Sunday, October 21, 2007

Promotion Velocity and Spin-off-Softs

Faster here, slower there: there have been a number of comments over the past about working in a place like Office or Windows being detrimental to your career advancement.

"Is it reasonable to think moving out of Windows would increase one's career velocity?"

Quite possibly. My skip-level manager in Office even talked in a team meeting once about the slower promotion schedule in our organization. Of course, it was spun as "being a level 62 here actually means something" instead of "equally skilled employees are paid less here".

Well, if you're working with a bunch of senior folk who have been doing the same thing for five, ten, or more years, yeah, not a lot of room is going to open at the top without the organization forcibly rototilling itself on occasion. I have ad-hoc mentored folks at the 59 and 60 levels in large static orgs and while their management said that the HR study came back with their org's promotion velocity is no different than the rest of Microsoft, some of those folks (fine, solid contributors) had been at their level twice as long as what my part of the company deems acceptable (e.g., if you're a 59 in product development for more than a year, there must be a problem).

The fastest promotions that I've seen have always come when you join a new group going through explosive growth. Usually the opportunity to shine happens when a new group needs multi-discipline impact from everyone, and those that can do it and not have to exist within a narrowband get to break-out and get exceptional, promotion-worth results. Too bad after steady-state arrives at this group you typically get back into your narrowband of responsibilities.

For product groups, I think if you're looking to reach a leadership level of Dev / PM / Test Manager or above, you really need to have several careers at Microsoft in very different groups. What mix do you think does it? One mix I can think of would be (1) Dev Div or SQL, (2) Office or Windows, and (3) a connected group like Live or MSN.

Many Microsofts lead to Spin-off-'Softs? Could implementing the Many Microsofts loosely coupled culture enable us to break-loose and break-up? This comment came in:

Mini – I think you prayers may finally be answered. Check out this interesting article about the future of MSFT.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/more-evidence-microsofts-going-way/story.aspx

Interesting article (spoiled a bit when a later comment pointed out it was by John Dvorak. D'oh.). Anyway, if you wanted to lay down the structure to break-off chunks of the company, ensuring that they become more autonomous and decoupled from the bigger picture is a big first step to take. In Dvorak's take, though, it's a bunch of little chunks, not huge-honkin' divisions, getting spun off. Mr. Dvorak has interesting point-of-view on a recent Ballmer interview:

After you read this sappy interview, it was easy to conclude one of three things: Ballmer is getting fired, Ballmer or Gates have some illness, or the company is going to radically change and things won't be the same.

If anything has a snowball's chance, it's #3. Pffft! Now just a steam-ball due to the word 'radical.' Beyond this but including it, MSFTExtremeMakeover has a new post, too: What if Microsoft wasn't a screwup? As always, it's a splash of cold water:

...primarily it's the post 2000 track record of poor "bets", even poorer execution, and chronic overspending, all of which come together in the lack of visibility wrt future earnings leverage. Hence the reason why even after five years of this stock going absolutely nowhere, $50B+ spent on buybacks, $30B+ down the hole in R&D, and $10B's of new "investments", most analysts still can't make a case for more than 20% upside from current levels, and the stock continues to badly underperform. Meanwhile, they have no trouble doing so for AAPL, GOOG and many others - despite their already spectacular runs - and those issues continue setting new all-time highs (AAPL and GOOG increasing more in the past month alone than MSFT has in the past 5 years).

Yahoo! Welcome, neighbor: Mr. Todd Bishop has a Q&A with David Sobeski about Yahoo!'s new Bellevue office. Snippet:

On whether Yahoo will poach Microsoft employees: "That's what everybody wants me to say, like 'Oh, yeah, we're going to go attack Microsoft, we're going to go siphon the top 10 percent.' No. ... Does Microsoft have great talent? You bet. Will some of that talent want to come to Yahoo? Probably. Are we actively going to go after anyone? Kinda no. ... We're here to build a good presence of engineers. You know what, if Microsoft guys want to come and ask us questions, great. Google guys? Great. We'll talk to everybody."

I'm just looking forward to a lot more hiring gears spinning in our ecosystem. Go ahead, poach some employees. If it all comes down to salary and job satisfaction in this post-golden-handcuff era, the more hiring options the better. And you've got to think there are some really good ideas that can come in from folks who move around, along with "whatever you do, don't do this" stories. When it comes to APIs and platforms, I like what Yahoo! is doing better than anyone else. But I don't understand their corporate culture and what it's like to work there. Hopefully Mr. Sobeski can explain that, along with the cool stuff they are doing.

I'm just looking forward to a far more enriching hang-out with the geeks environment in our area. Traffic around Bellevue actually getting worse, though? That's hard to imagine.

Speaking of hiring, when will Google start suffering from its drunken hiring binge (Google Promises Again to Swear Off Binge Hiring and What do 16,000 people 'do' at Google?)? I'm happy to share our hiring misery. I look forward to the http://minigoog.blogspot.com/ harbinger (well, maybe not on blogspot.com). The focus of such sibling-society culture at Google is interesting - Lord of the Flies interesting - as is how it will evolve given lawsuits from Old Guys who get managed out. Yes, soon you Googlers will get to enjoy watching yearly Standards of Business Conduct vignettes ("Don't call old farts old, m'kay? Especially before looking at everything they've accomplished compared to you.").

Oh, and speaking of misery, here comes the following comment:

I heard last week...this fiscal year, Microsoft is targeted to hire (between acquisitions and new hires) roughly 16K new employees.

O...M...Gaaaaawwwwwwdddddd

Perhaps I should have a Giving Campaign auction to just put me out of my misery. Or at least a piñata of me... hmm.

Kimstars: Charles wins a double reward: (1) for inventing the new term Kimstars, and (2) posting that Kimstar comment and follow-up better than anything I've typed out in a while. (As part of this, I embarrassingly found out that the original Kim post had a typo in the title! Now fixed: Not-so-limited Kim). Anyway, perhaps the concept of Kim is beyond the Limited II / 10% II designator. Follow-up commenters said how their recognition turned around under new, proactive management.

And if you're not a Kim now, just look down your career path. Do all roads lead to Kim-land? Are we all working to Limited/10% II? Going back to Charles' excellent comment:

I would argue Microsoft doesn't recognize "talent". Microsoft recognizes "passion". They are not the same. Microsoft recruits and retains passion as its talent evaporates unnoticed.

Q's for MSFT quarterly results: what questions do you want the analysts to pose this Thursday? A few quickies off the top of my head:

  • Hiring: a huge overhead for Microsoft is employee payroll (including building space). What is the projected hiring for the fiscal year (net of 16,000?)? What parts of the company are expanding and what need are they addressing that the shareholder can appreciate? Why are H1B visas changes needed if Microsoft is finding expansive hiring so easy?
  • Xbox: given the successful quarter for Xbox with Halo 3, what does the remainder of the fiscal year look like and when is it expected that all investment in Xbox will be recovered? (Trying not to spurt a sip of Starbucks out of my nose typing that last bit.)
  • Search: after the blip-up on Live Search from the bot-crazy search-game, what is the projected real-world gains around the search and advertising markets that would be qualified as a success?
  • Vista SP1: when will Vista SP1 ship? Sorry, I know we have Windows Update to keep fixes rolling into Vista, but it's going to take another OS release until the "wait until SP1" conventional wisdom is dropped.

