Monday, November 12, 2012

A Microsoft Without Sinofsky?

Well, I can't believe it: Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes to Drive Next Wave of Products.
People walking the hallways tonight at work certainly can't believe it. I can't believe it - working at a Microsoft without Sinofsky?
Inconceivable.
But, if you're going to leave on a high-note, it doesn't get much better. Mr. Sinofsky got a standing ovation from the Windows team during the Company Meeting for all that he's done to take them on a multi-year journey to create Windows 7 and then hit the big multi-division reset button for Windows 8. He truly demonstrated technical leadership at its best.
And I don't believe his departure rules him out at all for Microsoft CEO. In fact, I think if he stays in tech and becomes CEO of another company it makes him an even more obvious choice to come back to Microsoft as its leader.
Meanwhile, Ms. Larson-Green: best of luck following this act.


-- Comments

310 comments:

1 – 200 of 310   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Win 8 and Surface RT are high notes? I'm not sure about that yet....

Anonymous said...

@first comment - Don't kid yourself. Doesn't get any higher.

Anonymous said...

I heard he's leaving due to the health benefits changes! ;-)

Anonymous said...

CEO Sinofsky? I am holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

No compromises! Good riddance. Heading out for drinks with a few co-workers. Come join us.

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson Green sucks so much! For gods sake, don't let her do another demo in public. That's all I ask.

Anonymous said...

Seeing lines at our stores on Oct 26th seemed like a high note to me.

Would love to see some actual sales figures though...

Anonymous said...

Please just let it be the beginning of the end for the "triad" model. Any structure with real product ownership would be nice...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately lines at the Seattle and Bellevue Microsoft store locations were mostly employees on day one.

Anonymous said...

Oh hello Mini!

Missed you for the last quarter, company meeting and annual reviews.

Anonymous said...

Office just switched to the new model - reorg in process. How bad is it?

Re Sinofsky leaving - did he threaten Ballmer or something?

Anonymous said...

anyone got any insights into this? was it due to EU's anti-trust suit?

Windows8 said...

fSinofsky would hold sessions for employees at TechReady and he would take any question. I have a alot of respect that he would do that. And the # of execs that do that are...

Anonymous said...

Mini, are you SteveSi? This is the most logical explanation for the BS in this post.

Good riddance, Mr. Sinofsky. Unfortunately for MS, Julie Larson Green makes the man look like a genius.

Anonymous said...

He is leaving to write a his novel titled "Gone with the Wind...ows 8.0"

Anonymous said...

Earthquake is an apt description. I assumed he would be the next CEO. The functional model was horrible for ICs but sure seemed to produce quality products on time. Interested to hear the dirt when it comes.

Best of luck to Steven.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft needs to some long overdue house cleaning across the board. First thing they need to do is get a UI Czar that does a better job than the stupid Metro 2D sesame street primary color UX.
Second fire some Sr leaders in the business teams as well. There are GMs and VPs in business and operations groups making over $1M / yr. How can this company survive with this sort of burden? Why do we need to pay $1M+ (with benefits) to a VP in Finance, Purchasing, Customer Service and IT? These services are available for 1/100th of the cost. We are crazy keeping these dinosaurs on for 15+ years. Especially these GMs and VPs from 1990s. That's why we can't think modern.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the housecleaning post above we seriously need to evaluate the need for layers of test and program management. Some orgs like Bing have an almost 1 to 1 ratio of dev to PM. That is crazy.

Anonymous said...

So, is this Ballmer's way of blaming the toxic environment at Microsoft on something other than is his precious ranking curve?

Or, is he just firing people who could replace him?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous November 12, 2012 7:42:00 PM

One reason that the ratio of PMs to Devs in Bing (and MSN) are higher than the rest of Microsoft is that these divisions ingest and normalize a lot of external feeds from data providers. Given the frequent schema changes that occur for any given feed, as well as the randomizations that occur when your feature is beholden to an external provider, it is beneficial to have additional PMs to handle these feeds and free up other PMs to own new features.

And, in case you doubt this, the feeds that were used in Windows Sidebar and Office 10 both were provided by OSD.

Anonymous said...

This could mean so many different things for the company...

Did Sinofsky make a play for CEO only to be rebuffed by Ballmer, who wants to stick around? Or do they want to give it to Kevin Turner (lord no!)?

Did Sinofsky piss off the wrong people and just make an ass of himself, and Ballmer is sick of babysitting him?

Has Sinofsky lost faith in Win8/Surface?

Did Sinofsky get an offer from a competitor?

Is there really nothing to this at all?

More will be coming out about this I am sure. In the meantime, what does the CEO bench look like? KT? KurtD (I keep wanting to call him Suzan for some reason)? Those are really the only two names that come to mind.

Anonymous said...

This news has caught me by surprise. To outsiders like myself, it looks like Ballmer is cleaning the house because Sinofski has grown too powerful and Windows 8 / RT is likely a flop based on sales.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the EU mess yet. Sinofski was given responsibility by the board for ensuring that MS stayed compliant with the agreement regarding browser choice in Windows. Now, MS is facing a possible 10 BILLION dollar enema by the EU because Sinofski couldn't be bothered by something as trivial as a check box in Windows. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

if this is the last mini-post then we will know that mini was SteveSi the whole time.

Anonymous said...

Seems that mini is the only one sad to see SteveSi go. When CNet does a story about you and people will only speak anonymously, that doesn't indicate that anyone likes you.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works for a competitor, I welcome this departure. Sinofski represented a real threat for other companies (Apple etc). Not anymore. It's time to re-embrace .NET, ditch metro (or whatever it's called these days) and start building new Longhorn.

Anonymous said...

only hope one could have to make the research division accountable for pathetic RoI is gone! good for the freeloaders in the research division.

Anonymous said...

yeah, we have a huge silent celebration going on in research. got a few more years of life.

Anonymous said...

> One reason that the ratio of PMs to Devs in Bing (and MSN) are higher than the rest of Microsoft is that these divisions ingest and normalize a lot of external feeds from data providers.

Dude, you are brainwashed. Step outside, breathe some oxygen, try to leave the eastside for a bit. Right now your post is screaming "I am only employable in a PM org in Redmond."

> And, in case you doubt this, the feeds that were used in Windows Sidebar and Office 10 both were provided by OSD.

Congrats, two bullshit features that nobody cares about! You know, I don't think Windows and Office would have sold many copies without that sidebar...

Anonymous said...

It's hard to keep drinking the Kool Aid about the bright future of Windows when the ones serving it decide it's time to hit the road...

Anonymous said...

I heard we overpaid EU so it's not an issue at all.

Steven carries many peoples' dream to revive Microsoft. and he is recognized as the only man who is capable to do so, within Microsoft.

Now I hope he comes back to take up the CEO post soonest possible, and get Bing really sinoskied.

Anonymous said...

Could this be a primer to a massive reorg ? God, not Green, she is so short sighted and never original. Good riddance to Steve S. Wish we could add B to the list. How many chances do the Board of Directors give Steve B, Spineless folks pocketing msft $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Ballmer gave Stevesi too much power and we lost a lot of great people as a result. #yeah!!!!!!!!finally!

Anonymous said...

JulieLar must clean her old house first, just look at Windows PM org and those hold-over Principle PMs and Principle Group PMs, anyone who worked on VISTA and still on the payroll, fire them all! All of them can't get a job outside of MS that pays close to half of what they get from MS.

Fire them all! We need new blood and ideas.

juxtapunk said...

This time, you are quick, Who da'Punk, after 5 months of radio silence.

On the other hand, glad you are still there, survived the witch hunt, so far?

It is a loss to msft that sinofsky left. Now, the you-know-who will have no imminent candidate threatening his position at the helm. Dah.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance StevenSi, at least he had the guts to order an investigation inside of Windows HDX---JulieLar's org, although it didn't lead to anything, he showed commitment.

Will miss his long blog post, he will land fine or just retire.

The chance of MSFT having market cap higher than GOOG or APPL is diminished "again!"

Anonymous said...

What's all this about the investigation into Windows HDX?

Anonymous said...

I finally left MSFT after more than 5 years in that toxic hellhole in Windows. Looks like Sinofsky had the same idea!

Anonymous said...

Something just occurred to me: if MS hired Scott Forstall, he could actually get their shit together.

Anonymous said...

Seconding the comment about minimsft drinking at least a little bit of the Kool-Aid, or at least sniffing some of the powder. Nobody who wants to trumpet Win8's success describes it as "modest." Let us charitably say the jury's out. MS Stores in the Puget Sound area don't count when tallying breakout success or failure. A departure of a Microsoft legacy (for better or worse) wouldn't be carried out so clumsily. Well, wait, caught myself there -- this is MS. We effectively know nothing.

Couldn't care less about Sinofsky on a personal level, but this doesn't help MS look like it's on top of the world. It's the stack-ranking, stupid.

Anonymous said...

For years it has seemed like Sinofsky was in a consolidation of power mode... while not yet CEO, many a departure of rather meaningful execs or very senior people seemed to have his fingerprints on them... as if his potential rivals were being pushed out one by one so that after a successful few years of shipping Windows, he would be the obvious choice to run the company once SteveB stepped down.

Even the functionalization structure was about driving eyes upwards to the Pres/VP of a division (ie him) rather than some team level GM... Even the Windows 8 ship it award was about driving loyalty to him and his organization... why after all of that he would leave?

I can only think that he was rebuffed in his CEO aspirations in a way that he didn't think it worthwhile to stick around to wait to get beyond... granted he did say not to believe any rumors you read.

Anonymous said...

For years it has seemed like Sinofsky was in a consolidation of power mode... while not yet CEO, many a departure of rather meaningful execs or very senior people seemed to have his fingerprints on them... as if his potential rivals were being pushed out one by one so that after a successful few years of shipping Windows, he would be the obvious choice to run the company once SteveB stepped down.

