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Microsoft The Internet

Mini-Microsoft Shakes Things Up 374

Henry V .009 writes "BusinessWeek calls him Microsoft's Deep Throat. Although Steve Ballmer denies reading the blog, there are plenty at Microsoft who do. Mini-Microsoft says he wants to "slim down Microsoft into a lean, mean, efficient customer pleasing profit making machine." The user comment section of the site is the real gold: thousands of comments from Microsoft employees who tend to have a dim view about the company's recent evolution. And Microsoft may even be responding to all the internal criticism."
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Mini-Microsoft Shakes Things Up

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  • insane (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seanadams.com ( 463190 ) * on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:33PM (#13610642) Homepage
    Wow. This guy is nuts. I'm stunned that anyone could have such a love/hate relationship from the inside of a monster corporation to go to these lengths to fix it.

    His employment agreement surely makes him liable for incalculable damages, not to mention inciting other employees to violate their contracts (which is punishable for contracts in general).

    Maybe they won't know who it is until they find this guy still bailing out the hull after the last rat has left the sinking ship. I think they'll find him sooner, especially now that he's talking to the press.
  • Where's the proof? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stubear ( 130454 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:40PM (#13610672)
    It amazes me (well not really, this is /. after all) that slashbots will take anything at face value as long as it proves their assertions. Where's the proof this guy is a Microsoft employee? Where's the proof the reader comments are from Microsoft employees? If either of these are true, would they make similar comments if they worked at some other large corporation? I'm not trying to defend Microsoft, I'm just pointing out a character flaw in the community.
  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) * on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:44PM (#13610705) Homepage Journal
    It would be a new twist on the old idea of selective leaks. It certainly would be an effective way to convince the public (and the market?) that microsoft is sensitive to and accomadating of internel disagreements. This might also be just the "rallying cry" that Gates and Ballmer need to cut loose thousands of employees too.
  • Re:insane (Score:5, Interesting)

    by uncoveror ( 570620 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:49PM (#13610726) Homepage
    Yes, he and others like him need to stay anonymous, or they are toast, but it shouldn't be that way. It is high time laws were passed to protect such bloggers' free speech rights no matter what the legal mumbo jumbo they had to sign off on to have a job says. No employment contract should be able to take away free speech.

    The workings of any publicly traded company ought to be public knowledge. We should have the right to know about companies, and not just their PR spin, before investing or when contemplating whether to sell stock. It is not good for the economy to let publicly traded firms operate in secrecy, and snooker investors

    Even if a company is not publicly traded, prospective customers deserve to know what is going on.

  • by putko ( 753330 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @10:54PM (#13610754) Homepage Journal
    It is inevitable that this guy is screwing up.

    They will find him, and when they go, I expect he will have a meeting with Ballmer. It will not be pretty.

    It won't be like Deep Throat, who, even though suspected, managed to not get found out until recently. Even with him, folks had their suspicions.

    Especially now that this guy attracts attention. All Ballmer has to do is tell his team of mini-Ballmers, "find him!" and it won't be long.
  • Re:insane (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dado529 ( 579877 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:07PM (#13610824)
    he sad thing is this is in every organisation that is sub-par. There are guys and girls who fall by the wayside everyday because fighting a bureaucracy is a form of attrition-style warfare. Can anyone agree more than me, this is why I no longer work for the tech industry. I now work on all these rich guys boat and take thier money.
  • by bladesjester ( 774793 ) <slashdot AT jameshollingshead DOT com> on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:07PM (#13610825) Homepage Journal
    It says explicitly in the article "Mini, who does indeed have a Microsoft blue badge, the type given to full-time staff."

    There's your proof. He's got a blue badge and the reporter saw it.
  • Easy to ID this guy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Cowdog ( 154277 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:10PM (#13610839) Journal
    It's amazing how otherwise well-informed people didn't pick up years ago on the fact that it is easy to identify a writer based on the statistical properties of their writing. This guy is providing plenty of material for the analysis. Do a cross check against the email for all employees, and game over.

