Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Windows 7 and a Grab Bag of Microsoftness Before FY10Q1 Results

October 22nd 2009. Windows 7. The circle is now complete.

What is Windows 7? There's a lot that Windows 7 is (oh, it's faster, it has an improved task bar, peeking, snapping, homegroupin', stable drivers and some pretty freaky desktop pictures) but the big thing that it isn't is that Windows 7 is not Vista. It didn't suffer Vista's raging dysfunctional mismanagement and broken windows. It didn't require a reset. Sure, it wasn't perfect and there's a lot of improvements yet to be made in focus and team productivity, but the Windows team delivered. So toot that damn horn, because this here train is arriving on time.

With FY10Q1 announcements coming this week and along with Windows 7, I hope we have a lot of good things to talk about with the analysts. Google and Apple and Yahoo! certainly did. Usually we release our quarterly earnings on the appropriate Thursday afternoon, after closing. It is unfortunately disturbing that we've decided to release our FY10Q1 earning results instead on this Friday morning before trading. I say disturbing only because the last time we did this, a whole bunch of Microsofties were pulled into a layoff. Now... hopefully this earnings report is delayed so that we can have this Thursday the 22nd be all about Windows 7 and not our financials. And I can not imagine that we (and by "we" I mean the Microsoft Senior Leadership Team) would be so dumb as to release our flagship product on a Thursday and turn around and fire a bunch of people the next day.

So, anyway, what's in the mix as the financials come up this week?

Windows 7: check. Thank goodness for SteveSi. I certainly hope he gets paid a lot more than Robbie Bach this year.

Within the Windows 7 reviews, there's going to be a point-of-view that the operating system is dead, which is, ah, kinda dumb. Your web browser isn't going to bootstrap that Intel CPU on its own. What might be dead is rich applications, which is a fair argument and Microsoft is failing to provide much in the way of new rich applications. In fact, we are cutting them one by one (Money, Encarta... Streets, you best watch your back). Sure, there's a transformation to online replicated services and all, but we really need to convince our consumers that there is a strong worth in having a Windows 7 on your laptop so that it's not a fancy glowy brick when the internet is down.

Kindle? Wouldn't it be sweet if we had a nice ebook reader application? We could call it... mmm, Reader?

Windows Live is supposed to help with building value via rich applications. Live has been broken out of Windows to free it from the consent decree and all ('cept for sneaking a Win7 component out early, wink-wink). Messenger, Mail, Photos, Movies, and an awkward online service. And Live Writer (though rumored a dead-man walking per comments).

It's a fair start, and if I had my druthers OneNote would move out of Office and into Windows Live to be the essential authoring companion to the Windows experience. Windows Live Essentials is a good start, but to add some joy into owning a Windows machine, what we need just as urgently is Windows Live Non-Essentials.

Joy. There's a concept just asking for a planning pillar. How strangely would your coworkers look at you during spec reviews if you asked how joyful the feature happened to be?

Windows 8: speaking of planning! The Sinofskyfication of Windows continues, along with alignment around his good lieutenants.

Office: hey, hey, hey, there's a Beta on the way. The Office train lost its conductor but it mostly seems to be still on track. Though trust me: Office wants its Steven back. Bad.

Mobile: Holy. Crap. I don't think we have any unbruised skin left on our body to take any more lumps regarding our mobile strategy. The Microsoft Mismanagement theory is in full force as we throw any willing body into the Mobile effort. Something good has to come out of those typing monkeys, rights? Windows Mobile Phone 6.5 or whatever the hell it's called didn't win any "Wows" and I discovered 1:1 the worst question to ask is, "So, can I upgrade it to Windows Phone 7?"

Look. Let's talk about device loyalty. I first started with owning PocketPCs. An HP Jornada. I loved it. When upgrade time came, HP had bought Compaq and abandoned the Jornada for the iPAQ (what, they had the iThing first?). So, unable to upgrade to the next CE, I cursed a little and bought one of those iPAQs. But HP decided not to allow it to be upgraded. So I switched to Dell to get their latest Axim PocketPC. Dell would be a safe bet, right? And Dell gave up on the line. My latest act of company loyalty: getting a powerful HTC WinMo 6 device. It was cut-off the 6.5 train, and soon, I'm going to be buying a new phone.

And I'm going to buy an iPhone.