Even the functionalization structure was about driving eyes upwards to the Pres/VP of a division (ie him) rather than some team level GM... Even the Windows 8 ship it award was about driving loyalty to him and his organization... why after all of that he would leave?

I can only think that he was rebuffed in his CEO aspirations in a way that he didn't think it worthwhile to stick around to wait to get beyond... granted he did say not to believe any rumors you read.

Anonymous said...

As a Microsoftie I have no answers or rebuttals to make when I am asked Apple Vs. Microsoft Questions.. I guess it is time for me to go as well.

Anonymous said...

time for me to go ahead & by a Mac book pro. it has been on my mind for a while now, this pretty much confirms that it's going to be my next *pc*

Anonymous said...

If Steve Sinofsky had intentions to be CEO, I expect Ballmer is ready to step down as CEO and had picked a successor that isn't Sinofsky.

Anonymous said...

So Sinofsky is gone and replaced with a completely talentless hack like Julie Larson-Green. Seriously? Her ascent through the ranks is a case study in the Peter Principle... I worked with Julie when she was on FrontPage, and she was nothing more than a talking head then. She's now a ridiculous joke, and she's runing the show.

Surface RT is on track to be a disaster, as is the upcoming Surface Ultrabook thing. Someone stick a fork in Microsoft already, jeez.

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson-Green is responsible for the Office Ribbon. What more do you need to know?

Anonymous said...

Wow that SteveSi is leaving.

Double Wow that JulieLar is promoted. She is beyond lame and can no way lead the Windows Engineering team.

Ballmer has totally lost it. Sell sell sell.

Anonymous said...

@(Surface RT is on track to be a disaster, as is the upcoming Surface Ultrabook thing.)

What facts do you have to back that up? Sounds like you're another opinionated MSoftie.

Also, why are you panning Julie already? Another ax to grind?

Anonymous said...

It's clear why we're panning Julie. Because of Julie. Watch that demo she gave to Mossberg and tell me she knows what she's doing.

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson didn't create the ribbon - Jensen Harris and others did. She was just a muddling middle manager the entire time she was involved in the process.

Anonymous said...

"What facts do you have to back that up? Sounds like you're another opinionated MSoftie.

Also, why are you panning Julie already? Another ax to grind?"


First: I drive by the Microsoft store every day. The first week after Surface released it was fairly busy -- it's now a ghost town while the Apple store across the street is always SRO. Given that it's the only store where can buy Surface, that tells you everything you need to know.

And seriously - real the media commentary. Even ignoring Ballmer's "sales are modest" quote, they're all saying that consumer interest has fallen off a cliff over the last week. It's as dead as Windows Phone. But don't take my word for it, just wait and see.

As for Julie, she's one of those Microsofties who everyone always threw their hands up about whenver we heard she was promoted again. They are all over Microsoft -- people with no actual talent but who excel in the art of succeeding in a big corporate environment. Seriously, search out her talks on Youtube -- the woman is barely cogent at the best of times, and at her worst she's an unintentional comedian.

I left Microsoft a while ago so my axes are long since ground. Now I just enjoy watching the clown car roll along.

Anonymous said...

"Julie Larson didn't create the ribbon - Jensen Harris and others did. She was just a muddling middle manager the entire time she was involved in the process."

EXACTLY MY POINT. But who got all the credit and the promotion to VP? Julie.

Anonymous said...

Ok, not knowing Julie, I don't have anything to say to defend or refute her.

But I still say the verdict is out re: Win 8 and Surface RT. Let's wait for some real sales numbers after a good 3 months.

Anonymous said...

Here's Julie after she was promoted to Vice President: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdlPKmAJGRs

It's incredibly embarrassing that someone who presents themselves so poorly and who is barely able to articulate a point has been given the helm of Microsoft's flagship product. She's nothing but a harlequin with a keen eye for kissing the correct ass.

Anonymous said...

"And seriously - real the media commentary. Even ignoring Ballmer's "sales are modest" quote, they're all saying that consumer interest has fallen off a cliff over the last week. It's as dead as Windows Phone. But don't take my word for it, just wait and see."

I guess reading too many blogs and anti-MS pundits, aka fan boys, just makes one's head spin. Too many people want to see MS die in flames. Sure, they're entitled to their opinions. But these are not facts. Let's see the real sales figures in 3 months.

Anonymous said...

"I guess reading too many blogs and anti-MS pundits, aka fan boys, just makes one's head spin. Too many people want to see MS die in flames. Sure, they're entitled to their opinions. But these are not facts. Let's see the real sales figures in 3 months."

You won't see them, just like you haven't seen the Windows Phone 7 sales figures.

You'll know it's a success if Microsoft releases the numbers. Wait and see. The empty stores tell the whole story.

Anonymous said...

"The empty stores tell the whole story."

Makes no sense that any SteveSi lieutenant would be kept around, let alone put in charge in this case.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft’s Adventure In Wonderland

Did Microsoft fall asleep during their product redesign meetings and dream of following Apple down a hole to Wonderland? They seem to find themselves in all sorts of curious predicaments where common sense fails and nonsensical comes to be expected. Microsoft has no central storyline, but rather moves rapidly from one bizarre situation to the next before waking to find itself ready to self-destruct.

Microsoft Through The Looking Glass

Miscrosoft changes its plot and gallivants off into the topsy-turvy world behind the looking glass soon to find themselves in a world, where if you wish to get anywhere, you must walk in the opposite direction (Windows 8). Walking toward your desired destination only gets you further and further away. While Microsoft has experienced all sorts of fascinating encounters with Apple, Google, Oracle, VMware, Linus and Firefox, Microsoft must stay on its toes to learn the rules of the game. They must move from one square to the next if they ever want to become “The Queen Of Technology. Nearly everything they do has some sort of double meaning…..hire Sinofsky to get them back on track…fire Sinofsky to get them back on track. Throughout all of Microsoft’s backwards and upside-down adventures, they must remain ever sensible and analytical, trying to reason their way out of the most unreasonable situations.

Microsoft Through The Looking Glass will take its rightful place beside its competitors Apple, Google, Oracle, VMware, Linus and Firefox and will always remain on the shelf as one of the classics if they can remain precise, dream-like and subversive. They are strikingly unique and unforgettable in the world of technology.

Anonymous said...

"You won't see them, just like you haven't seen the Windows Phone 7 sales figures.

You'll know it's a success if Microsoft releases the numbers. Wait and see. The empty stores tell the whole story."

Not true. The numbers are out there, good or bad, just do a Bing (or maybe in your case, Google it :-).

RE: ass-kissers who get promoted, what can I say? I've been in MS too long to see this happens all the time. The crappy rating system doesn't help either. Maybe time for another exec to leave MS (hint HR).

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky, like others who got ahead at MS, are talented at mastering complexity and executing well within it. He got too much credit for Office and Windows, where his only contribution was execution. Which while important, is project management, and not innovation. And please, Windows 8 is not innovation, it was execution of a spec written by Apple, with a couple of tweaks thrown in (Metro, Desktop+Tablet).

Sadly, the fundamental problems at MS very much remain. Ballmer and his cronies, including Brummel, the incompetent managers executing a short-sighted review system, the toxic work environment resulting from stack ranking, the political games, the full-of-themselves HR, and above all, the lack of a truly visionary leader.

Ballmer's strategy of copying the competition has been slowly running out of gas, serendipitous things like Xbox (allowed to run independently) notwithstanding. Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 (a Desktop+Tablet disaster), Bing (still a poor shadow of Google), Office 365 (with the dinosaurs like SharePoint backing it), the entire Server division copying and bundling anything and everything the competition pioneers (VMWare, Oracle).

Unfortunately the people running the company are all made in Ballmer's and Gates's images. Which worked when you had near monopolies. And the people now thriving are the political kind. A few brilliant ones and some loyal old-timers remain for mysterious reasons, along with the hordes of hardworking types. In the grand scheme of technological progress, all merely playing along to earn a paycheck. Nothing wrong with that, except for the immense missed potential.

So this is how even the biggest empires decay and fall.

Anonymous said...

So, Sinofsky is leaving and some quota hire is now running the show?

First thing Tuesday morning, I'm shorting 500 shares of MSFT.

Anonymous said...

Gay

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought that maybe Julie got the job because she's a woman? We don't really have that many women in highly visible exec positions and women are leaving the company in droves - something I have worked hard to fix. Ballmer and others know it and have concerns that maybe someone (Feds) will notice. HR is now threatening women who leave about poaching other women, so rather than fix the problem why not make a token gesture? I don't know Julie except in passing but if some of the comments above are true, she's certainly not unique. I can spot very quickly those who are the worst examples of what it takes now to advance in Microsoft. I just barely escaped working for one. This person had zero technical skills, zero management skills, but knew how to make it all someone else's fault and reap the rewards. I have not quit yet, but if I had ended up reporting to this person, I would have pulled out my badge and walked out the door.

Anonymous said...

>> So, Sinofsky is leaving and some quota hire is now running the show?

Great, now we have Windows and HR run by quota hires.

Anonymous said...

"Not true. The numbers are out there, good or bad, just do a Bing (or maybe in your case, Google it :-)."

No, there are no numbers released -- Ballmer's "modest" quote is all you'll find. Microsoft is only selling Surface units in its own stores and online SPECIFICALLY so it won't need to disclose sales numbers.

If you're seeing any numbers, they're not based on reality unless they were leaked internally.

Anonymous said...

So, I looked up this "Julie Larson-Green" person, and I found that she has NO ENGINEERING BACKGROUND.

Guys, if any of you MS engineers have prospects to work elsewhere, bail right now. MS is toast.

Anonymous said...

