Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Microstiff - If it's Friday...it's "F.N. Stoopit"

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Microstiff – Ray Ozzie Appears...there’s 45 More Days of Winter!

Honestly, folks, is there anyone at Microsoft who can say the things I want to hear? It’s getting to the point where I just want someone to get up, play with the microphone, clear their throat and then…lie to me! Just do it with enthusiasm and…you’ve got me!

I get this picture in my head of Ferris Buehler’s teacher calling out his name for attendance:
“Buehler?…… Buehler?………… Buehler?” You know, with that monotonic drone-like voice we have all come to love in him but hate in others; especially Microsoft leaders. Is this company a freakin’ utility or something? Jeezus, get the hook!

The three reporters I culled my information from regarding Ray Ozzie’s latest “state of the service” speech, report it in exactly the same boring way it must have been presented! Can we get somebody in here to read these guy’s notes or something. Robin Williams? Tony Robbins? Anybody!

This company needs a spokesman! Someone to get people charged up. Oh, but first they need to produce products & services that charge people up! My bad. Carry on.

P.S. - I guess my days as a Dale Carnegie Human Relations & Effective Speaking Course instructor have...well...affected me. Remember? "ACT Enthusiastic and you'll BE Enthusiastic!" or..."I know men in the ranks who are going to stay in the ranks! Why? I'll tell you why! Simply..... because..... they..... haven't..... the..... ability..... to..... get...... things..... done!" Know anyone like that?

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Mini-Microsoft: Quest for Happiness

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Microstiff – Is It Me or Has the Subject Been Changed?

Update: More very ugly Vista news! And... It's the price, STOOPIT! Plus: Go here for Vista post launch implode time line. Yow!...ugliest!

Where’s the Vista-hype? Where’s the Vista Bus? How is that $500 million petty cash fund for promoting what has become the equivalent of XP SP1.95 (14% slower than XP!)…doing? Answers to those questions and more…coming up next!

Not really. However, judging by the lack of buzz, if feels like the Evil Empire is about to save perhaps $450 million and put it towards a single, new, exciting Vista feature and buying proposition? Yes? Well…at least you’d think so by the lack of promotion for LipstickPigPoke formerly known as Longhorn. In fact, all that’s coming out of Redmond of late – February 26, 2007 and the 2 weeks previous – has been…well…Vista silence. Some examples are these announcements:

  1. Microsoft jumps into medical search via acquisition (InfoWorld)
  2. Microsoft Challenges Adobe With Publisher Partnerships (TechWeb)
  3. Microsoft injects Vista with BPEL (InfoWorld)
  4. Microsoft Likely to Dodge Injunction in MP3 Patent Dispute
  5. MSN To Stream Live Earth Concert


Perhaps it’s the great embarrassment and $6 billion cap loss from Steve Ballmer’s "Hoof and Mouth MSFT Stock Certificate Rain Dance". Maybe Steve’s curled up along side of Ray Ozzie on the company shrink’s couch and no one’s bustin' a move. It sure feels like the calm before the storm to me! The sword’s about to fall! The other shoe’s about to drop! The stock’s about to plummet! Well, so far, we’re 1 for 3; can we keep it that way?

I think not. I think something’s coming around the bend and soon. I think there’s been a sort of “Mini-Intervention” (Not a “small” intervention but, an intervention by Mini-Microsoft). Mini has buckled BillSteveBradLisa over with one, solid Denial blow to the midsection. Four for the price of one! Microsofties and the world at large are soon to receive great tidings of comfort and joy from these Microsoft Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! (a mashup from that great Notre Dame backfield and some other reference)

I can feel it in the air…in my bones…in my fingertips dancing across my Gateway keyboard. Something is a comin' to raise the spirits and paychecks of all Microsofties and the stock prices of all MSFT stockholders!

Meanwhile, while you’re waiting, the Vista Bus is coming soon to your town (shown here with Bink.nu’s Ryan Hoffman on it and of course Microsoft’s Nick White demonstrating a bus-satellited Google Mapping of the many McDonalds’ they just visited between Redmond and Seattle.) What could they possibly show us when they come to our town? I might go just to see the inside of that bus. Ka-Ching! Otherwise, yawn.

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Mini-Microsoft: Quest for Happiness

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Microstiff – Denial Alert: Mini-Microsoft, Don Dodge, others…

Alert # 1 - Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for Microsoft's Emerging Business Team, says a few denial-laden statements worth hammering:

Microsoft will do everything possible to preserve these businesses while transitioning to the new Live strategy. The technical vision is to give users the best of both worlds. That is the business strategy too. No Innovators Dilemma here.

