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Microsoft's Vista Blogger Quits

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the community-and-communication dept.

Microsoft 133

Preedit writes "Nick White, the in-house Microsoft blogger who wrote about all things Vista, has resigned. White is leaving Redmond to join the blog-centric marketing and public relations firm BuzzCorps. White did not provide a reason for his decision. InformationWeek, however, notes that his position could not have been easy. White's posts often elicited hundreds of responses from Vista users complaining about the OS's numerous glitches and quirks. The story further notes that White is the sort of young, blogosphere-savvy manager that Microsoft needs if it hopes to outrun Google, and his departure raises questions about the company's ability to retain Web 2.0 talent."

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Hyperbole (5, Insightful)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943868)

The story further notes that White is the sort of young, blogosphere-savvy manager that Microsoft needs if it hopes to outrun Google, and his departure raises questions about the company's ability to retain Web 2.0 talent.
Oh, please. Trying to assert that the resignation of one blog-savvy employee "questions the company's ability to retain Web 2.0 talent" is just sensationalism. Microsoft is doing a fine job of shooting itself in the foot, all by itself, without anyone publishing hyperbole.

Re:Hyperbole (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943960)

Not only that, but the suggestion that Google will be outrun my MS if MS employs Blogosphere-savvy managers makes me, er, laugh (for lack of better words. Feel free to replace it.)

Re:Hyperbole (4, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943964)

or not.

FTFA:

White's resignation is the latest in a string of key departures at Microsoft.

Joanne Bradford, who was chief media officer for the company's MSN Media Network, resigned last month to join advertising startup Spot Runner. Bradford had also previously served as Microsoft's VP for sales and marketing and as chief media revenue officer.
Information Weekly think they see a trend, so they're making an observation. Again FTFA:

The departures highlight one of Microsoft's biggest challenges as a mature company: attracting and retaining Silicon Valley's top talent. In its early days, Microsoft could entice recruits with an entrepreneurial environment and stock options that eventually turned secretaries into millionaires.

In 2008, however, it's hot Web 2.0 startups like Flickr and MySpace that can offer those kinds of perks and incentives.
They're saying that MSFT is facing problems with retention because there are smaller fish offering big bucks for those willing to take on the risk, just like MSFT was back in the day. MSFT need to kick it up a notch to compete for labor because of the *many* departures in the past year.

Re:Hyperbole (3, Insightful)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944124)

A "media officer" and a blogger are hardly "Silicon Valley's top talent". Information Weekly sounds very bloggish to me (without having RTFA), and most bloggers worst crime is thinking that blogging is in some way important in the overall scheme of things. Not to say blogging is bad - some blogs are very relevant and full of useful information or insightful content - but teh vast majority are parasitic gnomes trying to rub shoulders with the few giants that do exist.

Re:Hyperbole (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944288)

In fairness, the article gives some more prominent examples, although I doubt that Jeff Raikes and Bill Gates are leaving in the hope of striking it rich at a Web 2.0 startup.

Re:Hyperbole (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944380)

Blogging, as a profession, perhaps, but not as a role. I think the profession has a little ways to mature, but as we age inside the 'Web 2.0' era, I think it will take on the same prominence and prestige, that say, the anchorperson on the nightly news has. There will always be the pretenders, but there will also be the personalities that garner attention.

Re:Hyperbole (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944906)

Information Weekly sounds very bloggish to me
My custom CSS appends '[TROLL WARNING]' in red to any InformationWeek article. Articles like this really don't encourage me to modify it.

Re:Hyperbole (5, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943984)

Not to mention the fact 'Web 2.0' is probably the stupidest and non-specific internet term used by mainstream media/marketing since 'blog'.

Stupid Internet Terms (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944110)

It's got a long way to go to beat "Netizen" or "Podcast".

I assume you're disqualifying "Blogosphere" because it's derived from "Blog".

Re:Stupid Internet Terms (1, Redundant)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944650)

My fellow Netizens we are Podcasting live on the Blogosphere. To bring you news regarding a meatspace event...

Re:Stupid Internet Terms (0, Offtopic)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944750)

"Blog" AKA "Big log" AKA "something left in the toilet bowl after a large bowl movement".

Re:Stupid Internet Terms (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945408)

You forgot Podiobook - say it out loud.

Re:Hyperbole (2, Funny)

radagenais (1261374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22946078)

Note to self: add "Web 2.0" keyword to resume.

Re:Hyperbole (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944108)

Microsoft is doing a fine job of shooting itself in the foot, all by itself, without anyone publishing hyperbole.

I disagree. Microsoft have gotten so incompetent lately that they'd probably miss and shoot off an arm instead. While failing at failing might seem like a double negative, they seem to do it on such an unprecedented level that its more like 5 levels of failing. Maybe thats why Bill Gates ran off when he did.

Re:Hyperbole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944208)

+5 INSIGHTFUL, EASILY.

Re:Hyperbole (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944132)

Microsoft will announce yesterday that his replacement is pop singer Pink.

Pink is the new White.

Re:Hyperbole (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944334)

Microsoft will announce yesterday that his replacement is pop singer Pink.

Pink is the new White.
And they'll use Google's new Custom time [google.com] feature to e-mail the announcement to the media yesterday.

Re:Hyperbole (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944170)

Also I doubt that White was in any position to help lead or steer the company. Now if Apple lost Steve Jobs and his RDF, that would be cause for panic at Apple. The sales of tinfoil hats would be unimaginable.

Re:Hyperbole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944338)

Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:Hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944342)

A pointless article. Retention of good IT talent is a problem for all IT organizations. The turnover for the industry in general is very high.

Re:Hyperbole (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944386)

> Microsoft is doing a fine job of shooting itself in the foot, all by itself, without anyone publishing hyperbole.

They're also producing excellent products, such as Visual Studio (including C# and ASP.NET), SQL Server 2005 and Windows XP. Whether or not they employ someone who's into the time-wasting scene that is blogging is neither here nor there. Were that to be true then any number of klutz with a Geocities account would have wiped out Microsoft years ago.

Re:Hyperbole (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945424)

Oops, meant to mod you insightful but I missed. Sorry about that. Posting to remove the moderation, and here we go filling the lameness filter blah blah....

Re:Hyperbole (2, Insightful)

mark99 (459508) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944598)

Mod this guy up. Microsoft has 80k people now. People come and go in a company of that size.

I am sure they have tons of talent still, and there are lots of interesting jobs in and outside of Microsoft.

Re:Hyperbole (3, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944632)

Blah blah blah Web 2.0 blah blah blah blogger blah blah Vista blah blah Microsoft doomed. I think that about sums it all up, doesn't it?

Re:Hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944860)

Trying to assert that the resignation of one blog-savvy employee "questions the company's ability to retain Web 2.0 talent" is just sensationalism.
Right. This is Microsoft, isn't it? It's right on schedule. Just wait until Web 3.0 is out, then we can see if MS has the ability to retain its webtalents.

No reason given? (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943898)

The guy was a marketroid who got payed to blog about stuff. I'm guessing the motivation is that his new company offered him a basketload of money to blog about something else, and he took it.

Man finds new job, quits old one. News at 11.

Re:No reason given? (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944866)

You have to wonder about the workplace dynamics. People where I work sometimes get up a lottery pool when the prize is big. What happens in a small shop when half the workers hit the lottery? Do the other half offer congratulations but silently resent them? It would take inhuman strength not too. In the Microsoft cafeteria, there must be a lot of younger employees eating with people who have been there long enough to be much more wealthy than the new guys could ever hope to be - at that company, anyway. It isn't any surprise that most of the ones who didn't hit the MS lottery look elsewhere for theirs.

Re:No reason given? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945658)

Welcome to almost every major tech company that's been around 5+ years. It's probably even worse at Google since those millionaires aren't 40 years old, they're 28 year old smug assholes.

Re:No reason given? (2, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945244)

Man finds new job, quits old one. News at 11.
I thought it was blog at 11:00 [slashdot.org] now?

Rat One (1)

rgbecker (240211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943908)

First off the ship indicates what exactly?

"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943922)

"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron?

C'mon - when was the last time writing anything that popped into your mind considered a "talent". Blogs...yeesh. I still can't figure out who has the time to read those things.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (5, Funny)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943974)

I'm looking forward to Web 3.11 for Workgroups. (sigh) I miss Winsock.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944738)

Hey, at least with Web 2.0 we got overlapping windows!