I was in line at the RTC AT&T to get my free phone. Every single person in line with me was another Microsoftie. I like the phone but let's not kid ourselves it's selling out fast because of packed stores. I have a Fire HD on order. I'm also getting my Surface one of these days. I am far more excited about the Fire than I am about the Surface and that one is FREE. I thought it was irritating to be told by Ballmer we were all getting Surfaces and should go out and evangelize and tell the story. Great. Can I have the f'ing thing before Hell freezes over? Who planned so badly that we couldn't have them within a few days of launch? I would love to show people. But I'll have my Fire HD before I have the Surface and I'll be showing that to people first.

Anonymous said...

We're still going mobile, and Microsoft is still not coming with us.

Anonymous said...

On the day of observing Veterans day’2012, the 23-year Microsoft veteran, the President of Windows, Steven
Sinofsky leaves The Tribe (MSFT) immediately.

His exit is similar – it is a mutual – like the exits of folks like former Entertainment and Devices President Robbie Bach and former Microsoft Chief Experience Officer J Allard.
At least, J Allard's goodbye note was much more inspiring compared to today’s one from Steven Sinofsky: “No chairs were thrown” by J Allard (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/j-allards-goodbye-note-no-chairs-were-thrown/6334)

And today Sinofsky was on purpose very short. Nothing close to the long goodbye memo from former Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie: "Dawn of a New Day" http://ozzie.net/docs/dawn-of-a-new-day/

One thing is sure: the Chief Steve Balmer is here to stay. Likely, he will be leading The Tribe even after the upcoming MSFT Annual Shareholder meeting on November 28, 2012 (www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/MSFT12).

Anonymous said...

Being an Ex-Microsoft Employee Last few years there has been rapid exit of *Performing* senior executives.
Microsoft loss continues to spell in all areas Bing, XBOX, Tablets, Smartphone, Losing PC battleground, Dominance of superior open source alternatives
From *copying* ideas from open source and implementing in their own platform there is no great innovation last few years. Bureaucracy, High pressure work environments, lost focus on what customer’s really need. Microsoft employees will continue to fill their pockets even if company loses markets. High time for Ballmer to step down and provide realistic roadmap to sustain / survive in current market
Top 5 things to be done
- Merge multiple layers of org, Eliminate multiple layered Senior Executives (GMs/ Directors), Reduce the size of orgs
- Keep it Simple, Work for what customer actually needs not for appraisal benefits
- Remove the stack ranking. Hire people who want to create great products. Microsoft has turned into non-performing , politics based, legacy software maintenance provider
- Admit areas where it does not make sense to spend where you have not made profits last 3~4 years
- Open Source Windows Mobile Phone, Open source areas where it makes sense to get market share to sustain / get rapid market share

Anonymous said...

Bob Muglia also left after 23 years. Coincidence?

I hope that in some way, large or small, I have helped each of you to lead your life with your own deep sense of integrity, that you help to bring out the best in other people, and deliver the results that matter most to you.

Anonymous said...

Mark my words: Ballmer will announce his retirement soon. Sinofsky left because he was informed he wouldn't be considered for the CEO job.

Julie LG and Tami Reller's appointments are only temporary. A massive re-org (either timed to Ballmer's retirement or sure to follow in his replacement's first quarter) is a certainty.

Anonymous said...


Julie LG and Tami Reller's appointments are only temporary. A massive re-org (either timed to Ballmer's retirement or sure to follow in his replacement's first quarter) is a certainty.


I hope you are right. Otherwise, this ship be sinking, that's for sure. An AA hire with no engineering background is now heading the company's flagship division? This has to be a joke, or as you say, temporary.

Anonymous said...

Just glad I got forced out after 14 years and making MSFT hundreds of millions of dollars during that time. Culture is beyond toxic and stack ranking is shooting msft's top folks in the back of their heads. They have dismissed so many talented people over the past year and we are heading to the nearest competitors as fast as we can. MSFT is done. I love my iPad and am never looking back - I just check mini now and again to keep up on all the crap that still goes on with this technology dinosaur!

Anonymous said...

I guess the rumour that he was taking over as CEO after Windows 8 was true.... until SteveB killed him.

Anonymous said...

As SteveSi is gone, can we call back Ray Ozzie ?

Anonymous said...

Msft is slowly sliding into oblivion. Mid management is as rotten as the senior management. The faster the employees realize this fact the better for them.

Anonymous said...

The dolls are now in charge...

http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-new-windows-bosses-2012-11

Sándor Nacsa said...

Sorry but the #1 reason by far is:
Steven Sinofsky, ex Microsoft: The victim of an extremely complex web of the “western world” high-tech interests
see: http://lazure2.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/steven-sinofsky-ex-microsoft-the-victim-of-an-extremely-complex-web-of-the-western-world-high-tech-interests/

Anonymous said...

I think it is all because of Start button!

Anonymous said...

Left MS one year ago and never worked in the Windows team. Must say Vista is a total failure, but Win8 + Surface has potential. The IT department of my new company is doing a trial, so far so good. I also have tested our product on Surface and Win8, way better than iPad.

Anonymous said...

>> Bob Muglia also left after 23 years. Coincidence?

Microsoft, please take him back...

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the death spiral that is Microsoft. The same story has been playing out for years, Microsoft leadership is like a disfunctional government entity. Both at Corporate and in the field, way too political and much more worried about scorecards than results. Steve B would have been fired 10 years ago by any other company on earth.

Anonymous said...

Bad for employee morale, bad for Windows 8 image, bad for next release of Windows 8's chances of staying on track. These senior people at the company ought to manage their internal conflicts better.

Anonymous said...


Seems to me that Ballmer stated why Sinofsky left, and Larson-Green got promoted:

"To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.”

It was probably a little too hard to get Sinofsky to play the cooperation game across all the other teams, and Larson-Green was only too happy to commit to play the inter-team political games from her new seat at the top.

Anonymous said...

Steveb guillotines another potential rival.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, MSFT leadership team. Your inability to play nice, or do much anything useful really, just caused the stock to drop $1 to $27. THe Nasdaq is donw .5%, MSFT 3.5%. Another $8bill of shareholder money gone. Maybe the markets have had enough of the clown show ...

Anonymous said...

MSFT (-3.97%) fell sharply on news that Steven Sinofsky, the well-regarded head of the software giant's Windows division, was leaving the company. Microsoft shed 4% to stand at $26.91, emerging as the worst performer on both the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.03% and the S&P 500 SPX -0.10%.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-falls-on-exec-exit-as-techs-slip-2012-11-13?siteid=yhoof2

Ballmer needs to be fired. TODAY!

Anonymous said...

The 2012 letter to shareholders states that Sinofsky was dinged for the EU issue. It also shows that KT got millions more in comp than SteveSi. So MSFT values a paper-pushing bureaucrat, who is so obnoxious with customers that account teams try to keep him away desperately, more than someone who design and ships product?

Anonymous said...

all hail the ribbon lady.

Anonymous said...

I believe all the executives couldn't take another cycle of reading planning documents and other large documents and revolted by ganging up on Sinofsky! :)

Anonymous said...

what do Zune, Kin, WP7, and now Surface all have in common...Microsoft you make me so happy!

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior woman at MS, and I gave my notice last week. The environment is indeed toxic. Back in the 90s, we were passionately focused on building awesome products. We focused on engineering and delivering great experiences to users. Today, an endless amount of time is wasted on politics and justifying destructive stack ranking, not innovation.

I used to love this company, and I still hope it will be successful. I wish Bill would come back to turn it around and get back to the innovative roots that matter.

Anonymous said...

what do Zune, Kin, WP7, and now Surface all have in common..


Well, let's see:

Zune - hardware wise (the HD) superior to the iPod, lacked market penetration and branding. Zune svc actually worked out pretty well and now integrated with all offerings


Kin - Not a Microsoft failure, but a deployment failure. You can't spec a hardware piece to a certain scope and then have your retailers try and price it out of scope. Cool device, DoA due to others.

WP7 - Actually very good penetration for a brand new platform, trying to crawl out from the WinMO stigma. Very dev friendly, had no real street cred due to failure of marketing. Still managed to be the top device (Nokia 900). Laid groundwork for WP8 which is fantastic if you haven't had a chance to play with it.

Surface - RT release sold out of pre-orders in both the US and UK offerings. Reviews have been fantastic. Awaiting the Pro.


So, if you're implying that all of the above are failures - then you have a major knowledge gap on multiple facets of the business (or just a apple fanboi, hard to tell these days)


Cheers!

Anonymous said...

RE: ass-kissers who get promoted, what can I say? I've been in MS too long to see this happens all the time.

Ditto, look no farther than Windows HDX PM org.

Any truth to the rumor that she was a personal trainer?

Anonymous said...

It's kind of gross that people are rushing to assume that JLG is only in her place because she's female, MS if full of ineffectual bureaucrats of all genders so you shouldn't get all butthurt when one of them happens to be a woman.

Anonymous said...

Oy, the Zune, Kin, Wp7 apologist above is really stuck inside the bubble. I love how you diverted any blame from Microsoft in your opinions. We need to take responsibility as a company for were we are.

Yes, Ballmer fucked up and we are 5 years behind Apple in a new era that is still being defined. I like the hardware and services direction but we don't have the true expertise for that right now. The Surface already has hardware issues and is under-whleming for the hype that Microsoft generated. Those TV spot were stupid as hell. Doing 270 degree jumps to snap the touch cover to the Surface? Erm.... okay.

I have worked at Microsoft for years and still chuckle at all the evangelists inside the company. Especially the delusional ones on LiteBulb. Haha I feel so sorry for them. Go to an external tech conference once in a while you will see that people are surviving without MS technologies and thriving.

