Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Microsoft Company Meeting 2008

Alright, here we go! Company Meeting 2008! A chance to forget everything that went wrong last year?

Speaking of yesteryear, I've touched on The Company Meeting in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. 2004 was fairly light because that was the special limited seating event that let everyone forget that it was actually the Company Meeting day and go-about their day as usual. 2005 was fun. 2006 was weird with the coordinated post-commenting frenzy here. And 2007 started with great potential and melted down with each mind-numbing demo.

Plus the burping game.

My main wish this year is that Ballmer's speech meets last year's quality, that he shows last year scorecard and where we are now, and that more than 1,000 people are around to hear the speech when it actually happens. Let's hear more about the idea of Many Microsofts. Or... was last year all throw away?

Okay, I'm off to pack some warm clothes and a few extra cups for all of the Microsoft Kool-aid I intend to guzzle. Sorry, all you folks who think it's a waste of money and effort. This is my opportunity to re-energize myself and see my peers and team re-energized. Oh, and do me a favor on Thursday: join me in letting out a joyful "Boo!" for any hiring statistics that show us throwing on more and more bodies we don't need in the ranks.


Post Company Meeting - some thoughts.

Well, it's days later but I still have that tangy fresh taste of Microsoft Kool-aid running around my mouth. I felt that the Company Meeting was really enjoyable. I appreciate it took a tremendous amount of effort into coordinating it and making amends for last year. Rainn Wilson I thought was a great host and, c'mon, who couldn't have loved his big finale before SteveB's entrance?!? A band, shooting flames, fireworks, exploding streamers, break dancers, and beach balls tumbling down on the crowd! Whoo! Why did it have to end?

And kudos to the planners for an innovative solution to the constant paper airplane harassment of year's past. I don't know if we broke a world record or not. Hopefully not. Hopefully every year we just miss it by that much and we try again the next year.

And the crowd held together. I always look around and see how people are doing and keep an ear out for distracted chatter. The crowd pretty much was engaged most of the time, except for Craig Mundie. It was a big crowd and everyone stayed put until the end, vs. the large-scale abandonment we had last year up to and through Mr. Ballmer's presentation.

Random notes from me:

It was nice that it started off with a big-reveal. Will Halo-fanboys be upset to know that Master Chief's face was revealed only to Microsofties? Keep the secret.

Our mission statement: "Create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of Internet services across a world of devices." Ba-roo? Everytime I think of it, all I see is a grinning Doug Henning tossing a handful of confetti sparkles into the air, gasping, "...the magic of software!" and conjuring up a glittering world full of devices. Mr. Adam Barr works over the mission statement and comes up with something far more direct.

Demos: better than last year, if that's saying anything. There was a lot of stable-candy that could have been shown but that wasn't. I'm glad they went through Office 14 and Windows 7 scenarios, along with some of our other apps out there. The geek in me was indeed wow'd by the Excel demo and I felt proud that we had implemented something as geekily-groovy as that. I want to meet the people who did this and listen to their story of how it actually all works. I think I would learn something great. I can't say that the customer reaction will be as enthusiastic.

I'm disappointed that the teams that could have shown something really rah-rah cool didn't. I'm looking at you, Xbox. Oh, wait, there was the whole bust-a-move part...

You: over and over again it was pointed out that Microsoft employees are its biggest assets. And? I guess admission is the first step. I'm not looking for bread and circuses perks like dry cleaning and grocery drop-off but rather deep meaningful career development and a meritocracy in our compensation for people and teams. And, you know, having less assets around.

Speakers: better than last year, and no random Slick Willies from the country club. Yeah! Elop is a really good presenter. Ray was okay, as was most everyone. Sinofsky was a bit bumpy in getting the words out (he makes up for it in typing, trust me). Craig Mundie was a wall: a cold-stop wall that everyone used as a mental- and bio-break. Most folks in my section were asking, "Hey, who is this guy?"

And then there was Steve.

Last year's SteveB speech was much better and deeper and challenging. This year: not bad and not challenging at all. Yes, we had the five points to go over so I guess that replaces the scorecard from last year (too bad... what's the worth of having a scorecard if you're not keeping score?). No mention of the becoming many Microsofts. But, we have a discussion of The Stock.

Microsoft Stock: (SteveB slowly waves his a hand infront of the audience) These are not the droids you're looking for. You don't care about the Microsoft stock price. Move along. Move along. I'd like to say "Nice try." But it wasn't even that. Does anyone remember that brief moment of Microsoft stock flirting around $37? I don't know about you, but I started to see a new old-energy kick on around my team and the teams I worked with. Last year, Mr. Ballmer asked what had happened to our boldness. I know where it is, and it starts at around $37. You want to see super-boldness? That starts at $45.

Oh, and it also starts in NOT doing dumb knee-capping moves like the muddled acquisition attempt of Yahoo! The responsibility for causing that stock plunge and its aftermath was not even mentioned. Un-bold. Yahoo! was totally that terribly embarrassing family event - like a wedding that melted down at the altar - that no one brought up.

A lot of us have been at this company - and participating in the stock compensation program - already for the long-term. And have stock bupkis, along with our shareholders. So it was bold to bring up the stock issue, but the discussion was unsatisfying and lacked any sort of boldness explaining mistakes that have got us here (Yahoo!, surprising Wall Street with multi-billion dollar investments, etc).

At least we know a bargain when we see it: Microsoft Announces Share Repurchase Program and Increases Quarterly Dividend $40 billion authorized for share repurchase; Dividend increased 18 percent. That's good, and lord help us all if that doesn't put the final nail into the Yahoo! acquisition coffin. A curious development as part of this:

Microsoft also announced that its board of directors has authorized debt financings from time to time of up to $6 billion. Pursuant to the authorization, the company has established a $2 billion commercial paper program. Microsoft intends to use the net proceeds from any debt financings for general corporate purposes, which may include funding for working capital and repurchases of stock.

Curious to me given that Microsoft and Debt have never been two words I've put together in my mind.


Your Say: after the meeting, what are your impressions? You know, safe to share impressions.


166 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time for My Microsoft 3.0?

Will it be a bigger disappointment than 2.0, or do you think they'll wow us with something? Or just announce something with limited impact, like more connector routes?

Cheaper software at the company store? (cost of goods + reasonable markup)

Free Zunes?

Profit sharing?

Bigger stock dividends?

Bonuses based on the success of your project/team?

Raises that are COLA or GREATER for achieved/exceeded?

Big cash bonus for sticking it out through the down years?

House buying assistance/loans for employees?

(overpaid) Senior management is going to stop accepting salary/bonuses until the stock price is above $35/share?

murrquan said...

Should I say to have fun at the meeting, or is it already over and you haven't updated with what happened yet? ^.^

I haven't seen any signs of Ballmer following that policy, but I'd be pleased to hear if he was!

Anonymous said...

The stock price and new 52-week low should be a real highlight.

Anonymous said...

Lisa's already said on her blog that she's not speaking today. I'm looking forward to Rain Wilson though!

Anonymous said...

Here are my numbers. CRM Live dev mgr.

L65 (just promoted March 08).
Rating - Exceeded - 10%
Merit increase - 5%
Bonus - 22% / $33,402
Stock - 100% / $82,500

Anonymous said...

Watching it live now.
I thought Kevin Turner left, didn't he?
So far, I'm glad I stayed home.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that an accident on I-90 westbound during the time when everyone was trying to get to Safeco Field, has put a 'dent' into the plans of many getting to the company meeting today, on time. And the I-90 express lanes were closed at the time as well. Oh, and the variable traffic signs were all off. The perfect storm.

Anonymous said...

New Interview Question: If Microsoft were to cut the bottom 10% each group, how much less traffic would there have been travelling to the company meeting?

Anonymous said...

The Seinfeld ads are being dropped. Personally I liked them. Even if you didn't like them, at least they had people talking about the company. If Microsoft had stuck with Seinfeld, the campaign could have gone somewhere and become familiar to people. As is, Microsoft simply admitted defeat and is moving on to the next schizo idea. Further reinforcing the public perception that the company has no idea what it's doing.

Anonymous said...

Good lord, could they have had any more demos? On the bright side, the products being demonstrated are actually quite good, and will make a substantial contribution to Microsoft's market share & reputation. On the not-so-bright-side, I did not need to have them demonstrated to me for three hours. Just like last year, they went way past the scheduled end time on account of filling the entire schedule time with nothing but interminable demos.

Anonymous said...

So who enjoyed the fire show ? It was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Nice special effects; at least that was different =)

Anonymous said...

loved the ballmer speech! Very energetic, very focussed, very passionate. Loved it!

I also liked the new "windows without walls" campaign where we are indirectly hitting back at Apple. It is awesome.

Ray Ozzie's demo were good and promising. Too bad we cannot talk about it till late october.. they are great stuff and a definite game changer.

Anonymous said...

Mini, you're a fool for booing new people joining the ranks. Who are you to say any new people are unneeded. If we are to grow our business and gain market share in key areas and continue to grow in existing markets, don't we need people to help achieve those things? Or do you just want to put contractors in those positions so we can play the 12/100 rule/permatemps game on them?

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

Good:
Rainn Wilson – I thought he did a pretty good job. I would've rather seen more of him and less of the boring stuff.

Windows 7 and Windows Mobile 7 – I’ll respect their wishes for this stuff not to be discussed right now, but I was pretty impressed by what I saw.

Xbox live new experience – Can’t wait to get it! HURRY! :)

New Windows ad campaign – I thought it was going to suck, but based off the few we saw, I think it’s going to be pretty good. Ok, maybe not pretty good, but it’s not gonna make us look stupid, and that’s a huge step in the right direction.


Bad:
MyMicrosoft (next generation) – I was expecting very little. They still managed to disappoint.

