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Why Microsoft? 236

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-google-is-pickier dept.
theodp writes "Before a large crowd of students at the University of Washington computer science department, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked why students should care about Microsoft enough to want to work there. Aside from the ending, which begs for an if-you're-happy-and-you-know-it-clap-your-hands remix, Ballmer seemed to handle the question adequately for an MBA-type, although TechCrunch has a different opinion, suggesting 'maybe it's time for the great salesman to hang it up.' Oddly enough, a recent resignation letter from a Microsoft developer en route to Facebook ('Microsoft has been an awesome place to work over the past twelve years. In college, I never thought I'd work for Microsoft. Then I interned in 1997 and fell in love.') may be more what the skeptical CS student was looking for in terms of a Microsoft endorsement."
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Why Microsoft?

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  • Yes why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by js3 (319268)

    4 stories in a span of a couple of hours. Why Microsoft?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Megaweapon (25185)

      Perhaps Slashdot, slowly accepting their continuing decline in the web forum discussion arena, is trying to reinvigorate what they perceive to be their original driving force (shitting on Microsoft) instead of trying to fix the actual problems (that the site is stale, the "editing" still is non-existent after all these years, and that other outlets on the web provide more open ideas than the stagnant masturbatory groupthink).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by poetmatt (793785)

        wait, so you're trying to say that the site magically declined?

        Is it hard for people to realize that slashdot hasn't really changed a whole lot from the start?

        • Re:Yes why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:49AM (#33931980) Journal
          He said "decline in the web-forum discussion arena" which means a relative decline. You don't have to change to decline at all if everyone else is improving around you.

          That said, my only problems with it are what seem to be an increasing number of Troll stories seemingly posted for the sole sake of getting a nice, hit-count generating flamewar going and a certain echo-chamber like quality amongst the mob where it seems people come here to tell each other that their ideas are radical and right (piracy group-think, I'm looking at you) and to shout at people who don't share the group think.

          On topic, why the Hell is this a story? Reasons to work at Microsoft? They pay you money. Or is that out of fashion these days? ;)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "group-think" aside, I remember signing up here because it seemed to me that slashdot would get the tech news before it really showed up anywhere else, and would cover a lot of the smaller stories that other outlets would let fall through.

          These days I'll hear about tech news through co-workers, radio news, and gawker blogs not just earlier but usually by days or even a week or two. 9 times out of 10 when I see new stories pop up on the Slashdot RSS my reaction is "oh, they're just NOW reporting that?".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by digitig (1056110)

        other outlets on the web provide more open ideas

        Those other outlets being? All technical web forum discussion seems to be in decline. Probably because you used to have to be technical to be on the web at all, now you don't.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Requiem18th (742389)

        But we come here for the comments anyway.

  • Discounts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AlexiaDeath (1616055) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:51AM (#33931332)
    ... and a fancy name on the good old CV :D
  • In the End... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:52AM (#33931346)
    We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spyware23 (1260322)

      Who is this "we" you are speaking of? You and all the other Anonymous Cowards? You're called coward for a reason, you know. I know I wouldn't, just like I wouldn't assist most politicians, and dictators. If you want to force companies to change, you first have to change yourself.

      • Re:In the End... (Score:4, Informative)

        by David Off (101038) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:17AM (#33931542) Homepage

        I'm happy to assist dictators but draw the line at working for Steve Ballmer

    • Re:In the End... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MoeDrippins (769977) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:08AM (#33931478)

      Well, yes and no. It'd be interesting, but I have a friend in the Bing group and he's turned so totally fanboy about it that it's sickening on the level of listening to a true believer evangelist. Perhaps he always was and I never saw it, and perhaps it's more him than the company, but if working there turns off your critical thinking so wholly... no thanks.

      • That's funny! I had a friend who worked for MS about 10 years ago and the exact same thing happened - he became a super fanboy. He was constantly dropping hints about secret things he couldn't talk about yet and was generally annoying. A few years later, he left the company to work with some friends at a start up and as the Microsoft influence faded, so did his love of all things Microsoft. These days, he holds the company in pretty low regard.

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        I have a friend in the Bing group and he's turned so totally fanboy about it that it's sickening on the level of listening to a true believer evangelist.

        Same here, I'm reasonably sure that they're "suggested" to talk up Bing when their communications are being monitored (using their company laptops/email, on Facebook, etc).

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      What new interesting skills would anyone bring to your team/project/startup via MS?
      Microsoft does not bring any positive thoughts other than better PC 3d game frame rates.
    • Re:In the End... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:18AM (#33931556) Homepage

      I wouldn't, even as a lowly intern (i.e. zero responsibility) for extreme amounts of pay. Make of that what you will. I did apply to Google for a datacenter job once but, let's be honest, so did a few thousand others no matter what the position. But MS? Beat a path to my door, offer me 50% stock, I don't really care - *if* I took the job it would be only to cash in on it immediately and I'd do the legal minimum necessary, but to actually WORK for them? Nope. Having said this I've probably ruined any chance of actually working for them anyway (as if being a Slashdot regular wouldn't rule you out immediately), and do I care? No, not really. Do they care? Probably not either.

      I made a rule for myself when I left uni - never work for anyone that doesn't appreciate you. It's served me well through my own business (yes, I told customers to bugger off because I didn't like the way they were treating me - still made money, though!) and later employment and I've never had more than a week or so of unhappiness with a job in the 10+ years since - and you couldn't pay me enough to suffer that. I had workplaces change, even people change, to become less hospitable and almost immediately I provided the necessary minimum notice and left for somewhere else - usually for more pay, and more appreciation, and never have a problem finding the next job (I consider a 2-3 week window between jobs HUGE and the past three employments I've had my previous / new employers fighting over me for months and/or I have a definite job offer on the table before my existing employer even knows I'm looking - the new employer would know that I wasn't on notice when they offered the job, but they never cared about that, and I would eventually give due notice to my current employer, but I see that as my skills being in demand).

      I trash Microsoft for making shitty products. I do it as a living, in fact. I also avoid Microsoft products where I can because of this (unfortunately, I work with established AD domains a lot on a contract basis so I can't really avoid Windows, but I have converted several schools to much better products - latest was an installation of OpenOffice in a private school that could EASILY afford site licences for Office but saw the actual benefits of Open software after several little chats). I would also avoid MS as an employer, because I know that even if the job is interesting, the tech is cool, the project was the best in the world, the colleagues were fabulous, the money was ludicrous, that I would have to eventually follow some horribly contrived mission statement, or ill-thought-out company policy (can you use Linux machines as an MS employee without working in their "Linux lab"? What about Firefox? What if I deliberately choose not to use the MS tools and/or develop cross-platform tools to get my job done? Can't see MS releasing those to the public, or even allowing them in the first place), or whatever new management fad is doing the rounds in those-above-me's golfing circles.

      Not everyone sells out for the money. If they do, there's still a limit to what they would do for the money and that might be much lower than you think. But, to be honest, I hereby publicly state that MS can keep all their jobs. I actually make MORE money from going in, fixing up their messes and putting people on the alternatives, and I specialise in mainstream UK schools. The crappier they are, the more I make (Windows Vista and 7 "upgrades" have been an absolute god-send!). But, hell, I turn down jobs because I don't like the approaches of my predecessor there, or because the guy in charge that I would never have to talk to is a complete scumbag, or (another real-world example for me) because it means working for a school that think it's okay to spend £100,000 on upgrading a perfectly good network (and nearly the same again on a network manager) when the kids don't have exercise books to write in. That manager would have been me, but I told them to stick it and went to work for a primary school for 2 years.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I made a rule for myself when I left uni - never work for anyone that doesn't appreciate you.

        When I left uni I made a rule never to care about whether other people appreciate you at work.

        Otherwise I'd still be unemployed twenty five years later.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by indraneil (1011639)

        You can use any browser of your choice. I do.
        I have never seen any employee use a Linux desktop. I can't imagine the pain you would have to go through to develop/debug windows stuff on a linux box.
        I have seen people use their apple macbook-air to present things often enough though.
        I have also seen the IT staff doing their best to help visitors to the campus with config issues even when they use linux.
        I know several people who use windows ports of vim/emacs/cygwin etc in their primary desktops. Their code do

    • Absolutely not. Apart from what you read about them in the news, this company is way too big for me to a happy worker. I see myself as a craftsman, and craftsmen work best in small companies. I have worked in too many companies where at least 3 people re-formulated the clients wishes without asking him what he wanted to accomplish before it was thrown over the wall. I am much more happy now.
    • Re:In the End... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:29AM (#33931662)

      We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.

      I've trashed Microsoft's shitty products, but I don't trash the ones that generally work well. I'm quite happy with Windows 7, thank you.

      But I don't think I'd want to work for them. Partly because I hate writing code, and when I think of Microsoft I think of programming. Obviously they've got some kind of beefy network to handle all that coding... And they need someone to run it all... Which would potentially be the kind of thing I'm interested in... But that brings me to problem #2 - I don't want a giant organization where I wind up with an uber-specialized position. I like my little IT department where I can get involved in literally everything.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Yeah, but having to get through Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, XP and Vista to get to one that's apparently decent is asking a bit much. And that excludes DOS, NT and the versions of DOS+Windows prior to 3.0.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      If we had the chance is the issue. Although everyone makes a big deal about how the many of the leaders of Tech companies got that way because they were smart and motivated, not because they had a big degree, I find it interesting that such an emphasis is placed on recruiting from top tier colleges.

      If one believes that a mix of workers is best, those that have been trained in the status quo at top tier schools, those that have not been brainwashed by the top tier schools into thinking all their creative

    • Re:In the End... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by halber_mensch (851834) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:38AM (#33931766)
      Um, no. No. A million times no. Microsoft's is losing their grip on all of their endeavors, and you can smell the fear and loathing. It's a juggernaut built on the backs of broken promises and stolen dreams, with an army of giddy fanboys clamoring for their turn to be chewed up and spit out by the machine. No thank you, I'd rather spend my days contented with a decent salary that pays the bills and affords some luxury, and a career that affords me the opportunity to solve interesting problems and leaves my soul intact for myself and my family.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        [quote]It's a juggernaut built on the backs of broken promises and stolen dreams, with an army of giddy fanboys clamoring for their turn to be chewed up and spit out by the machine.[/quote] ... I don't think they really need drama majors, anyway.

        That is what you are, right? Or did Slashcode eat the [emo] tags around that post?

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Depends. Would I work for the Xbox team or the mobile team? No. OS team, Office team? Probably not. Microsoft Research, which is mostly separate from the main company and does quite a bit of cool stuff? I'd really think about it.

      Just like with Sony (awful music department, surprising ebook department), Microsoft is too big to be monolithic. You need to subdivide the company in smaller blocks and analyze each of them separately, for they probably don't work the same way. I'd still rather join Google or one
      • Same here - I'd consider MS Research, especially now they're relaxed the rules so you can do stuff that isn't Windows-focussed. They've got a team in Cambridge, for example, doing some really cool stuff with the Glasgow Haskell Compiler. If they wanted to pay me to work on optimising dynamic languages and didn't force me to use .NET... well, it's stuff I do for fun anyway, so I'd be a bit crazy not to let them pay me to do it. If, on the other hand, they wanted to hire me to work on Windows, then they'd
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      We all trash Microsoft for making shitty products, but in the end we would all work for them given the chance.

      Actually no. I would not work for them because I don't and could not believe in any of their products.

      Money isn't everything, but it's all they have to offer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rtb61 (674572)

      A complete and total lie. Not every one can be bought at least not with money and of course the price some tricky geeks would demand no company is often willing to pay. Sure M$ could change from being an importer of cheap foreign labour, an out sourcer of the first degree, a employer who keeps staff on sack on a moments notice contracts, a company with a terrible reputation for monopolistic abuse and standards skullduggery, a company that prides itself on the bullshit in it's marketing, a company that does

  • Oh, I dunno (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:54AM (#33931356) Homepage

    Maybe because if you have just a semi-successful career there, it looks awesome on a resume? I mean, let's face it...unless your office is run by an anti-Microsoft kind of person, the average company hiring IT folks (programming or otherwise) would likely be extremely impressed to see that on your resume, especially if you stayed there for multiple years and leave on your own rather than being fired.

    One of the biggest lessons you can't learn in college: sometimes, a job is worth taking for no reason other than how it contributes to future opportunities. Ditto for taking classes post-college.

    • Re:Oh, I dunno (Score:4, Insightful)

      by srussia (884021) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:48AM (#33931968)

      One of the biggest lessons you can't learn in college: sometimes, a job is worth taking for no reason other than how it contributes to future opportunities. Ditto for taking classes post-college.

      And ditto for college.

  • Developers (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:55AM (#33931364) Journal

    Because Microsoft has a proven track record for Developers Developers Developers!

  • "Not Sexy" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:59AM (#33931394)

    It doesn't even matter that this was Microsoft, other than the fact that if it were IBM we'd never have gotten an article about it. However, the kid in question may have been asking why IBM, or why Ford? Why not? Healthy, established companies with plenty of money that pay dividends. Everyone has heard of them and if you're "good enough" to work for them, then you should be "good enough" for anyone else later. Just because you and your buddy start a website in your dorm room and print up business cards declaring fancy titles doesn't mean that's going to be a good reference when you find out that becoming an accidental internet billionaire is harder than you thought and have to go find a real job.

    But, oh yeah, Apple is "changing the world" with their "magical" products (disclaimer, this is being typed on a Mac), so clearly everyone who is anyone should want to go work there. Or the new flavor of the week Rails shop. Or wherever. And for some people, maybe that's a better option and if they can make it work, good for them. I work for a small company practically no one has heard of, and right now it works for me. But, I'm to the point where I would much rather have the greater stability that working for a larger company would provide. In a few years the questioner will likely start to see the same thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ephemeriis (315124)

      I think you're kind of missing the point.

      Why should I work for X? is certainly a valid question. Depending on the company you have different pros and cons. Maybe they pay well, but they've got crappy benefits. Maybe they don't pay so good but they've got great benefits. Maybe there's tremendous name recognition. Maybe there's an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something spectacular. Whatever.

      What's vaguely interesting about this is that until fairly recently, nobody would have asked that

    • by Exitar (809068)

      If you don't work only for money/good CV but you value being satisfied by the outcome of you job, working for Apple is probably much better than working for Microsoft.
      For example, if your field of specialization is writing software for mp3 players, would you find more satisfying being an iPod or a Zune developer?

  • Most computer science students take the subject because they finish high school and think "what career pays well?". On the other hand those with a passion for technology all their youth tend to end up as Electrical Engineers. Thus, with no historical appreciation for the kind of technologically disruptive and legally overbearing company they have been, you can understand why Computer Science students may be lulled into a false sense of self-worth and pride about working for Microsoft.
    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I call shenanigans. This may have been the case for a few years in the late 90s and early 00s but these days it seems to pretty much be back to mainly geeks (with a bunch of "I made a myspace profile and I roxx0rz at headshots d00d" gamers who think they're 1337 h4xx0rz because they're the person in their own social circle who is the least tech illiterate).

    • Most computer science students take the subject because they finish high school and think "what career pays well?".

      I know a few people who work in education and sadly, those students make up the overwhelming majority of today's CS students. They also tend to have exceedingly unrealistic expectations too...

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:01AM (#33931406)
    Microsoft will pay you well and you feel you are part of a community.
    The downside is that you have to hide your MacBookPro and iPhone from public view.
    • by kangsterizer (1698322) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:22AM (#33931594)

      Microsoft will pay you well and you feel you are part of a community.

      The downside is that you have to hide your MacBookPro and iPhone from public view.

      You're modded funny of course but it has quite a bit of truth.
      Apple does not pay well. Microsoft pays better.
      Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

      Arguably, Google is more Microsoft-like, except you're also allowed to bring your MacBook at Google :P (however, forget about the iPhone, it's N1!!)

      • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:56AM (#33932096) Journal

        Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

        A friend that recently departed from M$ said the internal organizations are so politicized other groups would refuse cooperation or willfully withheld information "because they can."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by JAlexoi (1085785)
          Divisionised big companies tend to have that problem... They declare "Total synergy" in operations, but in reality different cultures in different divisions make it an internally hostile environment.
      • by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:01AM (#33932170) Homepage Journal

        Never having worked at Microsoft, I couldn't comment about them.

        Having worked at Google, I can comment about them: MacBooks are perhaps the single, most popular, laptop. iPhones are very common with perhaps the only reason why there are a lot of Google phones is because people got them for free as their Christmas bonus/gift. I would say that iPhones are probably the most popular personal phones which employees actually paid for.

        Not everything is completely open at Google, except maybe most of the source code. Like any large corporation, some individuals have carved out their personal empires along with all the associated politics...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mr_Silver (213637)

        Microsoft makes you part of their community, Apple does not, everything is segmented and you have no access to other's information.

        Another thing to consider is the country you live in and what influence it has on the product design and development.

        I know of quite a few people who work in big US-centric organisations (but are based outside of the US) and although they have a job title that implies that they have responsibilities, they really are only performing a sales/account management role and have to rep

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Mike Burrows [wikipedia.org] spoke at Imperial College London at a Google recruitment event.

        Afterwards, some of the staff cornered him (plus me and another undergrad) and asked him why he'd moved from Microsoft to Google. IIRC, he said Google had a better community and he had more freedom to do what he wanted, although he also said the Google staff worked longer hours (which for him was a plus, but got him some funny looks).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheUser0x58 (733947)
      You joke, but I contracted there a few years back, and at one high-level meeting I sat in on, half of the managers present had iPhones and wielded them shamelessly. I was the only one with a MacBook Pro... but it was running Windows.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:03AM (#33931432)
    Microsoft wouldn't really be that bad to work at because all their problems occur in management. Everyone who I've talked to that works at Microsoft loves it, the reasons their products are crap is because they have terrible management, separate people into "teams" which have little communication with each other, then they have separate "teams" working on the same product... which ends up being a mess.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I once got asked by a recruiter to interview for a Microsoft job but, despite offering a better salary, I told the recruiter I simply didn't want to work for a software company where "proprietary" is the watchword. (I currently work in the telecoms industry for a company that does pretty much everything on Linux).

      However, I recommended a colleague (who I knew wasn't happy with his job) to the recruiter & he ended up getting the Microsoft job & a better salary. As far as I know, he's still there

    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:02AM (#33932186) Homepage Journal
      You can tell just by looking at their products that they obviously have management issues. They often times release products that compete with each other and yet are not compatible at all with each other(2 types of incompatible DRM, 3 different phone operating systems at the same time etc.) And even within products you can tell that there was very little cooperation between groups. The windows UI is such an incoherent mess I have trouble figuring out where anything even is. Everything looks different and to top it all off you often times have settings for the exact same component in more than one place. In XP the firewall could be configured in no less than 3(THREE!) different places and the way each configuration interacted/overrode the other ones was incomprehensible. Compare that with linux where I can just edit the iptables file and be done with it(ok, there is hosts.(allow/deny)....)

      You can tell that many managers at Microsoft seem to still think it's 1998 and Microsoft is it's own biggest competitor. They will do ANYTHING they can to keep their own little empires, and the bonuses that come with them, alive.
    • by hedwards (940851)
      One observation I've had is that people that work at MS give a wonderfully confused look when you point out that something doesn't work. It's as if there's this magic line circling their campus beyond which the magical pixies refuse to travel to make things work.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:04PM (#33934078) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft wouldn't really be that bad to work at because all their problems occur in management.

      And yet all my jobs which have turned into nightmares were because of problems in management.

      If your manager is ineffectual you can't work. If your manager is a bastard you may be thrown to the wolves. A bad manager is the number one thing to fuck up a good job.

  • Answers: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Seth Kriticos (1227934) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:13AM (#33931510)

    Why Microsoft?
    Easy. Limited possibilities, so you don't have to think much, or solve real problems. Many mediocre job opportunities.

    Why not?
    Difficult, you are faced with real challenges, which some folks find positive. Also much better pay and growing market. You also get much less dispensable at some random downsizing. Ethically correct.

    • Re:Answers: (Score:4, Informative)

      by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:31AM (#33932664)

      Sorry, I'm most a Linux guy these days but your post is nonsense.

      Whatever you or I know or think about Vista and Windows 7, clearly Microsoft had "real challenges" getting both those OSes out and both of them made at least some attempt of getting over some of the "real problems" of inexperienced Windows XP users & XP's architecture, both of which (to some degree) allow applications to run with more permissions than they need but exploit security holes as a result.

