Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Friday! Friday! Friday! Microsoft Company Meeting 2011!

(Note: updated below with follow-up comments.)

It's my most favorite time of the year: Friday the 23rd is the annual Microsoft Company Meeting!

That's right: I pull up my sleeves and thrust out my arms out wide and say, "Shove in the Kool-Aid IVs to the left and to the right and keep it flowing!" Man I love it. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Reminder: when it comes to comments, share your internal-only content enthusiasm over on OfficeTalk (especially via the otalk WP7 app) vs. trying to put it here.

A Story of Steve, Steve, and Steven

This year is one of those inflection points: Apple has been soaring with its excellent device results, blowing Microsoft away and cannibalizing our Windows powered device market. The Microsoft stock is horribly flat and there are calls all-around for Ballmer to be replaced. Now, several things are in play: Mr. Jobs has stepped down due to his health reasons, WP Mango is reaching release with Nokia devices to begin their flow, and Windows 8 has demonstrated a reboot to the Windows experience and development platform. With Windows 8, Microsoft has emerged with the talking points that the company is being re-imagined.

All I can say is that SteveB should give SteveSi the CEO Bacon Achievement award: exceptional results that saved the CEO's bacon. Oh, SteveB had to be so happy to have Windows 8 revealed at BUILD right before the Financial Analysts Meeting. "How ya like me n-O-w?!?!" Actually, big chops to SteveSi who not only has done the impossible organizational wrangling between Win7 and Win8 (and wherever it is leading with Win8+) but also did such a smooth job with BUILD that some bloggers dared to pass the Steve Jobs torch to SteveSi. Wow. Didn't see that coming.

(psst. Board. CEO ma-ter-ial. Uh-huh. There you go. Not that I'd probably work in a SteveSi CEO Microsoft, but ya could do a lot worse!)

One thing I'd love to see SteveSi do: give the same level of support to writing Windows8 apps as Microsoft afforded its employees for Windows Phone. I'm not expecting him to, but if he did, I'd relish having my Spock-meets-Spartan view of him rebooted.

The Big Check-in - How Are Things Going

I expect that Mr. Turner will do the big picture for us. I like this comment regarding one point of view of how things are going for Microsoft:

There are certainly some issues at MSFT but some of the people that post in this blog are just over the top in their pessimism and whining. As I see it right now, the good, bad, and ugly of MSFT are: The good:

  • XBOX Kinect blew it away this past Holiday, over 35M customers now pay for the priviledge of XBox Live
  • The enterprise business is strong, committed revenue is higher than it's ever been (MSFT has a global enterprise business that is really unmatched by anyone
  • Office365 and Dynamics both are rapidly growing businesses with a ton of upside
  • MSFT now has 11 distinct businesses that do over $1B in revenue - I can think of maybe one or two other businesses on the planet (GE, etc) that can say the same
  • Largely because of this diverse portfolio of businesses, MSFT was able to grow revenue, operating income, and net income in spite of *declining* PC sales (MSFT is not a one-trick pony any longer, if it ever was)
  • Even with weakness in the PC market the past couple of quarters, it's hard to argue with the success of Windows 7 with over 400M licenses sold
  • MSFT's Cloud offerings collectively are second to none
  • Bing has a long ways to go but has actually made some progress in the US search market against Google, which was once thought impossible
  • As an employee, unless you are a bottom 20% performer, the new comp plan is a win. If you don't think so, then you don't really understand the change
  • Say what you will about Ballmer, there are some senior execs at MSFT that are truly outstanding. Mattrick, Satya, KT, Qi Lu, PK, Lisa B - you won't find anyone better than these folks anywhere
  • The Nokia partnership will be instrumental in getting a WP7 device in a lot of people's hands

The bad:

  • As mentioned, PC sales actually declined in Q4
  • MSFT still hasn't figured out a way to win in India or China and doesn't seem to have a cohesive strategy for emerging markets
  • WP7 is a good product but as others have alluded to, MSFT is way late to the party in terms of highly functional / attractive UI / rich app eco-system smartphones. The Nokia deal only allows MSFT some hope at playing catch-up at this point
  • Employees will soon have to pay a contribution (and deductibles) for health care (thank you very much ObamaCare and the Cadillac Tax for bringing that to us)
  • Although there are talented people still there, a lot of talented folks have left MSFT senior leadership in the past 18 months or so - Liddell, Elop, Muglia, Bach, etc, etc. Although Elop was instrumental in getting the Nokia deal up and going

The ugly:

  • AAPL sold 20M iPhones and over 9M iPads in a quarter. In. A. Quarter. Let that sink in a moment
  • While MSFT has plenty of other viable businesses, none is as profitable nor as core strategically as Windows. Windows was once an impenetrable fortress, but in the past year, AAPL has penetrated it with a single product launch. MSFT is destined to play catch-up in slates, and it sounds like nothing serious is coming out until Windows 8 in another 12 to 15 months (maybe)
  • MSFT is still very strong in the enterprise but to the consumer, MSFT seems completely dead. MSFT has no consumer mindshare any longer
  • Yes, there are some interesting possibilities with Skype and Lync and XBox (etc), but it is still not at all clear that shareholders will reap anything close to $8.5B of value
  • GOOG still dominates search in the US and will for the foreseeable future. And their dominance is even greater internationally
  • OSD as an org continues to bleed money and will continue to do so for at least another couple of years

There it is, from a high-performing L63 employee in a broad-based business role, trying to lay things out in a truly fair and balanced manner. Take it or leave it.

I'm glad to see The Cloud in the somebody's Win column. When it comes to the Company Meeting, I personally am dreading anything that can be in the least bit tangled up with... sigh... THE CLOUD. Two things lost my respect to this force-fed-bubble-gum-on-my-shoe initiative: first, that using our cloud services is Alpha-Geek hostile: sorry, but there should have been upfront a free tinkering environment to go and write a whole bunch of real fun, heavy computational code. Second, that we started to slap THE CLOUD on crazy crap like home PC image editing.

Really.

So, I don't know, smuggle in a bunch of tequila and limes and whenever THE CLOUD comes up take another hit. That will at least make it palatable... in a numb, doesn't-seem-to-hurt-quite-like-it-did sort of way.

The New Review System and Hiring

Yeah, I think there's zero chance the Senior Leadership Team will go into much depth here. "Cheer if you like the new review system! ... Okay, there's 40% of you. How about the rest? Give me a 'Whoo?'" Want to wade in it? Pour yourself a three fingers of bourbon (and keep the bottle handy) and go through all the comments in the Mini-Microsoft Microsoft Annual Review 2011 post. 1,200 comments at this point. Whew.

Strict stack ranking on a fixed curve is a tool brought in for a purpose that didn't exist in the previous review system. Having LisaB take a break from her sabbatical (and, btw, what happens to most people after their sabbatical?) to tell us it's being done because employees felt that the old review system was too complex is a load of greasy smoke up the keister.

I look at this system and, stepping back, it makes sense if you're preparing to do some major organizational slimming over, say, a three year period. For instance, if SteveB where going to leave, I imagine before he goes he would cut back huge parts of Microsoft versus leaving that task to the new CEO, who might make radically bad cut-back decisions (from the former CEO's point of view). Better to give over to the new leader a starving company ready to grow versus a fat pig you've got to go all Neutron-Jack on. Three more years. Three more years to drive down until today's lower 3s are FY2014's 5s.

Depending on who is being forced out or leaving, too, the new system might help with the Young up Microsoft initiative I hear whispers of.

Whoo-and-Hoo!

Didn't like your review? Ah, come on. You know when Ballmer runs around the field you're going to scream and shout (though, given the last Ballmer memo's authorship, maybe we'll see Frank Shaw run around first to warm things up). You're going to stand up. You're going to put aside all the depressing thoughts of those golden handcuffs never unfolding into a sparkling world of wonderment and retirement. You've got a job, a colorful CEO, perhaps a nice raise, and a company holiday to find out what's going on and to have some free grub with your work buds. Compared to 99% of the rest of the world right now, it's worth swigging the Kool-Aid for at least one day and cheering.

There's always the rest of the year for everything else.

Updated: impressions and follow-up

Overall: a very competent Microsoft Company Meeting. Polite applause. "Pip pip."

Other than the occasional video (heh heh, Inception) and the first one or two Train Dances, it was a low-on-humor meeting, for me. Everyone wondered if we were having a host this year. Hey, it was LisaB. Competent (and probably didn't piss people off like last year).

This year was demo-rama. I think the demos were good, it's just I had seen so much of everything being presented that there weren't too many surprises for me. I loved the fact that SteveSi ran one of his demos and then pointed out that everything he had just done was on an ARM slate. I regret how much money we're pouring into OSD (who pointed out that they are quite frugal - uh-huh) but I agree with a lot of what they are doing: they are not trying to out-Google-Google. They're Bing'ing Google upside the head. Go, Cosmos, go!

As for Mr. Ballmer: it was a surprise that he didn't come running and screaming out but rather had a surrogate fly around like a chimp on crack dusted with meth. Mr. Ballmer seemed more subdued this year. Love for Ballmer? People still stood up and cheered and clapped for him. Now then: someone please tell him, regarding his analogy of himself and Elop and Windows Phone sticking together, how Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ended. Yeah, they were together alright, but the result was a little bit different than jumping off a cliff into a river.

As for people leaving (as some of the tech bloggers have picked up): yeah, people were streaming out. In small numbers. No where near as bad as BillG's last company meeting where Ballmer started screaming at people to sit down. And, well, yes, I was one of those folks who wandered to the upper portion of the seats while Mr. Ballmer passed on his coachie wisdom from Friday Night Lights (BTW, I prefer coach John Wooden). I suppose if Microsoft had been serving beer and snacks after the meeting I would have managed to stay in my seat.

So for me: technically well executed. Pip pip. I feel good about what Microsoft has wrought and how many of the things we're doing are exactly the kind of big, cross-group bets folks used to complain how we never do. The Imagine Cup winners were great to see. Pip pip. As for the meeting... I'd like a little culture, too. Maybe less inspirational videos. And more crazy. Not burping game crazy or Craig Mundie dazed-crazy, but show we have some pizzazz... with less explosive volume. And I'm fine with a box lunch if it means I don't have to stand in an infernal line to get a luke-warm burger melded to its bun.


-- Comments

400 comments:

1 – 200 of 400   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

It is the most depressing time per my 10 years at MS, actually. Everyone is either leaving or planing to leave. Everyone is selling stocks. The review results this year looks opposite to the actual work. Good engineers who, is used to own code, are getting 4 and 5, so they are leaving, but the ones, who is awarded the top scores, are unable to manage the inherited code base.

Anonymous said...

If you've been at MS a while, go to the meeting and listen to every rah-rah speech that is delivered there. Then ask yourself: "Haven't I heard it all before?" Wasn't it 2-4-5 years ago that we were supposed to 'break away' from the competition and finally achieve total dominance?

5 years ago, right in the middle of the company meeting, I made up my mind and promised myself I wouldn't see another one. A few months later I was gone. I have never had to regret it. I now have better pay not to mention stock grants that actually gained value and gave me real financial security.

On Friday, do yourself a favor. Ignore the noise, the music, the clapping and ask yourself if you really believe what the people on stage are telling you.

Anonymous said...

Man my kool aid is almost run out... 12+yrs at MSFT and pissed that I'll have to work at least that much again or more to retire from this increasingly backstabbing env. Skipping the meeting or watching remotely while I GSD.

Want to do well and advance your career as a dev @ MSFT, if so I recommend balancing your time between continuely sharpening your skills (don't get lazy/complacent, keep reading/learning!), keep kicking ass and delivering awesome code, and most of all, keep kissing ass and marketing yourself and keep hoping your peers screw up.

What a mess, thanks HR, thanks Execs. Why can't you figure out a system that gets people genuinely working together, grow the strong/potentials while weeding out the weak/wasters, the current approach obviously less than optimal given recent FYs attrition rate, sales erosion and stock price.

Regarding the new deal... I want everyone to give more of a crap about MSFT's long term success, so why on earth are employees not being given the option to opt in and be more 'all in' and be compensated with more stock and less cash, this compensation option isn't for everyone, but exec should at least give employees the option to give a crap about MSFTs mid-long term success.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see wht the 11+ businesses are. I mean, they all seem to pivot on the Windows brand. I mean, businesses may be a constant stream of revenue, dependable and big, but consumers are so vast that the collective research money they pour into a popular product like the iPhone/iPad/itouch is infinite. iOS can afford 100 billion dollars of liquid cash development. The apps will one day supplant all 11+ of those businesses.

Anonymous said...

Some years back, a relative talked me into attending a giant Amway Rally with him. It was a huge blowout event at a major college field house, with all sorts of flash and bling and Rah Rah, and various types of appeals to Make You Believe In Your Dream. By the time I got out of there, I was convinced it was a cult.

Fast-forward a few years to my first Microsoft Company Meeting.
Almost the exact same atmosphere. Of course there were differences. We produce software, for the most part. Amway wingnuts sells soap and whatnot.

But the main similarity: I got the feeling at both events that they were trying to brainwash me so I’d work hard to make my upline and the stars on the stage even richer than they already were.

I still go to the Company Meeting, but just for the entertainment value of seeing such absurdity. And for the free beer.

Foaming Solvent said...

"Apple has been soaring with its excellent device results, blowing Microsoft away and cannibalizing our Windows powered device market."

Gah! The worst type of buzzword is the inaccurate buzzword.

It's only cannibalization if a species is eating its own species; human eating human, dog eating dog, for example. When a cheetah eats a water buffalo, it is not cannibalizing, it's just eating.

One Apple product may cannibalize another Apple product, but an Apple product cannot cannibalize a Microsoft product. It just devours it.

Anonymous said...

"Windows 8 takes four years to do six months of coding in soviet style bureaucracy while apple has released version after version of their stuff. Bing is losing billions. Windows Phone is dead on arrival. Azure died before arrival."

A common pattern is that msft is trying to copy success, but sucking at execution.

W8 is copying ipad but stevesi takes 4-5x the time and effort and his bureaucracy works when you have a monopoly to protect but not against good competition. Even if w8 comes out better than ipad, w9 will come when the category has been redefined and profits harvested by apple.

No one can beat Google in search, period. For the first time, msft seems to get how to do online services in Bing, but its the wrong battle to fight. The energy there should be spent elsewhere, otherwise it will be like a slow death like yahoo.

Windows Phone has two strong incumbents to take on and team is full of hubris. They seem to hate getting feedback and then get surprised when people dont buy their half baked product. how many of these issues here would have been found if the team listened http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=836373. It would be good that if they learn from HP and cut the bleeding like HP with webOS.

Azure is trying to copy AWS but the costs are going to be a big prohibitor against lean and mean amazon. msft is not designed for the margins that aws operates under and the value added stuff is just not there to deserve a premium.

The good news here is that if msft goes back to its roots in engineering and shakes the laziness that comes with the big profits, all the businesses are still new and up for grabs. The bad news is that this means cultural shift which is hard to achieve as the people in power are all used to the old ways and comfortable with that.

Anonymous said...

Nice stock reaction today after that dividend increase!

Anonymous said...

Please don't compared StevenSi to Jobs. There was only one Windoze d!ckriding blogger who said that. And I'm sure it was page views from Redmond employees.

Win8 is a year away. Let's hope no one fucks it up.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see if there's any talk about the stock price and where it's headed (nowhere).

I remember the company meeting from a few years ago where SteveB pleaded that we grew by an entire Apple in the previous year, or some such thing, and that Wall Street will eventually give us credit. What folks are glossing over is this... even in the best case scenario - W8 wins, WP7 wins, Azure wins, etc. - how much will that move the stock? Zilch.

Why? Because at the end of the day, all our strategies are DEFENSIVE. We're not creating anything *new* of value, and haven't since Windows 95. W8 will only prevent Windows from dying immediately. Any extra money we make from it will be a rounding error on the bottom line. MSFT will still be in the $25 range in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

I guess no one is going to talk about that at the company meeting after all...

Anonymous said...

And let me add, that MS is not investing enough on the new regions its launching Windows Phone for the first time. In my sub I've seen an incredible budget cut that will not help our efforts.

PS: please dont include this in the public post: I would like to exchange some impressions with you,can you contact me via tg01wp7 at mail dot com.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Windows 8 is at least a year away and in the mean time Apple is going to release IPAD3 and IPHONE 5? Clearly we are going to be sitting and sipping the cool aid.. Attrition is at an all time high.. I hear in India it has gone through the roof..WTF!!!!

Anonymous said...

Windows Phone has 3 main problems:

- It needs updates more often: NoDo should have been released on January, IE9 on march, other UX Mango changes on June, and Multitasking&APIs now in September.

- Zune/Bing/Marketplace services outside US are either unavailable or really really really really bad.

- People want their dual cores. Yeah, we know we don't need them because WP7 is smooth with a single core, but consumers want state-of-the-art devices when they pay top dollar, and not just an old overclocked single core.

Make this happen and Windows Phone will sell a lot more.

Anonymous said...

Please don't compared StevenSi to Jobs. There was only one Windoze d!ckriding blogger who said that. And I'm sure it was page views from Redmond employees.

Win8 is a year away. Let's hope no one fucks it up.


My thoughts exactly. I read that blog and kept wondering how much MS paid that guy to d!ksuk this. By the time Sinofsky manages to get that photocopier working, we'd be @ iPad 4 or 5. Not expecting any magic from MS, those days are long gone.

Jedediah Leland said...

I practically fell out of my chair after reading SteveB's last e-mail (scroll ALL the way down).

Best case is that Shaw was asked to review it for consistent messaging. Worse case is that his e-mails are being written by Shaw. I believe it is the former and that Shaw is working with SteveB on how he delivers the company messaging after a number of flubs in the past few FAM's. Try reading transcripts of Steve at previous FAM's vs. listening and you will find he would be all over the place. Quotes from those events made you scratch your head and wonder about him even more...

Big gaffe either way and I got a really good chuckle out of it.

Anonymous said...

It has been a year since I left MSFT and it has been the best year of my life.

The lack of vision from the top, the inane HR and review policies and procedure and the obscure version of "teamwork", where people work together and against each other at the same time, drove me away.

Anonymous said...

I went last year and it was enough. I'll stay working so I can deliver stuff without working overtime. Company meeting, tons of all hands, random meetings... People should just work and stop wasting time.

Anonymous said...

I recently attended StrangeLoop 2011. Of the 900 attendees, only about 20 were using Windows laptops. There were probably more Ubuntu users there. Granted this is a open-source friendly conference, but even a decade ago Windows laptops would have a significant presence.

The open source world is exploding with cool, free technology like hadoop, git, storm, clojure, ruby, node.js, coffeescript. Github just hit 1MM users.

Software drives platform adoption. MS developers are increasingly concentrated in enterprise development and less likely to create the next great thing for Windows platforms.

S&T is a fantastic business, but the iPad and Hadoop have shown that compelling solutions will be quickly adopted by enterprises.

Great applications are not being written for Windows, and it feels like MS constant attempts to catch up just leave it weaker and weaker and more dependent on legacy markets.

Anonymous said...

As a recent ex-FTE with a long and stable record of pre-MSFT dev and marketing success, MSFT's NIH mentality was demoralizing: you're hired for what you've accomplished and then you're told to leave those skills and experiences at the door. How can MSFT innovate when we won't cross-pollinate?
The new scoring system is a tweak of MSFT's medieval HR approach; it was driven by a much-worse-than-acknowledged unfavorable attrition. SteveB and LisaB think killing the 5's will raise the stock price! The real problem is the annual Commitments/Accountabilities circle-jerk; it's like a centrally-planned economy. I carried more than 30 accountabilities and not one had a direct impact on any goal or strategy...and on this we're measured for success? Remember, folks, your Microsoft fate is decided behind closed doors and you don't have direct input or recourse. Note to job seekers: if you're L62 or below, you're a field hand; L63's work in the Big House, and at L64 you may get some respect. Oh, wait--the real problem is >70,000 vendors: dump them, make FTE's do the scut work, and MSFT would be a killing machine.

Anonymous said...

Depending on who is being forced out or leaving, too, the new system might help with the Young up Microsoft initiative I hear whispers of.

Care to elaborate on what you are hearing about "Young Up Microsoft"?

Anonymous said...

I look at this system and, stepping back, it makes sense if you're preparing to do some major organizational slimming over, say, a three year period. For instance, if SteveB were going to leave, I imagine before he goes he would cut back huge parts of Microsoft versus leaving that task to the new CEO, who might make radically bad cut-back decisions (from the former CEO's point of view). Better to give over to the new leader a starving company ready to grow versus a fat pig you've got to go all Neutron-Jack on.

Three more years. Three more years to drive down until today's lower 3s are FY2014's 5s.

Depending on who is being forced out or leaving, too, the new system might help with the Young up Microsoft initiative I hear whispers of.


Holy crap! This would completely explain this latest review system madness.

Although I don't see why it would stop at three years... unless of course they change the review system, again.

Only a salesman (SteveB) or ex- Walmart KevinT, who both lack any understanding of engineering, would come up with a strategy like this.

Savvy folks will wise up to this pretty quickly. If there are any signs that I'm trending down from a *consistent* 1/2, I'll want to get out quickly since my best days at Microsoft are past, and I'll be on my way out soon anyway.

As if our current strategies weren't already destroying the company... I predict this will be the first nail in the coffin, that triggers Microsoft's descent into irrelevance.

Anonymous said...

"Employees will soon have to pay a contribution (and deductibles) for health care (thank you very much ObamaCare and the Cadillac Tax for bringing that to us)"

MS employees contribute mightily to the Democratic Party (same party which waged war on Microsoft in 2000 and tanked the stock). You are getting paid back in kind and it couldn't happen to nicer people. It's called Darwinism.

Anonymous said...

Care to elaborate on what you are hearing about "Young Up Microsoft"?


Now do you fully understand the scope of the "Know Your Numbers" campaign...

Anonymous said...

@Attrition is at an all time high.. I hear in India it has gone through the roof..WTF!!!!

as expected :)

Anonymous said...

@Attrition is at an all time high.. I hear in India it has gone through the roof..WTF!!!!

as expected :)

Thanks to Raj Biyani

Anonymous said...

you can tell how angry this post made the Apple fanboys by how many virtually identical "dicksucking", "dickriding", "photocopiers" comments came out almost immediately (hmm...maybe some sockpuppetry or are they all this defensively stupid?)

hey if those comments aren't in poor taste, Mini, can I go ahead with my "Steve Jobs is finally dying of AIDS" routine? because believe me that guy had a karma payback coming bigtime

Anonymous said...

"you can tell how angry this post made the Apple fanboys by how many virtually identical "dicksucking", "dickriding", "photocopiers" comments came out almost immediately"

Actually you're the first to mention any of those words. Inferiority complex? I bet you're short too.

Anonymous said...

As a Windows Phone7 User i think MS has shown it can surpass IOS and Android if it will . Windows8 brings fresh Wind into the Pad Market and Windows7 is a proven Success .

Anonymous said...

The last 2 or 3 posts by mini have been weird (writing style and tone). I think the minis have switched in the background and that the original has already left...

Anonymous said...

Care to elaborate on what you are hearing about "Young Up Microsoft"?


Now do you fully understand the scope of the "Know Your Numbers" campaign...


I suppose that response stays consistent with the conspiratorial tone, but I'd hope for better from Mini than spreading rumors.

Anonymous said...

The plan with the current review model is indeed -- young up. They aim is to ensure that enough folks leave the company so that the college hires can be bought in and given enough of a growth path to make the company attractive for them. Make this once again a young company-- get hip ideas and hopefully become more relevant

Anonymous said...

"As a Windows Phone7 User i think MS has shown it can surpass IOS and Android if it will . Windows8 brings fresh Wind into the Pad Market and Windows7 is a proven Success ."

I don't think this comment was sarcastic, which makes it so much funnier.

In what way has Microsoft shown that it can surpass iOS and Android? By losing the entire mobile market with Windows Phone 7, which has managed to sell about 38 units?

Anonymous said...

The last 2 or 3 posts by mini have been weird (writing style and tone). I think the minis have switched in the background and that the original has already left...


agree! sorry original mini, but all the best! pls send us a tantalizing 'where's mini' pic on a regular basis...keep hope alive and give us hours of fun in speculating where your story ended!

Anonymous said...

Care to elaborate on what you are hearing about "Young Up Microsoft"?

Now do you fully understand the scope of the "Know Your Numbers" campaign...

I suppose that response stays consistent with the conspiratorial tone, but I'd hope for better from Mini than spreading rumors.



In defense of Mini, this site has never been about "spreading rumors," but rather an open commentary and exchange of ideas and opinions.

Why did the comment strike such a nerve?

Is it because you scored a "5" in the "sense of humor" ranking or is the ultra-secret "push out" everyone over 8 years of age program now in effect. Note to all: I heard that the 7 year olds are next...

Please be so kind to let all of us know which Section you're in on Friday as some of us have little desire to be reported to HR for not golf-clapping loud enough.

Anonymous said...

If someone isn't going to eat their sandwich at the meeting tomorrow, can I have it?

Anonymous said...

If someone isn't going to eat their sandwich at the meeting tomorrow, can I have it?

You can have mine.

Anonymous said...

If someone isn't going to eat their sandwich at the meeting tomorrow, can I have it?

You can have mine.


Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Steve's bacon hasn't been saved yet. He still has to survive the shareholder meeting on November 15th. And from the look of the last two days, MS could be in the teens by then. In which case I wouldn't want to be SteveO!

Anonymous said...

If someone isn't going to eat their sandwich at the meeting tomorrow, can I have it?

You can have mine.

Thanks!

np

Anonymous said...

1) Great comment from the L63. Important and accurate concerns. Is Steve being called to account?

2) What's the deal on Shaw and Ballmer's email for those of us on the outside (just give us a clue if it's confidential).

Anonymous said...

is the ultra-secret "push out" everyone over 8 years of age program now in effect

I'm older than 8 years of age. How long do I have?

Anonymous said...

Is it really true that WP 7 apps won't run on WP 7.5?

Anonymous said...

"Windows was once an impenetrable fortress, but in the past year, AAPL has penetrated it with a single product launch."

