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Mini-Microsoft Shakes Things Up

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the corporations-never-like-to-look-in-the-mirror dept.

Microsoft 374

Henry V .009 writes "BusinessWeek calls him Microsoft's Deep Throat. Although Steve Ballmer denies reading the blog, there are plenty at Microsoft who do. Mini-Microsoft says he wants to "slim down Microsoft into a lean, mean, efficient customer pleasing profit making machine." The user comment section of the site is the real gold: thousands of comments from Microsoft employees who tend to have a dim view about the company's recent evolution. And Microsoft may even be responding to all the internal criticism."

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Moo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610635)

1st

Re: Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610813)

Here's something. Go check your friends and foes list. I just did, and I got a freak and a fan - both of which I never knew before cause I usually don't check shit like that out. Check it out for yourself - you might be surprised.

Postin' AC to spare karma gains, losses etc - this was simply a friendly public service message :)

Masterbater monkey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610640)

I claim first post for Trip Masterbater Monkey!!
FUCK YOU

Innuendo (5, Funny)

No Salvation (914727) | about 9 years ago | (#13610641)

Microsoft ... Deep Throat ... customer pleasing
Is this what it has to "come" to for Microsoft?

want dates with that? (0)

weighn (578357) | about 9 years ago | (#13610876)

Is this what it has to "come" to for Microsoft?

Yes and more...Mini Microsoft [blogspot.com] is "looking for some dates!".
Now does he want someone to go out with, or is he actually after the chocolate starfish?

Re:want dates with that? (0)

tylernt (581794) | about 9 years ago | (#13610891)

What has dating got to do with Chocolate Chip Starfish? [microscopy-uk.org.uk]

insane (4, Interesting)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 9 years ago | (#13610642)

Wow. This guy is nuts. I'm stunned that anyone could have such a love/hate relationship from the inside of a monster corporation to go to these lengths to fix it.

His employment agreement surely makes him liable for incalculable damages, not to mention inciting other employees to violate their contracts (which is punishable for contracts in general).

Maybe they won't know who it is until they find this guy still bailing out the hull after the last rat has left the sinking ship. I think they'll find him sooner, especially now that he's talking to the press.

Re:insane (1, Informative)

whiteranger99x (235024) | about 9 years ago | (#13610669)

I wouldn't be at all surprised. If i recall correct, didn't a MS employee get fired because he posted photos of them receiving Macs on his blog?

Re:insane (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610688)

No they fired him for posting campus photos which is explicitly against MS policy. The Macs were just a side note.

Re:insane (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | about 9 years ago | (#13610721)

Ah gotcha thanks.

I had a feeling it had more to do with him breaching some confidentiality agreement, which I failed to emphasize, but I was feeling a little lazy :P

Re:insane (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610910)

Kind of like those computer use policies that companies have. The only ones that seems to get fired for using the email system for occasional personal email are the ones that send out questionable stuff about their employer.
My company was on a witch hunt for someone internally recently. We had an internal email that was forwarded to a blog that pertains to our line of work. There was absolutely no company related content and the original sender address was masked (but our compnay name was visible) but it was kind of embarrassing or funny in the way it was worded, it was related to what was and was not appropriate dress in the workplace. They never actually tracked down the forwarding culpruit but I had to go through months worth of server logs and backup tapes looking for who forwarded on that email. I found nothing from our office email servers and neither did any of the others so we assumed it was cut and pasted into a web mail account and sent from there. IMHO, the whole thing was a complete waste of time considering the time and effort that went into trying to track it down.

I am getting OT here but we've also started using Websense in our offices. What struck me as odd is the various secretarial managers reasons for wanting the statistics. Not bandwidth, not questionable sites, they want to go through the logs and determine who is browsing the internet the most and take action with them. I may be old school but shouldn't a manager already know or have a good idea of what employees are slackers and which ones are poor performers? If there own bosses have no problems with the work their own secretaries provide to them or if he does have problems with them, can't they deal with the secretarial mangers with specific issues? It seems like they want a tool to provide an answer for a different managing problem they have. Kind of like comparing the person that always gets to work on time but does not do shit is less noticed and bothered then the occasional 5 minute late comer that busts their ass and puts out top quality work all day.
     

Re:insane (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610683)

I'm stunned that anyone could have such a love/hate relationship from the inside of a monster corporation to go to these lengths to fix it.

You've probably never worked in an environment where you know something could be great but everyday you see incompetence and pride as the norm. This drives some of us to the breaking point. Either we give up or we fight for greater things.

The sad thing is this is in every organisation that is sub-par. There are guys and girls who fall by the wayside everyday because fighting a bureaucracy is a form of attrition-style warfare. You have to keep on battering it and battering it and usually the organisation wins and the dissenters go home with their professional careers and private lives in ruin.

I hope this guy stay anonymous. No good can come from him publicly outing himself, no matter how great his ideas. This is the nature of power.

Re:insane (3, Interesting)

dado529 (579877) | about 9 years ago | (#13610824)

he sad thing is this is in every organisation that is sub-par. There are guys and girls who fall by the wayside everyday because fighting a bureaucracy is a form of attrition-style warfare. Can anyone agree more than me, this is why I no longer work for the tech industry. I now work on all these rich guys boat and take thier money.

Re:insane (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610888)

You've probably never worked in an environment where you know something could be great but everyday you see incompetence and pride as the norm.

I didn't know anyone else form here posted on Slashdot...

It should be interesting. (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | about 9 years ago | (#13610707)

If you see any new concrete bridges going up near the Redmond campus, a discontinued blog and a mysterious cavity showing up when using GPR, we will know how seriously Microsoft takes criticism.

Re:insane (4, Interesting)

uncoveror (570620) | about 9 years ago | (#13610726)

Yes, he and others like him need to stay anonymous, or they are toast, but it shouldn't be that way. It is high time laws were passed to protect such bloggers' free speech rights no matter what the legal mumbo jumbo they had to sign off on to have a job says. No employment contract should be able to take away free speech.

The workings of any publicly traded company ought to be public knowledge. We should have the right to know about companies, and not just their PR spin, before investing or when contemplating whether to sell stock. It is not good for the economy to let publicly traded firms operate in secrecy, and snooker investors

Even if a company is not publicly traded, prospective customers deserve to know what is going on.

Re:insane (3, Insightful)

untaken_name (660789) | about 9 years ago | (#13610764)

Yes, he and others like him need to stay anonymous, or they are toast, but it shouldn't be that way. It is high time laws were passed to protect such bloggers' free speech rights no matter what the legal mumbo jumbo they had to sign off on to have a job says. No employment contract should be able to take away free speech.

The workings of any publicly traded company ought to be public knowledge. We should have the right to know about companies, and not just their PR spin, before investing or when contemplating whether to sell stock. It is not good for the economy to let publicly traded firms operate in secrecy, and snooker investors

Even if a company is not publicly traded, prospective customers deserve to know what is going on.


Are you trolling? First, if you don't want to sign an employment contract, uh....don't sign it. People want the government to protect them from having to do hard work like reading legal documents before signing them. I mean, sure, it'd be messed up for a company to put 'must work 12 hour days 5 days a week or be fired' into a contract, and you're stupid enough to sign it, you should either work those 12s or get fired. Bollocks to 'free speech rights'. That applies to the federal government, not to private employers. If you sign a confidentiality agreement, you...agree...to...keep...things...confidential. No right to free speech is being restricted by the government here. If you don't like the agreement's terms...don't sign it. It's really not that difficult. What's next? No employment contract should take away someone's right to carry a gun to work? Seriously, people. The Bill of Rights limits what the FedGov can do, not what you can voluntarily agree to.

Re:insane (1)

sdedeo (683762) | about 9 years ago | (#13610823)

Well OK --

If we're talking about highly-educated upper-middle class programmers, then fine. But contracts have their limits. I think most people (maybe not you) agree that it should be illegal to enter into a contract where you get paid less than minimum wage.

The employer-employee dynamic is never (well, almost never) one of two equal parties. It's silly to pretend otherwise.

Re:insane (3, Informative)

uncoveror (570620) | about 9 years ago | (#13610952)

Nice try but WRONG! BZZZZ!

Network associates, the makers of McAfee Viruscan, put a line in their EULA that essentially said you couldn't publish a review of the software without their permission. [arstechnica.com] It didn't hold up in court because it violated the first amendment. Network Associates are not the government, and could not force anyone to give up their first amendment rights through contract. That provision was unenforceable, and many things in contracts are unenforceable. A lot of the crap in employment agreements is legalese nonsense that it would take a team of lawyers to interpret, and then they wouldn't all agree what it means. No one can give informed consent to something they do not understand. All they really understand is that if you don't sign, you don't have a job so enjoy living under a bridge when you lose your house! That is not far from holding a gun to your head, and saying, "sign this". An agreement under duress is no agreement at all.

Re:insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610986)

Um... Well, there are all sorts of examples of invalid contracts even if the parties "agreed" to it. For example, you can't contract to commit a crime, there are various implied terms in (for example) a sales of goods contract etc.

And for the point of not signing contracts that you don't like -- sometimes you just don't have the choice. It's hard enough for most to find a job, and if you're in debt and have to support a family, would you reject a job offer just because of one or two terms on the employment contract that you don't like? It's not like most people can negociate the standard terms on an employment contract in their favor without pissing off the HR dept or your manager.

Re:insane (1)

monkeydo (173558) | about 9 years ago | (#13610842)

Freedom of contract is a pretty important concept in our legal system. First, you don't have any free speech rights as far as your employer is concerned. There are statutes that protect whistleblowers, but this is way beyond that. Second, this guy didn't have anything "taken away" from him, he negotiated it away, and if he didn't get something he valued more in return, he shouldn't have agreed.

If you don't think you have enough information about the company to have faith in the stock, don't buy it.

Re:insane (4, Insightful)

aeoo (568706) | about 9 years ago | (#13610775)

What's insane is that making a criticism of the company is perceived these days as "a liability for incalculable damages".

That's insane.

Why is it that the damages to the company are important anyway? A company is a fictitious entity. Damages to people matter more than damges to companies, and in this case employees are important people, and they are the ones being damaged and not the other way around.

Re:insane (1, Flamebait)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 9 years ago | (#13610930)

What's insane is that making a criticism of the company is perceived these days as "a liability for incalculable damages".

That's insane.


First of all F U for mis-quoting me and even using the misquote in the context of something else I didn't say. If I knew specifically all the things in his employment contract that he was violating, I'd have listed them, but merely criticizing his employer was not my point.

This guy is writing about confidential internal processes and problems, and soliciting others to do so on a collossal scale - he's insane (and a hero) BECAUSE of what's presumably going to happen if they catch him.

Anyway what is the problem - you don't like the idea of a contract in general?

IT'S A FUCKING WIFE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610970)

Wow. This guy is nuts.
Nothing for you to see here, move along.

huh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610643)

i don't get it...what is this about??

O_O (0, Offtopic)

prurientknave (820507) | about 9 years ago | (#13610644)

The end of the evil empire!

fuck you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610647)

fuck off you fucking dork ass munch eat shit cum guzzler copck gobbler fagot fuckdickcuntshit

Re:fuck you (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | about 9 years ago | (#13610828)

calm down bill.

Dim view of MS's evolution? (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 9 years ago | (#13610648)

In other words the employee(s) are no different than everyone else? Shocking!

Re:Dim view of MS's evolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610954)

dim view as evolution

view = MS

if view = progress then

msgbox "yay!"

else

msgbox "What did you expect"

end if

Does anyone else here thing they could be shilling (3, Insightful)

bergeron76 (176351) | about 9 years ago | (#13610660)

This is clearly an inside tale, but I can't help but wonder if it's some new form of marketing.

Pretend you're a badguy insider, develop a following, and then you can mitigate rumours/leaked info/etc.

Re:Does anyone else here thing they could be shill (3, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | about 9 years ago | (#13610705)

It would be a new twist on the old idea of selective leaks. It certainly would be an effective way to convince the public (and the market?) that microsoft is sensitive to and accomadating of internel disagreements. This might also be just the "rallying cry" that Gates and Ballmer need to cut loose thousands of employees too.

Re:Does anyone else here thing they could be shill (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 9 years ago | (#13610779)

Cripes... how paranoid can you get?

I'd begin to buy your theory if the guy had ever posted anything positive about Microsoft beyond not being actually derisive/negative like anyone else who has a chip on their shoulder and an axe to grind with the company. He posts because he has unflattering things to say.

Gotta go. The black helicopters come...

Re:Does anyone else here thing they could be shill (1)

Wizzmer (862755) | about 9 years ago | (#13610898)

"Cripes... how paranoid can you get?"

When we're talking Microsoft viral marketing, the sky is the limit.

Interview with Steve Ballmer (1)

SCVirus (774240) | about 9 years ago | (#13610661)

Press: Have you heard of someone they call 'deep throat' Steve Ballmer: WHAT?! NO never, that was 20 years ago, I was young and needed money and...

Re:Interview with Steve Ballmer (1)

mrpostal (840460) | about 9 years ago | (#13610725)

You forgot to throw a chair.

Blog is down.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610662)

Try the Google cache [216.239.59.104]

Posted AC to avoid accusations of karma whoring..

Re:Blog is down.. (4, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | about 9 years ago | (#13610803)

Karma whore! You're a dirty, smelly, pirate karma whore! Why don't you go back to your home on pirate karma whore island?!

Re:Blog is down.. (2, Funny)

Henry V .009 (518000) | about 9 years ago | (#13610832)

Looks like all of Blogspot is down. Clearly, it's a Microsoft plot.

google cache (slightly out of date?) (1)

nsadhal (233419) | about 9 years ago | (#13610668)

here [64.233.161.104]

may be a bit old... it's not up on mirrordot yet

Where's the proof? (1, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | about 9 years ago | (#13610672)

It amazes me (well not really, this is /. after all) that slashbots will take anything at face value as long as it proves their assertions. Where's the proof this guy is a Microsoft employee? Where's the proof the reader comments are from Microsoft employees? If either of these are true, would they make similar comments if they worked at some other large corporation? I'm not trying to defend Microsoft, I'm just pointing out a character flaw in the community.

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

Trepalium (109107) | about 9 years ago | (#13610728)

Read some other Microsoft blogs sometime. Either this "guy" is a real Microsoft insider, or he's spent far too much time studying the company. He's not writing about anything that isn't present on other websites, but he writes about them in more detail. Of course, there's also the fact that none of his fellow [neopoleon.com] Microsoft [weblogs.com] bloggers [msdn.com] (outside of Ballmer) seem to be saying that what he's saying isn't true. There's always a chance that this is an elaborate hoax, but I don't think the chances of that are very high. Some of these Microsoft folks would've stepped up to deny this, and wouldn't be saying nice things about mini-microsoft.

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

uncoveror (570620) | about 9 years ago | (#13610772)

Is there any chance that this is the guy who drinks quite a bit at Redmond area bars, then starts to talk about things like "kill code" to force upgrades [uncoveror.com] and future versions of Windows? [uncoveror.com] Stranger things have been true before.

Re:Where's the proof? (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 9 years ago | (#13610798)

Wow, yeah. And let me be the first to thank you for uncovering this explosive evidence. It rates right up there with your hard-hitting expose on the CULT TO SACRIFICE VIRGINS AT MOUNT SAINT HELENS [uncoveror.com] piece.

Re:Where's the proof? (2, Informative)

apparently (756613) | about 9 years ago | (#13610729)

One would think that the author of the BusinessWeek article linked in the summary [businessweek.com] would've
1) seen the man's credentials
2) been able to spot a fake

when meeting the blogger in person.

Re:Where's the proof? (4, Interesting)

bladesjester (774793) | about 9 years ago | (#13610825)

It says explicitly in the article "Mini, who does indeed have a Microsoft blue badge, the type given to full-time staff."

There's your proof. He's got a blue badge and the reporter saw it.

