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Microsoft Cellphones Communications Iphone Apple

Microsoft Employees Love Their iPhones 366

Posted by timothy
from the can-I-expense-this? dept.
portscan writes "There is an entertaining and telling article in the Wall Street Journal about iPhone use by Microsoft employees. Apparently, despite it being frowned upon by senior management, iPhone use is rampant among the Redmond rank and file. The head of Microsoft's mobile division tried to explain it away as employees wanting 'to better understand the competition,' although few believe this. Nowhere does the article mention attempts by the company to understand why the iPhone is more attractive to much of Microsoft's tech-savvy workforce than the company's own products."
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Microsoft Employees Love Their iPhones

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  • by plover (150551) * on Sunday March 14, 2010 @04:55PM (#31475082) Homepage Journal

    I have a love/hate relationship with my iPhone. My preciousss. It's pretty and seductive, but it locks me out of stuff. For just about everything, there's an app for that, except for when Apple pulled it. It can do just about everything, but not when Apple or AT&T says it can't, like tethering. But for all it makes me crazy, I still can't seem to pause in the middle of the day without pulling it from its holster and stroking its sleek, responsive, beautiful face for a few minutes.

    Damn this stupid phone. I really should throw it back into the depths of Cupertino from whence it came, but you'd probably have to gnaw my hand off to get me to drop it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DogDude (805747)
      It sounds like you have a problem. Might want to see professional help. It's just a chunk of metal and plastic.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rainer_d (115765)

      Lack of tethering is not Apple's fault.
      It works here very nicely, without any tricks or hacks.

      I don't use a lot of apps (or games) - but the ability to choose e.g. between several different weather-apps is very comforting.

      The iPhone is really the ultimate phone IMO - you can make it look and behave exactly as you want (within it's very wide limits).
      At least, it's a progress in comparison to exchangeable covers, custom ringtones and background-images.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:09PM (#31475228) Homepage

        Yes, Apple supports tethering in the iPhone, but AT&T requires them to disallow you from using it. It was a similar deal with VoIP, which was blocked over 3G until recently. It raises the question in my mind: how much of the iPhone lock-down (only allowed to install apps from the iTunes store) is caused by Apple wanting a cut of everything, and how much is caused by contractual obligations to AT&T for preventing certain kinds of apps.

        Either way, obviously iPhones would be way better if Apple didn't restrict development and distribution of 3rd party apps.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by rainer_d (115765)

          Either way, obviously iPhones would be way better if Apple didn't restrict development and distribution of 3rd party apps.

          Well, it's not so obvious IMO.
          But that really depends on what "better" means for you.
          I'm glad that Apple strictly controls what goes into the App-store, because I have no time at all to do a line-by-line source-code audit of every god-damn silly app I download. I'm glad Apple does this for me, for the 30% of the price that probably the seller would pocket anyway (without the benefits for the end-user)

          • by PIBM (588930)

            Looking at the content VS preventing a rooting of your phone is 2 different things. I'd be happy if they just did the later. Anyway, I don't own one myself (but I support ipods/iphones as a platform for my tools)

          • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:18PM (#31475794) Homepage
            It's one thing for them to provide a store/repository of known-good software. It's another to prevent you from going outside of that store if you choose to.
          • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:22PM (#31475820) Journal
            Apple should have a right to keep their store the way they want, and reject any app the want.

            On the other hand, I should have a right to run any program I want on my hardware.
            • by rainer_d (115765) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:30PM (#31475856) Homepage

              Apple should have a right to keep their store the way they want, and reject any app the want.

              On the other hand, I should have a right to run any program I want on my hardware.

              I agree. But all the spam that I get and that we as an ISP have to fend-off or process is from the 99.9999% of morons in front of a PC that think exactly the same and download and install any crap-trojan that comes their way and poses as a screensaver or fake anti-virus.
              At least, we don't get spam from iPhones. That alone makes Apple's decision worth the hassle!

          • by Pootie Tang (414915) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:25PM (#31475836)

            Maybe I don't follow this well enough to know, but I don't think Apple is doing an audit, much less line-by-line. Seems to me they just react after the fact. From what I understand they recently pulled some apps related to wifi for using undocumented APIs. If they pulled it after they fact they didn't audit the source in the first place, not even using some automated tool on the binary.

