Mini-Microsoft Cutting Room Floor

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Monkey, a Pig, and a Cork - New comment on No Layoffs at Microsoft, and a Round-up of other R....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "No Layoffs at Microsoft, and a Round-up of other R...":

Wow, Mini spins a damage control post! How freaked are you that you opened a can of worms with very far reaching impact to the company that no one can control?

What happens when the 15th rolls around and there is no layoff? Will the market punish the company for the tease?

What happens when the 15th rolls around and there IS a layoff? This post begs off your earlier one and will just show that this was pure damage control on your part.

The cat was out of the bag. You were much better off letting that post eventually leave the minds of the public. Now you've printed a retraction - one with semi-official sounding backing.

This subject is now lose-lose. At least if the rumors are true, you could be said to have good info or insight and that your data is reliable. Also, you could claim to dig in and despite the distasteful time of the RIF, gotten what you set out to do. Now it just seems like you don't have the balls should the company call your bluff and cut deep. An attrition-style RIF where the company lets normal attrition eventually lead it to 15% reduction would take years to accomplish. I cannot believe this is what you wanted. You wanted a lean, mean Microsoft. A 15% cut is how you get it.

You made your bed. I hope it keeps you warm at night.

(Anyway. Of the two post, both are composed of comments left here, the first reporting possible bad news, the second with some reactions to that, both dismissive and supportive. I'm rolling up what commentary appears here. And now I'm going to snuggle down in my nice warm bed.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ooo, Too Much Julie gossip for me - New comment on Rumors of Upcoming Microsoft Cut-Backs.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Rumors of Upcoming Microsoft Cut-Backs": Re: Julie Larson Green - er, no, she's not a great employee. Productive, sure. Talented, quite likely. Hard working, no doubt. However, great employees are aware of a little thing called discretion. They don't publicly discuss the working style and overall strengths and weaknesses of several VPs, as I personally overheard her do at the ProClub restaurant a couple months ago. They also don't xxx xx xxxxxxx, xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx xxx, xx xxx xxx xxxx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx, when she was a front-line manager in Office a few years ago. It's these subtle sort of character traits that really need to be represented more in our hiring and retention practices. It's not just mindlessly following whatever form the career ladder guidelines take this year. It's the sort of thing you see in true people managers, who are hired to be true people managers, who didn't get there because they're technically brilliant but hit a ceiling as an IC and so faked the "soft skills" to be able to make partner and beyond.

Monday, December 22, 2008

UR Spellin' it rong! - New comment on Rumors of Upcoming Microsoft Cut-Backs.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Rumors of Upcoming Microsoft Cut-Backs":

Agree with several of the comments here, though I think the economic downturn is more a convenient cover for the layoffs (though partially attributable). M$FT has never had much discipline in managing expenses, particularly justifying headcount growth. No one cared for the longest time b/c money just kept pouring in. Fiscal discipline seldom entered the picture. The company's been big for too long--upper mgmt is too far removed that it's really lost the "feel" for their business, let alone what it takes to execute on their plans (if they have a plan). Maybe annual zero-based budgeting would be the right forcing function...

- agent mulder lives

(Third rail of moderation: that is not how you spell MSFT)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grammar galore - New comment on Achieving Senior Level 63 at Microsoft.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Achieving Senior Level 63 at Microsoft":

Grammar nitpicking is fine when it's accurate.

I'm not the original grammarian, but I'll bite.

"a HR manager" is acceptable if HR is meant to convey a spoken "a human resources manager" rather than a spoken "an aich arr manager".

I don't C Y U'd stop there. Y not make it EZ 4 the OP 2 use as few strokes as possible?

Seriously, if he's using an acronym simply to save keystrokes, he can afford to change "a" to "an" in order to remain grammatically correct. It's not that big a sacrifice and despite your assurance that it's "acceptable" I doubt you'd find too many English teachers who'd agree.

"haven't seen nothing yet" is a fairly common construction. "Ain't seen nothing yet" is a more popular variant of the same due to a song with that title and refrain.

"Common" doesn't mean correct. Far more people use the phrase "could care less" than use the one they invariably mean ("couldn't care less.") Does that mean it's okay to say "I could care less" when I mean the exact opposite simply because everyone else gets it wrong?

Saying you "haven't seen nothing" states the exact opposite of what is meant. There's a reason why even user manuals subject to the most lax of proofreading don't come out suggesting that the user "doesn't have to do nothing" once they've hit ENTER.

"Shock and awe awaits" is correct. My best guess is that you think it should be await. I give you the example from "A busy day awaits" as evidence.

So your "evidence" that "await" is wrong is to use an example where "awaits" is correct?

"Shock and awe" are two words. Words. Plural. Unless you're referring to "Operation Shock and Awe" or some special case where the plural noun is understood as a singular term ("rock and roll IS here to stay" for example), then the correct verb should be plural to match case.

You AND I (do) disagree. You and I "does" not "disagrees."

So one legitimate missing punctuation mark, one matter of verbal interpretation, one popular idiom, and one completely correct phrase. Only 1 of the 4 [sic]s were legitimate. You've made 3 mistakes. Therefore, you are an HR manager.

Actually he was 4 for 4.

(Given how poor my grammar is I have deep respect for grammarians and all, but let us let this dog sleep now)

Apple is shameless? - New comment on Achieving Senior Level 63 at Microsoft.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Achieving Senior Level 63 at Microsoft":

NOTE: To the comment made by jcr and the retort by mini:

Mini, you are completely WRONG and so biased toward Microsoft, you don't see what is being thrown at you!!
- Apple launched iPhone and it has literally taken over the no. 1 spot in smart phones in NA. Windows Mobile (launched much before Apple) is working on version 7.0 of it's OS, and it has still got the worst UI. Version 7.0 has been delayed to keep up with competition. Shame on you!!!
- XBox - UI looks cool. What about all the constantly nagging problems that appear in the blogs and cnet? Has MS ever taken ownership? MS should be sued over a billion $ for their fiasco. Shame on you!!!
- Vista - What is so freaking great about vista? Why did MS even release Vista? Is it better than XP? I doubt it. I run both and XP is great!! Poor Strategy and marketing in deploying Visa over XP. Shame on you!!!
- When Apple released iPod, it built the s/w ecosystem around it - iTunes. MS released Zune and recently acquired Musiwave. Still not as popular as iPod. Shame on you!!!
- Business strategy - Apple did a tremendous job in pricing and operator tie-ups for iPhone. Look what MS did to Sony Experia? 600-800$ better than iPhone (?), but how many people buy it? Shame on you!!!
- Marketing strategy - There used to be a time when MS kicked butt. It has truly lost its game in the last decade. Gates/Seinfeld/Chopra- I am a PC too!!! Are you kidding me? Shame on you!!!
- AJAX, Cloud Computing - is there anything else that you want to start late and still accomplish?
- I still value MS as one of the leading IT companies to work for, far better than the other sucker- Google. But you have to hand it to Apple for coming back from behind and kicking butt. Apple is truly the comeback kid.
- Remember, you cannot argue with success. There is a reason Apple's share price is at hovering around 90 bucks and MS at 20. Main street knows MS's worth. Don't just piss around with your blind MS loyalty.

(AJAX? Who invented XMLHttpRequest again?)