I hate it. I hate to think that I'll be installing Apple software on one of my computers because their PC software is so inelegant and buggy (check Watson). I hate that I've been so loyal to the PocketPC platform and Windows Mobile but I've finally had my chain yanked for the last time. I'm not buying a 6.5 device only to have it abandoned when 7 comes out. Microsoft is doing nothing to convince me that it's going to get any better. We suffer through rumors that Pink is imploding and issues with Sidekick data doing disappearing acts while our CEO has conniption fits over Microsofties sporting iPhones. Dude, this is why.

In this case, Microsoft is going to have to earn me back and convince that not only do they have a better experience and better quality phone but that they also won't kick me off to the side of the road when a new release comes along, spinning a sad tale that the carriers make all the decisions.

Dev Div: If I had to sit down tomorrow and write a casual application for the PC, my mind would fork itself in about five different directions. Native with ATL? WPF? Silverlight? An HTA? And what's up with XNA? If I want to write an app for the Zune (which Zune?) what do I do? And can it run on some future mobile device? And the PC? And Xbox?

And how do I share it? How do I sell it? And, ah, crap, you mean you just released a whole new version of C# / Silverlight / XNA that I have to go and relearn? Maybe those free Starbucks coffee dispensers wasn't a good idea...

If anything, I'd probably be pretty damn tempted to invest time learning Adobe AIR. And I'm thinking that while smack dab in the middle of the Microsoft bubble. There are a lot of Partners in Dev Div, and I'm not seeing any benefit from their concentration. The Windows client should be the premiere development platform. It's not. What am I missing?

Are We There Yet? Are the layoffs over? Has Microsoft stabilized? Of course, I'd be satisfied with another 10,000 or more positions being eliminated. But I want it done in one fell swoop, like all the conventional wisdom out there dictates, so that the remaining work force can align itself and get to work and not constantly worry if their group is next. If we're going to continue this quarterly rhythm of maybe-layoffs, maybe-not then morale is going to get seriously poisoned. Let's finish this round and call it done.

Ballmer: well, Mr. Ballmer, if you ever wanted to leave on a high-note, this is it. I'm frustrated because when you hear Steve 1:1 you know that he gets it. He knows some key strategies and things that need to get done. But then Yahoo! happens. Vista happens. Over-exuberant hiring happens. Layoffs happen to shed off the over-hiring. And a flat stock price happens. So something is seriously not connecting between (a) when you hear Steve talking and (b) when he makes major decisions. Hmm. Maybe it's something about guys named Steve having localized reality distortion fields.

This week, as we celebrate Windows 7, you do see an undercurrent of knife-sharpening while examining Mr. Ballmer.

The biggest question still out there: just who would you replace Ballmer with? If a shareholder revolt was to actually happen (shyeah, right) who would be the right choice to lead Microsoft? There is no heir apparent. And no obvious motivation to find one. But wait. Maybe, just maybe... you know, we'll have to wait and see and discover if Steven Sinofsky's upcoming book One Strategy! has a chapter on 'How To Become the CEO of a 100,000 Employee Company' (hopefully followed by the chapter 'More With Less - How To Transform a 100,000 Employee Company Into a 70,000 Employee Company').

Any fireworks you're expecting this week of Windows 7 and Quarterly results?


-- Comments

476 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 476 of 476
James Gardner said...

Five years ago, I worked for Microsoft. I had two reasonable managers, though not great ones. But I loved my time with the company.

I left because I could see my career wasn't going to progress with the company, no matter the amount of effort I put into it. So I left, moved countries, and wound up doing something amazing.

I experienced Microsoft Mourning, which is what most of my Microsoft fiends experienced when they left. The deep, abiding sadness that you're not part of the family any more.

But I still loved my MS products.

The thing is, I kept seeing all these people who were using other things, and seemed to have far fewer problems than me.

I reasoned that a few dropped calls on my WinMo phone was OK. That my laptop might occasionally not come back from sleep, or bluescreen, and that would be ok. That, from time to time, my large corporate systems would need a little restart, and that, too, was OK.

Then, a year or so ago, I found out that on most other platforms it *is not OK* for that stuff to happen.

I got an iPhone as part of a corporate pilot. I didn't want one, because I was fully used to all the apps and things I used on WinMo. It took me three days before I couldn't go back from it, no matter what.

Boldened by this experience, I switched my desktop to Linux, which at least has perfect behaviour for sleep, and moved my corporate build into a VM. It ran *faster* in the VM that out of it. I was amazed.