            I don't have an iphone, just an ipod touch. But I don't get the impression they strictly control the app-store. They certainly impose their own restrictions, but I don't feel like it's for my benefit so I only get quality apps.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jayme0227 (1558821)

            So for people like you, there's the app store. That doesn't diminish the value of having fewer restrictions for other people.

          • The google route. (Score:5, Informative)

            by mjwx (966435) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @07:46PM (#31476472)

            I'm glad that Apple strictly controls what goes into the App-store, because I have no time at all to do a line-by-line source-code audit of every god-damn silly app I download.

            Why should they even need to?

            I cant fathom why you would think that such a thing is logically a good thing to do.

            The problem Apple has is not that it restricts the app store, that is fine as it is Apple's app store. The problem is that Apple restricts the iphone to the app store and the app store only.

            Google's way around this was to add an option into Android that permitted the installation of programs from anonymous sources and leave this option disabled by default. Therefore if you liked the kind of walled garden security that application restriction provides then you can have it, but if you wanted freedom it was three clicks away. But this kind of approach requires device level security, which the iphone has little to none of.

            • Re:The google route. (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Skreems (598317) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @10:46PM (#31477888) Homepage
              It's not a completely fair comparison... Google doesn't do nearly the level of auditing on the stuff in their app store that Apple does with theirs. All Google really requires is that you buy a $30 certificate which lets phones verify that a given app is published by the person who claims to have published it.

              Not that I'm a fan of Apple by any means. I wouldn't switch from my Hero to an iPhone if you paid me. But it's not the same type of walled garden, although it may feel like it superficially.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Xest (935314)

                What auditing do you think Apple does exactly that Google doesn't?

                Apple claims there are 140,000+ apps on the app store, the app store has been around less than 600 days, so that's at least 230 apps per day they have to vet. Do you think they really do anything other than load up the application, see what it's about, have a quick play around with it, then reject or approve it with that kind of volume? Even if they have 100 employees on it, which they wont because that would be unnaffordable for the amount t

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by nxtw (866177)

          It was a similar deal with VoIP, which was blocked over 3G until recently.

          AT&T didn't block VoIP over 3G. They told Apple to disallow VoIP apps over the 3G network.

          It raises the question in my mind: how much of the iPhone lock-down (only allowed to install apps from the iTunes store) is caused by Apple wanting a cut of everything, and how much is caused by contractual obligations to AT&T for preventing certain kinds of apps.

          The iPod Touch runs the same software with no restrictions.

          • by nxtw (866177) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:05PM (#31475672)

            The iPod Touch runs the same software with no restrictions.

            Correction: the iPod Touch runs the same software with the same restrictions

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nine-times (778537)

            It was a similar deal with VoIP, which was blocked over 3G until recently.

            AT&T didn't block VoIP over 3G. They told Apple to disallow VoIP apps over the 3G network.

            Isn't that in keeping with what I said? "AT&T requires them to disallow you from using it"?

            There's nothing inherent about the phone that ever prevented VoIP over 3G, and Apple specifically built the capability to tether another device to your phone, but AT&T has to ok turning the feature on.

            The iPod Touch runs the same software with no restrictions.

            Well yes, but of course they'd be opening a messy can of worms if they allowed different things on the two different but nearly identical products. For one thing, it might be harder to keep the iPhone locked d

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cimexus (1355033)

          Hmm you guys in the US got shafted by having one exclusive carrier for the iPhone. Here you buy it unlocked and can use it on any network. And most allow you to tether it and use whatever apps (incl. VoIP) you want on it, out of the box.

          Sad that the iPhone is more crippled in its ~home~ market than anywhere else. I couldn't stand owning a network-locked phone.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RogerWilco (99615)

          Either way, obviously iPhones would be way better if Apple didn't restrict development and distribution of 3rd party apps.

          I think there's two reasons why this isn't happening:
          - I don't think the network providers like the idea, as it might lead to trojans spamming their network.
          - Apple certainly likes to have control, as they have realized that the most important thing they own is their brand, and they are protecting their image at any cost.*

          *) Take for example the Rickrolling that happened on jailbroken phones a few months ago. If you read most media reporting on it, the detail that it could only happen to jailbroken phones g

        • by dakameleon (1126377) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @10:14PM (#31477676)

          There's definitely an AT&T bias - many overseas mobile networks are quite happy to remove those restrictions as soon as Apple-AT&T agree to do so. For example, in Australia the iPhone was sold unlocked from day 1 (since the 3G came on the market), and 3 out of 4 major networks that carry it allow tethering with no extra charge. The one hold-out charges a nominal fee to enable it. Similar things apply in the UK & Europe, but the primary source of restrictions is still driven by Apple's home market (something I would hope would change with increasing international popularity).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by plover (150551) *

        Of course lack of tethering is Apple's fault. The machine is perfectly capable of tethering, and it does so in many markets. But Apple kowtowed to AT&T's request to block it in the U.S. They willingly provided AT&T with the kill-switch, even though I'm the paying customer.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:35PM (#31475468)

          Actually, you're the product they're selling to AT&T. Or didn't you get the memo?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by diamondsw (685967)

          You're pretty clearly out to get Apple here, even though every other phone manufacturer does the same thing. If a US carrier tells them to disable a feature or they won't carry the phone, they do it. Apple is sadly no different.

          But clearly, nothing is going to dissuade you from your anti-Apple rant.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plover (150551) *

            Sorry, but you're factually wrong. Both my Motorola RAZR and my Motorola Z6 allowed me to tether over Bluetooth without difficulty. Even my turn-of-the-millennium Sony Ericsson T610 allowed me to tether via IR, as long as I didn't mind about 2400 baud and keeping both the computer and phone out of direct sunlight or flickering neon. AT&T has always wanted to add a surcharge $40/month for tethering, but I never asked them: I just set the data connections up properly and they always worked fine.

            AT

      • by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:38PM (#31475486) Journal

        I don't use a lot of apps (or games) - but the ability to choose e.g. between several different weather-apps is very comforting.

        All of them are deficient: None lets you set the weather.

      • (within it's very wide limits).

        "It's" vs. "its"... there's an app for that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by arcite (661011)
      I feel your pain. The only way to rid yourself of the precious and free your soul is to throw your iphone into a volcano. Do you happen live near an active volcano? Until then, whatever you do, don't slide to unlock! It will steal your soul!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is why I am less and less happy about Apple's desire to end jailbreaking.
      Opening up the iPhone allows me to be liberated from some of Apple's control-fetish annoyances.

      • Turn off rotation and other features from the main page (SBSettings)
      • Google Voice (installed before Google made their own webApp version)
      • hide unwanted and uninstallable apps (e.g., stocks)
      • Increase the number of icons per row
      • put eBooks on your Kindle app w/o buying them from AMZN (AMZN has no email account for non-Kindle device owners, and
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree. My iPhone would be much less useful to me without jailbreaking, and would limit its usefulness. Besides the points you made, I can do other things thanks to jailbreaking, like:

        * Multitask
        * Run WiFi only apps over 3G
        * Run any non-approved applications I want
        * Use multiple ActiveSync accounts (ie Work Exchange and Gmail)
        * Use the iPhone as a storage device

        Like you said, they might not be dealbreakers, and I understand the reason Apple doesn't want me to do some of them, but jailbreaking would be so

      • by RogerWilco (99615) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @08:45PM (#31477050) Homepage Journal

        The reason Apple fights jailbreaking is simple: They have realized that their most important asset is their brand, and they will do anything to protect it.

        Why does this relate to jailbreaking? Well, remember when all those jailbroken iPhones got rickrolled a few months ago? If you read the media coverage, in most cases the detail got lost that it only concerned jailbroken phones with a badly configured sshd on them. It made Apple look bad because iPhones could be rickrolled. That's the kind of news Apple is fighting, and until you can make certain that those kinds of things do not happen on jailbroken iPhones, Apple will keep fighting it out of fear of bad publicity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gig (78408)

      It's not a love/hate relationship, it's a love/love relationship. You love your iPhone, but you also love the Nerd Police propaganda that surrounds it.

