Today’s blog post will start with an introduction, one about the four basic types of projects at Microsoft:
1) ones that are considered strategic to Microsoft’s strategies;
2) ones that are considered important to Microsoft’s goals;
3)ones that are merely considered to be interesting to Microsoft;
4) ones about which Microsoft doesn’t really give even a lone rat’s ass.
And there are really no other kinds of projects, from Microsoft’s point of view.
Obviously, some people would accuse me of vastly oversimplifying the situation. But what list on the Internet is not guilty of such a misdemeanor as providing some simplifying assumptions to make the overall narrative easier to describe and explain?
Another issue that is almost Microsoft policy is that it has the resources to make huge mistakes and yet be able to recover from them.
And finally, Microsoft is often forced to recategorize a project after a mistake is finally realized. You can probably realize the vast number of times that such a recategorization has happened in the past.
• how many times has Microsoft had a great idea but jumped into it too early?
• how many times have they won a market but not realized its true potential so that a competitor could rush in and clean their clocks?
• how many times has Microsoft been right but failed in the actual implementation to provide a compelling solution so that a competitor could sweep in with something better?
• how many times have they taken the lessons of one successful project and assumed [incorrectly] that they would apply to another?
• how many times have they just been completely wrong?
• how many times have mistakes in licensing or other reimbursement methods led others to vault past them by simply appearing less greedy (whether or not they actually in fact were)?
• how many times they got it right but that same “maximize the profits” mentality takes literally years to overcome?
You get the idea. In fact, I’m sure you can think of exact projects that fell into each of these buckets and more.
Whether it is EAI or IDN or MSKLC or font subletting or any of the other things about which I blather, I often wonder how much money they plan to burn through before they get it.
Then there was just as the most recent example the msg that I got the other day, just after I was laid off but before I lost my MSFT email account:
Nice to see your latest blog posts on MSKLC. Windows 10 has shipped, of course, and now is the time to try to plug for an update to MSKLC.
We’re all about being data driven here, and the current tide is moving toward more focused language support rather than thinking broadly. So I’m particularly interested to look for ways to justify the 1.5 or 2.0 version of MSKLC with numbers. You have often quoted 2M downloads. Is that a number you got from the DL center folks. I’d like to be able to point to that as a metric for investment here. I expect I should be able to pull a current number for that.
Also of interest would be applications of MSKLC in EDU or Enterprise environments where people are extending the keyboard for English or other major markets.
I realized that some people at Microsoft understand that there are things that people ought to pay attention to, who are trying to find some argument to get things done. And they are asking me.
Suddenly I realize that my larger goal, to be thought of by some of those at Microsoft who I respect to be what those who speak fluent HR’ese would call ***Bad attrition***.
Because as they search for answers to questions that
• I can answer (but they never asked before the RIF);
• I *have* answered in a Blog that they fought to shut down;
that I WAS bad attrition, whether the Powers That Be™ at Microsoft realize it or not.
Oh well. Maybe there is a way they can get me some consulting hours to make up for their lapses. Or they could just read this Blog! ;-)