Reeeeaaaaaly? Let me see…legacy MS Office and Office Live (thanks to Google and a few others). Late to the party and groggy from Kool–Aid, the utterer of this grandiose statement can only be described as a "wishful thinker" and dead wrong. Ain’t no stinking innovation here, just $35 billion to throw at what others are already doing. It’s a simple mash up. Only difference is that Microsoft doesn’t have the luxury of the other party - Google - having achieved immense success (reads…the returns aren’t in yet) from online services.

And…virtually NO ONE KNOWS if the subscription model will work vs. the ad model. Gut says yes but gut don’t play that game so well.

This is more than a technology battle, it is a battle of perceptions. And right now Google has the perception of being the innovator, even though there is nothing new in Google Apps. Not to worry, remember when Nintendo dominated the game console business? Xbox came out of no where and is now the percieved innovation leader. Never count Microsoft out.

No, never count Microsoft out, just call them STOOPIT! My cat could have come out with Xbox after Nintendo's punching a wide open hole in that market. What did MSFT have back then…$25 billion to throw at it? With all the HARD WORK DONE by Nintendo, in come the Pirates of the Caribbean to rape, pillage and plunder. It was timing, the only thing Microsoft seems to have a reasonable handle on but...NO CONTROL OVER.

And, puleeeeeze, “…This is more than a technology battle, it is a battle of perceptions…” This means you lose on two, count ‘em, two counts: Count 1 – In the marketplace, Perception Rules! It’s your job to change it. Count 2 – Reality is that Google IS THE INNOVATOR. They started it, they developed it, they marketed it, they’re selling it. You, dear Don, are standing by the sidelines with your duffel bag full of money waiting to get in a game that you are woefully ill-prepared to play in.

Ray’s (Ozzie, "VaporWhere?") heads down not talking and, anecdotally, he’s starting to move past the “forgiveness” point. He better have something good. It’s doubtful though, because…IT HAS TO GO THROUGH 10 levels to get a signoff. Tsk.

No, Don, your battle is from within and...it looks quite grim.

Denial Alert # 2 Robert Scoble, One-time Microsoft Evangelizer Par Excellence:

But, I’ve learned never to bet against companies with billions of dollars in its pocket and tons of smart people still working there.

And those OTHER companies would be? Once a Softie always a ….?

Denial Alert # 3 – Mini-Microsoft – Noted Microsoft Employee and Purveyor of Truth and Voice of All Softies of Any Spiritual bent:

The comment stream is interesting, too, though to hmmm me up and say that Mini-Microsoft is to blame for any malaise at Microsoft is, in my opinion, like taking a ol' big bite from the dumb-ass tree fruit and saying, "Hey, let's beat that kid up that pointed out that the emperor is naked!" Things were not right. People moved on. Change happened and is still happening. More change is needed, but I'd say the company is in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago.

Can’t speak but for only about two years of this process but…I am not willing to give you kudos for pointing out the emperor is naked. Hear me out. On some level, everyone KNOWS the emperor is naked. Even MORE IMPORTANTLY, you have, day-in-day-out, gently revealed the truth so as to make their vision clearer. If this is the same thing that you are saying, so be it.

Also, it’s doubtful your good works have put the company in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago. Why? Because the truth tends to tear down before it can build up, IMHO. People DO leave; only to be replaced by more “People of the Lie”. That tearing down is going on, right now. Witness the stock value, the chaos, the rage of the Mini Bloggers.

So, continue the good works, Mini, and some day we’ll all be able to say, on your behalf, “…the company is in a far better position than it was two-and-a-half years ago.”

Update: Bringing up Ray "Vaporwhere?" Ozzie got me to thinking...IMHO, people who are glib can spin even the worst of situations into a hopeful one. Ray, who is not glib, hates public speaking and is more of a "hall walker", hands on guy, wouldn't think of spinning something...again, IMHO.

Therefore if things were real good with him, he'd tell us. If they are real bad, he wouldn't... because he COULDN'T BRING HIMSELF to put lipstick on those little "Live" piggies. Therefore, regarding the "Live" initiative...things is bad...things is real bad!

Update 2:
Go here for more fuel-to-the-fire-Microstiff rants. And, here.

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Mini-Microsoft: Quest for Happiness
Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Microstiff - Are Softies about to Implode?