The final nail in the coffin for me was the MacBook I now use as my primary machine. OSX has a fit and finish that I never got with Windows. I run my work build on it in a VM as well, and it too runs better.

I was a confirmed Microsoftie, even after I left.

But I've realised that my views were somewhat tinted with rose coloured glasses. There's something seriously wrong with the way MS builds its stuff.

I can't, in all good faith, take the step I once would have done without hesitation: trust the mission critical apps and front end user experience of hundreds of thousands of people to Microsoft.

I would love it if you'd come back, Microsoft. But I suspect that the problems are endemic, and the kind or radical solutions required won't happen without the most painful shakeup imaginable.

I'm not posting anonymously. Feel free to look me up and disagree.

Anonymous said...

Congrats STB for just 2% cuts.

Anonymous said...

I have a large group and see little/no connection between educational achievement and real world performance.

The reverse is more of a problem. Ivy-league university degrees correlate strongly with accelerated career paths. And I've worked for some of these clowns. Devastating lack of insight, made up for by management skills learned in Bullying 101.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there will actually be layoffs in December. It makes sense to have some. Given what the CEO said about the enterprise IT not coming back why not cut costs. What do we need to do in office/Windows any more to make sales?

I would cut 10,000 from windows/office/incubation/msit/sales/hr.

Anonymous said...

The latter is contrived? No, it's something that has occurred multiple times. This is big business. This is the real world. Many people at Microsoft are very politically skilled, especially if they're not the brightest technical people around. A savvy manager will find ways of recruiting others to complain so that it's not just him, particularly if he has history of bad attrition or been scorched in MS Poll.

+1

You said it the way it happens so many times.

Anonymous said...

At MS: The hiring is a pure group/team play - and if for some reason the employee does not seem to succeed, they are evaluated for a company-fit.

So true. It is weird to hear a manager who suddently falls out of love with you the day he hears you want to change team and start chanting horror song about how you are a bad employee and how he needs to detain you in his team to "help you get better" until he has kicked you out of the company.

When HR tells you: start a career discussion with you manager about where you want to go, don't listen.

Anonymous said...

Some of the HR generalists are leaking information about the layoffs that is happening in MS to other organizations.
If layoff does happen in the first week of November’09, a note of caution in case you are impacted. Be very careful while dealing with HR generalists. If they try to gather information on where you are trying to apply or attend interviews, do not disclose. In fact my suggestion is not to disclose any information to anyone in MS. The situation is very bad and hostile in MS-Hyd.

------------

this is happening in the US as well.

A person i trusted in STB leaked details to HR and that ended up at a local company who was recruiting me hard and i aced the interview. It dried up after the a) as-app and NO call backs and b) no alternative positions considered.

The HR person did so in reprieve of a manager who detentioned me and it didn't fair well for him either. They are friends out of work.

thank you Microsoft for the scarelet letter. See you soo M.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, what?

It sounds to me like you don't actually believe that some people might not be able to be successful due to their own limitations. Do you really believe that everyone can succeed as long as they have a competent manager?

Really?


You are suggesting that speaking, reading and writing are such specialized skills that someone who has graduated from university or college cannot master them?

Anonymous said...

Re: Saturday, October 31, 2009 1:35:00 PM, the OP manager who started the conversation about moving out poor performers

What you wrote is what good managers do. I've been on the other end of it (low performer being managed out), but I survived and thrived because I found a good manager who was actually willing to work with me.

In my case, I had a couple bad years where I was bounced around through multiple managers (yay MSN reorgs :P), refused to play political games, got complacent, and ultimately paid for it with a couple of 3.0s (equivalent to A10, for people who haven't been here very long). I got lucky because the last manager I was reorged under actually cared. I worked with her to setup an informal performance plan not so much in the way of written weekly status reports, but we moved to twice-weekly 1-1s (we've moved that from 2 2hour 1-1s to 2 30min 1-1s because multiple quick sync ups work better for us than one large sync up per week), I found myself a mentor, and I started playing some of the visibility games. My last review was an E/70 (borderline E/20, screwed by the curve).

I lost ~2 years of promotion velocity in the process and am still dealing with the repercussions today (fighting the ingrained view that I shouldn't be promoted more often than every 3 years even when both my manager and I agree that I deserve a promotion after 1.5 - 2 years). However I have been successful in changing perceptions, and am moving up the promo ladder. I've been able to stick with her through a series of reorgs over the years, and in the process finally got skip-level managers who are good as well.

