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Microsoft Loses Key Engineer to Google

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the google-os-rumors-aflutter dept.

Google 475

galdur writes "Microsoft Watch reports Marc Lucovsky, one of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. His confidence in Microsoft's ability to ship software seems to have waned, too. Some hypothesize Google working on an OS but in the wake of Google's inroads into Ajax tech applications (GMail, Suggest, Maps), I think Google may have other plans for the chief software architect for Microsoft's .Net My Services ("Hailstorm")" CT Many users are reporting 404s on the Microsoft Watch article, but its working fine for others. Hopefully they'll fix their server soon.

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475 comments

Blog entry is gone already? (1, Funny)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838737)

Anybody save a copy?

Re:Blog entry is gone already? (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838776)

Nevermind, now it works again. I wonder why Blogspot was previously telling me the page wasn't found.

Re:Blog entry is gone already? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838792)

Saturday, February 12, 2005
Shipping Software
A few weeks ago I had lunch with the now famous "Mark Jen". I never knew Mark while we were at Microsoft, even though we both worked in the same group. Funny how large groups at Microsoft can get...

We had a great Google style lunch at a sunny table in Mountain View. I was too dense to notice that Mark was doing research for his blog. One thing he said got me thinking... Something that many have said over the years, that Microsoft "knows how to ship software".

Being a 16 year Microsoft veteran, a Distinguished Engineer, key architect and code writer for windows, architect of the largest source code control and build system ever attempted, I deeply believed that Microsoft knows how to ship software. We know how to build it, test it, localize it, manufacture it, charge lots of $$$ for it, etc.

Mark and I talked about this briefly at lunch that day, and I have been thinking about it from time to time since...

I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft "knows how to ship software". When a Microsoft engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? I know the answer and so do you... The software sits in a source code control system for a minimum of two years (significantly longer for some of the early Longhorn code). At some point, the product that the fix is a part of will "ship" meaning that CD's will be pressed and delivered to customers and OEM's. In best case scenarios, the software will reach end users a few months after the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) date. In many cases, particularly for users working in large corporations, they won't see the software for a year or more post RTM...

Consider the .NET framework for a second. Suppose you wrote something innocent like a screen saver, written in C# based on the .NET framework. How would you as an ISV "ship your software"? You can't. Not unless you sign up to ship Microsoft's software as well. You see, the .NET Framework isn't widely deployed. It is present on a small fraction of machines in the world. Microsoft built the software, tested it, released it to manufacturing. They "shipped it", but it will take years for it to be deployed widely enough for you, the ISV to be able to take advantage of it. If you want to use .NET, you need to ship Microsoft's software for them. Isn't this an odd state of affairs? Microsoft is supposed to be the one that "knows how to ship software", but you are the one doing all the heavy lifting. You are the one that has to ship their software the last mile, install it on end user machines, ensure their machines still work after you perform this platform level surgery.

When an Amazon engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? What is the lag time between the engineer completing the work, and the software reaching its intended customers? A good friend of mine investigated a performance problem one morning, he saw an obvious defect and fixed it. His code was trivial, it was tested during the day, and rolled out that evening. By the next morning millions of users had benefited from his work. Not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software.

I would argue that Microsoft used to know how to ship software, but the world has changed... The companies that "know how to ship software" are the ones to watch. They have embraced the network, deeply understand the concept of "software as a service", and know how to deliver incredible value to their customers efficiently and quickly.
posted by Mark Lucovsky at 9:38 PM

18 Comments:
thomas woelfer said...
Mark,

unfortunately, amazon produces nothing that i, the isv, can use in any reasonable way as a platform.

microsoft, however, does.

WM_FYI
thomas woelfer

2:00 AM
Ugo Cei said...
You could have seen it coming a few months ago: "None of this bodes well for Microsoft and the profits it enjoyed thanks to its API power. The new API is HTML, and the new winners in the application development marketplace will be the people who can make HTML sing."

I have more comments here.

4:50 AM
Anonymous said...
Well you have to look at the different services that microsoft has to offer.

While it is true that traditional microsoft client based systems have a inherent lag - so do all other vendors - so for example when a google engineer makes a change to the google toolbar it still has to sit around in source control for a couple of months before it is sent out as RTM.

In regard to hosted services (such as msdn, msn search, mappoint etc...) Those changes can be pushed out immediatlly just like google etc...

The fact is that when dealing with a "platform" that others build on top of in the client space that is what you face.

Thus the only services that google can currentlly offer is search and ads. Which are server based.

In regard to server based services microsoft has been able to keep up in that I am sure when a developer makes a change to hotmail the changes are propagted just as quickly as googles.