What questions would you ask?


115 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does the job growth potential / leveling opportunities look like in DPE?

Anonymous said...

DPE??? Actually, leveling is quite high there, and there are some chances to shine...

But...

You've got to put up with a VP that is the worst in MSFT. A good 'ol boy network that is entrenched and nasty. Ever shifting winds of priorities ("ooh, web 2.0, we should do 'something', build a deck already"). A few managers that are part of the "club" that are sexist, racist and nasty.

Other than that, if you like to be the center of attention, not have any real accountability, and fly around the world doing nothing...go for it.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how MS measured its promotion velocity across orgs, but I can tell you one thing for sure: There is no way Windows promotion velocity matches MSN/Live and some other divisions. My friends and I started at MS at the same time and they were getting promoted much faster than me with the same reviews as me. A friend of mine went from 62 to 64 in a matter of 2 years with the same review numbers. The reason I was given for not getting promoted was either "We just ran out of promo budget or you would have been promoted" or "You need to do your time and we dont like to promote only after a year even though you are doing really well". I think the myth that promos are not tied to reviews is also complete BS. That was their way of justifying taking away the mid-year review, however, its complete hogwash. I have seen it happen once or twice, but their managers really had to fight for it. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Hiring 100%. "What the eff are 16000 people going to do that isn't being done already?"

Is that new headcount, or possibly just keeping up with staggering attrition rates?

Anonymous said...

I'd love it if someone asked this:

"Does Microsoft plan to develop applications for the iPhone?"

Anonymous said...

what about CSD? Is it a good group to work with?

Anonymous said...

I've heard that product planning has slower than usual promotion velocity. Has anyone else heard this?

Anonymous said...

MSFT quarterly results: Are they going to tell us if the CIO got fired or what? Stuart Scott's on admin leave and they are silent...

Anonymous said...

what about CSD? Is it a good group to work with?

CSD? Do you mean COSD?

Work with or Work for?

You must be one of the "best and brightest" I hear so much about.

Anonymous said...

What is DPE?

Anonymous said...

Here is a question maybe you or your readers could deal with, Mini. I'm a L64 test lead, and my career has had a strong trajectory, we're talking 12-18 month promotions starting as a college hire L59. I believe in my potential to be a partner-level employee some day, but I'm confident that test is not the right discipline to do it.

What do I do? Try to transfer to become a L64 dev IC? Yeah right, I'll go from exceeded/20 to achieved/70 (maybe even 10) in no time. Keep going the manager route in test, and hope that the company comes round and starts promoting test past L65? Or do I leave the company and go elsewhere to flex my muscle?

Anonymous said...

What do I do? Try to transfer to become a L64 dev IC? Yeah right, I'll go from exceeded/20 to achieved/70 (maybe even 10) in no time. Keep going the manager route in test, and hope that the company comes round and starts promoting test past L65? Or do I leave the company and go elsewhere to flex my muscle?

If you are confident in your abilities, I would leave the company. Right now is an excellent time to explore new jobs/startups etc. However, if you like working at MS, are happy with the atmosphere and compensation, and want to stay there longer, I would say that your best shot at making Partner is being a PM (providing you have the skills for that). Devs have less of a chance and test virtually has no shot to make partner the current atmosphere and that is unlikely to change.

Anonymous said...

>>what about CSD? Is it a good group to work with?

>>>>CSD? Do you mean COSD?

I think he meant the Connected Systems Division? I've heard that it's a good place to work (and has the largest percentage of partners in the company).

Anonymous said...

anonymous asked about how to progress...

Anon, I've changed disciplines twice. It has kept me interested but has really screwed up my promotion schedule, which in turn has given me a ridiculous comp ratio and crappy merit raises. The other problem is that I have this diverse skillset but most managers that I would work for don't, and therefore I don't get credit for that skillset.

If you like test, my advice is to stay there. My experience is - how can I put this nicely? - that the test pool at higher levels is less deep than the other disciplines (at least, looking at how some of my old peers have progressed relative to their umm... skills...).

Anonymous said...

L64 Test Lead - my advice is to stay in test. There is a deficiency in senior test leadership and promos to higher levels in test are happening much more often in functional organizations. It is usually a question of scope, if your current group you don't see the opportunity look around. The org changes in Windows over the last year are designed to help a bit with promo velocity, take a look at Steven's blog postings wrt this; places such as WHE in COSD have openings that can provide opportunities those.

Anonymous said...

what about CSD? Is it a good group to work with?

CSD = Connected Systems Division (WCF, WF, BizTalk, etc)

A lot of very cool new things are coming out of CSD. I'd say it's worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

Contingent staff - a huge portion of MSFT's workforce is comprised of v- consultants (in addition to "temps"). Has anybody looked at whether we could save huge bux by bringing some of those roles in-house or is everybody just afraid of asking for another one headcount and just settling for bringing on another vendor. Sure, they're smart,too, but they cost more per hour. Does it balance out?

Anonymous said...

further comments on a day in the life of mini microsoft . . .

This is a great set of topics Mini.
I would be interested to start taking bets on percentages of comments per topic. (Now if we could figure out a way to tie that to stock value, Softies could start making money on speculative investments at last):

Where should I work faster here slower there?: 10 to 1 odds it will be the dominant comment topic because its all about me, softie. (disclaimer: I don't work at Microsoft).

Many Microsofts on the Dvorak article: probably 1 to 10 odds it will even come close to getting massive comments simply because important heavy topics dealing with end of the world at Microsoft scenarios are ignored by softies.

Welcome Yahoo: 7 to 1 it will get lumped into the general topic on all mini posts of `how do I leave Microsoft?'

Kimstars: combine with faster here or slower there, but I will lay 10 to .1 odds Charles will post another War & Peace description of how to rule the world. We love you Charles, especially us old guys who understand trying to be relevant because we are but it just takes a lot more words.

Analyst Q&A Qs. Wildcard topic. 6 to 1 it will be a strong show if not a win in overall comments, but only if mini lets them all through.

Probably (no odds here) other comments: The whaahh boy will pipe up again with his subdued surfer boy rip of `dude you should have bought a dell' to `dude, how stupid are you' or something like that.

Finally, now that we know that Mini is a female, I have to contest the claim with odds mini is J. Alard because both are bald (1 to 1). I think J. is being front and center stating clearly who he is with the bald thing. Subtle, yet fair, provocative with no announced pretensions; and we are all looking to see what he looks like when he is forced to grow his hair when Sansa wins the bet on Zune dominance, (you haven't heard? http://blogs.zdnet.com/Berlind/?p=819)
ppffftt) after Microsoft changed the bet from Zune will be No. 2 to 'a' Zune will be No. 2.

Anonymous said...

CSD? Do you mean COSD?

Work with or Work for?

You must be one of the "best and brightest" I hear so much about.


Lose the attitude, please.

CSD = Connected Systems Division
COSD = Core Operating Systems Division

Anonymous said...

OT -- Apple shares up $13.39 in heavy after-hours trading following today's Quarterly Earnings Report.

That's $13.39, folks...don't we get excited over a 30-cent fluctuation?

Anonymous said...