      The propaganda says Apple and AT&T have made some kind of pact with the devil to keep you enslaved to them. But reliance on AT&T comes out of the fact that AT&T runs the one (1) and only GSM 3G network in the United States of America. Don't blame Apple (or Nokia) for that. Blame Verizon and Sprint for building out proprietary networking and making

  • Better in some ways than Windows Mobile phones.

    This really shouldn't be surprising.

  • by Miandrital (1029138) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:00PM (#31475146)
    I remember this same story came out about how a growing number of MS employees were using ipods, and apparently it was frowned upon, so they started switching the white headphones for regular ones. Link: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2005/02/66460 [wired.com]
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:06PM (#31475206) Homepage
    And I can't think of any employee, at any time, who used a Windows Mobile handset for one second longer than was contractually required. It looks like they're finally getting the idea with the newest version that mobiles are not just small desktops, but all they've done is caught on to what everyone else figured out 10 years ago.
  • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:09PM (#31475234)
    I wonder how many Apple employees use Microsoft Office. Or Microsoft employees search with Google. Why are people so intent on declaring one product the winner that everybody should use? Did it benefit Microsoft to switch Hotmail to MS IIS before IIS was ready to handle a site of that scale? This isn't a failure for Microsoft's phone efforts as much as it is a victory against Microsoft's mono-culture mindset.
    • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <{taiki} {at} {cox.net}> on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:36PM (#31475476)

      Eating their own dog food.

      Apple employees probably use Pages, Keynote and the rest of the iWork suite because they're quite good pieces of software. Microsoft probably doesn't have a raft of people who are using Open Office or Pages because well, even for Mac, Office v.x is pretty slick. Microsoft employees also probably are Xbox fans, by and large.

      Mono-culture is one thing, being able to swallow your own dog food is another. Monocultures work when the products you sell are actually good. :) When you have to ENFORCE your monoculture, you're clearly doing something wrong in the market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Eating your own dog food is good and valid for the mobile division, but the rest of MS really has nothing to do with the phone wars, so it would be ridiculous to pressure them into using it.

        Anyway, I bet the brass are just glad they're using iPhones, not N900s.

  • Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:09PM (#31475238) Homepage Journal

    It works with Exchange. Microsoft is not going to run a BES. And Android is the one eating their lunch.

  • by matt4077 (581118) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:15PM (#31475280) Homepage
    So Microsoft says they believe it helps them to understand the competition, but the submitter simply says "nobody believes this" and then faults microsoft for not "trying to understand the competition"? Did people actually stop reading their own submissions?
  • Apparently, despite it being frowned upon by senior management, iPhone use is rampant among the Redmond rank and file.

    Need to practice ducking airborne chairs? There's an app for that!

  • I don't understand how a company as huge and powerful as Microsoft can't release a good competitor for the iPhone. I have a Zune, and the hardware is quite nice, but the software is horrible and has given me a BSOD on three separate computers (with different versions of Windows).
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      i've known people who have interened at MS. only the smartest engineers work there and they treat their people really well. however, they have a large and powerful marketing team that management listen to, and there in lies the fail.
  • by Rocky (56404) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:22PM (#31475360)

    If they do, then there's a real issue there.

    If not, it's the employees money to do with what they please. Upper management needs to STFU.

    • Well, yes, but it really makes the company ( and by inference the employees who work on mobile phones) look bad. Given the choice between what the company has done and apple they choose the competition. Why one earth would anyone outside the company buy a windows phone?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Posting anon for obvious reasons.

      If you buy a Windows Mobile phone at MS you can claim the cost of the phone back on expenses, but it's a small PITA to do. Even so, you don't get the celluar costs paid for, Windows Mobile or not, unless you're in sales, so considering I'm paying every month why on earth does anyone think management have a right to say what my money goes on? And that's where the article is wrong - no-one actually gives a shit, beyond Ballmer's grandstanding, and of course the WM team who s

    • by fermion (181285)
      For those that RTFA, it states that MS only reimburses service charges for phones that us MS software. This would tend to indicate that at least some people pay extra to use Apple hardware.