Recently I've been looking at external offers and it's amazing how many software shops don't use MS stuff. I admit that I Iove .NET but people seem to only use it for client apps externally. Pro-tip for others: Learn non-MS technologies too.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft loses sight that the foundation of any company is your employees. Without them a company is nothing. In most traditional companies, dedicated, experienced employees are key to the success of that company. They are valued employees who are relied upon heavily for their knowledge. Unfortunately, Microsoft believes its bizarre rating and evaluation system is the mainstay of their employees. They have lost all touch with reality when it comes to being the company of choice to work for because of the work culture they have created due to their lack of respect for employees. To name a few….they command unrealistic work hours, their system of rating employees and booting them out the door even though they are high performers, their lack of leading by example, etc. Generation Y and Z will not work for Microsoft because they command flexible work hours, they live for their time off, money is NOT the number one driving force in their lives, and they have no loyalty to any company as they skip from job to job frequently. Microsoft’s cold, callus method of treating their employees will not take them to the top and they may do well in developing robots to replace their employees so they can sit at a control board, play their games and maneuver them! The culture at Microsoft is toxic!

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Monday, November 12, 2012 7:54:00 PM

Seriously?? You don't need that many PMs. Someone at the top just wants to maintain their power and have a reason to exist. I hate to bring Apple/Google/Amazon comparisons into this but do you think those company have as many "Program Managers" to release their software? I'd take a wild guess and say no. In fact those companies seem to do more with less in certain areas.

I understand what you mean by "normalize" data streams but that should be automated and have well defined schemas. Datasets should regenerated from contract definitions. I don't think that is a good reason for such a high PM to Dev ratio. Moreover you get PMs on projects that don't make sense. Just as a reason to have them do something.

What I'm getting at is that PMs have a tendency (especially at higher levels) to dominate Dev decisions and push their own agenda. OSD (especially the Search and Display Ads groups) have let the PMs run wild. The PMs encourage bad engineering and terrible hacks in the Ad systems all in order to send out self-congratulatory emails. Meanwhile the Ad systems is pretty poor for a company of this size.

Anonymous said...

The guy was a divisive douche who fancied himself as a tastemaker. He tried to exert his influence on other parts of the company in ways that didn't make sense. If it were up to him, there would be no .NET, and you couldn't use HTML/JS to develop for Windows.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I am a company and product fan and an alumni. So kudos to all of you Microsofters.

With that said, the book on Sinofsky is he is a divisive force. I believe some of his intent is misjudged by people who do not understand a key tenant of software development which is to limit outside dependencies. By limiting dependencies on other organizations, you have better control over the schedule. Mr. Sinofsky’s organizations are the finest large software factories in the history of this industry. At the same time, by not working with outside efforts, many peer executives believe his intent may be born of ambition above company and customer. I always thought the latter too harsh but there was a lot of dry tinder on the ground waiting a spark. Personally, I could never discern how much is the former and how much is the latter as he is very private. He was a great leader of his organizations. His people admired him, as did I, and were very loyal. My prior organization was eMerging Technology and it was, unfortunately, not in his organization. The net is most of our early eBook and Tablet efforts were thwarted by Office lack of support back when he was in charge of that. We were far from perfect as all inventions are. None the less, we could have really used his help. Mr. Raikes and Mr. Gates also share responsibility in that decision. Perhaps Microsoft could have had an eBook and Tablet in early 2000’s and would have had ten years to have grown that experience. Who knows?

What I do know, above all else, is that Windows 8 is a bit of a problem. I have not put it on any company or personal desktops and laptops mainly because there was not enough there to compel us. And again, I am a product fan. We do want some of the new features minus Metro. We have tablets so do not need Win 8 there. The iPad for now is good enough and nothing compels me to switch although a good touch Office might make us. Caveat: I have not spent enough time with Office 2013 on an Win 8 tablet but intend to do so.

I would have thought that Windows 8 would be the time to fork the tree for a bit.
• Release a Windows 8 Tablet OS with a touch UE. After a couple of iterations you could reassess. Focus on the mobile device market. Get a great Office story out there. That is your consumer story.
• Release Windows 8 with other evolving enterprise features. The windows crew know these better than most. Make it faster, smaller, and cleaner. That is your enterprise story.

While the above seems an obvious solution, somehow it was missed or ignored. I would have thought that beta testing would have exposed it. I certainly provided my feedback. A touch Win 8 with a great cloud Office would be the right direction and a strategic advantage over Apple. Combine the two and force Apple to deal with it. Force Apple to react to a Microsoft agenda and perhaps they would stumble. Right now it is badly chasing. Perhaps because the effort started 2.5 years ago, it could not be stopped. Remember two and a half years ago was when iPad was first released. Momentum?

Lack of adapting to change is a shared leadership problem that all of the group, including Steven’s directs and Mr. Ballmer, should own. Mr. Sinofsky should not take the failure alone. Remember that ten years ago that the nascent tablets and eBooks efforts was killed.

Who was responsible for that failure of leadership?

Anonymous said...

So why is our sales channel for Surface so limited??? I'm hearing you can only get it at the MS Store..why not Frys, Best Buy, Wal Mart and Target for the holidays...Apple sold what 3M Ipad minis...what did we sell and I'm not talking about MS employees...Is this Surface thing going to take off or backfire

Anonymous said...

Speaking of firing people who are destructive to MS; how about firing some idiots who run IT?
I am thinking of leaving Microsoft as well. I came to MS with hopes of making a change and working in an org that would deliver value and results for our products team. Instead; what I have is a bunch of idiots running IT and covering up for their Incompetence. My group is over budget by $15m and they are just unable to solve the problem and we are only 4 months into the yr. The reason is that we have so much fat at the top and not enough soldiers. I mean why do we need VP in an IT organization when that is a commodity? We need to spend more money on Products team. Just because we have a VP in products team, it does not mean we gotta have one in IT. I am working for leadership that continues to lie to Kevin Turner and keeps reinventing the wheel year after year. We spent over 50M million on an application and now we are going to rebuild the whole thing because they need work to keep their fiefdoms otherwise there is no work for these people. We fire low cost vendors from India to bring in the old boy networks from Accenture. The IT leadership is basically a pack of wolves that protect their own and have basically shut down the creative and innovative people and are real blockers to progress. All they want to do is protect their empires, & play politics. The product teams are so frustrated working with IT that they build their own applications and systems instead of dealing with our incompetent organization. Why do we allow GMs and VPs in IT to stay in these revolving chairs, and play politics for decades and pay them Millions to do nothing progressive or of value for MS?
My leadership due to their tenure have so much vacation time that they make stupid decisions, start a project and give us direction to go build something. They come back from their vacations and forget everything and keep asking for updates, statuses and ask why we did what we did; and when they don't understand something they just cancel the project and move people around. In the meantime they reward GMs and VP for their dog fooding and customer EBC engagements where they BS the customers with creative fantasies, bogus roadmaps and just reuse the Product Team's technical vision without any substance. I mean just look at the Volume Licensing fiasco. They actually promoted the GM that caused the problem and move him around to avoid any accountability. This is ridiculous.
KT should be fired for ignoring this problem. I am so disappointed I came to Microsoft IT and am already looking to move on. This latest transformation is a cluster mess if I ever saw one.
How can Microsoft compete and innovate when the basic IT and business groups are unable to help the product teams go to market quickly with billing, finance, procurement, services and support capabilities to help them launch new products?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you're back Mini. I think however that you're a little too optimistic on a possible return of Sinofsky as CEO. The next logical step is Keven Turner taking over as CEO. It makes sense. Ballmer would definitely want somebody cut from the same cloth as him (i.e. NOT an engineer) Of course having a former Wal-Mart exec in charge will make working at MS an even more miserable experience than it already is but no big surprise here either. That's the natural slope the company's been on for a while now.

Anonymous said...

fI have heard that Microsoft has started firing people quietly one by one within days apart and are basically skirting the severance and retirement age (55) rules. They are breaking the law and the Government is just rolling over.
They are using BS low performance reasons 2 months after the person received a 3 rating on their review. Basically they are so over budget that they are just firing the really talented people at the cost of preserving the highly paid VP and GM fat cats. I wonder if the labor department will investigate this or just play into Ballmer's BS?

Anonymous said...

To say that Zune HD (released 2009) was better than iPod is comical. It may well have been better than iPod. But by fall of 2009 it was no longer about who can best iPod.

Last I knew, WM6 was still ahead of WP7 in usage numbers. For all its faults (and there were many), WM6 was a better platform than 7. It had actual APIs that people can use to build real apps. None of this half-baked Silverlight nonsense that was so clearly not ready for prime time.

This has become typical of the new Microsoft: in its rush to abandon what is old, MS has failed to digest the lessons of its past success. No one knows what made the old products successful. The company is incapable of building decent APIs today. That's why WP7 apps suck, that's why I predict that in 2 years WinRT apps will look like the WP7 ecosystem does today.

Anonymous said...

My personal opinion?

1. I think Google headhunters are already on the move to secure him (70% possibility)
2. Maybe also Apple (40% possibility)
3. Some big MSFT shareholders will not be happy and will require Ballmer's head on a silver platter ASAP to replace him with... Well.. Guess who?! (90% to 99% possibility)

Said that (and please note I'm writing from a Macbook Pro) I have a deep respect from the amazing job Sinofsky did at Microsoft. Surface and Win8 Phone are absolutely amazing as UI and overall user experience.

Anonymous said...

Note that SteveSi and KT both reported owning roughly the same number of shares in the last SEC filing. Sinofsky joined in 1989, Turner in 2005. One ships product, the other pushes paper.

Neither of these gentlemen exactly exudes the milk of human kindness, but the above points provide more proof, if any was needed, of the pathetic leadership of SteveB, and sadly what MS most values today.

Anonymous said...

Working for a Microsoft partner is no picnic. The partner portal continues to go from bad to worse; EPG and SMS&P sales force has virtually no alignment with partner goals; when bringing a real sales opportunity try finding someone to help you, it's almost impossible; MCS is now directly and aggressively competing with partners; MS scorecards and market segmentation are completely misaligned to those of most partners; send mail to an MS employee to work on a joint sale and get crickets in return; the list is endless.

Anonymous said...