At this point I'm a valued senior member of the team. I'm looked to for mentoring new hires, doing technology and planning investigations, finishing my tasks on time or early while helping others finish theirs when they're behind, etc and have a lot of say in what and how we build our projects even as an IC. You'd never know I spent a couple reviews in the 3.0/A10 bucket.

So I'm proof that a performance plan can work if all parties are willing to play (in my case, I actually had several high-level managers advocating for me, but I didn't know it at the time). A good manager can make all the difference in the world.

That said, though, I would not want to be in that position in today's climate. With layoffs, increased pressure for A/10s and U/10s being managed out, etc, it's just too dangerous to get that close to the edge. If you are and you have a good manager, start working on that immediately. Don't wait until mid-year or even your next 1-1. Talk to your manager today (or tomorrow if you're reading this after work). If you are close to the edge and have a bad manager, get out ASAP. That most likely means looking for external work these days, but if you have any contacts anywhere else in the company now is the time to start cashing in favors. Don't wait until your manager can screw you any more than both you and he have already done.

Anonymous said...

Oh! Mini and all others! Welcome to iPhone! Don't feel bad not using Windows Mobile! The VP of WM, TerryM, is walking around Studio F with his iPhone ALL THE TIME!!! (Possibly MS paid for it, i am guessing) He hided it for a little while. Now, he has no shame at all!

You guys all get the steal of approval for using iPhone!

P.S. I am not making this up!

Anonymous said...

"What do we need to do in office/Windows any more to make sales?

I would cut 10,000 from windows/office/incubation/msit/sales/hr."

I'm wondering if I'm SERIOUSLY underestimating how many people are in Office or if you're overestimating how many people are in everything else.

When you've got James Gardner up there complaining that Windows isn't good enough or polished enough (and he's not the only one), it kind of contradicts your implication that Windows is done and doesn't need any more work. That's the kind of thinking that lead to IE development halting for years, which was one of the major contributing factors to Microsoft's poor reputation among techies. Yes, even though slashdotters post the claim every other day that Operating Systems were good enough in 1998 and everything else has been fluff.

This would gut Windows and, I suspect, Office, which are MS's two biggest profit centers.

Anonymous said...

When HR tells you: start a career discussion with you manager about where you want to go, don't listen.

The above is good advice in many situations but not in all for the general case of an employee wanting to go somewhere else. I'm curious as to why HR would be telling the employee this, but I'll let that go and just address the question of whether or not to have that "where do I want to go today?" discussion with your manager.

Here is the exception to the rule.

There are managers at Microsoft who genuinely desire to see their people succeed even beyond the measure of success they themselves have attained. They actively take steps toward that end. They've been around for long enough to know how to work the system when they need to, but are first and foremost people managers, not politicians.

And it is quite a pleasure to work for them (I was fortunate to have two of those during my time there). If you're working for one of those people, you know it. If you're wondering if your manager is one of those people, but aren't sure, either he probably is not, or you don't know him well enough yet.

The best people-managers at Microsoft bowl even experienced industry hires over in disbelief, over a period of months or years. It's impossible to miss. And lest you think they're doing it all out of a spirit of giving, from experience it's a partnership in which both win. You each stick your neck out for the other. The best people-managers get the best out of their people because they know it will help THEM achieve THEIR goals in addition to helping the employee.

Only the dumbest and most egotistical IC's respond to a manager going the extra mile for them, by not doing likewise. This is particularly true for industry hires who know a rare good thing when they see it.

If you're working for one of those managers, please don't let everyone's tales of nightmare experiences at the company dissuade you from getting as much career value as you can out of it. You'd be missing out on something worthwhile that you might not have the luxury of experiencing again soon in your career. Those managers don't grow on trees - ANYWHERE.

In case someone from HR is reading this (hi, LisaB or lieutenants), here is an idea. Go back through poll results. Find the 100 or so managers with the highest consistent results and great manager feedback. Put these people in a room in a nice place (reward them for a job well done) for a few days and have them brainstorm on the top issues for both new and experienced managers for Microsoft, in terms of areas for improvement they see in other managers at MS or things they themselves started doing that helped them get much better results. See if the people who are recognized for knowing how to do it, can also figure out how to raise overall managerial competence.

Then once you have the data, use it (unlikely) or not (probable) to address managerial skill and attitude issues. But at least gather the data. It might give you some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Will today be the big day for layoffs?

If so, here's hoping we cut deep and cut well. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that we'll lose a lot of ICs that could have used more directive feedback and guidance, and keep a lot of riff-raff who did nothing of value but got highly ranked by cowardly managers.

Please, please prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been notified yet?

Anonymous said...

Todd Bishop has an article out confirming the layoffs, http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/more_microsoft_job_cuts_coming.html.

Anonymous said...

I particularly liked the 1984comparison. It was well written. I too was more senior and left voluntarily after a strong career going no where, behind a Partner who appears to be 'floating' tbd.

It appears even in today's economy some GMs have no official position, except on the payroll/GAL, where their directs do not seem to know where these Partner's have gone weeks-months later, or what they are doing, after the latest product loss, and a list of other "accomplishments". Why does it appear MS have these protectionist policies for partners? Dunno. It doesn't appear because these Partner's are on the HiPo list, either. What else could it be? Where's the Transparency?

I never had a poor review, but given how I've seen it used against otherwise strong individuals, I'm highly confident that many of those "10%" will start the next Google. Trust me - 3 years from now (or less) we'll be reading FORBES about them and how they started some blazing hot company. They will be the same folks who were tossed aside because they didn't have "thought leadership" at Microsoft, behind managers who spent most of the time being "visible".

Anonymous said...

Mini, can we have a new post, to have the Nov 4 layoff threads? The traditional counting of heads and group-by-group, building-by-building roll call needs to start.

Anonymous said...

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-microsoft-cuts-another-800-jobs-/

Anonymous said...

Okay, Mini, you can move those RIF rumors back from the CRF. On the 7am news this morning, the newscasters annouced that MSFT stock was up on news of "~1,000" job cuts annouced..." no details on location (WA, Int'l or other states) or detail on type of cuts. Sometimes the news gets things twisted and turned around, but I don't think they're that far off, like being all wrong.

Anonymous said...

It's official, http://paidcontent.org/article/419-microsoft-cuts-another-800-jobs-/.

Please open the comments section so we can discuss.

Anonymous said...

Managers have received layoff notice. 800 gone.

Anonymous said...

It's too quiet. No IRM emails, barely a squeak in the media. What's up Lincoln Square?!

Has HR fine-tuned this into a super-stealth martial art with v3?

Anonymous said...

What groups got laid off today?

Anonymous said...

So 4 November it is. 800 to go today, the leftovers of the 5'000 previously announced.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed how quiet CCP has been?

My whole team didn't come to work on Monday, I didn't speak to a single soul at work yesterday. Went to work, did what I do and went home.

Dev managers, principles, leads, ICs, nobody is around.

It's like a ghost town all over the building. Even the 25th floor was quiet, at lunch!

It feels like the whole of AdCenter is about to get the boot.

And even if we're not, how on earth does a group this size recover from all of this?

In all the companies I have worked for, I have never seen morale like this. After being told we might not have jobs this week, who knows what's to be done.

We're working on projects with no functional specifications, the program managers don't know what's going on and don't have any strategy or vision going forward.

Check out the syscon status of our product outside the VP conference room on the ninth floor, it's been red for weeks!!!! For God sakes, the whole group should not be sleeping if this thing goes red.

All the leadership has been kicked (cheers alexgo, cheers norlander...).

We're paused for Oslo (that's what "working on MQ means")

Yahoo is coming in.

Tuscany has been a disaster.

New leadership is en route promising the world and showing us how wonderful they are, but I already spotted two of them laughing at the red status on nine. How insulting. They should be foaming at the mouth, not sipping on a latte and joking about times gone by.

Anonymous said...

And there's the email. I have to say, I wasn't expecting a number less than 1,000 (800). And once again, no details on who, what, why, or how we're not going to get in this situation again. Great.

Anonymous said...

"Our HR people are attack dogs who do what you tell them to do, assuming you're a manager who's currently in favor. They're the gun, not the police."

Applies to MS India HR fully. In SMSG, MS IT, MGSI the Chairman and GMs use HR to hire, fire, reorg, change roles, promote at will. HR is used even to create roles, move around approved Headcounts. The misuse of HR is most in putting a targeted employee that a Manager/GM does not like, in U10.

Anonymous said...

My group lost 7. We are only 2 remaining excluding the manager. The manager who is responsible for this rout is still intact.

Anonymous said...

Layoff rumours are true for at least me. I've been invited to a special meeting with my GM and HR this morning.

