Thursday, April 24, 2008

Microsoft FY08Q3 Results

FY08Q3: favorite post-analysis sites for the results:

The last report was a knock-out and the stock responded accordingly and shot up.

Ends up Microsoft leadership had a plan to address that issue: attempt to acquire Yahoo. Amidst a world of puzzled financial faces mumbling "wtf?" we started our ill advised adventure to consume Yahoo, whether they wanted it or not. The stock responded accordingly and tanked.

I expect today will be another solid quarter, but the Ill Advised Adventure Monkey is riding our back and I expect a good bit of the analyst probing will be around Yahoo (wondering if we'd be dumb enough to raise our bid), and perhaps reviewing the upcoming money-making product stream, plus what a non-Microsoft + Yahoo future looks like (one word: shiny).

Mr. Ballmer engaged in some good bluster Wednesday, saying that Microsoft could just walk away from the deal. Please, please, walk on by. I haven't talked to every employee at Microsoft, of course, but everyone that I've talked to believes this is a bad idea. And that's not hand wringing.


Overall: the results are in and... ouch. Various reactions:

(1) MSFTExtremeMakeover: MSFTextrememakeover Q3 FY08 Earnings - which firsts starts off w/ MSFTExtremeMakeover considering packing the whole blogging gig up - go over and have productive participation if you want to express your encouragement for the blog to continue. A snippet on the initial analysis:

Again looking quickly, Client sucked. And it seems to be not just the technology guarantee impact but also anemic OEM growth. The .ppt brags about the same 140M Vista licenses sold that we've been hearing about for a while now. So clearly there's been no acceleration wrt installed base upgrades either. Surprise! Not. MBD was also weak. I haven't delved further to figure out why. Servers put in a strong showing as per usual. Kudos to that group at least. And finally E&D managed to eke out a paper profit (as long as you ignore intra-group transfers and the convenient "Corporate-level activity" bucket).

(2) Mr. Joe Wilcox: Microsoft Watch - Corporate - Microsoft Q3 2008 by the Numbers - as always a nice breakdown.

(3) Mr. Todd Bishop:

Microsoft Strategy solid even without Yahoo, which roles up a response from Mr. Liddell that you can only hope allows us to walk on by Yahoo (or at least not raise the offer price):

As outlined in our recent letter to the Yahoo board, unless we make progress with Yahoo towards an agreement by this weekend, we will reconsider our alternatives. We will provide updates as appropriate next week. These alternatives clearly include taking an offer to Yahoo shareholders or to withdraw our proposal and focus on other opportunities, both organic and inorganic.

Notes Microsoft's profits exceed estimates - snippet regarding Xbox / Entertainment and Devices making money instead of being one huge money sink:

Does the operating profit mean that the company is no longer losing money on the Xbox 360 hardware?

Colleen Healy, Microsoft's general manager of investor relations, didn't answer that question directly when I asked this afternoon. However, she said, "What I can confirm for you is we're making really good progress on that cost curve."

(4) WSJ: Business Technology Vista Drags on Microsoft - snippet:

If we dig a little deeper there’s evidence to suggest that Microsoft has a Vista problem.

(5) Scotch it! Two to close on, including best use of the word "scotch" I've seen in a while:

  1. Microsoft results disappoint Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
  2. Microsoft issues final threat to scotch Yahoo deal Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

179 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please, Steve, walk on by. You are not good at this.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2008-04-23-ballmer_N.htm

"Roll says he was surprised to find that Ballmer stood out among the worst dealmakers.
"

jon said...

What's striking to me is that most Microsoft employees I've talked to in Redmond are negative about the deal. By contrast, in the Valley, most of the people I talk to -- Microsoft employees and others -- think it would be a very good deal for Microsoft.

I wonder why things look so different in the Redmond reality-distortion field?

jon

Anonymous said...

MSFTextreme is thinking about packing it in! Do not let that happen! Show some love to extreme!

Anonymous said...

"walk away from the deal. Please, please, walk on by. "

modest are we not? are you trying to take the credit for what Steve says now days? =)

Anonymous said...

I believe Microsoft wants Yahoo for a very important reason: to turn it into a Silverlight portal. So don't expect this deal to be terminated. It won't. Silverlight is too important to Microsoft, and purchasing a well-known portal to showcase it (or to push it onto as many machines as possible if you prefer) is the strategy of the day. Watch for it.

Anonymous said...

what a POS shit, not only did it give back recent gains, but also the GOOG bonus

put this freakin dog to sleep already

Who da'Punk said...

Looks like we might have a few days of interesting news, so I'm loosening up the moderation to let the comments flow more quickly.

I will scrub the comments and delete anything offensive / dumb, along with any follow-ups.

Mini.

Anonymous said...

I dont see any value in Silverlighting Yahoo. Yahoo is a has-been. The only strategy I can see with them is trying to buy eyeball share, but thats a loser.

The money would be far better spent in programs to ensure that the message of Silverlight is heard far and wide by developers. Google can keep indexing and monetizing sites, but if the majority of the sites they're indexing and monetizing are running MSFT technology, that is a big win.

Trying to compete with them in the portal and online ad game is a distraction (and an EXPENSIVE distraction) that doesnt make sense.

Something like Live Mesh proves that MSFT can still get in front of the curve and generate excitement. Investment in modernizing and transforming the existing franchises, REINVENTING THE DISMAL LICENSING MODELS, and fixing the horrible corporate image problems makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending countless billions on a dog.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add to the above... There is a chance Yahoo (if they were smart) would be looking at Moonlight anyway.

There is some genuinely cool technology in there. Devs who arent purely ideological (and Ive met with more than a few) may find that they *choose* to utilize that platform (without having to be bought by MSFT)

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of these Microsoft results...everytime I wait, like a naive idiot, for the quaterly earnings to come out and beat the street. Every single time it is disappointing and share price goes down. I so looking forward to dumping all my stocks and go join Google or Amazon or some startup...

Anonymous said...

I am also surprised at how much in the doldrums we are. I fully expected a great earnings report based on how much biz we do overseas and was stunned to see us fall 5% in afterhours after a good runup. It is truly maddening to see such poor progress.

I'm still waiting for when Steve and company manage to give us some good news for once. I think they don't want to.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for when Steve and company manage to give us some good news for once. I think they don't want to.

Of course they don't want to -- do you have ANY IDEA how many people would cash out and bail if the stock ever went to 40???

Anonymous said...

"I'm still waiting for when Steve and company manage to give us some good news for once. I think they don't want to."

Of course they don't want to -- do you have ANY IDEA how many people would cash out and bail if the stock ever went to 40???


Yeah, a whole lot of dead weight senior managers, old-timers and partners... none of the people who actually do the work have enough stock to care one way or the other these days. ;-)

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6:04 PM re Anonymous 12:45 PM, money will be spent far and wide spreading the Silverlight message to developers. This is not an either or deal. Both will be done (Silverlighting Yahoo and as many other sites as possible, as well as spending a lot of money spreading the Silverlight message). As for Yahoo being a has-been, obviously this is not the belief of upper-management.

Remember the comment from Craig Mundie: We hope to do to Google what was done to Netscape. That should be considered a statement of strategy. Go back and study the process used against Netscape. The same will be used against Google.

This involves building exclusive features into Windows, and using various tactics to convince providers to switch to the Microsoft technology. These include special pricing for those that drop flash, coercive incentives (deal with us now or it'll be more expensive later), and special alignments (remember the deal with AOL).

Thus it makes a great deal of sense to Silverlight Yahoo. What is needed is an incentive to have it installed on as many systems as possible. Once that is done, the Silverlight backend technology will surely run best on Windows Server, and various features will be Windows Server only. This can be used as a lever to increase Windows Server usage, not to mention the increase in revenues from developer systems that must be Windows to run the development tools. Since Silverlight is a Microsoft-developed technology, Microsoft will always be ahead of the game with any new features.

Also note how Silverlight only supports WMA and VC-1/WMV7-9. Those are owned technologies. And note how Linux is only supported through a deal with Novell, and to be sure that won't be an open source effort. That can be used to help marginalize Linux on the desktop, since it throws up a barrier to using it. And of course, the Silverlight front end will work best on Vista.

No, I believe the strategy is very clear. Again, go back and study the Netscape strategy. It's in the open for all to see, since various internal memos were required to be made public.

There's even more to say about this (for example, I haven't even mentioned Yahoo Video or WPF and how they tie into all this). However, this is enough for now.

Anonymous said...

I think a major point behind the Microhoo deal has been missed. This isn't about Microsoft and Yahoo together trying to take down Google. This is about placing Microsoft technology in key arenas. If "directed" market forces cause Google to use Microsoft technology, then Microsoft revenue increases.

Put another way, if two opposing sides purchase weapons from the same supplier, the supplier is the one who wins the war. The key is "arranging" for the players to purchase from the same supplier. Various strategies can be used to "help" that happen. Silverlight is key to one of those strategies.

Keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Right... thats the problem... Upper management is wrong.

I mean have you not noticed that the majority of analysts think this is a bad deal?

I maintain that Silverlighting Yahoo has no value. The reason for this is that YAHOO has no value.

They have shrunk down to a 20% share since Googles inception. Their share will keep shrinking whether MSFT buys them or not.

They are *not* going to win in search and website monetization.

The problem is that the MSFT execs THINK they will b/c they're in a panic.

The Netscape analogy is an incredibly bad one. AMAZINGLY bad. Google is an ad agency that monetizes web pages in a way that satisfies (for the most part) the largest number of advertisers.

They also have, arguably, the #1 brand and incredibly strong word of mouth b/c they did an excellent job building mindshare and their corporate image. This solidifies their already solid ad products by ensuring that the eyeballs WILL come to those sites via Google.

They have a 60% share now. Yahoo sucks. Everything they have done to try to catch Google has failed and has sucked.

They are SLIGHTLY more successful than MSN when it comes to being a has been.

Netscape was the maiden voyage of an HTML browser. MSFT locked in proprietary tech that was compelling to devs in a FREE bundled product.

There is no analogy here. There is no product. There is simply brand, and monetization of websites.

MSFT isnt going to offer a "better deal" to Google advertisers and certainly isnt going to somehow catch up with 60% share (and growing) with something as commodity as search (which is FREE and drives the eyeballs).

To nail the coffin shut, post consent decree, there will be no more BS like ensuring that IE only points to live.com, etc.

To nail it shut even tighter, Firefox gains on IE DAILY as the browser of choice.

This is a new game. Sticking to old paradigms (be they for strategy, or for analogy) just shows that you dont know how to play it (even if you are CM)

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for when Steve and company manage to give us some good news for once.

Sure! They are just waiting find a few more incompetent windbags and promote them and hope for a miracle in 09.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea when the Xbox will "really" make a profit?

Eg..actually make money above development costs and cost to manufacture?

Dare Obasanjo said...

>Silverlight is too important to Microsoft, and purchasing a well-known portal to showcase it (or to push it onto as many machines as possible if you prefer) is the strategy of the day. Watch for it.

I'm really interested in the speculation that MSFT would spend $44 billion to spread Silverlight.

What kind of math do you use to justify that deal AND can I have some of what you're smoking? :)

>By contrast, in the Valley, most of the people I talk to -- Microsoft employees and others -- think it would be a very good deal for Microsoft.

Most MSFT employees in the valley work in online services while most of those in Redmond don't. That should answer the question.

Jordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This involves building exclusive features into Windows, and using various tactics to convince providers to switch to the Microsoft technology. These include special pricing for those that drop flash, coercive incentives (deal with us now or it'll be more expensive later), and special alignments (remember the deal with AOL).

Thus it makes a great deal of sense to Silverlight Yahoo. What is needed is an incentive to have it installed on as many systems as possible. Once that is done, the Silverlight backend technology will surely run best on Windows Server, and various features will be Windows Server only. This can be used as a lever to increase Windows Server usage, not to mention the increase in revenues from developer systems that must be Windows to run the development tools. Since Silverlight is a Microsoft-developed technology, Microsoft will always be ahead of the game with any new features.

Also note how Silverlight only supports WMA and VC-1/WMV7-9. Those are owned technologies. And note how Linux is only supported through a deal with Novell, and to be sure that won't be an open source effort. That can be used to help marginalize Linux on the desktop, since it throws up a barrier to using it. And of course, the Silverlight front end will work best on Vista.


All of the above sounds absolutely horrible to me. In fact, this three-paragraph passage is valuable in that it distills every single element of the Microsoft philosophy that I find most loathsome, dangerous and repellant into a succinct statement.

Every sentence above is about "software as RISK boardgame"; about leveraging maneuvers trumping innovation; about acquisitive, mafia-style gamesmanship overruling egalitarian values; about the blind desire to "win" obliterating even the slightest intention to focus on making good products. The entire statement is chilling in its disregard for customers, competitors, and, really, anything except ensuring that Microsoft grow into every market like a fungus overrunning a petri dish, for no reason except that its business philosophy is based on nothing but this omnivorous desire.

Congratulations; you've figured out a scheme to force Silverlight "to be installed on as many systems as possible," independent of whether anyone wants this, or whether it's good for anyone, or whether the natural market forces (independent of OS or browser leverage) tend this way. Competition in the conventional sense is not just short circuited but is actually obliterated as an idea; you're clearly not even interested in the concept of the best or most product winning a market. And you don't seem to have any idea that there's anything wrong with this, or that it connects directly to the company's corrosive public image. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Analysts. Have you noticed how they have been predicting the death of Apple for years?

The purchase of Yahoo is not for the sole purpose of showcasing Silverlight. Certainly that is a part of a larger vision. For its part, however, by ensuring that front end technology is installed on systems, it encourages the adoption of the back end technology.

Yahoo certainly has lost some value, but it is still used by many as their Web portal, and not just for search. Yahoo, unlike Google, provides a well-organized display of services. These are ripe as sub-portals for new technology, and provide a ready location for new services.

However, continuing, consider Yahoo Video. Would it not be logical to extend that to support Silverlight streaming? It is not difficult to ensure the video is in the proper format for Silverlight. These videos are indexed by other search engines, including Google, thus helping to ensure the technology is propagated, even to those using other search engines.

Furthermore, because of Yahoo's established presence, it is logical to use it to introduce commercial video, including that requiring DRM. This will provide new revenue streams.

This is just a simple example of how Yahoo can be used to propagate new front and back end technology, with the intent of generating more revenue.

Yahoo is insufficient of course as a sole provider for this strategy. Additional alliances are required. That is clearly part of the larger vision.

tomatoe said...

Here's an idea. Make advertising on the web a free enterprise. If your company uses Silverlight technologies/WPF on your website, MSFT will give you free advertising over the entire Yahoo ad network - millions of eyeballs in exchange for a technical tit-for-tat.

Take that google.

Anonymous said...

To the question on why Microsoft employees in the valley like the Yahoo deal:

Most of us work either in the TV division or MSN -- both of which are complete f-ing disasters. Microsoft should have lit off a neutron bomb here a long time ago -- but that would require management skills.

I work in the TV division (completely fucked up with evil and corrupt management and 11 YEARS of red ink), and I for one will be shifting to a Yahoo group on day 1 after the acquisition.

I know that at least 10 of my work friends have the same plan. It is our escape plan if something in the valley doesn't look more interesting first.

Therefore, we like the deal.

Anonymous said...

As for nailed coffins, indeed the game has changed. The current battle being discussed is not for the desktop. Rather, it is the server space. And note that Silverlight works with Firefox and Safari.

By growing in the server space it helps ensure continued revenue. The heart of Microsoft's business is the Enterprise, and the heart of the Enterprise is IT. By engulfing more of the server space, the IT departments will help ensure the continued use of Windows on the desktop, since IT tends to loath diversity because that increases costs. And users tend to use at home what is used at work.

So consider what strategies are necessary to help increase Windows Server net share. Silverlight is one (important) part. Live Mesh is another.

Anonymous said...

From what I gathered from reading the mini-msft blog, Kevin Turner the COO is one of the biggest proponent of the deal. Before Microsoft he was an executive at Wal-Mart. That goes on to prove that you can take a man out of Wal-Mart but you can not take Wal-Mart out of a man.

Then there is Microsoft CFO Chris Liddel, who is very vociferous about this deal. If this deal is done then obviously it would be highlight of his career. Not only will he make 100s of million $ but his name would also be sealed in the annals of financial history as the architect of the biggest tech acquisition.
From the other side we have Bill Miller, a large shareholder of Yahoo!. I had a lot of respect for him plainly because he beat the S&P 500 index so consistently. But the way he has acted in Yahoo! deal, I have lost most of that respect. When Microsoft made the offer to Yahoo! not only his Yahoo! stocks were worth a lot more but he also started accumulating more of them. He then made a statement
"Yahoo! should accept the offer and Microsoft should raise the bid". And why should it be done one may ask Mr Miller. Plainly so that he could make money and gain some of the respect back that he lost in last 2 years of performing well below the market.
When Microsoft threatened to lower the offer, Bill Miller threatened Microsoft by offering to support Jerry Yang.

Microsoft leadership is now having second thoughts about Yahoo! deal. The enthusiasm they had when microsoft stock was 35 and Yahoo! was at 19 has waned when Microsoft and Yahoo stocks are trading at about the same levels. They are now threating to walk away from the deal. I would be ecstatic if they make good on these threats. The biggest reason is no longer to regain the substantial loss I had on my net worth because of this folly but to see the reaction of Bill Miller who stock piled Yahoo at 29 in anticipation of getting 40$ per stock

Anonymous said...

Analysts. Have you noticed how they have been predicting the death of Apple for years?

Not since ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

> All of the above sounds absolutely
> horrible to me.

[about how MSFT is going to force Silverlight onto everybody].

I think, (to quote Theo deRaadt) that the original post is either delusional or outright f*cking stupid.
Things like this don't work anymore. As someone else pointed out, this a game of the 90s.
Do you think anybody will care about a site that doesn't work in the iPhone?
Come June/July, the 3G iPhone with Exchange-Support will be out and people who currently use BBs and WMs will happily throw them away - not by the truck-load, but by the freight wagon.
If a site doesn't work on the iPhone, it doesn't exist.
I guess Apple would install Silverlight on the iPhone - for a "small" monthly fee of 1 or 2 dollars. Per iPhone. Probably.
You guys should work on something that doesn't need a plugin in IE and is standards-based, so it works on any browser.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations; you've figured out a scheme to force Silverlight "to be installed on as many systems as possible," independent of whether anyone wants this

+1

No kidding. Microsoft wants web developers to learn a new language and software stack and wants end users to install a new runtime... why? Because it's "strategic" for Microsoft? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah blah... snip
The entire statement is chilling in its disregard for customers, competitors, and, really, anything except ensuring that Microsoft grow into every market like a fungus overrunning a petri dish, for no reason except that its business philosophy is based on nothing but this omnivorous desire.

blah blah blah blah... snip

Buddy... You've just described all human enterprise. Just because you live in some delusional fantasy world where only companies you have decided to despise (Microsoft and a few others I can probably guess) doesn't change that reality.

Google does this in a HUGE way. Apple does it in an even MORE insidious way because they convince people that they are somehow working "for the good of humanity".

Even the OSS "movement" is exactly the same. They are social change radicals almost universally who feel that commercial enterprise should be virally erradicated and only the standards and platforms they feel are "good" should be allowed to exist.

Think I'm exaggerating? If so, you're either in denial or full of shit. I've viewed that side from the inside for a long time (as long as I've been on the proprietary side).

All people have a self-interest driven agenda. That you can ONLY see this in MSFT really just kills your credibility.

Now go ahead and list 5000 examples of why MSFT IS evil and Apple, Google and the "OSS community" ARE good.

Every fanatic can always list plenty of "evidence" to counter basic, common sense, reality.

Anonymous said...

I'm another believer that MSFT should just give away web advertising. MSFT is losing here anyway, and Google uses its profitable areas to finance attacks on MSFT revenue streams (e.g. Office). Instead of trying and failing to win the online ad market, MSFT could try to suck the value out. Better to do so while MSFT is still bigger than Google; who knows how long that will last...

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Its obvious by that non-answer answer that MS is STILL taking a loss on Xbox hardware after 2.5 years and a year headstart on the competition?

Anonymous said...

Giving away advertising as a way to beat Google is about the silliest thing I've ever heard.

After spending $0 on advertising with us, they've still got their entire advertising budget to spend on advertising with Google.

Advertising isn't some limited resource where you just need one ad and are done with it -- advertisers wants as much coverage as they can possibly get, and are limited only by their budget.

The "free" solution just results in more money going to Google. Which is the exact opposite of what you want to do ...

Anonymous said...

Buddy... You've just described all human enterprise. Just because you live in some delusional fantasy world where only companies you have decided to despise (Microsoft and a few others I can probably guess) [missing subordinate clause]doesn't change that reality.

Respectfully, I have not just described "all human enterprise." I did not invent the characterization of Microsoft as a company intent on growing its market share solely by leveraging its existing footprint of locked-in users. Even if you believe that the Justice Department's browser-war monopoly-abuse ruling was "wrong" (which is an argument with a scope larger than this blog can accomodate) you can't deny that Microsoft's intentions re: Netscape, QuickTime, and now Silverlight follow the same systemic pattern; it's Microsoft's methodologies for market growth (stated out here) and not its idealism or lack thereof that I'm attacking.

Of course Apple, Google, etc. attempt to lock consumers into a platform. Nobody disputes that. But Microsoft has created a business ethic where locking in consumers is the main armature of its business model, supplanting all attempts at winning over customer loyalty. You may dislike my tone (and that's fine), but I'm not making up the growing customer dissatisfaction with Microsoft products or the clearly evidenced trends away from WIndows once customers are presented with legitimately viable alternatives.

Nearly every Mac customer (and purchaser of Apple's shrinkwrapped OS updates, for example) bought those products because they preferred them. Nearly every Windows customer switched from NT4 to XP because they had to. Release every company's lock-in mechanisms, and Apple customers stay where they are, while Microsoft's customers running away.

This isn't my opinion; it's demographic reality. If you can't see the difference (or still think I'm simply describing a "delusional fantasy world"), I cant help you.

Anonymous said...

Liddel and KT can't spell online. They are most likely not behind Yahoo deal. Likely folks are Yusuf Mehdi, Hank Vigil and KJ. The former two of course are on several million a year pay packages to help dream up these deals....

Anonymous said...


>>Analysts. Have you noticed how they have been >>predicting the death of Apple for years?

>Not since ten years ago.


Actually, predicting the death of Apple -- even if you exclude Rob Enderle, who plays in the master's division now -- is still a thriving sport:

http://www.macobserver.com/appledeathknell/

James said...

Microsof't Silverlight strategy starts with the NBC 2008 olympics website which, thanks to the insane lid the IOC keeps on any and all materials will require silverlight to access any web content.