So to sum up... Yes google , amazon etc... enjoy a advantage when they offer there narrow range of server constricted servecies - Hey but at the same time microsoft enjoys that advantage too with their online services. However when it comes to base services that others reuse - then microsoft has the advantage of a solid shipping culture.

Look at it this way - google released a web service search api a while ago - it hasn't changed much because there is a installed base that is using it which ties them to a particular schema - If google wants to change the external interface they need "Ship it"

6:28 AM
Anonymous said...
Not really, windows update sends me security fixes every month. I just got a fix for a bsod condition. Anti-Spyware sends me updates every couple of days. Every once in awhile I get a message that there is a new update to messenger do i want to download it.

6:36 AM
Anonymous said...
"Amazon produces nothing that i, the isv, can use in any reasonable way as a platform."

Sure it does!!

8:03 AM
Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr. said...
Microsoft may produce something that can be construed as a platform, but Mark's points are well founded, and quite frankly, on the MONEY.

I worked on the predecessor to his offspring, OS/2, and while there, I wondered the exact same thing...if Micrsoft and even IBM, knew how to deliver software.

I don't agree with the "software AS a service" model ( because that makes it a commodity item, and thereby leaves it at the whims of what the fickle consumer might want...think Pork Bellies ), however. I think software is just like any other tool. It's today's equivalent to the twig the monkey stripped of leaves, and stuck into the anthill to get at the juicy ants.

Software performs a function which is not naturally either reasonable, or simple operation for the user to perform. Software correctly aligns the laser head to locate the start of the tracks on a CD. For that matter, software controls where a different laser started burning those tracks on a CD in the first place.

Software can, and does in many instance PERFORM a service, but software AS a service is more than a bit of a misnomer and a dangerous misperception. Sure you want to make software accessible and approachable, but you don't want users to have a "want fries with that mentality about it", because that will degrade the business of producing software to a commodity model. But I'm repeating myself.

As for Microsoft being able to DELIVER software. Sure, everybody can argue that auto updates send you fixes, etc..etc...but have you LOOKED at the KB lately ? There are more fixes for different "ailments" within Windows than we have known communicable diseases. Some fix applies to this scenario and not that one, but may help ( or may hurt ) another. Having worked in both large and small companies, I've come to believe that the ability to DELIVER software is INVERSELY proportional to the size of the company. I've seen it happen time and time again. And it's going to take some empirical data ( i.e. some radical changes at Microsoft, and others ) to change the growing perception of users at large that Microsoft can't deliver quality software anymore.

At least at affordable prices....$299 for Windows XP Professional ? Give me a break !

8:11 AM
Anonymous said...
I agree 100%. I'm so tired of everything that MS does costing something. Funny thing is stuff like Paint.NET which is free is 50 times better than anything that MS puts in Windows or charges for.

If Google releases an OS, I'll run it. If they releas an IM Client I'll use it. Google kicks butt!

8:42 AM
Mike Torres said...
Mark -

I can't disagree with some of this, but Microsoft is a large company -- sometimes with VERY different priorities/missions.

MSN Search, MSN Video, MSN Music, MSN Spaces, and some of our other new services DO NOT in any way follow the boxed software model.

Your Amazon example is no different than life as usual in MSN. I can't speak to Windows or .NET - but it is comparing apples to oranges.

There are only a handful of companies out there providing real value to customers through the web - and Microsoft is unquestionably one of them. Could we do things better? Sure. But to say we don't get it simply isn't accurate.

Mike

9:07 AM
Anonymous said...
So apples aren't oranges. You explained that well. Google can ship oranger Oranges than Microsoft's apples. Yay!

9:19 AM
Microsoft Fan said...
The real question is why would a DE at MS jump ship to Google? It can't be the money. Was there a fallout? or just bored?

9:27 AM
pablotossi said...
no no no... google rulz now!!!!

10:30 AM
Andre said...
Is it true you are building a new OS for Google titled Googledows?

Oh well, I wish you all the best, but keep using Windows.

10:38 AM
dkjariwala said...
Manual Trackback:

With all respect to Mark, I think he is on the wrong track, when he said that Microsoft can't ship software.

Delivering your platform and other applications to user base of millions is not as simple as checking in your code in your source control system. It needs to be tested for usability, backwards compatibility and if you read Raymond Chen's blog, you will be aware how gigantic task it is to test system for backwards compatibility and making sure that it works.

