Entries tagged with “microsoft”.
Joel Spolsky shares an amusing anecdote about his first review by Bill Gates from back when he was program manager of the Excel team. As I learned in a meeting last week, coming along prepared can make all the difference. Also, Bill Gates looks to be pulling an Alfred Nobel and is planning on funneling almost his entire fortune into philanthropic avenues.
- Ron Burk: Cash Cow Disease: The Cognitive Decline of Microsoft and Google
Watching the recent product retraction of Google Wave convinced me that Google is fully infected with the same protracted, end-stage wasting disease that has consumed Microsoft for years: cash cow disease. Cash cow disease arises when a public company has a small number of products that generate the lion's share of profits, but lacks the discipline to return those profits to the shareholders. The disease can progress for years or even decades, simply because the cash cow products produce enough massive revenues to distract shareholders from the smaller (but still massive) amounts of waste. For example, with Microsoft, Windows and Office carry the company, roughly speaking, allowing the company to lose billions (that's with a 'b') on failed projects without incurring any serious backlash from stockholders. Without cash cows, Microsoft could not have launched a new cellphone, then canceled it a few weeks later, all while pouring more money into yet another generation of cellphone.
- Daring Fireball Linked List: Joe Wilcox on Microsoft's Q1 2011 Numbers
Windows and Windows Live: $3.32 billion Business: $3.39 billion Entertainment and Devices: $382 million They boast about Xbox sales in their statement, but profit-wise, it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to Office and Windows. Worse, the Online Services division posted another big loss: $560 million in the hole.
- Microsoft: Our strategy with Silverlight has shifted | ZDNet
- The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs : Ray Ozzie’s memos as incomprehensible as his software
Ray Ozzie just wrote a windy farewell memo to Borg staffers, using 3,500 words to deliver a message that boils down to this: We suck. I quit. Goodbye. I tried to read the memo and couldn’t get past the first paragraph. But you go ahead and try. I dare you. Behold the inner workings of the mind that inflicted upon the world the tangled hairballs that were Lotus Notes and Groove. If you ever wondered what’s gone wrong at Microsoft, just look at this memo. Seriously. It explains everything.
- Daring Fireball Linked List: Ray Ozzie Says Goodbye the Long Way
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s outgoing Chief Software Architect, has posted a lengthy (3,500-ish-word) memo on the state of the company and industry. I found it nearly impenetrable — as though it’s written in a language I don’t speak. For example, I think this is how he admits that Apple and Google have kicked Microsoft’s ass in mobile:
- How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb? - Fabulous Adventures In Coding - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
One dev to spend five minutes implementing ChangeLightBulbWindowHandleEx. One program manager to write the specification. One localization expert to review the specification for localizability issues. One usability expert to review the specification for accessibility and usability issues. At least one dev, tester and PM to brainstorm security vulnerabilities. One PM to add the security model to the specification. One tester to write the test plan. One test lead to update the test schedule. One tester to write the test cases and add them to the nightly automation. Three or four testers to participate in an ad hoc bug bash. One technical writer to write the documentation. ...
- Massive Frontal PR is incompatible with Ship Early and Often - Joel on Software
Does ship-early-and-often really work for a huge company doing massive PR pushes that's going to get millions of people checking out their early release? I don't think it does. This is a classic example of what I've always called the Marimba Phenomenon. The Marimba Phenomenon is what happens when you spend more on PR and marketing than on development. “Result: everybody checks out your code, and it's not good yet. These people will be permanently convinced that your code is simple and inadequate, even if you improve it drastically later.”
- Xbox Head Bach Retires, J Allard Departs Microsoft - Giant Bomb
But let's take a step back and just appreciate what these guys were able to do, not just for Microsoft, but for video games. These are the folks who brought us the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Think about everything that happened to video games because of those two consoles: Western developers were able to gain a foothold in console development. Online play in console games became an expectation. Xbox Live and the social gaming experience. The propagation of downloadable games and downloadable content. Achievement points. Halo. Gears of War.
- Neowin.net - Microsoft workers celebrated Windows Phone 7 RTM with iPhone hearses
- PopCap Rejected $5 Million Microsoft Buyout
"We had a couple of funny instances in the early years of PopCap where we were talking to Microsoft about a possible acquisition," said creative director Jason Kapalka. "I think it was in 2002 - and they sat us down and gave us this long speech about why our company was worth five million dollars, at a time when we had four million in the bank. We didn't know much about stock prices and business valuations at the time, but it really didn't sound like a very good deal even then."