I don't understand why this "own the codec" strategy is such a big deal, it's pretty much failed for web video, online music, hd disc content, etc. And even in areas where it is popular or successful Microsoft's tools aren't the best encoders anyway. Where's the puside to any of this against the billions of dollars they've spent?

Dare Obasanjo said...

>Giving away advertising as a way to beat Google is about the silliest thing I've ever heard.

+1

That's as ridiculous as arguing that the best way for MSNBC to beat CNN and Fox News is to give away on-air advertising for free.

NewsFlash: The media business isn't the same as the proprietary shrinkwrapped software business.

Anonymous said...

From the last thread: I works in adcenter group. Our technology is better than google and yahoo. The profit is sales problem. Our is high performance team. High performance needs high reward.

Ha. I work(s) in adCenter too. Our technology is poor and getting poorer. Let's hope the s**tcan the lot of it and go with Atlas. At least their technology could make money. Secret weapon: please ask T.N. to join Google.

Anonymous said...

India is 1Billion dollar business. It is expected to surpass US market by 2025. It is the same in China. China government ask for jobs in China. Microsoft is investing for the future by hiring people at high levels in India/China.

China is on a collision course between fascism and capitalism. Either the gentrification will result in a violent backlash; or, the rising fascism will produce a Fourth Reich (well, 5th, since 4 is unlucky in Chinese). Microsoft is wise not to put data centers in China; no customer data can be expropriated by government thugs.

Anonymous said...

Google was available for $9 billion in 2004, before the IPO. Our leadership decided against it. How much are we bidding for Yahoo again?

Anonymous said...


Google does this in a HUGE way. Apple does it in an even MORE insidious way because they convince people that they are somehow working "for the good of humanity".

Even the OSS "movement" is exactly the same. They are social change radicals almost universally who feel that commercial enterprise should be virally erradicated and only the standards and platforms they feel are "good" should be allowed to exist.

Think I'm exaggerating? If so, you're either in denial or full of shit. I've viewed that side from the inside for a long time (as long as I've been on the proprietary side).

All people have a self-interest driven agenda. That you can ONLY see this in MSFT really just kills your credibility.


Just have to say that,
for someone that claims
Linux people are "radicals", you sure sound like a nutcase.
Feeling threatened,
are we? Good!

Anonymous said...

As of the silverlight lock in scenario i don't much believe in that this would work. You need something to convince webdevelopers and users that Silverlight is superior to Flash, Java, HTML or whatever you try to compete with.

What does Silverlight have specifically that makes it better than flash and other alternatives? I don't know much about the technical merits of Silverlight, but at first glance it looks like a flash wannabe integrated with .net?

You suggest that developers that allready have invested in tools for flash and java development to switch to a (as of speaking) more or less non existent platform technology and pay up for new tools and make sites that looks just like the usual flash sites? Because the examples sites i've looked at that use Silverlight looks exactly like regular flash sites. Please post links that shows me why i should switch to silverlight (other than to please MSFT).

Along your thoughts though, I believe more in MS Dynamics which seems to use the same lock in strategy that you propse for Silverlight. Yes, MSFT has some colaboration with SAP right now, but when the time is right they probably s***w them over.

Sometimes i think MSFT sees customers not as companies that use MSFT software to run a business, but as companies that run a business so they can use MSFT software.

Anonymous said...

>So consider what strategies are necessary to help increase Windows Server net share. Silverlight is one (important) part. Live Mesh is another.

You know what, the kicker will be Red Dog. This dog will bite Google.

Anonymous said...

>I don't know much about the >technical merits of Silverlight, >but at first glance it looks like >a flash wannabe integrated >with .net?
Not being a designer I can't speak to the designer comparisons between Silverlight and Flash. But from a framework/library perspective a better analogy would be that Flash's ActionScript and associated libraries are attempting to masquerade as a real programming language. Unfortunately Adobe can't get away from the legacy of previous AS incarnations, so you end up with a bastardized patchwork quilt of pseudo-scripting with a bunch of incrementally glommed on functions. Silverlight on the other hand started from the full .NET Framework and slimmed itself down the core libraries that make sense for use in Internet applications - and it does so on Mac and Windows. Its one heck of a powerful programming engine that is finally available cross-platform and in a relatively small package.

>You suggest that developers that >already have invested in tools >for flash and java development to >switch to a (as of speaking) more >or less non existent platform >technology and pay up for new >tools and make sites that looks >just like the usual flash sites?
The kicker here is the number of developers (or in many cases designers that cross-trained over to development) using Flash is relatively small compared to the overall number of HTML/Javascript/AJAX coders. Yes Flash has momentum since its been here for years. But there are lots and lots of non-Flash developers who will be deciding what technologies to use for RIAs. Also if you take a look at the kind of code that Flash "developers" create, it makes one want to break out the Parmesan cheese due to all the spaghetti flying around.

Anonymous said...

e&d made money due to media center. $N for every copy of windows with MC goes to E&D.

Anonymous said...

This is so typical Microsoft. People are talking about how Silverlight is superior from a technical perspective, while at the same time taking digs at the people who develop in alternative technologies.

News flash: Flash has a lock on the market, and Silverlight ain't gonna overtake. If Ballmer's spending $44bil to increase Silverlight adoption he's even dumber than we think. If that's possible.

Anonymous said...

With the change in rules on internal transfers from requiring "permission to interview" to "must notify before interview" does it say how much notification is necessary? Also, does the current manager receive automated notification from the Career site when an underling submits a resume for another position, or just once the new hiring manager has HR spin up the process?

I guess what I'm wondering is if my current manager will hear about me applying for another position as soon as I apply, or closer to the date of the interview loop?

Anonymous said...

Will Q4 be any better? Rumor is that conferences, training, and other extras have been cancelled for the field in Q4 because it's shaping up to be really tough.

Anonymous said...

Someone said:

This involves building exclusive features into Windows, and using various tactics to convince providers to switch to the Microsoft technology. These include special pricing for those that drop flash, coercive incentives (deal with us now or it'll be more expensive later), and special alignments (remember the deal with AOL).

Isn't this the same behavior that got Microsoft into loads of trouble with accusations of "abuse of monopoly power" a few years ago with Internet Explorer?

Anonymous said...

I guess what I'm wondering is if my current manager will hear about me applying for another position as soon as I apply, or closer to the date of the interview loop?

Your current manager won't know about it until you tell them. Your first goal is to set up informational interviews with those groups that you find interesting. Be sure and tell the hiring manager that it is not okay to contact your current management at this point. If you like what you hear in the informational, ask the hiring manager if you can do an informal interview. This is an interview that "doesn't count." Some managers will do this, some won't. The reason you'd want to do this is that if you blow the interview for some reason, your current management won't know that you're interviewing, and if you nail the interview then the new group will be chomping at the bit to get you and the formal interview process will be that much easier (e.g., probably fewer people on the formal loop).

Frankly the way it's done now isn't much better than the "asking for permission" method (in fact, I don't see any difference - others disagree). I really never understood the "asking for permission" to interview (or the new and improved "informing your management") policy anyway - I don't have to inform them to interview at Google so why should I have to inform anyone that I'm interviewing across the hall? It's a stupid policy.

You sound like you haven't been through this before so I would also suggest that before you interview internally you interview externally. You might get a better offer. Even if you decide to stay, it'll make for a good warm-up.

Anonymous said...

I anticipated that the next OS cycle/ release would be when MS would have to pull out all the stops to convince the market that Windows is still relevant. I'll admit that I was one cycle off--for Vista has been a complete disaster and confirms that this spectacularly successful company--the most successful software company the world has seen to date--is well into the beginning of its end. But, alas, it had to happen. Billg knew this and timed his exit pretty well (though he was off by one cycle as well). I'll bet I'm not far off in speculating that billg has said on more than one occasion (behind the closed doors of the Board room in bldg 34), "Vista is a complete piece of s**t."

SVP/CVP heads have rolled, rightly so. That takes out the cancer and it's a good start, but that actually doesn't put the right strategy in place for the company. Now leadership/new leadership has to articulate the vision, strategy, execution plan and give marching orders. What's the leadership say?

"Software + services" is an interim strategy. Leverage MS' key assets to get a foothold into services. Client software on the desktop/ laptop ain't disappearing tomorrow, but it is a question of "when" not "if."

Yahoo! really is the company's only chance to remain relevant. Don't get me wrong, Y! will not instantaneously transform M$FT/Y! into fighting shape; instead, closing the deal is a NECESSARY CONDITION for MS to have a chance at a successful future in online services. Both M$FT and Y! know this, except M$FT will not and cannot publicly emphasize this and Y! cannot convince anyone that they can extract a higher price b/c of this.

- agent mulder lives

Anonymous said...

Will Q4 be any better? Rumor is that conferences, training, and other extras have been cancelled for the field in Q4 because it's shaping up to be really tough.

From the TAMs and other field folks I've talked to, all those things were cancelled. But the impression I got was that the 'why' was a little different than you mentioned. They seemed to imply that they're likely going to be hitting their numbers for Q4, but that their numbers were so badly missed in Q1-Q3 for utilization by customers that even exceeding them in Q4 will likely keep the execs in Services from hitting their committments come end-of-year, so gravity is taking hold and stuff is rolling down hill.

jon said...

Dare writes:

> Most MSFT employees in the valley work in online services while most of those in Redmond don't. That should answer the question.

Good point, in two ways:

1) most MSFT employees in the valley know more about the online services realities [because it relates to their job] than most MSFT employees in Redmond

2) if this deal goes through, it dramatically strengthens online services in any political battles

anonymous@12:04 a.m.:

> I for one will be shifting to a Yahoo group on day 1 after the acquisition.

That too: an acquisition creates a lot more opportunities for Microsoft's Valley-based employees than it does for Redmond-based employees.

I also wonder how much of it is the prospect of a major flow of power out of Redmond, which potentially reinforces not just online services but other areas where a Redmond-centric view is too limited ... a very threatening thing to Redmond-area employees, even if it's a good thing for Microsoft.

jon said...

As for Silverlight ... sure, if the acquisition goes through it'll be a great chance for Microsoft to have some showpiece Silverlight apps and they will probably jump at the chance to "encourage" (cough) everybody to download it. In addition to the portal, Yahoo! Messenger, Mail, Answers, and flickr, aren't has-beens. Especially when combined with Microsoft's legacy strengths of MSN Messenger, Hotmail -- and the photo stuff -- really do provide a chance to outflank Google in the areas that people spend more time in than search.

And Microsoft does value "owning the platform" highly (even though I agree that it's questionable in this case).

That said I'm with Dare: unless I'm missing something, that's the kind of thing that justifies a $100M purchase, not $44B. Is there enough of what you're smoking for me, too?

anonymous@7:38:

> money will be spent far and wide spreading the Silverlight message to developers. This is not an either or deal

Agreed.

> Remember the comment from Craig Mundie: We hope to do to Google what was done to Netscape.

Hopefully without the lawsuits.

> That should be considered a statement of strategy.

Hopefully not. Since day 1, Google's been very conscious of not being Netscaped; they're well-prepared for this.

Anonymous said...

Just have to say that,
for someone that claims
Linux people are "radicals", you sure sound like a nutcase.
Feeling threatened,
are we? Good!


Just telling it like it is. If you think that sounds like a "nutcase" argument, then I feel even worse for you.

I dont have a dog in this race. I've done MPE, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows, Mac OS, OSX and more in my career.