Just google "Microsoft DPE". Google gives the definition as the first result. Live has a link to the Irish DPE group. If new Live has already launched, I feel pity for it.

Anonymous said...

Someone said previously that Zune will catch up to the iPod. Maybe they're aiming at the wrong target.

"Yet the iPhone, a combination cell phone and media player, is already tracking better than the iPod, Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook told analysts in a conference call."

Zune will be history if it's just trying to be like the iPod.

Anonymous said...

The org changes in Windows over the last year are designed to help a bit with promo velocity, take a look at Steven's blog postings wrt this; places such as WHE in COSD have openings that can provide opportunities those.

I work in the WHE division.

I talked to people in all disciplines after the reviews. Didn't hear of any promos. Heard rumblings that there were fewer than normal, but since I'm not a manager I don't know if it's true. I'll have to read the blog to see if it offers anything interesting.

You should also ask yourself why they have so many openings. A hint - it's not because people love to work there.

Anonymous said...

what about CSD? Is it a good group to work with?


CSD? Do you mean COSD?

Work with or Work for?

You must be one of the "best and brightest" I hear so much about.


You must be one of those WEX "Center of the Universe" guys who can't back up the talk.

FWIW, the OP might have lucked into Connected Systems Division when he meant COSD, but I suspect that people in COSD know COSD and people in CSD know CSD enough not to confuse the two.

Anonymous said...

I'm a L64 test lead ...

What do I do? Try to transfer to become a L64 dev IC?

Huh, don't you mean dev or pm lead? Why would you become an IC dev?

Anonymous said...

On May 30th, Bill Gates went on the Today show and debuted "surface computing" (the infamous "big-ass table"). "Pretty exciting, isn't it?" Gates said.

Today, Apple announced that they've sold 1.1 million iPhones (e.g. actual "surface computing") in three and a half months. (Despite Steve Ballmer's scornful dismissal of the iPhone as "the world's most expensive phone" or whatever he said.)

There really couldn't be a better illustration of the stark contrast between the two companies, could there? Even the blue-sky concept products turn out to be retroactive post-facto imitations that nobody wants.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I would like to know:

Shareholders have seen no additional value from price appreciation in the stock in over 9 years (July ’98 the price was $28/share). I realize our senior management does not consider the price of the stock of much importance, but as a stockholder I’m very concerned what this reflects. I know I’m not alone. Can you provide any feedback or guidance as to why our concerns are not justified?

Anonymous said...

$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off. I started in september 98 and my strike price was like $99. And I paid for the down payment on my house in 2001 when it was around $72. Not that it's been great in the last several years, but give credit where it's due.

Anonymous said...

I work in a technical position in Office and see little opportunity for growth in terms of level / interesting work / etc. When you notice that, for example, Ray Ozzie's brother reports directly to him, you realize the top layer is made of sycophants. What kind of review score do you think Ray gave his brother last September? Some things are just wrong with this company.

Anonymous said...

To the shareholder, screw it. Just sell your MSFT and put the $ to work elsewhere. Ever since the .com crash, I saw my options and some of my ESPP go down the tubes, I learned my lesson. I almost always sell my ESPP shares right when we receive them or immediately place a stop limit/limit order.

You can do so much better with other stocks and even just ETFs like SPY.

Obviously senior management doesn't care much. They've found other ways to shower themselves w/gold like SPSA and big stock grants. Us lowly ICs barely get jack in comparison.

Anonymous said...

>>>Just google "Microsoft DPE". Google gives the definition as the first result. Live has a link to the Irish DPE group. If new Live has already launched, I feel pity for it.<<<

Umm, Live produces near identical results. The definition appears as the third result.

All this Live Search bashing is pretty dumb. As my primary search engine it's just as good and often better than Google. It's just unfortunate that the search wars are already over so the point is moot. But anyobody trying to claim that Google is better than Yahoo/Live based on anecdotal evidence is a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

re: DPE

A few managers that are part of the "club" that are sexist, racist and nasty.

I think that categorization is harsh, and for the sexist and racist comment, inaccurate. Unlike the other two, "Nasty" is more open to interpretation.

I know one of the higher ups sometimes gets a bad wrap for being honest/candid, but he's usually spot on.

I hate to make an American Idol analogy, but he's like our own Simon Cowell. People are put off by him because his honesty is perceived as being 'nasty', but the reaity is that he's focused on business value and he's right much more often than he's wrong.

My personal take is that it's much better to have him be candid with you than be ripped apart in the public square by media, analysts, et al.

Anonymous said...

I think the most depressing thing from my POV is that we have to sit back and watch our competition continue to out execute in both the marketplace and the stock market, while our leadership sits back and says that everthing is going alright.

I have lost all faith in the leadership of Microsoft. Vista was a billion years late and hardly anyone was punished for it. Alchin is gone, Sobeski got a ton of coin from Yahoo and is living high on the hog, Jones is still around....who was held accountable for stalling the company?

I work in the new "Sinofsky" organization and I find it without soul, slow moving, and lacking in any vision whatsoever. Windows Live has been gutted of leadership and has become slow moving.

Where are the wins?

Anonymous said...

>Where are the wins?

What do you care? As long as MS pays me, I'll do my best to make our stupid projects not auger into the ground. When the money stops, I'll go somewhere else.

In the meantime, it's comfortable and the compensation's more than good enough. (Hint: if you're counting on MS stock rising instead of active money management to pay for retirement, you're an imbecile.) I can even sneak the equivalent of Google's 20% time, without telling anyone of course. It's not like there aren't enough resources lying around to do whatever you bloody well please. Enough of the 20% worked out to their benefit that my group even thinks I'm a good employee (ha!).

Think globally, act locally. Or in other words: the big picture can go and bugger itself.

Anonymous said...

$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off. I started in september 98 and my strike price was like $99. And I paid for the down payment on my house in 2001 when it was around $72. Not that it's been great in the last several years, but give credit where it's due.

Err, actually no the OP is right. I think you are thinking about pre-split prices. Here is the split adjusted chart for your reference.

Anonymous said...

Shareholders have seen no additional value from price appreciation in the stock in over 9 years (July ’98 the price was $28/share). I realize our senior management does not consider the price of the stock of much importance, but as a stockholder I’m very concerned what this reflects. I know I’m not alone. Can you provide any feedback or guidance as to why our concerns are not justified?

Your concerns are justified, but they are not heard. Why not? Because the shareholders don't elect a board of directors who will slap upper management around until the management starts to care about the stock price.

And yes, I understand that you personally don't have enough votes to do much about it. But collectively, the stockholders are getting this treatment because they put up with it.

MSS

Anonymous said...

I work in the new "Sinofsky" organization and I find it without soul, slow moving, and lacking in any vision whatsoever.

Its been almost one year since Sinofsky announced the sweeping changes to the org structure within WEX/Live etc (this is when I was still there). Out of curiosity, how is that going? How do people find the new WEX org structure and management? Are things much better than they were or worse or about the same? I would be interested to hear what people have to say about it...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off.


Actually, if you check the 10-year chart:

MSFT 10-year Chart

Anonymous said...

i like to play a game, it usually consists of me going to yahoo.com and getting a 5yr chart for MSFT and then comparing it to random stocks.

I've yet to find a stock that performs worse - anyone care to enlighten me?

Anonymous said...

"$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off."

