Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Microstiff – The Hangover After the Vista Party: Great Reads from Around the Globe

NOTE: This Blog will be updated hour by hour so…keep coming back!

These links speak for themselves (most recent first):

  1. The "Oww" Starts Now!
  2. IT weighs in and then...checks out!
  3. Of these two parties, which is most likely to lie?
  4. Very, very ugly!
  5. It's the price, STOOPIT!
  6. More very ugly Vista news! And... this just in...customers dumbfounded?
  7. Remember when "express" meant fast?
  8. Looks like Office Live is...well...dead!
  9. This is frightening!
  10. And this...is too!
  11. And...holy shit!
  12. Hey, buddy, can you spare 3Gb?
  13. The Emperor, his clothes and the Incredible Reception!
  14. Finally...a scapegoat!
  15. A semi-heavyweight weighs in (John Halbig of Garage.com).
  16. More Piling On!
  17. Top New Slogans for Microsoft Vista.
  18. Vista 'Family Discount' Bites!........................... Back
  19. "...there's no transformational, gotta-have-it feature in Vista"
  20. Turn those speakers down or get your drive wiped!
  21. Listen to the DRM beats.
  22. Finally! No more "Blue Screen of Death".
  23. Dvorak: Windows Vista Solves Nothing
  24. YIKES! Misleading packaging (YouTube)!
  25. Upgrade Hell!
  26. How to make Bill Gates jump out of his chair.
  27. Who says Vista's expensive? Here's a dead giveaway!
  28. The anti anti-virus.
  29. The best words ever written to date re: Vista.
  30. Eye-opening comments from our staid British friends.
  31. The Big Whisper theory of Vista Genesis.
  32. Vista Security Buying Proposition Debunked.
  33. We'll Pay You to Buy Vista...Please!
  34. Vista Buyers - both of you - hang on to that XP!
  35. Ouch! PC-Mag rates Vista.
  36. The Wizards of Wow!
  37. The silence is deafening!
  38. Shhhhhhhh! More silence.
  39. Dell/Vista customers veeerrrryy unhappy.
  40. CNN Poll is a Stunner!
  41. The case for the $500 million lipstickpig Vista promotion black hole. Are you listening, stockholders?
  42. Did you see those ads? They were awful!
  43. Whew! Spread the blame on a caste of thousands (well...330 maybe)!
  44. ...and not ONE good reason to buy!
Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Mini-Microsoft: Microsoft FY07Q2 Results

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Monday, January 22, 2007

Microstiff – Bill, Me, the Board of Directors and Step One of the Twelve Step Plan for Salvation

NOTE: This Blog will be meaningless unless you read the one previous to it.

Bill barked again and there came a barely perceptible collective, knee jerk wince from the table participants. I stopped running my fingers along the letters M-I-C-R-O-S-O-F-T elegantly etched upon the glass surface below my hands…and looked up at my new, best boss. A faint trail of smoke (or was it steam) trailed from each nostril of his Waspish nose. I swear to you, I thought his eyes were a glowing, flashing red. Maybe not. Anyway, back to reality…or perhaps…the Microsoft version of it.

“Remember, Mike, you’re here to do good”, I thought. I touched my newly starched white business shirt just below the second button and just underneath my vivid power tie. The faint impression of a clove of garlic hanging from its chain link around my neck felt comforting under my index finger. I felt my pulse begin to return to normal…mostly.

“I’ve reviewed Mike Microstiff’s 12-Step, 18 month plan and…I like it. You will too,” said Bill. A slow, slight nodding around the table ensued, some through eyes glazed with what seemed like that well-known “1000 yard stare”. I looked just above the closest nodding 1000 yarder, hoping not to find piano wire attached to pulleys or something somewhere in the ceiling. Nope. All I saw were cameras. One in each corner of the room tucked up and away. “Mike, could you please take a few minutes, as a courtesy to the Board, to review these 12 steps?”

“Sure, Bill”, I gulped…hopefully out of earshot of the rest. Whether my Adam’s apple betrayed me with a vertical lunge of any noticeable distance, was another story. Then came those butterflies, hopefully all flying in formation (a phrase I beat to death teaching the Dale Carnegie Course). I had already said a little prayer of hope, remembering my belief that most things done with good intent, unless blissfully misguided, have no true detractors. It helped.