What I do understand well is human nature so I am by no means naive enough to think that there is ONE big bad wolf and that it lives in Redmond.

Your little snide remark "feeling threatened? Good!" actually PERFECTLY illustrates what I'm talking about by the radical element of the OSS movement. This weird personalization of what, at the end of the day, amounts to technology and business. Nobody shot your dog, yet if you hang in OSS circles, you'd think you were attending a Second International meeting circa 1905.

Anonymous said...

Hm. So we're thinking about paying $44 billion so that end users will install Silverlight on their machines?

I fondly remember the times when end users paid us to install our software instead.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that MSFT's 'ace in the hole' is its huge cash reserves. If the Yahoo deal goes ahead and eats up over 40 billion dollars on what is basically a single Ballmer gamble (and we all know how good Ballmer's gambles usually are), then MSFT is finished.

If I were a MSFT shareholder, I would be lobbying the rest of the shareholders to replace the current bunch of idiots on the board of management as soon as possible, in a last-minute attempt to save the company.

Anonymous said...

Most MSFT employees in the valley work in online services while most of those in Redmond don't.

Can't say I noticed any such support in MSN in Redmond. The people I've talked to are skeptical for the same reasons everybody else is. In some cases, I suspect it's also because they secretly fear for their jobs.

Sadly, Live Search, the underperforming money pit that bled MSN dry, is actually needed in the merger so they won't be punished for their sins. There is no justice in this world.

Anonymous said...

>If the Yahoo deal goes ahead and eats up over 40 billion dollars on what is basically a single Ballmer gamble (and we all know how good Ballmer's gambles usually are), then MSFT is finished.

MSFT has only 26 billion in cash. It is taking debt to finance Yahoo deal.

Anonymous said...

It is taking debt to finance Yahoo deal.

Really? Microsoft's going into debt? Throwing away the cash surplus that everyone cites as the single arrow in its quiver?

Yeah! Way to go, Ballmer! When your canoe enters the rapids, throw away the paddle!

Anonymous said...

Instead of buying Yahoo, shouldn't we fix our own products first? For example, my team evaluated Dynamics CRM. All I can say is that in spite of all the marketing hype, product quality is very low. Workflows don't work the way they are supposed to, the platform doesn't return the right data, etc. I asked some folks working in that team why and it looks like there are issues with the management team and their best people leaving. With the Yahoo thing, maybe they will get their act together (since they also are a Live product now)? That might be one benefit!

Anonymous said...

>Really? Microsoft's going into debt? Throwing away the cash surplus that everyone cites as the single arrow in its quiver?


It is 50% cash + 50% stock. MSFT is going to the debt market to keep some reserve on the balance sheet. The M&A group wants more tuck in buys.

Anonymous said...

Two words. Walk away.

Let the price drop precipitously, let Yang get sued by his shareholders, and then potentially revisit the deal at a lower amount.

The reality is that the original offer was generous, and Yahoo is worth less now than it was then (staff exits that have occured already, poison pill retention policies, etc.)

Seriously, let Yang feel some pain for doing something that is clearly not in the interest of the shareholders.

As a shareholder of both companies, I'll be happy to join a class action suit against the Yahoo management team.

observer said...

> All people have a self-interest
> driven agenda. That you can ONLY
> see this in MSFT really just
> kills your credibility.

Thats not the point. Most people do not have an agenda driven only by self-interest.


> Now go ahead and list 5000
> examples of why MSFT IS evil and
> Apple, Google and the "OSS
> community" ARE good.

Define "OSS community". The noisy slashdot posting crowd is irrelevant. The programmers who actually write and contribute OSS code ARE good. Just like any volunteer labor by definition, because they donate their work for the good of everyone. Whether it is a viable business model for software is another story.

Apple is not "good" in the same way. They are just as self-interest driven as MSFT is, only less successfully until recently.

GOOG's management appear to be making a sincere effort to do more than just maximize corporate profits. Whether that is sustainable under investor pressure is to be seen.

Please get some perspective.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Turner is pressing the field too hard. I heard it from almost every field person I have talked to in the last 60 days.

You can't squeeze a lemon infinitely.

Anonymous said...

GOOG's management appear to be making a sincere effort to do more than just maximize corporate profits.

Yeah, because targeted advertising is the very heart of altruism.

*snicker*

I've heard some wacky shit here, but this might just take the cake.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because targeted advertising is the very heart of altruism.

I think as informed members of this industry we can probably all list examples of company X being "good" AND examples of the same company being "evil" according to our own varied ideologies.

Ultimately I think a more objective way to measure a company's goodness vs. evilness is customer satisfaction.

Yes, Google sells targeted ads, but they can only do so because they offer many products that delight many customers. Apple also delights its many customers, even if iPods don't have replaceable batteries, or whatever your beef with Apple is.

Microsoft's customer satisfaction rating, at least according to ACSI is bad and has been dropping. I think this is as good a sign as any that a big company is "evil." Personally I can understand why customer satisfaction is terrible. I use a lot of Microsoft software and not a week goes by when I don't want to kick Steve Ballmer out of sheer frustration with that software. Example: just today I couldn't use Hotmail for a service because it was simply blocking their emails. (Not moving them to a 'spam' folder. Completely blocking.) I had to switch to using my Gmail account, which worked great, as it always does. This kind of situation seems to play out fairly often.

observer said...

> Yeah, because targeted
> advertising is the very heart of
> altruism.

As I said to the other poster: get some perspective.

http://www.news.com/Spending-Googles-money-on-conscientious-causes/2008-13840_3-6220596.html
http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20080117_googleorg.html
http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/green/energy/index.html
http://www.google.org/

You would have to have truly warped sense of cynicism to think that all of these are secretly designed to make profits or generate PR.

Note these are not Larry Page's efforts but Google Corporation's.

Bill Gates personal philanthropy is of course a supreme example of altruism but that has got nothing to do with Microsoft Corporation.

Anonymous said...

Example: just today I couldn't use Hotmail for a service because it was simply blocking their emails.

If you're still using hotmail, it only means that you're not very bright.

Anonymous said...

If you're still using hotmail, it only means that you're not very bright.

I use Hotmail as a spam bucket and Gmail as my real email. Like you imply, it's common knowledge that Hotmail is a dramatically inferior product. It's slow, it's full of ads, it has no POP3 or IMAP support, and they seem to have forgotten to make a way to navigate between "pages" in their new "web 2.0" UI. But even given its overall crappyness, I expect a very basic level of functionality from it, like not completely blocking emails, and it can't even do that.

I'm surprised there are people who don't "get" the ABM, ./ crowd. All you have to do is look at Hotmail. Like an earlier poster said, all we expect of the Windows Mobile team at this point is to copy the iPhone and that won't happen. All we've expected of the Hotmail team since 2004 is for them to copy Gmail and they haven't been able to do that either.

Anonymous said...

Bill Gates personal philanthropy is of course a supreme example of altruism but that has got nothing to do with Microsoft Corporation.

Dude, do you have *any friggin' clue* how much Microsoft as a corporation does for global causes?

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/tc/
carbon-climate-feature.mspx

and

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/tc/
exec-comm.mspx

...for one example among hundreds. Microsoft wrote the damn book on this stuff under Bill's guidance. Why on earth would you think you could separate Bill's philanthropy from Microsoft? HE BUILT THE COMPANY.

Honest to pete. Some of you people... blind Google sycophants willing to prostitute your common sense and reason for a company that makes money spamming people with advertising, while griping incessantly about Microsoft's rapacious appetites. It's enough to drive a reasonable person to drink.

Microsoft is a bloated, out of touch behemoth -- no sane person would argue with you. But Microsoft pioneered a whole lot of corporate giving and global responsibility traditions that paved the way for companies like Google to do what they're now doing, and Microsoft spends millions and millions each year on philanthropic and humanitarian pursuits.

I suggest you get some perspective. :P

Charles said...

Microsoft is a bloated, out of touch behemoth -- no sane person would argue with you. But Microsoft pioneered a whole lot of corporate giving and global responsibility traditions that paved the way for companies like Google to do what they're now doing, and Microsoft spends millions and millions each year on philanthropic and humanitarian pursuits.

So what if Microsoft is a poorly run company that ignores shareholder value, at least they still know how give money away.

Now that's really tell'n 'em.

Anonymous said...

So what if Microsoft is a poorly run company that ignores shareholder value, at least they still know how give money away.

Now that's really tell'n 'em.


Actually, yeah it is really tell'n 'em. At the end of the day, I feel a lot better working for a company past its prime that knows how to give money away, than a has-been company that doesn't give a rat's ass about the world we live in.

Duh.

observer said...

> Dude, do you have *any friggin'
> clue* how much Microsoft as a
> corporation does for global
> causes?

I don't know how much. Why don't you enlighten me?

As far as I know GOOG is completely unique in committing to donate at least 1% of its assets every year. But I guess it makes me a sycophant to give any credit to GOOG or even to suggest that maybe some people might partly be motivated by things other than self-interest and that there might be differences between different people and organizations.


> Why on earth would you think you
> could separate Bill's
> philanthropy from Microsoft? HE
> BUILT THE COMPANY.

Bill Gates chose to explicitly separate his business activities from his philanthropy. Why don't you ask him?


> Honest to pete. Some of you
> people... blind Google sycophants
> willing to prostitute your common
> sense and reason for a company
> that makes money spamming people
> with advertising, while griping
> incessantly about Microsoft's
> rapacious appetites. It's enough
> to drive a reasonable person to
> drink.

Care to point out where I said anything about MSFT's "rapacious appetites". You are clearly incapable of changing your opinion no matter how many facts you are presented with. So ok I give up. You are right. Every person and corporation in the world is only driven by self-interest. Happy now?

Anonymous said...

As far as I know GOOG is completely unique in committing to donate at least 1% of its assets every year. But I guess it makes me a sycophant to give any credit to GOOG or even to suggest that maybe some people might partly be motivated by things other than self-interest and that there might be differences between different people and organizations.

Don't spin the conversation: you suggested that Google was significantly more concerned with giving back than Microsoft, and that simply isn't true. Of all the things Microsoft may or may not be, it is most certainly one of the foremost globally responsible companies with a long and easily-accessible history of contributing to a wide range of humanitarian causes.

And Google is too, and so everybody wins.

observer said...

> Of all the things Microsoft may
> or may not be, it is most
> certainly one of the foremost
> globally responsible companies
> with a long and easily-accessible
> history of contributing to a wide
> range of humanitarian causes.
>
> And Google is too, and so
> everybody wins.


Fair enough. I can agree with that.

The main point I was trying to make is that simplistic and sweeping generalizations like "everyone is self-interest driven" or "all AAPL or GOOG fans are sycophants" or "MSFT does not care about its customers" or "the OSS community are a bunch of lunatics" are all simply wrong and such arguments do not advance the discussion.

Tom said...

As a member of the Silverlight team, I'd like to address a couple of misstatements made here and offer one observation:

First, my observation: I am amazed at how much of this thread has focused on Silverlight & the theory that this is driving the purchase of Yahoo (rather than the more obvious theory that it's to compete with Google). $44 billion is a ridiculous amount of money to spend to get broad deployment of a free client runtime. There are much better and cheaper ways to do this (e.g. providing NBC with the client technology improvements that they need to build a world-class video experience for the Beijing Olympics).

"Microsof't Silverlight strategy starts with the NBC 2008 olympics website which, thanks to the insane lid the IOC keeps on any and all materials will require silverlight to access any web content."

This isn't true. The NBC Beijing Olympics site will make all content available through Windows Media Player as well.

