoft can do. They could go head to head with Google and get clocked in this area - or they can sit with the content providers and share whatever comes of it with Yahoo, AOL, etc. It will be awhile before Microsoft can execute their patented 'embrace and extend' in this area - today they are merely sitting in the sandbox with other equally fretful playmates.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, at Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:42:00 AM said: Charles, You do know we have a pretty good services org, right? over 8k people covering consulting and support, and it makes profit too...microsoft.com/microsoftservices

Indeed, which is why I suggested the comparison with Oracle which also has about 8,000 consulting employees (*not* including an additional 7,000 in support).

IBM, OTOH, has upwards of 190,000 employees in IBM Global Services with annual revenues approaching $50B (from services alone). That is what diversified looks like.

IBM offers multiple computing platforms and many of its core systems software products run on multiple platforms (e.g. DB2), as do Oracle's.

Comparatively, Microsoft is not diversified; not in revenue streams, not in offerings, and not on platforms (and no, money losing game consoles, media players, and websites don't count).


You're comparing apples to pears.

IBM is a services company. Microsoft is a software company. There's a definite difference in core strategy which nobody on this blog comment trail is going to change - and right now, why would we. Granted, services provides for more revenue per head but software provides much more margin per unit. Most of Oracle's services arm comes from recent acquisitions - right now their revenue from that aspect is more by accident than design, although this may change if they move to a more IBM-focused business vertical approach. And they can't do end to end business solutions like IBM or even MS can, despite what they claim.

The key aspect is that regardless of how many MS services people there are, it represents a small pool (<5%)of the overall services base in the market. This is intentional. Whilst MS services are the cream of the crop in terms of the technology skills, 95+ % of revenue for MS is partner based. So add up all the certified partner orgs and your IBM number is dwarfed. Hugely. How many IBM or Oracle partners are there? Also realise that the partner space is where the platform diversification is made real - we have never made a secret of the fact that we focus on our key IP, and the partners focus on extending it heterogenously. This in itself is a massive value prop that our enterprise competitors cannot match.

Anonymous said...

I've seen interns here that could wipe the floor with senior SDEs in other parts of the company as far as IQ and pure mental bandwidth are concerned. A lot of people here are unbelievably, scary, off the charts smart. Believe me, even if they don't produce anything at all

Experience and interest make a person a good programmer as much as IQ and "mental bandwidth" (whatever that means). If you spend your time doing math and publishing papers, you will not be able to produce practical, reliable, maintainable, performant code. The code I've seen from MSR is a disaster on all counts. It suffers from problems that are common in 2nd semester programming classes, which in many cases is the highest level of "practical" coursework necessary to get a Ph.D. in CS...

Anonymous said...

People are making fun of Vista error messages: Error, the operation completed successfully

http://jeremiahpalecek.blogspot.com/2007/03/windows-vista-is-here-wow-im-so-excited.html

Anonymous said...

What to do about a manager's ignorance?

He was promoted to a manager's position less than a year ago, obviously due to lack of technical abilities.

He is known for producing Project Plans in which team members are assigned completely undefined tasks to complete in fixed time.

Tasks assigned for a team member look like this:

"Implement task #1" for 3 days.

"Implement task #2" for 3 days.

"Implement task #3" for 3 days.

And so it goes for all tasks of this employee.

Nothing is known about the tasks, except the number at the end of the title. When asked in a meeting, this manager replied that the tasks serve merely as placeholders in the Project Plan.

Now, as part of the Mid-Year Career Review he is assessing his reports on such competencies as "Analytical Problem Solving" and "Strategic Vision".

People who asked about the ambiguity of their tasks are ranked low by him due to "Having problems working in a dynamic environment".

Some of the people ranked low by this manager are well-known and respected by the professional community and don't actually need his assessments.

This is an example how applying the current review system produces wrong, unfair results and supports managers incompetence. The performance review process itself takes considerable, non-productive time. Assessments like this naturally force good professionals to start actively looking for better, non-Microsoft jobs.

What can be done to deal with managers ignorance and the Microsoft's Performance Review Process that supports it?

Anonymous said...