    Also very few people actually print out corporate memos like the Ballmer memo he mentions (yes, strikingly many do, but as a percentage, it's small). So that narrows down the field right there, and I haven't even got beyond the top post on the blog. Sure, he could have printed it at home, but did he? Naaahhhh.

    If he hasn't been fired by now, it's not because they can't find out who he is. They are just waiting for the right moment.
  • Re:insane (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 20, 2005 @11:24PM (#13610910)
    Kind of like those computer use policies that companies have. The only ones that seems to get fired for using the email system for occasional personal email are the ones that send out questionable stuff about their employer.
    My company was on a witch hunt for someone internally recently. We had an internal email that was forwarded to a blog that pertains to our line of work. There was absolutely no company related content and the original sender address was masked (but our compnay name was visible) but it was kind of embarrassing or funny in the way it was worded, it was related to what was and was not appropriate dress in the workplace. They never actually tracked down the forwarding culpruit but I had to go through months worth of server logs and backup tapes looking for who forwarded on that email. I found nothing from our office email servers and neither did any of the others so we assumed it was cut and pasted into a web mail account and sent from there. IMHO, the whole thing was a complete waste of time considering the time and effort that went into trying to track it down.

    I am getting OT here but we've also started using Websense in our offices. What struck me as odd is the various secretarial managers reasons for wanting the statistics. Not bandwidth, not questionable sites, they want to go through the logs and determine who is browsing the internet the most and take action with them. I may be old school but shouldn't a manager already know or have a good idea of what employees are slackers and which ones are poor performers? If there own bosses have no problems with the work their own secretaries provide to them or if he does have problems with them, can't they deal with the secretarial mangers with specific issues? It seems like they want a tool to provide an answer for a different managing problem they have. Kind of like comparing the person that always gets to work on time but does not do shit is less noticed and bothered then the occasional 5 minute late comer that busts their ass and puts out top quality work all day.
  • Re:insane (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @12:53AM (#13611217) Homepage
    He just doesn't realise that microsoft has to be the way it is to generate those profit margins. Corporations have do it time and time again. You sell off customer trust to maximise profit and then try to hide the fact with an endless series of marketing lies and of course bail before it all collapses.

    That is the nature of modern corporate business. Naturally management feels none of the pain, infact they are well rewarded for it (they are in a position to make sure that happens). Regular staff of course lose everything but they are not on their own as people outside the company see theiar pension funds get wiped out as well.

    So the press is now paying attention to a blogger who claims to be from microsoft because they no longer believe anything coming from official channels (the buy our stock even though we are selling it line). The vista is grim indeed, well at least for anything microsoft. For the rest of us, it is going to be a breath of fresh air and a beautifull penguin friendly view going forward.

  • Re:insane (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slipster216 ( 903231 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @01:26AM (#13611349) Homepage
    Except that by law a corperation has the equivelent rights to a person. A long time ago corperate lawyers argued that corperations should have the same rights as people, because at the time they acted as entities for the needs of the people. And suddenly, an amendment passed to protect the rights of african americans was hijacked into giving corperations an overwhelming amount of power. In the years since that amendment was passed, the system has simply run out of control.
  • Re:insane (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tehlinux ( 896034 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:16AM (#13611506)
    I say it's high time to say "f u" to the legal language and make it a requirement that all contracts be brief, to the point and in plain language

    The problem with plain language is that it's vague - that's why contracts are long-winded. I could see requiring a definition of all terms that are used in a way that differs substantially from normal parlance. Outside of weird usage, most contracts are just boring.

    I've always believed they should be required to provide a plain language version with the original contract, even if the plain language version isn't legaly binding.
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:20AM (#13611514) Journal
    Or, perhaps he never printed it at all.

    The article _did_ say, after all, that he had deliberately supplied some misinformation here and there (with regards to himself, in particular) to divert suspicion.

  • by asb ( 1909 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @02:56AM (#13611631) Homepage

    Cripes... how paranoid can you get?

    You have the common "default believe" attitude which makes astroturfing and guerilla marketing work so well. If you had the "default distrust" attitude this article would have bells ringing all over your head.

    Consider what he is writing, what kind of NDAs he must have signed when being hired and how easy it would be to track him down (anonymity in internet really does not exist).

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes