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IT Practice Within Microsoft

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the yummy-dog-food dept.

Microsoft 508

SilentChris writes "Good article over at CNet regarding Microsoft's internal IT practices. Some intriguing statements from the CIO, from the obvious ('It's an easy choice for me--to run Microsoft technology. We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle.') to the not-so-obvious ('Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?"

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No wonder they're laggin behind... (4, Insightful)

Folmer (827037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11083983)

I thought that it was normal corporate behaviour to look at their competitors. Long time ago there was a story here on /. where one of the lead devs of IE admitted that he ran firefox. But when this guy doesnt run *nix and oracle, how should he be able to compete with them?

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (5, Insightful)

ERJ (600451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084044)

Eh, this is talking about their IT infrastructure. It would look pretty bad if it was based on unix servers and oracle databases.

I'll bet you anything that they have unix servers and oracles databases for comparison purposes though.

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084073)

I wonder what they did with all of their Xenix boxes? That's what DOS and Windows (up to 3.0) were written on, I hear. (Some Windows development on Suns, too?)

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (1)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084182)

Eh, this is talking about their IT infrastructure. It would look pretty bad if it was based on unix servers and oracle databases.

Not only would it look, it would be bad for the future development of Microsoft's products; if they were inadequate for even internal use, how could they hope to compete on the open market? Not even Microsoft is that dumb.

--

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (5, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084065)

Maybe because this is the company's internal IT practices, basically what they do to run their shop. He isn't talking about the product strategy groups who go off and do exactly what you are saying.

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (2, Funny)

nadadogg (652178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084157)

Maybe because this is the company's internal IT practices, basically
I know I'm not the only person who read that as infernal IT practices.

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (1)

JaffaKREE (766802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084091)

The other thing on the security side is governance: Sarbanes-Oxley and regulatory compliance. I think a lot more time right now is being spent on compliance and the regulation. It probably is competing with the amount of time spent on traditional security.

He's not kidding about this shit. Sarbanes-Oxley compliance at my last position essentially stopped productivity for months. The documentation requirements are insane - I'm talking pages of request forms to run a select statement against a non-production database. Everything IT touched needed "Compliance documentation", no matter how insignificant or silly it seemed. Need to install Ad-aware on a CLIENT station ? 14 pages of forms and a meeting at the (NON-technical) review board. You can imagine how much work was getting done following those processes.

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084268)

This has more to do with an overreaction on the part of your company and very little to do with SOX regulation. The regulation itself is extremely vague on what is actually required. Some companies are going way overboard in the name of SOX compliance.

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084158)

We do, in areas on the client, have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis

That's in the paragraph about not running other OS's and stuff. HE doesn't run Linux, but there are people checking it out for competitive analysis.

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (1)

Nosf3ratu (702029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084257)

Very excellent point.

Know thy enemy.

Is it hard to believe that the reason Microsoft is so terribly lacking in the browser and kernel departments is that they never investigate the competition?
What kind of military general would you be if you had no idea what weapons your opponent had?

Re:No wonder they're laggin behind... (4, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084272)

A few years ago I read an interview with Novell's IT Director. She stated that she had NT, Unix, etc running on her network and when asked why replied that there were two reasons: because she deployed the best application for any purpose regardless of platform, and so that Novell employees would experience what their customers experience.

I know which philosophy I as a customer prefer my vendors have.

sPh

Hammer Revolution! (1)

hammer revolution (836067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11083990)

--;

The hammer revolution has begun!

--;

Re:Hammer Revolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084011)

Awww... It's a brand-new baby troll... How cute.

Of course they're all admin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11083996)

Have you ever tried to run in non-Admin mode? A lot of programs don't work.

adware (1)

hipbase (610975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11083997)

That means everyone is able to run adware and spybot. They should audit that!

Longhorn? (5, Funny)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11083999)

I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?

Aha! So that's why longhorn is taking so many years to write..

I wouldn't want that guy's job (2, Funny)

Trekologer (86619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084003)

I'm sure his relatives call him up constantly when their computer has problems.

In light (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084004)

Microsoft's internal IT practices. of all of their software security/bug/virus problems, I'd say that they show up to play without any practice.

this post too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084031)

in light of you forgetting to and the paragraph flag, I think you made this post without any practice either!

P.V.SSJ4

Spam (2, Insightful)

Fruvous (776606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084007)

"We get 10 million e-mails a day coming into Microsoft. We delete more than 9 million of those as spam." Well I wonder why you're so popular...

Re:Spam (1)

donutz (195717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084053)

And according to this article [cnn.com] , almost half of that incoming spam is for Bill Gates.

Misquoted (5, Funny)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084012)

"We don't run Linux....we run GNU/Linux"

I wonder... (1, Funny)

Vvornth (828734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084017)

I bet Microsoft has a panic button on all their computers sporting Firefox, *nix and BSD that immediately displays a WinXP desktop.

Well we already knew (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084018)

they use macs to make their "MS is the best" PDFs

Re:Well we already knew (1)

WJMoore (830419) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084123)

Yeah and they may well not run Linux but they must run FreeBSD in order to develop and hopefully test things like Rotor [ondotnet.com] ... does that count as UNIX? And what about Windows services for UNIX [microsoft.com] ?

Hmm (1)

Heem (448667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084020)

I wonder if that means they can install any Microsoft software they want, or anything anything - I mean, Microsoft sucks, but at least it doesnt have trojans and such in it - if they are installing just anything, They better at least know how to fix it - and I wonder if that applies to the office assistants and the girl at the front desk, and other non-techies.

Re:Hmm (0, Flamebait)

drakaan (688386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084107)

Heem...I'm sure the girl at the front desk has had a trojan or two in her...

Re:Hmm (1)

Heem (448667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084142)

You forgot to add.. "If you know what I mean.."

Bad poster! (1)

StLawrence (734027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084186)

You said "girl." That's gonna hurt your karma...

Re:Hmm (4, Interesting)

Mundocani (99058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084300)

I'm a former MS developer/employee and we could install anything we wanted period. There were never any restrictions other than the stuff you'd expect such as no pirated software, etc. There were login scripts which ran every time you signed into corpnet and you were required to run anti-virus software (eTrust). Bridging to the public internet from corpnet was also prohibited for obvious reasons. Beyond that, it was a very trusting environment. Even WiFi was deployed many years ago on campus, something a friend at Oracle says they aren't allowed to have to this day.

Neither our admin. assistants or QA people had any restrictions either, but I don't know about the receptionists. They sure seemed to play a lot of those boring built-in Windows games, so maybe they weren't allowed to install other software. I never asked them.

Comedy... (5, Funny)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084028)

users are the admins of their machines.

So even Microsoft has realized you can't do crap under a limited login in XP.

Re:Comedy... (1)

Belsical (238668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084185)

They didn't say that everyone runs as admin all the time (though I'd be surprised if they didn't); they said everyone has admin access for when they need it.

No surprise here (2, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084036)


Of COURSE they allow users to admin their own machines at Microsoft. Half of their software won't run correctly in XP unless the user has Administrator privileges.

Re:No surprise here (3, Insightful)

wibskey (193633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084294)

Here I am, as an admin, trying to make sure all of our applications work on XP with regular user ID's, and it's so frustrating.

I get so pissed when I hear that some third party application requires admin to run... now I find out the people writing the OS are running it as admins. So much for these bugs coming out in the wash... then again, for MS, the end user is considered "the wash".

For someone who has to deal with these problems all the time, reading something like this is very discouraging.

Lesson Here (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084037)

It is a good thing diversity is a bad thing in IT...right?

Re:Lesson Here (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084193)

No, the lesson here is that Microsoft is committed to eating their own dogfood. This is a great trend for their company. Few things encourage developers to fix issues like having those issues affect them. Good for Microsoft. However, I'm not 100% convinced that they should be 100% dependent on their own stuff, but if they're willing to stand by it, more power to them.

Admins of their own machines (4, Informative)

enkafan (604078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084038)

If you follow blogs.msdn.com, you'll find that while many people are admins of their own machine, they rarely actually run as admin. I think all they are saying is that they don't take away the power of the user to be able to install their own hardware or software. But the vast majority of people working at MS seem to understand the risk involved as running as an admin at all time.

Re:Admins of their own machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084284)

You don't think it's more likely that these "many people" you're referring to don't realize that not logging in as "Administrator" doesn't mean that they haven't logged as a member of the Administrators group?

I can't believe MS users "rarely" run as admin. The latest version of XP Pro I have at home adds new users to the Admin group by default without a password. I don't think they know what the hell they're running as.

Common (2, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084040)

Our 800+ users all have local admin rights on their machine. Why? We run some software that doesn't work otherwise. It's an AS400 client that needs admin rights to install updates to the client.

Now, in all fairness, there is a way around it (and we're exploring it). The problem is, that while revoking local admin rights for our users would save us lots of time and effort in combatting spyware, etc, we'll use that time manually updating the AS400 client software.

No, that one is obvious too (5, Insightful)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084041)

Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want...

That's the only way to run a network of computer-savvy users. Imagine a metalworking shop that wouldn't let the machinists adjust their own wrenches. You'd have to put a call-ticket in to "Tool Technology Support" and after a few hours (if you are lucky) or days (if you aren't) some kid comes over who doesn't know anything and tries to adjust your hammer.

Re:No, that one is obvious too (2, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084152)

How many networks are full of network savvy users. And even if you did have some people who Think they are network Savvy would you want them screwing with the settings? I believe that most people who are not network admins do not understand the implications of making everyone an Admin on their box. Major rule of networking....NEVER give someone more privelages than they need to do their job. That rule goes across the board, microsoft or non-microsoft.

Re:No, that one is obvious too (2, Insightful)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084167)

Good point, however, I'd bet that there are a heck of a lot of people that work for microsoft that aren't computer savvy. *Some* people might say most, but I'm thinking of people in HR, secretaries, and others that aren't your typical Microsoft developer/engineer/computer guru. Imagine if an HR person were allowed to adjust the machinists wrenches.

Re:No, that one is obvious too (1)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084239)

Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want...

That's the only way to run a network of computer-savvy users.

Sure, but on the other hand, I suspect this is probably at the root of why Microsoft can't really grok why their products are so hard to use in typical enterprises. Very few of the non-technical workers in most enterprises are competent at managing their machines, so tools to make this easy and effective to do centrally are a must. Microsoft are beginning to understand this, but they're still way behind UNIX (probably even VMS!) in this respect.

Re:No, that one is obvious too (1)

yuri benjamin (222127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084248)

That is one insightful analogy. I'll use it next time I send a request through to our "IS Helldesk".

Mind you, I work in a call centre where it doesn't really apply in the same way.

From the article (0, Redundant)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084043)


Do you use any Linux?
As a policy, I don't run anything that competes with Microsoft. My goal is to make sure Microsoft products are the best products in the world.

If you don't run anything other than Microsoft products how can you "make sure Microsoft products are the best"? It's easy to compete with a field you get to choose.

Re:From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084121)

Of course, the next paragraph states:
We do, in areas on the client, have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis

Re:From the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084129)

If you don't run anything other than Microsoft products how can you "make sure Microsoft products are the best"? It's easy to compete with a field you get to choose.

Well, they're the best products in his world.

By definition.

Re:From the article (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084189)

Sollog told him that ignorance is bliss :/

Re:From the article (4, Insightful)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084197)

One big thing I heard comes from Oracle. Oracle (the company) runs Oracle (the database). It was a mandate put down from on high and seems to make at least a modest amount of sense.

Think of it this way. The biggest way that you figure out that something should be tweaked is if you are the user of the system. Those admins that never use the systems that they deploy and work on have quite a big harder a time trying to understand just what the program is trying to do, and what to do about it when it fails. To add to that, they never come across bad quirks that noone mentions because they're just that, quirks. It doesn't cause the system to fail or halt or mangle any data, but it sure is annoying when it does it.