Not only that, it removed any remaining ability for the board and Ballmer's apologists to continue credibly arguing that he's competent. Even after a decade of mistakes and then losing the smartphone market that MS helped pioneer, they were still getting away with that. But the tablet loss was the final straw and now everyone can see that a decade of criticism by mini and others has been right on target. There is no plan. There is no bold strategy. There's no magical products resulting from a decade of massive R&D spending that are suddenly about to spring onto the market and change the competitive balance of power. There's just an arrogant, incompetent, CEO and senior leadership team that collectively failed to anticipate and adapt, got their ass kicked by Apple and Google (not to mention others), and ended up permanently diminishing the company's competitive positioning and future prospects.

Anonymous said...


The last 2 or 3 posts by mini have been weird (writing style and tone). I think the minis have switched in the background and that the original has already left...


Odd, I had exactly the same thought when I read the blog entry. I wonder if Mini passed the torch to the one person who supposedly figured out who he really is (or was)?

Anonymous said...

Nice post Mini and thanks for embedding the insightful summary from our L63 colleage.
I am also betting of StevenSi big time and what i heard thru the grapevine of BOD meetings is that Ballmer will be invited to leave when Win8 is out. Preparing for this change is likely in his commits already.
Mr Si has two ditinct wins going for him, delivery record and credibility in the technology industry. Having watched Ballmer complete lack of credibility in technical matters over a decade, this is certainly refreshing.

I, like you, want to be hopeful.

Anonymous said...

wonder if it really was Philip Su? :)
http://worldofsu.com/philipsu/?page_id=193

Anonymous said...

Mini could you setup a facebook page for folks to vote and demand change at Microsoft.

Steve has been destroying shareholder value for the last 10 yrs and with this years performance review , He along with Lisa have perfected the art.

Almost 30% of good,solid well performing employees are now demotivated and their only job is to find a new job.

Would be great if we can have a social campaign on facebook and promoted through twitter to demand transparency and change at the top.

I would like to see the performance report card of everyone in the executive suite starting from the GM level and all partners.

Anonymous said...

"You're going to stand up. You're going to put aside all the depressing thoughts of those golden handcuffs never unfolding into a sparkling world of wonderment and retirement. You've got a job, a colorful CEO, perhaps a nice raise, and a company holiday to find out what's going on and to have some free grub with your work buds. Compared to 99% of the rest of the world right now, it's worth swigging the Kool-Aid for at least one day and cheering. "

What the fuck are you talking about?

So you're advocating that, in the one single event where we're actually all WITH these asshole SLT people that we pretend everything is rosy? So they can all pat themselves on the back and keep talking about what an awesome job they're doing?

Mini, what the hell? Are you daft? I know you like the company meeting, but your advice is such total Partner bullshit! It's hard to take anything you say seriously when you post something this ridiculous.

If nowhere else, the company meeting is the place to either boycott or express your displeasure by NOT clapping, by NOT allowing our rancid SLT to bask in their failures, and to send a clear message. IT IS THE ONLY VENUE WHERE WE CAN MAKE A STATEMENT.

And you want us to smile and cheer?

Anonymous said...

>> >> >> >>If someone isn't going to eat their sandwich at the meeting tomorrow, can I have it?

>> >> >> You can have mine.

>> >>Thanks!

>> np

I wish this is how people actually worked in MS.

Current reality is to steal or forcefully grab the sandwich.

Anonymous said...

20% of Microsoft employees underperformed last year.
What a shame the list does not include LisaB and SteveB but innocent hard working employees.

Anonymous said...

IT IS THE ONLY VENUE WHERE WE CAN MAKE A STATEMENT.

No, that would be in these comment threads.

Anonymous said...

Is it really true that WP 7 apps won't run on WP 7.5?

No one has ever said that ever. Of course it's not true. Get out, troll.

Anonymous said...

if those comments aren't in poor taste, Mini, can I go ahead with my "Steve Jobs is finally dying of AIDS" routine? because believe me that guy had a karma payback coming bigtime

Talk about karma paybacks ... how about KT chokes on his cheeseburger at some drive-thru? And I have it on good authority that is very likely, given the way he inhales burgers.

Anonymous said...

@Anon from Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:30:00 AM (as well as Mini for using the quote from the Cadillac Tax guy).

Steve Ballmer has done to Microsoft what George W. Bush did to the United States from 2000-2008 - run things straight into the ground. And - they're both Republicans, just like the person you’re quoting.

And all this praise for Steven Sinosfsky isn’t going to change much at Microsoft. As long as he and Windows have the dominating presence on Microsoft and all its businesses, innovation will find paths outside the company and elsewhere.

It makes me think that the DOJ had the right idea way back when – break up MS into several Baby-Bills.

All this talk about competing with Apple - haven't this all been heard before?

I assert that Microsoft has already lost this 'battle' with Apple for two reasons -

1. iPad effectively dictates the rules of the game now.

2. Apple is simply better at what it takes to win at this game.

If you substitute 'Google' for 'Apple', and 'iPad' for 'Search' you get something remarkably similar -

1. Search effectively dictates the rules of the game now.

2. Google is simply better at what it takes to win at this game.

In these competitive spaces outside the enterprise, Microsoft, for all its software development resources, simply doesn't get the larger concepts of -

1) Design;
2) Usability; and
3) Understanding the end-user customer experience.

Throwing more developers at the problem doesn't make it solved. Turning all testers into developers helps in no way either.

Trying to compete with these companies to do something better than they do - when they already do it very well - is a setup for failure, and has been for a very long time.

But keep quoting a guy who refers to health insurance reform as ‘Obamacare’ – you’re only confirming Microsoft’s continuing path to irrelevance.

Anonymous said...

"20% of Microsoft employees underperformed last year.
What a shame the list does not include LisaB and SteveB but innocent hard working employees."

Watched Survivor? Steveb has a permanent immunity pass granted to him by Bill. The only way for it to be rescinded is for Bill to decide to or for Bill to get removed.

Anonymous said...

Will the folks that volunteered their sandwiches please list their aliases so we can get in touch? How do I know whose sandwich to take if we're all posting anonymously? :-)

Kidding aside, I'm glad people mentioned the sandwiches. This year has me so unexcited that the sandwich is the only thing that might possibly lure me over there. I mean, otherwise I'd have to pay for my sandwich. Maybe I should just grab a box and leave.

Last year Ballmer told us to "be what's next." I think he meant we should look for another job.

Anonymous said...

"Best case is that Shaw was asked to review it for consistent messaging"

Why wouldn't he be? The memo is invariably leaked and then published everywhere. So it only makes sense that Shaw gets to look it over. After all, he has the thankless job of dealing with the resulting fallout.

Anonymous said...

"but exec should at least give employees the option to give a crap about MSFTs mid-long term success."

The execs themselves don't want the stock or give a crap about mid-long term success. Have you seen insider sales recently? The long view is strictly for PR consumption. These guys are like cocaine addicts, snorting the blow as fast as they can, while they can.

Anonymous said...

Apple market cap is almost double that of msft. Under steveb's leadership, the company has failed in all new markets. Yahoo and HP responded to poor leadership will msft board do something?

Anonymous said...

"Depending on who is being forced out or leaving, too, the new system might help with the Young up Microsoft initiative I hear whispers of."

Are you suggesting that the new review system may be a way to institutionalize discrimination against older workers?

Anonymous said...

Looking at the avalanche of comments on the last two posts, I can't help thinking that Microsoft's stock price and future would be just fine if its employees spent half as much time doing their work as they do bitching about it.

Geez people - you have a job and you're making good money. That's a lot more than can be said about a very large number of people in the world right now. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Is it really true that WP 7 apps won't run on WP 7.5?

No one has ever said that ever. Of course it's not true.


Are you sure? http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/09/20/submit-windows-phone-7-5-apps-today-update-7-0-apps-in-october.aspx seems to imply developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps. It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

Maybe you should get your own troll head out of your shit hole and stop drinking that kool-aid for a moment.

Anonymous said...

If you would really like to know who got a 1+, 1, or 2, go sit at the company meeting today. Except for a few of the 3's who think there is still a chance for them to upgrade their rank position, that should be all of the people who attend.

A colorful CEO? More on the Walmartization process? And everyone is to be grateful they have a job and free beer/koolaid, at least for today? It might be a fun seat at the circus, and a chance to get a sense of what crazy looks like, and sandwich might be something special, but it doesn't seem worth rising up to the level of "grateful." Should we count our blessings next? I have that mildly bobblehead WTF sensation after the near admonishment to participate in the standing ovation following a mediocre din at the concert.

Thanks for the reminder about the upcoming pay cut when the deductible/copay/sharing of medical expense train rolls through town. The punches just keep on coming.

Anonymous said...

Care to elaborate on what you are hearing about "Young Up Microsoft"?

One data point - I've heard college/intern recruiting is at its highest point ever.

Anonymous said...

"PS: please dont include this in the public post: I would like to exchange some impressions with you,can you contact me via tg01wp7 at mail dot com.

Doh!

Anonymous said...

My right leg has been underperforming, so I just severed it. Good attrition. I feel so much better now.

Anonymous said...

Everday there seems to be an annoucement of a CVP leaving MS whats happenning does Ballmer have any plans for retention or does he want everyone to leave

Anonymous said...

"the Young up Microsoft initiative"

I'm a L61 product Dev in my 40s. I have a family including a daughter who has a chronic illness. I know I'm not a 'cheap' employee.

All year I was told how great I was doing, both by my Manager and Skip. Yet, come the review I was hit with a 5. No Bonus, no merit, no R&D, no Stock.

I'm now interviewing externally. I've had enough of this shit.

So yes, congrats to Steve and Lisa, your plan is working!

Anonymous said...

In terms of Cloud being a "Win", in terms of business profit, I'd like to see a clearer analysis of that. As I see it you have 3 major cloud iniatives, Bing, Azure and Office 365. Bing is neat, but still a net loss for the company. Azure is a great compute platform being used by a lot of research projects, but super hard to onboard for most people and has not made a lot of profit. Office 365 is off to a fantastic start to compete with Google Docs and hopefully will be a big future profit maker.

Sure, plenty of work is being done to make various products work better with the web, PHP running on Windows, Office apps running in web mode, Bing innovations
But it won't matter if it we don't make it mass-consumable; we need killer-apps for these platforms or the platforms won't matter.

At the same time, a large chunk of the company is still thinking of online services (cloud) as a vendor army to implement process rather than an engineering army to automate process (like Facebook/Amazon/etc.) which is slowing down our ability to deliver products and increasing the cost of delivering services. To change that requires a change in leadership/vision at the top of GNS/GFS and related orgs (maybe most of OSD needs to grow up from vendor-run services to code-run services).

Anonymous said...

Senior IC -- Got my surprise Fiver after a clean MYCD, got my stock vest deposited and promptly gave notice. Escaping a group with toxic politics and abysmal management. Scapegoating of those who get the work done, while management distorts & prospers.

Ready to enjoy the rest of my life after 10 "glorious" years with MS on projects that literally contributed billion$ of profits to Bill & Steve. So sorry to be missing today's Kool-Aid IV injection (I'll be at Alki selling MSFT stock on my iPhone 4).

I am good attrition and your precious scorecard is green.

Anonymous said...

""Steve's bacon hasn't been saved yet. He still has to survive the shareholder meeting on November 15th. And from the look of the last two days, MS could be in the teens by then. In which case I wouldn't want to be SteveO!""

This is laughable.

Ms shareholders will vote for him unanimously like they always do.

Anonymous said...

I thought last year's meeting was bad; I was wrong.
Most presenters today had very few interesting things to show or tell: that was boring, but understandable.
Lisa managed to ruin the part, which was supposed to be fun, and Steve killed the rest: he had nothing to tell his employees.
What a shame...

Anonymous said...

SteveB did one of the smartest things I've ever seen him do as CEO today: He delegated responsibility by paying someone else to jump around like an asshole during his entrance instead of doing it all by himself. Now if only he'd do the same with his regular day job...

Anonymous said...

finally, SB stopped his monkey dance ...

Anonymous said...

Did SteveB shout "I love this company" today? I did not remember.

Anonymous said...

What a sad spectacle. While SteveB was yacking away, people were leaving in droves. Back in the good old days when BillG spoke, EVERYONE listened.

Steve, you've lost the support of your employees - when will you realize that you're holding this once great company back? Oh and BTW, you can take LB and KT with you too. They like the taste of your Kool Aid...

Now for the unpleasant weeks ahead. Wonder what flaming bag of you know what LB will lay on our doorsteps? She rolled out cuts to our bennies last year just after the company meeting, what's next???

Anonymous said...

Great demos and pretty good overall. Only thing is the last part, windows, cannot lose. Sounds a bit defensive from our CEO.

Anonymous said...

Windows 8 is a year away? That means it's also at least one more Mac and iOS design cycle away. Metro seems to be a credible attempt to catch up to iOS 5, but it's not shooting high enough to catch iOS 6.

Anonymous said...

@September 23, 2011 7:44:00 PM
Did SteveB shout "I love this company" today? I did not remember.


I was waiting to hear this too. I assume he still loves THIS COMPANY on the 'edge of glory'.

Anonymous said...