"Also note how Silverlight only supports WMA and VC-1/WMV7-9. Those are owned technologies. And note how Linux is only supported through a deal with Novell, and to be sure that won't be an open source effort. That can be used to help marginalize Linux on the desktop, since it throws up a barrier to using it. And of course, the Silverlight front end will work best on Vista."

The first sentence is mostly true, but we support playback of MP3s as well. We are evaluating customer feedback on the need to support additional video and audio codecs, but have not made any public commitments to do so.

re: VC-1: VC-1 is a standardized format (Microsoft does not control it) & can be licensed by third parties. Ben Waggoner is the expert on the subject and put together a couple of great posts that explain VC-1 & the relationship to our implementation of it:

http://www.microsoft.com/expression/news-press/newsletter/2008-04/Article02.aspx

http://www.streamingmedia.com/article.asp?id=9625

re: Linux - we are providing Novell / Moonlight with the libraries that they need to play back VC-1 encoded content. Outside of that, the project is completely open sourced as far as I know. Miguel De Icaza explains some of the details on his blog: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Apr-17.html.

"No kidding. Microsoft wants web developers to learn a new language and software stack and wants end users to install a new runtime... why? Because it's "strategic" for Microsoft? No thanks."

We are simply working to give customers a better set of tools so that they can build a better set of experiences. We are also trying to make sure that they are able to leverage their existing skills as much as possible. .NET developers are asking for a lightweight, cross-platform runtime. AJAX developers are asking for richer graphics, better development / debugging tools, and consistency across platforms. Developers and designers are asking for a better way to be able to work together.

In Silverlight, a .NET developer can write a component in Silverlight and expose hooks that can be called via javascript. A designer can easily build the user interface for that component via Expression Blend, including a flexible skinning model. A web site author can plug that component into a web site and debug it running on OS X using Visual Studio on another machine. A Linux user running Moonlight can go and view that application, including VC-1 encoded movies.

Web developers and designers are free to keep their existing AJAX skills and take advantage of the UI capabilities of Silverlight (e.g. a drop-in video player). They can mix and match Silverlight and HTML to provide the experience that they want. In some cases, they are actually mixing older components built in Flash with newer components built in Silverlight, using AJAX to talk to the back end server.

- Tom T.
Microsoft Silverlight

Anonymous said...

>> Silverlight only supports WMA and VC-1/WMV7-9
> We are evaluating customer feedback on the need to support additional video and audio codecs

evaluating feedback, huh? how about the fact that roughly 99.99% of all non-flash video on the internet is in anything BUT the mentioned codecs? is there that much to evaluate?

> re: Linux - we are providing Novell / Moonlight with the libraries that they need to play back VC-1 encoded content. Outside of that, the project is completely open sourced as far as I know.

from Miguel's blog: "The codecs that Microsoft will distribute for use with Moonlight are limited to use inside the browser. This will prevent Moonlight's standalone applications from playing back any vc-1, wmv, wma, mp3 content."

yeah, right. a bunch of binary-only turds to litter my disk, that cannot even be used as i wish, let alone anything else. thanks, but no thanks, Microsoft.

also, seeing "building a set of experiences" and "leverage" so close together almost makes me vomit. have you people forgot how to speak normal language? i bet you don't even realize how ridiculous that sounds outside of your PPT decks.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the stock is in freefall as the market wonders what MSFT will do next with the YHOO bid. Couple that with general market angst about the Fed, currency and the fact that we just suck...and oh, where are our leaders managing The Street? Where are they really trying to get resolution to the mess they've created with YHOO? Yes, I'm talking to you Ballmer...

Anonymous said...

For Microsoft employees in Silicon Valley a Yahoo! acquisition represents a few things: 1) more opportunities to move up at Microsoft without moving to Redmond (after all, who wants to live in Redmond); 2) more valley engineers (doers v. talkers) at Microsoft and an opportunity to rid both companies of some dead weight middle management; and 3) more people in the valley who find out that Microsoft is a good company to work for and no more "evil" than any other company in the valley (including Apple and Google).

That said, many of us would like the company to grow some balls and make a move, even if that move is to walk away without coming back to the table. It seems right now like Yahoo! is calling Microsoft's bluff and maybe having their stock around $15 might be the taste of humble pie that the ship sailing into the headwinds that burned it's last Alibaba needs right now.

Anonymous said...

also, seeing "building a set of experiences" and "leverage" so close together almost makes me vomit. have you people forgot how to speak normal language? i bet you don't even realize how ridiculous that sounds outside of your PPT decks

What an odd thing to harp on. Why so threatened by vocabulary words? Looks like pretty basic English to me. Are you seriously going to tell me that you dont see the words "experiences" and "leverage" used anywhere but MSFT blogs?!

I think you have bigger, anger related, issues.

Anonymous said...

representing poor people as ants will make me anger. If I don't, I am not human.

- Saran

MSFTextrememakeover said...

"- Tom T.
Microsoft Silverlight"

Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Look at this project - LiveMesh
This was done by the very small (by MS standards) team in Microsoft, which was not burried under traditional MS bureacracy and was allowed to actually code for a year or so. If all the teams in the comany were like this, then the stock would go up very fast and noone in the world would not complain that MS is not inventive. But then it would not be convenient for the management since many of them would need to leave...

Anonymous said...

"What an odd thing to harp on. Why so threatened by vocabulary words? Looks like pretty basic English to me. Are you seriously going to tell me that you dont see the words "experiences" and "leverage" used anywhere but MSFT blogs?!"

I am not the aforementioned blogger, yet I strive to promulgate a binding unity between disparate perspectives of obvious dissent. I, for lack of more proper verbiage, wish to leverage my relationship with you, dear reader, in hopes of rectifying any negative emotional experience you may have endured.

Certainly, young chap, we are on the same page, as the vernacular goes.. ha ha ha. Jolly good.

We're homies now, right?

Anonymous said...

Certainly, young chap, we are on the same page, as the vernacular goes.. ha ha ha. Jolly good.

I think I missed the joke. Maybe not enough coffee today. So are you saying the guy had a point and that Tom T was being pompous in his presentation (because he wasnt), or are you saying that the guy was crazy and that "leverage" and "experiences" are not such wild buzzword terms?

Either way, if Tom T had come off sounding like your post, I'd be inclined to agree with the critic, but the fact is he didn't which means the critic remains overly sensitive in my view.

Anonymous said...

yeah, right. a bunch of binary-only turds to litter my disk, that cannot even be used as i wish, let alone anything else. thanks, but no thanks, Microsoft.

OK, so dont use it. I mean seriously, what does someone like you want to hear on a MSFT blog? "We're going to stop creating products and go out of business"?

Save yourself some angst (or is that what you get off on) and just spend time evangelizing whatever it is you worship, er, I mean prefer.

I wouldn't jump on you if you were providing reasonable feedback framed in an even remotely civil way, but you're not. You're just ranting and raving like a crazed zealot.

Yes, everyone is aware of the popularity of flash. But there is a lot of debate around this. The flash content out there today sucks. It is crappy, horrible video. The next wave will be HD...

Ah... why bother. Anything ANYONE says to you will simply be twisted around for the sole purpose of demonstrating how bad MSFT is rather than actually debating the merits of the argument.

This is all very similar to the state of "political debate" as it currently exists in our country. Sad state of affairs that identity politics is so widespread.

Anonymous said...

OK, so dont use it. I mean seriously, what does someone like you want to hear on a MSFT blog? "We're going to stop creating products and go out of business"?

How about "we're going to stop creating inferior copies of products that are successful and well-liked and already own most of their respective market shares, like Google, the iPod, and now Flash."

Is that too much to ask?

Yes, everyone is aware of the popularity of flash. But there is a lot of debate around this. The flash content out there today sucks. It is crappy, horrible video. The next wave will be HD...

Hulu uses Flash and its video quality is excellent. Why do you think the video quality problems you're seeing are with Flash and not the source of the content?

Anonymous said...

According to an article in the WSJ - we are setting aside $1.5b to keep Yahoo employees post deal. Assuming there are 13.5K employees that works out to $111K+ extra pay per head on average.

How about a little love for the original true blue badgers based in Redmond as well? Or are we not worth it anymore?

See:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120952403778955251.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Anonymous said...

assume that since there's 1/6 as many YHOO employees, there's 1/6 as many partners, so about 150 partners. figure they'll get a large chunk of that 1.5B

of course, YHOO employees will still get much better pay than MSFT employees - hope that makes you feel well when your 3.5 nets you a barely inflation level "merit" raise

Anonymous said...

Adding these 13.5K new Yahoo! employees will no doubt decrease the overall raise, bonus, and stock comp pool for the rest of us :(

Each current MS employee brings in about $337K in annual profit(assume $27B in FY09 earnings and 80K FTE)

Each current Yahoo employee brings in only $44K in annual profit. (assume $600M in FY09 earnings and 13.5k employees)

So our paychecks will directly burden the negative hit this massive deal will have on the cost structure of the company.

Anonymous said...

Adding these 13.5K new Yahoo! employees will no doubt decrease the overall raise, bonus, and stock comp pool for the rest of us :(

Each current MS employee brings in about $337K in annual profit(assume $27B in FY09 earnings and 80K FTE)

Each current Yahoo employee brings in only $44K in annual profit. (assume $600M in FY09 earnings and 13.5k employees)

So our paychecks will directly burden the negative hit this massive deal will have on the cost structure of the company.


Yep. This is why the deal does not make financial sense for existing employees and shareholders who intend to hold for anything less than another decade. All this is made possible because MSFT is so profitable that it can afford to give away another 5% in net profit margin before it becomes only as profitable as GOOG is today.

jon said...

SAN FRANCISCO -

It's almost as shocking as if Al Gore were to endorse Barack Obama: Marc Andreessen, who helped create the first Web browser and jump-started the Internet economy--and who ultimately saw his company decimated by Microsoft--thinks the Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo! would be "a really good deal."

"The combined company will be really successful," he said.


From Mary Jane Irwin's story in Forbes.

On the other hand, Mary Jo Foley thinks it's a bad idea. She suggests "using a good part of that $40-odd billion to hire a SWAT team to help Windows Vista." How forward-looking.

Marc's in the Valley; Mary Jo's in Redmond. Just sayin'.

jon

PS: good perspective, anonymous@2:55:00 PM ... and thanks for going into so much detail, Tom from Silverlight.

Anonymous said...

> OK, so dont use it. I mean seriously, what does someone like you want to hear on a MSFT blog?

And i sure won't. I wouldn't post here either if not for Tom's suggestion that "we do Linux/opensource now, too, see?" You don't, it's the same old BS.

re: language used by Tom. so you people seriously think you are "building a better set of experiences"? Wow. Just wow.
Rave on.

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

Well I guess now it's obvious to everybody that Google's captcha has been cracked. :(

Anonymous said...

"What an odd thing to harp on. Why so threatened by vocabulary words? Looks like pretty basic English to me."

Here are your tests...
1)Do the worker bees at your company, the ones who actually get things done, talk like this with a straight face?
2)Does a manager at your company whom you consider next to absolutely useless read Tom T's comments, then nod their head thoughtfully and claim "Well said!"...?
3)Does a manager you trust and would follow into battle knowing he/she has your back read the comments, shrug their shoulders and then go "Huh, another fine missive from one of my peers."...?

And in this economy, nice to see I have options for my cash flow!