To live and die by your own software is not a bad thing. It gives you not only the developer's perspective of design and impliment a solution, but also allows you to see whether or not what you made is actually useful. Don't read too much into this post, like I support Microsoft totally (they can be quite an ass of a company), but the mentality is sound and used in more companies than just Microsoft.

Software Audits? (5, Funny)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084051)

"Well Johnson, we found the latest build of Firefox on your machine and a copy of OpenOffice. Clear out your desk by noon"

Re:Software Audits? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084265)

Disclaimer: I'm a Microsoft employee.

I'm running FireFox right now on my dev box at MS. I use the google desktop search (though I'm thoroughly impressed with the MSN one and am migrating). I can't contribute to open source, nor have I looked at any OSS code since I started working here...I only run binaries. At Microsoft, you're more than welcome to call it as you see it. It's no secret that many of us use other browsers and state openly that the company's fallen way behind with IE. I'm not asked not to use the software, and I'm certainly not being fired.

Our users are the admins of their machines (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084060)

Well, that clearly explains why the OS and applications are designed for the end user being an admin. Explains why all the non-admin accounts are such a pain to setup and get working with the permissions you want.

Nice Knee-Jerk (4, Informative)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084061)

They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?

I am a software consultant. The first thing I usually need when I go to a new client is to have local admin to run various coding tools (app servers, for example).
Do those clients have spyware running rampant? No, because the people that have local admin aren't idiots. I'm sure MS spends time educating non-techies on what to d/l and what not to. Its not surprising nor do I necessarily think its a bad thing for people to have local admin on their machines.

Of course, if this wasn't about MS, I'm sure no one would care... but some people simply need someway to stick it to MS....

A Sound Knee-Jerk Reaction (4, Insightful)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084172)

The people often bitten the worst by Spyware/Malware are very smart, very computer savy people. The problem is they don't realize all of the tricks that they will use to get onto your system. Besides, it can't happen to them! Many times people will recognize they've been bitten right away by an accident misclick but by then its too late.

So while people might not be idiots, most should never be trusted with elevated privilages. But Windows does give you an option (or they are very painful) so load up the maintaince costs with all sorts of software and network monitoring because MS refuses to learn lessons painfully realized 20 years ago.

For the love of all that is good and holy, I wish MS would abandon certain technologies (Active X hosting in application frameworks), I wish MS would stop requiring user level tasks with elevated privilages, and I wish people would stop making excuses for MS. Reinstalling from a backup image is not the proper way to fix problems on a platform that is supposed to be "enterprise enabled".

Re:Nice Knee-Jerk (but accurate) (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084203)

Do those clients have spyware running rampant? No, because the people that have local admin aren't idiots. I'm sure MS spends time educating non-techies on what to d/l and what not to. Its not surprising nor do I necessarily think its a bad thing for people to have local admin on their machines.

You think a company, ANY company, doesn't have its share of non-techno-savvy idiots installing spyware? I work with people who are somewhat tech savvy, yet they still get spyware. Do you actually think that a company the size of Microsoft is any better, if not worse? They have marketing people, they have sales people, they have non-tech related people. In fact, I would venture a guess that they are proportionally LESS tech-savvy than most small companies. They brought us Clippy for crying out loud!

I don't think that this is an unfair assessment of Microsoft at all, it shows their attitude towards software perfectly.

Re:Nice Knee-Jerk (1)

BrianHursey (738430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084212)

I work at a university in the IT department, and I see that the majority of users are not competent enough to be their own local root. You would be amazed at the kinds of things that they do to their system. 75%+ of problems with systems on campus are user created errors from either improper management of the system or lack of update practices by the user.

Re:Nice Knee-Jerk (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084275)

Seems kinda crappy that those tools you use need root access to run...

Re:Nice Knee-Jerk (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084280)

I nearly got fired from a job once because "IT" locked the machines down too tight.

I needed to be able to see and change file extensions. Our accounts didn't allow this. I went to my my supervisors and asked for our accounts to be allowed to do these things. My requests were ignored.

I had to find a creative way to get around the idiotic limitations that were imposed by "IT". The assumption that no one had any experience with DOS were my way. I would get a DOS prompt and manually change file extensions as I needed to.

