11.03.10

Microsoft Staff: “I Think What We Are Really Seeing is a Company as Large as Microsoft in Chaos.”

Posted in Microsoft at 2:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stake a claim

Summary: As Silverlight gets thrown near the pile of dead Microsoft products, 10 more products are listed as candidates for axing and Microsoft employees grow ever more concerned

ALL companies are more feeble than they would have people believe. It’s essential for their continued business (instilling confidence) and probably an obligation to shareholders, too.

Based on the rapidly-growing number of dead Microsoft products, we are going to see many more and Silver Lie already has one foot out the door.

“The Next 10 Products On Microsoft’s Chopping Block” is a new article from Microsoft booster Matt Rosoff [1, 2, 3]. He thinks that the next 10 products worth axing are Live Meeting, Silverlight (On The Web), Zune, Surface, Mediaroom, Windows Mobile, Hohm, Atlas, Amalga, and Great Plains. This article was highlighted by Lxer, whose editor Scott added: “Another article confirming their ‘end of life’ cycle.”

Microsoft currently averages about 1 dead product every 2 weeks. That is an exceptionally high pace and it helps reduce some losses.

The rage continues over the observation that Silver Lie is being added to the basket of dead products [1, 2]. People in the forums are fuming and some write their rants such as “Top 5 Reasons Why Microsoft Completely Screwed up their web strategy with HTML 5″.

“Ahhh its too painful to see whats happening on the silverlight forum… its like watching snails on sodium,” wrote one of our readers who showed us the main discussion thread about it.

Mike Masnick (TechDirt), who cited us almost 3 months ago regarding the demise of Silver Lie (we showed it was dying when other refused to say so), gleefully posts this update where he says: “Back in August, we noted some online rumors that Microsoft was seriously cutting back on Silverlight, pushing internal folks to work on HTML5 instead. Our comments were filled with people saying that we were crazy and that Microsoft was betting more and more on Silverlight.”

Masnick was linking to us as the source and both sides — TechDirt and Techrights — got heckles for simply saying the truth. That’s what typically happens when one tells Microsoft bullies what they do not wish to hear. Another booster of the company characterises this whole thing a just “demotion” as Microsoft staff tries to calm people down. There is no gentle way to tell people that their Web sites which they built with XAML may sooner or later not be accessible because Silver Lie is a dead end (for the Web at least) and plugins will cease to come.

IDG argues that “Microsoft surrenders Silverlight to HTML5″, but it is more of a Microsoft talking point. Truthfully, Microsoft surrenders to Flash.

One of the people from Microsoft’s UX platform spoke about WPF earlier this year (it’s virtually if not practically dead) and he also spoke about Silver Lie, providing early clues about the internal problems. He said: “I am a little shocked at how fast my tweets spread across the interweb this week regarding my thoughts on HTML5, Silverlight and WPF. I’m not shocked by how fast people picked it up, or the fact that a well-respected journalist like Tim Anderson was able to take these tweets and built out quite a comprehensive story around it that actually fitted to the context of my tweets – I love Tim’s work, as he is one of the few journalist online that actually has integrity.

“What shocked me is how arrogant Microsoft staff was to the reaction or the sense of false belief that this was all some secret that everyone outside of Microsoft wasn’t privy to? Again, take a few tweets piece them together and a journalist was able to weave these threads into a pretty informed article or two around it all. I know Mary Jo from ZDNet has similar notes and so on.”

It is hard to find such people who put their job at risk and doubt Microsoft’s future by writing: “I’m not a disgruntled employee, I’m just a confused and frustrated customer who has high hopes for the company’s future.”

A recent update expanding on the above says:

Tribes are something we humans seem to never quite shake off and will often seek out mini tribe clusters in everything we do. If you’re into cars, you will typically find a club or social arena where others like you dwell, same with chess, fishing, running, riding bikes etc. pick your hobby and chances are there are others like you surrounding you.

The latest and third part of this series is where all hell breaks loose:

The story isn’t whether Silverlight is or isn’t dead. I don’t think Microsoft could even kill off Silverlight to make way for HTML5 just yet (HTML5 is simply still a science project in the market). I think what we are really seeing is a company as large as Microsoft in chaos.

You’ve got a President doing PR 101 mistakes, You’ve got a marketing team that double down on a single product instead of their entire UX Platform portfolio, you’ve got the Internet Explorer team writing their own messaging that confuses the masses against existing messaging. You’ve got an IE9 demo at PDC that smells, tastes and looks like a previous one in MIX07 only without the word Silverlight in it? You’ve got Silverlight not making an appearance at PDC which isn’t a bad thing given MIX is really the party for Silverlight, but given market conditions – YOU SHOW UP.

[...]

Bottom line is this, the entire Server & Tools business within Microsoft is in dire need of marketing reform. The strategy coming out of Redmond is chaotic at best, the design and develop discussion has obviously changed within the belly of the beast. The problem is, they’ve kind of forgotten to inform the masses of this and we’re only just starting to see glimpses of the inner truth now – and its frightening the kids especially when its Halloween time!

He blames just marketing maybe because he works on the technical side of things. He also takes a shot at Mary Jo Foley’s poor reporting. As one of our readers (FurnaceBoy) put it “the industry rags just copy down the Microsoft press releases word4word”

“Mary Jo does not [do real journalism] and that’s why she gets interviews at Microsoft,” wrote that person from Microsoft. FurnaceBoy is the person who noticed this and added (in IRC)

FurnaceBoy ‘tricked BobMu into saying things he didn’t want to’ == real journalism Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy otherwise she’s a STENOGRAPHER. Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy see: White House Press Corps Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy so there it is. Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy admitted in black and white Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy she gets to interview execs because she just writes down what they say. Nov 01 19:43
FurnaceBoy and does not challenge them. Nov 01 19:44
FurnaceBoy LOL, and also……………… Nov 01 19:45
FurnaceBoy they complain that the IE team has caused ‘the most trouble..is the main reason the Consent Decree exists’ Nov 01 19:45
FurnaceBoy under a BIG FAT HEADING that says Nov 01 19:45
FurnaceBoy “I for one reject our new HTML5 overlords” Nov 01 19:46
FurnaceBoy == “I for one REJECT ALL STANDARDS” Nov 01 19:46
FurnaceBoy And then they have the temerity to wonder why they get into hot legal water. Nov 01 19:46
FurnaceBoy what a marooon Nov 01 19:46

Here is how Microsoft plays the likes of Mary Jo.

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