He's correct. Split-adjusted, the stock traded in that range in '98. Run a chart instead of looking foolish.

Anonymous said...

$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off. I started in september 98 and my strike price was like $99. And I paid for the down payment on my house in 2001 when it was around $72. Not that it's been great in the last several years, but give credit where it's due.

Actually, you're the one who's a bit off. Do you happen to know what $99/share is when you split it twice??? You got your shares at the equivalent of $24 because Msft stock has split 2x (2:1) since then. There was a dip in Msft share price from July '98 to Sept '98 but it went on a steep climb until Dec '99. You should really get your facts straight before you tell someone they're wrong.

Just wondering... Are people not aware that our stock has seen absolutely no price appreciation in about 9 years. Does that not concern anyone????

Anonymous said...

$28/share? I think your dates are at least a few years off. I started in september 98 and my strike price was like $99. And I paid for the down payment on my house in 2001 when it was around $72. Not that it's been great in the last several years, but give credit where it's due.

Sorry buddy, but you are the one that's wrong. You aren't accounting for the two stock splits after your 98 grant. There is no credit due to MS for the completely abysmal stock performance. Not even your own execs are willing to hold the stock.

Anonymous said...

OT random thoughts this afternoon...

I was just looking over the latest release stuff from Ubuntu. Since their upgrades work as well as the MS ones, I guess I need to swallow the pain and re-install. At least they come up with something worthwhile for the pain every 6 months...

But it has me thinking that Microsoft has just got to wake up to insure long-term survival. With Apple's Leopard and Ubuntu really pushing Linux to prime-time quality while Microsoft's answer for God knows how long being Vista (gag!) - even non-tech folks are noting a shift in momentum. Every point in market share that Microsoft loses from here on will not be coming back any time soon.

You can squawk and call me in idiot, but when one of the kindest, gentlest, Christian women that I know admitted to being reduced to profanity while using Vista during a conversation last night, it pounded home to me just how far backwards Microsoft has fallen. (Lord knows how she tolerates me, since I swear like a fish)

Basically, Microsoft is spending its' goodwill earned during the 1990's to early 2000's and the massive amount of third party software that came with it to coast and worry over all of the bullshit issues presented in this blog. None of this shit will matter if Microsoft doesn't stop shipping crap like Vista. Every person that switches to a Mac or Linux box, and every third party software package that ports to those platforms chasing these new customers has long-term negative consequences to Windows. By the time this effect is clearly measurable, it will be too late. All of these new technologies in which billions are being invested will be useless if Microsoft loses its' total dominance of the OS market and all of the third party software that goes with that dominance.

Quit fucking around and taking your OS market share for granted! You are not going to ship the best OS with measurements based on uncountable mechanical metrics. Bring all of the art and intelligence of the human mind to bear on the quality of the total product and compete, damn it! Bullshit metrics cannot compete with the art of the human mind. Just giving up your OS dominance on a whim is totally fucking stupid and will be repaid with irrelevance.

Anonymous said...

"But anyobody trying to claim that Google is better than Yahoo/Live based on anecdotal evidence is a complete idiot."

You're the complete idiot to still be using Live. When every time I use Live, I'm dissappointed isn't anecdotal evidence.

If you already dismiss Live as "over", you might as well dismiss all that hoopla over "the new Live" during and after the company meeting.

Anonymous said...

"Just sell your MSFT and put the $ to work elsewhere."

How true. When I left MS, I sold all my MSFT for $28 and bought GOOG at $480. GOOG is now at $675, 30% better return than keeping MSFT.

MS says they're going to compete against RIMM by releasing some phone management software. RIMM just went up $11 today by launching in China!

MS is always behind and keep missing the target.

Anonymous said...

If you want to compare Live/Google/Yahoo just use mysearchoff.com.

If you're really looking for fun try playing "Hi Bob Search Edition" at your next party. Pick your favorite engine, search random terms and throw back a shot when your engine has the best result. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

"I've yet to find a stock that performs worse - anyone care to enlighten me?"

SNE is one. There are numerous others. But few among main competitors or peers.

Anonymous said...

Its been almost one year since Sinofsky announced the sweeping changes to the org structure within WEX/Live etc (this is when I was still there). Out of curiosity, how is that going? How do people find the new WEX org structure and management? Are things much better than they were or worse or about the same? I would be interested to hear what people have to say about it...

Harder to recruit people from outside the org into the org based on a few things. For one thing, you have to accept this title thing and the flat org. Which means if you were a GM or PUM, you're going to be a GPM or Dev Mgr in this org, and if you were a GPM, you're probably going to be a Lead. And when people ask you why you went from GPM to Lead when they read your resume a few years from now, you can try to explain that it really wasn't a demotion. Good luck. I'm glad I'm not there anymore.

People I talk to feel like a cog -- part of a machine. You die, someone will come replace you in a few mins, keep marching. The date and the process are the high order bits, not actually building something that matters.

I imagine WEX will feel better for moving faster and shipping more regularly. LEX will feel worse for feeling like they were ripping along and now they have slowed down to a snails pace. They are about to ship Wave 2, so we'll see how that goes and how it's received -- that's the true measure of any success. At some point, maybe we will decide we're just not cut out for this consumer services thing and call it a day. Perhaps we will do better with platform services. It's in our blood, it's what we know how to do. Consumer's baffle us. We understand IT very well, we do not get consumers at all and live on the fact that they will buy our machines because they use them at work.

And if Apple's numbers from yesterday are right, even that is eroding based on laptop sales alone.

Anonymous said...

I've yet to find a stock that performs worse - anyone care to enlighten me?

Worldcom.

Anonymous said...

Is it reasonable to think moving out of Windows would increase one's career velocity?

Quite possibly. My skip-level manager in Office even talked in a team meeting once about the slower promotion schedule in our organization.

I work in a technical position in Office and see little opportunity for growth in terms of level / interesting work / etc.


So how does this fit with 30 months at level to get a promo - 3+ years (36+ mths) at level triggers a flag of low trajectory?

Anonymous said...

Ok, apple sold a lot of phones in the US. They'll sell a lot more this quarter in europe.

Then all of the early adopters have purchased them. Future quarters won't come anywhere close to this for iphone sales, unless they cut the price in half again.

What's next?

Seriously, $11+ bump in the stock price for this? Wow. How many units of Halo 3 did we sell? What did the stock do, bounce a buck maybe?

What do we have coming out this/next year that might have a shot at even causing a .50 bump?

Windows Home Server is the only thing I've heard of that has any buzz. No, I don't work on the team. I've never used the software.

MAYBE Zune 2.0 will be interesting, but they seem a little overpriced. I guess as long as their software sucks less than the last version, they'll do pretty well. I'm not on the Zune team either.

I work in Windows. What do we have? How about we deliver some Ultimate Extras? Nope, probably won't happen. And even if it does, they'll probably be some shitty ones (search internally and you'll see what I mean). Anything else interesting, besides SP1?

Anonymous said...

Windows Home Server is the only thing I've heard of that has any buzz. No, I don't work on the team. I've never used the software.

WHS...buzz...really?

http://google.com/trends?q=windows+home+server%2Czune&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

To put it into perspective:

http://google.com/trends?q=windows+home+server%2Czune%2Cipod&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

Anonymous said...