While plumbing around in DOS I found some things that "IT" didn't think we would. For example, all of the machines were running file servers, but we weren't supposed to share any files.

I shared this with the supervisors and as a result my employment was threatened for using "unauthorized functions".

LK

I know why his users are admins (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084062)

Because the various versions of Windows all reveal their bias as a single user operating system, and even it's creators despair at efficiently administering a Windows network.

Don't run unix, eh? (4, Interesting)

TheGrayArea (632781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084067)

I guess that means they finally upgraded the phone system. Back when I worked there in Developer Suppport (98-03) the phone system for our incoming customer calls ran on a Unix system. To run the phone monitoring application and see the various queues you had to run an X-desktop emulator (Hummingbird I think) to run the monitoring app. I always thought that was funny at the time.
We were allowed to pretty much install anything we wanted to. I had tons of command line tools, perl and other stuff installed along the way.
Oh, and lots of guys had Linux boxes running at their desks along the way as well.

why he does what he does (1)

Kipsaysso (828105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084071)

As an IT organization, I have no skills and no ability and no purchasing of those (Linux) products.

I would Work for microsoft too if I had no Linux skill.

I wonder (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084077)

, but we do audit the network continuously

Then I wonder if they allow users to use firefox and Linux.

Curious aint it? (1)

Baron von Blapp (767958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084080)

So if the end-users are the admins (something I let the programming dept at my last job do) that means they can install *n*x or Opera... Hehe, even Solaris :D

Social Reinforcement within MS (1)

8tim8 (623968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084082)

I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?

Because MS is such a geek culture, I'd be interested in finding out if what the social reprecussions are for someone finding malware on their system. If you consider yourself to be an alpha geek, are you really going to be calling the helpdesk about a computer issue that you brought on yourself?

Re:Social Reinforcement within MS (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084283)

Because MS is such a geek culture...

Having worked there, there are a lot of really smart people there. However, it is a large corp, so I'd say 90% of the employess are not the 'uber geeks' that you picture them as. Most people that work there are only slightly more techno-savy than the average white collar workers.

Several years ago while working there, I had to explain what an .ASP page was to my boss. He wasn't stupid or anything, just not a coder. I'm not sure that he really fully got the idea.

We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084083)

So, if "We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux.", then WTF did Microsoft feel the need to pay SCO all those millions of dollars for UNIX licenses? Unless, of course, the money actually came out of the "Marketing/FUD" budget instead the "Software Licenses" budget...

Re:We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. (1)

yamla (136560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084160)

SCO claimed that Windows interferes with the SCO intellectual property. Furthermore, SCO claimed that the money they got from Microsoft did NOT prevent SCO going after Microsoft's customers for violation.

So why did Microsoft pay all that money? Officially, to protect Microsoft (but not Microsoft's customers) against claims from SCO.

Re:We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. (3, Informative)

justins (80659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084242)

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/

Of course Interix or whoever MS bought the thing from probably paid the piper already, but knowing SCO's proclivity for lawsuits, I don't blame MS for doing it again.

Re:We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084276)

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/

too bad it's not http://www.microsoft.com/windows/stfu/

There's definite pockets of non-Microsoft use... (3, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084084)

If you read MSDN blogs [msdn.com] you occasionally come across references to people using non-Microsoft software, including Firefox, Apache, and *nix. Hotmail uses UNIX tools running on Interix [microsoft.com] ... which includes the "viral" GCC.

Re:There's definite pockets of non-Microsoft use.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084175)

but since the users admin their own machines, the CIO can deny any knowledge of it.

Pain (2, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084089)

We start with the product group that developed the product, so they feel the pain first. Man, truer words have never been spoken (at least by an MS executive.)

combatting spyware (2, Insightful)

mgpeter (132079) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084093)

Some of the spyware that is out there will utilize known security vulnerabilities to install itself on the machine WITHOUT the user being an Administrator.

Also, quite a bit of spyware will simply install itself to the user profile (hotbar, etc.), the only way to combat these types of spyware is to utilize Mandatory Profiles.