      And, incidentally, I work for a telecoms company where 95% of our products run on Red Hat Linux - yet many of my colleagues have been victims of "random downsizing", simply because the need to show profit has nothing to do with what OS you happen to be using.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:15AM (#33931528) Journal
    Microsoft is and always has had a good reputation as a place to work. A lot of the senior managers came up from the trenches and do care about the working environment.

    I mean, say what you want about their business practices, quality of software and anything else, they've always come across as a good employer.
    • Good employer, yes, but there are far better. Google, Facebook, and Mozilla come to mind.
      • The difference, if there is one, is time.

        Compare articles about workplace life/perks at Google with similar articles written about Microsoft ten years earlier and you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

  • Oddly enough, a recent resignation letter from a Microsoft developer en route to Facebook ("Microsoft has been an awesome place to work over the past twelve years. In college, I never thought I'd work for Microsoft. Then I interned in 1997 and fell in love.") may be more what the skeptical CS student was looking for in terms of a Microsoft endorsement."

    Reading the rest of the long post, it's not explicitly clear why he left MS but he hints at several reasons. One of which was brought up by mini-microsoft about the little fiefdoms that became the culture at MS:

    A PM once remarked of a former Microsoft VP known for being ultra-aggressive in meetings: "I'd rather have him pissing from my tent than into my tent." Everyone within earshot chuckled at this witty political insight. I'd actually rather not have anybody pissing on any tents, mine or otherwise.

    The other is the perks are going/gone. Some of it is understandable but he seems concerned that MS was focusing on the wrong things.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:21AM (#33931580) Journal
    For the (n+1) th time. Beg the question does not mean raise the question. Beg the question is a literal translation of "petitio principii", a Latin phrase, meaning the answer is begging the question[er] to be accepted as a valid, even though it [meaning the answer] has precious little logic or evidence supporting it.

    We are constantly inventing new phrases and new usages. Why raid an ancient and well used phrase, disembowel it, and stuff a completely new meaning inside? If you want to play alien body snatcher, do it with real humans, not with time honoured Latin phrases.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:41AM (#33931842)

      Language evolves, as any linguist will tell you.

      I have my own list of pet peeves (such as "could care less"), but the fact is there's a good chance it'll go from being the phrase of choice among illiterate morons to something in common parlance within a generation. "Begs the question" is a phrase that I'd say is substantially further down that road, to the point where your explanation is probably less well known than the colloquial meaning of "raises the question".

      • by microbox (704317)
        No doubt that language evolves, but the problem with "begging the question" is a little more pernicious. What would you rename this fallacy to? The "loaded question" fallacy?
    • by poor_boi (548340)
      I'm afraid the battle for "begs the question" is a lost one, my friend. But keep fighting the good fight, I guess.
  • I've never worked for Microsoft or GM, but from the outside the two look very similar.

    For years both were/are giants in their respective industries - the standard of those industries if you will.

    Years of shoddy products and internal political turmoil took their toll on both companies.

    I wonder if Microsoft will avoid GM's fate - financial problems and an eventual government rescue? It's hard to imagine Microsoft with financial problems, but at one time in the not so distant past, it was also hard to imagine

  • Like many days, today's /. feed is more than 50% stories related to Microsoft. OK, I get that the community here is predominately pro-Linux/anti-MS and I should expect the stories to skew to one side. But I'm not seeing the nerd value in a lot of these stories as they seem to only be posted to support and/or justify the collective belief that all things MS suck.

    I'd like to see more news for nerds and stuff that matters make it to the feed.
  • Not prudent (Score:3, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:42AM (#33932826) Homepage Journal

    Ballmer should just never, ever appear on camera. He just shouldn't do it. Some P.R. person needs to take him aside and convince him that it would be better to have some spokesmodel than for his simian presence to scare the young.

  • by lalena (1221394) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:05PM (#33934092) Homepage
    For those wanting to discuss the article instead of Microsoft bashing...
    I liked the insight into How to get ahead the best. - Maintaining skills, performing good work, meeting commitments, act on your ideas, no unnecessary gossip...
    I would hire this guy if I could based on that one blog post.

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