Anecdotally, it would seem so! Here's why:

1. The tone and tenor of posts from insiders to the Mini-Microsoft Blog - arguably, the truest measure of the pulse and heartbeat of Microsofties everywhere - is taking on a quality that can easily be described as "constrained rage". Things accelerated from resigned disappointment to "constrained rage" when CEO Steve Ballmer recently did his little rain dance on the employee's ever fading company stock certificates. "You can act any way you want but...don't f**k with my money!"

2. Insiders are now more inclined than ever to spell out in great screaming detail ...the reasons for their seething resentments. Yeah, baby!

3. Mini, usually quite neutral and constrained around bitch slapping his beloved Microsoft is standing in line with the others as he prints their rants. Jolly good!

4. Oh, and the reason for this post? A Mini insider has suggested that what Microsoft does to it's customers is out-and-out fraud! Yow!

What's going to calm these critical masses who have reached just that? The next few weeks are going to be very interesting to watch.

P.S. - Scoble removes his heavyweight championship belt, steps to the scales, weighs in. Let the games begin!

Go here for more fuel-to-the-fire-Microstiff rants.

Mini-Microsoft: Quest for Happiness
Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Microstiff - Looks Like Office Live is...Well...Dead!

Here's who owns the name (Click pic below for full view).

Here's who THINKS they own the name.

Tsk! Looks like a no-brainer to me.

Update: And what kills me is that the headline says, "...Microsoft will FIGHT to keep the Office Live name..." Like, it's theirs, right?

Update 2: If yours truly found this iron clad trademark granted by the USPTO, how is it that MSFT Legal didn't? Answer: They did and, as usual, arrogantly assumed it could be theirs for a price. Wouldn't it be great if all truth-seekers, like us, could subsidize Live Office, LLC with the same amount that they are going to eventually extract from MSFT after a fruitless battle spending countless millions on a losing cause.

In other words, wouldn't it be great if Microsoft had to "give the name back?" Ooh! Ahh! Wow!

And...wouldn't it have been prudent and civil to approach Office Live, LLC before they - MSFT - went ahead with the name. The leverage would have been much greater meaning that the price could have been negotiated under the takeaway that MSFT doesn't really care all that much about the name and won't pay an "arm and a leg." Now, because of their failure to negotiate first they are committed to the name and are literally forced to pay an "arm and a leg" for it. Dumb! Very dumb! Big money sink hole! No wonder the stock is tanking and Vista is floundering and Britain is pissed and Softies are more than restless and Office is heavily learning-curved and Novell is aghast and Ray Ozzie is vapor-hero and...and...and...

Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Microstiff - Vista's a Train Wreck! More Very Poignant Truth

This is frightening!

And this...is too!

Update: Even scarier!! Here's more...gulp! And...holy shit!

Here's the YTD Vista blog-arrhea from January 30, 2007 launch.

Remember when "express" meant fast?

Hey, buddy, can you spare 3Gb?

Looks like Office Live is...well...dead!

And what must the Dell's and HP's of the world be saying when support phones are ringing off the hooks demanding XP installs on Vista computers. Razor-thin profit margins get tanked. Your channel gets pissed and stops selling Vista. Tick, tock.

Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Microstiff – Bumper Sticker Words to Live By for Microsofties and Those Who Study Them

"Denial is the 'Shock Absorber to the Soul'" – This slogan puts a positive spin on denial. It suggests that denial is very necessary for our spiritual survival; that were it not in place, we would…could…die or be emotionally damaged. Some examples are traumatic events such as deaths and injuries, catastrophes, relationship failures and the like.

But, what about “non-soul-threatening” denial...you know, the garden variety stuff? For example: “Wow!” Who but Bill, Steve, Marketing and perhaps Legal sees even a modicum of “Wow” in Vista? Office Live? Zune? As each day passes the answer to that is “fewer and fewer people from all walks of life.” And, you can’t deny that. Just read the Blogs.

I submit to you that there is layer upon layer of “non-soul-threatening” denial built up at Microsoft in every department, division, policy and mission statement and, until it is totally or mostly abolished, it will forever drag this company into the dark smugness of arrogance, grandiosity, hubris, entropy and atrophy. And, to deny this problem is denial at its best (worst?)

"Wherever You Go…There You Are" – Also known as “The Geographic Cure” this behavior is rooted in the need to ignore problems by changing the scenery. Works great for vacations in a tactical sense but can be harmful in the long term, strategic sense. For example: Vista sales are terrible and you begin talking, corporately and to the public…about the next great Microsoft OS…Windows 7. What’s up with that?