>A lot of people here are unbelievably, scary, off the charts smart. Believe me, even if they don't produce anything at all (and it's not the case), you don't want them working for Google.

For 1billion a year - we should send most of them to Google.

Anonymous said...

RE: At-will employment...

There's a saying that if you're packin' a gun, you shoudn't pull it out unless you are willing to actually use it. Just "showing" it without the ability to use it will, more likely than not, end up as a bad thing for you. You'll either lose your credibility or it will be used against you.

Some at MSFT like to toss that term around like they could fire someone if the mood so struck. If that were really the case, why do still have so many people who apparently desperately need to be fired?

Any reasonable person understands that you can (should) be terminated for breaking the law (or robbing the shareholders), but, as any manager who's tried knows, it's actually a lot of work to fire someone who hasn't actually broken a law.

So. fire me or STFU and let me work, but don't sit there and toss around idle threats. (or, here's an idea, try to be a decent people manager so these problems don't surface in the first place?!)

Anonymous said...

>>"Therefore, we must conclude that MSR is worth exactly zero to most of MS. Oops."

Your comments remind me of what Xerox management said to John Warnock of Xerox PARC just before he founded Adobe Systems.

Yeah, I would suggest mining some of the Xerox PARC ideas many of which are just now becoming current and relevant. That way, Microsoft won't have to invest in intelligent ideas for at least another ten years.

What you are expecting is Applied Research. MSR is what you call Pure Research. Perhaps someone at Microsoft forgot to include the applications component needed so the people at Microsoft can then build products from the research.

No, I don't work for Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

In this case I can tell you exactly what will happen. About 70% of the folks you fire from MSR will re-surface in Google Kirkland a week later.

Where they'll promptly be just as much of a useless drag on their bottom line as they've been on ours. How awful.

The point is not that product groups are the creme de la creme; we all know damned well they're not. The point is that MSR is reducing its own value by failing to make the effort to transfer technology easier on the lesser product groups. That has to change and it can change now while MS is still healthy or, as you said, it can change later when the Office & Windows gravy train is over and MSR is put under the lash.

Anonymous said...

If anyone at Microsoft has trouble spending money, I am looking for funding for a startup, that I can probably guarantee a 1000% return (minus my 51% holding in the company) in value over a seven year period, baring galactic catastrophes etc.

Why, congratulations, Keeperplanet! Unquestionably the most impressive display of delusions of grandeur that I've seen in awhile, in keeping with your fine tradition of past posts. Easily deserving of a standing ovation.

Anonymous said...

He must have inside sources: http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-20070323.html

Keeperplanet said...

"Why, congratulations, Keeperplanet! Unquestionably the most impressive display of delusions of grandeur that I've seen in awhile, in keeping with your fine tradition of past posts. Easily deserving of a standing ovation."

Why, thankyouveerymuch. Do you need an address to send the check to?

Anonymous said...

>> For 1 billion a year - we should send most of them to Google.

From what I've heard it's $300M/year. Peanuts compared to dozens of other worthless projects under development. The difference is that MSR goose can lay a golden egg and those others can not. I do wish there were "islands" of researchers embedded within product groups that need them, though. Just don't expect them to innovate on schedule.

>> failing to make the effort to transfer technology easier on the lesser product groups

I don't know anyone in MSR who would not be absolutely delighted by the prospect of putting a tech transfer on their yearly review. There are two issues though. First - 50% of Microsoft teams wouldn't be able to adopt anything even if they wanted to. Poorly imitating competor's offerings doesn't require any innovation. Second, of the remaining 50%, people often can't see the forest behind the trees. This is not their fault either, they're so hammered by deadlines they barely have time to fix their bugs (about 50% of them, that not even the most fearless PM can punt).

Here's how you get ahead, folks. You come up with something that no one else has done before and build on it. By the time a competitor releases a product to the market and Microsoft realizes it's a threat, we're already 2 years behind. We will always be behind unless we break out of the habit of chasing everyone's tails and give them a chasing opportunity of their own.

Sadly, frozen pigs will fly in hell before this happens, because this requires risks, and risks could mean a bad yearly review if you don't succeed.

Anonymous said...