“As you all may know from my bio, my background is eclectic. In summary, I have spent most of my waking hours in the pursuit of corporate excellence, particularly from the humanistic point of view. By this I mean that the path that I took was one of teaching: motivational, psycho-therapeutic, financial and more; and, one embracing the performing arts of comedy and song. Somehow, all of this plus a few short sentences Bill read in a Blog have brought me and Bill and thus, you and me…together in this boardroom. Now is the time for us to embark on an 18 month journey of awareness, positive change and growth for your company. Shall we begin?”

Bill politely but emphatically applauded. Nanoseconds later, so did the Borg…er, the Board.

“My goal is to get you and our employees to see our prospects, customers, employees, partners, stockholders and vendors as valuable partners in our corporate success and to help you see that, as a company, our current corporate behavior is quite self-defeating. Upon reaching that level of awareness, you will then be rewarded with some proven and effective ways to change this self-defeating behavior. Finally, we will practice and institute those ways until they become second nature. It’s really just as short and sweet as that. No more, no less.”

“In fact, since nature abhors a vacuum, we all have a unique opportunity to replace these so called self-defeating behaviors with these new corporate people-oriented behaviors without missing a beat; no hissing of air rushing it to fill the void; nothing but well-timed solutions to the problems at hand! Doesn’t that sound great!

I looked around the table. Again, slight nods, 1000 yard stares and this time, an uneasy squirming in their red leathered armless chairs (Bill, once again, telling us what’s good for us, this time, ergonomically). I, too, perceiving body-languaged resistance, squirmed along with the others, attempting to lean my left elbow on a non-existent chair arm, only to feel the hand of a Board member catch me in mid-clutz. I thanked him and briefly mused how symbolic these classy yet armless leather chairs were of Microsoft’s corporate militant ignorance: Build a potentially great product with seriously missing “buying proposition” features. Why? Because they can.

No impediments, no consequences. It’s my job to make them aware of the consequences, the results of those self-defeating behaviors; to show them that “because I say so” is not a good answer to the marketplace…that it is truly better to lose money through the “pure creativity of innovation that misses the mark” than it is to lose it though poor adoption of uninspiring and copied products.

However, this was neither the time nor the place for an “intervention”. These Microsofties before me, particularly one’s whose rise to power and wealth was likely one of privilege, new money and perhaps Ivy League connections, would respond much better to being known as the Board which was “on watch” when the revolution came, than to my own psycho-therapeutic thesis purporting them and many partner-esque souls like them to be addicted to the power of Microsoft; that they were in no place to see excellence as a goal when blinded by the darkness of power; the power of monopoly, of numbers, both monetary and human. No, that thesis would fall on deaf ears in this room and, I am afraid, throughout this organization at the highest levels. What was needed was a way to insure excellence in spite of those who want it crushed. Oh, they can work on, but the revolution from within will begin to uncover their weaknesses and inabilities to excel. Eventually, with no place to hide, they will leave. This will happen.

“Now, I know the thesis of having to change one’s behavior being presented by this guy you never met before standing in front of you today…probably isn’t what you want to hear but…hear me out. My product is your corporate health, prosperity and well being. The price you must be willing to pay for this product is…a behavior change. However, I submit to you that there are two (2) very real additional advantages to this behavior change which will ease your load:

  1. It is you and your employees behavior WITHIN the corporation that must change; not your personal behavior. So, the task isn’t as formidable as it sounds.
  2. Should your change in corporate behavior lead to a willingness to change at home, your life will become even more enriched! A bonus, if you choose it!”

The nodding continued but the stares seemed less distant and the fidgeting…gone. Had I struck a nerve ? Were they getting it? Some of it?

“And now, on to the first step. The 1st Step to Microsoft corporate wellness is:

Admit that Microsoft has significant problems. Admit, as an individual, that you are powerless over these problems and that your business life, your job, when related to these significant problems, has become unmanageable.

“But you are already happy at your job, you say? Well, let’s say you’re a programmer. You’re cranking out code, getting it done. What is the code being used for? Will it be used at all? Is someone else writing the same code? Is time being squandered? Is the product it’s to be used in a good one? Does it solve a problem? Is the mission a good one? Are standards and goals in place? Is your boss fair? These are all elements of an environment where good code might be written...but to no avail. There is dysfunction. Your job, believe it or not, is unmanageable.” And you are powerless, as one individual, to prevent it. Admitting to this is healthy. What we resist persists. Once you accept that you are powerless over it, you can begin to do your part to help it change; slowly and with others help, but…change it will. That’s why I am here.”