Then all of the early adopters have purchased them. Future quarters won't come anywhere close to this for iphone sales, unless they cut the price in half again.

1) They didn't cut the price "in half"; they cut it by a third because they got rid of the lower-priced model and they had to clear the channel to make room for the 16GB model that's coming soon. It's just volume flash-ram economics; nothing else. All according to plan.

2) This "early adapter" argument is nonsense. The product's sales numbers are reflected in stunning, enviable "word of mouth" and 94% customer satisfaction rates that are the apparently the highest numbers ever tracked for a cell phone. If you think this is just 1.1 million "Sharper Image" type gadgeteers buying the product, you're dreaming.

Anonymous said...

MSFT since July 1 2000

Anonymous said...

really screwed up my promotion schedule, which in turn has given me a ridiculous comp ratio and crappy merit raises

I've always thought I was screwed up too and I've done some asking around lately. Isn't the average comp ratio for each level supposed to be 1?

From most of the people I've talked to that's not the case. In fact, I've been told anything even near 1 is considered to be good. Is this really true?

Anonymous said...

So how does this fit with 30 months at level to get a promo - 3+ years (36+ mths) at level triggers a flag of low trajectory?

Well, how do you think it fits? Not very damn well. For the cogs anyway. Everyone is kept on the edge of being chucked out. Sinofski probably expects that will make you work harder.

It's not Windows any longer, it's Glengarry Glen Ross. Come review time, First Prize is Exceeded/Outstanding plus a modest chunk of stock awards (which you can use to put a downpayment on your own Cadillac Eldorado). Second prize is a less-than-COLA raise (not sure if you can afford the steak knives). Thrid prize is your Kimmed, and thanks for playing.

You think the Windows environment is bad now? It's going to get worse. The people who try to get real work done are going to have their lunch eaten by the backstabbers and ladder-climbers, who don't do any real work so they can focus all their energy on playing the game.

Pretty soon, Windows will be a collection of Machiavelli's at Partner level overseeing a horde of entry-level people scrabbling for promotions, burning out or being kicked out after five to ten years.

That is how it fits.

Anonymous said...

RE: live
On the bright side, the annoying two search boxes finally got replaced with ONE at http://maps.live.com/

Anonymous said...

>> Future quarters won't come anywhere close to this for iphone sales

Future sales will totally eclipse the already great sales of first three months. First, "early adopters" don't live in a vacuum, and iPhone is an extraordinary product. So some of the folks they communicate to will get their iPhones this Christmas. Then there's a huge crowd of highly skilled developers that have bee biting at the bit so hard, they started putting together their own SDKs. Those developers will get a full blown SDK in February. Then there's almost a guaranteed expansion of the product line. If I know anything about Apple, it will be a lower priced model - they always release their "high end" first. Then there's a 3G iPhone to be released sometime next summer.

On top of that they make money on:
a. Device itself
b. Subscription
c. Music they sell directly to the device

That's how you frickin' do business if you know how to do it. On top of that Mac sales are pretty much exploding (thanks in part to the half baked Windows Vista release), iPod sales are also not even slowing down. Music sales are booming. And if this wasn't enough, they manage to release a new OS every 12 to 18 months and squeeze more features and customer focus into it than we could in five long years. How is it possible that they can release a 64 bit OS that can use 32 bit drivers and we cannot? How is it possible that they have a robust set of multimedia APIs (Core Audio/Video/Animation) and we have a duct-taped hodgepodge of crap that third parties pretty much entirely bypass. How did they manage to release desktop composition engine that _doesn't flicker when UI is drawn_ in 2001 and we can't do it in 2007? Why can they implement UAC in a way that doesn't drive users insane? Finally, why do we _have_ to release something we know is a half-baked turd (I'm looking at you, Flash Zune, and at you, Vista)?

Anonymous said...

Stock price changes reflect expectations for future growth. Investors have spoken-- you guys have stagnated and have little room to move. Apple is where the future is. Also, notice how many employees they're accomplishing all of this with? Under 20,000. They're not on a hiring binge either. Lean and mean.

They're only getting started, too.

Anonymous said...

What do you care? As long as MS pays me, I'll do my best to make our stupid projects not auger into the ground. When the money stops, I'll go somewhere else.

My HERO !!!!

No, seriously he is....

Look we are nothing but a number to corporate america... Our work does not really matter all that much. We do not save lives and our work does not save lives, we are not a doctor or some great scientist searching for the cancer gene. We write and produce software...though badly but that is besides the point. Just take your decent salary and nice benefits package and go home to your family and enjoy that. Why do you really want to work 12-14 hours a day when you can spend those extra hours with your spouse/kids/friends/ etc. You and I are just a NUMBER, nothing more nothing less.

Just be happy you have a decent paying job and can enjoy a nice lifestyle. When you are 65 or so, do you really think you are going to look back and wish you done more at work. Come on people get real. Just enjoy life. Work is work.

Sincerely, one of many Dilberts out there.

Anonymous said...

Someone said:

Ok, apple sold a lot of phones in the US. They'll sell a lot more this quarter in europe.

Then all of the early adopters have purchased them. Future quarters won't come anywhere close to this for iphone sales, unless they cut the price in half again.

What's next?


Remember when Apple released the iPod? I'm sure Apple's competitors in that space were thinking exactly that.... it would fizzle out and die in a year. Look at where we are today.

Never underestimate Apple...

Anonymous said...

>Quit fucking around and taking your OS market share for granted!

We're not. Not really. The problem is that there's not really that much you can add to the OS that will wow the average consumer. The OS has been commoditized. We're pretty much reduced to fixing the flaws introduced by growing upwards from a single-user OS that aren't present in OSes that grew down from a networked multi-user environment (e.g. UAC) and calling that a feature.

(This is why I sneer at the fools who suggest that MSN/Live get sold off, because that's simply not going to happen. In spite of the idiots running it, that's the only real hope for meaningful revenue growth at MS and people know it.)

>MAYBE Zune 2.0 will be interesting, but they seem a little overpriced.

Way overpriced. They're shooting (and pricing) to compete with the iPod when they can't even demonstrate that they can compete with the commodity music players. I predict they will fall flat on their faces.

Anonymous said...

Re: Live maps.

One search box does not make it any less useful than it really was.

Try searching for "Seattle Children's Hosptital". Your first result is in TACOMA! What a bunch of IDIOTS! When was Tacoma in Seattle????

If I was trying to find the hospital to take my sick child there pronto, I would never use Live maps!

Anonymous said...

Indeed. The iPhone has nowhere to go but up. There's no reason why the iPhone won't sell more units eventually than the iPod. I know many people who have bought several iPods over the years because they like them so much and Apple keeps coming out with more functionality and different form factors.

So far, the iPhone has basically only sold to people on AT&T or who are at a good point in their contracts to switch to AT&T and don't mind doing so. There's still a huge market out there which Apple will eventually address.

Also, I'm sure Apple isn't going to stand still with the iPhone. They can make it smaller, or thinner. And bigger, with hard drives. There will be models with GPS and probably a nicer camera (xenon flash, autofocus, etc.). And support for perpetually faster wireless networks. Back when the iPod came out, you may have wondered what else there was to do there, and look where we're at now.