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (1)

captainClassLoader (240591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945714)

Forget Web 3.11...Wait for the update after that: Web 3.1415926 Ultimate Pro SP1.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (1)

Mr. Beatdown (1221940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944000)

Blogs...yeesh. I still can't figure out who has the time to read those things.

You posted this on Slashdot? Which is a drumroll please.....
Your post is modded insightful, not funny. I hope I'm not having a whoosh moment here.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944332)

I hope I'm not having a whoosh moment here.

No, it's just fashionable to sneer at blogs here on /.

It think it's the same group who claims they don't watch TV either. We can sneer right back at them for being elitist snobs, but we don't really care about that, we just wish they'd shut the fuck up. We heard 'em the first time.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945982)

The whoosh bit should be that /. is CmdrTaco's blog.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944616)

whooosh.
Sorry.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (2, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944028)

You know, Slashdot is virtually a blog. But I guess that supports your talent notion.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944120)

I still can't figure out who has the time to read those things.

Those who aren't posting on Slashdot I guess. And many blogs, especially professional ones, have nothing to do with writing whatever pops into your head.

Go fucking sit in a corner; luddite.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (2, Insightful)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944204)

I think you just proved their point. Many of the more innovative people in the IT industry see blogging as a good thing (if it's not a crap blog, of course). That you seem to think everyone who blogs is crap is a hang-up on your part and shows that you might be out of touch with life -- from a good employer's perspective.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944258)

"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron?

C'mon - when was the last time writing anything that popped into your mind considered a "talent". Blogs...yeesh. I still can't figure out who has the time to read those things.


Search engines.

CAPCHA: "Sexual", should I play the .MP3 version at work? jeesh.

Re:"Web 2.0 talent" = Oxymoron? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944336)

C'mon - when was the last time writing anything that popped into your mind considered a "talent". Blogs...yeesh. I still can't figure out who has the time to read those things.


A perfect example is my website. I write about things that pop into my mind, however due to the nature of the website many people share the experiences of what I write about. Just yesterday someone from Slashdot began commenting on my blog and in my forums, stating his reason being that he is dealing with many of the things that I talk about at this point in his life (which is, as my signature indicates, living with a nerd.)

Granted, the whole "Today, I went and did this and this and this" may not seem very interesting to you, but for some people, reading about other folk's experiences that mirror their own can be reassuring and helpful.

In my case, I started writing about what it's like to be living with a nerd because my girlfriend recently moved in with me and I was looking for advice about how to live in harmony with another nerd. All I found were websites offering help for "normal" folks that move in together. I found a topic that was devoid of discussion in any direct way online, so I started talking about it myself. Seeing as both she and I come from very geeky families, we are both into very geeky stuff (comics, video games, etc.), it seemed like the right fit.

I may not have found any website that gives advice, but as we figure things out together we can write about our experiences on a website. The next time someone goes looking for advice about living with a nerd, whether they themselves are a nerd or their spouse is a nerd (or they both are nerds), now they won't come up empty handed.

No kidding (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944358)

In fact I'd really love a Google feature that would let me search the web without blogs. Don't give them as results, don't factor in blog links to the rankings. I find that they are useless a good bit of the time, and worse than useless the rest.

For example something that has happened to me a number of times: I'm trying to accomplish something with new software, or find information on it or something like that. I do a search, first result is something talking about what I want. Great, I follow the steps. No dice, their description is oversimplified, or left something out, or just plain incorrect. Ok fine, back to Google... Except now all the other links I start finding are just blogs, quoting the original verbatim, and then linking to more blogs. It is one giant circle jerk of misinformation.

The problem is it can drown out the useful shit because of the number of links. The blogs all seem to link around to each other, and everything is saying the same thing, so it gets more value than it should.

I'd love to be able to search the web with an "ignore blogs" option. I find that forum posts are far more useful than blogs in general, and that is saying something.

anal sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943930)

it won't do anything but make your dick stink

Re:anal sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944078)

Then what, exactly, is the point?

Re:anal sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945382)

I don't get it how does taking it up the ass make your dick stink?

What would be of more interest (and relevance)... (1)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943950)

White did not provide a reason for his decision. InformationWeek, however, notes that his position could not have been easy. White's posts often elicited hundreds of responses from Vista users complaining about the OS's numerous glitches and quirks.

What would shed more light on this is whether White had access to technical staff who could provide behind the scenes information and support when responding to these users. Further, whether these staff had an idea and an understanding of why it is important to respond to these users, and the Web 2.0 world, where two way interaction and many to many communication is the norm.

If he was left out there in the cold on his own, it's no surprise he resigned.

Where do i go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943952)

Where do I find the posting for the open position?

Just what the world needs... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943958)

moar internetfags.

'Internet friendly' and ms do not mix. (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943976)

You just know that Steve wants to throw a chair. Btw never read him.

Note on the wall (1)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943980)

Last one out - please close the lights.

web 2.0. talent? (1)

eknagy (1056622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943992)

Huhh? Web 2.0 talent?

New Vista-Bashing Blog (4, Insightful)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944012)

It is tough being the public face of a company. One of my friends was the spokesman for a large aerospace company. He was always "on-call" and had to be familiar with a ton of information at his fingertips.

In contrast, a blogging spokesperson sounds easy, as you can triple-verify everything through the tech staff, legal, and the upper echelons before publishing.

I'd be quite surprised if he left due to anything related to Vista. Heck, MS paid him to support Vista, and I'm sure he will continue to do so under the principle of "never bash a former employer until you retire".

Instead, I think he left for either an easier life and/or more money.

Web 2.0 "talent" (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944032)

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

Top 5 least Glamorous Jobs (4, Funny)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944036)

#5 Rest room cleaner for the Saints Stadium after Katrina.
#4 Tank Ammo Tester (Think Bugs Bunny).
#3 Amish Mechanic (What do you call a man with his arm up a horse's Ass?)
#2 Thong Adjuster for Janet Reno. (Close your eyes and visualize it..AIEEEEEE)
#1 Microsoft Pro Vista Blogger.

Seriously, I wonder how long he had that job for. And now, how long will he need a shrink to regain his self esteem ?

Re:Top 5 least Glamorous Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944180)

2 years actually

Re:Top 5 least Glamorous Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945104)

What do you call a man with his arm up a horse's Ass?

A vet? Come on, things like that are pretty much standard procedure in this job, and let me tell you, having your arm in a horse's rear or a cow's vagina is a lot less embarassing than being, say, a gynecologist. At least with an animal, you're not interacting on the same social level - it's much easier to just think of it as a job.

Not sure if blogging is talent (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944042)

So what I surmise is that if you get paid to do something, then what you do must take talent. Dang, my garbage man is really talented!

He left for an easier job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944046)

...selling ice to Eskimos.

Web 3.0 (2, Funny)

TTURabble (1164837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944056)

his departure raises questions about the company's ability to retain Web 2.0 talent.

No, you guys have it all wrong. White was "let go" so that Microsoft could bring in "fresher" Web 3.0 talent. God only knows what the next "Catch All" web term will be, and Microsoft has to be ready for it.

Re:Web 3.0 (2, Informative)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944138)

Hate to tell you...it's already here. Web 3.0 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Web 3.0 (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945618)

Start working on Web 5.0. Nobody will see it coming.

Web 2.0 Service pack 1 Re:Web 3.0 (1)

weyesone (1216104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944234)

Sorry dude. It's Web 2.0 Service Pack 1

Re:Web 3.0 (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944550)

Web XP?

Re:Web 3.0 (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945620)

I think you just created it - catchall. But the true innovation wont be seen until catchall 2.0

One guy a company does not makith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944072)

I used his blog, it was pure PR. If you want real M$ news go to www.activewin.com. To think one guy leaves M$ is enough to make you smell blood in the water is quite hilarious.

Blogosphere (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944104)

That word sounds like some type of intelligent hemmorhoid. It makes me want to punch babies.

Anyways!

Given the amount of crap he probably had to take on a daily basis I doubt I could blame him. I'll happy polish a turd if you pay me enough money, but it comes to a point where no amount of money can cover the mental stress from having to polish a turd and taking flack from the owners of that turd. I would not have been able to keep it up for as long as he did, polishing that turd. I hope he is happier where he is going and less stressed. Good luck man.

