[LINK] And now for a kinder, gentler Microsoft?
Fri, 9 Nov 2001 11:36:54 +1100 (EST)
Interesting report on Microsoft's annual shareholders meeting at:
Ballmer also revealed that he's trying to modify the legendary cutthroat
culture within Microsoft. While the company will continue to prize
individual achievement, he said he wants employees to be more aware of
how their actions affect the entire business. Not only should they be
passionate about technology, but they should also be passionate about
how consumers use that technology.
"The thing I'm focused on a lot these days, really, is how we comport
ourselves, in some senses, as a company," he said. Changes were prompted
largely because Ballmer and the company were taken aback by the reaction
of the industry and even Microsoft employees to the lawsuit, in which
courts found the company to be a manipulative bully with computer makers
It's difficult to comprehend how they could only be waking up to this now,
and are genuine about changing. I sometimes think of the relationship
between Microsoft and its customers as pathalogically abusive, with
neither side really being capable of addressing the problem. After having
their behaviour exposed by the courts, they're so suddenly very sorry and
it won't happen anymore.
Shareholders rejected, for the second year in a row, a proposal
to have Microsoft join a coalition seeking to enforce labor and
humanitarian standards in China. Executives said the company abides
by similar principals on its own.
I wonder if these are similar principles which led them to be found by the
courts as "a manipulative bully with computer makers and competitors".
Gates also took some credit for the genesis of open-source
software. He said Microsoft made it possible by standardizing
computers: "Really, the reason you see open source there at all
is because we came in and said there should be a platform that's
identical with millions and millions of machines," he said.
And this is Bill continuing to disprove the theory that if you make
enough random statements about something, eventually you will say
something which is correct.