Things are comparatively much, much easier when you talk about web applications because by their very nature they don't need to tested for thousands of hardware/software configurations but merely for 4 or 5 type of browsers. Testing web apps for compatibility is easier and it's cheaper. You can go 'live' much faster and that's what everyone, developers as well as users, love. Comparing web applications developed at Google with desktop software developed at Microsoft is not fair. Tell me why does Google Toolbar works only with Internet Explorere and only on Windows Platform, even though it's been in works for more than 4 years . If Google can ship the software, there should be a Google Toolbar for all major browsers (there are what 4 major browsers?), for all platforms (3 platforms?) in span of 4 years. I mean it's a 'toolbar' not even full fledged application!

Want a fair comparison?

Write, the much speculated, Google Browser. No, don't inherit Mozilla source. Write it from scratch. [Do you know just how many years Firefox took to arrive at its current position?] If you can deliver a comprehensive browser in 2 years, I will believe that Google can ship software and Microsoft can not.

Btw, as someone asks in the comments of Mike's post, why does a DE at Microsoft decided to quit and join Google? I wonder what did Google offer to DE which Microsoft can not offer.

JD

10:45 AM
Anonymous said...
Hello Mark,

It is nice to see you have a new job & everthing however, I think da Google should be careful of you, because you MIGHT be a spy for da Microsoft.

_Anonymous

(PS: Nothing personal, it's just business. (Whatever that means.!?))

11:20 AM
dB. said...
As a former Microsoftie I always sigh-ed at the view of the giant money-making products and I would agree when it comes to products like Visual Studio.

But you do keep a very windows-centric view of the world, while in, for example, MSN alone, there's 53 shipping software products with much shorter turnarounds and well oiled build/test/release machinery.

11:24 AM
Hendrix said...
As I read this post, one thing came to mind and that is.

Start => Windows Update => boila!!!

or

Automatic updates by default.

Hendrix

11:25 AM
jazzman2 said...
We can all argue till the cows come home whether or not Microsoft can "ship" software. They seem to make a lot of money doing it - so I have to conclude that YES, they CAN ship software. My concern though is much larger. "IS THE SOFTWARE THE DO SHIP A NATIONAL - OR INTERNATIONAL - SECURITY THREAT TO US ALL??

11:59 AM
Anonymous said...
Google ships software? Do they have *anything* that is out of Beta? Most sysadms wouldn't think of using beta software in a production environment.

12:15 PM
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Re:Blog entry is gone already? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838845)

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google
By Mary Jo Foley

Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft distinguished engineer, has quietly abandoned the Redmond ship for one of Microsoft's archrivals.

One of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. But at least so far, no one is talking about what Marc Lucovsky's new role will be at one of Microsoft's major rivals.
A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

In 2000, Lucovsky was named the chief software architect for Microsoft's .Net My Services (code-named "Hailstorm") effort. .Net My Services never materialized in the form -- a set of personal Web services, hosted by Microsoft -- that Microsoft originally envisioned. Instead, the company has folded a number of the .Net My Services technologies into other Microsoft products.

Scripting.com's Dave Winer mentioned on his blog earlier this week that Lucovsky had defected to Google, with no further details.

Lucovsky "voluntarily left the company on 11/18/04," confirmed a Microsoft spokeswoman. "Obviously Microsoft can't comment on whether or not he now works for Google."

Google officials did not return calls requesting comments on Lucovsky.

Winer, like a number of industry watchers, are wagering that Google hired Lucovsky to help the search-engine king build an operating system.

But no one knows for sure. And even Lucovsky, whose newly minted blog lists Google as his employer, isn't saying what his new role at Google will entail.

Luckovsky isn't sparing harsh words for his former employer, however, pointing fingers at everything from Microsoft's difficulties in shipping software to its users on time, to its policy of requiring users to validate that they have non-pirated versions of Windows in order to obtain fixes and downloads.

In a blog posting dated February 12, Lucovsky railed against Microsoft for being unable to ship software.

"I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft 'knows how to ship software,'" Lucovsky wrote.

"Microsoft is supposed to be the one that 'knows how to ship software,' but you (the end user) are the one doing all the heavy lifting. You are the one that has to ship their software the last mile, install it on end user machines, ensure their machines still work after you perform this platform level surgery," he continued.

"I would argue that Microsoft used to know how to ship software, but the world has changed... The companies that 'know how to ship software' are the ones to watch. They have embraced the network, deeply understand the concept of 'software as a service,' and know how to deliver incredible value to their customers efficiently and quickly," Lucovsky added.
Lucovsky wrote positively about Amazon.com's model for delivering new software bits to its customers.

When Amazon makes a fix to its software, "not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software," Lucovsky said.

Re:Blog entry is gone already? (1)

awful (227543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838865)

No, it's still there. It's his first blog post too. How's that, one post and he gets a slashdotting - not too shabby?

The Bullet (4, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838739)

It'll be interesting to see if there is any "Restriction of Trade" in the old contract.

