The MacValley blog


Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.


Tom Briant

The MacValley blog

Editor: Tom Briant


Click here to email Tom

Click here for Tom's profile



To search the blog posts please use the box below

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vanity Fair rips Microsoft a new recycling bin

I just finished reading the article How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo by Kurt Eichenwald in the August 2012 Vanity Fair magazine. The cover shows Alec Baldwin with a flight attendant schussing him.

In the center of the cover reads “Special Report: How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo”.

Two things stood out to me from this article. First, Microsoft forced all employees to undergo six-month employee evaluations using the stack ranking system. Under this system, employees are ranked on a 1 to 4 scale. They are ranked on a variation of the statistical Bell Curve, meaning always a few low performers, the majority in the middle, and a few at the very top.

Now presumably Microsoft hired only the best and the brightest, and not a sizable random sample, of the graduating computer science/engineering classes from America’s colleges and universities. Forcing these high performers to fit onto this statistical model created a dysfunctional culture, where people not only sought to get a high rating, but to sabotage others’ chances of receiving a high rating. After all, only a few could receive a high rating.

The people receiving low ratings got no bonuses, promotions, and eventually got fired.

Second, Microsoft’s Longhorn project which morphed into Windows Vista versus Apple’s OS X 10.4 Tiger. Microsoft spent years (2001-2004), lots of money, and made lots of pronouncements about how great Windows Longhorn would be. Well, Longhorn was scrapped and Vista was created to replace it. It lacked a lot of the features promised in Windows Longhorn.

When Tiger came out, Microsoft engineers looked at it. They were shocked to find that Tiger contained the features that Microsoft had promised for Longhorn.

Well, I’ve tried the June preview release of Windows 8 and I am not impressed. On the other hand, I’ll get up early to download 10.8 Mountain Lion!

The article is NOT on line, so you’ll have to pay for the paper issue.

Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley User Group.

No comments:

Post a Comment



Blog Archive