BTW, trying to see how many times I could use 'turd' in a post, because I'm sophomoric like that.

Final turd count: 6

When I Hear The Word "Blogosphere" (5, Funny)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944126)

... I reach for my Browning automatic.

Re:When I Hear The Word "Blogosphere" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944262)

Holy crap yes. Same goes for podcast.

Re:When I Hear The Word "Blogosphere" (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944326)

Sounds edible to me.

A bowl of blogospheres and a coffee please.

Re:When I Hear The Word "Blogosphere" (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945374)

Sorry for the obligatory Maddox [thebestpag...iverse.net] reference.

Re:When I Hear The Word "Blogosphere" (2, Interesting)

tooler (36824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945804)

You'll need a few spare magazines if you want to take on the entire.. osphere.. of blogs.

Why didn't the damn nerds just stick with weblog instead of splitting the word??

Maybe It Was This (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944242)

Maybe it was a question between:

Tell the truth about Vista to people who already pretty much know it, or

Toe the corporate line and continue to receive paychecks and promotions.

Oh the pressure!

Re:Maybe It Was This (0, Redundant)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944374)

My upgrade of Vista over a well used XP install went fine.

Having said that I think people have to understand that an article about a few people complaining about SP2 is utter FUD. When you're talking about 100s of thousands of users you will ALWAYS have vociferous complainers. Some of the complainers will be people who have never even touched Vista. I'm not saying I know where to get better data but I suppose an independent survey firm would be a far better source than taking 10 complainers and saying "people hate Vista--beware".

Job Opportunity! (4, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944274)

I hear the US Military is hiring bloggers. >.>

Just one more... (1)

doti (966971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944362)

...Vista victim.

Propoganda for the LOSE. (2, Insightful)

r1v3t3d (1266554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944388)

I'd be willing to wager that he got tired of getting paid to lie. Which is precisely the reason I will never again work for Microsoft or any of their sub-companies. I can take a lot of crap from an employer, but when they tell me to flat-out LIE to customers, that's when it's time to move on.

All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeover (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944396)

Recent surveys indicate Microsoft's overall regard by college and university students has dropped over 40 points in relation to other, similar businesses since last year. Meanwhile, Apple was ranked #1 as having the most desirable image.

Today's college and university students are tomorrow's tech. consumers, so it actually IS important to maintain a good image with them.

Yes, paid corporate blogging and much of this other "Web 2.0" stuff is ultimately going to be shown to be more "fluff" than worthwhile pursuit. Still, sites like MySpace and Facebook are part of this "next generation of web apps", and by all counts, they DO succeed in keeping the attention of the younger computer-using audience. (History repeats itself, folks. Despite the nay-sayers who were USUALLY quite correct about all the stupid e-commerce ideas springing up all over during the .COM/.BOMB fiasco - survivors included Amazon and eBay. Both of those sites didn't do so bad for themselves, did they?)

Microsoft just doesn't want to miss out again, if they ignore the wrong trend and it balloons into something huge....

Right now, their image is really tarnished on many fronts, including the "red ring of death" issues with XBox 360's AND the choice of backing the wrong HD technology for DVDs, the whole Vista fiasco, and an overall perception that the latest updates to their products don't offer very much for the money. (I just don't see nearly the level of "excitement" over the Office 2007 release that I remember people having when, say, Office 2000 came out. Most people using it just seem to be doing so because it was bundled with a new computer system purchase, or they needed to buy it to be legal on a new PC that didn't come bundled with it. Many of these people are students who got a huge price break through their school.)

Honestly, I think as much as people liked to bash Microsoft in the past, they often had a love/hate thing going on. It was difficult not to admire Bill Gates for his success, and/or for his willingness to donate to charities. People were really interested to see documentaries showing the inside of his mansion and so on. He generated a certain amount of "buzz" whenever he gave a speech to discuss his views on technology and ideas for the future. But now, Gates has pretty much retired and people like Steve Balmer are the new "figureheads". Who thinks of Balmer and thinks of anything positive?? He's often referred to as "monkey boy" and is best known for throwing chairs.

Re:All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeov (1)

ksdd (634242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944622)

Recent surveys indicate Microsoft's overall regard by college and university students has dropped over 40 points in relation to other, similar businesses since last year. Meanwhile, Apple was ranked #1 as having the most desirable image.

If those numbers are correct, that's really astonishing considering Apple doesn't do any of that Web 2.0 social media stuff. No blogging, no pre-release hyping of products, no pandering to the MySpace generation, nothing. If that sort of transparency and outreach were truly important to college and university students, one would expect those numbers to be reversed.

But in this case, Apple has "rock star" status, and that's enough. They're also not Microsoft, which apparently helps too.

Re:All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeov (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945130)

You may be surprised, but Apple has had forums, blogs, support circles, and design groups that act as "social networks" - for years prior to their web-title as such a thing. But they're in a different space from years of productivity:

  Drop into a graphic design firm, photographer, printer, game studio, music studio, or any of thousands of ancillary businesses. You'll find appleheads who have long since moved on from the "be my friend" webosphere to actually just using a computer as a tool in a network of real people.

  I'm not pro-apple by a long shot (no businesses here paying me to code on that platform), but I own a few of their machines and they're quite useful (thinking about our use of Garage Band, Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc).

Re:All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945040)

Link to surveys, please.

Re:All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeov (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945096)

Recent surveys indicate Microsoft's overall regard by college and university students has dropped over 40 points in relation to other, similar businesses since last year. Meanwhile, Apple was ranked #1 as having the most desirable image.

College students are also in that age range that suffers from acne, worries about their first sexual encounter and frets about being individual enough to stand out from the crowd yet not be too far removed from it. That age range has a huge amount of marketting targetted at it that basically says "Buy this or you are a complete wanker" because that kind of marketting plays on their fears about standing out from the crowd. It is this sheep mentality that is the reason why the mediocre Harry Potter books, for example, can be huge global bestsellers.

The fact is that it is not "cool" to like Microsoft and whilst fat blokes in their 40s like me hopped off the "Fashion Bus" 20 years ago and stepped into elasticated waist jeans without giving a toss about "cool", such is not the same for students.

I suspect a lot of them say Apple is cool because they like iPods (and please bear in mind that the success of the iPod is due to the fact that most people own "uncool" Windows PCs to download music to it) and know no better - the reality is that for poor students without rich mummies and daddies, Apple computers and phones are far more expensive than the more common equivalent stuff.

In other words, it's a meaningless statistic because at least here, in Europe, it's rare to see anyone with a Mac.

Re:All hype or not, MS *does* need an image makeov (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945614)

Right now, their image is really tarnished on many fronts

Repetition becomes tedious.

But the Slashdot Geek seems to live within a bubble that no outside force can penetrate - without, of course, being modded down into oblivion.

"But, frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn."

Here are the links again, whether you like them or not:

MS Office

The Year of Office 2007 [microsoft-watch.com]
Microsoft SharePoint taking business by storm [infoworld.com]

"The "magnitude of Office sales relative to the rest of the PC software market" is phenomenal. It's the massively huge tail wagging the dog."

"The talk [around SharePoint] is getting strategic now, and people are talking about it as a middleware decision. MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007 is the fastest growing product in the company's history."

MS Financial

Microsoft Q2 2008 by the Numbers [microsoft-watch.com]

"Just four years ago, the majority of revenue came from North America. Now, 60 percent of sales are outside the United States. For the quarter, Microsoft sales increased 30 percent in emerging markets, 20 percent in established markets like Europe and 15 percent in the United States."

OS Market Share [Net Applications]

March 2008 [hitslink.com]
OS Share Trend May 2007 - March 2008 [hitslink.com]
OS Share Trend By Versions May 2007-March 2008 [hitslink.com]

MS Vista 14% Up 10% from May 07
Win XP 82% Down 9%
OSX 8% Up 1%
Linux 0.6% Up 0.2%

In the familiar W3Schools [w3schools.com] stats it took Vista six months to grow from a 2% to 4% market share.
Linux five years.

"skip this ad" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944430)

Wow. My first really intrusive slashdot ad. I was confused by the huge dell ad that seemed to be covering the story and comments until I finally realized I had to click something to get past it.

I want to give slashdot kudos for thinking of ways to inspire me to stop slacking off at work reading their site.

