Microsoft is...

posted by Jeff | Saturday, August 14, 2010, 6:25 PM | comments: 0

It sounds like something to write in a one year anniversary post, but I have to say that I get slightly annoyed at what people say Microsoft is. It's the typical news story and blog comment noise, and I probably shouldn't care, but it still annoys me. The company is simply too huge and diverse to make a lot of generalizations.

I don't entirely understand what motivates the haters. What is it about the company that makes some people get so angry about it? On one comment thread about Windows Phone's developer scene, for example, people are going on and on about how the tools will be terrible (without having used them) because "Office sucks." That's about as valid a connection as saying that they suck because "MSN sucks." I mean, the only person shared in those organizational reporting lines is the CEO. They have almost nothing to do with each other. How can you make that conclusion?

Don't get me wrong, I can tell you now more than ever that I don't think Microsoft is perfect. I've seen it first hand, and there are things that drive me nuts about the company. Parts of it are just as slow and dumb as people assume, but there are other parts that execute so fast, with lightweight, agile processes in place and excellent releases. And just as there are people who are apologists for the company and refuse to use anything not made by Microsoft (which goes against the company mandate to avoid the "not invented here" syndrome), there are iPhone lovin', open source using technology enthusiasts like me who see the bigger picture and believe the company can work hard and make its products world class. I'd like to think I'm in that group, and like minded people all over the company have a very loud voice. That's what's exciting about it.

In about three months or so, I can write that "first year" post, but even then, my experience could hardly be described as generally similar to everyone else's. The company is too big for that generalization.


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