One of the saddest things I've seen is recent ads in magazines for Windows Mobile phones. Look, it can do e-mail! And surf the web! Hurrah! Please don't buy an iPhone! Haha.

Anonymous said...

"Search: after the blip-up on Live Search from the bot-crazy search-game, what is the projected real-world gains around the search and advertising markets that would be qualified as a success?"

And the answer is: NOTHING!

http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/archives/2007/10/23/live-search-drops-9-in-september/

"ComScore’s search engine market share numbers for September reveal a pretty bad month for Microsoft’s Windows Live Search, as their slice of the pie shrunk about nine percent, lowering from 11.3% to 10.3%. Sadly, that’s exactly the level Live Search commanded in May, before the Live Search Club gains, which means Microsoft has lost the entire new audience as the promotion waned and not managed to retain any significant number."


Let's all do a slow clap for all the winners on Live/MSN for incresing their numbers just long enough to get through the review period. Well played, sirs. Now I'll get back to my boring desktop development using native code. Boy I wish I was smart enough to write web pages in C# all day.

Anonymous said...

>>Also, notice how many employees they're accomplishing all of this with<<

Wow. Wish we could moderate comments like Slashdot.

Asinine.

Anonymous said...

Just be happy you have a decent paying job and can enjoy a nice lifestyle. When you are 65 or so, do you really think you are going to look back and wish you done more at work. Come on people get real. Just enjoy life. Work is work.

I'd like to know how many years you have worked at Microsoft... because I thought I would do just what you suggest, do a decent job and go home at the end of the day and be with my family. Employees who do that are called, "Kim", and they get run out of the company. Don't you doubt it.

So, "when you are 65" and greeting customers at Wal*Mart you can wish that you would have started working for a company that would have provided you with a lifelong career rather than use you up and spit you out at age 35 or 40. Fortunately for those of us who worked at Microsoft in the "good old days" we are not as bad off at age 40 as the current batch of disposables will be.

Anonymous said...

Looks like MS will finally shell out $1.5 Billion for 10% of Facebook and Steveb said they were only going after small acquisitions. How can he be believed anymore?

http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9803689-56.html?tag=recentPosts

Say bye-bye to Live Spaces. There should be some RIF there soon.

Anonymous said...

Is $1.5 Billion worth it for serving ads on Facebook?

What are your thoughts?

It's not really considered an expense but an investment as it buys 10% of Facebook. But will MS get back near that amount in extra ad revenue?

Anonymous said...

Oops, only $250 million investment, not $1.5 Billion which was from a previous rumor.

But the deal is only for non-US ads. So is it still worth it?

What would stop Facebook from making a deal with Google for US ads?

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, how is that going? How do people find the new WEX org structure and management?

I like it and feel it is improved. There is some more micromanagement overhead, but it seems to be resulting in people sticking to dates and focusing on meat and potato features. Also have yet to have another branch break my code.

Add to that the new safeco campus has me sitting near and getting to know all the rest of WEX. Like we all work together now as opposed to these satellite groups all spread around.

Some Guy said...

Ok, here's the critical question about the spin-offs: do you have managers capable of running them?

From what I've seen, management talent is the #1 deficiency at MSFT. Spin off a division without the right person to lead it, and you've just pissed away tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Anonymous said...

It's just volume flash-ram economics; nothing else. All according to plan.

iPod Touch 16GB = $399
iPod Nano 8GB = $199
Sansa View 16GB = $199 (available soon)

If you believe internet rumors, the 32GB version will still be less than the touch ($330)
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/pmp/32gb-scandisk-sansa-view-on-the-way-314262.php

The Zune 2.0 prices will match the Nano prices. Yet another opportunity for market share lost. But at least you'll be able to find them on sale from time to time, instead of always at MSRP like the ipods.

Apple completely kicks our ass in marketing. We didn't get much for all of that money spent on Vista marketing. Hopefully we can come up with something entertaining and engaging. I'd like to see some funny ads instead of all that stuck up junk we normally crank out.

This "early adapter" argument is nonsense. The product's sales numbers are reflected in stunning, enviable "word of mouth" and 94% customer satisfaction rates that are the apparently the highest numbers ever tracked for a cell phone. If you think this is just 1.1 million "Sharper Image" type gadgeteers buying the product, you're dreaming.

I meant early adopters of Apple products. Generally called fanboys I guess.

The type that think Steve Jobs can do no wrong, and that Microsoft is pure evil and every idea they ever had is horrible and results in millions of kitten deaths. They and the ones looking for a quick buck are the ones that bought a good percentage of those units.

Sure, you have some gadget geeks in this crowd, but they aren't the bulk of the audience. Normal people don't spend $300+ on a phone. They get the POS that cingular is giving them for free. Normaly people definitely don't spend this kind of money on a first generation product. It's not like buying just a media player. This locks you into a 2 year contract.

As far as the "what's next" comment, it was specifically in reference to the $11+ bump their stock price got this week (in addition to the huge bump it got when the iphone first went on sale).

How is it possible that they can release a 64 bit OS that can use 32 bit drivers and we cannot?

Great question. First time I've heard this. http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/64bit.html

Anonymous said...

CSD? Hahahaha. If you have people skills it might have some opportunity (same as everywhere), if you are technical, stay as far away as possible.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Microsoft:
1. Same stock price as 9 yrs ago
2. Stock options are gone
3. Sycophants (ex: Ozzy's brother)
4. PMs now running the show (should be devs)
5. Bad products (ex: Zune, Live Search, Vista)
6. Bad decisions (ex: XBox screwup)
7. The "process" is more important than anything else
8. Financing of useless MSR work
9. Lots of principal / senior bozos
10. Who cares when you started at MSFT?
11. Why are we paying useless employees 6K salaries (ex: editors)?

Anonymous said...

I'm in a healthy group that doesn't hand out promotions until they're earned. Then I interviewed a candidate who joined the company through an acquisition. This person was levelled above me, but didn't even qualify for a job at my level. It was a good reason for requiring a loop, but it was also very discouraging.

It's hard to feel like ladder levels are fair when we hand them out like this during acquisitions. Does this mean we underpay and the only way we can match external salaries is through level inflation?

Things like this make me want to leave the company.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see something really creepy, plot MSFT's price since 1/1/2000 against that of IBM.

I think that makes it pretty clear. MSFT is not going to become like IBM, it already has.

Anonymous said...

If I was trying to find the hospital to take my sick child there pronto, I would never use Live maps!

If your child is that sick, call 911 first, you moron.

Anonymous said...

>>>Try searching for "Seattle Children's Hosptital". Your first result is in TACOMA! What a bunch of IDIOTS! When was Tacoma in Seattle????<<<

Umm, the first result clearly states it will take you to Local Live Maps and show you all the Childrens Hosiptals NEAR Seattle Washington.

Personally, I found that to be a pleasant surprise. (I don't live in the US so I don't usually use Live Maps) I can take one look at the map and see which of the hospitals are actually closest to my location.

Thereafter, the results are pretty identical to Google.

People don't want to give the Live Search team their props. They've come a long way from even last year when I too thought their search engine was pathetic. Too late to change the game now of course, but the engine is very, very good.

Anonymous said...

Normal people don't spend $300+ on a phone. They get the POS that cingular is giving them for free.

Not in this country. Phones are fashion accessories/statements. People care A LOT about the phone they have and they will gladly pay extra for a "cool" phone. And the coolest of all phones is the iPhone.

Perhaps you don't know anyone under the age of 30.

Anonymous said...

What do you care? As long as MS pays me, I'll do my best to make our stupid projects not auger into the ground. When the money stops, I'll go somewhere else.

You are exactly what Microsoft doesn't need. Go take your crappy attitude somewhere else so Microsoft can hire somebody who's actually eager to make an impact.

Anonymous said...

re: You are exactly what Microsoft doesn't need. Go take your crappy attitude somewhere else so Microsoft can hire somebody who's actually eager to make an impact.

First, that statement presumes that people who want to make an impact want to go to MSFT. MSFT is now in the "big company category" where people go fresh out of school to get the experience they need to get a great job at another company. Just what MSFT, more people who just want to use the company for their own personal gain.

Second, that attitude is the one held by the people who actually do the real work (i.e. that makes the actual impact) while all the other "make an impact people" are putting on their slide shows to show either a) what an impact they could make if only... or b) what an impact the did make and why they need to get promoted. Meanwhile, the "cogs" are the ones actually making the impact. Yup, just what MSFT, more slideware.

Anonymous said...

Q. "11. Why are we paying useless employees 6K salaries (ex: editors)?"

A. I always love the perception that editors are "useless." As a point, they could have corrected and added clarity to "6K." I presume you mean six-figure salaries and not 6,000. (This classically follows the notion of "I don't need an editor, I are an editor.")

A world-class editor will engage users, assure information is accurate, keep MSFT out of libel law suits and attract consumers. The "thought leaders" who carry on the notion that "we can create technology to do what editors do" misrepresent the education and experience it takes to deliver high quality content that resonates with consumers.

We aspire to have the highest skilled employees in every discipline. Fortunately, I believe, we quite often achieve this in our editorial staffs. Among the unforseen skills MSFT pays some level of premium for, in many of its editors, is the ability to balance journalistic presentation with business success metrics. This is truly an art.

Respect all disciplines for what they bring. Proudly brag if some of them actually are world-class in their accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

A world-class editor will engage users, assure information is accurate, keep MSFT out of libel law suits and attract consumers. The "thought leaders" who carry on the notion that "we can create technology to do what editors do" misrepresent the education and experience it takes to deliver high quality content that resonates with consumers.

Yeah, that sounds pretty good. When are we going to hire some people with these skills and get rid of the mostly useless ones we have now?

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the tradeoff between staying in a group to avoid the perception of "bouncing around too much (one year each in one previous position and current position, many years in one place before that) vs. seeking a great new opportunity in another group that allows one to simultaneously return to a enjoyable aspect of a job set AND broaden skills/scope/responsibility (if not immediately then very soon).

In other words, how much does the perception of "moving on too quickly" count against you?

Anonymous said...

In other words, how much does the perception of "moving on too quickly" count against you?

When I was making a similiar decision a couple of years ago, someone made the point, 'If you're unhappy enough that you're thinking of leaving the company, there's enough opportunities here that you can find something that's a great fit for you."

Regardless of which group you're in and where you're going, don't make the decision casually.

I think a key aspect on whether you'll get dinged is your review scores. There are likely one of three situations going on-
(1) You took a new job, it's not a match for your skill set, and you're tanking (low / med review)
(2) You took a new job, and it turned out to require just a subset of your skill set (great review / low motivation)
(3) You're looking to cash in elsewhere. You're happy in your job, but feel like you're underpaid.

My opinion is that if you fall into category #1. Everybody makes bad decisions sometime, if you've got a strong track record before coming to the role, talk to your manager about your concerns, chances are they'll help you find something that's a good fit.

If you're #2, I fell into this category and moved a couple of times in three years. 4.0 or Exceeded in all positions, did well but really was underutilized. Third times the charm, and as I debated whether to stay or go(leave Microsoft), I found a position that utilized my skillset and found challenging.

If you're #3, talk to your manager and HR to raise your concerns about salary vs. performance. Ask for concrete examples of what it takes to make what you want, and talk about a career path. Ask what the deltas are between what you offer and where they feel you need to be, and then make the call on whether to move or stick it out.

If you have that discussion, don't let them get off by telling you 'you need one more big project'. This is a standard cop out response. Drill into responses like that with more specifics, such as "What specifically are you hoping this project will show you, teamwork?leadership?collaboration?scheduling accuracy?" If you can pin down what they're hoping to see, you can see identify an area to work on OR see they are blowing smoke and make the final decision to move.

Anonymous said...

If you're #2, I fell into this category and moved a couple of times in three years. 4.0 or Exceeded in all positions, did well but really was underutilized. Third times the charm, and as I debated whether to stay or go(leave Microsoft), I found a position that utilized my skillset and found challenging.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. So you're saying that because your review scores were right up there, it didn't matter to future managers that you had moved several times in three years - is that right? I think there are people who are very worried about the perception of "job hopping" when the reality is that not every job pans out to be what you expected in terms of responsibilities, skill utilization, etc. (Is that an understatement? :-)

I thought that management concerns about job hopping were mostly around 1) people trying to get ahead very quickly by bouncing into new spots and 2) people trying to escape a poor performance trail by never sticking around anywhere long enough to face the music for their lack of planning, etc.

But then I wondered if management might *think* someone was in category 2 when in fact they were just realizing that the past couple of jobs they'd been in were not maximizing their potential.

I know there are people here who worry a lot about management perception. It's too bad, because they're excellent workers but are too fearful of "perception" to switch when a great job opportunity comes up (just not at the exact ideal time, in terms of when they last moved).

Anonymous said...

So you're saying that because your review scores were right up there, it didn't matter to future managers that you had moved several times in three years

What I'm saying is that with good review scores and good reasons to move, it won't be a deal breaker.

In my case (original responder), I moved twice in Redmond. The first time I was way overqualified and while I could have coasted to 4.0 and 4.5s, I needed something more challenging. The manager understood, and I left on reasonably good terms.

The second time it was about the new job having an unofficial glass ceiling (leveling) for the position (group wide, not just mine), and had long discussions with HR and management that I was a top performer and if the position didn't/couldn't go higher, I needed to leave. They came back with a new position, and after some debate I decided to move on.

Both managers gave me a 4.0 *after* I left the team (I left after july but before september), so it didn't hurt in core review, although for one I got docked on stock.

Moving more than a couple times and jumping is going to hurt you unless you head out of HQ or out of the company.

If you're looking to make a quick raise with a transer, I wouldn't recommend it. Better to plot out an opportunity that's right for the overall plans you have for your career, and move 2-3 months down the line.

If you're bored, you should still talk to your manager. Depending on the group, they can expand or enhance your role which may make it more challenging for you.

When in doubt, I follow the rule "Do what's right for the company." If the result of the move will be a net positive for the shareholders, you should consider it.

Anonymous said...

they're excellent workers but are too fearful of "perception" to switch when a great job opportunity comes up

I suppose it all depends on where you're at in your career, and how confident in your free market value.

In my case, I know I can make more money if I left Microsoft (alot more), but I stay because of the opportunity to 'change the world'. That opportunity is part of the value proposition.

For me, if I were to be stuck in a job I wasn't thrilled with, I know in the back of my head I could cash out and easily get a gig someplace else.

I think having spent 66% of my career outside of MS, makes that realization a bit easier. The folks that seem to be the most scared are the ones who've been here since college or early days of their career and are <64.

Anonymous said...


Both managers gave me a 4.0 *after* I left the team (I left after july but before september), so it didn't hurt in core review, although for one I got docked on stock


If your manager did not know about your leaving before the end of July, then he gave you the review not knowing you would leave. try telling your manager early June, then see what happens...

Some Guy said...

"I stay because of the opportunity to 'change the world'. "

Dude, get out now. You're delusional.

Anonymous said...

"I stay because of the opportunity to 'change the world'. "

Dude, get out now. You're delusional.



And Dude number 2, you're pitiful.

Anonymous said...

Deja vu! I used to work at startup companies where we'd attract early-20-somethings with that phrase or a close variant: "We are going to change the world!"

It's amazingly attractive and serves to get a lot of idealistic people to take low pay and work long hours.

The world isn't changed by any significant measure, but damn, it's a great tool to get the most effort for the buck out of naive, talented people. [Ethically questionable, but that's a different issue.]

Anonymous said...

Looks like WinMobile is about to get really tough to sell: http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20071105_mobile_open.html

Knowing out management, I think we'll be offering it free of charge before we leave the market. And maybe even pay the hardware manufacturers to use it.

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Anonymous said...

How is the live search org to work in?

How big a differential is there in the promotion velocity?

what is the culture of the team like?

I am looking to move to live search as a (L60)PM .. any advice\suggestions?

Thanks!

烟雨遥 said...

白癜风的临床表现是什么?

白癜风为皮损色素完全脱失,呈瓷白色斑,白斑大小形态不一,境界清楚,边缘有色素沉着增加,无自觉症状,暴晒后易出现红斑,甚至水泡,自觉有灼痛、炎症后,白斑可比原发范围大,皮损可发生于任何部位,但较常见于指背、腕、前臂、面颈、生殖器及其周围。白斑常对称或单侧分布,甚至如带状沿神经分布。头部白斑边缘无色素沉着区,或偶有白发而看不出白斑。有的白斑可自行消退,一些患者在夏季日晒后,白斑中心或边缘色素再生,但到冬季色素又可消退。部分患者可伴有粘膜色素减退以口唇多见,外生殖器次之,眼色素亦可受累,但一般不影响视力,这种粘膜白癜风不同于通常所说的粘膜白斑。

外阴白斑以往多主张手术切除,但术后复发率高。近年来通过对以往所谓外阴白斑进行长期随访,发现癌变率仅2%左右;即使已有上皮非典型增生者,也仅有一小部分可发展为原位癌或浸润癌。且实践证明,为控制局部瘙痒,或恢复外阴皮肤正常形态,药物治疗均能取得较为满意的效果。故目前大多主张采用非手术治疗,但治疗后仍应继续随访,特别对增生型营养不良而有溃破、硬结者更应提高警惕,以防发生癌变。
为了统一认识,1975年国际外阴病研究会决定取消“外阴白斑”病名,改称为“慢性外阴营养不良”(ChronicVuIVardystroph),并根据组织病理变化的不同,将其分为3种不同的类型。
外阴白斑是发生在外阴皮肤粘膜处的白色病变,以病变处皮肤增厚、粗糙、萎缩、弹性减退、皮色脱失为特征,常见于大阴唇或小阴唇内侧及阴蒂,严重时可延至阴道、会阴及肛门周围的一种慢性常见妇科疾病。

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文章由百度排名提供
SEO是 Search Engine Optimization 的缩写,在中国翻译成了“搜索引擎优化”一般可简称为搜索优化.
在国外,SEO开展的比较早,那些专门从事SEO的技术人员被Google称之为"Search Engine Optimizers",即SEOs.由于Google是目前世界最大搜索引擎提供商,所以Google也成为了全世界SEOs的主要研究对像,为此Google官方网站专门有一页介绍SEO,并表明了Google对SEO的态度.最近SEO博客也有了空前的繁荣。
对任何网民来说,搜索引擎多是大家上网不可缺少的工具。google 作为全球最受欢迎的搜索引擎。每天处理高达1.5亿次的搜索请求,快速准确的搜索结果使大家对Google情有独钟。搜索程序所使用的Pagerank系统(网页级别技术)。更是深受SEO优化排名者的喜爱。度虎谷后SEO博客作为资源站迅速冲击网络。他们多为cn域名。一大部分多是垃圾站点。但有不乏例外如凌枫博客SEO日志对seo初学者来说有很大的帮助。大家有时间可以亲自去看看。
别的搜索引擎提供给搜索者的是多种渠道得来的一个粗略的搜索结果,而Google提供给它的搜索者的则是它自己产生的高度精确的搜索结果。这就是为什么网站管理员会千方百计去提高自己网站在Google的排名。龙翔做的也是从中崭露头角。
Google的排名运算法则主要使用了两个部分,第一个部分是它的文字内容匹配系统。Google使用该系统来发现与搜索者键入的搜索词相关的网页;第二部分也是排名运算法则中最最重要的部分,就是Google的专利网页级别技术(Pagerank)。
如何在WEB2.0时代使自己的网站产生营收,这是制约网络公司发展的最大瓶颈之一,单纯的网络营销广告已经很难取得商家的信赖,新生的WEB2.0网站很难在竞争激烈的网络广告里分到米粒,忧伤满杯,更不要说做大做强。天涯社区之前发布自己的广告系统,所谓的话题推荐广告(我暂且这么称呼),其实很早都在应用,而天涯只是在服务功能上细化了一下,未必也是一种尝试,而天涯巨大的流量每年产值区区百万相比,仅仅是一种探索,是否取得成功,还有待市场的考验,相比之下,如爱情公寓等交友类网站目前也是唯一能找到自身盈利模式的网站。所以VIP会员服务,成了交友类网站收入的最大来源,这成了国内交友网站发展迅猛的特色之一。国内互联网用户有付费阅读意识的少之又少,任何资料都可以通过搜索引擎获取,国内唯一走在最前端的起点文学网,在盛大的巨资支持下,在我眼里成了最成功的ewgoogle公司。有好的平台和高密度的人群,却没有清晰的盈利模式,便成了国内互联网的一大特色。
文章由SEO社区提供。

Anonymous said...

How is the live search org to work in?
Work is pretty interesting I'd say, you'd need to be very technical, even for a PM. Unless you're comfortable debating the nitty gritty of distributed computing or the merits of various hashing schemes, don't expect to get a lot of respect.

I can't say what the relative promotion velocity is, since Search is the only group I've worked in so far. For what it's worth, I've had two promotions in the last 3 years. That would be middle of the road'ish.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info regarding the Search group - that helps :)

Anonymous said...

In a WEX team here. Tired of watching the management promote managment and 1d10ts while the good people slog along trying to get work done. One 1d10t cost us 3 weeks of work and thousands of hours fixing his mistake while took off on holiday. His punishment? A promotion. I'd fire his ass for being stupid. It is no wonder why Windows sucks as bad as it does. Not as bad as Office but it is close.

Never before I had worked on an overly-sensitive sexist team. Wonder if Brian has any openings at Amazon....

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