Or, you start talking up Windows Mobile initiatives to the press and to the pundits in a big way while your “bread and butter cash cow” – Vista – wallows in anonymity!

When world traveler philanthropist Bill Gates visits Africa he is still the same vicious businessman who stages WTF meetings with competing project managers, inside his office, the winner being the one who had the fewest WTF’s screamed at him. Bill, the same guy who won’t let his kids have a dog (Daily Show, John Stewart). Hell, they could have a kennel if they were my kids! This all tells me Bill is a philanthropist in MONEY only.

This leads me to the next bumper sticker:

"Saints Don’t Marry Sinners" – This is a more poignant restatement of “…Birds of a Feather…” Next time you see a couple where one person is a miserable prick (prickette?) and the other is a perfect little angel, don’t buy into it. They both have “their sack of rocks to carry.” Probably some variation of enabling on the part of the little angel and the need to maintain the imperfect façade of the relationship. And the miserable prick continues on his/her merry way…”Up on Cripple Creek.”

Translate this to Microsoft? Known monopolists don’t/can’t convincingly kiss babies and shake hands with customers, vendors, partners and stockholders. Known intellectual property thieves can’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy about their philanthropy.

Most alarmingly, if you work with people in departments, divisions and companies doing harmful things to others, you are not a saint. You are, on some level, perpetuating the evil behavior of others in your company; by your silence, by your acceptance, by your successful work contributing to the perpetuation of their evil behaviors. If your value system disdains this behavior you will, on some level, inhibit the successful flow of ideas, products and services to and from the marketplace.

"Companies are Not Evil…People Are" - A company cannot destroy you. It takes a person or people, embracing the written or unwritten mission, policies and procedures of said company to carry out evil acts – “deliberately causing great harm, pain, or upset.” Therefore, Microsoft, by definition, cannot be “The Evil Empire”. So, don’t kid yourself, someone(s) at Microsoft is evil. I am sure if you dig a little bit, you’ll find plenty of examples.

"If it Looks and Walks Like a Duck…It’s a Duck!" – Believe your eyes, your ears, your gut…especially now that you have decided to embrace the slogans on the bumper stickers above…that you ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR DENIAL, that WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE, that SAINTS DON’T MARRY SINNERS, that COMPANIES ARE NOT EVIL…PEOPLE ARE.

Next, you must believe your heart when it says to you that any actions undertaken by people in your company to “deliberately cause great harm, pain, or upset” are truly evil acts and that by DOING NOTHING TO STOP THIS EVIL (UNLESS TO DO SO WOULD BRING HARM TO YOU OR ANOTHER PERSON), you are contributing to its perpetuation.

Quack! Quack!

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Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Microstiff - The Quintessential Microsoft "State of the Company" Blog Comment

Michael Gartenberg's first Blog as a Microsoftie starts off with mucho kudos from a few and prophetically...ends like this.

BLOGADDENDUM: I Googled Jon Halbig and found him to be Kawasaki's partner at Garage.com. Good writer, IMHO.

Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!
Mini-Microsoft: Where's Ray? Where's the Vista Campaign?

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Microstiff – More Ray Ozzie, Office Live and...Hope

Mini-Microsoft posters…do you hear what you are saying?

Ray has stepped back to reassess his commitment to put some sanity into the Live strategy.

To wit: Office Live is a disaster. Usability sucks, support sucks, and there is a lot of infighting between them and the rest of the Live services. Also, it is beset with many of the same problems as previous projects like NetDocs and Hailstorm: not enough focus on what the customer wants and too much focus on fancy code. Coincidentally, many of the same leaders from those projects are now leading the Office Live project.

The product is a good one. I know, I’ve used it and developed databases using it. It’s not fancy code it’s just ideas to organize and promote small businesses under one roof. Office Accounting 2007 is terrific and...free! What could be simpler?

This all has to stop. You're killing your company. This product must be evangelized. Where is the leadership? Take the few people responsible for support, usability, marketing, CRM and R & D and sit them down in one room. Agenda: Mission and Policy. Two hours, no more. No polictics. Moderated by a strong leader. Edict: you WILL PERFORM THIS MISSION AND ITS POLICIES…IMMEDIATELY or…you will be OFF THE PROJECT! PERIOD! Your behavior will be monitored and subject to modification training sessions…no matter who you are.