"Are you sure?"

If he isn't, I am. Of course they run. Learn how to read. Nothing in that post says 7.0 apps won't run on 7.5. Your stupid little troll failed. I know you think you're really subtle but you're actually exceedingly obvious.

Anonymous said...

"The apps will one day supplant all 11+ of those businesses."

Yep, that's how it will go unless (is anybody holding their breath?) MS picks up the reins and starts driving that old technology wagon again...anyone betting? Nah, me neither...

Anonymous said...

Okay it’s been a couple years since I personally attended the company meeting but, wow, I have to say that was the worst one I’ve ever seen by far. I tried, I swear I tried to keep my admittedly sinking attitude in check and be objective. But it was just too much to endure such painfully flat demos and lifeless speakers in their sleepy attempts to show excitement about our products and our future. The train dance thing (the few times they did it) got old fast but it soon became a welcome reprieve from the on-stage monotony. It seemed like almost every demo was something about Win 8 tablet, with a few quick nods to products that are actually doing well in the marketplace, then back to praying to the Windows 8 gods for rain.

Is Win 8 tablet all we have left to be excited about? Has the morale across the company slumped so much that 20,000 of us together can’t even generate a decent applause? Please someone tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’ve just got a bad attitude and I completely misread the meeting.

Anonymous said...

Yep, pretty sad to see all the seats empty out while SteveB was talking...hopefully he gets the hint and bows out in the Win8 timeframe.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure? [link] seems to imply developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps. It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

No, reading this, I would assume that 7.0 apps will run on 7.5 ... the point was that if you want to take advantage of new 7.5 features, you will need to release a separate version (but you can still maintain the old version too).

Makes some sense, but why can't 7.5 apps also run on 7.0? It is common for software to do version checks and enable/disable code depending on whether or not the required OS features are available. If this isn't possible in Windows Phone, it's another reason for developers to avoid the platform, and Microsoft needs all the developer support it can get...

Anonymous said...

Apple market cap is almost double that of msft.

Is it just me, or did that happen rather quickly? It seems like it was only yesterday that the big news was how Apple's market cap had sneaked past Microsoft's.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the avalanche of comments on the last two posts, I can't help thinking that Microsoft's stock price and future would be just fine if its employees spent half as much time doing their work as they do bitching about it.

Not all of us who comment are employees, of course. Can you spot the difference?

Anonymous said...

Sure, plenty of work is being done to make various products work better with the web, PHP running on Windows [...]"

PHP on Windows? Really? Why would anyone bother with Windows for that?

newhire said...

I am a new hire and the entire blogroll seems to paint an extremely poor picture of microsoft. @mini: does it really suck that bad ?

Anonymous said...

What will happen to you if you have questions about MS evaluation:
http://mobbingsoft.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

The lack of a real host brought the fun factor of the event down.

If they're not going to have a good host, they should just get rid of the segues

KT improved from prior years, but it seems like a forced 'pretend to act like balmer' routine

I'd want to hear Balmer at the beginning to really pump people up.

To bad they really can't show anything thats not already public or a not important. The secrecy within the company really hurts productivity in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"finally, SB stopped his monkey dance ..."

"I looooovvve Microsoft.."

Either age or reality caught up with SteveB.

"Windows cannot lose," it probably won't, this question is whether it can win? With W8 done, Windows people are leaving in droves----at least those who can (and able.)Yea, W8 is not yet released, but design is done, all the product misses and review unfairness is prompting people to look around. Some backstabbers in DNT/HDX are happy and getting 1 or 2, just remember there is karma, things will even out. Can you beleive that Jon Devaan is now only a corp VP? He used to be the head of all of Windows engineering (COSD), this W8 re-org brought in a lot of bad charactors from WEX, look inside DNT PM GPM list and see what is missing in W8 Building, StevenSi and JulieLar should know which PM GPM should be on the "young up" list---in this case, totally justified, he is POS. SteveB or LisaB, if you still don't know, just ask the question, I will let you know who.


If there is young up agenda, it might be needed, but there will be law suits, it just take a person filing a class action suit.

FARfetched said...

Great demos and pretty good overall. Only thing is the last part, windows, cannot lose. Sounds a bit defensive from our CEO.

It probably has something to do with the Windows 8 UEFI mandate.

Hey, if you can't get people to want your OS, force 'em to use it anyway. Then you can't lose.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, you've lost the support of your employees - when will you realize that you're holding this once great company back?"

No kidding. And that should be the final nail in his coffin from the board's perspective. Losing the support of Wall St, which happened more than half a decade ago, shouldn't have been ignored. But a CEO can still perform their daily duties without that, as he and a few others have. But a CEO who has lost the support of his employees can't function period. The board is now further damaging their credibility by pretending otherwise.

Steve says the day he realizes MS is better off without him he'll quit, but from what I know of him that'll never happen. One of the things he holds sacred is that you never give up. Bill needs to take a moment away from his important but all consuming charity work and realize just how much trouble MS is now in and that we got here with Steve at the helm.

Give him a lifetime achievement award. Retain him as an ongoing consultant, director, whatever. But give someone else a chance before it's too late. And hope that wasn't in fact five years ago.

Anonymous said...

Can't see Steve leaving pre-W8 launch and with the global economy tanking. We're stuck with him until at least then. Unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure? http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/09/20/submit-windows-phone-7-5-apps-today-update-7-0-apps-in-october.aspx seems to imply developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps. It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

Read that again. WP7.5 will run 7.0 apps, 7.0 will not run 7.5 apps. This makes sense, as 7.5 adds functionality that 7.0 can't use. It's backwards-compatible but not forwards-compatible.

The article you linked is actually a good thing. Previously, the plan of record for the WP store was that once you've updated your app to 7.5 (so that you could take advantage of 7.5 features like fast resume) you could no longer update it for 7.0 phones. That means the last 7.0 release you made is what 7.0 phones would see forever, and if there was a bug or security issue you'd never be able to patch it. The WP store guys realized that's dumb and are making a change so that you can maintain both versions of the app at the same time.

That said, the goal is for all 7.0 phones to be upgraded to 7.5 by the end of October. AT&T is doing their level best to make sure that doesn't happen (HD7S and Focus 1.4 have been pushed to mid-October, and will probably push out farther if the NoDo update is any indication). In theory that means that 7.0 phones should all be on 7.5 come November, but it practice there will be people who don't upgrade, people who don't want to upgrade (really?), or plenty of other reasons to keep around 7.0 applications. And of course there's no reason to upgrade your 7.0 phone app to 7.5 if you don't intend to take advantage of the features. The fart app you pushed out in a day probably doesn't ever need to be touched again, and will continue to run just fine on 7.5 phones.

Anonymous said...

I have a question - some folks on the review thread are claiming they are jumping ship to other companies, making more money than they are at microsoft. My question is who are these other companies???

I'm L64 SDE, and base+bonus+stock puts me ~187K for the next year (assuming level 3 & $25 share price. A level 2, which is achieavalbe, will put me ~192K).

So my question is what companies are paying this kind of money for SDEs?

Salaries posted on Glassdoor don't give me much hope...

Thanks,

Mike

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous on Friday, September 23, 2011 8:39:00 AM
>Are you sure? http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/09/20/submit-windows-phone-7-5-apps-today-update-7-0-apps-in-october.aspx seems to imply developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps. It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

Maybe you should get your own troll head out of your shit hole and stop drinking that kool-aid for a moment.


Wow... talk about reading comprehension fail. For someone who's calling out someone for calling out someone else, you could try taking your own advice.

That blog post is for DEVELOPERS who want to continue adding new features to their 7.5 apps while still being able to add those same new features for users who don't upgrade from 7.0.

Regular 7.0 apps will run on 7.5 with no changes.

Regular 7.0 apps will run on 7.5 with no changes.


(The opposite is not true - 7.5 apps that use 7.5 APIs will not gracefully run on 7.0.)

Your first statement is factually accurate:
>developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps.

Well I guess they don't NEED to maintain two versions - they can freeze development of the older 7.0 version and just keep adding new features to the 7.5 version. But if they want to add new feature Z (that's not dependent on 7.5 APIs), then they'll need to add feature Z to both the 7.0 published app AND the 7.5 published app. The blog post just says that this is now possible, instead of the previous policy of the 7.0 app being frozen forever.

The alternative is to only add feature Z to the new 7.5 app, and leave the old app in the marketplace for 7.0 users to install. Since 7.5 is a free upgrade and all hardware will support it (eventually), I personally think this is reasonable.

Your second statement is plain false and does not logically follow from the previous statement:
>It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

For being not too clear on it, you sure made a strong attack on the previous person. Try thinking through your own evidence a little better next time. The comments in the blog post you linked said the same thing I just did.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft competitors are jokers? Funny.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure? http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/09/20/submit-windows-phone-7-5-apps-today-update-7-0-apps-in-october.aspx seems to imply developers need to maintain both 7.0 and 7.5 versions of their apps. It would seem that you can't run 7.0 apps on 7.5 but am not too clear about that.

Perhaps read the post you linked to? 7.5 apps won't run on 7.0, which should be a surprise to no one. Of course 7.0 apps run on 7.5.

Maybe you should get your own troll head out of your shit hole and stop drinking that kool-aid for a moment.

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Anonymous said...

Soon after the so-called guest host announced herself, I left. Had a great time acting like a tourist in Seattle for the rest of the day.

From the comments so far, sounds like I made the right choice.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't imply WinPhone 7.5 can't run 7.0 apps. It implies WinPhone 7.0 can't necessarily run all WinPhone 7.5 apps. Big difference.

Anonymous said...

"Only thing is the last part, windows, cannot lose. Sounds a bit defensive from our CEO."

When in doubt, always trust in Steve. After all, just look at his record:

"Vista will be great"
"We'll catch Google in search within a year"
"iPhone won't get any significant share"
"iPad is a toy"
"MS isn't being disrupted"
"We love our strategy"

Anonymous said...

Looking at the avalanche of comments on the last two posts, I can't help thinking that Microsoft's stock price and future would be just fine if its employees spent half as much time doing their work as they do bitching about it.

Geez people - you have a job and you're making good money. That's a lot more than can be said about a very large number of people in the world right now. Grow up.

I'm going to respectfully take issue with these statements.

First of all, I doubt that you can demonstrate a correlation between the stock price and employees actually doing their jobs. The stock price, I suspect, has more to do with public perception of the company, and I doubt that the public has any insight into how we're each doing our day-to-day work, except for those executives with high visibility to the outside world.

Second, I spend only 10 minutes a week bitching about the company, so half that time would be five minutes. I doubt cutting down to that is going to help.

Last, yes, I have a job and am making great money. But there's more to life and career than that.

I think I have a right to enjoy my work and my workplace, especially given my skill set and experience.

Nothing against them, of course, but unskilled or far lesser skilled workers are really the ones to be saying, "I'm just lucky to have a job."

For me to say that--and I hope for you--that would truly be selling ourselves short, and I refuse to do that. I worked hard with great success in my education; I've worked hard with great success in my career.

I don't mean this to sound arrogant in any way. I'm not that kind of person, and I know I'm lucky to have been born in a country with all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. But I'm the one who went through the blood, sweat and tears to do something with them.

Put another way, it simply relates to supply and demand. Because my skills are more in demand, I have higher expectations for my working environment.

If you disagree with this, I'd love to know the reasons why.

Anonymous said...

you can tell how angry this post made the Apple fanboys by how many virtually identical "dicksucking", "dickriding", "photocopiers" comments came out almost immediately (hmm...maybe some sockpuppetry or are they all this defensively stupid?)

hey if those comments aren't in poor taste, Mini, can I go ahead with my "Steve Jobs is finally dying of AIDS" routine? because believe me that guy had a karma payback coming bigtime>>>>>

I live in the Bay Area and I work in tech down here. I know a ton of people from Apple. It's laughable that you think they'd be here, Apple doesn't even think about Microsoft. They don't talk about you, your fooling yourself.

Why would they? The iPad is this massive success, the enterprise adoption is even faster than the consumer adoption. Apple is all people can talk about in China. the iPhone is killing it. Google is their competitor, not you.

While you go on and on about your massive market share in PCs, Macs have had massive jumps in share - more expensive lap tops - during a world economy melt down. Go to a college campus and you have to search hard to find a Windows PC. They're all Macs being used by the kids who will be IT decision makers in twenty years if not sooner.

Your rather dickish, creepy comment about Steve Jobs and your belief that Apple people are even posting here are only a reflection of your insecurity about your own company. Apple's already left you behind, you're an afterthought, Microsoft is in Apple's rear view mirror. Get out of your head, Apple is indifferent to you. They are focused on their own bright future with unprecedented upswing. Everyone I know is trying to get a job there or building Apps for the iOS platform. Consider getting over yourself.

Anonymous said...

Either age or reality caught up with SteveB.

Probably a bit of both.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Anonymous said...

>> "Windows 8 takes four years to do six months of coding in soviet style bureaucracy while apple has released version after version of their stuff. Bing is losing billions. Windows Phone is dead on arrival. Azure died before arrival."

> A common pattern is that msft is trying to copy success, but sucking at execution.