And how useful is this Windows architect to Google if it is to come out with anything built by this guy? With the current silly-patent lawsuits happening every day, this might just give MS a bullet. What this guy "thought of" might have already been patented by MS, and in most cases, it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong.

Re:The Bullet (3, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838824)

True, but Google isn't a small startup without the financial/legal capabilities to defend itself anymore, either. Bullies always pick on the weakest - never those that, while still being smaller, might actually pose a challenge.

Re:The Bullet (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838975)

true but i liken this more to a challange towards the alpha male's authority, not a bully in the playground, somehow i dont think microsoft will just let google alone because they are a challange.

Re:The Bullet (4, Insightful)

michrech (468134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838993)

*cough*STAC Electronics*cough* (Their HDD Compression software)
*cough*Corel*cough* (WordPerfect anyone?)
*cough*IBM*cough* (What did they do to OS/2 again?)

I am SURE there are others. Those weren't, for their time, "small" companies with no money to defend themselv's.

Re:The Bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839036)

Yes, but the law is a bit more tuned to the intellectual properties issues these days (for good or bad) - remember that back then, system intrusion was punishable only as "theft of electricity".

Re:The Bullet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838835)

Seems to be a lot of traffic in terms of people moving in and out of Redmond. I figure that's nothing new but weren't there like 3 or 4 people from various game-worlds that moved over to MS to help create games for the NextBox?

So what does Google gain here? Brain matter. DotNet My Services...wasn't that the whole Passport thing to begin with? That went nowhere. Maybe Goog is trying to do the same but banking on their better community acceptance to make somethimg similar succeed where MS failed.

I wonder (4, Funny)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838742)

How many Shadowrunners it took to pull off that one.

Re:I wonder (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838848)

Hah! MS campus _is_ up in the Redmond Barrens after all, right near Seattle ;)

Re:I wonder (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838872)

Usually it takes a group of four to six. However, considering where they were running, it would take a team as good as Sally Tsung's to pull it off. There must have been some serious nuyen behind this one.

Is it ethical? (2, Insightful)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838744)

I sometimes wonder if it is ethical to attract the employees of a rival organization (maybe by offering better perks)

Re:Is it ethical? (5, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838805)

Yes. Competing with your competitors is perfectly ethical.

That's like asking if it's ethical for there to be more than 1 company on the planet.

Re:Is it ethical? (1)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838857)

Of course it's ethical to attract employees with better perks. This is capitalism; an employee is free to pursue the highest 'bid' for their talents, provided they're not breaking any existing contracts. Big companies like MS have anti-competitive clauses in their contracts to prevent defections; they also offer good benefits packages on their own. If google managed to trump that, then good on them!

Of course it is (2, Informative)

NYTrojan (682560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838891)

it is how businesses work. Microsoft has made a living doing this. Ken Lobb went to Microsoft from Nintendo to help the XBOX. Heck, Microsoft buys COMPANYS to prevent them from working with rival organizations (See Rare).

Google OS (2, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838755)

This is big. As the parent touched on, the possibility of "Google OS" is definitely real. It would be utterly non-trivial, to be sure, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Google. Between their cooperation with the Firefox project and now the acquisition of a key Microsoft architect, the sky is the limit for this group.

Re:Google OS (1)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838816)

I'd be happy to see a Google OS. The only thing that worries me is how long will it be before the company becomes evil? Hopefully adding a key MS architect doesn't taint them.

Google News (2, Insightful)

solomonrex (848655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838820)

1. They already have their own OS that is specialized to be super reliable for their cluster (read the other Google news item from today). They even refer to it as 'Google OS'. It's really just a specialized Red Hat based kernel (according to the news).

2. This guy made a point of explaining in his blog (when it was up) that Microsoft doesn't ship software, and he admires that Amazon ships software immediately, via the web. Google would obviously appeal to him for this reason.

Re:Google OS (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838828)

Given that the guy doesn't seem to have been doing core OS work at Microsoft, I don't see any reason to conclude that he must be (or probably will be) working doing such work at Google. Beyond "Dave Winer says so", which I don't rate any higher than "My Rice Krispies said so".

Google seems to love to hire Smart Guys -- I'd guess his hiring falls under that heading.

Re:Google OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838958)

snap, crackle, google os!

Re:Google OS (2, Interesting)

gimpynerd (864361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838830)

That seems to be a distinct if somewhat distant possibility. Google has slowly been on the rise for the past years. There would be no end of support for this type of venture considering the anti-Microsoft sentiment. Google might receive help from Linux as well, extending the relationship started witht he FireFox project.