Re:Where's the proof? (4, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | about 9 years ago | (#13610747)

He is an MSFT employee. He knows way too many things only insiders would be familiar with - not even an ex-employee. But he's very careful not to reveal internals that would get him in trouble. Very clever. He's also an above-average writer, FWIW.

It's been theorized he's (yes, he) is a mid-level guy in PSS. A few of his posts bear this out, but a few others don't. Like I said, he's very careful with what he gives away.

Having said that... yes, this is another opportunity for the slashbots to come out of the woodwork to post their ever-hilarious "M$ is teh suxx" jokes.

Anyway... must get some sleep.

Re:Where's the proof? (3, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | about 9 years ago | (#13610763)

Where's the proof this guy is a Microsoft employee?

How many Microsoft employees have disputed it? Mini has stated a lot of inside information that real employees of Microsoft could easily confirm or deny, and I have never heard a viable claim that Mini isn't real. It's pretty much considered a given that Mini is real, and their comments have been validated by known insiders quite a few times.

would they make similar comments if they worked at some other large corporation?

Most large corporations suck, and that is precisely what Mini has been trying to say all along. Saying that HP is even more sucky says nothing, and pretty much entirely misses the whole point. In Vietnam people work in sweat shops from 6am to 11pm every day for pennies, but I'm not going to use that to validate poor working conditions here.

I've worked at several corporations, and while a couple were pretty good, there were some terrible corporations [rbc.com] that are nothing but endless shuffles of executives building empires and covering their asses (and absolutely RAPING the financials of the company for themselves), building a world of executives, and a completely separate world of plebs. Mini's various comments makes it sound like Microsoft is evolving to this, and given Microsoft's storied past that is quite simply sad.

A "community" cannot have a "character flaw"... (1)

gr3y (549124) | about 9 years ago | (#13610782)

just individual actors. Likewise, a corporation cannot have "rights", just privileges extended by individuals, or their government, however representative.

Adjust your vocabulary accordingly, then apologize.

Re:A "community" cannot have a "character flaw"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610837)

I'm not the one at fault, but I am sorry - that you're such a fuckhead.

Re:Where's the proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610949)

I don't know why your post was modded troll. You asked some relevant questions in what sounds like a sincere post. Fortunately, some readers responded with informative, on topic, answers.

There's a BETTER blogspot blog (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610673)

http://rhfootball.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

(Now that blogs are searchable, we're finding all sorts of things!)

Disillusioned or delusional? (4, Insightful)

thirdrock (460992) | about 9 years ago | (#13610674)

Most of the guy's complaints could come straight from a Dilbert cartoon. Seems to me like someone hasn't worked for a large bureaucratic organisation before.

On the other hand, the computer business is not an environment in which bureaucracies survive for very long. At least, not without radical change.

Perhaps this is the chink in MS armour that it's competitors have been waiting for.

Probably true, actually (2, Informative)

ReformedExCon (897248) | about 9 years ago | (#13610743)

Many Microsoft employees have never worked anywhere else. They were plucked out of college and have worked for MS ever since. So it would be reasonable to think that their view of corporate life would be a little bit skewed.

As for your signature, Windows can't use UNC paths as a path to be 'cd'd to. You can copy from a UNC path, but not 'cd' to it. To navigate a network drive, you need to "net use * (UNC)" it. It will give you a valid drive (like x:) to which you can cd to. Not the most painless approach, but it works, for some definitions of "works".

Re:Probably true, actually (1)

Forbman (794277) | about 9 years ago | (#13610811)

subst x: \\server\share

works too.

Re:Probably true, actually (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 9 years ago | (#13610818)

CMD has some oddities though.

Mine has just developed an allergy to batch files.. you can run any batch *once* then you have to shut down the command line and start a new one.

Damnedest thing I've ever seen.. this is on a nearly new install too.

D:\>echo @echo batch test >batch_test.bat

D:\>batch_test
batch test

D:\>batch_test

D:\>

Second time it ignores it.

It's a real git when I'm trying to run my test scripts...

Re:Probably true, actually (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | about 9 years ago | (#13610878)

I just tried it:

C:\>echo @echo batch test >batch_test.bat

C:\>batch_test
batch test

C:\>batch_test
batch test

C:\>batch_test
batch test

C:\>batch_test
batch test

C:\>batch_test
batch test

C:\>ver

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

C:\>

It doesn't seem to behave as you explained, though.

Re:Disillusioned or delusional? (1)

gromitcode (888226) | about 9 years ago | (#13610751)

yep no beuracatic org ever survives in IT. That is why oracle, apple, IBM, SAP, CA et al all went broke years ago.

Re:Disillusioned or delusional? (1)

thirdrock (460992) | about 9 years ago | (#13610913)

yep no beuracatic org ever survives in IT. That is why oracle, apple, IBM, SAP, CA et al all went broke years ago.

You seem to be implying that these companies have not undergone a (or many) radical change to their culture since their inception. I can't speak for SAP or CA, but I would say that your implication is dead wrong for both IBM and Apple.

Do you have a tale to the contrary, or was your post just a quip?

Re:Disillusioned or delusional? (1)

Inaffect (862616) | about 9 years ago | (#13610760)

I must agree. You know there is nothing wrong with being dissatisfied with the workplace and writing about it, but it does have its limitations.

Re:Disillusioned or delusional? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13610766)

"On the other hand, the computer business is not an environment in which bureaucracies survive for very long. At least, not without radical change."

You've hit the nail on the head here.

MS brought in the stifling management-types who the "Deep Throat" lambasts in order to preserve market cap (stock price) -- they wanted to bring in some visible measure of stability in order to shore up investor confidence.

The problem with this approach is that stability does not serve well in an industry that changes so quickly. I have no problem with the size of Microsoft. The problem is that their approach to generating revenues is too focused on past sources. The underlying assumption is that what has worked in the past will continue to work -- but the market changes faster than MS can get its considerable bulk moving.

Two possible solutions that I can see:

(1) Do what Blogger X has suggested and trim the fat. Refocus on the most profitable products and get rid of the rest. Do a couple things really well, and get rid of managerial constraints on development.

(2) Let loose the hounds. Give creative control over to divisions. Do not mandate innovation, but mandate an innovation-friendly environment. Still, MS will have to make sure that their core business is attended to.

Re:Disillusioned or delusional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610925)

"Perhaps this is the chink in MS armour that it's competitors have been waiting for"

First off Microsoft does not have any serious competition for the biggest money makers, Windows and MS Office. The only problem they now face is making people want to buy new hardware and software. They are making a big miscalculation with Vista if they make it so expensive for businesses that upgrading will not be a sensible option. There are still alot of organisations that are really smarting from trying to run Server2003 on older hardware. Not to mention what happened with Citrix and thin clients trying to run XP. The hospitals my wife works for had to run out and buy all new PCs because the thin clients just did not cut the mustard! They are still using Windows 2000 server because the expense to "upgrade" to 2003 is just not justified. Not to mention the nightmares of trying to remap the network.

No the real problem Microsoft faces is that it just might innovate itself to death, by alienating customers with too much change. The business model of Microsoft is flawed in as much as it relies on growth too much. In fact the very same problem plagues every business that has no real competition.

Talk about it either good or bad ... (1)

Korbeau (913903) | about 9 years ago | (#13610675)

this still makes some great publicity!

mini-microsoft (3, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | about 9 years ago | (#13610687)


Steve Balmer will wear a frickin' laser on his forehead now. I'd watch out if I was you.

Re:mini-microsoft (2, Funny)

whiteranger99x (235024) | about 9 years ago | (#13610748)

A hyper-active dancing oaf with lasers mounted on his forehead...no good can come from this...

Re:mini-microsoft (2, Funny)

DigitalHammer (581235) | about 9 years ago | (#13610834)

I'd watch out for those flying chairs first. :)

Re:mini-microsoft (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 9 years ago | (#13610917)

I thought that was supposed to be for sharks, not whales...

Boil it down, M$ is just too bloated (5, Funny)

infonography (566403) | about 9 years ago | (#13610694)

They have fallen into the that old joke of Lily Tomlin, Included for perspective and for those of you who thought (rightly) that SNL was not worth watching. (once they were worth watching)

The Phone Company

Ernestine.....Lily Tomlin

Ernestine: We handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth. We realize that every so often you can't get an operator, for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order, or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn't make.

We don't care.

Watch this.. [ she hits buttons maniacally ] ..just lost Peoria.

You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated, even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it? Next time you complain about your phone service, why don't you try using two Dixie cups with a string?

We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company.

--

At the end of it all they want to make it all work, it's just they are fumbling in the dark. Get too big and your quality goes to hell.

Boiling down OSS. Fat makes good soup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610759)

"At the end of it all they want to make it all work, it's just they are fumbling in the dark. Get too big and your quality goes to hell."

Better hope F/OSS stays small then.

Re:Boiling down OSS. Fat makes good soup. (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | about 9 years ago | (#13610901)

Better hope F/OSS stays small then.

Non-sequiter. F/OSS isn't a monolith. Individual projects can and do get too big for their britches. The nice thing is that nobody has to live with the products of such if they really don't want to.

Re:Boil it down, M$ is just too bloated (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 9 years ago | (#13610875)

Wasn't the Ernestine character from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In? (late 60's-early 70's).

Re:Boil it down, M$ is just too bloated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610927)

Tomlin was harpooning the phone company with the Ernestine character at least as far back as the late 60's on Laugh-In.

Google turned up this trivia...

Ernestine the Telephone Operator

"One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingys. A gracious good morning to you. Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?"

Mr. Sorensen calls Ernestine Ms. Tomlin's most popular character. I believe it. Among the trivia to be learned from Lily Tomlin is that Ms. Tomlin says that Ernestine plays with her bra strap so much because lonely people often touch themselves. We also learn that Ernestine loves the power she has as an employee of the phone company. (No surprise there!) Furthermore, we learn that Ms. Tomlin once turned down $500,000 to have Ernestine perform in commercials for AT&T.

Some Ernestine one-liners include:

        * To an irate customer: "You are not talking with just anyone's fool. I am a high school graduate."

        * To the noteworthy adversary Gore Vidal: "Mr. Veedle, you owe us a balance of $23.64. When may we expect payment? É Pardon? When what freezes over? É I don't see why you're kicking up such a ruckus when according to our files your present bank balance, plus stocks, securities, and other holdings, amounts to exactly ... Pardon? Privileged information? Oh! (snort, snort) Mr. Veedle, that's so cute! No, no, no, youÕre dealing with the telephone company. We are not subject to city, state, or federal legislation. We are omnipotent."

        * To J. Edgar Hoover: Ernestine told him that he didn't need to have agents "skulking around tapping wires. You can get all the information you want from us."

Re:Boil it down, M$ is just too bloated (1)

GlennC (96879) | about 9 years ago | (#13610966)

Actually, the Ernestine character is older than SNL.

At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I remember watching Ms. Tomlin on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In way back in the day.

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/R/htmlR/rowanand mar/rowanandmar.htm/ [museum.tv]

Balmer's health is at stake ! (5, Funny)

timeToy (643583) | about 9 years ago | (#13610697)

That blog is hosted by Google's Blogger, that's why Balmer do not read it, his host file redirect all Google-related site to the loopback address, his doctor order that, in order to avoid a high blood pressure accident !

The plan: (3, Funny)

failure-man (870605) | about 9 years ago | (#13610702)

1) Get your thorn's blog posted on slashdot.

2) Have them annihilate one of blogspot's servers.

3) Hope blogspot cancels his account out of frustration.

4) ???

5) Profit!

How ironic... (0, Redundant)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 9 years ago | (#13610719)

...That the site the blog is on is run by Microsoft's current enemy Google.

On a legal note... (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about 9 years ago | (#13610752)

Couldn't Microsoft sue Google for hosting inside info and allowing their employees to post such info?

yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610819)

and after that we can sue the phone company because people make prank calls.

Common carriers have no liability, dumbass.

They will Figure Out Who This Guys Is (2, Interesting)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13610754)

It is inevitable that this guy is screwing up.

They will find him, and when they go, I expect he will have a meeting with Ballmer. It will not be pretty.

It won't be like Deep Throat, who, even though suspected, managed to not get found out until recently. Even with him, folks had their suspicions.

Especially now that this guy attracts attention. All Ballmer has to do is tell his team of mini-Ballmers, "find him!" and it won't be long.

Re:They will Figure Out Who This Guys Is (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 9 years ago | (#13610895)

They will find him, and when they go, I expect he will have a meeting with Ballmer. It will not be pretty.

They've already prepared a meeting room in Redmond. It's soundproofed, windowless, and its sole contents is two dozen chairs.

Re:They will Figure Out Who This Guys Is (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | about 9 years ago | (#13610931)

They will find him, and when they go, I expect he will have a meeting with Ballmer. It will not be pretty.

Ballmer will probably shove an Aeron up his ass. Sideways. "I LOVE this COMPANY!"

You're right. This could get seriously ugly.

Re:They will Figure Out Who This Guys Is (1)

Osty (16825) | about 9 years ago | (#13610943)

It is inevitable that this guy is screwing up.

He is? He's done a pretty good job of not getting caught for over a year. If that's "screwing up", I have no idea what "getting it right" would be.

They will find him, and when they go, I expect he will have a meeting with Ballmer. It will not be pretty.

The guy has never revealed trade secrets, so there's no legal recourse. Worst case, he could be covered as a whistle blower and be legally protected. So what will be ugly? The guy may lose his job, but do you know how many other companies would be fighting to snatch him right up? (Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc.) And that's just the repercussions for him. Microsoft would suffer a huge PR blow if they found out who the guy was and make a big stink about it. I don't see how they could do it quietly, however, because if the guy was caught you know he'd be screaming bloddy murder.

It won't be like Deep Throat, who, even though suspected, managed to not get found out until recently. Even with him, folks had their suspicions.

Deep Throat wasn't "found out". He decided to come forward on his own. If he'd just stayed quiet, nobody would've ever known. The same goes here. If things start getting a little hairy, surely Mini has a plan in place to nuke it all and hide out for a while (in plain sight, as a normal employee).

Especially now that this guy attracts attention. All Ballmer has to do is tell his team of mini-Ballmers, "find him!" and it won't be long.

Getting linked by Slashdot isn't "attracting attention". Getting an article written about him in Business Week is a much bigger deal. However, Mini has been notorious for quite a while now. Business Week and Slashdot are just a drop in the bucket, making sure that he's on the radar of Balmer (I'm sure he was already).

Aside from that, the guy has some very good ideas that any sane executive could get behind (well, mostly). The only sticking point is his insistence on getting rid of Balmer, but then there are others [blogspot.com] who are much more vehement on that point.

Re:They will Figure Out Who This Guys Is (1)

putko (753330) | about 9 years ago | (#13610971)

Thanks for the link to the blog. That photo of Ballmer is great.

Actually, if you read up on Deep Throat, you'll see that various numbers of people suspected Felt for years.

One of his relatives was even bragging about it to the kids at his university. That's what I meant about being "found out" -- lots of folks had fingered him. They couldn't prove it -- but that didn't matter; that was enough reason not to trust him (or to lionize him, depending on what side of the fence you were on).

When I wrote, "now that the guy attracts attention," I meant in the Business Week sense. Suddenly this guy is getting real buzz. He's going to get found out soon enough. I give him one more year of secrecy max. I'm willing to bet something too. Do you want to bet something meaningful on it?

He better not be blogging from work (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 years ago | (#13610978)

He better not be blogging from work
I'd expect them to be sniffing for him to login to his blog

pali (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | about 9 years ago | (#13610768)

Able was I, ere I saw Elba. (the famous Napoleon's Lament, source unknown)
Campus motto: Bottoms up, Mac!
Elba anemone, H.P. stressed, a-sits; t'is a desserts phenomena able! (another reference to Napoleon's apocryphal quote, though anemone, being posionous, are not edible)
Live Evil (used as an album title by, amongst others, the metal band Black Sabbath and jazz trumpeter Miles Davis)
redivider (the longest 'natural' palindrome in English)
Malayalam (language spoken in Kerala, India)
Liril (cosmetic soap popular in India)
tattarrattat, the longest palindrome in the Oxford English Dictionary, coined by James Joyce in Ulysses for a knock on the door
Madam, I'm Adam. (Eve's answer in Spanish is below.)
Madam in Eden, I'm Adam.
Dennis and Edna sinned.
I nam'd am devil Eros; a sore-livéd madman, I.
Koselure Mordni La Palindrome rules - OK
Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.
Name now one man's sensuousness. Name now one man.
Never odd or even.
Radar (acronym from RAdio Detection And Ranging, so it's self-defining too - i. e., the word "bounces back" like a radar signal)
Racecar
Rotary gyrator
Ten animals I slam in a net.
Was it Eliot's toilet I saw? (Bill Bryson)
Was it a cat I saw?
A Man, a plan, a canal - Panama! (Leigh Mercer)
Zeus saw 'twas Suez!
Zeus, god, a dog, a plan, a canal, pagoda dog, Suez (J.Ramsey Michaels
A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again, or: a camel, a crepe, pins, spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal -- Panama! (attributed to Guy Steele)
A man, a plan, a caret, a ban, a myriad, a sum, a lac, a liar, a hoop, a pint, a catalpa, a gas, an oil, a bird, a yell, a vat, a caw, a pax, a wag, a tax, a nay, a ram, a cap, a yam, a gay, a tsar, a wall, a car, a luger, a ward, a bin, a woman, a vassal, a wolf, a tuna, a nit, a pall, a fret, a watt, a bay, a daub, a tan, a cab, a datum, a gall, a hat, a fag, a zap, a say, a jaw, a lay, a wet, a gallop, a tug, a trot, a trap, a tram, a torr, a caper, a top, a tonk, a toll, a ball, a fair, a sax, a minim, a tenor, a bass, a passer, a capital, a rut, an amen, a ted, a cabal, a tang, a sun, an ass, a maw, a sag, a jam, a dam, a sub, a salt, an axon, a sail, an ad, a wadi, a radian, a room, a rood, a rip, a tad, a pariah, a revel, a reel, a reed, a pool, a plug, a pin, a peek, a parabola, a dog, a pat, a cud, a nu, a fan, a pal, a rum, a nod, an eta, a lag, an eel, a batik, a mug, a mot, a nap, a maxim, a mood, a leek, a grub, a gob, a gel, a drab, a citadel, a total, a cedar, a tap, a gag, a rat, a manor, a bar, a gal, a cola, a pap, a yaw, a tab, a raj, a gab, a nag, a pagan, a bag, a jar, a bat, a way, a papa, a local, a gar, a baron, a mat, a rag, a gap, a tar, a decal, a tot, a led, a tic, a bard, a leg, a bog, a burg, a keel, a doom, a mix, a map, an atom, a gum, a kit, a baleen, a gala, a ten, a don, a mural, a pan, a faun, a ducat, a pagoda, a lob, a rap, a keep, a nip, a gulp, a loop, a deer, a leer, a lever, a hair, a pad, a tapir, a door, a moor, an aid, a raid, a wad, an alias, an ox, an atlas, a bus, a madam, a jag, a saw, a mass, an anus, a gnat, a lab, a cadet, an em, a natural, a tip, a caress, a pass, a baronet, a minimax, a sari, a fall, a ballot, a knot, a pot, a rep, a carrot, a mart, a part, a tort, a gut, a poll, a gateway, a law, a jay, a sap, a zag, a fat, a hall, a gamut, a dab, a can, a tabu, a day, a batt, a waterfall, a patina, a nut, a flow, a lass, a van, a mow, a nib, a draw, a regular, a call, a war, a stay, a gam, a yap, a cam, a ray, an ax, a tag, a wax, a paw, a cat, a valley, a drib, a lion, a saga, a plat, a catnip, a pooh, a rail, a calamus, a dairyman, a bater, a canal - Panama! (Developed in 1984 by Dan Hoey with computer assistance).
To old Dallas, we Jews, all add loot. (J. Ramsey Michaels)
Too far, Edna, we wander afoot. (Bill Bryson)
Yawn! Madonna fan? No damn way!
Tarzan raised a Desi Arnaz rat. (Baby Gramps)
Norma is as selfless as I am, Ron. (W. H. Auden)
Go hang a salami. I'm a lasagna hog. (Baby Gramps)
Golf? No, sir, prefer prison-flog.
Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus. (W. H. Auden)
Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. (Stephen Fry)
No, it is opposed, art sees trades opposition. (W. H. Auden,on a discussion of photography vs. painting)
Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts. (Leigh Mercer)
No, son, onanism's a gross orgasm sin: a no-no, son.
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era? (Bill Bryson)
Rettebs, I flahd noces, eh? Ttu, but the second half is better. (Stephen Fry)
Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod. (Peter Hilton)
"Peel's foe (not a set animal) laminates a tone of sleep." (Lyrics from Kew Rhone)
"Lewd did I live, & evil I did dwel." (John Taylor, the Water Poet)
"Rats live on no evil star" (from the novel Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber)
Rats drown in WordStar.
L. A. cigar -- too tragical (from Expiration Date by Tim Powers)
"On a clover, if alive, erupts a vast, pure evil: a fire volcano"
"Pull up if I pull up".
"Sit on a potato pan, Otis!" (source unknown)
"Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver."
"Rise to vote sir" (The Simpsons)
"Named undenominationally rebel, I rile Beryl? La, no! I tan. I'm, O Ned, nude, man!" (Cited by Martin Gardner)
Won't lovers revolt now?
No "X" in Nixon
I, man, am regal: a German am I
"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men", I nod
Robert Trebor, the stage name of actor Robert Schenkman
Was it a car or a cat i saw?
I, madam, I made radio! So I dared! Am I mad? Am I? - Spider Robinson
T Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I'd assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet!
Damn Mad!
A Toyota's a Toyota.
Race fast, safe car
Ma is as selfless as I am
Stanley Yelnats, the name of the mail character in Holes by Louis Sachar

As Seen On TV Again? (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 9 years ago | (#13610773)

I discovered this blog recently thanks to a comment by a poster a short while ago. I worry that as people focus on this and try to figure out the person's identity, they will just disappear, much as "As Seen On TV" did from Slashdot shortly after becoming famous as an Apple insider.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610784)

That was quick.

Hope Microsoft Doesn't Pull An Apple.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | about 9 years ago | (#13610791)

....and start hunting for the person behind the blog (not to mention everyone who comments on it) and start firing people to send a message.

(If they can't or won't do that, I hope they've got the chairs bolted down!)

Shut that guy up! (3, Insightful)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | about 9 years ago | (#13610806)

My worst nightmare -- that someone sane starts fixing the problems at MicroSoft. How would there be any room left to compete?

Joke.

The only way to really fix Microsoft is to split it into two corporations each for every product line, and open all APIs with no anti-GPL license restrictions. And use the ill-gotten gains Gates, Balmer, et. al. have accumulated to fund start-ups to company with the baby-Softs. And open the evolution of the APIs under the control of a joint committee of the EFF and representatives of the several Linux and BSD distributions.

It ain't gonna happen.

Easy to ID this guy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | about 9 years ago | (#13610839)

It's amazing how otherwise well-informed people didn't pick up years ago on the fact that it is easy to identify a writer based on the statistical properties of their writing. This guy is providing plenty of material for the analysis. Do a cross check against the email for all employees, and game over.

Also very few people actually print out corporate memos like the Ballmer memo he mentions (yes, strikingly many do, but as a percentage, it's small). So that narrows down the field right there, and I haven't even got beyond the top post on the blog. Sure, he could have printed it at home, but did he? Naaahhhh.

If he hasn't been fired by now, it's not because they can't find out who he is. They are just waiting for the right moment.

easier than that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610979)

Just look at blogs that dissappeared at the time that minimsft appeared and youll figure it out!

Re:Easy to ID this guy (1)

2Bits (167227) | about 9 years ago | (#13610984)

It's amazing how otherwise well-informed people didn't pick up years ago on the fact that it is easy to identify a writer based on the statistical properties of their writing. This guy is providing plenty of material for the analysis. Do a cross check against the email for all employees, and game over.

Gee, there are too many easier ways to get him/her, if it's necessary. You just have to subponea the ISP to trace down the connection to the home address (or work address). If the guy/gal is stupid enough to post from inside the campus, the MS network admin just has to grep the network connection log and, bingo.

Good! As a former microserf... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13610849)

...i have to say "good".

Not all, but many co-workers were damn good. The spirit there is energetic and encouraging. I regret not making more of my opportunity there.

The travel really sucked tho

perhaps the stagnant stock price MSFT [msn.com] jolted upper stiffs into executing "plan B".

I dunno....they treat u like cattle, well fed (information/code) cattle. Moo.

complete with 3 new trim divisions! (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 9 years ago | (#13610867)

microsoft is trimming down...

is that why, just a few posts [slashdot.org] ago, we talked about the 3 new divisions (complete with 4 new presidents) were created? Because they're trimming down?

Yeah.

Really? (1)

m00nun1t (588082) | about 9 years ago | (#13610869)

Is mini-microsoft really shaking things up? Sure, there's a lot of people talking about it, but that doesn't mean it's actually making a difference.

A prophet in his homeland... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13610958)

Think about this. Is it possible that someone *outside* Microsoft can save Microsoft?

No way. It has to be someone inside to do it. THAT's what makes this whole business so interesting.

Microsoft has an incredible potential (after all it has all those programmers, who btw, designed the .NET platform, AND WinXP, and that's no easy task). The thing is to stop hindering the workers and letting them do their work.

If vista comes out it will be too late. (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 9 years ago | (#13610980)

If vista comes out with all this CGMS-A and AACS compliance, then it will be too late to "please customers". They won't be able to roll it back under pain of DMCA conviction for manufacturing "circumvention devices".

They don't get it. (4, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | about 9 years ago | (#13610983)

The "perfect or perish" mentality just doesn't work. It doesn't work for factory workers, athletes, students, or politicians. When applied, all you get are a whole new crop of PhD's in CYA, each pointing the finger of blame at the next Doctor of Posterior Osculation.

The MM blogger seems very down on paying attention to "process", which tells me that A) the PHBs at Microsoft are all into process and B) this guy is a frustrated, unpromoted newbie, probably hired after XP was released.

Firing all the dead wood sounds nice, until you realize that means firing the people who wrote the cash cow.

The It they don't get is that Open Source Software is the future. They don't want to give up the golden dream, which means hiding their source, which means using a hierarchical development model, which means bureaucracy and inferior products.

Oh well, caveat regnum.
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