Here is a question: has Microsoft's ability to execute degraded since the successful years (i.e., Win95, Win98, Office95...Flight Sim!) or has the rest of the industry just gotten better? Apple had some sucky years too, what changed? What is Google's "secret sauce"?

Anonymous said...

Apple market cap is almost double that of msft.

Is it just me, or did that happen rather quickly? It seems like it was only yesterday that the big news was how Apple's market cap had sneaked past Microsoft's.


MSFT market cap $209B, AAPL $374B. According to SEC filings, MSFT insiders sold 117.3 million shares in the last reporting period. In the same period institutional holders sold 81.5 million. Which seems to suggest that professional investors see more value in Microsoft than the company's executives. Can you see how that might be a concern?

Anonymous said...

HP, the PC OEM with highest market share, is dumping PC business. ACER is number two, but in trouble too, openly saying that ACER must shift quickly to the post-PC reality. Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba are not known for being able to generate consumer excitement, Sony is a niche player. Who do we think will give up the volume boost from W8 in 2012 and 2013? Nearly 50% of the PCs are still running XP, there is no migration path from XP to W7 or W8, do we expect consumer and businesses to put out around $500 to buy a new W8 PC---When there are iOS that is "better" and Chrome/Android that is cheaper? Even Alibara in China is getting into the OS game.

Will there be a W9? Will SteveB still be the CEO when W9 is released? Will there be a Microsoft when W9 is supposed to be released (third years after W8 is released)?

Can Microsoft survive with substaintially less of the net income Windows bring in a year($10+ Billions) in 2013 or 2014?

"Senior IC -- Got my surprise Fiver after a clean MYCD, got my stock vest deposited and promptly gave notice. Escaping a group with toxic politics and abysmal management. Scapegoating of those who get the work done, while management distorts & prospers. "


Don't tell me you are in HDX!

Anonymous said...

"It probably has something to do with the Windows 8 UEFI mandate."

You mean the one that's effectively the same as what Google is doing with Chromebooks? Suggest you do some reading before making stupid conclusions.

Anonymous said...

> But keep quoting a guy who refers to health insurance reform as ‘Obamacare’ – you’re only confirming Microsoft’s continuing path to irrelevance.

Obamacare Obamacare Obamacare. Not the OP, just amazed that someone can be so politicized. Wake up: MS's problems aren't from quoting someone with whom you disagree, and they won't get any better by adhering to your form of Political Correctness.

Anonymous said...


I'm L64 SDE, and base+bonus+stock puts me ~187K for the next year (assuming level 3 & $25 share price. A level 2, which is achieavalbe, will put me ~192K).


you can't but it's no fair comparison. you gained your stocks thru many years. for eg, if you go work @ goog, you can probably match or beat your base pay but the stock portions will take a few years to recover.

Politics are everywhere, not just MSFT. Trust me. So make your work enjoyable for yourself, learn something new or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps read the post you linked to? 7.5 apps won't run on 7.0, which should be a surprise to no one.

Actually it should be a surprise. Software has been doing OS version-checks for decades to decide which APIs to call etc. iPhone apps are released all the time that take advantage of new iOS features but still work on old versions of iOS. What is the technical reason preventing WP7.5 apps from running on WP7.0?

Anonymous said...

That said, the goal is for all 7.0 phones to be upgraded to 7.5 by the end of October. AT&T is doing their level best to make sure that doesn't happen

Can somebody please explain to me how AT&T can delay the release of a Windows Phone update for months whereas Apple can seemingly update iOS at will?

Seriously, look at the iOS version history. There have literally been *THIRTEEN* updates to iOS since WP7 was released.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Microsofty blog at http://microsofty.blogspot.com/?

Anonymous said...

I have a question - some folks on the review thread are claiming they are jumping ship to other companies, making more money than they are at microsoft. My question is who are these other companies???

I'm L64 SDE, and base+bonus+stock puts me ~187K for the next year (assuming level 3 & $25 share price. A level 2, which is achieavalbe, will put me ~192K).

So my question is what companies are paying this kind of money for SDEs?


I think the short answer is all of them.

I was a 10+ years L64 SDE in Windows and jumped to Amazon about four months ago. I accepted an offer that was roughly equivalent to what I would have gotten had I stayed for the review (most likely would have gotten a 3 maybe even a 2) - so I got my review goodies four months early.

If you include the signing bonus then I'm making quite a bit more than I was at MS - at least for a while. And when you include the stock awards... wow!

Friend of mine went to Google and reports much the same thing - except for the stock situation.

Oh, and Amazon is hiring.

One more thing, and sorry if it comes across as harsh: if you think you're not worth as much to Amazon or Google as you are to MS, you're probably right.

Anonymous said...

What will happen to you if you have questions about MS evaluation:
http://mobbingsoft.wordpress.com


Seriously, you need to go get some therapy. If you would have spent all that time and energy looking for a better job instead of acting like Microsoft gave you cancer or something, you could have had a much happier year. So you got an Underperformed. Join the club and GET OVER IT. Oh, and do yourself a favor, take the names out of your blog before you’re the one who gets sued.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, you've lost the support of your employees - when will you realize that you're holding this once great company back?"

No kidding. And that should be the final nail in his coffin from the board's perspective. Losing the support of Wall St, which happened more than half a decade ago, shouldn't have been ignored. But a CEO can still perform their daily duties without that, as he and a few others have. But a CEO who has lost the support of his employees can't function period. The board is now further damaging their credibility by pretending otherwise.


Uh, we've been saying Steve was a bozo CEO almost since he took the helm over a decade ago. He hasn't had the support of employees for a very, very long time and it hasn't made any difference.

Anonymous said...

re: "Two things lost my respect to this force-fed-bubble-gum-on-my-shoe initiative: first, that using our cloud services is Alpha-Geek hostile: sorry, but there should have been upfront a free tinkering environment to go and write a whole bunch of real fun, heavy computational code."

I assume you refer to the Windows Azure platform?

There is a free trial offer: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/free-trial/

The problem is as you tinker away for "free", it's not until months-end that you will know if you've incurred a charge or not.

So agree we shoot ourselves in the foot in terms of getting devs to tinker worry-free on Azure. We therefore hinder ourselves in getting broad adoption.

We're losing the developer to competitors.

It's not that 3rd party developers hate us. They just don't care.

Anonymous said...

"The stock price, I suspect, has more to do with public perception of the company, and I doubt that the public has any insight into how we're each doing our day-to-day work, except for those executives with high visibility to the outside world."

Perception, confidence, growth rate and future growth prospects, which for MS are negative, lacking, minimal, and non-existent, respectively.

You're right that the public has little to no insight into what you people do individually every day. All they see if how slow you generally are relative to your competitors, how often you get beaten by them (even in those very few market where MS was early) and the embarrassing amount of time it routinely takes you to respond when that happens. And since nobody believes MS's teams are smaller or less well funded than at Apple, Google, Salesforce, VMware, etc, - quite the reverse in fact - they're left to conclude that you must be that much more poorly led, bureaucratic and non-agile, unskilled, or lazier.

Personally, I think your relative skills sets are roughly comparable, or at least under the extra layers of fat you have comparable or maybe even better muscle. So I blame it more on a generally terrible and clueless management, too many layers and process to get anything accomplished quickly, a biased and abusive performance system, and years of working under that seeing MS get its ass kicked, which has resulted in growing disillusionment and a general lack of motivation. And of course your marketing outside of Xbox is possibly the worst of any large player. It has been for a very long time, and almost everyone has said so, but nobody bothers to fix it. So we still get ads that are embarrassing even to watch and/or show neither the features nor the overall value proposition, product names that look like somebody is trying to maximize their word score in a scrabble contest, and Windows prefixed to products that aren't windows and where the connection will only hinder the appeal and adoption of the new one.

I'm not the original responder and don't have any problem with your or other people bitching, though I'd prefer constructive suggestions along with the complaint. I also understand the many can't say anything on the record for fear of losing the income they or their family depend on. What I find shocking and depressing though is that not a single senior person in MS has issued a "Peanut Butter" type memo that blows the cover off this once and for all. There's an increasing number of mid-level people who have left and then been critical, but no one who has cared enough to risk their job while there, as that Yahoo employee did, and open the curtain on what's wrong/needs to change before being marginalized as a "disgruntled ex-employee". And given how many very wealthy senior people MS has created, for whom loss of daily employment would pose no immediate hardship, that's just sad.

Anonymous said...

Is Google really loosing a lot of employees and trying to steal from Microsoft? Really..

Maybe something related to Google's new office at Bothell for 500+ people? Any ideas what group will be at the new office?

Anonymous said...

I work in the US M&O and we were repeatedly asked by our chain of command to attend the Company Meeting. I went because I distinctly felt no-show would be held against me at the end of the year. The Day of Caring was a similar affair too, with upper management constantly sending reminders.

Anonymous said...

iPad1 & 2 have sold 29 millions, about one tenth of W7 units, the question is whether W8 can reverse the trend against iSO and Chrome? Even Amazon will be selling Kindle with touch THIS YEAR, project to sell 3 millions in 2011.

The good news is some people have a smartphones, a PC and a tablet. So, tablet units may or may not be replacing a PC sales opportunity. As everyone and his brother pushing to "the cloud", it will be easier and easier to break the "shackle" of Windows. Windows will not die immediately, it might just bleed market share year over year.

Can't believe the OEMs still can't turn their W8 design into products---Microsoft has not upgraded our platforms for the OEMs to test their W8 machines. Who are the culprit are self-evident, StevenSi, if these people are getting anything higher than a 4, you would have lost a lot of respect and hope that people have placed upon you.

Sad to see how far we have come down from the glorious W95 days, only 16 years ago!

Anonymous said...

Apple market cap is almost double that of msft.

Is it just me, or did that happen rather quickly? It seems like it was only yesterday that the big news was how Apple's market cap had sneaked past Microsoft's.


MSFT market cap $209B, AAPL $374B. According to SEC filings, MSFT insiders sold 117.3 million shares in the last reporting period. In the same period institutional holders sold 81.5 million. Which seems to suggest that professional investors see more value in Microsoft than the company's executives. Can you see how that might be a concern?

Indeed I can; those figures are sobering. It seems that the officers on Titanic's bridge can see the iceberg looming, but their word by voicepipe to the stokers far below is to keep beavering away and all will be well.

Anonymous said...

I am a new hire and the entire blogroll seems to paint an extremely poor picture of microsoft. @mini: does it really suck that bad ?

Wait for a couple of years and you don't need to ask mini

Anonymous said...

"you can tell how angry this post made the Apple fanboys by how many virtually identical "dicksucking", "dickriding", "photocopiers" comments came out almost immediately"

Actually you're the first to mention any of those words. Inferiority complex? I bet you're short too.


Actually he wasn't the first.

Anonymous said...

"MSFT market cap $209B, AAPL $374B. According to SEC filings, MSFT insiders sold 117.3 million shares in the last reporting period. In the same period institutional holders sold 81.5 million. Which seems to suggest that professional investors see more value in Microsoft than the company's executives."

I don't think that it's necessarily a question of confidence. Pro investors paid a price for the stock that may not be very far from its current value, over or under it.

Insiders, in contrast, got their shares for "nothing", so to speak. As long as they have enough of them, that they are vested and can be sold legally at a profit, why not take it? Sell your million MSFT shares, even if it's only for one buck profit and buy AAPL stock with what's left after capital taxes, as one example of a valid strategy.

Thus, pro investors may be more "married" to the stock than Microsoft insiders. Some of the pension funds have been holding enormous positions since the 90's :-)

Anonymous said...

"Maybe something related to Google's new office at Bothell for 500+ people? Any ideas what group will be at the new office?"

The Android legal defense team?

Anonymous said...

"Uh, we've been saying Steve was a bozo CEO almost since he took the helm over a decade ago. He hasn't had the support of employees for a very, very long time and it hasn't made any difference."

No, a minority of anonymous employees and people pretending to be employees have been complaining about it here for a while. But now you have an unbiased source with some credibility (glassdoor) showing it based on a fairly large sample size of employees. That's much tougher for the board to ignore and try to deny.

Anonymous said...

How many times the word "planet" was used in this year company meeting?
KT

Anonymous said...

One more thing, and sorry if it comes across as harsh: if you think you're not worth as much to Amazon or Google as you are to MS, you're probably right.

:-)

Most of the folks who stay long at Microsoft and do well are those who figure out the system and how to game it. After a few years of doing that, their core skills fall further behind and become less transferable to other companies. Many folks at higher levels (most M2+ managers fall in this category) are indeed not worth as much to the Googles and Facebooks as Microsoft is paying them, in my experience. That's also why you don't often see such folks moving to other companies.

Anonymous said...

"What will happen to you if you have questions about MS evaluation:
http://mobbingsoft.wordpress.com"

Seriously, you need to go get some therapy. If you would have spent all that time and energy looking for a better job instead of acting like Microsoft gave you cancer or something, you could have had a much happier year. So you got an Underperformed. Join the club and GET OVER IT. Oh, and do yourself a favor, take the names out of your blog before you’re the one who gets sued.


+1

I skimmed through that blog and it's total crazy-town -- nobody but your lawyer will ever read it or care. Get some therapy and find a way to move-on.