      Also, according to the article, the use at MS is hardly rampant. It reports market penetration in general for iPhone is 25%, but penetration at MS is only 10%.

    • by McBeer (714119) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:18PM (#31475792) Homepage

      Do they get the Microsoft products for free? If they do, then there's a real issue there.

      If not, it's the employees money to do with what they please. Upper management needs to STFU.

      MS employees don't get anything free. They get steep discounts on MS software (85% or so off), but only a small discount on on hardware. I have, on occasion, seen xboxes for sale commercially for less then in the employee store. I did a year long contract for MS in the mobile division and I never heard of upper management discouraging iPhone use. The FTEs on my team used a wide range of mobile devices and I think it really helped to broaden people's horizons. I think management understood that. That said, MS is a very large creature and I saw only a little corner of it.

  • Obsessesion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:22PM (#31475362) Homepage Journal

    The Apple culture is about obsession. This goes from creation to use. Despite any flaws the iPhone it has, it feels likes someone actually thought how non-engineers would use it. This is an important factor IMHO, because even with the 'wow' factor, a device will only work if people can find it usable. Too many gadgets, IMHO, are designed by engineers and almost feel like the primary user was an engineer. To many people the "it just works" element is as important as any of the features that the device it may include.

    There are other companies who have understood the people factor, but all to often it doesn't feel like it is running through the veins of the companies.

    Looking at Microsoft, I feel that they are confused about what it means be user friendly. There are elements of the company who seem to get it, while there are other parts that thinks bells and whistles are what user friendly is about. For me being user friendly is something a little complex, it is that right balance of simplicity and richness of functionality. Hiding features or dumbing down an application is not going to magically solve the problem, if the humans factor is forgotten in the process.

    The irony in all this is that Apple spends less on R&D than Microsoft, yet whether it is through focused R&D or some other factor I feel they seem to capture the magic combination better. Maybe there is something to be said of having a company run by a guy who is so obsessive that his passion captivates people, rather than alienating them - yes, I am insinuating that Balmer's passion at developer conferences is more an after thought than something that drives the company in a cohesive way.

    • by arcite (661011)
      You do realize that Steve Jobs middle name is Obsession? Tis the path to madness! ... and great riches.
    • by danlip (737336)

      But Microsoft created Bob and Clippy. How can you say they are not user friendly?

    • Yes, Apple pays a bit more attention to user-friendliness than Microsoft. Mostly, though, they are paying a lot of attention to a good unboxing experience and fun. Apple also focuses their efforts on specific markets and demographics while Microsoft wants it all.

      But people should stop saying that "it just works". Apple products often don't "just work"; just go look at the Apple support forums and do some web searches. Nobody has managed to make computer systems or software of any significant complexity t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vakuona (788200)
        I have had phones that came with huge manuals on how to use them. Apple made a phone that pretty much came with a leaflet, and said "Go on, see if you can't figure it out". Once you learnt how to pinch and slide your finger across the screen, you could do anything with the phone. The iPhone's paradigm has pretty quickly become the standard touch screen phone paradigm since then, yet touch screen phones existed for a long time before Apple decided to make one.
    • Yup, that hits the nail on the head. I've just helped my parents buy their first MacBook having previously had a Windows XP laptop. I've noticed that when they can't figure out how to do something and get me to show them, when they see the solution on the Mac they say "ahh... clever! that's how it works". On Windows XP, when I showed them something or they finally figured it out for themselves, they would tend to say "damn, I've been looking for that for hours, how stupid!".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft has a tech-savvy workforce! It's about time.

  • That's funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aurisor (932566) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @05:40PM (#31475504) Homepage

    That's funny, you'd expect a lot of them would be using that really popular windows mobile phone, you know, the....err....wait, don't tell me...hmmm

  • MS software does have the better product from an email, business integration, flash software and hardware tech choice side.
    On paper MS wins it all, as always.
    I guess within MS the staff are really in awe of the closed garden feel.
    The idea that one corp can pass/fail apps, remove apps, kill hardware ideas eg tethering and scale total control up to larger devices.
    To your average MS worker its like holding their future before bringing the MS real world productivity to a locked down candy gui toy.
  • I don't work in a business directly linked to mobile phones but I do work in the telecoms industry for a company that does produce VoIP clients for mobile phones, as well as business telephony servers.

