The Silent Microsoft Exodus?

14 thoughts on “The Silent Microsoft Exodus?”

  1. This happened once at a Fortune 500 company I worked for. They’re still Fortune 500, but not doing as well as they were before the mass exodus (in terms of profit and stock performance). I’d say this is a bad sign but one that can be handled. I’ve said it for years…they should separate MS into three companies inc…one for office, one for operating systems, one for services.

  2. It’s not surprising that a lot of executives (and probably devs, managers, and testers) are leaving Microsoft at this time. They are in the process of wrapping up their two biggest flagships, Vista and Office. It’s a transition period.

    After working for 5 years on the same project its no surprise many people want a change of scenery.

    And from what I’ve heard, Brian Valentine didn’t exactly ditch Microsoft. He was “replaced” as senior VP of Windows and decided it was a good time to change companies. Lets face it, someone had to take the heat for the over-budget, late OS.

  3. I actually don’t think that it is such a bad thing that some of these executives have left. I used to work at MS till summer of 2003 and my feelings at the time were that there is not a lot of accountability in the company. Senior execs got away without showing results. I am not surprised that Brian, head of ERP, head of business solutions are gone. Giga, you should also note that Yusuf Mehdi, David Cole, Robert Uhlaner, Martin Taylor have left recently. In my view, all these are good exits so that the company sets a clear tone for accountability and create room for eager, results oriented younger people to deliver the goods.

  4. To be honest, I don’t really care what happens to Microsoft with regard to windows or Office. What concerns me is that it would then affect their development platforms such as asp.net.

    I think the asp.net team is probably the most agile and responsive group within Microsoft, and, although I’ve looked at other platforms such as Rails, IMO they don’t compare at this time. I think asp.net 2.0 is the most compelling web development platform out there. I’d like to see that team continue on unchanged and given freedom to do what they need to do.

    As far as windows goes, I quit using it as my main OS almost a year ago and haven’t once regretted that decision.

  5. You should also consider the list of executives that were hired during the same period, to name some

    • Ask.com CEO Steve Berkowitz
    • Vincent Gullotto McAfee’s
    • Bill Buxton pioneering work in human-computer interaction
  6. hi there,

    not sure if you realise that MS has hundreds of VPs(executive, senior, plain old VPs). They have thousands that want to be a VP(and hundreds of them are capable of becoming a VP).

    MS being what it is can hire a few tens of VPs in a few months if it had to.

    So…, no you shouldn’t have anything to worry about MS’s health. This is repeat of the last DOT-COM BOOM. I’m sure MS has learnt from that and will NOT recruit a lot of crap engineers.

    BR,
    ~A

  7. Mr M vs Everyone else?
    There was this nice neighorhood full of rich people. All of them were rich but each did their own thing. Mr S built big houses, Mr I made even bigger houses, Mr C made the roads, Mr M built those apartments, Mr O made the big warehouses, Mr A built the fancy million dollar homes. They all made money and they all happy until Mr M started to go richer and richer and the rest poorer and poorer. Mr M began to expand his business and started to become a serious competitor to everyone else. How long do you think Mr M will last before the rest of the gang club together and bring down their common enemy?

    Microsoft has grown bigger than ever before and has cut into everyone’s market. It has got into the datacenter and edged itself into the racks with its cheap x86 systems and rapidly gain market share agianst Sun and IBM , it has crawled its way into the niche database market and is directly challenging long timer Oracle, it is humping and thumping all across the programming landscape with its .net framework, it is direct competitor to Google and Yahoo in the web search space and its code has spilled onto emedded and mobile devices.

    Now whatever Microsoft does was always a success through a combination of user friendly , mature product and aggresive marketing strategy. However lately it seems it is begining to lose some ground. Let me list them so that we all know what is coming and you can say I told you first:
    – MSN search hasnt been able to replace Google.
    – Dell servers running Windows 2x havent been able to replace Sun systems.
    – Staroffice have not died but has grown over the years.
    – Oracle has committed itself to grow around Java ecosystem for the next 10 years.
    – Web 2.0 is rapidly shifting the paradigm from using thick applications to browser based ajax applications.
    – Opensource Movement is bigger than ever and is growing everyday.
    – Mozilla is a very good browser and in some respects better than IE.
    – Active Directory adoption has been slow and still there exists many NT shops.

    These are signs of Microsoft not been successful everywhere , or microsoft’s rate of growth in computing markets beyond the home and office desktop hasn’t matched the starry growth rate it has experienced in the desktop market.

    But the biggest sign of Microsoft failing, in my opinion, has come from IBM and Novell recently declaring intention to replace their internal windows desktops with linux based desktops and not to license Windows Vista. IBM and Novell has been actively involved with the opensource movement for quite some time and with this annoucement it seems that these organisations are reaching critical mometum within themselves that will enable themselves to move away from Microsoft’s solutions to solutions produced by themselves and the opensource community. I am sure the next thing IBM will do, in its capacity of being a solutions provider and consulting company , is to try and convince its customer’s to migrate from MS based solutions to something else. And when Big Blue decides to do that then based on its customer’s base , I am sure the computer industry will witness another paradigm shift.

    Computing is not an empire , nor does it needs an emperor. The very basis of computing is sharing and the sharing starts from the electrons travelling down the data buses to all the way up to interopability between discreet applications through XML and beyond to people connecting and sharing through the net. Microsoft , in its greed , has always resisted this truth and to make it share anything has always been a pain in the a**, to put it politely. However this cannot last for ever and one way or other things will change for Mr M , if for nothing else but for the fact that Mr M has been able to piss off everyone else.

  8. Interesting comments, I think it will be very interesting to see what Microsoft does AFTER Vista. Another (likely bloated) desktop OS in the fashion of Windows? Or maybe its time for something a little different?

    There has certainly been a lot of buzz around virtualization recently (Microsoft is even giving their virtualization software away for free) so maybe with advances in that area Microsoft won’t have to worry so much about backwards-compatibility (by far the biggest thing holding them back from innovation and major advances in Windows is back-compat).

    And by the time Vista needs replacement, the world of personal computing will likely be vastly different and require a new take on what an OS should be like.

    Just my two cents…

  9. To tell the truth, if this exodus was going to harm Microsoft, I would realy enjoy this. But I don’t think anything that serious is going to happen. Two CEOs gone, two other capable to fulfill the needs are going to replace them.

  10. It will not harm Microsoft but as beerandkebab pointed out in his very insightful comment Microsoft’s influence is on the wane and the changes are probably a reflection of that.

  11. What is the upside to being an executive at Microsoft? It certainly isn’t equity. Let’s not forget – MSFT isn’t a growth stock anymore…

    My $0.02 is that many MSFT executives are moving on to companies where they will have the opportunity to create wealth through equity, as opposed to salary.

  12. Now whatever Microsoft does was always a success through a combination of user friendly , mature product and aggresive marketing strategy. However lately it seems it is begining to lose some ground. Let me list them so that we all know what is coming and you can say I told you first:
    – MSN search hasnt been able to replace Google.
    – Dell servers running Windows 2x havent been able to replace Sun systems.
    – Staroffice have not died but has grown over the years.
    – Oracle has committed itself to grow around Java ecosystem for the next 10 years.

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