Craig Mundie – Snoreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Ray Ozzie - Here we are, another year later, and he still has no software. Great vision, Ray, thanks for sharing all of it with us. How about sharing something with substance SOON?

Funny videos – Guess we put all of our money into the new marketing campaign and couldn’t afford videos anymore.

Zune - Nuff said.

E&D – Come on…throw us a frickin Halo bone for god’s sake…

Windows Live - The product versions are called "waves". Wave 3 launches soon (or maybe it launched yesterday? I thought I heard both). They were talking about how agile they are. It took them a YEAR to do this update. What we saw looked like mostly incremental upgrades.

Anonymous said...

The most impressive thing to me was the new Outlook, and that's saying something. The guy on before Ballmer was saying interesting things, but just couldn't grab the crowd, which is too bad. (It's telling that I can't remember his name.) Ballmer finally addressed the stock flatness with a nice "it doesn't matter."

Fine, if it doesn't matter, give me less stock and make my cash bonuses larger. Or make my merit bonuses equal to or over COLA. I know I've written great code, I know how many millions of dollars my products have earned for MS, I've done my best to play the political games and I didn't quit like 70% of my team last year, but I'd like more than a bone thrown my way for my hard work and loyalty. Hearing Steve say he was going to stick around until we beat Google just made me roll my eyes in dismay.

I just was not feeling the Rah Rah this year at all. The fireworks and paper airplanes didn't help. At least Rainn Wilson made me smile.

Anonymous said...

When I joined 10 years ago, Microsoft was at 38. It is now at 24. I'd say Mr. Ballmer has underachieved. Why is he still around. I only care about stock price as do the shareholders. Ask yourself: would you rather have slow growth and huge stock price appreciation OR the other way around? I know what my answer is.

What a joke the company meeting was. Almost as pointless as the Seinfeld ads.

Anonymous said...

The most disappointing thing I heard at the meeting was Steve’s comment that he would stay at Microsoft until our search share exceeded that of Google’s. Translation: reset your investment horizon and get comfortable with that 20-handle stock price.

I was also mystified by his comment about the lack of audience enthusiasm for Microsoft’s financial performance. Does he not realize that, given the flat stock price, there is virtually no correlation between the company’s financial performance and non-partner employee satisfaction?

Anonymous said...

Why did Steve get a standing ovation before he spoke? Is it because we all knew that would be the highlight of his talk?

I thought it took a lot of balls for him to say that the stock price wasn't important, even though it's a large part of our total compensation. He totally glossed over that point like he thought we wouldn't notice. Hey Steve...we noticed!


And to the few obnoxious PM's that were sitting in the COSD section (not sure what team you were with)...Nobody gives a damn what YOU have to say. People go to the company meeting to hear the people presenting, not you idiots making comments and laughing constantly. If you want to sit and BS all day, stay in the office or move to the concourse.

I had to leave the section after about 20 minutes because of these idiots. And they were a few rows in front of me. That's how obnoxious these morons were!

Anonymous said...

I suspect the stock based compensation is not worth as much as it is made out today. What are people's expectations of the stock price over the next 5 years?

Will it -

1. Increase the same as CPI every year

2. Outperform CPI every year

3. Underperform CPI every year

Anonymous said...

If we had such a great year, why did Exceeded's get merit increases that barely cover the cost of living?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the discussion on stock price performance at the company meeting this afternoon, there were a few things I think Steve may have forgotten to mention:

1. “I don’t care about the stock price, so why should investors?”

2. “It seems I occasionally impact the stock price with unexpected spending increases, comments regarding Vista, and proposed $40 billion acquisitions that I don’t consider part of our strategy.”

3. “For some reason investors can’t seem to understand my clearly articulated strategy and vision behind the multi-billion investments in online services.”

Anonymous said...

Disappointing, vacuous. How much money was blown on the 'company meeting team' videos and that stupid Connector boat race? That kind of thing was pathetic at basketball game halftimes a decade ago. The fireworks were the only plus. Can they ever stop using the phrase 'super excited'?

The only question about search is how many more billion dollars it will suck down the drain and how many points it will shave off the stock price (Yahoo deal).

People are our most important asset so even though we make record profits we'll screw them on salary, bonuses, and promotions. Then to really show how valued we are they'll try to do dumb deals to chop 6 pts off the stock and blow billions on search and X-box. We'll blow $300M on an ad campaign that could have given every employee $1000s. We certainly aren't doing it for the shareholders either.

Yeah, employees are really important.

Anonymous said...

> What transpired? "I am PC"?

I liked this ad. It contrasts with Apple's "Only cool people use Macs" with a message of "Everyone and anyone uses PCs."

Anonymous said...

"Ballmer finally addressed the stock flatness with a nice "it doesn't matter."

Okay, I'm trying really hard here to understand a context in which that statement would ever make sense. What am I missing? Because if that's it and how he really feels, I challenge him to repeat it at the shareholder's meeting.

Anonymous said...

I feel more enthused than for a couple of years by the event. Scores as they happened.

KT - B/C, he has some kinda dry stuff to deal with did ok with it, could have sold the new vision/mision better.

Ray + Gang - A, can't wait for the reaction to PDC.

Bob + Steven - A, cool stuff, office looks like great changes that are not just toolbar related.

Robbie - C, I SOOO wanted to be excited about what he was talking about, but it was rushed with no details that are actionable except the new XBOX UI but we showed that at a public trade event months ago.

BillV - B
JulieLG - B/C seemed nervous not a really flowing demo
ChrisJ - B

Craig - C, He just doesn't pitch well to the big crowd, I feel like I am having a tutorial with my crumbly old professor in his room.

SteveB - A, not too OTT, not too long, pointed and passionate.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that an accident on I-90 westbound during the time when everyone was trying to get to Safeco Field,


--

it's not a funny event, people were hurt. Maybe expand on the symbolism here .. think those with a concious for people don't get your humor.

Anonymous said...

i was also discouraged by balmer's lack of accountability around the stock price. if you're going to talk about it -- and create a slide for it with multiple bullets -- then you can't gain credibility unless you admit that our SLT can do MUCH better when it comes to communicating with Wall Street.

tare the Yahoo! example alone. c'mon. i hate to go back and look at how much value we lost during that debacle. we sent so many mixed messages to the street and investors. we controlled that messaging and we blew it.

Anonymous said...

I liked: new PowerPoint (hurray!) and the Excel processing BI. And the amazing collaboration technology.

Talks:
- Liked: Julie Larson-Green, Satya Nadella, SteveB (very clear in his usual crisp style), Ray Ozzie.
- Disliked: Bill Veghte (too much artificial sugary syrup, really), Steven Sinofsky (trying hopelessly to appear excited)

Generally the meeting was good. In my ten years at MS I came to the company meeting a few times, and skipped the last few ones.

What shocked me most was to see lots and lots of MS employees walking around for about 15 minutes. And I knew _none_ of them. That was a scary feeling.


P.S. Many techical issues popped up all the time. Garbled video segments, slides out of order, switched randomly or ahead of their time, huge screens shutting down in the middle of the presentation (running XP - gasp!). Hey, let's not do that at PDC.

Anonymous said...

Good:
- Rainn Wilson: way funnier than I expected!
- New ad compaign: nice to see we're finally responding to Apple!
- Windows Mobile 7: Finally the iPhone will have some competition!
- Windows 7: So many improvements in such a short amount of time!
- Office 14: Little improvements = big productivity impact!
- Fireballs! Fireballs!
- Organized paper airplane throwing!
- SteveB!

Bad:
- Red Dog + middle layer + Office Online demos (Ray's): boooring!
- Craig Mundie's demo: even though the stuff he demo'ed was very cool, he was such a BORING presenter! So monotone! When Rainn said "and now for a warm-up before Ballmer's speech..." and then Mundie was so mundane, it was sad to see so many people head toward the exits! He sounded so un-pumped up.
- Cream cheese on the sandwhiches: yuck! Condiments used to be packaged separately, what's up with the nasty cream cheese this y ear? And the couscous wasn't good either. I wish there were soft drinks too.
- The after party: what party? People are supposed to drink beer and then drive home or sit on a long bus ride with no bathrooms afterwards?

Anonymous said...

If we had such a great year, why did Exceeded's get merit increases that barely cover the cost of living?

Great point! They clearly loved the $4b growth in profits. Why aren't they sharing the wealth with employees and shareholders?


Nice to hear the search guy admit that they suck.

Too bad none of the big boys could admit the yahoo thing was a major disaster.

Anonymous said...

People were hurt? Crap. I'd only heard from those delayed and nothing about the 'luxury coach' in question other than what was said on stage. Shame for those delayed. The earliest demos were some of the best, as time went on things got longer and more boring until SteveB and then only because of the pyrotechnics and attempt to explain the stock price.

I'm a PC and I post anonymously. Love the new marketing campaign.

Anonymous said...

Someone please tell me I heard this wrong - KT said we hired 14,000 new people in the last fiscal. Please, let me be wrong.

I'm sorry but SteveB's speeches just don't do it for me anymore. The yelling and 'super-excited' running around and screaming doesn't work for me. Wheres the substance? Maybe I've just been here too long, but everything he said sounded so generic. People, innovation, beat google, stomp apple, yadda yadda.

PS Did anyone else see that Ballmer actually *knocked* someone down when he rushed in? At first I thought it was part of the act..

Anonymous said...

You were not alone in seeing what looked like a green shirted SBS finance guy getting knocked flat between 133 or 132 and the field level seating.

Say what you want about the man... at least our CEO has the balls to run a man down and keep on going... if only we could do that to Apple or Google.

Anonymous said...

"If we had such a great year, why did Exceeded's get merit increases that barely cover the cost of living?"

You answered your own question. Part of how we had such a great year is being tight across the board -- search for "earnings per share initiative"

Anonymous said...

A few a-has for me:
1. Ozzie who? This guy is our visionary?? You must be kidding, right?
2. Ballmer actually believes…
3. Wondering if not all the pyro… would people cheer the same way is it was last year? Oh, wait! Most did not cheer when the guy completed his speech. Perhaps next year we need to spend more on pyro or maybe add belly dancers so euphoria lasts a little longer than the guy’s speech. :)
4. Outlook is cool. You guys did great!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but SteveB's speeches just don't do it for me anymore. The yelling and 'super-excited' running around and screaming doesn't work for me. Wheres the substance?

---

You mean you didn't appreciate the "i love developers working amazing code for 10hrs a day" point?

Of course he fails to point (but is aware) the cheap dev workforce overseas :)

Anonymous said...

It is funny to hear people whine about how bad their compensation is. Having recently come from another company and being familiar with the marketplace, the compensation (salary, bonus, stock awards, health insurance) is way above and beyond other companies out there. Setting expectations correctly is important. You aren't going to get rich as a dev at MS anymore. I think that is just the new reality.

Anonymous said...

Employee perks for "I'm a PC" ads

I heard all the softies who got flown to NYC for that commercial got great treatment. Too bad I'm not "not what you call hip"

Anonymous said...

On clear message from SteveB: he will retire if Live Search market share exceeds Google.
Search people: please, please work hard on it!!!!
I will start using live search now to help a little.

Anonymous said...

The main problem with microsoft today is that they allow some B groups to hire tons, tons of C people.

In the online services areas, a lot a ton of shitty people get hired. The online service areas do not really need so many people. They are 4-5 times bloated now, for the things they do and suck.

The company also has so many vendors and CSGs, which is another funny thing. In adcenter, v- and a- are handed out by the GM to each group like personal gifts, not based on any needs.

Anonymous said...

There were a lot of incongruent messages in SteveB's speech.

My question to SteveB is "if we can't control the stock, so we should ignore the stock, then why not buy back at least parts of the stock?"

If developers were so important, then why are partners paid so disproportionately high? What percentage of developers are partners?

I also think that SteveB is over-compensating for his under-performance as the CEO of a publicly traded company with that running and jumping around. It's just not effective anymore.

Anonymous said...

I presonally think the Company meeting was GREAT and it got me excited. It was so much better than last year!

I am amazed how many people love to bad mouth all attempts of addressing their concerns. In this blog and others people cry that Steve does not address the Stock Price and if he does and shares his thoughts around it - it is not good enough.

It is disappointing to see that we are not able to appreciate all the effort that has been put into making this a great and exciting event.

If you can't believe in our company and our leaders then leave and find another place that will offer you all of the opporuntities you have here and the benefits and of course the pay ... !!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

> New Windows ad campaign – I thought it was going to suck, but based off the few we saw, I think it’s going to be pretty good. Ok, maybe not pretty good, but it’s not gonna make us look stupid, and that’s a huge step in the right direction.

You're happy with the ad campaign because it doesn't make you look stupid? That's good enough? Wow, is that ever telling.

I mean, Microsoft has historically been a company with technology that was good (but still had issues), and with great marketing. If the marketing standard is now "don't make us look stupid", Microsoft is headed for trouble. It's still a couple years away (unless you look at the stock price), because the enormous size gives them trememdous momentum, but if Microsoft can't market anymore, disaster looms.

MSS

Anonymous said...

I am generally not one to whine about COLAs or compensation. Mine is actually pretty good and has been for more than 10 years. But I do want to point out an inconsistency.

SteveB says the stock price doesn't matter. We're in it for the long term.

Okay, fine. If the stock price doesn't matter, why are so many decisions typically that affect morale) justified on their impact to earnings per share? If we truly didn't care about stock price, it seems that we have no valid reason for maximizing profit, especially when we don't even pay a reasonable dividend.

Anonymous said...

Nasdaq +3.39%
GOOG+2.88%
INTC+1.3%
AAPL+6.47%
HPQ+3.2%
CSCO+5.45%
ORCL+9.39%
RIMM+6.14%
MOT+4.79%

MSFT+0.4%

Anonymous said...

>> Search people: please, please work hard on it!!!!

LS is now down to 8.3 percent, Google up to 63%. Whatever they're doing, it ain't working. About time someone started asking some serious questions over there.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Googles-US-Search-Share-Hits-63/

Anonymous said...

I chuckle at everyone who complains and tries to compare the Microsoft of today to the Microsoft of the 90's. Those days are gone people. WAKE UP!

Microsoft is too big. There is too much bureaucracy. Too much middle management. "How many Microsoft VP's does it take to change a light blub--let alone the world?"

I agree with 'mini' 100%. Microsoft needs to make some cuts. How many new people were hired last year? Was it really 14K? If middle and upper management wants to really earn their pay, have them draw a line on their stack rank charts, and start the process of cutting the dead weight. My group could get along with about 20% less staff, and would be better off without them.

Don't expect the Microsoft of today to be the Microsoft of the 90's. Those days are gone. I remember them. They were fun. But they are gone.

Did you get a bonus? Did you get a merit increase? Did you get ANY stock? If so, then feel grateful. All you whiners about not feeling any love from Microsoft better stop the whining. Go out and work in the real world, or go find a startup and put your neck on the line.

Who the hell whined about the lunches and food? If you don't like what is served, then don't take it and don't eat it. You act as if Microsoft owes you something.

And afterward? Its like you expected to be treated as royalty?

I remember this: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/pcweek.pdf

Take charge of your life people. You expect Microsoft to coddle you, and when they don't, you complain. Microsoft isn't the real world, and the sooner you wake up and realize this, the better.

I know exactly who I'd cut from the next stack rank in my group.

Now, about the meeting:

Most of the demo's were boring.

The commericals were funny. I didn't understand the Seinfeld/Gates commericals, but good or bad, people were talking about them. Isn't that what the PR was all about in the first place? To get people talking about Microsoft and the commericals?

If you want people to have a more positive opinion of Microsoft, then Microsoft has to put out better products. Stop relying on the massive installed-base for revenue and upgrades. There has to be a reason for customers to upgrade.

For those that were swooning over the company meeting, you drank too much Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

Someone said:

'I also liked the new "windows without walls" campaign where we are indirectly hitting back at Apple. It is awesome.'

Of course, the natural response is, "In a world without walls, who needs Windows?"

You call this "hitting back" at Apple? Looks more like a love-tap to me. It actually adds weight to Apple's argument and makes Microsoft look foolish and out of touch.

Someone else said:

'I liked this ad. It contrasts with Apple's "Only cool people use Macs" with a message of "Everyone and anyone uses PCs."'

Of course, the message is wrong. Not everyone uses PCs. As a matter of fact, the group of folks not using Windows is growing.

Apple's message has nothing to do with cool. It's got to do with actually getting work done. People who want to be productive on the desktop use Macs. People who don't know any better use Windows. That's their message, and people are hearing it loud and clear.

Windows 7 needs to focus like a laser on what consumers want and need, and deliver this time.

Anonymous said...

Is appalled to see Deepak Chopra on the front page of microsoft.com. Who's next? Jerry Falwell?

Anonymous said...

I'm a new employee from outside the US and a ton of us were over for a summit. It was great that we were invited to attend. I've got to tell you that the feedback from a pretty cynical and hardbitten bunch of people was universally positive about SteveB. Maybe once you've seen it a few times the impact wears off, but for us it was very energising and motivating.

Anonymous said...

If I believed Ballmer was serious about retiring when we eclipse Google's search share, I would become a huge Live Search booster. That guy just totally makes me quease.

But having been at this company for as long as I have, I can say with certainty that Ballmer is about as likely to make-good on his smarmy sales pitches as he's likely to fly to the moon.

So I'll keep using Google for now. :)

Anonymous said...

"My question to SteveB is "if we can't control the stock, so we should ignore the stock, then why not buy back at least parts of the stock?"

If Mr. Ballmer is privately telling employees to ignore the flat stock because it doesn't matter, while publicly telling outside shareholders it's a top concern and to be patient, then he is putting himself, the board, and the company at considerable risk for a shareholder lawsuit. Please tell me he wasn't that stupid.

Anonymous said...

"(overpaid) Senior management is going to stop accepting salary/bonuses until the stock price is above $35/share?"

Okay, time to wake up now.

Anonymous said...

"If developers were so important..."

He doesn't mean you. He means third party developers; you know, the people who write the applications that makes Windows worthwhile. You are overhead.

Anonymous said...

There really are a lot of negative borning people who comment here. Why dont you all leave the company? You are the people holding us back :) All you manage to do is sit back and moan.

I came from the field ... they are a much more lively bunch of people who know how to have a great time at an event. The crowd here felt like a morgue.

Sure, i am not happy at the stock price either ... but holy crap some of the stuff people will see from us in teh next year is AWESOME.

Stop being so critial of others and go and do something useful :)

Highlights:
- Win 7 - BOOM BOOM BOOM!
- I'm a PC. Love it!
- Paper planes... lots of fun.
- Pyro!
- Xbox stuff ... nice.
- Live stuff... game changing ... huge.

Overall i would give it a A-.

Anonymous said...

I really liked SteveB's explanation. Our personal wealth is not as much ties to the narrow band of stock price as it used to be. In options world, a dollar drop in stock price could erase 50% of the value. An option with strike price of $24 would lose half its value this week, but a stock would lose less than 10%.

We care about the stock price is because it's a score card. If anybody cares about stock price for the sake of wealth, then he should sell his holdings right away. For the last ten years, Microsoft is in such a dominating position that if we work hard we maintain our score card and if we are lucky we improve it.

To move our stock price significantly, we need to add an additional potential of a Google or Apple. But for it drop or remain stagnant, any tiny company becoming Google or Apple would do. There are many more companies who are trying daily to become Google or Apple with in aggregate much higher commitment, resources, skill, and luck than a single company such as ours.