Retaining talent & Microsoft's one unique abil (4, Insightful)

elwinc (663074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944492)

Back during the high tech bubble, you could make a pretty good bet that a job at Microsoft that included stock vesting privileges would make you a millionaire in about 5 years and set for life in 7. This allowed Microsoft to hire and keep some really talented coders and code managers.

And Microsoft was sort of able to do one thing that no other company could really do. Microsoft was (more or less) able to build some really huge software projects in a few years. Such as WinNT/Win2000 and the Office suite. I'm not saying they were perfect, but they were good enough. And nobody else could execute projects on that scale.

My reading of the (years late, mediocre) release of Vista is that Microsoft has lost that one unique ability. My guess is that the kind of coders that used to put in their 7 years at MS are now headed elsewhere, such as Google. And without that steady supply of top tier talent, MS can't innovate quickly. Regarding the loss of one PR flack, PFFFFFT!

It's confirmed (3, Insightful)

qualidafial (967876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944518)

This story is certified Buzzword-Compliant (R).

He's a PR hack (0)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944624)

Making a big story out of his resignation (not to mention saying it hurts Microsoft) is stupid.

"Quits" (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944714)

I see that he did this so that he will have a way to monitor the blog posters and "censor" the bad stuff about Vista on behalf of Microsoft.

If you can't beat them join them and subvert them like done with the ISO cert on OOXML.

Doesn't surprise me a bit IMHO.

So that's where Cringely went (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944756)

He said he was leaving Infoworld to go work at Microsoft in this week's column, but nobody believed him.

More like problems with Vista (0, Flamebait)

FreelanceWizard (889712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944760)

I'd say this man's story is less a tale about how Microsoft can't retain bloggers, and more a tale about Vista being so flawed that it's easy for someone to get burned out whilst spinning it as great.

Retention after a huge project (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944838)

After a massive, high-pressure project, isn't a certain amount of turnover expected? No matter what the outcome, I'd think. Some folks burn out, or just get tired of it. Maybe they feel like they took too much of the blame (or someone else the credit), or now that the project is over the new day-to-day tasks (or new projects) don't interest them the same way. Also, they've added to their resume, and might be very desirable to other employers.

Please......... (2, Interesting)

Vamman (1156411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944914)

I had to comment on this one. The guy posts blogs. Are you saying Web 2.0 (aka blog spotter) is more important than a .NET savy desktop engineer =) Also not to mention this but has anyone noticed all of the people leaving Google? Lets compare a blogger leaving to the CIO of the company?

Web 2.0 (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944944)

I was not aware that the web have a production cycle. Where can I buy the latest version of the web or can I sign up for beta testing of Web 1.90c? I am also worried that my Web 1.0 won't be compatible with Web 2.0 when it comes out. Will Microsoft release a patch to update my web? Help me Slashdot Web Gurus. Enough with this "Web 2.0" crap. Is this even a real designation? I have even heard of "Web 3.0" being bandied around by the same people who use words like "leveraging", "paradigm-shift" and "synergy".

Re:Web 2.0 (1)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945162)

When I read Web 2.0 in the description, I had total disregard for this entire post.

Nick White (1)

markpeak (1039366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945196)

I met him at Vista event in Beijing. Quite nice person. Even Vista evangelism is a hard job, he did it well on communication with community.

Re:Nick White (1)

MeMeMeMe (1073430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945264)

I guess he just ran out of good things to say?

Re:Nick White (2, Informative)

markpeak (1039366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945478)

He didn't pretend to say something like "Vista has no flaw" or "Vista is perfect OS" but the way he talk is "Ok, I will forward this [problem|request] to the [xxx] team". That's quite nice in Microsoft Empire.

HEH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945784)

If i had to talk about the steaming pile of crap that is vista all the time i would quit to. Or shoot myself in the head.

Contract Michael Arrington!!!! (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945934)

After all, in his own words (taken from http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/03/31/why-were-suing-facebook-for-25-million-in-statutory-damages/ [techcrunch.com] ):

My own personal brand has risen over the years as well to the point where I believe I can say without hubris that I am a very important person. Forbes recently named me No. 2 on their list of web celebrities, for example, and Business Week says Im one of the 25 most influential people on the web. Ive also appeared in numerous JibJab videos.
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