Spyware is an ongoing problem with ANY Windows machine, whether it is "secured" or not.

Software company, not bozos (5, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084098)

('Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?"


Pardon me for standing up for them, but ... it's MICROSOFT. They have a lot of smart talented software engineers who are just as capable of administrating their own computers as those writing for /. - and whatever is missed, like some spyware, gets picked up by the continuous network audit.


Peeves me off when the people writing the software are not trusted to administrate their own computer which they are writing software for (or some equivalent thereto). What's with this growing American sentiment that nobody should be trusted with tools, that only someone special should be (without noting the perversity that if nobody can be trusted, then nobody can be trusted)?

Re:Software company, not bozos (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084229)

There's quite a difference between having a key to the gun cabinet and constantly having a double action 357 magnum pointed at your foot. This is the primary difference beween Unix and DOS culture. Unix users and admins realize thier own limitations and would rather not have the constant ability to screw themselves over.

If you run as root when you don't need to then either you are an idiot or those that built your system software are.

BEST TOOL FOR THE JOB... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084101)

This guy is a cocksucker of the highest order, Microsoft should be looking to increase efficiency if that means running an open source application, so be it! If I were an MSFT shareholder, I'd be looking into this.

No *nix? (4, Insightful)

anderiv (176875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084109)

We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.

That makes for a great testing environment for Windows Services for UNIX, huh?

So, do they run Great Plains or Axapta? (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084114)

As both of these are MS ERP products?

100% Microsoft my foot.

Anyone have Weblogs with MS IP Ranges? (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084115)

I no longer have access to ISP weblogs, but I seem to remember taking a browser census and noting that vistors from MS were indeed running Mozilla under Linux.

This makes sense and is consistent with the CIO's statement. Since each user is their own administrator, they are allowed to wipeout windows and run any Linux distro they want. They probably use use VMWARE or VirtualPC to host their Windows OS and quickly switch to full screen whenever a manager is around.

Spyware... (2, Insightful)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084120)

I have a hunch that a really good way for MS to make sure it only has (reasonably) computer savvy employees would be to - ahem - "terminate" anybody who couldn't keep their computer clean. I mean, if a guy is coding MS security stuff, and can't keep a single desktop safe, he doesn't belong there...

Hmm... (1)

which way is up (835908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084124)

We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.

Notice he didn't say 'Mac'. The mac business unit runs macs as well as the people doing the graphic design and print work. Unless of course he was only referring to the server OS's

TCO (1)

ArtisteTerroriste (637973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084130)

>We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run
>Oracle.

And our TCO sucks! By giving our users Admin access, we don't have to support them ALL THE TIME, they support themselves. Heck, would you want to? So our TCO numbers are not as bad as they might be at least.

- MS CIO

I'm sure they run *nix on Virtual Server 2005 (1)

vision33r (829872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084136)

They have to in order to insure the product works as advertised.

That explains everything! (1)

StLawrence (734027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084147)

Now I understand why Microsoft is having such a difficult time
making reliable & secure software... They spend most of their
time dialing with viruses & other assorted malware.

Are they even allowed to ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084154)

'Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.'

Could that be why they don't run Linux or Unix? It would be interesting to know if they reprimand those who want to run linux, unix or solaris? Policy with regard to people choosing to run open source products, on their machine, would also be interesting.

Best practices (3, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084162)

With every user at MS an Administrator of their own machine, it's no wonder that it's so hard to implement any other security model using Windows.

I hope some of those users are smart enough to give themselves a luser account and run under it ... but wait, that doesn't work well in an enterprise using Active Directory, does it?

Maybe they have an enforced policy of using anti-spyware and anti-virus software ... but Microsoft doesn't make any.

Maybe they have extensive training classes with stock options going to those who don't spread viruses (sort of like those "accident free days" campaigns you see at some companies). But wait, no one wants their stock any more ...

Oh well, they're Microsoft -- they must know what they're doing.

They STILL use some UNIX systems..to Compile Win.. (3, Interesting)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084168)

Is it not true that they use Suns to compile windows itself? Because they need the huge multiprocessor power of a real computer (130+ cpu's)? What about (noso)hotmail? There are still BSD systems running there. I guess the article is only talking about workstations?

