Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Why Microsoft? 236

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why Microsoft?

Comments Filter:
  • Re:In the End... (Score:5, Informative)

    by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:03AM (#33931436)
    Right, even though M$ offers a higher starting salary out of college (~80k for a CPE vs 65k from LMC), I chose not to interview with them when I was offered because I felt like I would be a hypocrite for working for a company that conflicts with my moral and ideological beliefs.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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 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."

  • 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:In the End... (Score:2, Informative)

    by neumayr ( 819083 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:01AM (#33932172)
    Don't you see the value in having employees that didn't only choose to work for your company because the money is good?
    If they also happen to believe in what the company does, or at least doesn't have a moral problem with it, it's more likely they will stick with the job and maybe even do better work. Monetary compensation only gets you this far, at some point it won't be enough to pay for rationalization.

    While I might accept a job for a company that doesn't match my own philosophy, I would also leave it as soon as I get a chance to work at a place that's a better match for me.
  • 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.

  • Re:In the End... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:55AM (#33933914)

    But they do affect you.

    You could be a higher paid employee if it were not for the downward pressure these companies exert on the worker payrolls.
    And then there is:
    human rights

    Maybe if more people saw the sense it made to not work for, with, or buy from these companies, the world would be a nicer place.

  • Re:Discounts (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:17PM (#33934220)
    I really don't know. What got me thinking was that they asked me to build a boat in the only interview I had with them. I'm still puzzled about it.
  • Re:In the End... (Score:2, Informative)

    by MHolmesIV ( 253236 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:45PM (#33934578)

    (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)

    Yes, although you'll probably have hassles connecting it to the network and accessing internal resources, reading your mail, checking out code (Our source repository is windows only), etc. Also, if you install a version of Linux that has source code included, you will be considered "tainted" and none of the code you write is allowed to be included in shipping products. (Just common sense, considering the viral nature of GPL code)
    Yes, a lot of us use firefox, but you can't visit internal sites with it since it doesn't support NT Authentication. (Chrome, however, does)
    Lots of people have developed very useful tools, but you are correct that they wouldn't be released to the public.

  • Re:In the End... (Score:3, Informative)

    by indraneil ( 1011639 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @12:52PM (#33934652)

    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 does make it to the public.
    We are expected to dogfood our own applications. So yes, we do check out the latest browser, the latest builds of visual studio or what ever else we get asked to check.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain