What would you buy?

by Volker Weber

Some interesting quotes from Groklaw:

Valentine's order requires employees to get rid of all E-mail after 30 days no matter where it is. And it is unequivocal. Mr. Allchin, who is group Vice President, Platforms Product Group, approves of Mr. Valentine's order and sends another follow-up E-mail on January 23, 2000. This is Plaintiffs' Exhibit also 6704. He says, “being even more hard core, this is not something you get to decide. This is company policy. Do not think this is something that only applies to a few people. Do not think it will be okay if I do this, it hasn't caused any problems so far. Do not archive your mail. Do not be foolish. 30 days.”

This isn't done to save storage. The ultimate motive is not to leave traces:

This is Plaintiffs' Exhibit 7361. This is the job description for Bill Gates' technical assistant, and it says, it is a corporate policy not to make a permanent record of Bill's works.

This task of making sure there is no permanent record of Mr. Gates' work is left to this technical assistant. The job duties of the technical assistant require him to delete E-mail files from Mr. Gates' computer weekly.

This is the most interesting one:

Exhibit 7264. Almost three years ago, on January 7, 2004, Jim Allchin, the senior executive at Microsoft, sent an E-mail to Microsoft's top two executives, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and the subject was losing our way.

Mr. Allchin says, I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products. He goes on to say, I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.

I don't think that Gates and Ballmer necessarily agreed. But I did. ;-)


Repeat after me (you too, Mr. Allchin): Microsoft's customers are not the people who ultimately use the software. Microsoft's customers are the purchasers at computer manufacturers and large businesses. Who mostly don't care how the stuff works, as long as it is feature-list compliant.

This doesn't mean I disagree with Allchin's purchasing advice. ;-)

David Richardson, 2006-12-12

After having a funny conv with two employees of my local store of "PC-Spezialist" I'm pretty sure that this all will NEVER EVER touch the great success of Windows. :-)
Been there last week to get the hard disk of my MacBook replaced by a bigger one (could not find my torx screwdriver, probably in my daughters's repo now).

- "Why do you use a Mac?"
- "Basicly because I need to get things done. Even my girlfriend at home is using a Mac, since I got frustrated by caring about daily updates of both the OS and the antivir mumbo jumbo and she likes her iMac more than its grey (and noisy) predecessor."
- "Yeah, but why do you use a Mac?? I've NEVER EVER had a problem with Windows! And look there, we offer a couple of 'design' housings for your PC!"
- "Ummm..."

The counter was loaded with tons of Antivirus-Software ("Including 2 year subscription") and stack of magazines featuring stories like ("How to survive Windows", "Poking the registry", "Get XP faster", ...)

Martin Kautz, 2006-12-12

At ComputerWorld they have the article "A Windows expert opts for a Mac life" - "... The transition was a little rocky for Windows expert Scot Finnie, but once over that hump, his Mac experience has been superb ..."

More here.

Hynek Kobelka, 2006-12-12

Most senior execs don't like to write or respond in written form. Neither by mail nor blog, not even as a note on paper.

This isn't so because they couldn't handle it technically or are illiterate, but they don't want to leave "traces". Not just because of legal reasons but as a general policy. They don't want to be nailed down to anything. Some people call this behaviour "slick" or a bit nicer as "smart".

I'm afraid this is "true" across all cultures, industries and various company sizes. Well, at least it lowers the risk of being quoted and exposed at an inappropriate place - like a blog ;)

Same for politicians. Not only senior ones.

Cem Basman, 2006-12-12

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