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Another Microsoft General Manager Quits the Company, Microsoft Refuses to Say Why

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dean Lester abandons the ship after some more changes in the company’s structure; the CodePlex Foundation still seems dysfunctional and symbolic at best

A LOT of executives have abandoned Microsoft in recent years and here is the latest major departure:

Microsoft also confirmed the departure of Dean Lester, another company veteran and Dynamics general manager, who had previously been general manager for Windows graphics and gaming technologies. The company didn’t disclose Lester’s reasons for leaving but said, in response to our inquiry, that they were not related to changes in the Dynamics organization. We left a message for Lester at a publicly listed home number but haven’t heard back.

Microsoft is shrinking. A few months ago we saw its chief turncoat calling it quits, leaving Microsoft's attempts to extinguish GNU/Linux in somewhat of a ruin. Andy Updegrove has this update about the turncoat, who works at Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation along with Novell's de Icaza to promote Microsoft as the ‘standard’.

As you may recall, Microsoft announced back on September 10 that it had launched a new foundation “as a forum in which open source communities and the software development community can come together with the shared goal of increasing participation in open source community projects.” It called it’s new non-profit organization the CodePlex Foundation, echoing the name of a commercial site, called CodePlex.com, that it had earlier set up to host open source development projects.

Microsoft launched the CodePlex Foundation with bylaws and other governance documents with which I had some issues, and about which I posted some recommendations. But it also publicly stated that these documents, and the initial boards of directors and advisors, were only temporary. Within 100 days, the statements posted at the site pledged, a new Board would be announced. Nominations for the Boards of Directors and Advisors were welcomed, as well as recommendations on changes to the governance documents.

But December 19 – the 100 day mark – passed quietly, with no announcement of a new Board or a status update on the other goals. So what’s up with the CodePlex Foundation, and its pledge to promptly transition into a more independent organization?

One clue may be that the search for a permanent Executive Director, to replace interim President Sam Ramji, apparently isn’t moving quickly.

Is this thing dead on arrival? It only makes the headlines when Microsoft breaks the law by violating the GPL [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Speaking of the GPL, Miguel de Icaza — like Microsoft — is not much of a fan. The unnecessary attacks on Richard Stallman (notably GNU and GNOME kerkuffle [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]) are the tip of the iceberg and here are some decent thoughts from Bruce Byfield, whose complaints about hostility are potentially made in reference to these incidents. He is being vague on purpose. Having Microsoft inside GNU/Linux is just not healthy because the company is viciously attacking GNU/Linux like no other company ever did. The last time it got caught red-handed in a very major way [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] it just announced the CodePlex Foundation, some say in order to distract and remove attention from its racketeering [1, 2, 3].

New year promise

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  1. Chips B. Malroy said,

    December 31, 2009 at 1:28 pm


    Quote: “Microsoft is shrinking.” (as well as stinking and dieing)

    Yes, over 5,000 layoffs, 2,000 more gone by selling off parts of the company, and most likely another 5,000 or more contractor status employees gone as well. 12,000 still leaves room for Mini-M$ target of 20,000 to be “trimmed.” Then there is all the cuts and perks gone at MS for the worker Bee’s. Oddly Ballmer did not take a real cut, but then he is doing such a great job.

    Think of the parallels of Vi$ta/Seven and Microsoft itself, both are bloated, slow, and without innovation. They need to be trimmed?

    A lot depends on how good, or how bad this Xmas shopping season was for OEM’s. If bad, we will shortly see more layoffs at Redmond, maybe as soon as Jan. 4th, or around the time of the next quarter coming out for MS.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    No, late January. But there’s no rumour about additional layoffs (you usually see prior warnings in mini-Microsoft comments from disgruntled employees).

    As for Microsoft “need[ing] to be trimmed,” see what their former employee Niall Kennedy said after he had left — something along the lines of Microsoft being “oversized” and “paralyzed”.

    Later he wrote this:


    your_friend Reply:

    We shall see. Perhaps Microsoft is getting better at perception management through message containment. I don’t think Windows 7 has perked up the bottom line much. Like Vista, there will be a spurt of sales before people figure out that the system is user hostile and does not work. This time around, fewer people will take the bait so Windows 7 should sink faster than Vista did. Office sales won’t take up the slack either so, Microsoft revenues will be down more than they have cut expenses. They will lie about this but they can’t lie forever and all their other failures like Bing show there don’t have anything game changing. I expect more layoffs to reflect declining revenue.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 31, 2009 at 2:22 pm


    They don’t quit, they metasticise. Dean Lester is still out there and will end up stinking up someone else’s yard. It’s just like other forms of gabarge. You can only just move it around from place to place unless you find a way to process it into something not garbage.

    You get a very unusual type of person even considering working for M$. They’re not going to change their spots quickly, even if they want to.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Well, in theory it could happen, but it really depends.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Maybe it’s an overstatement.

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