The bottom line is that big corporations are filled with these stories, and many people who are trying to climb the corporate ladder are assholes who will screw you over for their personal gain. Life is not fair, corporations are not fair, and lots of people are jerks.

When a company treats you badly, it's usually best to just leave and find a better fit instead of clinging to the false hope that someone will care.

You mention that if you could have escalated to Steve Ballmer or Kevin Turner that you think they would have helped you. They would not have helped you -- they are billionaires and you are a bug on the bottom of their shoe who isn't worth thinking about. Kevin and Steve are not nice and caring people, they're captains of industry and they keep the machines moving. People are irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

All these comments are great to read. I completely ignore the company meetings. On the other hand, what would help as go through another year? I found a blog http://microsofty.blogspot.com which captures some good tips and would love to see more comments for the "tips".

Anonymous said...

Win8 does look reasonably good for tablets, but that holds true today... and unless we're actually going to ship it by next spring (at the latest!), you'll see another WP7 - a bunch of "well it's okay I guess" reviews, and practically no real user growth after a short initial period of gadget lovers buying new shiny toys for their collections.

Either way, judging by how the stock performed immediately after BUILD, the public is not all that impressed. I expected much better, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

KT as an excellent leader? where is the tag? The sales org now spends the majority of it's time running around to meet our scorecard metrics (so we can be all green) than we actually do SELLING. I can't think of a leader who has done more to damage the culture in the field than KT.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and do yourself a favor, take the names out of your blog before you’re the one who gets sued.

It can realistically be alleged that Microsoft broke its implied contract with this individual, and the individual is presenting evidence to that effect which is apparently based on written records. Whether Microsoft really did break its contract with person is up for debate, but it is not blatantly unrealistic to conclude that it possibly did. Also: the truth is a great defense against libel and slander.

I am not the OP, but I see benefit in that blog being out there if only to make people aware of the utility of getting things in writing. Too many people in similar situations don't do a good job of creating a paper trail.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean this to sound arrogant in any way. I'm not that kind of person, and I know I'm lucky to have been born in a country with all sorts of possibilities and opportunities. But I'm the one who went through the blood, sweat and tears to do something with them.

Put another way, it simply relates to supply and demand. Because my skills are more in demand, I have higher expectations for my working environment.


Wow. And you don't want to be perceived as "arrogant". Everyone who is unemployed can basically blame themselves, at least according to your narcissistic tirade. You can pick and choose because you are just so fantastically awesome, and your employer better get used to your awesomeness or you will take it elsewhere.

You are kidding right? If not, I predict your career will crater with that kind of holier-than-thou attitude.

Anonymous said...

After all the years, my confidence in MSFT's ability to sustain in the long term has been totally deminished by mid-management.
Microsoft's core values of truth and honesty have been replaced by outright lies and deception. The "Faithful flock" are being wrongfully terminated by bad managers who falsify reviews and outright lie, while the "yes men" are moving up.
This would not alarm me so much, except that their managers are *knowingly* backing them as well.
Layers of managers willing to lie, cheat and steal to protect their own image will be hard to eradicate and hurt the long-term profitability, leaving a core Microsoft that can now easily be compared to the government and politicians.

Anonymous said...

"Can somebody please explain to me how AT&T can delay the release of a Windows Phone update for months whereas Apple can seemingly update iOS at will?"

The answer is simple. Apple owns the iOS platform not AT&T. They just get to sell the devices. AT&T owns Windows Phone 7 devices because they come from OEMs who license Windows Phone 7. Microsoft must go through them (either original OEM or AT&T) to get the update pushed which means more time because AT&T will want to test it.

Emi Cyberschreiber said...

oh yeah alot of idiots with no balls talking shit!

specially you idiot "mini-microsoft" people like all these anonymous make me sick.

and if you don't like the company LEAVE it. IDIOT

idiot anonymous. piece of crap, who seem not to have any balls to put their names. yeah talking SHIT is easy. but really... i feel pity for people like you feeling so proud and special "im stupid but today i wrote another blog comment/entry about how Microsoft sucks"

but in the end you are just a pathetic idiot with no real life and dignity nor balls!

keep writing these idiot comments and entries with your pathetic anonymous. and keep thinking you are so amazing and special. IDIOTS

Anonymous said...

Most of the people I work closely with didn't attend the company meeting, so I went alone.
KT, tell us something we don't know.
Lisa B, when did you get your walking papers? You couldn't have feigned interest better; you just went through the motions with no joy. Don't consider MC for your next upcoming career.
Steve, have no idea, I left before he came on. No one I talked to could remember what he said.
Food, I didn't have to buy it.
I did run into several people I knew from the past. Three were attending their last meeting having decided to have some fun before they quit. I came back to the office to read mail from yet another who just quit as well. Four in one day. Another company meeting over. Clink my glass for another day of survival and a realization that I have heard it all before, it's not getting better, I won't milk the system and with that, 12 years later, I'm out.

Anonymous said...

12 years MSFT, recently left.

Regarding "Young Up Microsoft", correlation != causation. If all successful tech companies are populated by young people, it doesn't automatically implies young people cause tech companies to be successful. Some other reasons may cause both success at a young age and success at the tech company.

However I don't buy it for 1 second blame the tenured employee for Microsoft's past failing game is being played out - after all SteveB came from Proctor and Gamble, a company notorious as a training ground for fresh grads - and production of great leadership candidates for other companies (but not Proctor and Gamble).

Based on my experience it is more Microsoft as a training ground to teach non fast tracked young employees to focus on the wrong things - so their skills become outdated and unemployable (or so bullied they are afraid to move elsewhere). It is in the interest of The Power That Be that less talented employees (as perceived by their manager) be directed to focus on the wrong things (1-5, promotion velocity, visibility, etc). That way they don't direct their working energy to gain the necessary skills to become successful and the company eliminate a potential future defector to a competitor business or enjoys years of competitive advantage by finally pushing these badly trained people out to be hired by competitors.

So it is pure monopoly maintenance applied to human resource management, and it is the only game Microsoft management has learned to play well, and the result shows.

I recently have interviewed several current MSFT employees and Yahoo! employees, and we hired Yahoo! employees by a margin of at least 3:1 despite my efforts to give my former MSFT colleagues a leg up such as using MSFT interview questions.

So my advise to current MSFT employees - watch out for what you are being told - the power that be have an interest to lie to you. Spend your time at MSFT learn what you can about all technologies - you get paid to learn it at Microsoft, and prepare to use them elsewhere because The Power That Be is too afraid of losing control over you.

Bottom line - the system is designed to get you stuck, so don't get stuck - filter and learn the right things and leave.

Anonymous said...

I have a question - some folks on the review thread are claiming they are jumping ship to other companies, making more money than they are at microsoft. My question is who are these other companies???

Silicon Valley companies mostly. If you are not into financial news the Private Equity market has been all the rage since the financial crisis, so much so that a lot of tech companies are lining up for the IPO/buyout gravy trains for the next few years. That means lots of stock options/stock rewards to get the right kind of people fast so they can be IPO ready before it runs out.

If you are still young (<40) I suggest you try it at least once in your life - yes you may end up with only your 140k salary and your stocks expire worthless, but I take it you have already experienced that at Microsoft over the last 10 years, true or false?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think your relative skills sets are roughly comparable, or at least under the extra layers of fat you have comparable or maybe even better muscle...

That may be true of new hires but MSFT system is designed to stifle skills development.

1. All your commitments must be aligned with your managers. Your manager have complete control over everything you do at Microsoft
2. You are pushed to commit 110%-150% on your existing commitments and your opportunity to learn is restricted to what you do, unless you have a great manager who give you some freedom but that may not last due to re-orgs.
3. You are put into fear mode have to spend extra time worry. There is brain research that shows for a maths skills 80% of your brain are automatically occupied worrying (about review, dependencies, promotion velocities, relationships, politics, mini-msft) instead of actual problem solving. Microsoft thinks keeping employees off their toes make them more productive - you know which MBA designed the system who has never spent a day coding - he started as a Dev Manager and salesperson for Windows and eventually rose to the top.
4. Microsoft is arrogant and still thinks it has the best answers to software development, 10 years after agile. This may be changing but it's still taking way to long to convince the old guards.
5. You don't have access to the entire company's code base - Windows team don't have access to Office and vice-versa. So you are relying on slow moving meetings to resolve dependencies instead of fixing them yourself - which leaks knowledge to you. This also leads to no part of Microsoft trust the other part to modify their own code so progress are much slower as you wait for other teams to execute on their dependencies.
6. You are not allowed to look at your competitor's product, so you can't beat them blindly. Worse it makes you think Microsoft always has the best software until it is too late.
7. Ease of use is never a top goal at Microsoft. Most teams don't have a strong Director of Engineering to dictate a consistent user experience. You need a technically strong director of engineering instead of a group of PMs to design a consistent end to end user experience.
8. There is no accountability of failures at Microsoft - a re-org usually follows after any failures and everybody lives to fight another day.
9. No part of company trust hires from other parts of the company - which is why you need to interview again for internal transfers. The normal argument that people excel in one job may not excel in another is caused directly by Microsoft's desire to prevent its engineers from learning more than they need to do their job, in case they leave.

So why does MSFT fail? You could argue it is by design. The system is designed to place many restrictions above giving employees the freedom to learn and grow. It is very authoritarian - as trusting your manager always knows what's best from his managers etc, which is why the company excels to outsource so much work to China - a country that trains its citizens to follow marching orders from birth and copy innovations instead of developing your own. (Wait, did MSFT accidentally incorporate in Redmond instead of Beijing?)

Anonymous said...

I used to want to work for Microsoft, and sadly now I realize that I can do more cool stuff outside of Microsoft. Especially with the exodus of a lot of talent.

Tim Acheson said...

I wonder which corporation's competitive intelligence department is bankrolling this mole who appears to work for Microsoft, and supporting this propaganda campaign against Microsoft. For all I can tell, half of the comments here were written by glove-puppets operated by the same individual.


I can't resist pointing out some of the gaping holes in one of the daft comments posted so far.

"iPad effectively dictates the rules of the game now."

Nonsense. Which game? Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, is the fastest-selling OS of any kind of all time. Xbox is the leading games console. Sharepoint is the leading corporate Intranet platform. Office is the leading productivity suite. Gmail has tried and failed to catch-up with Hotmail. Microsoft part-owns and partners closely with Facebook, which is the most popular website after overtaking Google. When Apple launched their cloud platform, it was in fact running on Azure, Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. The list goes on. iPad sales and usage is very small compared to the number of PCs out there, and almost every computer at almost every desk in almost every home and business on the planet is a Windows PC! You can understand why Apple fans rave about the iPad though in view of the fact that Apple only sold about 4 million Macs last year.

"Apple is simply better at what it takes to win at this game."

Which game? Apple has sold a lot of tablets, they created the market for tablets. Microsoft currently doesn't even make tablets. Have you compared Mac sales to PC sales lately? Apple sell a lot of phones, but their market share is increasingly eclipsed by Android and Microsoft's mobile has a significant market share which looks set to rise.

"Search effectively dictates the rules of the game now."

Which game? Google led the way in search, but that was over a decade ago, and the web has moved on but Google has not. Facebook (part-owned and closely partnered with MS) has already overtaken Google as the most popular website. The web is increasingly social, while Google launches ever more desperate attempts to emulate Facebook and Twitter. Google's business model is now a pattern of imitation and acquisition, more than innovation.

"Google is simply better at what it takes to win at this game."

Why? Facebook has overtaken Google. Gmail is not even in the top 2 webmail services. YouTube (acquired not innovated by Google) is a great website but still a loss-making enterprise.

"In these competitive spaces outside the enterprise, Microsoft, for all its software development resources, simply doesn't get the larger concepts of 1) Design; 2) Usability; and 3) Understanding the end-user customer experience."

And yet Microsoft remains by far the dominant force in all of their key markets, while also making inroads into the markets historically created or dominated by their rivals. You should give some credit to MS, and some credit to their users who continue to buy and use MS products year after year.

Anonymous said...

""Apple has been soaring with its excellent device results, blowing Microsoft away and cannibalizing our Windows powered device market."

Gah! The worst type of buzzword is the inaccurate buzzword.

It's only cannibalization if a species is eating its own species; human eating human, dog eating dog, for example. When a cheetah eats a water buffalo, it is not cannibalizing, it's just eating.

One Apple product may cannibalize another Apple product, but an Apple product cannot cannibalize a Microsoft product. It just devours it."

First of all, its not a buzzword its a metaphor. Second of all, you are confusing species with brand. Its a cell phone eating another cell phone. Metaphorically speaking, the metaphor is accurate. Stick to C# and let those who know English comment on English.

Anonymous said...

"Looking at the avalanche of comments on the last two posts, I can't help thinking that Microsoft's stock price and future would be just fine if its employees spent half as much time doing their work as they do bitching about it.

Geez people - you have a job and you're making good money. That's a lot more than can be said about a very large number of people in the world right now. Grow up."

Steve, get back to work!

Anonymous said...

What if Bill came back?? Would it ignite the company ala "The Return of Jobs" at Apple?

Anonymous said...

Whoa! This comment talk is almost an copy of the discussion what was inside Nokia some years back.

