Enderle: Microsoft employees voice concerns about working for dysfunctional company

“For anyone that has ever worked for a failing company wandering over to http://minimsft.blogspot.com will be a bad trip down memory lane. It showcases the deep disappointment Microsoft employees are feeling as a result of the Vista slip and the apparent lack of consequences for those in power that, they feel, should have prevented it. A lot of new and potential employees are apparently posting as well showing their increasing concerns with working for a company so apparently dysfunctional,” Rob Enderle writes for Technology Pundits. “I think a lot of us have been there, but how do you correct a problem like this?”

Enderle writes, “The symptom of the problem is Windows Vista is late but what is the cause? The first step should be to accurately analyze the problem. If this isn’t done by people who are both qualified in the analysis and trustworthy the result will be garbage. Based on this forum my guess the cause of the problem is one or more of the following.”

• Unqualified employees and managers
• Excessive Bureaucracy
• Intelligence
• Trust

“If one of these is a Silver Bullet it is Trust,” Enderle writes. “For Microsoft, Open Source is a statement on how much the company, and Industry, is distrusted. Looking at the problems with the US, the EU, and Korea (among others) you can easily see they are largely founded in distrust as well. Even this blog that formed the foundation for this piece shows a dramatic lack of trust inside Microsoft. Honestly if you can’t trust your employees, managers, partners, vendors, and customers I can’t help but ask why you think what you are doing, regardless of whether that is building cars, TVs, or software, is what you should be doing.”

Full article here.

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37 Comments

  1. The one of the greatest management books ever is Frederick Brooks’ “The Mythical Man Month”. It is based on his experience managing an IBM mainframe OS development in the 1960s, but is still completely relevant today.

    One his observations: Adding more people to an already late project only makes it later.

    Microsoft is in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position.

  2. “The first step should be to accurately analyze the problem. If this isn’t done by people who are both qualified in the analysis and trustworthy the result will be garbage.”

    Rob Enderle saying this is so funny I may have just lost a kidney. Is he really talking about Microsoft or another “Group” entirely?

  3. If MS was truly smart, they would have done something similar to what Apple did with OS X.

    Vista should have been a whole new OS, rebuilt from the ground up. New applications written for Vista won’t run on older OS’s. But, make it easy for developers to upgrade their apps, and maybe an environment that ran both (a la Carbon).

    Vista would include a pseudo-emulation portion that would load up an XP engine and run most software that ran on XP (like Classic).

    The result is the ability to ditch all the old code and legacy support without immediately dropping the old software and giving people a way to upgrade without losing their old stuff.

    I, for one, am glad they DIDN’T go this way because it will just be one more nail in the MS Coffin. I can’t wait to see them die.

  4. Top heavy management that is Marketing oriented created this. How many times over the past 10 years have I seen complaints to MS dismissed as “in our feedback, this is what we see” or “That is not a bug, but a feature.”

    Just look at Balmer. He was chosen, not for his technical prowess but his pushy marketing ability. Marketing can only go so far beyond what the technology actually is.

    MS has gotten way ahead of itself in marketing vs actual usable technology. In my opinion, that is the root of their problem and is from the highest level of management.

  5. “Vista should have been a whole new OS, rebuilt from the ground up. New applications written for Vista won’t run on older OS’s. But, make it easy for developers to upgrade their apps, and maybe an environment that ran both (a la Carbon). “

    Yea, this is the way to do it and Apple pulled it off a few times in the past. But each time they did, they lost market share big time. That’s what M$ is afraid of. They’re not (real) dumb. They know this is the way to go, but they’re really afraid of lossing that huge chunck of market share that’s still running versions earlier than XP. They count these systems when they arrive at their 90% market share figure. It doesn’t matter that a huge chunk of them are still running Windoze 3.1-Windoze 2000. Do you really think this group of users will stay with M$ if M$ kills backwards compatibility? Nope.

    Since they’ll have to buy a new system anyway, they’ll certainly look at a mac. As it is, half of the pc market share will have to buy new systems to run Vista. If M$ drops the legacy os and make all the old apps useless, you can be a lot of those user will go out and simply buy macs and new mac apps.

    This is where the problem is. Apple took a chance and will eventually rebuild the market share they lost everytime they made huge shifts in hardware/software. M$ doesn’t have the guts to do as Apple did.

  6. your all being conned!!

    Microsoft delayed consumer Vista so it can sell more X-Boxes this holiday season.

    PC vendors like HP who sell a lot of consumer PC’s during the holidays had to snowjobbed, so thus the so called “management shakeup” and other pressures at Redmond to cover up.

    Microsoft see’s devices like X-Boxes as the solution for the consumer, not PC’s.

  7. Reality Check, I did enjoy reading your remark above. It must really be hurting…

    You get no sympathy from me as you’re getting just what you and other arrogant idiots deserve for having over the years talked down about Apple.

    What is so enjoyable also is that we have been predicting this for a long time…

  8. Spot on Big Al. This article would have more credibility if it came from anyone other than the Fudmeister (with the possible exception of Thurrott or Dvorak).

    I do think the question of trust is an interesting angle though. Would you trust Ballmer with anything? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw a chair.

    Would anyone trust Bill Gates? Look at the history of MS. He has screwed partners and enemies alike. If you were working for him, would you trust him?

    MDN word : one
    Trust no one.

  9. The advantage Apple had in recovering from the Copeland fiasco is that Apple was willing to bite the bullet, shift gears, and drop support for older software/systems (if not immediately, then eventually). Heck, they weren’t even going to have a Classic environment initially, until they realized that they wouldn’t sell as many new Macs if people couldn’t run Classic apps while waiting for software updates/replacements.

    Microsoft’s biggest problem is that they refuse to cut off the legacy PCs. The irony is that such a change would force a lot of companies to upgrade systems, software, etc., and probably make Microsoft even more money on new versions of Outlook, Office, etc.

  10. We have all already commented inteeligently on this stuff; why do we care what coçksm00ch Enderle has to say? I read his commentary above and it adds NOTHING to this story. MDN, please continue to preface your links to discussions of his pointless scribblings with Enderle: Yada, yada… so that I may know not to go there. Thank you for you support.

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