Tarry for the Nonce

September 16, 2005

The Gates Are Breached

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 3:51 pm

Ed McCulloch drew my attention to the fact that Microsoft is losing the hearts and minds of its lemmings:

For most of its three decades, Microsoft has faced intense criticism. But in the past it came from the outside world. Rivals complained about its heavy-handed tactics. PC makers griped that it was hogging the industry’s profits.

Now much of the sharpest criticism comes from within. Dozens of current and former employees are criticizing — in BusinessWeek interviews, court testimony, and personal blogs — the way the company operates internally. This spring two researchers sent Chairman William H. Gates III a memo in which they wrote: “Everyone sees a crisis is imminent” and suggested “Ten Crazy Ideas to Shake Up Microsoft.” Many workers, like Lee, are in effect saying: “I’m outta here.” More than 100 former Microsofties now work for Google, and dozens of others have scattered elsewhere . . .

Employees’ complaints are rooted in a number of factors. They resent cuts in compensation and benefits as profits soar. They’re disappointed with the stock price, which has barely budged for three years, rendering many of their stock options out of the money. They’re frustrated with what they see as swelling bureaucracy, including the many procedures and meetings Chief Executive Steven A. Ballmer has put in place to motivate them.

Hmm . . . sounds like they have been assimilated into typical corporate America.



  1. I’m not sure that this is all that new. Microsoft employees always gripe. Engineers tend to gripe a lot in general. I forget where I read that engineers tend to gripe because they see the entire world as one giant unoptimized system.

    Comment by Toly — September 19, 2005 @ 5:07 pm

  2. I would say the world’s an inefficient system. Either way, Microsoft has made a lot of Millionaires over the years. Just because its not panning out for the latest set of newbies to join their ranks…well, boo hoo hoo. Welcome to real life. As the saying goes around here, …working for |fill_in_name| never made anyone rich (which is probably not true most of the time).

    Comment by Andrew P. — September 20, 2005 @ 10:57 am

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