Examples: There will be instantaneous fulfilling of customer needs…within a day…period. You will have at least one (1) maven responsible for the user experience of the the entire Office Live. His/her word will be God re: changes and updates. Each subsystem will be put in place when and only when it is operational for the customer. Transitions to and from Accounting 2007 will be smooth and transparent. It will be simple to copy an existing web site to the new, Microsoft-hosted web site. There will be no forums until customers can be deemed reasonably happy. Forums will be monitored for inappropriate and negative remarks.

Windows Live is just the MSN pig with some lipstick. Teams are writing code with no real coordination or focus, and no idea how their projects are going to make money. Blake Irving is the perinneal absentee VP, and has no control over his world. Berkowitz has already about had it with the disarray, and will likely be leaving real soon now.

Projects and goals will be simplified and prioritized. Flow charts will be presented to all so they can see the “big picture” and their part in it. Daily updates will be MS Projected to each team. Everyone…support, usability, marketing, CRM and R & D and top management must know exactly where we are and where we’re going…daily.

Live" is .Net all over again. No one knows what the hell it means, even those who are supposed to be leading the effort. Ray wasn't around during the .Net days, so he is getting a dose of what it is like and he doesn't like the taste.

Since no one knows what Live is…rename it. Here’s an idea: Internet = Cloud. Desktop = Desk. LAN = Server. MS Cloud. MS Desk. MS Server. I am sure there are other ways to do this but Cloud tells you it’s Internet based; Desk tells you it’s not. Now, isn’t’ that simpler? Search? Desk Search, Cloud Search, Server Search. Why not? I did this in 1 minute. You think of some.

You people are so confused, from the top down that you literally don’t know what to do next. Now, even Ray Ozzie is in the headlights. This has got to stop.

You want me to help you do this? I can be on a plane in one day. Email me at Microstiff@aol.com. Jeeze! Let’s get started. Carte Blanche.

Mini-Microsoft: Where's Ray? Where's the Vista Campaign?

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Microstiff – Late Sunday Night Pissed Off Response to a Typical Mini Commenter

Typical Mini Commenter said:

I have to agree with many comments above, Vista's adoption rate does not matter on the desktop. Mac and Linux are not real competitors there. Upgrades are not common outside of system upgrade cycles. Computers will sell if they have Vista on them, they'd sell if they still had XP on them. Either way, we make our profit.

Then why bother? Why spend $6 billion to develop Vista and $500 million to promote it? Why put hopeful employees and anxious customers through five (5) years of shit just to give them…well….shit? Why take five years to tell us all that “something good’s comin’ round the corner” only to give us…something bad?”

Who in their right mind conducts business, pleasure, family, church, community like that? No one, I submit, except people totally out of touch with the here and now. And, it looks like you're all congregated at Microsoft. Jeezus! Good News! You’ve drained all the other companies of “the walking unaware”!

Only we can break our dominance of the desktop and we could only do it through a total meltdown. In spite of the fear, we aren't anywhere close to that point.

Who says you “aren’t anywhere close to that point”? I say you are. Go ahead. Refute that with some facts. You can’t. Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, based upon your corporate behavior and thousands of pundits scratching their heads, I say, anecdotally, I am “more right” than you.

As management has seen, something else will have replaced the desktop as the key platform long before we lose our grip there.

You’ve given up, haven’t you? You’ve admitted you’re going to lose your grip. So, it’s not IF it’s WHEN. Right? So, WHEN will Google surpass you? Hear those footsteps?

The key is to use our dominance to establish positions in these new markets so that whichever one expands, we're ready to jump on it. This is the Xbox, Windows Mobile, Zune, etc strategy. Yes, in spite of the horror at the losses, this is a great strategy. A few billion (or even tens of billions) _invested_ in order to be ready for whichever way the market moves is a much better use of those profits than buybacks or other short-term efforts to move stock prices.

Oh, you mean like the $6.5 million you've invested into the dog formerly known as XP? Yeah, you're right on the cusp with that one!
Truth is, you have been a two trick pony for years with DOS/Windows and Office. Now, as a monopoly in every part of the world except USA, your only real claim to fame is Office. Right place, right time, right money.

There are no more of those opportunities left. You're done. Google and your own arrogance will tear you asunder. Tick, tock.
We could have left XP unchanged and still dominated the desktop market for the next 5-10 years.

At a rapidly declining rate; 850 million now; how many in 10 years. The world is on to you, MSFT.

The fact that we're still focused on innovation is more about preparing for the next market, whatever it turns out to be, than worrying about this one.

Oh, you mean the market you just totally obliterated with your arrogant backward offerings of Vista and Office? Innovation? Innovation! How much of your R & D billions have you put towards Vista innovation. Office? Must be ZERO, zip, nada, zilch because there's ZERO, zip, nada, zilch innovation in those products. Call the ribbon innovation and you'll prove your stupidity.