Re:Google OS (5, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838858)

I don't think that the limit is the sky. I think the limit is the fact that Microsoft OS is installed on over 90% of world's desktops.
Even Apple is struggling agains Windows and they already have a superior desktop OS, and penetration in audio/video and design markets.
Heck, look at even Linux. It's free, it's useable, it's secure. And it took Linux a long time to be considered a viable desktop alternative.

I like Google's services, but I don't think they could pull off a profitable OS.

Re:Google OS (2, Insightful)

Iscariot_ (166362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839008)

The immediate goal is not profit, but growth of a "potential". Right now that 90% number you mentioned is getting in a lot of people's way. Reduce that deskop % and you increase your chance to sell your own plus apps to sit on top of it.

Think Xbox. The goal of the xbox was not profit. It was to reduce the % of market-share owned by the PS2 (and to some extent GameCube) so that the Xbox 2 would have a larger profitability margin and have a wider selection of games (meaming Microsoft intends to actually make $$ on the hardware this time).

Re:Google OS (5, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838894)

Apart from what others have already said, I think you're missing one key question here: why would Google actually *want* to create their own OS? The dot-com bubble days of "we'll do it just because we can" are over; these days, (most) companies will only do things if they reasonably expect to make money with it.

Furthermore, Google's main expertise is in the field of searching, and so far, literally ALL of its products services have been based around that. Where would an operating system fit in there?

Re:Google OS (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838972)

why would Google actually *want* to create their own OS?

They created their own OS (highly highly customized distribution), and thus can do what no other companies can. They created a create targeted advertisement system and have licensed it to other businesses with great success - Google Ads are all over the place. So the concept of turning an internal utility into a sellable product isn't foreign to google at all. I'd be surprised if they didn't try to make some extra money on their OS investment.

Furthermore, Google's main expertise is in the field of searching, and so far, literally ALL of its products services have been based around that. Where would an operating system fit in there?

A heck of a lot goes on behind the scenes, including marketing, advertising, javascript, xml/xhtml, etc. Searching is just what you see. Google's "searching" expertise involves being good at many things.

Re:Google OS (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839025)

Well I doubt they will go with an OS all there own but what MIGHT happen is a proprietary file system.

Though most likely, you get a .NET developer to develop apps for the Windows desktop. I've been watching Monster up here in Seattle and they have been trying to recruit Windows testers and other stuff so it only makes sense that they are trying to put out apps for Windows.

What about a Google Boxed up Linux Distro? (2, Interesting)

NYTrojan (682560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838920)

They have already heavily modified Redhat for their own uses, so they know it inside and out. Could google be the group that finally gives us a distro with the ease of entry to lure away the windows crowd?

Re:What about a Google Boxed up Linux Distro? (1)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838944)

That's exactly what I've been thinking. I don't think they'd undertake building an OS from the ground up, it would be too hard and risky to get software to run on it. But if they could give us a Linux with the user-friendly, clean, simple, free-ness of Google's products...

Re:Google OS (5, Insightful)

songofthephoenix (858004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839024)

I highly doubt Google are going to create an OS. They are already in a position of profit. What I do see is Google expanding their online presence into other area's i.e.

Google Chat

Google IM

Google portal

Google hosting

Google Forum's

A Google version of .Net Passport

Google WAP and mobile device services (which would make sense if you take into account the recent push for technology in this area).

They are definately in a position to do such thing's without placing too much effort into other area's of the I.T world. I can not see Google creating an OS, licensing that goes with it, HCL's etc etc.

How long have we been waiting for longhorn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838775)

Seriously, I think I will see it in 2007...

careful Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838780)

Marc Lucovsky, one of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google

Marc could be a double agent! Large scale industrial sabotage alert!

Heh... (3, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838785)

Buck Fill...

Man, what'd they use to call it when Microsoft did it to their competitors... There was an actual term associated with it when they'd drive up to their competition in Limo's and try to hire away their best staff for million dollar salaries... (like they did to Borland)

And I end with a quote from Oliver of Bloom County:
"Hackers don't handle obsolescence well."

The end of Windows? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838796)

I'm sure this is very similar when a key architect from Novell who created Borland Pascal, defected to Microsoft so that they could create MS Money which ended up dominating the accounting software field in the 32-bit arena.

I hope that Microsoft does not see this as Google trying to appropriate insider-knowledge so they can created a FreeBSD-based variant of Windows that supports Win32 API and DirectX because that could have a serious impact in their corporate market share.

Perhaps if MS didn't overwork their staff (read any horror stories of MS driving their coders to exhaustion for NHL Madden 2005 on the XBOX) they retain the talent.

As it is, I feel that Google has gained a valuable resource into their fold and may be able to provide intellisense or similar functionality in their searches.