    In my experience, Windows is currently in a decline as an OS for mobile phones, it now all seems to be Blackberry, iPhone, Android & Symbian...

    Sure, it may well be that Windows Mobile 7 means it will pick up for Microsoft at some point in the future but presumably a lot of people who work in Microsoft are

  • So, Windows Vista was developed by "engineers" who like the shiny - no, you can't do that - apple phone. Now I get it...

    I am actually an iphone developer right now (not exactly my choice, our CEO thought it was a good idea), and I can't see how any real get overpriced fashion accessory.

    Don't tell me there are no geek oriented devices, let any decent geek spend an hour with something like the N900, and observe the results! (mainly because, well, yes, it will run linux)

    • The second line should read:
      I am actually an iphone developer right now (not exactly my choice, our CEO thought it was a good idea), and I can't see how any real geek would like the overpriced fashion accessory.

      PS. To make it clear, I do like the platform as a developer - Obj-C and the sdk are nice and I can do the things Apple will let me nice and fast. My problem is how much it limits me as a user.

  • Microsoft Phone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Straterra (1045994)
    It doesn't really seem like a fair comparison to me. Microsoft doesn't make phones, they make software. This isn't really news at all, just more "We found a trend at Microsoft, lets post a news article about it!" crud. Call me when Microsoft makes a phone that most Microsoft employees refuse to use, then I might consider it newsworthy.
  • by melted (227442) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:12PM (#31475738) Homepage

    Believe it or not, Microsoft is a pretty tolerant company on the inside. You're not required to drink the kool-aid, and using non-Microosft products and services is not frowned upon. Almost everyone (at least in Redmond) uses Google for search, for instance. A lot of smartphone users use iPhone. Some use Android even (even though corp discounts obviously don't apply to either iPhone or Android plans or phones). It is not uncommon to see a Mac running Mac OS X, even though the corp network doesn't really support it. I haven't seen any Linux use on laptops, but that's probably because ACPI support in Linux sucks ass.

    There are folks who proudly drink the Kool-Aid, and refuse to use anything non-Microsoft, of course, but they're in minority.

    Having worked elsewhere after Microsoft, I've gained a lot of respect for this aspect of Microsoft corporate culture that I had taken for granted. I think at least someone at Microsoft understands that Microsoft has a lot to learn from the rest of the world, and corporate inbreeding is its worst possible enemy.

    • Corporate inbreeding (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 5pp000 (873881) *

      Another famous example of corporate inbreeding is the taboo against American auto workers driving Japanese cars. I think this taboo had a lot to do with why Detroit lost so much ground to the Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s. Without the direct, everyday experience of comparing the quality of the cars they were building to those from Honda and Toyota, they just couldn't understand how far behind they really were and what was going to be needed to catch up. The truth is, GM and Ford management should have

    • by dclozier (1002772) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @09:36PM (#31477448)

      From: Bill Gates
      Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
      To: Jeff Westorinon; Ben Fathi
      Cc: Carl Stork; Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
      Subject: ACPI extensions

      One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

      It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

      Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

      Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

      Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

      Linux ACPI support would probably be even better than it is now were it not for Microsoft.
      http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=2010011422570951 [groklaw.net]

  • by Tokerat (150341) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @06:55PM (#31476038) Journal

    Nowhere does the article mention attempts by the company to understand why the iPhone is more attractive to much of Microsoft's tech-savvy workforce than the company's own products.

    Most likely, that's because Microsoft doesn't make a phone.

  • by mansa (94579) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @07:04PM (#31476114)

    I work for a large consumer products company, and our sector is pretty competitive. If the marketers would come over to IT and see us using competitors products, they'd be pretty pissed. We're all part of one team, and sticking to our products is important to us. I think that's one reason why we're successful. We do have competitors products on our desks / shelves but only to learn from / motivate us to gain more share. I have a hard time using products from our competitors... even in segments that we don't compete in... who wants to give the enemy more ammo?

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