I'm a little sad but I guess there's a positive side to being rejected by such a spectacularly unsuccessful org as Windows Mobile. If they liked me I'd be part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Well.... another 800 getting the infamous meeting today.

http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/microsoft_confirms_800_job_cuts.html

My thoughts to those affected -- but know that there IS life after MSFT!!

Anonymous said...

What other teams are losing today?

Anonymous said...

Both visual studio & mobile strategies have been marginally successful over past decade! Am I too polite? Why are the architects of this marginal success still running the show? At least, windows turned around the perception issues, so that was great.

Anonymous said...

News on more layoffs:
http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2009/11/more_microsoft_layoffs.html

Anonymous said...

9AM 11/4 & no layoffs yet, in spite of TechFlash last night "confirming" up to 1,000 layoffs "this week," with affected parties being notified "as early as" Wednesday morning. Twisting in the wind.... If it's going to happen, I hope it happens soon. I'd hate to see (fear) holiday layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Layoffs truth, no longer rumor:

http://www.komonews.com/news/microsoft/69090057.html

I hope you're happy, Mini. You want a leaner a meaner Microsoft, but it's at the expense of those who are now unemployed.

Anonymous said...

http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/microsoft_confirms_800_job_cuts.html

So if the job cuts are confirmed. Where is Steve Ballmer's email?

Anonymous said...

Microsoft confirms 800 job cuts

Source: http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/microsoft_confirms_800_job_cuts.html

Anonymous said...

Per WARN

Microsoft Redmond 11/1/2009 27 Layoff Permanent 9/3/2009

did those 27 get booted.

Anonymous said...

Layoffs announced this morning - 800 people.

Anonymous said...

LAYOFF 3
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20091104/microsoft-prepping-layoffs/

Anonymous said...

@For Employees of Microsoft, India.

Some of the HR generalists are leaking information about the layoffs that is happening in MS to other organizations.


Microsoft, This is is really cheap.

Anonymous said...

MINI has to investigate the MSIT, HYD, India...

WHAT IS GOING ON??????

Anonymous said...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10390569-56.html

Anonymous said...

Just 800? Why bother?

Anonymous said...

Looks like they did cut 800 people today. Here is the article and it quotes MSFT confirmation.
http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20091104/microsoft-prepping-layoffs/

Anonymous said...

3 people let go in MSD / OMPS today

- arch
- PM
- dev

Anonymous said...

are you still CRF'ing the rumors? Mini, get with it

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010201626_apusmicrosoftlayoffs.html

OuchThatHurtAgain said...

"Linux, which at least has perfect behaviour for sleep"

This certainly hasn't been my experience. I suppose you can find a distro (out the hunderds to choose) from that will work well for your hardware, so I don't doubt you had that experience. I've embedded Linux into products twice and I don't trust it at all. However, dealing with custom half-baked drivers is deep on the dark side.

Also you complained about dropped calls on WinMo and then priase the iPhone. The iPhone is a great product but it has a spotty history with call dropping, at least in the states. That is probably more to do with the carrier than than the phone.

As for things running faster in a VM, it is probaby because you are running less software in the VM. If you are using a older Linux or XP (or eailier) stick to one Virtual Processor. (Same for VMWare, Zen or Hyper-V) This avoids a lot of problems with those unenlightened OSes. Newer OSes work much better with hyperviosrs. (I know you are using a hypervisor otherwise you would not be making suck a performance claim.)

Anonymous said...

Confirmed, 800 cuts announced today.

Anonymous said...

Well, here it is:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/2010201710_microsoft_cuts_800_more_jobs_i.html

Pretty shameful that we had to find out in the press, rather than from our own company.

And even then, we don't know who, from which groups.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

is this news real ? http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/company-news-story.aspx?storyid=200911041440dowjonesdjonline000821&title=update-microsoft-announces-800-layoffs-wednesday

seems the story is not finished yet

Anonymous said...

800 more

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idCNN048335520091104?rpc=44

Anonymous said...

Been fired today in the UK. We are the #2 mapping/local site in the UK (Multimap) were acquired 2 years ago, and are still the only profitable part of the Bing mapping/local business.

TBH it's a release. In the 2 years, they could never figure out what to do with us, and we encountered politics and blockages at every level of engineering right up to senior management.

If what i've seen is the general quality of managers in MSFT, then they are absolutely screwed...

Anonymous said...

Huh, the layoff rumors turned out to be true. Windows Mobile lost some people, as did content publishing. Well, those two are really one group now. One of the Windows mobile layoffs was a poor preformer, but there was a really good employee let go as well. The booked conf. rooms seem to be a good indicator after all, despite the snide remarks from the person who suggested we use Magic-8 balls and Ouija boards.

Anonymous said...

>I'm sure there are many people who will tell me this doesn't matter, the same way there are people who wear quartz watches and think designer watches are ridiculous. Sorry, but you'll never "get it." The market does, though.

I like your analogy. The only weakness is the iPhone 3G (with contract) is often cheaper than a Windows Mobile phone (with contract). There is no "premium designer price" for the iPhone. Unlike other Apple products, the iPhone is the low cost and best of breed smartphone. I'm sure this confuses the hell out of Ballmer.

Anonymous said...

Layoffs at US Headquarters Sales in Issaquah began today. Members of the Incubation Sales Team were affected.

Anonymous said...

>>In fact my suggestion is not to disclose any information to anyone in MS. The situation is very bad and hostile in MS-Hyd.

The India GMs are always getting new projects (to be cut later) and need warm bodies. If you've been acknowledging your India GM's insight to their manager or broadly to the group, I'm sure they will find you another job. Do a 1:1 with them, remind them how much they've taught you and how you've shared it with everyone else...

Anonymous said...

800 more announced today "And that will be it" according to the spokesman.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=11&sid=235768

Anonymous said...

Helllllllloooooooooooo - 800 more people cut, and no comments?

Mini - they didn't have you in a conference room today, did they? Any hope that Walmart idiot KT got the big boot?

Anonymous said...

I am trying to believe that the timing of the "Windows 7 Home Use Program" eMail, and of the latest layoffs, is coincidental.

I mean, no-one would stoop so low as to wait until a few hours after those 800 lose their Corpnet access.

Please?

Anonymous said...

According to at least one measure the global recession hit the USA in late 2007. Since then MS has hired around 10000 FTEs and laid off 5800. That just points to the complete lack of planning that always happens here. Whether it's projects, products, or in this case employment. Hiring 10k people over the last two years and then saying 'whoops, too many' whilst continuing to hire more! They're being ‘Agile' with peoples’ and families’ lives.

So where was the message from Ballmer? Was he hiding this time around? Shameful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mini

Missed seeing updates to today's events. Hope it's because you were busy versus your receiving bad news.

Best wishes,
One of you many fans

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, Mini...but might be a good idea to open up a discussion about the recent publication employees received from Benefits\HR, which discusses the potential effects on of the HealthCare legislation on Microsoft benefits (as well as which appears to push employees to consider changing to one of the cheaper and "lesser" medical coverage choices during this year's open enrollment), may be an interesting and much needed discussion employees should have when it comes to cost controls at Microsoft and our personal healthcare.

Anonymous said...

Anything new about the layoff. Which group has the most layoffs?

Anonymous said...

no comments regarding what happened today?

Anonymous said...

To those of you affected in this round of layoffs, my condolences or congratulations, depending on whether this was a dreaded or hoped-for outcome.

What's the severance agreement like this time? Did anyone get the 60-day on-campus search option, or are you turning in your badge this week?

Anonymous said...

I look at Don Dodge's web log today
http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/
and wonder if there is a message here.

I believe Microsoft should be letting go is brightest and most courageous and do a service to the industry, if only to allow for a new direction and help provide the next few decades of excellence in software.

The need of the Software Giant now and for some time in the past, is to align all its Divisions, Groups, Teams and Individuals towards corporate goals, to provide a ecosystem to pull in customers and partners towards the software and services it provides.
This is the same effect as the solenoid (loop of wire wrapped around a metallic core which produces a magnetic field when electric current is passed - due to realignment of the molecules in the core).
This has resulted in very intelligent and capable people spending time in trivial pursuits and dealing with meetings and politics within the corporation.

Now if only these brightest and courageous out there own their own or in smaller more agile companies.

some examples from history:

William Shockley left Bell Labs in a disagreement over the handling of the invention of the transistor. After returning to California Institute of Technology for a short while, Shockley moved to Mountain View, California in 1956, and founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory.
Shockley intended to replace the current transistor with a new three-element design (today known as the Shockley diode), but the design was considerably more difficult to build than the "simple" transistor. In 1957, Shockley decided to end research on the silicon transistor. As a result, eight engineers left the company to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Two of the original employees of Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, would go on to find Intel.

Anonymous said...


According to at least one measure the global recession hit the USA in late 2007. Since then MS has hired around 10000 FTEs and laid off 5800. That just points to the complete lack of planning that always happens here. Whether it's projects, products, or in this case employment. Hiring 10k people over the last two years and then saying 'whoops, too many' whilst continuing to hire more! They're being ‘Agile' with peoples’ and families’ lives.

So where was the message from Ballmer? Was he hiding this time around? Shameful!


I would say those 10K hiring wa totally reckless. Search and other inefficient groups were very crazy to expand their empires. The bar of hiring was very low. And sadly lots of competent old folks were cut because of these insane crazy hiring.

Anonymous said...

Hiring 10k people over the last two years and then saying 'whoops, too many' whilst continuing to hire more! They're being ‘Agile' with peoples’ and families’ lives.

While you certainly have the right to complain that we have hired the wrong people or that we have let the wrong people go, it is simpleminded to correlate the two. Few people would say that it is bad to cut a 100 people in a division that is losing money at the same time you are hiring 100 people into a profitibale division. You can't simply take those 100 people and move them somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

The VP of WM, TerryM, is walking around Studio F with his iPhone ALL THE TIME!!! (Possibly MS paid for it, i am guessing) He hided it for a little while. Now, he has no shame at all!

I can confirm that. He does have an iPhone and has no qualms about waving it around. Weird.

Anonymous said...

I've embedded Linux into products twice and I don't trust it at all. However, dealing with custom half-baked drivers is deep on the dark side.

Microsoft is always claiming that 3rd party drivers are a major cause of Windows crashes and bluescreens. Poor graphics drivers from NVidia and ATI were the primary scapegoats for Vista crashes. I don't know if you believe this party line or not, but if you do, you're not in a position to complain about "half-baked" Linux drivers.

Also you complained about dropped calls on WinMo and then priase the iPhone. The iPhone is a great product but it has a spotty history with call dropping, at least in the states. That is probably more to do with the carrier than than the phone.

The iPhone OS has gone through some rough patches, to be honest. There was an OS update shortly following the 3G release that seemed to fix many of the dropped call problems. But that's a key difference between the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones--Apple makes it brain-dead simple to get the latest version of the iPhone OS on ANY iPhone or iPod hardware. If you get stuck with a crappy Windows Mobile phone with an old version of the OS and crappy drivers, basically your only solution is to get a new phone.

As for things running faster in a VM, it is probaby because you are running less software in the VM.

Maybe, maybe not. VMs present simpler, generic devices to the guest OSs. Maybe the simulation of those devices is better than the devices themselves, and maybe the drivers for them in Windows are better than the drivers for more elaborate hardware. As one example, if you insert a CD in a real Windows machine, the entire OS will sputter for several seconds, whereas Windows running in a VM usually has no such problem.

Anonymous said...

" Few people would say that it is bad to cut a 100 people in a division that is losing money at the same time you are hiring 100 people into a profitibale division. You can't simply take those 100 people and move them somewhere else."

I would sagree with that statement in the current environment. If MSFT had
a) effective HR systems that actually captured people's skills in a meaningful and measurable way, and
b) all positions had clearly stated, measurable skill requirements

then it would indeed be possible to move people in a deliberate and calculated way between orgs.

Alas, HR systems do not provide this functionality and without significant investment never will. This is a shame as the company would see significant business value in reducing layoffs, as well as new hires with associated ramp-up costs.

Anonymous said...

>I can confirm that. He does have an iPhone and has no qualms about waving it around. Weird.

It is clear the previous WM leadership was never bothered by the competition. Likely too late, but good to see Myerson is changing that mindset. He needs to pick up a droid as well.

Anonymous said...

Bueno yo lo descarge de este Blog Windows 7 Seven Links Oficiales MSDN

Ed said...

[Jeopardy Music] What has been Microsoft's greatest achievement in the last 10 years? [/Jeopardy Music]

I would say continued dominance in OS and word/excel, Exchange servers, and competition that has led to creation of many better products (Apple, google, ect) that has benefited everyone.

Dont cry about your share price, MSFT at ~$28 and $250 bil mkt cap is quite fair. The anti-trust people authorities would be all MSFT if they actually dominated search like Google, and online music/iphone like Apple.

ugg classic said...

I'm thinking I should sell half of the options I have that are actually worth something. Personally may not have the time to wait out the return to $26 after disappointing earnings report.

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