Which is nice.

Re:The end of Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838901)

Wasn't that EA that was overworking the game coders?

Re:The end of Windows? (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839011)

"...MS Money which ended up dominating the accounting software field in the 32-bit arena."

Hardly dominating. They only started focusing on MS Money when their attempt to buy Intuit/Quicken failed.

Seems to me Quicken would still be considered the big dog... Quicken Interchange Format is ubiquitous. What is MS Money's interchange format?

If you are just looking at installed base, that is different than usage base, since MS did the "give away MS money for free" gimmick like they did with IE. It didn't kill Quicken the way it killed pay-per-license Netscape.

This is pure Troll-Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839035)

Modders, pls!!!!!! This is a great troll, but _not_ inter/sight/ative

Really, a "FreeBSD-based variant of Windows that supports Win32 API and DirectX"... out of teh ballpark

404s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838800)

Many users are reporting 404s on the Microsoft Watch article, but its working fine for others. Hopefully they'll fix their server soon.

Yeah, they're on the top of the frontpage of slashdot -- how dare they not have their server responding flawlessly?

GooOS (2, Interesting)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838801)

I'm telling you man.. this is all about GooOS Link: http://virtualkarma.blogspot.com/2005/02/is-google -planning-gooos.html [blogspot.com]

Re:GooOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838942)

Get your facts straight.

1. Google toolbar already has Google computing initiative. http://toolbar.google.com/dc/offerdc.html "The Google Compute feature of the Google Toolbar shouldn't affect your regular computing activities and you can easily disable it at any time for any reason."

So what? It's Folding@Home. Nothing at all to do with OSes.

2. Rob Pike (a prominent OS researcher) might be hired to maintain the internal Google Cluster which boasts of the Google Filesystem. His project the 9 Grid is [Snip; Not posting the whole thing]

Rob Pike is at Google for his distributed computing knowledge; Not his OS knowledge. That, and because he's Rob Pike. Further, 9grid isn't Rob Pike's project. It is mainly the work of Ron Minnich who works at LANL. Moreover, 9grid isn't an application or a "grid OS" as your little article implies. 9grid is the use of Plan 9, the OS. "Porting it" to other operating systems isn't possible as it is an OS.

All that "wealth of research of google into the OS market" is papers done by people before they were at Google. It's Google's means of getting investments and more developers. Nothing to do with building an OS.

But what I would like to believe is Google is planning its foray into desktops with a Grid like system based on the browser where the file system and all other OS resources are going to be distributed.

You've shown nothing to indicate this.

In other news from the future (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838807)

Google announces multiple security vulnerabilities in its software.

Predictions of Doom (3, Insightful)

aspx (808539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838811)

I can't wait to hear all the predictions of how this is the end of Microsoft. Relax folks, a key M$ guy just got a better offer, that's all. If Google does build an operating system, they will have to face the same problem that has held up everyone else: critical mass.

I see a bad moon rising! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838959)

Important high-level software architechts defecting is an obvious sign of the beginning of the end for Microsoft.


Unfortunately, this man brings with him the taint Microsoft. This is where google starts turning evil. And inept.

Google search... (-1, Offtopic)

standsolid (619377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838821)

Hm... maybe now Google will be able to compete with the newly released MSN Search with some insider knowledge.

What's the penalty for that crime? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838831)

He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

Seems like 20 to life might be appropriate for this bit of malfeasance.

How long? (2, Interesting)

06metzp (713177) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838860)

I hate to think about it, but how long will it be before Google is the all-encompassing monster monopoly that starts to put out crappy products?

Re:How long? (1)

Ciderx (524837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838938)

How long until Google puts out crappy products? I take it you haven't used Google Desktop Search?

Re:How long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839050)

Or Google Groups 2. I hear Picasa is bad too.

You may have heard of Mark... (4, Insightful)

jaylee7877 (665673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838862)

He wrote the famous memo that claimed 63,000 bugs in Windows 2000 gold. Evidently his discontempt for Microsoft's software practices has been boiling for some time. Hope he does well at Google.

Re:You may have heard of Mark... (5, Funny)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838918)

his discontempt ? So he actually admired their practices ?

Re:You may have heard of Mark... (2, Funny)

jaylee7877 (665673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839002)

errr... discontent. It sounded right in my head, I promise, but then a lot of things sound right in my head until my mouth speaks them...

You know it's bad when... (3, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838868)

Even the Borg themselves can't keep ahold of their own collective.

All your drones are belong to Google.

AJAX... (5, Insightful)

drew (2081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838869)

can we please ditch this acronym? it was lame last week when whats-his-name had to write a big article about this cool new technology (which has been around in one form or another since at least 1998), it's still lame now, and it will continue to be lame in the future...

Re:AJAX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838922)

Amen to that!

Re:AJAX... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838953)

Amen to that!

Don't you mean: ATT!

for clarification... (3, Funny)

The-Perl-CD-Bookshel (631252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838888)

A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

Windows NT: thank god he's not from the Darkside of the Force...

Yeah... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838896)

Lucovsky wrote positively about Amazon.com's model for delivering new software bits to its customers.

Yeah, I admire Amazon's FREE Super Saver Shipping (TM) model of delivery too. But I still prefer to use the Intarweb(TM) model for receiving my software bits.

Not Ajax! (1)

veg_all (22581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838897)

...with what they are calling 'Ajax' as in 'Asynchronous JavaScript + XML' aka the XmlHttpRequest Object.

Who exactly is "they?" Please god don't let this stupid, coined-after-the-fact acronym [slashdot.org] creep into general usage!

Yes, Google OS (1)

Iscariot_ (166362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838905)

Why does everyone keep saying "nooo! google won't make an os! no u!"? Given what google has done w/ the web, and the amount of money they now have, it would be STUPID not to try and get into the OS market. We all know now that thin-client pcs that run remote web apps isn't going to happen. Hardware prices fall so fast, and everything's getting so small, it's more economical to have a MacMini that to have some huge server farm out there in the ether running everyone's apps.

So in order to compete further with Microsoft, they're going to have to create an alternate platform (think beOS) to increase their revenue. There's only so much they can do (like ad a calendar etc) to finish building their yahoo-like empire. With Google's insane cash-flow, they could easily repurpose a linux distro + wine + firefox into a very OSX like OS for intel/amd that is, to some extent, windows compatible.

Re:Yes, Google OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839019)

Given what google has done w/ the web, and the amount of money they now have, it would be STUPID not to try and get into the OS market.

What are you basing that on?

"Compete with Microsoft"? Why bother? Microsoft is competing with Google, at the moment. Turning that around is suicide.

"Create a platform to increase revenue"? They have huge profit margins. Creating an OS will only damage them.

There is this thing called "logic". Perhaps you've heard of it.

not an *OS* - a platform (4, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838911)

consider the google portfolio. It's machine-independent (bar a few niggles like the google deskbar, but concentrate on the web stuff). Email? Check. Usenet/web groups? Check. Contacts? Check. Add a basic wordprocessor and a few niceties like calendaring etc and you can give joesixpack@gmail.com just about everything he'd need via a web interface from any PC he sits at.
Web apps are pretty nice these days: use a browser that supports XUL like Firefox and it's not dissimilar to a real, locally installed app. And who's partnering with Firefox....?

Re:not an *OS* - a platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838981)

And who's using Firefox? Very few people. Going with XUL would be suicide. (Sorry, but it's the truth.)

What's the big deal? (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838917)

There's a guy down at my local Home Depot that engineers keys just fine. Maybe MS will just hire him.

Apple's OSX (0, Offtopic)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838931)

Some hypothesize Google working on an OS

Mod this offtopic, but watch how quickly someone twists this into a plug for OSX (this post not included).

You watch! It's an Amazing Slashdot Phenomenon(tm)!

WTF is Ajax? (1)

gremlins (588904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838945)

I mean I know what Ajax is but where in the world did that term come from? And it doesn't seem like until that [slashdot.org] story on slashdot no one was even using the term.

I would however like some links to sites that talk about how to do this kind of code and do it well because from what i know about javascript there are alot of pitfalls.

(***note: use of buzz word ajax not required)

Slashdot formatting not right? (0, Offtopic)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838948)

Is it just me, or is the formatting a little messed up? In both Firefox 1.0 and Mozilla 1.7.3 the articles on the front page overlap with the sections on the far left. This is only after I log in however. This just started this last week, but for quite a while I have a problem sometimes when reading an article where the text is all garbled up to the left. If I refresh the page it usually fixes itself. Could it be something with certain ads?

Fan-fscking-tastic (5, Interesting)

LesPaul75 (571752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838955)

Anyone else get a chill when they read this?
Luckovsky isn't sparing harsh words for his former employer, however, pointing fingers at everything from Microsoft's difficulties in shipping software to its users on time, to its policy of requiring users to validate that they have non-pirated versions of Windows in order to obtain fixes and downloads.
I sure did. Way to go Mark. It's rare that big shots will speak openly about their former employers in a move like this. Granted, there's usually good reason to keep your mouth shut. But it took guts to say that and it really hit close to home, for me at least. Microsoft's validation thing is garbage, and it just makes me angry every time I need to download something.

Hmmm... (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838982)

I wonder, they wouldnt need a whole OS.. you know, just take Linux or BSD + Very nice and clean UI + Win32 compatibility layer (which is where this guy comes in) and you can get something to replace windows.

Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11838989)

copy & paste:

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google
By Mary Jo Foley
Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft distinguished engineer, has quietly abandoned the Redmond ship for one of Microsoft's archrivals.

One of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. But at least so far, no one is talking about what Marc Lucovsky's new role will be at one of Microsoft's major rivals.

A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.ADVERTISEMENT

In 2000, Lucovsky was named the chief software architect for Microsoft's .Net My Services (code-named "Hailstorm") effort. .Net My Services never materialized in Thursday, March 03, 2005
Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google
By Mary Jo Foley
Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft distinguished engineer, has quietly abandoned the Redmond ship for one of Microsoft's archrivals.

One of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. But at least so far, no one is talking about what Marc Lucovsky's new role will be at one of Microsoft's major rivals.

A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

the form \u2014 a set of personal Web services, hosted by Microsoft \u2014 that Microsoft originally envisioned. Instead, the company has folded a number of the .Net My Services technologies into other Microsoft products.

Scripting.com's Dave Winer mentioned on his blog earlier this week that Lucovsky had defected to Google, with no further details.

Lucovsky "voluntarily left the company on 11/18/04," confirmed a Microsoft spokeswoman. "Obviously Microsoft can't comment on whether or not he now works for Google."

Google officials did not return calls requesting comments on Lucovsky.

Winer, like a number of industry watchers, are wagering that Google hired Lucovsky to help the search-engine king build an operating system.

But no one knows for sure. And even Lucovsky, whose newly minted blog lists Google as his employer, isn't saying what his new role at Google will entail.

Luckovsky isn't sparing harsh words for his former employer, however, pointing fingers at everything from Microsoft's difficulties in shipping software to its users on time, to its policy of requiring users to validate that they have non-pirated versions of Windows in order to obtain fixes and downloads.

In a blog posting dated February 12, Lucovsky railed against Microsoft for being unable to ship software.

"I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft 'knows how to ship software,'" Lucovsky wrote.

"Microsoft is supposed to be the one that 'knows how to ship software,' but you (the end user) are the one doing all the heavy lifting. You are the one that has to ship their software the last mile, install it on end user machines, ensure their machines still work after you perform this platform level surgery," he continued.

"I would argue that Microsoft used to know how to ship software, but the world has changed... The companies that 'know how to ship software' are the ones to watch. They have embraced the network, deeply understand the concept of 'software as a service,' and know how to deliver incredible value to their customers efficiently and quickly," Lucovsky added.

Lucovsky wrote positively about Amazon.com's model for delivering new software bits to its customers.

When Amazon makes a fix to its software, "not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software," Lucovsky said.

Google needs to stick with what they know. (1)

nberardi (199555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11838992)

Google isn't going to make an OS. That would be one of the most worse ideas out there. The market is already over saturated with OS. Google needs to stick with what they know. Service based web aplications.

Silly (0, Troll)

Paragoon (856037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839012)

So he can compare the logistics of deploying software on the desktop to that on the internet and pretend that Amazon can outship MS simply because the software only has to run on a few servers? Congratulations on pointing out the obvious.

Matter of $$$? (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839015)

Any guesses on how much this guy was raking in at Microsoft, and how much they offered him to defect to Google?

Part of it was philosophical - he wanted to work for Google, but I'm guessing a bigger part was good ole moolah.

Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839038)

Googles collapse is going to be nothing short of spectactular. And it has nothing to do with this guy. All things to all people. Not going to happen.

The worm turns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11839042)

After years of watching MS raiders gut Borland it is very satisfying to watch other companies move in and gut MS of its key employees. What goes around always comes around.

OVERRATED (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839043)

My anecdotal observations is that these "architect" types bring a halo but thats about it. The people who are putting the rubber to the road at all of the companies is the guy who doesn't blog, doesn't market himself as a "brand", and isn't concerned about the title "architect". Its the guy who goes through the hypothesize->code->test->repeat cycle for weeks on end, with an emphasis on step 2.

But there's huge differences... (1)

Marthisdil (606679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11839048)

From the article:

When Amazon makes a fix to its software, "not a single customer had to download a bag of bits, answer any silly questions, prove that they are not software thieves, reboot their computers, etc. The software was shipped to them, and they didn't have to lift a finger. Now that's what I call shipping software," Lucovsky said.

Umm - there's a HUGE difference when talking something like Windows, and something pushed to you on the web...Now, if he were comparing apples to apples, then I could see the comparison.
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