There was the president of the board (Bill Gates / Jorma Ollila) and they gave their CEO title as a present to Steve Ballmer / Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

Inside the company there were 'bullshitters' who got up while the top management was not looking what is really happening. Top management was mostly occupied counting the bean, instead of looking what makes the company future.

Employees lost their confidence to the management and productivity dropped down .. with nothing to show and believe in the future.

Now Microsoft got Nokia under it's wings. Who will get Microsoft under it's wings in 5 to 10 years time? Google?

Anonymous said...

Windows 8 if FIVE years ahead of iPad and OS X. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft will not only continue to DOMINATE the desktop/notebook market where they already have 90% share while crApple has less than 5%, but they will also DESTROY iPad 3 or whatever crApple releases.

With Nokia and Windows Phone Mango combination, iPhone will be dead as a dodo within a couple of years. WP has a FAR better UI the crappy crApple UI which is incredibly fugly.

Office 2010 is kicking ass. Office 2012 will be a MASSIVE release with the introduction of the Metro UI.

The future of Microsoft is a billion times better than crApple's. Especially now that Steve Jobs the Jerk is gone FOREVER.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to believe that all these comments come from softies. It sounds more like apple trolls to me... "W8 is copying iOS"? WTF? What are you smoking...?

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone giving Kevin Turner a pass on the current state of the company? All the budget cuts and employee cuts are coming from the price slasher himself Mr. Wal-Mart. He brought great accountability to a dot com culture when he arrived but his scorecards have gone too far. We no longer do what’s right for the customer and instead do only what’s right by the scorecard.

Anonymous said...

Well what do you expect when the whole idea from Microsoft from the beginning was to steal something they never ever created i mean think about it what is unique about this company since day one its copy copy copy,,, build something unique and maybe you might just kick some ass. but you didn't hear that from me.

Anonymous said...

Your comment on Frank Shaw's mail for ballmer to send was an aside but the sad point is the state of things when a leader (let's call him ballmer right now) isn't even capable of penning a brief "things look great" mail but instead relies on his PR flak Frank to write it (and not all that well written). Not to mention someone whose main job is communications and image doing something that egregious. Or maybe it was one of the ever growing minions working for Frank in corp com that made the error (just how DO they get that headcount in this climate???) Either way -seems a pretty basic failure of core function for all concerned including steveb. come on steve -have you really lost your ability to type even a short mail to your company? and frank --nice job...way to contribute to the image (hey, now that i think about it, maybe it was on purpose and you're gunning for the CEO position by showing you're really running the company!)

Anonymous said...

My wife looked over to me last night and said "That kinect was a big waste of money". She was right. Sure the kids played with it for the first month or so. But they soon went back to using the hand controllers for their games. Plus the integration with NetFlix is just about unusable. So it just sits there on top of the TV gathering dust staring at us like some throw-back to an Orwellian 1984.
Funny that Kinect was Microsoft's only big win in the last 12months.
And we wonder why wall street doesn't take us seriously?!

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but i cant trust in a Salesman for managing an High Tech Company

SteveB is the bad guy for this job.
Phone: we lost
Search: we lost
Browser: we lost
Client/Windows : We are in a big trouble
Tablet: we lost

Hey guys it's time to leave

BillG must come back if he wants save the company

Anonymous said...

What will happen to you if you have questions about MS evaluation:
http://mobbingsoft.wordpress.com


I concur with other commenter... you handled this poorly. Soon as you get a PIP, you're done at Microsoft. Don't spend one more ounce of effort trying to fight it. Start looking for another job while you put in the same effort as you had been, or less depending upon what you think they might do if your performance gets worse in their opinion.

Certainly bringing in your own lawyer was a kiss of death at Microsoft. Would be at any major company. Unless you have information that could lockup the executives, i.e. whistle-blower, bringing in your own lawyer sealed your fate.

What you should of done, IMHO, is asked for written steps to improve your work processes, and then followed those steps. If they couldn't produce those steps or if after following them your measurable performance didn't improve, you would have had some cause.

Certainly don't resign when you got to the point you did, that's what they want. Make them fire you and then have your lawyer sue them for any/all reasons for wrongful termination imaginable. The whole time between issuing you a PIP and getting you to resign was Microsoft trying to manage any potential lawsuit out of the equation - they weren't really interested in engaging in escalations or continued discussions with you at this point.

Anonymous said...

With the incredible number of people leaving it would be easy to find a new role at Microsoft, but like most people I want out. The things I've seen make me sick. I have no respect left for this once great company that I grew up loving.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh. I just quit Microsoft. It feels goooood. I was so embarrassed after the company meeting. How'd I end up thinking this would be an awesome job 5+ years ago? There is no point in trying to change anything or make this situation better. Didn't bother to fill out the exit interview at the link they sent - I told the HR person that 'You've heard what is wrong from thousands and thousands of people. My two cents isn't going to make any difference if you (Lisa B, Steve B,.....) haven't bothered to listen thus far.' No more of this evil, back stabbing, throw people under a bus, political environment that rewards the crummy employees who play politics. Really? - a '1' for that guy who claimed credit for all my work last year? He did absolutely nothing except kiss bottom and steal credit. No deliverables of his own, and he is constantly getting it wrong and has to be corrected. Unbelievable - or maybe not in the current Microsoft. Off to Google. Bye.

Anonymous said...

Balmer's an idiot. But then again, so are you if you think that "Obamacare" is to blame for M$ giving you the shaft on your healthcare benefits.

If you stop thinking about yourself for two seconds, you may consider that you're still far more fortunate than most people to have a health care plan this comprehensive. The Cadillac provision was designed to mitigate wasteful spending on "luxury" health care plans at the cost of not having enough resources to provide even basic health care for everyone else.

So those of you (including the post author) who inexplicably decided to toss a politically-charged non-sequitur into the discussion, I'll say this: Get over yourselves. The evil liberal Democrats aren't waging war on Microsoft any more than they're waging war on Christmas.

Part of living in a society means sometimes having to pitch-in a little more so that the people who are driving your cabs and washing your dishes are able to take their kids to the doctor when they get sick. If you find that notion so overwhelmingly offensive, feel free to move to a log cabin in the middle of the forest where you can truly fend for yourself. I think there's a vacant one somewhere in Montana....


P.S. Balmer is a half-witted moron who's running the company into the ground. So long as he and his people are running the show, things will only get progressively worse.

Anonymous said...

When I was at "the meeting" I too left early and I actually witnessed two employees fighting in the lobby area. I think it was a programmer taking on a manager, because he was groaning something about a code review. They ended up on the floor rolling around, fighting like girls. Did anybody else see this? There was a blood stain still there an hour later.

Anonymous said...

you should all go work for the wonderful, innovative and flawless Apple!

Anonymous said...

I used Windows since version 3.1. I was a huge Microsoft advocate since early nineties. My dream was to become a blue badge employee. I've been one for 5 years now. Boy what a crash landing. Ballmer has seriously messed up this company right to its very core. No 'young-up' initiative is enough as long as he and his hire Kevin Turner are at the helm. Microsoft has become a text-book example of failed leadership.

By the way, we have to post as anonymous. The paralysing effect of years at MS makes most of us literally unemployable. Why would anyone risk their income?

Sent from my iPad

Anonymous said...

As an outsider, what I hear is a bunch of well-paid people complaining that things aren't as "happening" as they were in the heyday, or as they currently are at Apple/Facebook/Google.

My take is that if you're a Microsoft employee, you need to take stock of the fact that you work for an old stodgy tech company.

There's no expectation for innovation or much of anything, really. Do your job, punch the clock, and stay out of trouble, and you can have a continuously paid, albeit boring career.

Anonymous said...

but in the end you are just a pathetic idiot with no real life and dignity nor balls!

Dude, chill!

Anonymous said...

(different outsider) If Office is completely rewritten in .NET for Windows 8 then I'll be impressed. I'll say damn, those guys are serious about Metro. But if Office is still C++, or 95 percent C++ plus 5 percent .NET window dressing, that'll be SOS, going back 20 years when Kraig Brockschmidt wrote a book explaining that the Win32 API was becoming obsolete for Windows applications. Nothing ever changes with you guys.

Anonymous said...




Emi Cyberschreiber said...


oh yeah alot of idiots with no balls talking shit!

specially you idiot "mini-microsoft" people like all these anonymous make me sick.

and if you don't like the company LEAVE it. IDIOT


Yeah, only one problem for Microsoft with that...

If everyone follows that advice, then there won't be anyone left inside Microsoft except people like you.

(Nice written language skills and rational argumentation, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Bottom line - the system is designed to get you stuck, so don't get stuck - filter and learn the right things and leave.

I didn't see it when I got hired--all I saw was that I needed a job. Now that I'm here, and can't do many of the things I used to do to maintain an external reputation (like contributing to open source projects), and I'm being prodded to "make myself more visible inside MSFT," I see it.

I'll be staying for now, learning as many new things as I can and continuing to do the best I can to make good products, but I fear that's not enough to be successful. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Previously an uninformed person said "Steve Ballmer has done to Microsoft what George W. Bush did to the United States from 2000-2008 - run things straight into the ground. And - they're both Republicans, just like the person you’re quoting. "

If you look at the campaign contributions of Mr Ballmer he contributes to both parties but is heavily weighted to the democratic side. It isn't conclusive but its quite telling and likely a lot more accurate than the political delusion posted above. As for Mr Ballmers performance, it sucks, there is no doubt. MS has serious problems with its corporate culture, lack of vision and arrogance. If they want to thrive they need to trim the problem leadership not "young up" the company. When I left MS it was the most liberating feeling I ever had. I just wish I had done it sooner.

Anonymous said...

I love the trolling "you're almost unemployable" after working at MS comments, and the "disillusioned five year employee who is leaving". After a while it becomes pretty obvious that 2-3 asshats have written at least half a dozen comments here each. But I guess since we now have a media who will print your bs as if it were from authentic employees, this is your one chance for some visibility. So have at her. Your efforts are so transparent that it's actually good for a chuckle anyway.

Anonymous said...

I wonder which corporation's competitive intelligence department is bankrolling this mole who appears to work for Microsoft, and supporting this propaganda campaign against Microsoft. For all I can tell, half of the comments here were written by glove-puppets operated by the same individual.

It's surprising how some newer FTE forgets MSFT's corporate culture has always been about behaving like a bully - bully your customers (which earned Microsoft a well deserved conviction as a monopolist), bullying the judge who ruled against Microsoft and bully some of your employees out of the company. That's why no matter how many times performance review is updated, the managers need a bucket of people to bully. It's cheaper to bully someone into resigning than having to spend time document their actual failings which may actually give the target an opportunity to prove themselves. A couple of years ago the exact tactic was published for all to see at http://mgr. Of course it's not officially called bullying. The euphemism is to manage out.

The problem with managing out is while it solve a short term documentation problem the process also tends to create a permanent foe of Microsoft for the rest of their life. Unfortunately MBAs educated in 70-90s tend not to be well versed with behavioral economics - so they fail to account for this extremely damaging aspect - that a person bullied will never behave rationally and will for the rest of their life use every opportunity at their own expense to seek revenge on the bully, and no competitor would need to pay a dime to get them to work for free.

This is why other tech companies have such an easy time trashing MSFT than MSFT can fight back PR wise. As long as there is a bucket of people every year to be bullied out, there will never be a shortage of anti-Microsoft sentiment, and it is all Microsoft's own making and probably what the company wants anyway - it's better to be feared than loved.

Anonymous said...

"For all I can tell, half of the comments here were written by glove-puppets operated by the same individual."

Not one individual. But yeah, the same half dozen morons haunt every other MS related site on the web too.

Anonymous said...

@Emi

Thanks for proving that signing your name to a comment doesn't mean it still won't be embarrassing garbage.

Anonymous said...

My wife smiled at me over a candlelight dinner last night and said "hey muffin, why so glum?" I looked at her and said "well hon, I'm just so darned disillusioned. You know that ever since I was a wee lad I dreamed of working at MS. But now Apple is just so great and their products just so elegant. I dont think we can ever beat them. There just too strong. And fourteen people in my group left just this afternoon."

Oh wait, I'm just making all this shut up to amuse myself because I hate MS and think you"ll be gullible enough to believe it.

Anonymous said...

What if Bill came back?? Would it ignite the company ala "The Return of Jobs" at Apple?

No.

Anonymous said...

Wow. And you don't want to be perceived as "arrogant". Everyone who is unemployed can basically blame themselves, at least according to your narcissistic tirade. You can pick and choose because you are just so fantastically awesome, and your employer better get used to your awesomeness or you will take it elsewhere.

Not the OP but he seemed pretty humble about his situation but realistic about his expectations. Since you're reading this blog I assume you have a 4-year degree and some technical proficiency. Would you take a job washing cars or dishes for minimum wage, knowing that you could easily find a job that pays twice that even in this tough economy? Does that make you a narcissistic a**hole?

Tobin said...

SteveB is the problem (and his yes-man henchmen management). If you are a M$ employee that is a good technologist, just get out now. There are plenty of excellent technology companies you can work for. My company was acquired by Microsoft (and the technology was subsequently killed by them). What a big mistake. I did 3 years of service (with poor reviews every time because I wanted to program and not play politics), and was lucky enough to be laid off in 2009 (also, I was financially independent by that point so I didn't care). The funny part was I went right back to doing exactly what I was doing before. I look on my time at Microsoft as a career mistake (and yes, I thought the company meetings were a huge waste of time). The money was nice, but there is more to life than that (such as having pride in what you do and who you work for) and I really wish I could get back those 3 years there.

peterg22 said...

"AAPL sold 20M iPhones and over 9M iPads in a quarter. In. A. Quarter. Let that sink in a moment"

Yes, I bought an iPad recently.

What I like about it is that it just works, and I don't need to consider buying a separate 3G data plan just for the OS updates/patches that the Windows experience seems to need.

Yep, how about 1 data plan for using the mobile internet + another for OS updates. Let that sink in a moment.

Anonymous said...

I'm officially done with this blog. It's gone from insightful and constructive to something else. Mini, you no longer seem to have any point other than to blame the giant mess and stir the pot. It is a mess- I mean, that comes with company success and size. No company is perfect. There are only pros and cons to decisions at this size. Sometimes were on each end of those decisions.

Stop bitching, start doing. If you don't like it, move on. Don't complain, make suggestions. Focus on what you can change and influence.

I'm not wasting another minute worried what is screwed up at this company. I'm doing what I do best and changing what I can. If that's not enough then screw it. It's time to go. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the company meeting anymore. It's a raw raw fest with little to no information about how we're really doing in comparison to the market and what were doing to change it.

We're so scared about revealing information (get real people, everyone already knows!) that we never say anything that matters.

Lisa asking everyone to get up and dance when things get slow was just embarassing. When your HR person is telling people to get up and dance to keep from going to sleep, that should be a red flag.

What did employees learn at this meeting that they didn't already know? Did anyone leave feeling better?

Is anybody in there?

The only person who speaks their mind is SteveB and he has nothing to say that anybody wants to hear at this point.

Anonymous said...

I worked at MS for several years and finally left in disgust. The company is filled to the brim with deadwood, back-stabbers, and some of the WORST managers I've ever had the displeasure to work under.

You could probably eliminate 1/2 the workforce at MS and no one would notice. In fact, things might even move faster. It's that bad.

MS has completely lost the plot- it used to be a fun and exciting place to work, but those days are long gone. Don't ever expect to be recognized for your work, much less rewarded for it.

I felt like I was getting out of prison the day I left MS. The whole HR machine is a giant, uncaring and disorganized circus, trying to measure nebulous and non-quantifiable "behavior" metrics. It's the perfect way to crush and demotivate a workforce. Work hard, get penalized for it. Brilliant.

Finally, the sad truth is that MS is just too sluggish to ever succeed. If not for inertia and product lock-in, they'd already be in Chapter 11. MS is losing ground every single day, and it's not getting any better. All we did was make a poor copy of someone else's great idea, and tried to flood the market with it. Guess what? It didn't work. For a perfect example, look at the Zune. A piece of junk that NOBODY owns. No one who has a clue would ever think of buying one.

MS used to be an industry giant and an innovator (well, sort of), but now the company motto ought to be, "Microsoft: Yesterday's Technology Tomorrow".

Anonymous said...

"There's no expectation for innovation or much of anything, really. Do your job, punch the clock, and stay out of trouble, and you can have a continuously paid, albeit boring career."

Right up until you're pegged to be your group's sacrificial recipient of the "5" or whatever Lisa is calling it this month.

Anonymous said...

"you should all go work for the wonderful, innovative and flawless Apple!"

Some of us have. And, to borrow a phrase from my dark days at Microsoft, "We're eating your lunch."

Anonymous said...

When I was at "the meeting" I too left early and I actually witnessed two employees fighting in the lobby area. I think it was a programmer taking on a manager, because he was groaning something about a code review. They ended up on the floor rolling around, fighting like girls. Did anybody else see this? There was a blood stain still there an hour later.

I really don't know if I can believe this. C'mon man...

Anonymous said...



When I was at "the meeting" I too left early and I actually witnessed two employees fighting in the lobby area. I think it was a programmer taking on a manager, because he was groaning something about a code review. They ended up on the floor rolling around, fighting like girls. Did anybody else see this? There was a blood stain still there an hour later.


OP - you are a colossal twat. This did not happen.

There's no expectation for innovation or much of anything, really. Do your job, punch the clock, and stay out of trouble, and you can have a continuously paid, albeit boring career.

You are so right for 80% of employees. Do your basic work, collect your pay, stay out of the bottom 10% and don't even dream of the top 10%.

Anonymous said...

"BillG must come back if he wants save the company"

Would you please shut up about Bill G being some kind of savior?

Bill is old, and his time as a tech innovator is long done. You could argue that it was done after Win95 -- Bill totally missed the internet, and when I started at the company in '96 I was shocked by how clueless he was about what the internet is all about... and shocked by the fact that he never managed to figure it out. THAT was the start of Microsoft stumbling, and we've never fully recovered.

Bill had his day, but his day is long since done. It's time for someone younger and fresher to take the helm. We don't need another dinosaur like Ozzie, we don't need some random 60 year-old suit-wearing MBA, we need a 35 year old tech genius who's going to fundamentally change the business.

Anonymous said...

Amazon is previewing new Kindles today, touch/color display for $300! Where are our W8 tablets? Windows has the greatest franchise, but it also became the greatest drag on time-to-market, by the time W8 is released, tablets would have evolved generations ahead of "W8 visions (in 2009)", not to mention all the trimming that was done to the original vision and lack of execution for the HW ecosystem. On the engineering side, the fingers can be pointed to DNT/HDX, compounding that will lack of imagination from Windows OEMs, we have un-inspiring products collecting dust all over the shelf in 2011 and beyond.

The saving grace is enterprise and PC's ability to continue to run old apps and being a work horse for work, that begs the question: why would enterprise upgrade to W8? Why would consume buy W8 machines instead of iOS, Android or Kindle?

"No more of this evil, back stabbing, throw people under a bus, political environment that rewards the crummy employees who play politics. Really? - a '1' for that guy who claimed credit for all my work last year? He did absolutely nothing except kiss bottom and steal credit. No deliverables of his own"

Work in HDX?

NO BALLS IDIOT said...

@Emi Cyberschreiber
“oh yeah a lot of idiots with no balls talking shit!”

HOW DO YOU KNOW “…with no balls”
DO YOU HAVE ? LET’S SEE:

“idiot anonymous. piece of crap, who seem not to have any BALLS to put their names. yeah talking SHIT is easy. but really... i feel pity for people like you feeling so proud and special "im stupid but today i wrote another blog comment/entry about how Microsoft sucks"
“but in the end you are just a pathetic idiot with no real life and dignity nor BALLS!”

ARE BALLS YOUR OBSESSION OR ARE YOU ON DRUGS ?

“keep writing these idiot comments and entries with your pathetic anonymous. and keep thinking you are so amazing and special. IDIOTS”

YES ! WE KEEP WRITING COMMENTS !

AND BTW, BY “Emi Cyberschreibe” YOU MEAN YOU’RE ARE NOT ANONYMOUS ?
HI THERE, IDIOT, YOU HAVE NO BALLS !!

Anonymous said...

"Office 2012 will be a MASSIVE release with the introduction of the Metro UI."

You clearly don't work within Office. The senior leadership decided not to do metro for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2012 back in M2... it will be interesting to see which happens first: a last-minute effort to bolt on Metro or the negative press to realizing it's not there for Win8.

Anonymous said...

To Tim Acheson: Drink the kool-aid much?

> Windows 7, is the fastest-selling OS of any kind of all time

Maybe. It was in a unique position to gain from Vista's drastic failure, however. XP is still going strong, though.

> Xbox is the leading games console

In North America. Worldwide it's a much closer race.

> Gmail has tried and failed to catch-up with Hotmail

I assume you're referring to users, and not features? Hotmail has a lot of "users", but many of those are duplicate accounts, throwaway spam accounts, or people who didn't realize they could get Live IDs using non-hotmail.com and non-live.com email addresses. Hotmail/Windows Live Mail have been struggling since the launch of gmail to match even a small subset of gmail's features.

> Microsoft part-owns and partners closely with Facebook, which is the most popular website after overtaking Google.

Microsoft owns approximately 1.3% of Facebook, hardly a controlling share, and that was a strategic move to make Facebook so overvalued that nobody else (read: Google) could buy them. Our ad partnership with them expired this year and they took over their own ad placement. At best, we've set them up so Google can't buy them. That doesn't mean we have any strategic partnership with them anymore.

> When Apple launched their cloud platform, it was in fact running on Azure, Microsoft's cloud infrastructure

They also launched on Amazon's platform and utilize multiple CDNs like Akamai. This is called "redundancy". Netflix does the same thing. Yes, it's a minor win for Azure, but all it really means is that people are no longer willing to bet 100% on Amazon after their several high-profile outages this year.

> iPad sales and usage is very small compared to the number of PCs out there, and almost every computer at almost every desk in almost every home and business on the planet is a Windows PC!

And this fully explains why Microsoft doesn't really "get" the tablet or smartphone markets. "Who cares, as long as PCs are still selling?" But the problem is, they're not. Or rather, Windows market share is dropping. It's already below 90% and trending downward, not upward. There's still room to cannibalize old Windows installations (XP to Win7 or Win8), but that's not opening new markets.

Anonymous said...

Just heard that my former team got RIF'd.
They work out of the MA office -- which is filled with mostly aquisitions.
The team was told IEB is not interested in maintaining their location and were given the option of a RIF or a move to Redmond. Most decided the RIF either cause they couldn't move or didnt want to.

The interesting thing is apparantly there were teams within IEB that would've absorbed them and let them remain in MA, but beaurocracy and poor decisions higher up the org tree prevented it.

Jon Hendry said...

Tim Acheson wrote: "Apple only sold about 4 million Macs last year. "

Apple sells about 4 million Macs each quarter.

Anonymous said...

So it is pure monopoly maintenance applied to human resource management, and it is the only game Microsoft management has learned to play well, and the result shows.

+1

Well said.

Anonymous said...

you should all go work for the wonderful, innovative and flawless Apple!

Next time try a little cheese with that whine.

Anonymous said...

I had to quit MS due to personal reasons, but felt unhappy after the short exit interview. Once the HR lady knew that I wasn't going to Apple, Facebook, Google or Amazon, she then immediately lost interest asking me for any feedback and even tried to cut me short.

Obviously I missed the company meeting, but somehow I miss the compay picnic more than anything.

Anonymous said...

I have always felt that above everything else, Microsoft management had integrety. Since this new review model, I can't say that anymore. The impact on people who have given years to this company is devasting. The explanations that you may be a 4 this year but you could be a 2 next year don't match the messaging given during leadership meetings - you can hire a 4, but be extra thorough in your research. 75% of this years 4's are next years 5's.

Jon Hendry said...

"What if Bill came back?? Would it ignite the company ala "The Return of Jobs" at Apple?"

Doubtful. Jobs returned to Apple after 10 years building Pixar and NeXT. Pixar was probably more hands-off, but he was deeply involved in trying to make NeXT work, guiding the technologists, working with potential and current customers, trying to find markets that would adopt the platform. He was learning.

Gates hasn't been in that kind of situation since he left Microsoft. He's had his Foundation projects, and his investments, but I expect what he's learning and doing might not have much applicability at getting Microsoft back in shape.

Also, Steve didn't return to Apple alone. NeXT virtually took over Apple, which shook things up quite a bit and blew up the pre-Jobs status quo.

If Gates returned alone, he might have a hard time breaking the bad habits that have arisen during the Ballmer era, breaking down the fiefdoms, etc.

Anonymous said...

We were first to enter the smartphone market but created a product that wasn't too useful. When Apple came along, it took us 2 years to respond.

We were first in tablets with a really bad tablet.

Apple came along, Google came along, now Amazon and yet we are still an entire year away.


This is not an innovation problem -- we've had plenty of attempts to build an innovate tablet such as the courier project. This is a problem in that if its not a windows build SteveSi won't allow it to get to market.
So we'll be out of the tablet market until ppl start using tablets as dockable computers/laptops, only then windows 8 will make sense and we better hope aaple/amazon/google doesnt jump over the windows 8 innovations in the mean time. otherwise it will be another 3-4 years before our next attempt.

Anonymous said...


Would you please shut up about Bill G being some kind of savior?

Bill is old, and his time as a tech innovator is long done. You could argue that it was done after Win95


See, the thing is, old stale innovators like Biig still have a skill for choosing lieutenants who know what they are doing, and who can do great things for the company.

If you had the old, stale Billg running the show, at least he would have capable lieutenants making things happen.

Not so much so, with Steveb.

FWIW, I am an old stale innovator, exactly the same age as Billg.

We deploy preconfigured server networks for technical computing environments.

My lieutenants are figuring out how to transition all of our Windows platform offerings to Linux, because transitioning our customers from XP to W7 and W8 looks like a big PITA, with no real benefits to technical computing people, and more hassle and disruption than just going to Linux across the board.

Anonymous said...

"Some of us have. And, to borrow a phrase from my dark days at Microsoft, "We're eating your lunch.""

But so content and past MS that you're back here trolling. Uh huh.

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