Anonymous said...

to posters arguing that addition of Yahoo employees will impact MSFT employees paycheck...

the basic assumption is that there will be optimization (merge divisions, kill random products and fire non-performers).. so the net increase will never be 13.5 K.. ideally the net increase should just be in areas where there is no overlap between MSFT and YHOO (almost nil).. on top of it the backend infrastructure will be "optimized"..

noone in their right mind will ever think of taking the whole YHOO employee pool and keep all MSN / Live employees too.. what is the point of acquiring companies if one jut keep adding the groups and not optimize..

so dont be afraid if you do fantastic work (have market share and earn money) in one of the overlapping area.. if not, it is time to update the resume

Anonymous said...

noone in their right mind will ever think of taking the whole YHOO employee pool and keep all MSN / Live employees too.. what is the point of acquiring companies if one jut keep adding the groups and not optimize..

How is this supposed to work in practice though? Yahoo mail is superior to Hotmail, so will the Hotmail user base + data be migrated? How many man-centuries is that going to take? Same with Spaces vs. Groups, etc. (Also, that means migrating away from Microsoft "technology"... not a direction that will be popular with management.)

Anonymous said...

Is this really Steve B's laptop of choice? Or has someone spent hours on Photoshop just to generate this petty irritation?

http://blog.internetnews.com/apatrizio/2008/04/steve-ballmers-presentation-co.html

Anonymous said...

Is this really Steve B's laptop of choice? Or has someone spent hours on Photoshop just to generate this petty irritation?

http://blog.internetnews.com/apatrizio/2008/04/steve-ballmers-presentation-co.html


No, that's not Steve's laptop. Don't be daft.

The presentation happened at a in Belgium -- the "Graduated" typo shown in the slide is the result of ESL -- and the laptop belonged to the author of the presentation who works for the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Good grief people, FACT CHECK! if you Google "business leadership and digital innovation" ballmer you will find the link to the presentation from Microsoft's site -- the page has been removed but the cached version is available and tells you everything you need to know.

Anonymous said...

There's a lesson taught by the Java world that Microsoft is failing to observe here.

If Microsoft is anticipating this much resistance to get silverlight adopted by both developers and users, what are they going to do afterwards?
This pressure is going to be there even if Microsoft succeeds.

We have to also look at how Microsoft is expecting people to abandon whatever technology they're tied to just to target Silverlight.
It's the same reason why I throw my computer out a wall when I'm trying things with Java. It takes *at least* 4 hours of intense reading BOTH WAYS just to figure out how to make something work!

Your product might be better than that, but you are fighting an uphill battle.
I've seen Microsoft rallying before, it was done for the VS 2005 and it was some pretty compelling stuff. Until you realize that all this stuff has to run on Windows.

No Microsoft supporter acts like that's ever a problem. The platform is untouchable and yet here you are with Vista...

Let's not play stupid anymore. We know Silverlight will end up preferring Windows platforms in one way or another. Sorry, we've been through this too many times. Nobody is interested in that nowadays. Look at adoption of Ubuntu alone - the real adoption. Try your best not to be coerced into spin on this one.

The message still stands for all the change averse Microsoft boosters: Linux, Apple and the companies empowered by either are ripping you to pieces.

Adapt already and get your pride out of the decision making process. In the end, people will say "Microsoft failed to identify its own challenges because its methods of analysis were predated by their tendency to deny the notion they were doing anything wrong in the first place!"

Take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

1)Do the worker bees at your company, the ones who actually get things done, talk like this with a straight face?
2)Does a manager at your company whom you consider next to absolutely useless read Tom T's comments, then nod their head thoughtfully and claim "Well said!"...?
3)Does a manager you trust and would follow into battle knowing he/she has your back read the comments, shrug their shoulders and then go "Huh, another fine missive from one of my peers."...?


First, in case you were unaware of this, you're a pompous ass.

But ok, Ill take your little test (that you think is so brilliant) since it will help your ego, Im sure:

1) yes, "worker bees" that I see the world over use the terms "leverage" and "experiences" when describing technology in plain language

2)Lots of people who arent pompous asses with an overinflated sense of self-worth would read TomT and say "well said" or at least say "interesting" and then maybe offer debate. Assholes go off half cocked, ignore any reasonable points he made, launch another ideological rant, and then pick on vocabulary words

3)I've never really met this kind of manager as, here in reality, the only person who "has your back" is the person staring back at you in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

How about "we're going to stop creating inferior copies of products that are successful and well-liked and already own most of their respective market shares, like Google, the iPod, and now Flash."

Original question still stands. Your spin is that MSFT are all "inferior copies". Your titanic ego allows for NO debate on this. It is absolute truth handed down.

So WHY are you here? Go away.

And as for flash, you brought up the "tons and tons of content". I agree there is tons of content, but the vast majority of it is very low quality content produced for the first generation of video services. My point is that a NEW generation of video services can possibly be built on a NEW CODEC and it wouldnt be horrible. NOT that "flash is bad".

But again, why am I bothering? You hate MSFT and feel it is an abomination. WE GET IT! GOOD FOR YOU. I mean do you feel this brilliant and original stance deserves some special recognition?

Anyone who is actually interested in open and honest discussion and debate is always welcome, in my book, but I can spot assholes like you a mile away. Your mind is made up FULLY... LONG before you enter into the discussion... and you just get off an annoying people who don't agree with you.

I'd happily debate the strengths and weaknesses of Flash all day long and see where MAYBE there is an opportunity for a new platform to bring something to the table, but I have ZERO interest in getting into a pissing contest with an ideologue, so from here on in, you're masturbating. If that gets you off, then have fun with the last word.

Anonymous said...

So the WSJ is reporting that Microsoft's Board met and couldn't decide what to do. This drama is becoming a focal point for everything that is wrong with this company.

Anonymous said...

the basic assumption is that there will be optimization (merge divisions, kill random products and fire non-performers).. so the net increase will never be 13.5 K..

Is this a valid assumption? IMO it's not.

The acquistion is being sold on the merits of competing with GOOG and that is what will occupy management attention. Optimization takes management time as well, but in this case that time is better used competing with GOOG.

To be fair , five or ten years from now if GOOG is Netscaped as a result of this transaction, no one will remember the pain inflicted on MSFT stock or employee compensation.

Anonymous said...

>Is this a valid assumption? IMO it's not.


Yeah, just remember this golden nugget of personnel advice:

"The best always leave first"


Microsoft will be purchasing all of the 'personnel leftovers' at Yahoo!...all the good ones will just leave, and if given money to stay will just make plans and count their days to WHEN they will leave.

Anonymous said...

Original question still stands. Your spin is that MSFT are all "inferior copies". Your titanic ego allows for NO debate on this. It is absolute truth handed down.
So WHY are you here? Go away.


Actually, no, I don't think everything Microsoft makes is an inferior copy of a dominant product. I'm not sure where you would get that idea because its wrong and I never wrote anything of the sort.

So let's recap, somebody on this thread suggested Microsoft shouldn't be doing something for some reason and your response was "I guess don't want Microsoft to make any products at all." (Paraphrasing obviously.) Frankly that's childish and if you think everything Microsoft does is so great, maybe you shouldn't be reading this blog either.

Anonymous said...

First, in case you were unaware of this, you're a pompous ass.
I'm the OP of the test, and yes, sometimes I am. It's mostly due to working for insufferable bosses who fail #2 of our test. And they're usually the most pompous asses anyone's ever had to deal with. If that's the tone I set, my apologies. I did write the comment right after a rough morning at work, so maybe I still had my "game face" on.

But ok, Ill take your little test (that you think is so brilliant) since it will help your ego, Im sure:
And I'm called the pompous ass. OK...

You know what? I just had a nice long comment typed out addressing each of your points. You did make some valid points and I felt I should address those. I made a few general assumptions I shouldn't have made.

And then I went back and read your comments, the language you used and the attitude you projected. I said screw it, because there's no reasoning with this guy, he has his mind made up already, and basically you're just looking for a fight. I decided that no matter what I said or how I addressed certain points, I would be wrong in your mind, and the subsequent comments on this thread would deteriorate to the point where Mini would have to bit bucket everything.

So there, you won by forfeit. If I'm wrong in my observation, please let me know. I'd be more than happy to post my original, lengthy comment, which doesn't refer to you as a pompous ass, asshole, asshat, fucktard or any other wonderful Craig's List "Rants And Rave" insults just because we may have differing views on something.

Case in point: I don't work for MSFT, and I've had fucking phenomenal bosses who have told managers above them to pound sand when *really* needed to and actually support their teams. I've also had bosses at the other end of the spectrum. Maybe you've been burned by a really bad boss or a string of bosses, causing me to sense much anger in you, Anakin...

Anonymous said...

Is this really Steve B's laptop of choice? Or has someone spent hours on Photoshop just to generate this petty irritation?

It certainly is J Allard's laptop of choice...and many others in the E&D division. If you walk into the Zune or Xbox buildings you will come across many Macs although the majority still remains PCs.

And it certainly is going to be my next laptop...

Anonymous said...

Is this really Steve B's laptop of choice? Or has someone spent hours on Photoshop just to generate this petty irritation?

It certainly is J Allard's laptop of choice...and many others in the E&D division. If you walk into the Zune or Xbox buildings you will come across many Macs although the majority still remains PCs.

And it certainly is going to be my next laptop...


J is paid by Steve and Robbie to be a rebel and distance his products from the Microsoft taint -- having worked for him many years ago I'm pretty confident saying that J doesn't use Apple for any other reason than it makes the right statement about how he's a system-bucker.

J is a pure corporate shark of a certain stripe, there's not an idealistic bone in his body. :P

Anonymous said...

Joel on Live Mesh:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/05/01.html

Money quote:

It's Groove, rewritten from scratch, one more time. Ray Ozzie just can't stop rewriting this damn app, again and again and again, and taking 5-7 years each time.


And I wholeheartedly agree with his whole diatribe. Remember fellas, this guy is our Chief Software architect now. We're doomed.

In the meanwhile, would someone please step away from the grandiose strategy bong and fix freakin' Hotmail login. It's been a year since it hasn't worked with Safari. It just gets into an endless loop and eventually errors out.

Vikas Agarwal said...

Microsoft's deadline for Yahoo! has passed and the market is rife with speculation about the future of MicroHoo! In past few weeks Microsoft executives browbeating about walking away from the deal has made many analysts give as much as 60% chances of this deal not happening. This is what I think about the future of MicroHoo!

Microsoft will not go hostile with their current offer. With current offer that values Yahoo! at about 29.5$ per share, Microsoft is bound to lose the proxy war because even large investors such as Bill Miller have declared that they want the price raised. Raising the price and then go to proxy war seems totally stupid.
Continue reading at
http://financesummary.blogspot.com/2008/04/whats-next-for-microhoo.html

Anonymous said...

The current impasse just shows the kind of pandemonium that is representative of the management of Microsoft today. The BOD is unable to decide on how to proceed, the MS shareholders and employees hate it, the Yahoo founders don't want the deal to happen, the investment community is undecided on how they feel and Ballmer and his cronies are scratching their privates trying to figure out what the heck to do despite deadlines passing them by.

Good going Steve. Remember that you get no respect by being indecisive. It's ok to be wrong, but just don't be goddamned wishy washy.

Anonymous said...

BACK TO MICRSOFT INDIA

Despite the passage of time since earnings and the last post, there is no change in conditions at Microsoft India. Life is getting worse. Kevin and JPC, can you see? Can you hear?

Anonymous said...

That's the banker calling...

Deal or No Deal?

No Deal!

Anonymous said...

How about "we're going to stop creating inferior copies of products that are successful and well-liked and already own most of their respective market shares, like Google, the iPod, and now Flash."

Is that too much to ask?


Did you say the same thing to all the other OS makers around 1995 big guy?

And every designer I talk to (none of whom work at Microsoft) hates Flash with a passion and is following Silverlight with reserved anticipation.

And big lulz on J Allard comments. I always suspected that sort of thing about the guy but never been close enough to tell for sure. There's a need for the system-bucking image I suppose, and you can see it all over his most ardent fans.

Anonymous said...

"we're going to stop creating inferior copies of products that are successful and well-liked and already own most of their respective market shares ..."
Did you say the same thing to all the other OS makers around 1995 big guy?


No, I didn't. Noticed the "well-liked" clause.

Anonymous said...

yea no one liked Windows in 1995. whatever you say big fella.

Tony said...

"yea no one liked Windows in 1995. whatever you say big fella."

I think the point he was making is that there were no popular and well liked OS's available for PCs at time Win95 launched - not that Win 95 wasn't popular

Anonymous said...

Does time also allow you to distort the fact that Windows 95 was made up of abducted collaborative efforts?

As was the NT kernel...

What has Microsoft been good at that involves actually creating an improvement over what's already out there? Not a thing.

Just a lot of self-starter, forward thinking, boisterous and optimistic back patting. The more wild-eyed, the better.
I've seen the change averse Microsoft lovers put their faith in the most ridiculous of defenses these days. It seems so long as they can bank on an outdated opinion or someone else's misconception, they'll do so.

Honesty would go a long way for Microsoft.
But Microsoft's biggest problem? Non technical people.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Turner is pressing the field too hard. I heard it from almost every field person I have talked to in the last 60 days

You can't squeeze a lemon infinitely

Sunday, April 27, 2008 7:52:00 PM



I can verify that KT is pressing the field WAY too hard... expect the door spinning with people leaving at the end of this year... a 25% uplift on the number only serves to give everyone a massive paycut.

jcr said...

Remember fellas, this guy is our Chief Software architect now. We're doomed.

Ozzie is not why you're doomed. He's a symptom, not a cause. Ballmer is a cause.

Until and unless your shareholders kick him out, you have nothing to look forward to but a long decline.

-jcr

Anonymous said...

yea no one liked Windows in 1995. whatever you say big fella.

Okay, "fella," what is it you're trying to say exactly? That years after the popular acceptance of Windows 95, another company should have come along and tried to compete by creating a similar yet inferior product from scratch? (Because that is the correct analog of what I said.) In fact, that does sound like a pretty stupid idea to me and I'm comfortable saying as much.

jon said...

security is another potential advantage for Silverlight over Flash. The detailed post by Rob Hensing on Microsoft's Blue Hat Blog discusses Shane Macauley and Alexander Sotirov's took second place at the CanSecWest pwn2own contest challenges by exploiting the Flash vulnerability on day 3, and goes on to discuss a really cool new exploit technique by Mark Dowd for another Flash vulnerability, this one a four-byte buffer overflow:

Mark mentions in his paper that his exploit worked reliably on Vista because Adobe didn’t opt-in to ASLR with the core Flash binary (which on my machine is flash9f.ocx, the most recent version that contains the fix for the vulnerability discovered by Mark). It turns out that the 4-byte write that Mark uses to “get things started” is to a known memory location that never changes (even between IE and Firefox!), which is only possible because the Flash AX control always loads at the same address in memory every time. If Adobe would have opted-in to ASLR it would have made this technique MUCH less reliable.

I don't know much at all about Silverlight's security, but it starts with the advantage of being built on .NET ... with Flash is becoming such a high-profile target for exploits, Adobe might want to prioritize taking the basic steps like enabling ASLR.

[In the interim, Rob helpfully posts the magic incantations for any Windows users who want to provide this extra level of protection on their own machine.]

Steve Ballmer said...

Maybe you people will stop calling for my resignation now!

John C. Welch said...

Actually, I can point to one Microsoft OS that I, as a server administrator, loved:

NT 3.5.1

It wasn't pretty, nor was it at the console, but it was stable, and well-designed. By keeping as many drivers as possible as far away from ring 0 as possible, it was rather hard to crash it, assuming you provisioned it correctly.

We had one server in particular that loved to crap its video drivers, but we didn't really care. It kept serving files and printers so we'd leave it alone.

For the time, being able to run it on Alpha hardware didn't suck either. Too bad the "OMG, CAN'T PLAY VIDEO GAMES ON IT" crowd managed to pooch it all to hell and gone with NT4. Sigh.

John C. Welch said...

sigh..."nor was it *fast* when sitting at the console..."

Anonymous said...

Microsoft will be purchasing all of the 'personnel leftovers' at Yahoo!...all the good ones will just leave

The 2% who comprise the best will get golden handcuffs. The rest do not matter beyond the first two years.

Anonymous said...

The 2% who comprise the best will get golden handcuffs. The rest do not matter beyond the first two years.

Ah, yes, typical Microsoft view of teamwork--teams are made up of 1-2 superstars and the rest are hiring errors.

Anonymous said...

If MSFT had bought some percentage of yahoo share from market before announcing the bid, they could have atleast made some money out of all this drama.

Anonymous said...

The haves don't do any meaningful job and the havenots who are doing the job don't own any reasonable piece of the company, that's why the company is so doomed. Noticed the traffic jam every afternoon has started earlier and earlier as time goes by? The good-for-nothing management will lead Microsoft toward a slow but painful death.

Anonymous said...

While top management keeps making one after another billion dollar blunders, the company does not takes good care of its most valuable assets. Do you feel really excited about "innovation" and doing a great job every morning when you go to work after seeing pay raise that barely catches up with the inflation year after year? I don't. Or do the above things really matter? Does the company make any real innovations or distribute rewards according to how one really does his/her work? Look at our stock price and you will get a clear answer.

Ranma said...

I have a theory on the recent board meeting about the Microsoft/Yahoo deal.

Let me first state that I don't know anyone important and have no access to information beyond what is publicly discussed in the news. This is just a theory, no more valid than anyone else's.

I theorize that Steve Balmer already knows what he wants to do and presented it to the board. The board basically told him that they had serious doubts about his proposal and would not actively support or hinder it. Instead, if he believed in proceeding with his plan strongly enough, he would have to forge ahead with the sole burden of success or failure resting on him.

Maybe this is so obvious that it isn't even worth bringing up. If so, my apologies. But I had not yet read an article or blog (while I've ready many, I certainly could have missed stuff) which explored this idea.

Anonymous said...

The haves don't do any meaningful job and the havenots who are doing the job don't own any reasonable piece of the company, that's why the company is so doomed. Noticed the traffic jam every afternoon has started earlier and earlier as time goes by? The good-for-nothing management will lead Microsoft toward a slow but painful death.

*Yawn*.

This is probably the most uninspired, unoriginal MS rant I've heard in years -- talk about rehashing the same things that have been said since the bubble burst.

Newsflash kid -- the 4:30pm traffic jam started about 8 years ago and the management at MS has been trolling the bottom of the lake for a lot longer than that.

And just to set you straight, the havenots are the c-team these days and not capable of doing meaningful work because we lowered our hiring bar in many divisions to about the same level as Burger King sometime in the early '00s.

All of this to say, Microsoft is not on the road to a slow and painful death any time soon, so stop with the doom and gloom nonsense. We can stay in the toilet for decades.

Please stop the rants until you can come up with something novel and/or interesting.

Anonymous said...

If MSFT had bought some percentage of yahoo share from market before announcing the bid, they could have atleast made some money out of all this drama.

I guess the leaders are too busy selling their huge piles of stock options and fortify their fiefdom to handle such small "non-strategic" business. They only have enough time to focus on very strategic move such as spending 40-60B to buy a company going down quickly and gain errrr... 5% of search share.

Anonymous said...

And just to set you straight, the havenots are the c-team these days and not capable of doing meaningful work because we lowered our hiring bar in many divisions to about the same level as Burger King sometime in the early '00s.
*yawn, yawn, yawn*
You talked like an A-team. In your highness's eyes, goog and appl are absolute losers and the mighty msft is crushing both like an easter egg in every major battlefield...

Anonymous said...

Looks like we just leased a 26 story office tower in DT Bellevue according to an article in the SeattleTimes this evening.

How much friggin real estate do we need here? Are we planning to move the entire Yahoo! workforce to downtown Bellevue as well? Pretty soon we will need Connector Buses just to commute between buildings. That or several hundred new Prius'

Anonymous said...

"And just to set you straight, the havenots are the c-team these days and not capable of doing meaningful work because we lowered our hiring bar in many divisions to about the same level as Burger King sometime in the early '00s."

*yawn, yawn, yawn*
You talked like an A-team. In your highness's eyes, goog and appl are absolute losers and the mighty msft is crushing both like an easter egg in every major battlefield...


If this is what you got out of what I wrote, then you truly are on the c-team no matter where you work.

I see a lot of you running around Microsoft, and you're one big reason why our company has gone down the toilet.

Anonymous said...


If this is what you got out of what I wrote, then you truly are on the c-team no matter where you work.
I see a lot of you running around Microsoft, and you're one big reason why our company has gone down the toilet.

In a typical losing situation, ofentimes problem interprets everything else as problems. I suggest you find a good mirror from any store(not the elite one sold in a-team store for sure) and take a good look at yourself before talking again in your classic a-team tone. Yawn, that's the end of talk with your highness.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the complete MSN employees are going to be laid off in India and China if the YAHOO deal goes through. Can someone please confirm this?

Anonymous said...

>I have heard that the complete MSN employees are going to be laid off in India and China if the YAHOO deal goes through. Can someone please confirm this?

MSN Redmond has many partners and will promote many more.

Anonymous said...

"If this is what you got out of what I wrote, then you truly are on the c-team no matter where you work.
I see a lot of you running around Microsoft, and you're one big reason why our company has gone down the toilet."

In a typical losing situation, ofentimes problem interprets everything else as problems. I suggest you find a good mirror from any store(not the elite one sold in a-team store for sure) and take a good look at yourself before talking again in your classic a-team tone. Yawn, that's the end of talk with your highness.


LOL -- try this line on Google, smart guy. I don't think the "I'm average and that's good enough because I'm wonderful just the way I am" line is going to get you very far at any of the companies you see to hold in such high esteem.

Anonymous said...

LOL -- try this line on Google, smart guy. I don't think the "I'm average and that's good enough because I'm wonderful just the way I am" line is going to get you very far at any of the companies you see to hold in such high esteem.
What makes you feel so elavated about yourself above the rest of us? Other than maybe the title you hold in the company? How do you get there in the first place? Most likely you are very good at socializing and pinpointing a "good" boss and having high skill crawling in a "right" fashion behind him for years to getting where you are, most likely you are less technical capable and hold lower bar in true values that could lead the company to real success. You are everything linked with the big problem other than a right solution. The tainted corporate culture which you are so good at has led the company to such a shaky condition. That's the end of my talk with your highness and I could find better use of my time, even in yawning.

Anonymous said...

>All of this to say, Microsoft is not on the road to a slow and painful death any time soon, so stop with the doom and gloom nonsense. We can stay in the toilet for decades.

That is either classic corporate self deprecation or a troll milking the evil darkness that seems to be pervading all you softies. Microsoft's demise might be slow, but it won't be painful, at least not to me.

And will whomever is using the word `fellas' in their comment stream please cut it out. It is very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

>Pretty soon we will need Connector Buses just to commute between buildings. That or several hundred new Prius'

Naw. If the Microhoo deal falls flat, Balmer will use the $40 billion to have a tunnel dug from Redmond to Bellevue if only to piss Mini off.

Anonymous said...

"What makes you feel so elavated about yourself above the rest of us? Other than maybe the title you hold in the company? How do you get there in the first place? Most likely you are very good at socializing and pinpointing a "good" boss and having high skill crawling in a "right" fashion behind him for years to getting where you are, most likely you are less technical capable and hold lower bar in true values that could lead the company to real success. You are everything linked with the big problem other than a right solution. The tainted corporate culture which you are so good at has led the company to such a shaky condition. That's the end of my talk with your highness and I could find better use of my time, even in yawning."

Wow, you really have some issues.

My ego stems from my accomplishments, the fact that I work in one of the few areas of MS where the product receives nearly universal acclaim, and the fact that I'm head-hunted externally *all the time*. I'm on the "A-team", the people I work with every day are as well, our product kicks righteous ass in the marketplace and I could defect to another company in about 4 nanoseconds.

In short, we are better than most of the rest of Microsoft and I see the stark contrast between my team and other Microsoft teams every day... and it shows me exactly why we're in the pickle we're in, and that's because we have a whole lot of people here who just aren't, well, brilliant.

Unlike Google.

I'm not a Partner -- in fact, I'm not even a manager. I'm just not one of the sea of mediocre losers who've managed to infiltrate the company over the last decade.

Whenever I hear people like you trying to drag the company down to your average level -- people who could never get a job at Google or Apple because, frankly you're just not good enough -- it makes me shiver. It's like the pod people from Body Snatchers, except in this case it's the dull sheep of mediocre Microsoft trying to argue about why it's the superstars, and not themselves, who have brought down the company.

Really, it's the stuff of corporate nightmares.

jon said...

Jessica Mintz reports in the Huffington Post that the Wall Street Journal says Microsoft will go hostile.

It's linked as a political story from Natasha Chart's daily roundup on OpenLeft (where she comments "Google is fighting this in DC") and near the top of the front page of HuffPo as I write this. There are still only 8 comments, one of which is me pointed people here. A couple interesting comments: lookingahead's

Instead of going crazy over yahoo gives us back windows xp and put vista up your bum. Greedy people going crazy again just because you embarrassed yourself with ME don't shove vista down our throats and take away a program that works. Leave Yahoo alone and work on bringing back the XP.

and illustrating how the contentious Democratic primary is creeping into everything this year, tathagat's

Obamamo above has said it... the press brief should read.... We are going Hi_Liary about Yahoo... Yahoo Media Portal and Election coverage is leaning on the right... loads of Fox videos and crazy female Rush Limbaugh...

Anonymous said...

>> I work in one of the few areas of
>> MS where the product receives
>> nearly universal acclaim

I can't think of a single Microsoft product like this. What is it? Xbox?

Anonymous said...

According to EWeek, it is probably Live Mesh, which is not even a real product yet. Slide six is linked below.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Coolest-Technologies-Demoed-at-Web-20/5/

Anonymous said...

>> I work in one of the few areas of
>> MS where the product receives
>> nearly universal acclaim

I can't think of a single Microsoft product like this. What is it? Xbox?


Close, but not quite. And no, not Zune. ;-)

Anonymous said...

>Close, but not quite. And no, not Zune. ;-)

Do you mean the new one with the big round dial and the two little Mickey Mouse ear buttons above that, the one that J gave to BG to save the company based on letting industrial design at Microsoft do their best? I am shocked. :-|

caltel said...

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Caltel
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Burden of Competence said...

So from an outsiders perspective, it just seems that Microsoft has become IBM of the 80's. I know that it has been said time and again, but I think that the answer is as Scoble recently blogged, MSFT has to be more agile and invest in smaller companies that maintain their own identity. Forget Yahoo, focus on innovating. But hey, what do I know, I'm not in there in the trenches daily like most of you...I feel for ya. :-)

Anonymous said...

The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft is upping the ante in its bid for Yahoo! As an ex-softie and a current small-time software developer, I welcome this development. I actually think it will be great for Microsoft, but for a reason that I haven't seen mentioned much if at all.

By using up a lot of cash, and taking on some debt, I expect Microsoft to finally start thinking about costs. Hire 10,000 more people? Better think about the cost! Implement more process-for-process' sake? Think of the cost! Flush billions chasing Sony/Nintendo? The cost!

Worrying about how much a decision will cost is one step (though a big one). Thinking about what customers might want, and trying to build that, so that new products might sell and be profitable would be another step. (Few people actually want Vista; it just comes on new machines. And nobody wanted DRM, and having been Screwed For Sure, people may be a bit more selective in music vendors.)

What I'm hoping for is that Microsoft gets just a bit bloodied and battered. There are still lots of smart people at Microsoft. A chastened and humbled management, preferably without Balmer and his top advisors; a management that listens to customers, and figures out, and delivers, what they want -- now that would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

By using up a lot of cash, and taking on some debt, I expect Microsoft to finally start thinking about costs. Hire 10,000 more people? Better think about the cost! Implement more process-for-process' sake? Think of the cost! Flush billions chasing Sony/Nintendo? The cost!

If that turns out to be the case, Damn, there go our towels again.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry guys, the Yahoo! gym has towels.

Anonymous said...

Ranma on Thursday, others agree with you:

http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/05/02/quote_of_the_da_3.html

Anonymous said...

It worries me that yahoo mail will get hotmail'd if this deal goes through. I hope Ballmer fires the whole MSN and hotmail bunch before they get a chance to venture anywhere near any of yahoo properties.

Anonymous said...

>It worries me that yahoo mail will get hotmail'd if this deal goes through.

I have already decided to move my email account from Yahoo to something else, probably Google. Probably next week, and the only reason is that there is no way in hell I will be a Microsoft customer when it comes to my email--ever.

For you softies who do not understand why, it has to do with trust.

Anonymous said...

>>Close, but not quite. And no, not Zune. ;-)<<

Hmm, it must be Media Center. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the product.

Am I warm?

Anonymous said...

good time to be YAHOO employee.

Anonymous said...

"For you softies who do not understand why, it has to do with trust."

No, it has to do with agenda. Which is why you troll MSFT web sites adding your negative feedback instead of just moving on like most normal people would. Suspect you're probably one of the same folks who bash on Yhoo, MS Watch and any other forum where you think it makes a difference. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

>> Don't worry guys, the Yahoo! gym has towels.

Not for long.

Anonymous said...

Just out - MSFT walking away from yahoo offer.


right on.

Anonymous said...

Yahoo!

Anonymous said...

>Which is why you troll MSFT web sites adding your negative feedback instead of just moving on like most normal people would. Suspect you're probably one of the same folks who bash on Yhoo, MS Watch and any other forum where you think it makes a difference. Get a life.

No, I just hang out here. Not into blogging much. But here I am until Microsoft learns how to treat it's customers. So far all I can see is a company that wouldn't know what a customer, (or an individual for that matter) was if it bit them in the ass.

But if others are saying the same thing on other forums, well maybe there is a reason that has nothing to do with agendas or people who have no life

Anonymous said...

>>No, I just hang out here. Not into blogging much. But here I am until Microsoft learns how to treat it's customers<<

Uh, I think the previous posters point was that you'd be far more comfortable participating in one of the many anti-microsoft forums on the web. I can give you some links if you'd like.

I'm sure you'll agree that your post added nothing of substance to this particular discussion, but it's the kind of post that will find an attentive audience on ABM forums.

Just helping you out bro :)

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! MSFT walks away from the Yahoo takeover.

THANK YOU to the Yahoo board who insisted on more money than even Balmer wold offer. Thank god. I feel a bump in the stock price coming monday...

Anonymous said...

Punting the YHOO offer must have been tough for Steve to do. He is pretty used to getting his way, except when it comes to the EU.

Here's to hoping that he will learn something from this. The vastly overwhelming majority of MS employees were against this. I hope he will get in better touch with reality next time so we don't get another shocker.

Anonymous said...

Just helping you out bro :)

How would blogging on an ABM forum change Microsoft?

It wouldn't. This forum is read by your management. There is really no other way to try to convince your board to remove all the top managers and re-focus the company where is should be focused, unless of course I had enough money to buy out Balmer, which I don't.

What, are you freaking oblivious to your current state of affairs? After failing to buy Yahoo, being sued multiple times for monopoly behavior and losing, and not being unable to shake a brand devaluation that has been going on for at least ten years now. What are you stupid or something?

Anonymous said...

Erata: and not being unable to shake a brand devaluation

should read: and being unable to shake a brand devaluation . . .

Anonymous said...

Uh, I think the previous posters point was that you'd be far more comfortable participating in one of the many anti-microsoft forums on the web. I can give you some links if you'd like.

The OP's point seems very valid to me--it wasn't baseless Microsoft bashing but a very specific trust issue with Hotmail.

It is well know that Hotmail blocks legitimate e-mails. You literally can not trust it to show you emails that are sent to you--which is really the whole point of an email service.

It is also well known that Hotmail suffers from data loss issues, seemingly more than other web email providers. I recall a few cases of large-scale Hotmail data loss over the past decade but I can't remember anything similar happening to Yahoo or Gmail. Basically you can not trust it with your data.

Even Microsoft supporters should realize that Hotmail is a terrible service that only harms Microsoft's reputation and it should be canceled and replaced with something else entirely.

Anonymous said...

>>--it wasn't baseless Microsoft bashing but a very specific trust issue with Hotmail.<<

I think we can all agree that hotmail sucks, but he wasn't talking about hotmail. He said if the merger happens he'll quit using yahoo mail.

I read that as simply trolling and is contributing nothing but noise to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

We've seen this production before (Larry Ellison special). This is end of Act I. Act III begins with M$FT coming back to the table in a few quarters.

Act II is about the bet that the YHOO board is making on Jerry--to see if he can demonstrate whether there's a lot of unlocked value in Y! It won't be made easier b/c there will likely be more lawsuits filed, etc. It sure feels like someone with a lot more creativity (and recall) can spin a yarn on this using the plotlines of Macbeth?

What's for certain is that M$FT still needs Y! to have a chance at being a relevant player in the online world for the long-run.

Sit tight for the wild ride--especially if you're a Y! shareholder!

- agent mulder lives

Anonymous said...

>>How would blogging on an ABM forum change Microsoft?

It wouldn't. This forum is read by your management.<<

Umm, yeah, because there's proof that everybody posting on this forum is really a softie or even if they are, that they are superstar developers with no other voice.

Dude it's the internet.

I've written alot of comments here where people have assumed I work for MS and yet that couldn't be further from the truth, literally.

Anonymous said...

>It is well know that Hotmail blocks legitimate e-mails. You literally can not trust it to show you emails that are sent to you--which is really the whole point of an email service.

OP here. Thank you thank you.
Yes, I was speaking about my Yahoo mail service in Microsoft hands but I don't trust MS to get anything right when it comes to privacy, security or reliability. That is not an ABM bash but just personal experience. I write here in hopes Microsoft will begin to implement a VOTC policy toward product development and start fixing stuff that does not work. VOTC means voice of the customer and is based on a philosophy of infinite loop feedback of a problem solving process, kind of a built in mechanism that pushes perfection in product design and development, similar to TQM or QFD.

Of course, then again, what would Microsoft management know about quality and excellence. Your company has so many great people it is astonishing so much is lost. What a waste.

caltel said...

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Caltel
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