If anyone at Microsoft has trouble spending money, I am looking for funding for a startup, that I can probably guarantee a 1000% return (minus my 51% holding in the company) in value over a seven year period, baring galactic catastrophes etc.

Let me guess. You are planning on starting a lawn mowing business using Adam's mower.

Keeperplanet said...

>>"Let me guess. You are planning on starting a lawn mowing business using Adam's mower."

Not exactly. Laugh if you want, gd knows I do all the time.

Mini, shelve this if you want, but respond to lampoons I must.

But re the business plan, properly vetted interested parties willing to sign non disclosures can get enough information on my startup plans to evaluate the opportunities.

BTW, stage one involves between $250K and $500k to establish three sets of (utility) patents and creating a prototype skunkworks facility from which production quality prototypes would be developed. Following that contracted out for production. Second phase would involve putting together a marketing and sales team.

The company plan initially involves a series of three to five products working together to enhance value of one another. but which would be sold individually without requiring the other products to work.

I also have ideas on a couple of other patentable products unrelated to this initial plan. I would like to use some of the funds to acquire shared patents on these items also.

Re the mower, I was kidding, but I do like to mess with electric motors and would use the mower parts to implement some ideas on building a hovercraft using half of an old automotive inner tube some leaf blower parts and a driving fan hooked up on one side to propel it along. It all depends on what type and condition the battery is in.

Charles said...

You're comparing apples to pears.

Yes, that was precisely my point in illustrating the differences. IBM is a software, hardware, and services company. Microsoft (like Oracle) is a software company with a minor service contribution.

IBM is a services company.

Yeah, mainframe and middleware OS's, databases, networks and all that virtualization software and hardware that Microsoft is trying to catch up with is just a figment of every CIO's imagination (and budget).

Microsoft is a software company.

Agreed. My original point.

Whilst MS services are the cream of the crop in terms of the technology skills, 95+ % of revenue for MS is partner based. So add up all the certified partner orgs and your IBM number is dwarfed.

Relying on MS partner revenues to make your argument without likewise including IBM partner revenues in IBMs is classic cherry picking. MS service partners no more make MS a service company than Lenovo PC's make IBM a PC company. Stick with what any company legitimately declares on its financials.

we have never made a secret of the fact that we focus on our key IP, and the partners focus on extending it heterogenously. This in itself is a massive value prop that our enterprise competitors cannot match.

lol - what "key IP"? Vista? DCOM? .NET? Great Plains? Is that where the focus has been?

Microsoft's "value proposition" has always been years behind the curve. And of course your partners extend it heterogenously. What other choice have they? The enterprise is already heterogeneous with IBM, Oracle, Sun, SAP, Linux, EMC, NTAP, etc, with MS on the desktop and some departmental servers - 'course Vista may change all that.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on how InfoPath and Outlook are to work for? Anyone with experience on these teams?

Anonymous said...

So, I'm upgrading an XP box to Vista, and good grief, what a train wreck of an experience. I put the disc in, and the first thing it asks is to do an online compatibility check. Okay, fine.
...
Someone is responsible for this disaster, and I don't mean some L62 dev lead and his L61 ICs.


Credit where credit is due. The "online compatability check" was developed by the fine Windows Fundamentals Team and integrated into Vista Setup before it was done. Updates on the web were made post RTM. They have job openings if you want to help fix it.

Anonymous said...

I know of at least 2 managers in Microsoft that had their VP/GM quash their promotion and/or transfer.

Rmaiah said...

I understand It's a good article the people more uses to this article the marketing strategy is more useful to people. If you are interesting visit the site marketing strategy

Anonymous said...

Quote:

What I hear is good: MSN (the site, not the org), Xbox, Mobile, Zune, STB

Which of those groups is generating profit? MSN, Xbox and Zune all stick out like sore thumbs (money losers), I don't know about Mobile and STB.


I know that at least SQL & Exchange in STB are doing very very well in revenue (in the billions) and profit (especially if you believe the $$ per employee ratio is meaningful) and have a minimal amount of crap to deal with compared to windows and office. Overall I'd say it's a pretty healthy group.

collinsalbert34 said...

Thank you very much. This was a great help.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 236 of 236   Newer› Newest»