“It will be my job, with your help, Bill’s help and the help of many Microsoft employees, to define more and more of these problems throughout the organization, prioritize them and seek solutions to them. A vast majority of them are policy issues. These will all be examined under an umbrella of trust and openness and prior policy successes that I will create as your Policy Wonk and Innovation Guru.”

We went on to discuss, Bill, Me and the Board, the remaining 11 Steps. I charged them with the responsibility to review each of the steps and warned them that they were the only ones, at this time, besides Bill and me, to receive them. The steps were not to be given to others until the appropriate moment of my choosing. They agreed. The meeting was adjourned and Board members filed out of the room, a few talking animatedly.

Although I had expected nothing from them except their ears, it was enjoyable to observe what could hardly be construed as anything but enthusiasm in their voices and their body language. Normally, I would have employed Socratic Method and Q. & A. to see what they thought of it all but, this wasn’t the goal of the meeting. The goal was to keep them in the loop. Job accomplished, I thought.

Bill and I were the last to leave the boardroom and, as I followed him out, I posed a question to him, not really expecting an answer. “Bill, what do you suppose is the exact geographic center of the Redmond Campus?” He thought for a few seconds and said something which I didn’t quite hear nor understand, but, I thanked him anyway, since I’d figure out the answer soon enough myself by making the rounds.

Working from a location on campus that was “equal distance” for all to visit would be a symbolic gesture and my first decision of many in hopes of building openness and trust with all Microsofties. We wanted them to know our doors were open to their ideas and that they would have a strong hand in shaping policy and innovation at Microsoft.

There was plenty of daylight remaining so, I told Bill I’d be walking the campus and that I’d talk to him soon. He paused, looked me straight in the eye, said, “Uh…”, paused for a long, long 10 seconds or so and then said, “OK, see you”. And that was that.

Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Mini-Microsoft: The Good Manager, etc, etc, ...
Mini-Microsoft: Thinking About the Microsoft 2007 Mid Year Career Discussion
Mini-Microsoft: Microsoft FY07Q2 Results

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Microstiff – My First Day as Microsoft’s Policy Wonk & Innovation Guru

Bill and I had finalized things just the week before. I was to become the new Policy Wonk and Innovation Guru at his beloved creation...Microsoft. In the fourth and final meeting and my first day at work, we were convening with the board, in the boardroom. Conversations were cordial and the talk was small as we awaited Bill’s entrance. I had been introduced to these esteemed board members barely minutes before Bill entered the room, tablet PC in hand, Zune tucked haphazardly in his shirt pocket protector.

As everyone sat back down, Bill wasted no time beginning. “Who the fuck forgot the water? I distinctly asked for bottled water!” We all looked at each other knowing it wasn’t any of us but, fearing, for a brief moment, that it surely was one of us. With a flick of his right forefinger, Bill began stroking the screen of his laptop. Within seconds, the clunk of…presumably…a Perrier hitting the plastic exit hole of a beverage dispenser stationed just outside the boardroom door…could be heard. In popped a secretarial type, wireless headphones in place, blinking and whining PDA in hand and, of course, the Perrier in the other. Bill snatched it from her hands and then he began…again.

“As you all know from my emails, Mike Microstiff here has hit what could be called the Bloggers mother load; he got me to read the one single Blog that changed my life and will soon change the lives of Microsofties and worldwide customers alike. I am here to say that Mike put together the exact words that others have tried to create for years and years, to no avail. He found my hot button in a few short sentences. I applaud him for that and you should too.”

A vigorous round of applause filled the air as I bowed my head in humility, a half smile on my face. The lights suddenly went off. Bill said, “Clap again to get them back on” and, sure enough, both the board members and then, the lights, obeyed. “Ah, another partner, another project, another feature”, I thought to myself.

It was during our 3rd meeting that Bill had finally grasped and let go of, you might say, the one principle which was to be religiously adhered to for this company to be saved from its slow bankrupt spiritual spiral into oblivion: Full Autonomy for Mike Microstiff for 18 months. No if’s, no and’s, no but’s. I report to no one; no one reports to me. All changes summarized and reviewed quarterly, in person, with the board to simply “check in” to see what’s happening. Guiding this single principle would be a simple, two page 18 month plan, sitting before each board member and Bill. There to review but not critique. Full autonomy. Carte Blanche.

On the notion that less damage could be done by a well intentioned hero in 18 months than all of the forces creating the problem have done in almost three decades…we had shaken hands and gone ahead. Brad had popped in the room, pin striped and silk tied with a 36 page contract. Bill had waived him off saying, “not this time, Brad. Not this time.” We both nodded and Brad looked down at his black tasseled loafers, shuffled a few times and then pulled out 3 pages from the tome and still Bill nodded “no”. Six more pages, then 10 and finally down to 5 pages and a final nod “no” and Brad left.

Back in the boardroom, we began to review the twelve steps on the two page, 18 month plan…

Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Mini-Microsoft: The Good Manager, etc, etc, ...
Mini-Microsoft: Thinking About the Microsoft 2007 Mid Year Career Discussion

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Monday, January 15, 2007

Microstiff – Thoughts on Good Managers and Visionaries as well as CEO's, Sales People, Testers, Developers, Programmers and Pounders

As Mini contributors, we all search for truth and solutions to the “Microsoft Problem”. This is not so much out of ego as it is the realization of our own true powerlessness and the desire to “make a difference” in the face of this huge, stumbling corporation with no moral or product compass... known as Microsoft.

Why do we care? Because we all love “all things computing” and the world, both fantasy and real...that it creates. We are hooked and...we want to make a difference; a difference in the computing devices themselves or...a difference in the way they are used.

To that end, I address the main topic with care and deliberateness as I attempt, once again, to help you...and me...to make sense of...Microsoft.

Good Managers – Good managers “get things done”; they accomplish the mission. They carry out corporate and departmental policy and procedure. “Really good” managers also motivate people. They get “people” done. They care. Morale is high in their department and people do their jobs knowing they can grow and be treated fairly and be listened to. Absenteeism is low. A team spirit pervades.

However, simply being a good manager is NOT ENOUGH. There must be a systemic proliferation of the attributes of good MANAGEMENT throughout the organization. Good management is the establishment of and striving for attainable goals, fair and appropriate policies and effective and efficient procedures. Additionally, it is the “care and feeding” of those goals, policies and procedures that is essential for continued good management.

Are there good managers at Microsoft? Yes. Does Microsoft have good management? Empirically and anecdotally...a resounding NO! How else the current problems?

What Needs to Change

  1. Admit there is a problem “at all levels”

  • The first step in any and all problem solving scenarios

  1. See Management as a “Science”; one that can be learned and improved upon

  • A body of principles

  1. Create Microsoft Management Training and follow-up feedback loops

  • Require all candidates to take the initial “primary” course before becoming managers

  1. Create a Panel for Corporate Policy

  • Seed it with members from all corporate disciplines with Carte Blanche ideas and no penalty for presenting them

  1. Rewrite Corporate Policy

  • Examples:

  • Rules of Corporate Behavior

  • Meetings will be “on time” or you will be “locked out”; Late three (3) times, you'll be written up...period!

  • Customer is # 1 and will be the first consideration in ALL discussions.

  • Published agenda for all meetings; Off Topic will NOT be discussed, minimizing politics.

  1. Rewrite Corporate Procedures

  • Eliminating waste and areas where politics can spawn

  1. Rewrite Departmental Policy

  • In line with corporate policies

  1. Rewrite Departmental Procedures

  • In line with corporate policies and procedures

  1. Enforce Corporate and Departmental Policies and Procedures

  • Rigorously and with significant consequences in place for failure to abide

  1. Revisit Management, Mission, Policy and Procedures...continually

  • Continually!

Visionaries – Ones who dream of solutions to unknown problems. Ones whose minds are unfettered and unconcerned with details inherent in managing people and things. Visionaries are not good managers because it doesn't interest them. Visionaries make our world interesting but not organized, unless of course, their invention and innovation happens to...organize things.

Are there any visionaries at Microsoft? Anecdotally and empirically...NO! Ray Ozzie is too code-centric to qualify...for now. His innovation attempts to organize things and people but...there is no hook! R ay has failed to excite the customer as well as the marketing department. And, he has failed to...talk it up!

CEO's – CEO's have their finger on the pulse of the corporation. It is they who are the most responsible for profits. Under their watch, corporate policy and procedure is imagined, written and enforced; it trickles -- cascades – downward through the corporation. It is they who carefully, delicately and religiously insure that the corporation grows and prospers and maintains its balance. Policy and procedures are the road map for that balance.

Under this definition, does the Microsoft CEO perform his job well. Anecdotally and empirically...NO!

Sales People – Visionaries who can convince and LOVE to get paid for it! Take ideas from other visionaries and run with them. Simplify them for the customers. Always thinking of the customers unless...they are ego centric to the point that they only think of themselves. If, after you introduce them to the new policies and procedures, they continue to lie, fabricate and think of themselves...fire their asses!

Are there good sales people at Microsoft? You bet. They have average products to sell in great numbers. They are not happy with the product but...there's too much money to be made because of the numbers. They love the money! Give them something better to sell and they will love you even more. But, don't try to convince them that their current products are the best in the world. You cannot bullshit a bullshitter.

Is there a problem with the Sales Department at Microsoft? Probably not, if left to selling only. It is highly likely, though, that an attitude adjustment is in order through the new corporate policies and procedures. One can be weaned off of arrogance, hubris and grandiosity. I know. I've done it. With help.

Developers, Programmers, Testers – The manufacturing aspect of Microsoft; the creators of clever and quality gears and inner workings of lackluster products. Once proud and motivated and paid well from stock holdings, these talented folks are stuck in an organization without purpose; designing, creating and proving mismanaged products with no vision. T hese folks, as long as they stay on board, are the TRUE VICTIMS at Microsoft. Outside of Microsoft, the true victims, of course, are the CUSTOMERS.

Pounders – Pounders are partners or founders of the company. It is not clear what pounders do except they represent a cash drain on the corporation of over $1 billion per year...every year. They should probably leave. Will they? Not without being thrown out. Would you?

Mini-Microsoft: The Good Manager, etc, etc, ...

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Microstiff – Office Live: Take it From Someone Who's Installed and Modified It!

Early detractors of Office Live know not of what they speak! Microsofties and small businesses at large don’t seem to have a clue to the possibilities ALREADY inherent in this “umbrella of online programs” all accessible from a single location and all seemingly designed for the small American business to sell more and keep track of things… all for a very modest price!

Whose fault is it that no one yet knows? You guessed it: Microsoft. But, the trouble lies not so much in the quality and capability of this set of small business solutions, made available without one penny of SMB software investment but, in the enthusiastic promotion of these solutions.

Now, I am not one who usually congratulates Microsoft for anything, lately. This is because with Vista and Office 12, they have lost their compass. However, Office Live is different, dear hearts. Office Live is different.

I know this because I am in the process of completing the installation of a robust Office Live application, complete with modified databases, for a local computerized cash register company. Let me tell you, piece by piece, what Office Live means or will mean to them:

Domain Registration: Easy and straightforward. Registered it one day and it was usable the next. Readers have said that deleting a domain they don’t actually want is...a bear. I chalk that up to the typical “exceptions programming” within any new product. The mainstream activities ALWAYS get the most developmental attention.

Website Creation: Simple and straightforward. Pictures, fonts, links were all intuitive to use. Basic templates are very professional. Maps, data collection, slide show and weather are just a few of the “modules” that can be embedded into a page. And, they can now shut down their laboriously-slow in house website, free up its server and never pay a webmaster another dime!

Email for their Employees: Twenty-five (25) for free. Yourname@yourwebsiteaddress. Uses Hotmail which is ok but takes a loooooonnnnngg time to load. Microsoft should do something about this. Cash register support and management can now talk to each other where they couldn’t before, at least using a unified website address. They love this and now know if the CEO sends them an email, they better be reading it. Great tool!

Note: Success of group email in small companies is dependent on insisting that the CEO embrace - and enforce - employee communication using email as a necessary tool. Follow up is often required by the consultant to insure its use.

Contacts: Customers are in process for being entered into the contacts database. These customers as well as vendors, employees and partners can be accessed by other Office Live included modules (Project Management, Customer Support, shared Calendars).

Customer Support: Present customers require ongoing support for their computerized cash registers both in a restaurant and school environment. The current solution is online but outmoded. Microsoft’s solution allows for modifications, which were made for this client, so that the new customer support database is more comprehensive and sort/selectable on a myriad of screen reports, all online.

Project Management: Projects are being established in Gantt and other formats for the scrutiny of new customers (typically school districts) and ongoing modifications to and review of project register installation timelines are simple and graphic.

Sales: Products and proposals can be entered into their own databases to create proposals and quotes. Corporate documents, proposal formats, basic documents, etc. will soon be attached so all employees and SOME customers can access for usage, by password. This project is not yet started but…will be, soon. Squeaky wheel.