Speculation: SteveSi saw the Windows juggernaut being slowly reduced in relevance by the Unix Dynasty (OSX, iOS, Linux, Android, all Unix derivatives):

Desktop/laptop: Windows 85%, Unix 15%

SmartPhones: Unix (Android, iOS) 95%
Tablets: Unix (iOS, Android) 99%
Big Data: Unix (Linux) 95%
Cloud: Unix (Linux) 75%
Social Media: (Linux) 80%

Windows still has it good in laptops/desktops, but in all the high growth areas in the market, Windows is practically a no-show.

Perhaps SteveSi decided to leave before the Desktop/laptop revenue starts falling off the cliff, with no replacement in sight.

Anonymous said...

SteveSi was a huge net positive for MSFT. He was also part of the problem.

His Triad model might be great for shipping, but it sucks for building products customers love. All the decisions are made at the triad level, by the people that know the least about the code/feature.

At the same time, his 'flatten' the tree org model means that the managers have more reports, less details, more decisions. It also means less opportunities for advancement of principals.... which leads to the principals focused on politics not products.

The whole level below the principals is getting sick of wrong decisions and politics and are leaving in mass.

Anonymous said...

"what do Zune, Kin, WP7, and now Surface all have in common..


Well, let's see:

Zune - hardware wise (the HD) superior to the iPod, lacked market penetration and branding. Zune svc actually worked out pretty well and now integrated with all offerings


Kin - Not a Microsoft failure, but a deployment failure. You can't spec a hardware piece to a certain scope and then have your retailers try and price it out of scope. Cool device, DoA due to others.

WP7 - Actually very good penetration for a brand new platform, trying to crawl out from the WinMO stigma. Very dev friendly, had no real street cred due to failure of marketing. Still managed to be the top device (Nokia 900). Laid groundwork for WP8 which is fantastic if you haven't had a chance to play with it.

Surface - RT release sold out of pre-orders in both the US and UK offerings. Reviews have been fantastic. Awaiting the Pro.


So, if you're implying that all of the above are failures - then you have a major knowledge gap on multiple facets of the business (or just a apple fanboi, hard to tell these days)


Cheers!"


The level of delusion in this post is both scary and comical.

First rule of business: there are no excuses for why something failed -- it failed. Kin, Zune: massive failures. Microsoft lost big time on both. The end.

Also: WP7 is a disaster. Market penetration is not "good for a new entry" -- it's a non-player in that space. Not even a footnote.

WP8: nobody is interested in those devices at this point. The game is over.

Surface: the reviews are not fantastic, they're mixed. Sales are not fantastic either or else Microsoft would have announced the numbers. There was a lot of interest the first week, but now nobody is talking about those devices at all other than the issue with the defective keyboards and the fact that there are no apps available for them.

Seriously, snap out of your dream state.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Microsoft for 10+ years. I, like many others, saw the changes that happened over time. In a bunch of areas, Microsoft went from being a leader, to a slow follower, which makes the battle for relevancy nearly impossible.

That's not to say they have stopped making some killer products. In fact, many of them are quite great. However, they are constantly playing catch-up which does not allow for the best long term vision or a focus on real innovation.

One of the things that often hurts is the sheer size of the company; a stance that this blog has held for a while. Large teams breed a certain type of leader that is more of a business manager than an engineer. And that is where things start to erode from the core engineering that Microsoft used to be so focused on. On top of that, these managers, who, admittedly have really tough jobs, get rewarded well, thus setting up the role models for others. So, kudos for them for being good "executioners", but, they are not necessarily engineers or innovators.

Anonymous said...

No surprises. Microsoft was the single most fucked up large company I ever worked at. I regret the time there. Sinofsky was hard to work with but he was also the only leader who actually got anything done at all. I literally only saw incompetence rewarded. People who got things done got axed. So same old, same old

Anonymous said...

Finally! Now bring back my start button, make some DESKTOP innovations and launch Silverlight 6.

Anonymous said...

I think we have insight into which org you fall under... Windows. Seriously, he may have been a great technical leader of his own fiefdom but he didn't have the leadership skills to unify the company and this is reflected down the line; anyone ever had to work with Windows?

I do agree that this doesn't look good for Microsoft though; why would you voluntarily choose to leave at a time like this? Even if there were were serious personal reasons, wouldn't you disclose some level of detail to allay employee/investor concern? Which means he was likely pushed out for either the reasons being rumored around or for some other more sordid reason potentially. In any case, investors don't have to be geniuses to see this move as a bad sign. Stock is falling.

Anonymous said...

There is one problem at Micorosoft: Steve Balmer.

Anonymous said...

couldnt agree more

Anonymous said...

I do agree that this doesn't look good for Microsoft though; why would you voluntarily choose to leave at a time like this?

In a lot of ways, this is the very best time to leave without panicking investors et al. There's simply no way that Sinofsky's departure can possibly be connected to the performance of Win8 and/or Surface. The products have only been in market for a couple of weeks and we haven't even hit the post-Thanksgiving buying season yet. There's absolutely no way that MSFT's bean counters have already issued a judgement on Win8 that's definitive enough to take down a company president. Clearly, something else is at work here.

If Sinofsky had instead waited three or four months, it would have been much harder speculation about the failure of Win8/Surface (whether true or not) would have been much more believable and much more damaging.

Anonymous said...

"No surprises. Microsoft was the single most fucked up large company I ever worked at. I regret the time there. Sinofsky was hard to work with but he was also the only leader who actually got anything done at all. I literally only saw incompetence rewarded. People who got things done got axed. So same old, same old"

Ditto, and would like to further qualify the org to be Windows PM Org, guess who was just promoted to take StevenSi's spot? SteveB made a bad decision here, he must have seen something most people don't see.

Windows PM Org just suck d*cks, I'm so glad I got out of it and glad that I sold $30 CALL's on MSFT!~

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the person who mentioned the mess in MSIT and how fucked up things are in Sammamish.

Crap orgs, crap projects, incompetence being rewarded left and right. And the part about cheap vendors being replaced with even cheaper ones, it's a joke out there.

Anonymous said...

I've heard rumors that the Surface RT sales numbers have been incredibly low. The 32GB model, for example, has sold less than 50,000 units online and half that in the the stores. Microsoft didn't think they'd sell - so they only manufactured a small amounts - and this is why they "sold out". The 64GB version has only sold about 100,000 units total. A friend who is an MS employee at one store (name withheld to save his job) mentioned that the return rate is very high - about 20% (1 in 5 sales come back). This would coincide with Ballmer refusing to state any sales numbers

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/81d35f49-328d-42a9-bf4e-6701a6a2208e

Anonymous said...

First, I think this was a lame post and not by original Mini, and was done by the MS marketing department that took over the blog (anyone else notice that the "about Mini" blogger area was cleared out some time ago?). Second, everyone knows that SteveSi was being groomed to be the next CEO. There is more to the story and like all executive departures the truth will eventually come out...it always does

Anonymous said...

Poor leadership is the norm at Microsoft. Field sales leadership is not qualified and plays politics as the main priority. Greater SouthEast District is extremely toxic with a GM that has earned nearly 200% turnover of her direct reports in less than 3 years.....A lot of very good people have left during that time.

Anonymous said...

People mentioning Sammamish and MSIT and MSFT support orgs - all these people should be fired *especially* at the senior director and GM level, but also at the PM level. They are all dead weight, most of the smart people trying to do the right thing jumped ship long ago, especially around this Windows debacle. So many people who should never have had a job at a high tech company running the show and kissing the bottoms and protecting their turf. If you search on customer support issues for Win8 or Surface, MSFT is bonking it as usual. I have read articles about Windows 8 users getting sent to Xbox support for their Win8 store/ commerce problems. Nice silo behavior, not surprised. Didn't get your tools done in IT/Support? Even if the product is decent or good, if the customer support org and the "technical groups" supporting them suck, people won't be happy with the product.

Anonymous said...

MSFT will be fine without Steven. He had important lessons to teach the company about focus, execution, process, structure and decision making. Over half the company has now been Sinofskyized. He would not make a good CEO, he was at the pinnacle of his value to the company. Good time to step away.

We miss Bobmu, a much more balanced, collaborative and innovative leader far more. But Bob had big faults too. If you could have combined Steven's discipline with Bob's insights you would have had the right formula for CEO. Is there anyone in the industry who has all of the above?

We have no internal candidates to replace Steveb. KT would be a complete, unmitigatable disaster. I'm an engineer, I worked in KT's org when he first joined the company. Believe me when I say that no engineer will ever work for KT. He cannot possibly give any useful product direction. He is the most dangerous man in the company.

My only hope, and it's not looking good, is that Elop can truly turn Nokia around and make himself a candidate for the MSFT top job. Stephen is an actual human being, soft skills and hard decisions, customer insights and engineering leadership.

Help me Stephen Elop, you are my only hope.

Anonymous said...

Working for a Microsoft partner is no picnic. The partner portal continues to go from bad to worse; EPG and SMS&P sales force has virtually no alignment with partner goals; when bringing a real sales opportunity try finding someone to help you, it's almost impossible; MCS is now directly and aggressively competing with partners

So true. As an ex-softie I saw this in my region as well. There seems to be a direction from the top to always lead with services, which means partner gets cut out. The investment in local partner resource is falling every year, there are less and less PAM's, and more and more SE's.

Anonymous said...

The following line from Sinofsky’s email illustrates one of the main symptoms of the overarching problem at MSFT:

“I am super excited for what the future holds for the team and Microsoft.”

Personally, I am so freaking sick of hearing and reading the internal MSFT masturbatory buzz phrase: “Super Excited.”

“I’m Super Excited about this, I’m Super Excited about that! We’re going to do something really dumb that I’m Super Excited about! Woohoo! I’m Super Excited!” (It sounds better in a Big Gay Al voice, I admit!)

Every day I get emails from my manager, other managers, directors, VPs, PMs, etcetera, about how “Super Freaking Exited” they are about the latest crappy kool-aid they had to drink.

From what I can tell, these declarations of “I’m Super Excited” do nothing but signal to the email recipients who is trying to be perceived as drinking the kool-aid, which then could possibly count as upward mobility points.

Wanna get ahead at MSFT? Be “Super Freaking Excited” and make sure your nose acquires the color of burnt umber.

The fact Sinofsky couldn’t divorce himself from using internal buzz-phrase nomenclature in his departure letter is disappointing and disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Shot ourselves in the foot with the poor distribution plan for
Surface. The MSFT retail stores and online only? Really?? They should have hit every big box retailer right out of the gate. Whoever approved that plan should be out the door today. And don't tell me we don't want to compete with our OEMs. We announced we're a services and devices company now. If that isn't a shot over the bow, nothing is

Anonymous said...

So, this is a bunch of anonymous posts Tony Swash provided that somehow conveys MS employee positions?

Anonymous said...

http://allthingsd.com/20121113/in-the-sinofsky-departure-bill-gates-sided-with-the-other-steve-ballmer-at-microsoft/

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh reading the CNN article about Sinofsky firing. Controversial, doesn't get collaboration, divisive etc. By doing his job and cleaning up political mess in Windows BG? I guess Frank Shaw earned his salary by calling in favors with CNET editors from his WagEd days. It's sad to see Ballmer defending his post by removing anyone that establishes himself as a credible threat year after year. He used to be much more than that. Microsoft Board on the other hand is an absolute joke letting Ballmer get away with this.

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky leaves over a dispute, that should be clear, but exactly what, is a riddle. I would expect that if the rumors of Office on iPad has any truth in it, Sinofsky would strongly disagree. Surface claim to fame is bound to the productivity story around Office, and Office for iPad would kill that instantly.

Anonymous said...


Shot ourselves in the foot with the poor distribution plan for
Surface. The MSFT retail stores and online only? Really?? They should have hit every big box retailer right out of the gate

I think MS is learning from the beating that HP took by widely distributing its Touchpad tablet, and then when sales were poor, subsidizing retailers in the ensuing $99 fire-sale. MS management is aware of the definite probability that the Surface could receive the same reception from customers that the HP Touchpad did, and are taking little steps at a time.

Anonymous said...


Shot ourselves in the foot with the poor distribution plan for
Surface. The MSFT retail stores and online only? Really?? They should have hit every big box retailer right out of the gate

I think MS is learning from the beating that HP took by widely distributing its Touchpad tablet, and then when sales were poor, subsidizing retailers in the ensuing $99 fire-sale. MS management is aware of the definite probability that the Surface could receive the same reception from customers that the HP Touchpad did, and are taking little steps at a time.

Anonymous said...


Help me Stephen Elop, you are my only hope.

You got to be kidding!

Elop is single-handedly to blame for driving Nokia into the ground, mainly for betting the company on a failing OS: WP7


The competitors of MSFT would be over-joyed if Elop were given the reins of MSFT.

Anonymous said...

Agree that we need a change NOW. JLG is an obviously bad choice.

What about Tony Bates? He has the enterprise background and comes without all the internal toxins. The Skype crew seems to like him. We need a leader who does not care about the cronies, someone who will hack the deadwood out.

Anonymous said...

God help us with Tami Reller. Did anyone see her demo performance at WPC? It was one of the worst demos I've ever seen from an exec. Plus, the size of that ring on her finger was a bit distracting too. How people rise to these positions is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

"It's sad to see Ballmer defending his post by removing anyone that establishes himself as a credible threat year after year. He used to be much more than that. Microsoft Board on the other hand is an absolute joke letting Ballmer get away with this."

Don't forget, Billg is on the board.

Anonymous said...

How about the $8 bonus the FTEs whos shipped WIn8 CLIENT received, not that Win8 SERVER got zero of? how's that for building inclusive teams Stevesi? nice thinking.

Anonymous said...

$8K bonus that is

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:45:00 PM

I had to laugh reading the CNN article about Sinofsky firing. Controversial, doesn't get collaboration, divisive etc

And this makes him different from all other MS execs, how?

Anonymous said...

Well, of all the theories, he's at least *probably* not boinking his female direct reports like so many of the other rest and vest long time MSFT execs. That's a way longer list to name than possible successors to Ballmer!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh great, and now Andy Lees is going to be head of corporate development and strategy.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/microsoft-says-andy-lees-to-head-corporate-development-strategy.html?cmpid=msnmoney

Wasn't he the one responsible for Windows Phone 7? What does it take to be fired?

Anonymous said...

Blog comments are like "Tweets"

This has a conditional scenario of a "Killing a Mockingbird". Let's not be "Boo" or judge via prejudice.

I love the comments, as they are insightful and helpful to me.

It seems, the questions, to me again:
- Does this change Microsoft?
- imho: NO
- Does this change Windows?
- imho: Little, it seems
- Who will create this change?
- ???
- Should we respect SteveSi the same?
- yes. He is a great person. We should trust the move, like a long time friend.

I don't know him, but I do know that when I was on the Linux alias in 1998 and he asked us if we should port Office to Linux, I was engaged/cheering for his career. Because, he was like Jobs, in that he was open to the "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" model.

To make a request,
It would be cool if everyone included a template like




SteveB == 9
SteveSi == 9





...

Vincent

Anonymous said...

RE:
Good riddance StevenSi, at least he had the guts to order an investigation inside of Windows HDX---JulieLar's org, although it didn't lead to anything, he showed commitment.

and

ass-kissers who get promoted, what can I say? I've been in MS too long to see this happens all the time.
Ditto, look no farther than Windows HDX PM org.


Uh, HDX? Really? What am I missing here? Could you have meant DNX? Or something higher level? I don't think that HDX is what you think HDX is.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I have no insight into how effective Tami Reller is at getting things done from inside her office, but her presentation at this year's Company Meeting was the most lethargic, dragging, downer of a presentation I've ever seen outside of a dark flooded coal mine that's nearly run out of oxygen.

Seriously, if you can't even fake Super Excited, then have somebody who can present in your place.

Anonymous said...

"Blog comments are like "Tweets"

This has a conditional scenario of a "Killing a Mockingbird". Let's not be "Boo" or judge via prejudice.

I love the comments, as they are insightful and helpful to me.

It seems, the questions, to me again:
- Does this change Microsoft?
- imho: NO
- Does this change Windows?
- imho: Little, it seems
- Who will create this change?
- ???
- Should we respect SteveSi the same?
- yes. He is a great person. We should trust the move, like a long time friend.

I don't know him, but I do know that when I was on the Linux alias in 1998 and he asked us if we should port Office to Linux, I was engaged/cheering for his career. Because, he was like Jobs, in that he was open to the "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" model.

To make a request,
It would be cool if everyone included a template like

SteveB == 9
SteveSi == 9 "


Nothing in this comment has value or even makes sense. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

What would it take for the average Microsoft worker to go on strike? Just for a day?

The ones who don't want to play political games to get good review scores. The ones who chose their product team because they liked the technology or role and not because it was a fast track to promotion. The ones who want to be part of a team that succeeds or fails as a team. The ones who want to be excited and proud of what they make not what division they're in or what bonus they got or what review score they got.

The ones who respect and collaborate with and understand the technical writers and customer support staff and software test engineers and program managers and product managers and marketers... yet still understand that ultimately you need the smartest developers and best technical vision to produce things that actually work.

The ones who can get their work done but also go home to friends and family and have a life that doesn't involve 2am emails and defending oneself to random GMs and VPs.

Does Microsoft have any of those kind of workers anymore? Are those people the average worker, and if they just got up and walked out for one day, would it make people notice?

Or is the kind of person, the kind of team, described above... are they no longer the mainstream, if they ever were to begin with?

Even if just the Windows division, just in Redmond, just the people in 3 or 4 buildings on main campus... if the people who care about a decent company to work for would just take an hour, say 10am Friday November 30th... all take a walk around the edge of main campus or gather in the main sports fields near building 26... no signs, no huge ruckus, just a quiet statement that yes, there are other people who think like they do and want the same things out of life and their company. Maybe you'll see some familiar faces, or some unexpected ones. Maybe people will talk plainly to each other about what they want to see in their work life, their home life, their employer, their coworkers.

...

Nah. The path that MSFT is on can't be changed. It's too far gone. The last of the good people will find their way out, and all that will be left are the ones fighting for scraps (if a 175k / year salary can be called scraps) or the ones who have no other choice because they can't unplug, can't start over, have bills and debt and family to support and mortgages to pay.

I really wish people would look at Microsoft on a human level, and get up and demand something better. But they won't. They can't. It's scary, and sad, and takes more energy than even working 90-hour weeks for months on end could take.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft is a cozy bubble but there is life outside of MSFT for talent on a faster track (in Seattle but also in Redmond with fast growing startups such as BitTitan, Prediktion, etc.).

Perhaps Sinofski simply couldn't endure more his own soviet-style planning and just needed some fresh air after bathing in this toxic environment for too long.

Anonymous said...

"Even if just the Windows division, just in Redmond, just the people in 3 or 4 buildings on main campus... if the people who care about a decent company to work for would just take an hour, say 10am Friday November 30th... all take a walk around the edge of main campus or gather in the main sports fields near building 26... no signs, no huge ruckus, just a quiet statement that yes, there are other people who think like they do and want the same things out of life and their company. Maybe you'll see some familiar faces, or some unexpected ones. Maybe people will talk plainly to each other about what they want to see in their work life, their home life, their employer, their coworkers. "

Too many brown-nosers on second floor of B27 to have any participating in a "Windows stroll". One sample, GPM-Lead-PM all drive German cars; Lead and PM play on-line games at night. They would not dare to participate in any stroll.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a microsoftie but I can see parallels with two other companies, where I used to work.

