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Microsoft Ousts IE Mobile Manager For Revealing Nokia Phone Details

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-drink-and-tweet dept.

Handhelds 158

suraj.sun writes with an article in CNet concerning the axing of a Microsoft employee for revealing a few too many details about the upcoming Nokia Windows Phone. From the article: "...Joe Marini, who worked as a Seattle-based principal program manager on the Windows Phone team, tweeted: 'I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking #Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too!' The tweet contained a Windows Phone 7 hashtag, #WP7. Marini sent subsequent tweets about the device, including one that rated it an '8' and another that said 'the camera was good, but I didn't have optimal lighting.' ... Marini stepped down after being informed that he would be let go for violating Microsoft's social-media and blogging policy (PDF). "

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158 comments

Harmless Speech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467448)

It is absolutely ridiculous that some would get fired for making such benign tweets.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467830)

If he was under an NDA, he's lucky he didn't get fined, possible jail time.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468084)

If he was under an NDA, he's lucky he didn't get fined, possible jail time.

NDA is a contract, in this case part of the employment contract. You can't get jail time or a fine for breach of employment contract. You can, and this guy did, lose your job for breach of employment contract.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468658)

Actually, they could press charges for breach of contract. It's rare, but possible.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468232)

As sibling said - an NDA is a civil affair, not a criminal one. The only types of NDA that could possibly land you in jail or in fines over violation would be for a government security clearance.

The worst that can happen in this case? The guy could get sued by the company, and they would have a hard time getting much of anything out of him for the effort spent. That's it.

Re:Harmless Speech (2)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468698)

Siblings are mostly correct. You normally can't get jail time for violating an NDA. However, you can if it constitutes fraud; if you sign the NDA knowing or expecting to violate it and it causes actual loss to the company, in order to receive some compensation or benefit.

However, this was clearly not premeditated or fraudulent. Merely careless..

Re:Harmless Speech (3, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467974)

This is a non-story.

Microsoft employee violated company policy about blogging by posting details about the phone. Employee was going to be fired for violating the policy. It doesn't matter if the violation was benign or not. The only reasons this is on slashdot is because

A. The story is about Microsoft.
B. It's about company policies perhaps being "unfair".

I think it's mostly A and very little B.

Re:Harmless Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468268)

You should apply to be an editor. I'm not being a smartass. I'm serious.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468728)

I thank you for your compliment. At least I'm taking it as a compliment.

You're basically telling me I'm probably better than the current crop of Slashdot editors. Given the general nature of the comments on Slashdot regarding the editors that doesn't seem to be too hard of a bar to surpass.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468560)

Totally. It reminds me of another recent Slashdot Article:

Justification For Canadian Copyright Reform Revealed [slashdot.org]

The only reason that's on slashdot is because

A. The story is about copyright
B. Canada

Most people would say it's primarily because of A. But I blame Canada.

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468714)

I would say that story at least has more validity to be on Slashdot than this one. It does involve the distribution of the document about how the Canadian government was responding to copyright among other things. It basically presented a FAQ that wasn't normally available.

This story is just....

I blogged!
I got fired because I blogged in violation of company confidentiality policy!

Is there any other substance to it? Not really. Maybe that they guy gave some favorable opinions about WP7.

As far as stories go, this is the same vein as an "Ask Slashdot" story. The content is pretty much solely generated through the comments on the "story".

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468554)

Harmless speech.... Hmm.. Reminds me of some post in the past about teachers and students talking on facebook in a harmless way [slashdot.org] ...

Doesn't matter if it's harmless or not, unfortunately. If it 100% legally, documentationally (my new word of the day) correct to higher-ups, it's a danger element in the game of business. I wish people would loosen up more, but loose speech = blame and suits (all definitions of the word).

Re:Harmless Speech (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468572)

replace "if it 100%" with "if it isn't 100%".

What detail was revealed? (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467470)

I couldn't find any specific thing in his tweets that would justify firing the man.

Re:What detail was revealed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467492)

they were probably deleted.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467534)

No, the tweets mentioned in the article are still there but that is all.

Re:What detail was revealed? (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467520)

it doesn't really matter what the content was, it's probably more that he was blogging about confidential unreleased products. If he signed something that said he would not do this, and went on to do just that, he violated the agreement even though his comments were positive.

Re:What detail was revealed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467590)

Obviously, because of his loose tongue, WP7 will surely fail.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467718)

Obviously, because of his loose tongue, WP7 will surely fail.

Yes, they are preparing a scapegoat.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467726)

All advertising is good advertising. The tweets didn't make Slashdot, but this did. Legitimately firing someone is a completely cost-free way to get the Nokia phone into the public consciousness.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468334)

It's a sure fire way for Nokia to claim financial damages from MS due to one of their employees breaching a confidentiality agreement. There are likely to be some very nasty (for MS) clauses within the contract with Nokia, and I imagine that figured pretty heavily in the decision to fire the guy (that and attempting to demonstrate to Nokia that they are serious about not allowing a breach to happen in future)

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468888)

All advertising is good advertising.

On the contrary, there is the Osborne Effect [wikimedia.org]

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468092)

I wasn't speaking of the tone of his comments but that he didn't disclose any specific feature at all. What he said could be true to any other smartphone.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

blackair (1967466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467754)

I read them too and I took them as a positive and complimentary of the device. Microsoft reaction to me is what leads me to look at the phone as probably not being so great. When a business acts that parinoid it doesn't promote confidence in the next product, Apple, RIM, and the bazillions of Android device makers are not worried about Uncle Balmer and his merry men.

Re:What detail was revealed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468106)

He gave the phone a rating of 8 (presumably out of 10).

From the project manager heading it up - it means it's a crap phone.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468380)

He blogged/tweeted/whatever about an unreleased product and its features..... and that is probably what the blogging policy was about. If you are an employee you don't talk about unannounced products or features without explicit approval. It's one of the most important policies companies have, especially in this industry.

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468468)

I couldn't find any specific thing in his tweets that would justify firing the man.

He mentioned that there will be WP7 on a Nokia device. He also stated that he wasn't happy because the lighting wasn't right in a picture due to his own failure. *gasp*
/friendly_sarcasm
 
...Goes to show that you can enforce rules where no harm was done in order to "save face." At the _same time_ you can do things you can't be openly "caught" with, such as hiring non-qualified employees because you "know them" or were in the same "[insert group here]" as them in the past.

Not trying to be an ass, for the record. Sharing information. Hopefully I'm not doing a horrid thing like Mr. Ex-Microsoft. ;-)

Re:What detail was revealed? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469046)

Well, by talking about the phone he opened Microsoft up to potential liability from Nokia for breaking the NDA. Companies tend to fire people pretty quickly for doing things that could get them sued, even if the people on the inside (including those doing the firing) know that it's silly. Silly or not, he pretty much had to be let go. Also, he gave the phone an 8/10. Implying that there's better phones on the market than the one you're working directly with a business partner on is just a bad idea.

Shame (0, Troll)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467480)

It's a shame that Nokia, a phone company with the best hardware, is working so hard to provide us their great hardware with the worst possible software. What I would really like to see is Nokia handsets with Android system. They would sell like there was no yesterday. Do you hear me Nokia?

Re:Shame (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467542)

I'll be buying the one with Meego installed.

Re:Shame (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467724)

I'll be buying the one with Meego installed.

Meego is dead, Webos is dead, and I don't feel very well.

Re:Shame (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467742)

They should make a cool phone and call it Meego Phoenix ;D

Re:Shame (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467804)

Give it a touchscreen and a physical keyboard like my last 3 phones had, and I'll buy it!

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468504)

They should make a cool phone and call it Meego Phoenix ;D

Does it go up in flames when the OS reaches the end of life?

Re:Shame (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468576)

Does it go up in flames when the OS reaches the end of life?

Yes, but it might be reborn as a fox or possibly a weasel...

Re:Shame (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467802)

Sold out [wsj.com] , I believe.

Re:Shame (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467544)

They can't hear you as their ears are blocked by piles of Microsoft cash.

Re:Shame (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467558)

Not just any "Android" but CyanogenMod. It just rocks.

Re:Shame (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467636)

Unfortunately CyanogenMod is all but dead since Samsung bought out the primary developer. Yeah I know all about the "state of cyanogen" blog post but the fact is, the ROM has had very little progress in months and these types of situations rarely get better.

It's dead unless someone forks it and takes over.

Re:Shame (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468390)

Is there any good alternative to CyanogenMod ? I have a Samsung Galaxy Europa i5500 and I've been thinking about modding it just out of the desire to tinker with it. The phone was cheap enough (even without a contract) that if I brick it I can just buy another.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37469234)

Funny, because I'm still seeing nightlies posted. Oh and there is also this [cyanogenmod.com] .

I’ve been reading rumors that CyanogenMod’s core philosophy is changing, that we’ve been sold, or that we’ve given up and I want to go on record saying none of this is true at all. As you may know, there are only a handful of people that can approve changes for CM but a lot of developers for it. You may have noticed that we are operating at a slightly slower pace than normal, but that’s simply because we’ve been busy and real life responsibilities come before this project. No one is getting paid to work on the product.

You have most likely become aware that Cyanogen has been hired by Samsung, as that news is traveling through the Android community like wildfire. He is not leaving the project. Samsung is aware of his involvement in CM and there are no qualms from that end. He hasn’t been active recently because he is in the process of relocating to a new city for his new job, that’s all. ChrisSoyars has been hired by Grooveshark and is currently working on projects with them. Koush is working on his DeskSMS application as well as ClockworkMod recovery. And finally, my semester is starting as are my medical school interviews.

As they have before, our insane schedules will calm eventually and we can devote more time to the project. But just because we aren’t around to approve changes doesn’t mean development has stopped or even slowed for CM. There are 40+ talented developers programming behind the scenes night and day to give you the Android distribution that you have come to know and love. On top of all of the above, we are currently in a soft feature-freeze for another 7.1 RC. (You can call it a feature slushie if you like) Because of this, we are reluctant to approve new features that may prove problematic for certain devices for the sake of the stability of the entire tree.

All I ask is that you bear with us during this hectic time.

Yeah, sounds totally dead to me.

Re:Shame (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469412)

CyanogenMod is OPEN SOURCE, so ... it cannot die. Developers can come and go. And, if Nokia (or any other MFG) wanted they could "sponsor" the project, and professional development (like others do with Linux). If I was a Phone manufacturer, that is what I would be doing. The thing that is most sick about CyanogenMod is that a bunch of part time hobbyists are able to make better system than those whose core business IS making the stuff work.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467734)

It's a shame that Nokia, a phone company with the best hardware, is working so hard to provide us their great hardware with the worst possible software. What I would really like to see is Nokia handsets with Android system. They would sell like there was no yesterday. Do you hear me Nokia?

Whats a real shame is posts like this. My wife has an Android and I have an WP7. Both myself and my wife agree that WP7 is way better than Android in usability and lack of bloat. To bad she is stuck in a two year contract at the moment otherwise we would switch her up. Have you actually used WP7 for more than 5 mins? Untill then STFU and stop spreading the FUD.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467870)

WP7 is way better than Android in usability

N.B The above quote has been brought to you by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Microsoft.

* The phone usability study which influenced development this stealth advertisement was conducted by Professor Dennis Gallatta at the Harvard Human Factors in Design, sponsored by Microsoft.

Re:Shame (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468060)

Both myself and my wife agree that WP7 is way better than Android in usability and lack of bloat.{ . . . } Untill then STFU and stop spreading the FUD.

FUD NIH

Re:Shame (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467806)

I don't know. I played with the WP "Mango" beta the other evening. Metro may not be as aesthetically pleasing as iOS but it was definitely an improvement in terms of integration of contacts, social media, and apps, and yet I could still see how to manage them separately.

In terms of appearance and functionality it was better than any Android phone I've played with.

I equated their appearance this way. WP8 is to Facebook as Android is to MySpace.

WP7 does not appear to be even distantly related to the old Windows Mobile 6.5 CE crap. They did a decent job with this one. (first impressions only so far, of course.)

Re:Shame (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467834)

Oh, I still have my iPhone tucked in my pocket. There wasn't enough temptation to replace it. But it was surprisingly close.

Re:Shame (2, Insightful)

Sorcerer13 (52588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467862)

Worst possible software? I hate to swoop in and defend Microsoft of all things, but Windows Phone 7 isn't that bad. It's not perfect, but I think it has a lot of potential. I'm personally excited to see what it can do with some decent hardware (Nokia).

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467956)

Sorry. Android has lots of features but still remains clunky in terms of user interface. WP7 lacks features but has a clean intuitive interface. I think Mango should bring WP7 into competition with other smartphones and that's after a year. Android has been out for how long now? Still clunky.

Re:Shame (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468152)

Its been out long enough to become the most [telegraph.co.uk] popular [nielsen.com] smartphone OS on the planet, that's how long.

Re:Shame (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467960)

Well WP7 will not necessarily be like Windows Mobile so let's just save the bashing until it comes out.

Re:Shame (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468304)

Huh? WP7 phones have been available for months.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467990)

windows phone 7 is way better than android. the interface is so crisp. and it never hangs up like that stupid android phone that i had(droid X).

Re:Shame (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468174)

Yup, Android is a disaster. So much so that I traded my Android phone for (stay away from the following shock) Symbian^3 on the E7-00.

What a bliss...

Windows 7 is technically way better than that Java Virtual Machine OS based on an out-of-date Linux kernel without upstream driver development, locked by locked bootloaders, plagued by horrible software fragmentation and fragmented interfaces that do not co-operate with each others widgets. Oh, they call it Android...

Ditch this shit...

Re:Shame (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467992)

As a frequent lurker in #maemo on freenode.net, most users of nokia's N900 bought it because it had a linux kernel with gnu/etc tools included, not because of the Nokia logo.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467998)

Have you tried Windows Phone 7? It is actually an innovative product from Microsoft. Something we haven't seen in a while.

Re:Shame (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468090)

Patience, my friend. That's Nokias Plan C, to begin in earnest in 12 months time when Ballmers Plan A (build better phones) and Plan B (litigate the competitors out of business) have failed. WP7 will be as relevant then as it is now ( 1%) and the board realise trojan Elop and the whole m$ fiasco was just the most embarrassing low point of their history which they need to move on from as quickly as possible.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468216)

How's this modded as insightful when its an obvious troll?

N.O.K.I.A. (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468346)

No Operating Knowledge of Ideas like Android

Re:N.O.K.I.A. (1)

21mhz (443080) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469428)

Not Obsessed with Killing Itself by Android

Fixed that for you.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468410)

It's a shame that Nokia, a phone company with the best hardware, is working so hard to provide us their great hardware with the worst possible software. What I would really like to see is Nokia handsets with Android system. They would sell like there was no yesterday. Do you hear me Nokia?

Well, the interesting thing is that Android is a fragmented and kludged up mess. WP7 is the better platform. So you're actually going to be getting the best of both worlds.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468474)

Vote with your wallet.

Nokia made a good decision after a series of really bad ones. Windows allows them to retain revenue from services and also a level of differentiation that Android would not give them. Basically they stand to make more money selling Windows phone than Android phones.

It's still quite possible that after a few months/years of bad sales with windows they go the Android route but then they would only be making money on the hardware and the margins are really thin there. Nokia wants a slice of the add and app/media sales revenue.

There are currently only Apple and Android who stands to profit massively from smartphones. Nokia is trying to carve a 3d place but this is like linux trying to get a spot into a windows and osx dominated desktop market. I expect RIM to be bought for the patents or to survive by going with Android too.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468852)

It's a shame that Nokia, a phone company with the best hardware, is working so hard to provide us their great hardware with the worst possible software. What I would really like to see is Nokia handsets with Android system. They would sell like there was no yesterday. Do you hear me Nokia?

Who's giving discounts or funding research for who? What did you say? :>

sort of dumb decision, but not that unusual (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467522)

It's not even particularly new for companies to be super paranoid about "leaks", and to interpret what constitutes a leak very broadly. Apple is probably more paranoid, for example, and Apple employees tend to just avoid Tweeting anything Apple-related for that reason.

I do agree that this was stupid, unless there's something more to the story; it doesn't appear that he actually leaked anything that could plausibly be considered secret, and certainly not any interesting secrets.

I also like the now-self-referential part of the policy that recommends employees think, before they take an action online:

How would it look on Slashdot or on the front page of the New York Times?

Re:sort of dumb decision, but not that unusual (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468162)

it doesn't appear that he actually leaked anything that could plausibly be considered secret, and certainly not any interesting secrets

He referred to the phone as an 8. 8 is not 10. Highly reprehensible behavior.

Re:sort of dumb decision, but not that unusual (1)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468530)

Regardless of what /.ers think of the partnership, the tweets had to be embarrassing to MS with respect to Nokia. Confidentiality is crucial in such partnerships, so the sacking is not surprising.

Re:sort of dumb decision, but not that unusual (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468562)

Don't forget though, this wasn't a MS employee leaking an MS secret. This was a MS employee leaking a Nokia secret. They probably had to fire the guy to help maintain the good working relationship between the two companies.

Re:sort of dumb decision, but not that unusual (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469010)

It's not even particularly new for companies to be super paranoid about "leaks", and to interpret what constitutes a leak very broadly. Apple is probably more paranoid, for example, and Apple employees tend to just avoid Tweeting anything Apple-related for that reason.

I do agree that this was stupid, unless there's something more to the story; it doesn't appear that he actually leaked anything that could plausibly be considered secret, and certainly not any interesting secrets.

I also like the now-self-referential part of the policy that recommends employees think, before they take an action online:

How would it look on Slashdot or on the front page of the New York Times?

Hmm.. Good thought. Unless the spreading of "interesting secrets" could be a ploy intended to draw the typical "need to know....MUST BUY" effect.

I am SO not trolling. This stuff happens!

Looks like someone else is getting fired (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467588)

Don’t post anything marked “Confidential,” “Proprietary,” or “Privileged” or material from any internal corporate emails, web pages or documents (including these FAQs).

So... who posted the FAQs?

Information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467662)

He did it on purpose and will take what he knows elsewhere.

Microsoft reads slashdot. (4, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467672)

From the Blogging FAQ:

How would it look on Slashdot or on the front page of the New York Times?

Microsoft considers Slashdot to be on the same level as the New York Times! The Ironic thing is the original tweet did not make slashdot. The reaction from Microsoft did.

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467728)

From the Blogging FAQ:

How would it look on Slashdot or on the front page of the New York Times?

Microsoft considers Slashdot to be on the same level as the New York Times!

Ouch! That's harsh. I know Slashdot has some issues, but it's not that bad.

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467744)

I think you have it backwards...Microsoft considers the New York Times to be on the same level as Slashdot. Make of that what you will...

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467750)

From the Blogging FAQ:

How would it look on Slashdot or on the front page of the New York Times?

Microsoft considers Slashdot to be on the same level as the New York Times! The Ironic thing is the original tweet did not make slashdot. The reaction from Microsoft did.

Yeah, we know Microsoft hates Slashdot.

But comparing Slashdot to the New York Times? That's low. Some things on Slashdot are well-researched, unbiased, and accurate.

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37469368)

[citation needed]

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (2)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467752)

/. is on the same level in terms of its importance to Microsoft's business. Tons of technical people read /. including Network Admin, Programmers, and just your local technical handy-man. We are who most non-technical people get their recommendations and knowledge from. If we say something bad about Microsoft then the people we influence will listen.

That is why Vista failed. The technical people said it was bad so it was bad. That's why Microsoft has gone to such pains with Windows 7 and Windows 8 to keep us as a group happy and so far it has worked for them.

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468464)

Now if only automakers realized this trait.

They build crap, car guys call them out, car fails.

Car guy asks for AWD turbo 4cylinder making 300 horsepower like the imports.

Automaker releases FWD car with 250 horsepower for nearly the same price. Says AWD car is too small a market and too pricey.

Result. I drive a 400 horsepower AWD import. While working for an American automaker who produces only FWD garbage. I tell everyone and their brother to avoid said FWD cars and happily show them 0-60 in under 5 seconds in the pouring rain. They no longer want the FWD car, but remember my car is such a small market.... whooooo.

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37469282)

Windows 7: Maybe

Windows 8: WTF!

After loading the dev preview (you know the release the software devs are supposed to make the software for) I may actually (as a technical person) recommend long-term that our org. consider converting to Mac.

What the hell was MS thinking with that interface? Even the so called "desktop" that you can go from metro was too simplified. This works great for Phones/Tablets/TVs (NOT workstations) where people want to be efficient with multiple apps.

Vista/7 was bad enough focusing on worthless visuals/3d/glass/areo crap instead of speed/stability/efficiency (and that damn ribbon from office is worthless) I can understand updating/improving but there is no justification for the complete moving of every damn control panel applet (why do i need 3-4 of them to adjust display settings?)

Re:Microsoft reads slashdot. (1)

McGruber (1417641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469022)

Microsoft considers Slashdot to be on the same level as the New York Times!

I've never seen a Microsoft ad on the NYTimes website.

I wish I could say the same about /.

Business Management is gettign Wierd (2)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467714)

I read through most of the policy and given the nature of his tweets, it seems a reach to fire the guy.

Can I disclose confidential information when blogging? ...
Most importantly, to preserve Microsoft’s rights to protect its innovations through
patents, do not disclose or describe any new features, functionalities, or
innovations that have not been publicly disclosed or released without first
checking with your business unit management or your LCA patent contact ...

This section mentions not revealing new features, but from what was broadcast, he did not reveal anything specific nor anything that was not already basically understood. I could see getting a reprimand, held back from promotion type of punishment, but to just say "bugger off" for making positive comments about a MS product? ULM is not weird, their stupid. This could have been turned into a marketing scoop, getting the lemmings talking about it and perhaps now wanting to try it out. Since we don't know much about the man as an employee, perhaps he was horrible as a manager and they just needed a reason to boot his butt out. My sense, they just took what could have been both a teaching moment for employees and a marketing bonazza into more negative PR for an already tarnished image.

Bad form Microsoft, bad form.

Re:Business Management is gettign Wierd (2)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469138)

Microsoft had not yet publicly disclosed their sub-optimal lighting "feature" for the camera. In all seriousness though your pointing out a single question on the policy (the most severe one) and saying he didn't violate anything because he didn't violate that one. Personally, I'd want to fire any employee who decided they thought they could unilaterally do PR for un-released joint-company products and publicly rate the product as a low B (8/10) and described features as sub-optimal.

How would any of us feel if our company's PR managers decided to come down and unilaterally make amateur and bug riddled commits to our projects code repositories and then release it? You'd probably want them fired too.

So Microsoft fired hairyfeet? (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467732)

If so, good riddance!

Nothing to see here (1)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467762)

Just Microsoft's latest attempt to imitate Apple. In this case we're talking about marketing: build excitement about a new product no one has seen by creating controversy with a "leak" and a possible firing. Only Apple did it with more style, as you'd expect, leaving a disguised iPhone 4 prototype in a bar. I guess it's cheaper, cleaner, and more AstroTurf-like (in the 90s MS paid a bunch of economics professors to form a group and write letters saying the antitrust trial was bad for the economy?) to have one of your employees make some vague statements about how awesome an unreleased product (for which there is very little demand) is, then fire him. I wonder how large his severence package was, or if he was already planning on leaving.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468076)

No if they were imitating apple, they would illegally pretend to be police officers and search his home and confiscate any electronic device to "check" if there is any confidential info on it.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468284)

. . . I wonder how large his severence package was, or if he was already planning on leaving.

He'll probably try to get a job working for Google, and get two paychecks.

Aaaaannnddd... (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467770)

Now they have more publicity for their upcoming phone. Well played.

Re:Aaaaannnddd... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469238)

Now they have more publicity for their upcoming phone. Well played.

If only more people agreed openly, it would be taken more seriously by the average "joe". I'm with ya on this.

Maybe Nokia Insisted? (1)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467778)

It's purely speculation, but one would think that Microsoft would simply reprimand its employee in these circumstances. However, Nokia and Microsoft undoubtedly have a confidentiality agreement -- to try desperately to protect Nokia's existing handset sales -- and perhaps Nokia insisted on Marini's scalp. Few if any people like working in a "police state" environment, though. I wonder how this firing will affect the Windows Phone development team's morale.

How will his firing affect unemployment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467846)

Capitalism [breitbart.com]

vs

Socialiam [gallup.com]

I work there, Everyone was told not to do this. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467878)

ok, I work there, so this is firsthand information. In the last 4 months it has been beat into us NOT to tweet/talk/post/facebook anything about anything not yet released. It all started around the MGX leaks of the past, feeding into the WP7 announcements, and the recent Win8 announcements. We are not to even tweet anything that has been recently released. (Win8). An entirely new program has been developed around the new social medis policies, and people are going to the HR training for it. There is no way you can miss all of the warnings and decrees from on high about this. Sorry, a very important rule was broken. He is being made the example. Sucks, but don't break important rules.

snore (2)

cornface (900179) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468008)

This is possibly the most boring story slashdot has ever posted.

Re:snore (1)

Nitage (1010087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469364)

Most boring story ever?It's not even the most boring story today. Gears of War 3 released is - derivative sequel of derivative sequel of original that fails to be anything more than just another FPS with nothing to distinguish it from any other example in a crowded genre.

Nokia Contracts... (1)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468016)

Most likely, there are unseen contracts between Nokia and Microsoft that forbid any mention of new products before release. Such things have happened before when the iPhone was first released - an AT&T manager was let go for saying that it was "great."

Why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468062)

This is why microsoft is such a fuckup of a company anymore.

Other companys pay people to do this type of 'revealing'.

If it wasn't for their lock on the pc market. microsoft would have dried up an blown away years ago. Thankfully that market lock is starting to crumble hard as they manage to piss off each and every person on the planet one at a time.. :P

Re:Why (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469338)

Other companys pay people to do this type of 'revealing'.

Disclaimer: This is all IMHO, of course.

It looks bad to those with a hint of intelligence to have any evidence that it was a paid move.

It looks a lot more true w/ a dash of subconscious advertisement when you play it as a violation of company secrecy or other policy. Tech geeks are more likely to take this seriously than a typical paid advertisement or revelation. We read between the lines, but sometimes we forget to read between the lines that are between the lines.

All just speculation, but it works. I'm just throwin' it out there.

Disclosure Policy (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468394)

Microsoft has been burned too many times in the past when there are "unauthorized" disclosures about company directions, plans, features, etc.

Suppose we talk about a feature or capability that ends up not shipping? That erodes enthusiasm for the product, it ruins customer relationships, it hurts the bottom line of partners and competitors alike.

There are other aspects of this, like marketing/advertising people who, say what you will about them, try to figure out how to manage information disclosures in such a way so as to generate maximum buzz, excitement, etc. They think about the right schedule, what to disclose when, where it should hit first, etc.

We have no steve jobs and attendant RDF; accordingly we have to pay people to think of how to make things like compilers and word processors sound exciting. That's an art in and of itself. And well intentioned employees who are excited about what they are working on or what the company is doing can throw a tremendous wrench in all of that.

The employees generally have lots of enthusiasm about what they're working on, and so it is incredibly frustrating for us to read stuff here (and elsewhere) that we can share some expertise on and address questions, concerns, falsehoods -- whatever. But we just have to wait until the bits are out there, and then the queued up blog posts and other stuff start coming in rapid succession.

The Osborne Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468478)

Firing him is a logical consequence. Why anyone in IT would not know about the Osborne effect or completely ignore it baffles me.

I wonder what they're trying to hide (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37468558)

is it something spectacular or the opposite. From a company which released beta's like handing our Halloween candy they sure seem to have move to the paranoid side.

LoB

same thing happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468994)

Bill Gates.

Fired for violation of SEC rules for insider info. (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37469018)

This guy was an insider and revealed information that was not public knowledge. You don't have to trade on insider information to be charged under insider trading laws and the information that you leaks does not have to belong to your employer. If you leak information about a client, supplier or business partner you can be charged with insider trading. The SEC could also potentially fine MSFT for the actions of this employee.

Rumours and leaks might be "popular" but improperly disclosing non-public information can get you fired or jail time and it can damage the reputation of your company with regulators.

I'm shocked that nobody else hear caught onto this. Anyone working for a publicly traded company should know this.

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