All the complaints about how minor the changes in Vista are ignore the fact that this is a mature market. This is how things are going to be. It's why management's focus on new areas makes so much sense.

And, which new areas might those be? Live. Ha! Zune? Ha! ha! It's time to turn you over. You're done.

Mini-Microsoft: Where's Ray? Where's the Vista Campaign?

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Microstiff - Where’s Ray Ozzie and…Why It Doesn’t Matter?

Mini of Mini-Microsoft fame just posed the question which has been on my mind of late and, perhaps yours too: “Where’s Ray Ozzie?” Where is this creator of Lotus Notes, the greatest collaboration tool ever developed for emailers and information processors and database creators alike? And, why does it matter where he is?

Is it possible that Ray has had his 15 minutes? Ray brought the business world databases hooked up to email and, in doing so, made it easy for us to collaborate and…launch events through simple email “agents.” His database synchronization schemes are the best on the planet and keep the team in London constantly aware of the latest and greatest in Boston and visa-versa.

His sheer genius is that he CREATED those two concepts and remains the master of them. His only Blog to Microsofties deals with another “simple” advancement: the ability to trade information (cut and paste) between live XHTML pages; again, novelty and creativity within the computer application development cycle. Anecdotally, his glee over this simple concept, within his one and only Blog to date suggests Ray’s hot button is “simple invention to enhance the lives of the masses.”

And so, why would a guy who gets up every morning to do just that, choose to energize a company which has no intention of getting up every morning to do just that? Did he strike a “get out of Dodge deal” with Bill? In other words, “Here’s the way it has to work, Bill; you’re impeding it and you gotta stop." Unlikely. Besides, Vista and Office are simple proof that there is no intention to enhance the lives of the masses. The spate of recent articles examining Vista indicates that the product makes most people’s lives MORE miserable on every front except eye candy and…recent reports from users say the candy even gets old. The Office ribbon…which promises to make you “fluent” literally shoves it down your throat with no way out. Are these the products of a company that wants “simple invention to enhance the lives of the masses”? In a word…no.

And so, Ray and Bill are oil and water, fire and rain having nothing in common but mutually misguided awe for each other. Is Ray just another trophy in the lobby at Redmond? Another flame extinguished; another CEO sent high tailing it back to Fargo?

Microsoft behavior, coming right from the top, is like that of the alcoholic that has finally let his addiction affect his job. First it was the family, with the late nights, the yelling, the abuse (employees). Then came inattention to and abuse of friends (vendors, customers, partners) and finally, the job: Late for work (late to market); poor performance (poor products); inappropriate behavior (lawsuits against small guys, cutthroat business practices, wild spending on meaningless advertising campaigns).

Addiction counselors know that when the addiction begins to affect the job, it is most likely over. Is it over for Microsoft? In a word…yes. The addiction has reached the products…the bread and butter of the company.

And so, Ray Ozzie in this little drama, plays the part that many of us play: The well-intentioned friend; powerless over Microsoft’s corporate behavior and unwittingly enabling it to continue by silently acquiescing to that which is inappropriate. Witnessing the entropy and the atrophy and hoping against hope that “this too shall pass.”

But it never does pass. What happens is that it gets put off; put off with money and circumstance or even the grandiose hope of a “killer app” just around the corner. Such is the addiction model and many of its caveats.

And so, we come full circle with this paradigm, this original premise: That it doesn’t matter where Ray Ozzie is right now. Why? Because he’s just one man who either doesn’t understand the dynamics of this huge problem known as Microsoft or doesn’t have the wherewithal to change that which he DOES understand.

Ray is one link in an unconnected chain. Piece him together with other fine links and with the “clasp” of Mission, Policy and Procedure and…you’ve got a chance. However, until the real problems are addressed and solved with a holistic approach dealing with changing or eliminating faulty thinking at all levels, there is no chance.

Mini-Microsoft: Where's Ray? Where's the Vista Campaign?

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Microstiff: Opie & Anthony's Anthony does Vista

Q. What Spin will Microsoft put on this video's Vista conclusions?

A. Choose one:

1. Hire the Russian teacher-Windows-pirate.
2. Buy Jim Allchin a Mac.
3. Make the Vista CD's out of non-shredable titanium.
4. Pay the WSJ to name them "Most Beloved Company in the Universe"
5. You come up with some. Really.

Mini-Microsoft: Closure.

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