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Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Lognhorn Saga As Seen By Microsoft Insiders

Lots of microsft indsiders are opening up to discuss what they consider as ailing within Microsoft (I think lot many companies shall face similar issues within anyway). Complaints about Symptoms instead of the Root Problems as been identifies as amongst the key things along with the organisational issue of Microsoft structured and behaving like a lots of little companies and stack ranking for performance rewards are aired as key concern areas (for the purpose of repeating - these can be substituted as issue for any growing concern in thr IT field). Microsoft's product of grandeur has certainly inflicted lot of paind within while getting developed. An interesting comment clealry from an insider makes interesting reading : "The Longhorn saga highlights some stark lessons about why employees are pissed off and frustrated with the very top handful of execs. Longhorn will be a good product when it ships, but it will ship two years later than it should have. That extra two years represents what, maybe 8,000 man years of work? At a fully burdened cost of say $150k/head/year that’s $1.2Billion in direct costs of our resources flushed down the toilet. But far worse than those direct costs are the lost opportunity costs of not having the product in market two years earlier and getting started on Vnext". He pushes the blame upto Bill Gates for pushing the Windows group to take on huge, extremely difficult technical projects that destabilize all the core parts of the OS, and hold shipping hostage. Even worse, in some cases these efforts seem to be little more than ‘pet’ ideas of Bill’s, with little clear customer value. Second, the very top handful of execs in the Windows group are to blame, for placating Bill and not applying the most basic good judgment on engineering and project management. The comment notes that it was clear to nearly every engineer in every product group at MS that Longhorn was badly screwed up, for far too long. But no one at the top would admit it or come to grips with it for far too long. He calls for a leadership that is not necessarliy swaye by Bill's view points alone but have a rooting in reality. I do not know the internal dynamics of Microsoft to comment but Vista rollout is clearly testing microsoft's strength to the hilt.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"