Calendaring – What used to be a hodge podge of phone tag and yellow sticky notes regarding the whereabouts of any manager and/or support person is morphing into a great shared calendar capability using the premium calendar services. Additionally, resources such as register demo machine(s), LCD projectors and customer training rooms are easily reserved.

So, there you have it. This is all in process and represents a considerable upgrade to this company’s way of doing business with very little training and expense! This company gets this all for $40 a month! As volume increases, so will the Mb charges but, they are very reasonable.

So, don’t tell me that Microsoft doesn’t know what they are doing when it comes to Office Live. Now, Ray Ozzie, find a way to tell the rest of the world! And…keep making it better.

P.S. Don’t forget, my client didn’t even use the FREE Microsoft Accounting Express 2007 which can or will be accessed by the Office Live modules mentioned above! More Office Live bang for the buck!

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for the Evil Empire and while I find their corporate behavior generally abhorrent, I believe their solution to help small businesses throughout the United States with this umbrella of online, single point solutions...is a great step toward proving they care about more than partners and stock prices.

Mini-Microsoft: The Good Manager, etc, etc, ...

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Microstiff – Becalmed Whilst the Storm Rages About Us?

Strange title wouldn’t you say, mate? Let’s see if I can shed some light on it and my own particular mixed bag of gifts – Christmas-New Years-Microsoft gifts.

Yes, it’s the New Year, indeed, and I am so filled with EVERYTHING to say that I have nothing to say. I stare straight ahead at the 19” Gateway, snot running down my face; soon, my right eye starts to twitch. It now gives way to my right upper lip. Twitch. Twitch. “Hmmmm…right side, only?”, I think to myself. “Has a left brain overload manifested itself?”

The lip twitch continues as I catch a glimpse of myself in the monitor. Elvis? Is that you? “Yeah, baby. I’m caught in a trap…I can’t walk out…” My perfect imitation of the Big “E” is probably more perfect in the shower, I muse.

Suddenly, it comes to me. Why not write about this curious period of suspended belief that seems to be out there, now, as we speak. You know, the one where ALL is CALM, ALL is BRIGHT! Can you feel it? Can you smell it? Can you see it? It’s all being so magnificently cooked, sliced, diced and presented to us, served up on silver platters by tuxedoed waiters at New York’s Cipriani Restaurant.

What the hey, when you spend the most money ever on re-lipsticking your cash pigs, er…cows, Windows and Office, something’s gotta give, right? And thus, this curious period of suspended belief.

Clue #1 - Writer’s write softer about the behemoth. Why? Can you say Acer? I knew you could. But, they began to write softer a few weeks before the Acer Giveaway. It’s more than that, folks. It’s more than that. Draw your own conclusions. $35 billion’s a lot of money to spread around. It’s what makes grown men and women wanna slip the tongue to Revlon-ed porkers.

Clue #2 – The Behemoth discovered a new word: “WOW”! This is the newest Microsoft feature, soon to be patented by the now-elevated-to-God-status Microsoft Legal Department – “Wow”. Repeat after me: Wuh – ahh – ooh…Wow. Wow!

Microsoft intends to use “Wow” to benchmark the January 30th release of Vista and Office 12. As in “Wow, look at that new Aero see-through window! Isn’t that…hey…where’d it go? It’s opaque, now!” Ok, there it is…back again. Which one is the open window? I can’t tell…they’re all Aero-ish…kinda!” Wow!

Clue #3 – Fairy tales and comic books to describe the enchantment of …the Ribbon. Wow! We love you Jensen and Julie but, this time, you didn’t listen hard enough. However, all is not lost. You’ve finally made your “bones”. You’ve gone to the other side. You are now “made” members of “La Wow-a Nostra” (Our Little Wow).

Other clues abound. Can you see some? Do you care? I feel myself gradually moving from offering up ideas to build a better Microsoft to the “hopeless” side of the meter. Are we all prepared to stand by while this once great company falls into ruin? Will their arrogance and insularity cause us to applaud the day?

Who knows. Ah, the twitch has abated. My creative, intuitive right brain has won again. Living to write another day during this curious time of suspended belief.

What say you?

Addition on 12/6/2007: Ding-Dong Death Knell?

Mini-Microsoft: Time Travel Around the Windstorm

Subscribe to Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind by Email