Re:They STILL use some UNIX systems..to Compile Wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084223)

Don't konw if it's true but a guy at Sun told me that hotmail.com runs on Sun gear.

ok, comedy gold, but! (1)

ross_winn (610552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084171)

since when did Hotmail start running on Windows Advanced Server? I think this may be a bit of a lie.

uh, try 4 years ago. (1)

MelloDawg (180509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084299)

See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/interopmigration/ case/hotmail/default.mspx. Of course there were reports that some of the DNS servers were still running FreeBSD: http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Article/Articl eID/22474/22474.html. But that was *3* years ago.

whoops, read as... (1)

claussenvenable (820336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084200)

"Good article over at CNet regarding Microsoft's infernal IT practices. Some intriguing "

nothing to see here...

It's a Viral mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11084204)

There was a time when I worked for Microsoft. It was kinda annoying..... You couldn't build a machine on the Lan without it getting a virus. Be it from lack of a password, or from putting an unpatched machine on the LAN just to download the service packs and patches. You couldn't build a computer on their Lan.

Dell (2, Interesting)

mushupork (819735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084226)

Dell spent millions trying to migrate off Compaq Tandem and onto Windows Servers for their core manufacturing database. They were going to use 100% Dell hardware damnit! Millions of dollars later, Tandem was alive and well.

Can anyone at Dell confirm Tandem is still the heart of the mighty beast?

Famous last words (2)

loren (2875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084237)

Quoted from the article "I have no skills and no ability..." Yep, sounds like Microsoft to me.

The question I want to see answered... (1)

which way is up (835908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084243)

The question I want to see answered is "How do you deal with the same day to day annoyances that plague other companies running your OS, such as spyware/malware?

No skills? (2, Insightful)

tchernobog (752560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084260)

We do [...] have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis. As an IT organization, I have no skills and no ability and no purchasing of those products.

So he's an IT manager with no skills in the IT industry other than MS-related? Someone could call this "to be blind and overconfident".

Me, I call him a lucky guy that is probably paid >= 4000€ a month to say to the world "I don't know a thing about IT, but with MS my income has doubled". Heck, being on Bill's bill, McBride can say that too!

Totally Incoherent Answers (5, Interesting)

warriorpostman (648010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084267)

Obligatory rant here...how do they know it's the best product if they never run anything non-microsoft.
As a policy, I don't run anything that competes with Microsoft. My goal is to make sure Microsoft products are the best products in the world. It's an easy choice for me, in that sense--to run Microsoft technology. We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.
What does the following mean? Other than an incoherent repetition of the above.
We do, in areas on the client, have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis. As an IT organization, I have no skills and no ability and no purchasing of those products. We don't even run J2EE. Everything is .Net.
This guy really earned his title as Chief Information Officer. When I read this interview I got flashbacks of video clips of Iraq's Minister of Information making all those bizarre claims about the invasion.

Who came up with this strategy? (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084270)

"We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server" Hold up a second, now. How the heck do they expect to know if their products are good or not, if they have nothing for comparison? You've got to be -very- familiar with both sides of an argument if you expect to win it.

Microsoft Sun (1)

justins (80659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084292)

At least in the "eating your own dogfood" department:
http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/12/11/wwwge orgewbushcom_switches_to_selfhosted_freebsd_server _wwwsuncom_upgrades_to_solaris_9_not_10.html [netcraft.com]

Of course if the Sun admins are going by what the www.sun.com webpage says, they're probably just as confused as I am about when the real version of Solaris 10 is coming, why they had a "release event" without releasing the actual product, why all those "Solaris 10" links go to Solaris Express beta downloads, and so on.

Time spent combatting spyware? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11084312)

Likely little to none... oh wait, they probably use MSIE... strike that.

While I service a lot of Windows machines, my own WinXP box remains free of such contamination due in part to my own browse habits (I don't click "yes" to everything and I don't visit a lot of weird sites all of the time.) as well as the browser that I use.

My users are a different story... I keep fairly busy with it.
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