1. Lucent. Coasting along on their previous life as the original AT&T and Bell Labs and living on their monopoly profits, I found their upper echelon to be as political and non technical as I see MSFT's descriptions today. Pat Russo was a BA in political science for crying out loud. And she ended up running and selling Bell Labs (!) to Alcatel. Before that she ran Kodak. See the pattern?

2. Carly Fiorina at HP. Before that she was at Lucent. BA in Political Science. Political Science. Well, okay then, let's just have her run HP. What does HP mostly sell now? Ink?

The pattern is simple. You get a large corp running off a semi monopoly, then in due course the people who rise are the politicians and sales guys. The engineers get used and thrown aside.

Now apparently this Julia person isn't an engineer and she's going to run the OS group. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

indeed on the needing new real GM and above leadership posts.

don't forget about the way past their prime GMs who were complained about 5 years ago here by many, and continue to skate the system. hopefully balmer's replacement will fire all these losers.

http://minimsftcrf.blogspot.com/2007/03/bret-clark-holy-smokes-new-comment-on.html

Anonymous said...

I hear it was when he proposed Jill Kelley as his new research VP.

Anonymous said...

SteveB has shown who is the boss by letting SteveSi go. Is it gutsy or bone headed boss?

Sadly he has proven he is the bone headed boss by promoting JulieLar.

Anonymous said...

Color me cynical but Ballmer's compensation was dinged in word and deed ($) specifically because of the EU browser option miss. Throw a chair against the wall, or throw out the guilty party?

Situations like this illustrate the wisdom of husbanding political capital; an extra few hours at Semiahmoo might have provided the few inches of freeboard necessary to stay afloat.

Paradoxically, the capacity for brass-necked refusal to waste time at a company retreat might simultaneously be the very virtue needed to improve the company.

Anonymous said...

All together now:
Two Man Enter, One Man Leave
Two Man Enter, One Man Leave
Two Man Enter, One Man Leave

Anonymous said...

"Mark my words: Ballmer will announce his retirement soon. Sinofsky left because he was informed he wouldn't be considered for the CEO job.

Julie LG and Tami Reller's appointments are only temporary. A massive re-org (either timed to Ballmer's retirement or sure to follow in his replacement's first quarter) is a certainty. "

++, Spot on. Lines between BGs will vanish. Buckle up folks.

Anonymous said...

Lines between BGs will vanish. Buckle up folks.

Who else could make it happen? The retreat described in the NYT article is the antithesis of Sinofsky's style. In a Sinofsky meeting, the people at the retreat would be expected to say what they were doing together and when. Not spend time advertising to strangers the boss's way.

Anonymous said...

That's a hell lot of Cool-aid, Mini. There is no doubt that Sinofsky was a talented exec and managed to turn-around a sinking Vista/Longhorn ship. However there is also no doubt that Sinofsky played by his own rules and alienated rest of orgs at Microsoft. The fact that RT was developed in parallel with WP8 is a big indicator for this. A company CEO needs to look at all business divs, not promote favoritism with a single org.

Its more unfortunate that JulieLar got promoted.. this is a sad day for Windows org..

Anonymous said...

Just this once because I'm feeling buzzed, I'm going to show you guys The Way Home. It's a really simple way, and something you should be able to grasp.

Technology is not a goal, it is a tool. Its highest purpose is to enable and empower humans to do what they want to do, to help them reach their goals. And when it can't, to get the heck out of the way.

What most humans desire most is to connect with other humans they care about, engage with them in deeper and more meaningful ways. To a lesser extent to share with a wider world their thoughts and achievements and receive external validation therefrom.

You're doing a fair job of the direct interaction thing with the Skype buy, but the getting out of the way thing needs more work. Any hint that you're manipulating Skype for corporate advantage is telling people that their video chat with their mother or children is a tool you use to manipulate them so be careful here because comms with Mom & Kids are disproportionately emotionally charged. Also, Skype is not the end of this story. People communicate in different ways.

The next thing humans want is to achieve their objective. You can't know what their objectives are, but humans are tool users - so give them flexible tools. The tools you currently provide are not flexible enough because they are deliberately blunted to pursue other corporate objectives not in line with the customer's purpose. It's well known that every tool you give or sell has as other purposes to bind the user permanently and direct their use to greater dependence on your other offerings until the user is trapped in an internecine web of dependencies from which he cannot escape: not only to outside tools, but even to new versions of your own tools. So by using your tools we guarantee that we find the end date of our essential business operations and the loss of control of our data. Stop that. Now. Please.

The third thing humans want is not to fall into a trap from which they cannot escape. You're going to have to reengineer your entire business philosophy to change this practice. Preventing end-user choice is an obvious advantage hard to give up, but you need to do it. Putting people in a trap is something they don't forgive you for as long as they live, so this strategy that has burned so many will eventually be your demise because no corporation can deliver perfection forever. If you love them, let them go. Make it a corporate value for each independent division to earn the customer's choice each time rather than forcing them into it.

Anonymous said...

Came across this blog from a link in another article. Thanks for insights. Don't know much about MSFT internals but one thing I know is that you cannot innovate/engineer/market new products with upset employees (many of you refer to it as the "toxic" environment). As an outsider if I had seen that youtube video of the new boss (Larson link posted above) w/o knowing who she was I would have said she must be an administrative assistant of some sort working at Microsoft...

Skeptic said...

Lots of noise in the comments. Been out of Microsoft for 3 years and haven't been in Steve Si's org since he left the Office group.

I worked in the same group as Julie Larson before her meteoric rise. I wasn't so impressed, but remember that Steve Si was very impressed. If he likes someone's work, they rise to the top very, very quickly. I don't think he was making those choices for political reasons. I think he was making those decisions for engineering and product quality. That said, does heading program management translate into running a large engineering organization. I don't know as it's been many, many years since I worked near Julie.

Steve Si never struck me as someone who cared about rising to be the CEO. He cared about designing products that could be built and then building it. I'm not sure as an engineering guy, he was the right guy for Balmer's job.

Anonymous said...

I liked Sinofsky; I liked his discipline and the order he brought. We built a better product because of it.
And to the guy who has a hard on to the HDX PM team: What the hell are you talking about? I've seen your comments on the last several of mini's posts. I've been on the hdx pm team since it was formed, and the rationale for your jihad is a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, what happened to this year's performance numbers sharing thread?

Anonymous said...

Windows Client Org get $8k regardless of performance rating, plus three devices?

Anonymous said...

A great company to work for. Not sure why everyone is so negative.

Anonymous said...

"RE:
Good riddance StevenSi, at least he had the guts to order an investigation inside of Windows HDX---JulieLar's org, although it didn't lead to anything, he showed commitment.

and

ass-kissers who get promoted, what can I say? I've been in MS too long to see this happens all the time.
Ditto, look no farther than Windows HDX PM org.


Uh, HDX? Really? What am I missing here? Could you have meant DNX? Or something higher level? I don't think that HDX is what you think HDX is."

Look inside of Windows DNT.

Anonymous said...

Oh god people are trolling with the HDX, DNT, XYZ bullshit. Please ignore those posts.

Anonymous said...

I turned in my badge a while ago, but DNT is an actual team, right? Devices and Networking? There was a branch called fbl_dnt for those guys... HDX on the other hand is not something I've heard of.

Anonymous said...

someone wrote "
Kin - Not a Microsoft failure, but a deployment failure. You can't spec a hardware piece to a certain scope and then have your retailers try and price it out of scope. Cool device, DoA due to others."

Someone apparently doesn't understand pricing of consumer electronics. Microsoft built a device that cost too much to make for the category of device it was supposed to be. It is MSFT, not VZN, that is responsible for the price being out of line. The price VZN wanted was low, by the usual pricing standards for devices with similar parts lists, and it was still to high because KIN was too expensive to build.

Anonymous said...

2 words for CEO- Richard Branson

Anonymous said...

""RE:
Good riddance StevenSi, at least he had the guts to order an investigation inside of Windows HDX---JulieLar's org, although it didn't lead to anything, he showed commitment.

and

ass-kissers who get promoted, what can I say? I've been in MS too long to see this happens all the time.
Ditto, look no farther than Windows HDX PM org.


Uh, HDX? Really? What am I missing here? Could you have meant DNX? Or something higher level? I don't think that HDX is what you think HDX is."

Look inside of Windows DNT."

DNT = Device & Networking Technology

Anonymous said...

Hi Mini, we were missing you. Why no post after MS quarter results this time?

Anonymous said...

What interesting and kind of sad is that there are some genuinely awesome things going on at Microsoft. Look at Windows Server. 2012 is packed with so much awesome and they crank out billions every quarter while Bing and online just flush that cash.

Anonymous said...

I love coming here every now and then. The infighting, the random trolling, the pontificating. It's amazing how many complain about the internal politics of Microsoft and then engage in them here in public. It's amusing too, and quite sad.

Whether Sinofsky was the guy or not, who is to follow Ballmer is not yet the issue. Although should Turner get it, you'll all be on the Titanic. The issue as far as I see it is how to get Ballmer to go.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft loses sight that the foundation of any company is your employees. Without them a company is nothing. In most traditional companies, dedicated, experienced employees are key to the success of that company. They are valued employees who are relied upon heavily for their knowledge. Unfortunately, Microsoft believes its bizarre rating and evaluation system is the mainstay of their employees. They have lost all touch with reality when it comes to being the company of choice to work for because of the work culture they have created due to their lack of respect for employees. To name a few….they command unrealistic work hours, their system of rating employees and booting them out the door even though they are high performers, their lack of leading by example, etc. Generation Y and Z will not work for Microsoft because they command flexible work hours, they live for their time off, money is NOT the number one driving force in their lives, and they have no loyalty to any company as they skip from job to job frequently. Microsoft’s cold, callus method of treating their employees will not take them to the top and they may do well in developing robots to replace their employees so they can sit at a control board, play their games and maneuver them! The culture at Microsoft is toxic!

+1

Jerkface said...

