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Blog: Design

Microsoft’s got issues

16 Sep 05 by DL Byron

There couldn’t have been a more eloquent follow up to my Microsoft and the iPod Nano post. The reports from the PDC and then BusinessWeek’s Troubling Exits At Microsoft that asks, “anyone listening?”

My car was being serviced at a Bellevue dealership, that’s Microsoft country, and the dealership shuttle driver asked if I was Microsoft. That started a conversation that eventually concluded with the driver telling me that there’s a darkness over the Microsoft employees shuttled around everyday from the dealership to the Redmond campus and back.

The driver got a bit spiritual and went on to say that there’s a real disconnect between the passion of the employees and the bureaucratic managers. “The lifeforce, down in the gut, can’t make it up to the brains that are driving the company. So that creativity is lost in the fat of the company.” She went on to describe a few lost souls that were so tied into the trappings of Microsoft that she was sad for them. They’d told her they really wanted to be someone else, but were lured into the opportunity that Microsoft presents.

Microsoft certainly does present opportunities with incredibly smart people, but then you read a quote like this from the chair-throwing Ballmer

“We won the desktop. We won the server. We will win the Web. We will move fast, we will get there. We will win the Web.”

That statement has already been parsed by Molly and she responded with a fiery post and I agree with her, “No Mr. Ballmer, you will never win the Web for one very good reason: We the people will make sure you never do.”

When the shuttle driver asked me if I was Microsoft, I said, “No. I did my time there and I think it’s better for me to be a voice that isn’t Microsoft.” To do my part, with Molly, to make sure Ballmer never wins the Web. I also remembered Riding With Asp.Net and meeting Eilon and the goodwill with Microsoft. It’s just getting harder.


Todd Bishop reports on the reaction to the BusinessWeek article, including quotes from Scoble, and “Microsoft’s Deep Throat”

filed under: Design | Link Cosmos | View Comments (2) | Post a comment


Posted by Joshua Allen | 17 Sep 05

I bet I know the shuttle driver. Normally I talk with her about my bamboo plants, not work :-)

Posted by -b- | 18 Sep 05

I look forward to visiting her, even though a trip to a dealership is usually dreary. She has a calming effect. Also, the group I worked with at MS was certainly fired up about what they were doing and had no lack or morale. That was about 2 years ago.

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