Anonymous said...

I was doing OK up until the point that KevinT announced our NEW AND IMPROVED vision statement, then my brain turned to mush and ran down all over my North Face jacket and onto the floor. The "magic" of software. Huh?

What really hurts is that I know firsthand how much we paid a consultant to come up with that drivel...and it's way more than most people who hang out in MiniLand get paid in a year.

Anonymous said...

SteveB says the stock price doesn't matter. We're in it for the long term.

Will someone define long term for me? I'm at a decade. Doesn't that count? So far, my long term dedication hasn't amounted to much.

Anonymous said...

I came from the field ... they are a much more lively bunch of people who know how to have a great time at an event. The crowd here felt like a morgue.

Wow, you were really into it!

How many trips to the restroom did you have to make? I mean, you had to have ingested an awful lot of Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

We care about the stock price is because it's a score card. If anybody cares about stock price for the sake of wealth, then he should sell his holdings right away. For the last ten years, Microsoft is in such a dominating position that if we work hard we maintain our score card and if we are lucky we improve it.

:)

Mine get sold as soon as they hit Fidelity.

For those who are truly wealthy, the pursuit of wealth is meaningless and trite. For those who are not wealthy, the former group wanting to look at "the bigger picture" or some other phrasing seems more than absurd, it seems insulting.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, what should SteveB do to raise the stock price?

1) Layoffs. What good is higher share prices if you aren't getting any shares? (Certainly would be nice to see some of you turkeys tossed out on your ear though.)
2) Stock buybacks. Gets a quick spike in the price but one belch of the indexes and it's all gone, kids.
3) Find another area to expand into that has multibillion dollar profits. Given our spotty track record, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
4) Make our products suck less so more people buy them. Not even the bulging brains at LHC have a chance of getting the suck out of problem children like Live and Vista/Win7.

If you people whining about the stock price didn't know this stuff already, you're probably not bright enough to be worth whatever MS pays you.

Anonymous said...

"If anybody cares about stock price for the sake of wealth, then he should sell his holdings right away."

Holy frikkin hell. Why else would someone hold a stock? Here's a suggestion: On Monday, have Ballmer make an announcement that he's given up on increasing the share price. He can explain that it doesn't matter, or it's too difficult because the company is just so gosh darn big, or he's got all these internal mouths to feed and money losing projects to fund. Then let's see how much lower the stock goes, and how much longer he's CEO. And when the new CEO arrives, with a mandate to (imagine if you will) increase the wealth of shareholders, what impact do you think that's going to have on comp levels and headcount? Most employees seem to get the connection. But some of you are living in a dream world where 10 year negative stock returns are sustainable without any consequences from shareholders.

Anonymous said...

The new ad campaign: the problem is that Vista's main competition is not OS X. It is XP and Windows 7.
And what can an ad campaign say against them? Does it say about XP "We made it a crappy piece of software, but with Vista we think we finally got it right"? And against Windows 7 does the ad say "Don't bother to wait for Windows 7 because it won't be any better than Vista?"

Anonymous said...

The new ad campaign: the problem is that Vista's main competition is not OS X. It is XP and Windows 7.

Dude, go back to slashdot and do your trolling there.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the irony:

"I'm a PC" ad campaign is created on a Mac

How about using some of that Expression stuff that we're trying to unload onto unsuspecting customers?

Anonymous said...

"Don't bother to wait for Windows 7 because it won't be any better than Vista?"

I cannot believe you said that. How can ribbon-ed paint *not* be better?

Seriously though, the problem isn't with the teams on the east of 520. My division recently became a billion dollar business(with profits - so sad that this is no longer a given at microsoft) but we ended up having resource cuts across the teams for the current release cycle. OTOH I hear WinMobile & online get blank checks from Steve 'dont-care-about-stock' Ballmer. Go figure...

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Corp VP's and GM's of MSN, Zune and Windows mobile for an outstanding FY08, NOT.

1) MSN Search Market Share = 8.3%
2) Zune Market Share = 2%
3) Win Mobile Market Share = 12%

If I were the CEO I would have sh*tcanned the whole lot of you during the company meeting.

Anonymous said...

Since stock price is beyond our control and should not matter, let's please do away with stock grants and pay employees in cash - FMV. Honestly I can never sell on time, and by the time I get around to selling (because I am taking care of MS business), stock price has gone down and I lose.

To those that take the position - if you don't like it get the f' out I say - this is a cop out on your part. As a 10 year employee I am passionate about MS and can't imagine working anywhere else. I resent however what we have become/are becoming, and am committed to trying as hard as possible to fix it. Don't confuse a strong desire to improve with whining. From what I can see most mini-readers are equally committed to MS and are dying to re-capture the glory days (glory in terms of empowerement, dynamism, innovation, buzz... and if the stock price goes up a modest, what, 5-10% a year, great!)

Anonymous said...

Here's my proposal to make Microsoft a leaner, meaner company:

- RIF all the people who do nothing but post on Mini every time about the same old "oooh I didn't get my 110% bonus! waaaaa! this Microsoft sucks!! my manager sucks!! my GM kisses ***!!!" crap. That would probably get rid of at least 10% of the dead weight of people who complain about MS but refuse to do anything about it (either by trying to fix the problems/bringing it up to their GM/PUM/VP or by leaving)

- Encourage people who are consistenly in the 10% bucket to consider whether their career is really at MS (ease them out). Some of these people may be in the same group as the first group of people.

I think those two things would make MS at least 10-15% smaller.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the new ad campaign is that the problem is not our ads. The problems is we sell crappy products. Apple isn't successful because their ads are effective, their ads are effective because their products are successful - they're well designed. Ours aren't. And all the kool-aid and the rah-rahs in the world won't change that. But we seem incapable of accepting that, so we dismiss criticism as "just the haters" and "Mac fanboys."
As a company, we are delusional.

Anonymous said...

"Can they ever stop using the phrase 'super excited'?"

I think I counted the first "super excited" at 12:10pm. Anyone have an earlier sighting? Yes, I was looking for it and took note. It was kind of a subset of buzzword bingo. I caught a "super" something else a bit earlier, but I don't remember the exact phrase.

It surprised me that it took a while for the "super excited"'s to start coming out.

Anonymous said...

Oh, c'mon. Look at the bright side. The ribbon is now in Paint . . .

Anonymous said...

sheesh there are some idiot armchair executives around here.

Massive buybacks were mentioned in earnings call, using the money earmarked for yahoo.

The new headcount came mostly from acquisitions (at least 10k), again, see earnings call .

More b-people hiring c-people crap. this whole line is tired. gtfo if you don't like where you're at. Or go to the b-group and get your promos on the easy track surrounded by the c's.

Search was the worst presentation. Seeing Satya whistle past the graveyard was very troubling. new leadership is long overdue. Search is going nowhere. sorry but your great advances will not bring users to search. Satya calls the pay per search a great innovation, uh sorry but share is down to 8%. 8%! A new strategy is needed, not more stunts.

WinMo was sharp, call me when I can actually buy one of those phones on T-Mobile.

Xbox was a waste. We who care have seen it already. We who don't care are pissed about how much money you soak up and how special you feel while returning negative on the bottom line. It's a good thing you have hardware peripherals in your division. All you self-important Xboxers should go kiss the ass of the hardware peripherals group at least once a day.

Outlook, holy jeebus, Outlook! Loved it! Look at me ranting for an office productivity app!

oh, and MSS is back to troll further. I thought you divested MSS? Now you really are just trolling. The ads were good, much improved. I don't think we've had such slick ads since Madonna/XP.

Anonymous said...

>"Let's see, what should SteveB do to raise the stock price?"

I love the grunt honesty of you softies. To much CS, too few life experiences.

Anybody who understands Balmer, Gates and the small group of top partners controlling the ropes (Turner, Bach and a few others) would know that the way Balmer (in the imaginary world of Balmer's mind)would probably increase stock price would be to hire a ringer similar to Icahn to shake up the ranks giving him an excuse to clean house, board and all.
The way it would work is that another company or group of companies would try a hostile to shake things up. Only three companies have larger caps than Microsoft in the US--XOM, GE, and WMT (and not by that much). So bringing in a single company to threaten takeover is difficult. But I can see a scheme where a few other companies band together to drive up MS stock enough to allow some partners and participating external execs to cash in big, then shake off the suitors in a pre-planned way. HP, Berkshire and Intel maybe.

Microsoft stock would spike to somewhere around 37, the players would sell, and then back off. Of course this would occur in a world where shrewd manipulation dominates over honest altruism. Hmmm. Anybody know that world?

Anonymous said...

"1) MSN Search Market Share = 8.3%
2) Zune Market Share = 2%
3) Win Mobile Market Share = 12%

If I were the CEO I would have sh*tcanned the whole lot of you during the company meeting."

I second that. Especially 1 & 2.

Anonymous said...

But honestly, the most idiotic thing about this comment section is that it seems to be full of MS employees that are desperately unhappy and I keep asking myself, why don't these people just pack up and simply head to Google or Apple where things are clearly great.

Boggles the mind.

Leave already. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

"On clear message from SteveB: he will retire if Live Search market share exceeds Google.
Search people: please, please work hard on it!!!!
I will start using live search now to help a little."

There's an easier and higher probability way to secure the same result. Simply upload the relevant sections of the company meeting to YouTube, then fire a link to a couple media outlets that cover MS. Any one of the comments reported her (stock price doesn't matter, he doesn't care about it and you shouldn't either, admission that beating Google has become his obsession regardless of business reality or implications, etc) should be sufficient to pressure the board into having him resign. And all of them together, with video confirmation that the board can't deny, should clinch it given the 30% decline in price this year amid concerns over his botched Yahoo bid.

Anonymous said...

New ad compaign: nice to see we're finally responding to Apple!

Some might say that Microsoft has simply been responding to Apple for years and that lack of leadership on the part of Microsoft is one of the problems.

Anonymous said...

Reading Seth Godin's blog today seemed timely given the negative mood here after the annual performance reviews.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/09/what-advertisin.html

What % of our MSFT peers count overcoming organizational resistance as core to their successes?

Wouldn't it be nice to measure instead impact to our customers or progress against a vision?

Anonymous said...

"- Encourage people who are consistenly in the 10% bucket to consider whether their career is really at MS (ease them out). Some of these people may be in the same group as the first group of people."

I'm a a manager and trust me, this is in progress. If someone gets a couple of 10% in a row, they're basically out unless they show an amazing turnaround. Furthermore, ICs who are < senior level that don't show consistent growth (promotion every couple of years) are also on the way out.

Anonymous said...

The first ad left many scratching their head. In a poll of CNET News readers, 54 percent of 1,655 voters said Microsoft should ask the ad firm for a refund. About 25 percent found the ad funny, but agreed that doesn't make Vista any better. And about 21 percent liked the ad and felt it made Microsoft look cool. Did SteveB see it?

Anonymous said...

If you're looking to make a lot of money as a software developer, you have to take some risk and work for a smaller company or start your own.

MSFT Chart

There are thousands of people applying every day to work at Microsoft. You're an employee; one of many.

Anonymous said...

"Microsoft stock would spike to somewhere around 37..."

Heh, some spike. Gee, thirty seven whole points!

Says a lot about how shitty this stock has been for so long that in our wildest fantasies, it "spikes" all the way up to -- gasp! -- 37.

Anonymous said...

...and what the heck is a cookie-licker?

Anonymous said...

I love the new ads. Have to admit I shook my head at first (If you don't have walls, why do you need Windows?) but I'm over the logic blip. "I'm a PC" is FABULOUS!

It's OK that the ad was created on a Mac. People use Macs. Those Mac people probably use Office but I digress...

I see this as a huge opportunity. I hope we don't stumble. It's kind of hard to watch the customer-submitted videos. Can we fix that? How about a way to interact with them? (Let me filter them on attributes, rearrange them, see only the newest...) And where's the stuff ... the chotchkes? I want a tshirt. A bumpersticker. If I offered up my name and mailing address, would you send me a sticker?

Anonymous said...

Anybody happen to jot down our new vision statement? Something about "seamless magic" ...? I didn't get it but I did get that "a lot of hard work" and "a lot of time" and "a lot of something or rather" went into it's creation.

Anonymous said...

I'm a a manager and trust me, this is in progress. If someone gets a couple of 10% in a row, they're basically out unless they show an amazing turnaround. Furthermore, ICs who are < senior level that don't show consistent growth (promotion every couple of years) are also on the way out.

----------

what does that do for the guys who are "not playing the game" or are simply marked by their manager as bad and are not?

WHere is the checks/balances and accountabilty here .. while constructure dismissal is hard to prove, we need to have that accountability for mgmt to ensure they are growing people vs. just log jamming people ..

Anonymous said...

Just a thought about the new ads - if everyone uses a PC, then isn't it special to use a Mac?

Hmm... this message is too easily taken to mean anything people want. It doesn't hit back at Apple, it strengthens Apple's distinctiveness.

The neckbeards love it too - they use PCs, but they don't use Windows!

Anonymous said...

"Xbox was a waste....It's a good thing you have hardware peripherals in your division. All you self-important Xboxers should go kiss the ass of the hardware peripherals group at least once a day."

Um, don't forget... Mac Office group is there too. If that is an obvious "let's see what profitable item we can shoehorn into a group to make them look profitable" move, I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

Here is a sensible but impractical suggestion reg search:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=1144


Reg. the ads:
I hear the argrument that these are aimed at non-techie ppl. But most of the non-techie family/friends still don't get the new ads (including the "I'm a PC" ad).

Seinfeld said...

>"Heh, some spike. Gee, thirty seven whole points!"

Now do you understand what the ads were about? :)

Anonymous said...

"Xbox was a waste....It's a good thing you have hardware peripherals in your division. All you self-important Xboxers should go kiss the ass of the hardware peripherals group at least once a day."

Um, don't forget... Mac Office group is there too. If that is an obvious "let's see what profitable item we can shoehorn into a group to make them look profitable" move, I don't know what is.

--

You mean the groups that have been in the division longer than xbox has existed? Yup. Your right. Those crafty execs put a plan in place 10-15 years ago to put those money making assets into the division where they were going to put xbox (a division that was also profitable this year)..

They tried to be sneaky, but your keen insight has ferreted out their mismanagement and laid it bare for the world to see.

--

the amazing thing about this thread -- the lack of any support or camradarie by you guys for your fellow employees. "X sucks, they aren't smart like us Y guys.."

Maybe if we want to fix the Microsoft culture we could start with that. Failing that, I agree with the commentor above -- why are you making yourself miserable if you are so negative on everything in the company?

Don't go to the meeting, don't stay at the company. Life is to short. Find somewhere where you will be happy.

I'm going to go back and root for WM, use live search, be a PC, and play my xbox now. Not because I'm blind to our flaws, but because I intend to pull for our company.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens if you invest heavily in marketing instead of product development and create a political superstar culture that fails to let the people who actually do the work that would benefit the customer share the rewards.

Ouch.

Worst part: there is no quickfix.

Anonymous said...

"1) MSN Search Market Share = 8.3%"

I doubt if the share is actually this much. I have a blog in msdn that has had about 200K hits so far. Out of the 200K i haven't seen more than 2 or 3(yes, 'two' or 'three') referral hits from MSN\LIVE in the referrer logs. I wonder if that's the case with other mini readers with msdn blogs too...

Anonymous said...

Okay Who da'Punk, this is a different format. Now what did you think of the meeting?

Anonymous said...

Come'on Mini. I am waiting to hear your opinion of the "Kool-Aid-fest".

Anonymous said...

>> your keen insight has ferreted out their
>> mismanagement and laid it bare for the world to see

It's not a mismanagement per se, but pray tell, what the heck is Mac Office doing in the entertainment division? The only reason it's there is to prop things up so that the division as a whole doesn't look too bad to the investors and shareholders.

Anonymous said...

""1) MSN Search Market Share = 8.3%"

I doubt if the share is actually this much. I have a blog in msdn that has had about 200K hits so far. Out of the 200K i haven't seen more than 2 or 3(yes, 'two' or 'three') referral hits from MSN\LIVE in the referrer logs. I wonder if that's the case with other mini readers with msdn blogs too..."


Oh c'mon now -- surely you know that your sample has a really, really low relevance for extrapolation: the people doing MSDN searches are definitely not the people using Live search... Devs use Google because they're smart. :)

Your sample has habits and preferences for how they find information that bear no resemblance to the random joe on the street.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go back and root for WM, use live search, be a PC, and play my xbox now. Not because I'm blind to our flaws, but because I intend to pull for our company.

"Pulling for our company" at this moment in history means being its harshest critic and, after 10 years of denial and outright lies and misrepresentations, FIXING WHAT'S WRONG. The company does not need you to use our shit just because we make it -- we need you to do whatever it takes to make it better.

Anonymous said...

ICs who are < senior level that don't show consistent growth

What is the definition of "senior level"?

Anyhow, I think this has already been the policy for years now. You can see the improvement it has made in the company. A bunch of big throbbing brains passionately using seamless magic to delight the customers and help them realize their potential. Where do you want to go today?

Anonymous said...

"Or go to the b-group and get your promos on the easy track surrounded by the c's."

This only works if the b-group knows A work when they see it, and if promos are handed out based on merit.

These would be incorrect (and career-damaging) assumptions in my group. Some of the c's are being lauded as 20%ers for being c+'s, after having spent the prior year as d-'s. This includes PMs who can't write specs in English to save their lives (we're in Redmond, not China, not India). And also apparently-brainless devs who are so afraid of asking a dev on another team the wrong question and looking as dumb as they are in actuality, that they insist that another dev waste his own time to read over and approve that person's email before they send it.

Me, I'm a consistent performer. Most softies will probably work 6-7 years to earn the bonuses and stock awards I earned in my first 2 years at the company. Ready for a new challenge, I took on the challenge of improving the results of another team, and got welcome-to-the-team 10%ed. Because, you know, in those kinds of groups, you take turns getting the good and bad scores. It's not based on merit.

The problem with my current c-group: these people don't want to be improved. They like things the way they are, because it's their comfort zone. And b-group management has never seen better performance out of their team as a whole, so they don't know what they're even missing!

Anonymous said...

>> Me, I'm a consistent performer. Most
>> softies will probably work 6-7 years
>> to earn the bonuses and stock awards
>> I earned in my first 2 years at the company.
>> Ready for a new challenge, I took on the
>> challenge of improving the results
>> of another team, and got welcome-to-
>> the-team 10%ed

I think you may have inflated sense of self-worth. I have changed teams four times in my Microsoft career. Not once was I "10%'ted" or "3.0'd". In fact, statistically speaking I did better in new teams because I was less bored.

Anonymous said...

> oh, and MSS is back to troll further. I thought you divested MSS? Now you really are just trolling. The ads were good, much improved. I don't think we've had such slick ads since Madonna/XP.

Wow. Somebody sounds rather bitter.

For the record: I'm not divested, because I was never invested. I'm not an employee (which I have never made a secret). I'm also not a troll (but, hey, all the trolls say that). I come here because... well, let's just say that there are some interesting similarities with where I work.

So, back to the anonymous bitter guy's point (he did have one, amid all the vitriol). I haven't seen the adds. All I saw was the post I was replying to, which the bitter guy seems to ignore. The post I was repying to said that the new adds at least didn't make MS look stupid. I commented that that was a pretty low standard, and an indicator that Microsoft's marketing, which once was legendary, had fallen a long way.

Now: How, exactly, is that a troll? (Note that the bitter guy completely ignores the point of what I said, and just throws the "troll" label around.)

He thinks the adds are good. He may be right; as I said, I haven't seen them. But if he's right, why is he so defensive?

MSS

Anonymous said...

>"Create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of Internet services across a world of devices."

Oh dear. It sounds more like a vision statement for an internet porn site combined with an escort service that specializes in adult novelties. And I guess along those lines, the new Microsoft theme song, would be 'good vibrations'.

Anonymous said...

Just like what is going on with GFS? SteveB should take a closer look at that org. Many incomptetent senior leaders(GMs), maybe it's time for change, fresh leaders with ideas.

Anonymous said...

A cookie licker is someone who doesn't want you to have something but doesn't actually want it, either. So he licks the cookie and puts it back in the jar.

Anonymous said...

How does the math works? Why does Microsoft needs debt of $6B to make $40B buyback over 5 years? If debt is necessary, then why not do the buyback of $34B? If debt is cheaper than equity, then why not take even more debt?

All this smells like that the debt is a contingency plan. Yahoo acquisition is out of question, unless Yahoo comes with praying hand and offer itself at reasonable premium. This $6B debt like a contingency plan if Yahoo like to lease its search business to Microsoft (which is a likely scenario if its partnership with Google is blocked).

Given Yahoo's shrinking search share, $6B is perhaps the price of leasing Yahoo search (microsoft earlier offered $8B). Leasing Yahoo search is perhaps smarter than acquiring acquantive and a lot smarter than acquiring Yahoo itself.

q: in such a scenrio, do yahoo search employees becomes msft employees?

Anonymous said...

"WHere is the checks/balances and accountabilty here"

Are you under the impression MS is a democracy? The checks and balances is that you go somewhere else, be a superstar, and thumb your nose at your former boss.

Anonymous said...

the amazing thing about this thread -- the lack of any support or camradarie by you guys for your fellow employees. "X sucks, they aren't smart like us Y guys.."

Original Poster here. I am not an X guy or a Y guy in this case. I bring up the Hardware peripherals group and someone else brought up the Office Mac group (good pointing them out as well) because they do kick ass, and they do deserve a lot of rock star attention. But that attention is going to Xbox in the division.

I'm not saying Xbox is so stupid or that they should be cut or that I hate them. I think they should own up to the success of their peers instead of telling everyone how great they are while deriding the rest of Microsoft. (I do offer them hearty congrats on the news Robbie shared at the meeting.)

The environment on this board is pretty acerbic, so I can understand you assumed a certain tone to my comments. Now I'm off to play some Xbox myself.

Anonymous said...

> What is the definition of "senior level"?

If you work at MSFT and can't figure out what that is, don't worry about it, as you'll never reach it.

Anonymous said...

WinMo 7 is pushed to second half of 2009.

So there's quite a gap between a fake demo and a real product. Guys, just throw in the towel already. Between Apple, Google and RIM, this game will be over by the end of 2009.

Anonymous said...

If you work at MSFT and can't figure out what that is, don't worry about it, as you'll never reach it.

Oooooh, you must be a very important senior member. You surely are contributing to the success of the company. [roll eyes]

Anonymous said...

Today's Headlines:

Apple, 5 million iPhone 3Gs sold
Google, Android ships

MS, Window Mobile 7 delayed to 2nd half next year

We suck.

Anonymous said...

>Between Apple, Google and RIM, this game will be over by the end of 2009.

Haw. That's what Palm thought.

Anonymous said...

Right, MS should be worried about a Google Phone that even a former Google PM thinks is garbage

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/24/ex-google-mobile-product-manager-criticizes-android/

I swear people on minimsft will find ANY reason to kiss Schmidts and/or Jobs ass.

Anonymous said...

I noted the news on the windows 7 front regarding standard windows app bundling:

(http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/09/23/win.7.to.drop.apps/)

Just an interesting observation from an outsider here: the decision to remove mail and media tools from windows 7 in lieu of quicker delivery may backfire.

While it may or may not speed things up, if this turns out to be a leveraging attempt by Microsoft to force people into the Windows Live arenas, you are looking at further years and years of more antitrust actions.

Why? Because nobody wants to use windows live, and a decision to drive people to do so using your operating systems will do two things: it will piss people off and it will drive customers away. Not to mention re-ignite the ire of the nation's state's attorney generals.

When will Microsoft realize that an operating system is not a leveraging tool to force people to use their other products? The more you do that the more you drive customers into the ABM category.

Anonymous said...

>> I swear people on minimsft will find
>> ANY reason to kiss Schmidts and/or Jobs ass

Notice that he poops all over the _phone_ not the software. Software is solid. You can download it and try it out. Only then will you realize how far behind WinMo really is in its present form.

Anonymous said...

I swear people on minimsft will find ANY reason to kiss Schmidts and/or Jobs ass.

Compare the products side by side, objectively. Physically use an iPhone and then physically use a phone running WinMobile, for, say, a month each. Draw your conclusions.

You don't like the results? Fine. Look at market share. Apple upgraded their phone -- hardware and software -- and, since then, have sold five million iPhones.

You don't like those results either? Then I guess you have no option but to assert that the problem is with the people posting here (who "will find ANY reason" to "kiss" Jobs' "ass").

I mean, give me a break. User satisfaction, Apple wins. Intrinsic value of the product, Apple wins (unless you're going to trumpet some obscure feature that the iPhone doesn't have and doesn't need.) But, beyond that, numerically they win. The sales figures aren't an opinion. They're real.

Do you really think five million people (plus everyone who bought the first iPhone) are spending all that money because they're looking for a way to "kiss Jobs' ass"? Ditto all the people with iPods rather than Zunes, or using Google rather than Windows Live Search or whatever it is?

If you're going to ignore the obvious qualitative differences in the technology, fine; that's your prerogative. (It's not a very smart thing to do, but fine.) But when the consumers speak, when the market speaks, you have to be willfully blind to disregard it.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you that *not* bundling an application into Windows is not leveraging Windows.

I'm trying to keep cool and not just spout off every expletive in every language that I've ever heard. That's an exciting new record for ridculous stretches in complaining about anti-trust. Somehow Microsoft is leveraging a monopoly by...not using the monopoly in any way, whatsoever. It's a conclusion that cannot be reached: you must start from it and then attempt to twist facts to evidence.

Lazlo Nibble said...

The ex-Google PM in question is talking about what the G1 looks like. He doesn't call it "garbage" -- he says the design is "ugly and old-fashioned" but likes the hardware platform and the OS.

Keep ragin', dude.

skc said...

>>it will piss people off and it will drive customers away. Not to mention re-ignite the ire of the nation's state's attorney generals.<<

Yes. To prevent anti-trust concerns what they really should be doing instead is bundling these apps with windows....oh...wait.

Anonymous said...

Regarding all the stock price bitching...

Just wondering what all the brainiacs on this blog think we (Ballmer) should do to bump up the stock price?

Have strong revenue and profit growth every year? Check.

What else? Invest less in R&D and other future bets? Invest more? What will win the perception battle?

Forget about complaining about past mistakes real or imagined and what do we do now?

Anonymous said...

>>>Right, MS should be worried about a Google Phone that even a former Google PM thinks is garbage

No, MS should be worried that the google phone that even an ex google PM thinks is garbage is getting better reviews than its own 6th generation OS.

I think Vista showed us that perception can be a real and difficult problem to solve. (No, I am not suggesting WinMo's problems are that of perception...)

Note that, that 2nd half of 2009 availability is for partners. It'll probably be another 3-6 months from that time before you one can actually buy a WinMo7 phone...

Anonymous said...

To the poster about GFS
>> "Just like what is going on with
>> GFS? SteveB should take a closer
>> look at that org. Many
>> incomptetent senior
>> leaders(GMs), maybe it's time
>> for change, fresh leaders with
>> ideas."

Are you in GFS? What level are you? What do you do? What is the basis of your opinion?

I agree with your opinion and want to understand your basis for it.

Also, more importantly, what specific steps do you propose to make it better? Which leaders would you add/remove? What else would you change? Post insidems if that is a better forum.

Anonymous said...

>> what we (Ballmer) should do to bump up the stock price

1. Do a big-ass reorg. Fire 20% of middle management. Mandate that managers have no less than 8-10 reports each.
2. Disband Live Search. 8.3% of the market is embarrassing.
3. Spin off Xbox.
4. Stop the "fingers in all pies" strategy, pick two or three "pies" and take them.
5. Announce some sort of meaningful open source strategy. This is not necessarily about releasing open source software, but about offering software and services for FOSS platforms. Allow (and require) server and platform groups to port their software to Linux - there's a bunch of free money there.
6. Start a mobile OS effort parallel to WinMo. That ship has sailed, it's time for something that will kick ass. Put three dozen right people on it, give them a blank check, and in two years you will have a kick-ass OS.

How's that for a start? The first step to fixing the issues is admitting you have them. The second step is to put together a plan and demonstrate some vision and leadership.

Anonymous said...

you'd think for all the money spent on useless marketing guys, we'd come up with better commercials that pizza hut

i have news for you, mojave is not french and pizza hut developed this operating system!

Anonymous said...

Compare the products side by side, objectively. Physically use an iPhone and then physically use a phone running WinMobile, for, say, a month each. Draw your conclusions.

What a load of baloney. My wife has an iPhone, I have a Pantech Duo running WinMo. Hands down I prefer mine. Oh, she's fine with the iPhone--except she seldom uses it as anything other than a phone. Typing on it is a PITA, Safari crashes constantly, Internet is flaky, the camera sucks, the interface is often kludgy where you expect it to "just work", and she has to keep it in a plastic condom lest its visual purity become marred.

Me, I can't be separated from my Duo. The only major criticisms I have of it is keypress lags (a function of device CPU more than anything) and Mobile IE sucks (I replaced it with Opera).

There is a lot of room for improvement, but I wouldn't trade it for an iPhone, period. I am tired of the mindless iPhone hype when it's really a limited and from an ergonomic perspective a rather poorly designed device.

Kenny said...

YHOO was $18+ this morning. Was around $30 in the midst of MS buy over. Exactly where they were the last week of Jan 2008.

Given 1-2 more quarters - thanks to the global slowdown. Ads dollars going to suck and I'm expecting YHOO to drop 30-50% more.

If everything goes to my prediction YHOO will be trading at $10-13 range next February.

Anonymous said...

>>The ex-Google PM in question is talking about what the G1 looks like. He doesn't call it "garbage" -- he says the design is "ugly and old-fashioned" but likes the hardware platform and the OS.

Keep ragin', dude.<<

More ass kissing eh? What does the hardware have to do with his comments about adding contacts?

Anonymous said...

>>No, MS should be worried that the google phone that even an ex google PM thinks is garbage is getting better reviews than its own 6th generation OS<<

To which I say bullshit. There are plenty of WinMob 6 and 6.1 phones with great reviews. Is Android a better mobile OS? Yes, of course it is. WinMob is pretty dated and needs a refresh to keep up with the times. But to be more or less on track to ship 20 million units this year, there seem to be a healthy numbner of people that seem to be buying them by choice.

So I repeat, stop kissing Googles ass.

I will concede that they need to get WinMob 7 out there pretty quickly though or people like me will switch to either an Android powered phone or even an iPhone when our current contracts expire.

Anonymous said...

I've got an idea: forget Live email on the phone and instead install Outlook Mobile and require users to use Exchange. Happy?

Anonymous said...

OK you 'softies...looks like I'm happy to report that my waiting period to not poach my former 'softie colleagues is over. And it appears that things have not improved in any great way, even stock buy backs in this wacky economy are marginal fixes at best. So...I'm hiring. Established company that makes lots of money and not directly tied to the economic woes. I have 7 people to hire, developers, consultants, project managers. And my company has even more openings, east coast, west coast and EMEA. You want out...prove it...let's see how smart you are about getting in touch with me. Leave a dummy email that you set up just for this purpose, I'll contact you and we can proceed. Or come up with something else. Jobs will also be posted on LinkedIn...look in the "former MSFT employees" group(s). Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of the mindless iPhone hype when it's really a limited and from an ergonomic perspective a rather poorly designed device.

You're responding to my comment. All right, I concede that the results of your side-by-side test are different from mine (which was "a load of baloney"). I refer you to my second point, viz. numbers don't lie.

So the iPhone is bad, because your wife doesn't like it. Great; a sample group of one (and you admit she doesn't even bother to use the features beyond the phone). The keyboard is a PITA.

But guess what? I have my own "sample group" -- myself -- who uses all the features of the phone and enjoys typing on the keyboard. And I'm just as many people as your wife (that is, 1 person).

In related news, I just flipped a coin ten times and got eight heads. I guess the laws of probability need to be adjusted!

Your response exactly embodies my earlier-stated critique of anti-iPhone critics who are allergic to statistical data. Five million people. Customer satisfaction at 94%. And in the other corner, dealing the smackdown of all statistical smackdowns...your wife. I guess all those people are wrong.

You're long overdue for a Coopernican Revolution.

Anonymous said...

What should Ballmer do to help the stock price? I don't have a great answer (other than agreeing with the conventional observation that his mouth has tanked the stock more than once, so Ballmer might try not talking), but I do have some comments on other people's suggestions.

The "concentrate on two or three pies" idea: I think this is a great idea, but I don't think it will help the stock price. It will get rid of a lot of extraneous headcount and a lot of money pits, but it will also remove any pretensions of being a growth stock. The market will respond by pricing the stock at a lower P/E ratio. (In fairness, this has been going on for some time, so the result would not necessarily be worse, and the loss of the money pits would help.)

Selling stuff on Linux: This could completely freak out the open source world. See, there are two camps out there - the "free software" people (the zealots), and the "open source" people (the pragmatists). The "free software" camp believes in the freedom to read and modify the software as a human right. The pragmatists view "open source" as a methodology that produces some pretty good software that they are happy to use and contribute to.

One camp regards Microsoft software running on Linux as an abomination; the other regards it as a useful increase in the capabilities of the platform. This lets Microsoft divide the opposition, and find a new market at the same time. Not bad... but, at least at the beginning, probably not a high-volume market. It could become one in time, though.

MSS

Anonymous said...

On downloading some apps rather than shipping them on the disk:

First, let the OS be the OS. Movie editing software is not part of the OS, all right? It's just not.

On the other hand, neither is Notepad. Is it a problem that Notepad ships with the OS? No. (It would be a problem if Notepad was integrated with the OS - it would indicate that the software architects should be taken out and shot - but just shipping as part of the install doesn't cause many people any heartburn.)

A basic movie editor as a downloadable freebie? Fine. Shipping on the hard drive of a system? Probably also fine.

One good enough that it ruins the commercial market for movie editors? That's probably an anti-trust concern if it ships on the disk. As a free download? I'm not an anti-trust lawyer. But the Notepad analogy is useful here. It wasn't Notepad that killed WordPerfect, it was Word. If you've got a video editor that good, sell it, don't download it for free.

MSS

Anonymous said...

"How's that for a start?"

Not bad, but fire Ballmer first.

Anonymous said...

"WinMo 7 is pushed to second half of 2009"

This is an example of why despite $115 billion in buybacks and dividends over the past 5 years, and short term rallies aside, this stock continues its long term downtrend. Search is lost to Google. Portable media is lost to Apple. Gaming is being lost to Nintendo. And in mobile, increasingly the first "PC" for many users worldwide, MS has been blindsided first by Apple, and now by Google. Despite that, and with a virtual blank check, the WinMo team still manages to completely blow their ship date.

Getting blindsided by a competitor is never excusable, but if MS demonstrated an ability to respond quickly and with a superior offering, then it could be forgiven. But invariably the product is both late and not compelling. How many times can the company survive these mistakes? I don't know the answer. But investors are watching and transferring the future profits they thought might accrue to MS, to better executing competitors instead. It's about expectations. And with each one of these embarrassing failures, perception of MS drops another notch.

Anonymous said...

>"I think Vista showed us that perception can be a real and difficult problem to solve."

Perception? Are you in some kind of dream world or am I just supposed to bend over and accept the baloney claim that Vista is great?

Just another example of how softies are living in an alternate universe where (they think that if a 130 million dollar ad campaign says so) everybody loves them. Oh if it were only true Steve.

Get it through your thick self reifying reality heads that Vista was a disaster of biblical proportions as software goes. Any other alteration of actual history is pure delusion on your parts. Just because you make a lot of money on a monopolistic product does not mean the product is any good--in fact that is why monopolies are illegal--they foster disease in the quality of goods purchased. Same goes with tricking people into using Microsoft products.

The truth is your competition is incompetent to make Linux and Google products more desirable. So luck is on your side. But keep up this process of leveraging your advantage with deception and all will be lost.

Just as IE tries to continue the efforts originally slammed by the original DOJ suit (forcing users to use only IE and Microsoft products) will fail, so will your efforts to convince the world that Vista is great stuff, that ancient Xbox hardware has value, that surface technology has is cool, or that IE linked only to Live is a good idea.

Forced leveraging your products to convince people to use them is just plain dishonest and it will bite you in the ass in the end.

Anonymous said...

>"I'm pretty sure you that *not* bundling an application into Windows is not leveraging Windows."

No, eliminating the old standby Outlook Express and Media products (that nobody uses, by the way) and substituting only a bundled option of using Live products IS a process of leveraging. Any way you cut it, it is the same lame process of tying the use of an operating system with the use of lame products no one wants.

It is just a way of disguising Microsoft live products from what they will be on windows 7: crapware.

Microsoft would do well to make products people actually want, work on selling those to the public's sense of what is good or not. If they fail, they are not any good, and if they succeed in becoming a cultural icon of standardization, then Microsoft did it right. But trying to force intelligent people into using something they do not want to be forced into using will not work.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of the mindless iPhone hype when it's really a limited and from an ergonomic perspective a rather poorly designed device.

You're right! It's some hype that in just one quarter you got 5 million bootprints on your ass. And more is coming your way.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/iphone/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210603717

Anonymous said...

>"2. Disband Live Search. 8.3% of the market is embarrassing."

While I am the no. 1 critic of the lame live business and search, supporter of No-Microhoo, etc., to say that 8.3% of market share is embarassing is a pretty dumb statement when one considers the size of the market.

Anonymous said...

>> to say that 8.3% of market share is
>> embarassing is a pretty dumb statement

Trajectory is not good. It was 11.2% last year. It will be less than 8.3% next year.

Anonymous said...

>"I think Vista showed us that perception can be a real and difficult problem to solve."

Perception? Are you in some kind of dream world or am I just supposed to bend over and accept the baloney claim that Vista is great
...

OP here. I didn't say perception is the *only* problem with Vista.

For the record, I don't think Vista sucks, just that it doesn't give you enough reason to spend $300 and upgrade from XP.

Anonymous said...

"No, eliminating the old standby Outlook Express and Media products (that nobody uses, by the way) and substituting only a bundled option of using Live products IS a process of leveraging. Any way you cut it, it is the same lame process of tying the use of an operating system with the use of lame products no one wants."

No, it's still a ridiculous argument. *Especially* if nobody uses it.

If Microsoft doesn't give it to you with the OS, then it's not tied to the OS. If IE didn't come with Windows, that's not leveraging Windows to push IE. If Outlook Express doesn't come with Windows, that's not pushing Live. It's just ridiculous. It's ridiculous.

If you have to download your choice, then you have a choice, even if Microsoft provides a choice.

We seem to have established that:

1. Adding anything to Windows is leveraging.
2. Not changing anything in Windows is leveraging.
3. Removing anything from Windows that has an MS-provided alternative is leveraging.

It's amazing. The only possible action that is not leveraging is slowly removing things from Windows which have no MS-provided alternatives (eventually we'd have to remove MS-provided alternatives). This must continue until Windows gets so unbelievably shitty that the marketshare collapses.

Anonymous said...

I think the Windows Live apps should be part of the Win 7 install. Live apps are all better than the equivalent in Vista and XP with the exception of the Live Movie Maker app that is in public beta.

Apple ships their OS with email and media apps, there is no reason we can't too.

I should be careful about the 'we' though since I'm in the field and hoping to move to another company. Can't take the management bs anymore.

Anonymous said...

>"It's amazing."

Whatever.

Hey, if Microsoft is going to ship 7 with no crapware, no bundled apps, no automatic sign ups for Windows Live, no requirements to go online to use the OS, then hey, I'm with you. The ultimate invisible OS that I never have to worry about. That is what I want.

Uh, but wait, . . . the temptation to add all your other little division products, games, Live Services, On Line at Microsoft to do anything, automatic data mining of the OS purchaser, on and on and on--that temptation by your managers will be too much to resist.

Anonymous said...

So the iPhone is bad, because your wife doesn't like it. Great; a sample group of one (and you admit she doesn't even bother to use the features beyond the phone).

LOL. Reading comprehension: perhaps not quite 100%. I said she liked the phone but never used any of its other features (which by the way generally suck--you forgot to rebut any of my specific callouts). I'm suggesting many people who LURVE the iPhone don't even try to use it to do much, making them easy to impress style conscious consumers--fine, that's Apple's core market, but it's not Microsoft's. In case you were wondering.

In related news, I just flipped a coin ten times and got eight heads. I guess the laws of probability need to be adjusted!

Calm down, son, tell em why you mad!

Your response exactly embodies my earlier-stated critique of anti-iPhone critics who are allergic to statistical data. Five million people. Customer satisfaction at 94%. And in the other corner, dealing the smackdown of all statistical smackdowns...your wife. I guess all those people are wrong.

Again, reading comprehension not what it could be. Go back and read my comment. I'm the one saying my Pantech Duo beats my wife's crappy iPhone feature for feature. Focus. Deep breaths. I know it drives you into an emotional panic to hear your sweet, sweet consumer gadget criticized, but you must learn to cope.

And by the way, I kind of doubt that I'm the only person with a WinMo phone. Speaking of statistically ignorant, perhaps you've heard of this number: 20 million. What's that? Oh, just the number of WinMo phones sold. Well, heh, I may not know much about numbers, but I do know that 20 mil > 5 mil.

Could it be that the iPhone received a huge boost from the uncritical hype and pro-Apple bias in the media? Could it say something that Jobs had to slash prices just a couple of months after it debuted because sales figures were not what they had hoped?

Now, if you do reply, remember: DON'T POST MAD. It never works out.

You're long overdue for a Coopernican Revolution.

You're long overdue for an enema, dude.

Anonymous said...

">I think the Windows Live apps should be part of the Win 7 install. Live apps are all better than the equivalent in Vista and XP . . ."

There's more of that idiotic mental state of thinking the whole world has broadband, wants to use MS live products instead of google's or yahoo's or anybody else's.

You are trying to force your customers to continue your monopoly online by using your operating system to leverage it.

Ah yes, the sweet smell of government antitrust suits!

Anonymous said...

"Well, heh, I may not know much about numbers, but I do know that 20 mil > 5 mil."

You are missing the point. 20 mil is our *projected* annual sales number and we missed it by a couple of million *after* tom-tomming it to the whole world. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/372906_msftmobile31.html

(This article was pre-iPhone 3G (pre Exchange support), pre-Android. Now sit back and enjoy as our market share erodes handsomely).

Apple has one device (2 SKUs) and they manage to push 5 mil units within a quarter and are all set for 10 mil units this year.

Our arrogance and inability to see things objectively is going to cost us dearly one day.

Anonymous said...

Re : Live apps instead of in-the-box apps

Forget Anti-trust. This move is plain stupid.

This unnecessarily opens up a window for Google in the desktop space. Google is going to pay big bucks to the EOMs and get their stuff like picassa(which is 1000x better than Image Crapware from MS for the average joe), g desktop search, gtalk (maybe gexplorer)etc. It won't make sense for microsoft to segregate the apps *AND* pay OEMs separately include them in a new PC.

I think this is going to boomerang on us very badly.

Anonymous said...

"How's that for a start?"

Horrible ... you want to make sure Microsoft doesn't have a future. It might be good for the stock short-term but in the long-term it would kill Microsoft. Once a company stops expanding it dies.

Anonymous said...

> Apple has one device (2 SKUs) and they manage to push 5 mil units within a quarter and are all set for 10 mil units this year.

We have to quit trying to reason with this moron. There's an old saying: Dont argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

It is only a matter of time. The market will deliver the a loud and clear verdict to this clown.

Anonymous said...

And this is us making idiots of ourselves before media:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10787_3-9961322-60.html

That seattlepi article was post iPhone 3G so you can always speculate that the effects of the iPhone launch on our numbers were almost immediate ;-).

That aside, remember that we have multiple vendors making devices for us in all sorts of form factors and Apple manages to deliver their numbers with a single device.

Also think a little about the revenue/"yield" per device. I'd love to be corrected, but my understanding is that once we license our OS to the OEMs, we don't get anything. There may be a small royalty though (and I am not sure here). Apple on the other hand, makes money from the device, from the cell providers and from App store. This is pure speculation on my part: Those 5 million handsets might just be close to the revenue our 20 million handsets gave..

Anonymous said...

We have to quit trying to reason with this moron. There's an old saying: Dont argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Productive and insightful? Or defeated bitching. You be the judge.

Of course neither of you extremely smart and insightful commenters managed to lay a glove on my case that the iPhone is inferior to a whole lot of WinMo phones out there, in all but hype and marketing. Instead you thought numbers (as in burgers sold) told the quality story. Why you did so in light of the fact that WinMo is on far more phones than the castrate version of OS X is a mystery, but you went there so it's a little late to gripe that the numbers aren't fair. Until there are more iPhones than WinMo devices out there, we'll let the numbers speak loud and clear. ;-)

And, yes, you should abandon argument and rational discussion when you are out of your depth, and resort to namecalling and e-rage. Speaks volumes about you, really.

Anonymous said...

"WHere is the checks/balances and accountabilty here"

Are you under the impression MS is a democracy? The checks and balances is that you go somewhere else, be a superstar, and thumb your nose at your former boss.


Yep. Been there, done that. Three times now. Living well is the best revenge. :)

Anonymous said...

Yep. Been there, done that. Three times now. Living well is the best revenge. :)

Amen. It makes no sense whatsoever burning midnight oil and pushing stuff out the door in exchange for some extra pocket change. FY08 was fun and some team initiatives took a bad beating.

The best part is it did not make a difference to me, did nearly as well as the year before. Time for an encore in FY09.

Anonymous said...

From the market wire today:

"Shares of Nasdaq component Apple (AAPL 106.81, -21.42) drop 17%. A Morgan Stanley analyst cut her earnings estimate on Apple by 35% to $115 per share, which is 10% below the company's previous closing price, according to Bloomberg.com. The analyst also downgraded the stock to Equalweight from Overweight, citing slowing iPhone and Mac orders. Apple was also downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC, noting that Apple is not recession proof."

Guys, they sold 5 million that's all we need to know!

Anonymous said...

>> Guys, they sold 5 million that's all
>> we need to know

Dude, it's not like anal-ysts know the situation any better than regular people. They've been wrong before. For all you know, they may be setting up their buddies in hedge funds for a nice buying opportunity.

The issue of reduced orders is also easy to explain. There's an Apple event in the middle of October, so new products will be announced. Most likely a significant refresh of MacBook and MacBook pro, but there's a rumor of another, unexpected product code named "The Brick". Personally, I'm hoping for either a media center done right (say, for $700-800) or a desktop Mac model between mini and Mac Pro, at $1K price point. So of course they're ramping the orders of existing SKUs down.

Anonymous said...

These very analysts also say:

Still, the analyst expects the company to report sales of 14 million iPhones in 2008, 24 million in 2009, and see its shares of the PC market rise to 4.1 percent by the end of 2009.

Take your pick.

Btw, MSFT is again trading at 25.01 - despite the proposed 40 billion buyout (or did they start already?). The tide is low, all ships are going to go down.

Anonymous said...

Ah, analysts.

If Warren Buffet says something, I pay attention.

I Joe Analyst says something, I wonder at his success before I can listen attentively.

Any analyst worth his or her salt is a multi-multi-millionaire. Any analyst who's not massively wealthy is clearly someone who doesn't follow their own advice, or their advice is garbage.

I don't apply that to many professions, but when someone's entire job is to tell you why a company will succeed or fail (and therefore how to make money from them) it's hard to take a less-than-fabulously-wealthy analyst seriously.

Steve Ballmer said...

You have mischaracterized my comments!

Anonymous said...

'stock price doesn't matter? Huh?'

I am not suprised a bit. Do you expect anything different justification from the underperformed & overpaid execs?

Anonymous said...

"So...I'm hiring. Established company that makes lots of money and not directly tied to the economic woes."

Are you doing intergalactic business? I heard economy is booming in Andromeda.

Anonymous said...

What's up with TonySco's org? Everybody under him is a Principal Architect or Senior Principal (whatever that means) Architect. What does this group do?