Wow, most of the Microsoft employees seem to be in denial of how clueless Sinofsky really is. A Windows tablet without Windows compatibility? At a premium over Android tablets? Metro-down-your-throat even though most people hate it? Ballmer likely looked at some sales data and decided that Sinofsky can act like Jobs but doesn't pull the numbers. Sinofsky is a hack, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Well no one from the inside at least, but that doesn't rule out an outsider, right?

Anonymous said...

I pray everyday that KT would go.

Anonymous said...

"I think if [Sinofsky] stays in tech and becomes CEO of another company it makes him an even more obvious choice to come back to Microsoft as its leader."

Facts suggest the opposite; leaving aside the exceptional founder Bill Gates, we have one available CEO data point. The present CEO before coming to Microsoft was an assistant product manager at a manufacturer of personal hygiene products. Company history indicates that a brief and mediocre fling with an unrelated industry having nothing to do with software or hardware is the only known path to leadership of Microsoft besides actually starting the company from scratch. Skill at the trade has nothing to do with being CEO. Rather, the equation for success is the ability to feed on other people's intelligence, to wear other people like apparel.

Very few people really understood the monkey dance. Ask not for whom the monkey dances-- the dancing monkey is you.

Anonymous said...

Despite all the negativities surrounding SteveSi, an org under his command (for my last 2 years in Windows div under him) works much better and more effective compare to Bing who is controlled by a lot of corrupt and idiot Chinese morons who know how to play rude and bad politics and who care only building Dragon empire, hiring more Chinese and exporting jobs to China. Ballmer instead should fire the Bing Execs and all the bad executives including all the bad Chinese PMs, who can't even speak English properly. I would slave to SteveSi compare to working with those Chinese bastards.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the comments of Steve Ballmer today...he is the ultimate troll. What real good does he do for the company? What value does he add? He is just here, like bad weather. There is no doubt that he is an effective tyrant. He is able to hold power and have things his way. But he is no Gates or Jobs or Ellison let alone Page/Brin.

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson-Green & Tami Reller : Quantity over quality.

Two turkeys don't make an eagle.

Anonymous said...

So, PanAm is the Microsoft of today?

Yours Eponymously

Eponymous

Mike said...

I've been using Microsoft's products since MS-DOS and the first time I head Sinofsky's name was when he quite. Weird. I think the ship is sinking with or without him and Ballmer is next.

Mike said...

Bah I meant "quit".

Anonymous said...

I am leaving Microsoft after nearly 20 years. Change is good so on that level, a natural decision (I don't want to hit the 20 year or 30 year mark at any company). But it troubles me that I don't believe in the company anymore. I've managed to survive the politics and the review model and, despite the increasing bureaucracy and strong, constant pull toward mediocrity, do some good work this last 18 months, but it was just too damned hard, too many missed opportunities, too much frustrating chaos, too many political battles not worth having. And I feel like I'm in some huge religious organization where dogma and fervency, loyalty are more important than actual talent or success (certainly don't ask troublesome questions, just comply!) I don't want to be in that world. I do blame Sinofsky for a big part of that atmosphere at the company.

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky, as a manager, delivered. Both office and Windows releases were delivered on time. Compare that with days gone by (HOW long did we wait for Win2k/Vista??).

Having said that, he was an odious little man who did a lot to alinate people. His action caused a lot of ill will and helped MSFT to lose a lot of respect. He will be missed on one level, but I am SO glad he's gone. I know a lot of softies that are glad to see the back of him. Now he just needs to take Julie two-names with him and things will better. With Windows 9 (Win8 SP1) maybe MSFT will get rid of the bipolar interface and make Windows good again.

Anonymous said...

My team has been the product's whipping boy for years. It's a constant struggle for a decent review and everybody knows it. Most have left. The worst is a test manager who enjoys this arrangement, even to the point of inventing problems just to blame us for it.

I want to move but can't. This team has me stuck in level for too long and with just 3s, no hiring manager will look at me. Doesn't matter what I've done, both by them or my manager. He thinks I'm a fuckup because he hears all the bad things I haven't done and that my successes are just "luck". Exact wording.

I want to stay because it's not all bad, but I don't know what to do. Somebody please help.

Anonymous said...

"My team has been the product's whipping boy for years. It's a constant struggle for a decent review and everybody knows it. Most have left. The worst is a test manager who enjoys this arrangement, even to the point of inventing problems just to blame us for it.

I want to move but can't. This team has me stuck in level for too long and with just 3s, no hiring manager will look at me. Doesn't matter what I've done, both by them or my manager. He thinks I'm a fuckup because he hears all the bad things I haven't done and that my successes are just "luck". Exact wording.

I want to stay because it's not all bad, but I don't know what to do. Somebody please help. "


Here's help: read what you've written above, and if it's true then GET. A. NEW. JOB.

Do you want to stay somewhere that doesn't value your work and where you've constantly told you're mediocre? Where your review history has trapped you in a job with no hope of moving?

Maybe you do, I dunno. But if so it's not rational.

It's time to leave the company. If you were like me, it was time to leave the company 5 years ago. Microsoft does something to people who have been employees for a while... you forget that there's a whole big world out there to explore.

Get out and explore it. I can tell you're burned-out and miserable just from what you wrote above; the only help you need is a kick in the pants.

Anonymous said...

Hey MS Board,

Dump Ballmer

Fire 40% of the workforce starting with the loser online services (they are never going to get any better)

Reinvest the billions in start-up opportunities within the puget sound that can be accretive to MSFT and acquisition targets

Dump the rating system - NOW

Reset Windows - Desktop and Tablet

Get serious about business cloud (like Salesforce or ExpenseCloud, or Bill.com)

Anonymous said...

compare to Bing who is controlled by a lot of corrupt and idiot Chinese morons who know how to play rude and bad politics and who care only building Dragon empire, hiring more Chinese and exporting jobs to China.

First the white males, then the Indians, now the Chinese ... Let racism ring!

Speaking of racism ... why is it OK to call Ballmer "Monkey Boy", but when someone refers to Obama as some type of monkey it's racist? Is it because Obama is black? Isn't treating someone differently because of race, by definition, racism?

Like Obama, I too have "big ears" and I too have been called monkey / chimpanzee / ape and multiple derivatives. I always thought it was because of my big ears ...

If your first thought is "what color is he" ...

Anonymous said...

"My team has been the product's whipping boy for years. It's a constant struggle for a decent review and everybody knows it. Most have left. The worst is a test manager who enjoys this arrangement, even to the point of inventing problems just to blame us for it.

I want to move but can't. This team has me stuck in level for too long and with just 3s, no hiring manager will look at me. Doesn't matter what I've done, both by them or my manager. He thinks I'm a fuckup because he hears all the bad things I haven't done and that my successes are just "luck". Exact wording.

I want to stay because it's not all bad, but I don't know what to do. Somebody please help. "

Actually this is not the worst it can be at Microsoft, when your lead determined to screw you, after you have successfully interviewed for another job in another group, this "lead" would back-channel and tell your new hiring group that you are "bad performer" can stop the hiring process. Trust me, this happened. I can name names, place and time.

Just leave, it's not worth it, don't get mad, get even.

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson-Green leading Windows? Wow, I can't think of a bigger train wreck. Bill Gates will you please come back and reclaim your company from the ashes! PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

Julie Larson-Green leading Windows? Wow, I can't think of a bigger train wreck. Bill Gates will you please come back and reclaim your company from the ashes! PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

I left Microsoft after over a decade about a month ago to go to work for a startup.

I'm still adjusting to life post Microsoft, but here are some data points.

There are some things I miss. Particularly with the US economy approaching a fiscal cliff. A couple of times I have asked myself "what have you done"?

I miss the no co-pay healthcare, but that is going away in Jan anyway.

I miss the review system ... NOT.

I love that I've actually done some things in a month. Concrete accomplishments that I can point to that my team and I have finished.

My email load is 90% less than at Microsoft. I'm sure it will pick up as I get more integrated, but I didn't realize how much time I spent on email.

Here's the one I like best - I submitted at least a dozen patent ideas at Microsoft. Every one of them were killed at the GM / CVP level. We are putting the final touches on what I think is a pretty good patent and it will be filed before Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

> I miss the no co-pay healthcare, but that is going away in Jan anyway.

The HSA plan is not bad. In fact, if you planned ahead and took advantage of the ~2 years of bonus pay they added for switching to the HSA plan earlier, it works out effectively the same.

Yes, there's a (small) co-pay at certain points based on out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles. But the extra bonus money for getting on HSA early covered the entire out-of-pocket expense period (the only time you pay co-pays). And all the money in your HSA rolls over every year (unlike a FSA), so ultimately the HSA has a net positive to your bottom line with the only "expense" being that you have to see an actual bill every now and then (that you pay with Microsoft money, not your own).

I've been on the HSA plan for 2 years now and have not noticed any significant difference in my health care usage compared to the previous plan.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of racism ... why is it OK to call Ballmer "Monkey Boy", but when someone refers to Obama as some type of monkey it's racist? Is it because Obama is black? Isn't treating someone differently because of race, by definition, racism?"

If nothing else -- and god knows this blog isn't good for much other than masturbation -- Minimsft gives us the opportunity to teach the clueless about basic concepts like racism.

So, monkey boy, allow me to take you to school.

It's racist to call black folks monkeys because dating back to the slave days, white people drew cartoons of them as apes and monkeys. In fact, many of our American grandparents had ashtrays, dinnerware, highball glasses and the like depicting African tribesmen as dancing cartoon monkeys.

In short, it's racists to call black folks monkeys because the white majority has used that imagery since the slave days to denigrate, dehumanize and otherwise oppress black folks.

It's not racist to call Ballmer a monkey because there has never been a history of white people being institutionally dehumanized and compared to animals by the people who used to own them as property.

And now you know, please spread it around to your other clueless jerk friends.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 310   Newer› Newest»