Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Has Microsoft lost its way?

Posted by metaphorical on 14 December 2006

David Pogue of the NY Times seems to think so. Both in print today and in a video, he says that Vista “broadly, boldly [and] blatantly” borrows from Mac OS X. “You get the feeling that Microsoft’s managers put Mac OS X on an easel and told the programmers, ‘Copy that’.”

And a couple of days ago, there was this story in Computerworld:

Windows development chief: “I would buy a Mac if I didn’t work for Microsoft”

December 11, 2006 (Computerworld) — Longtime Windows development chief James Allchin wrote in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software vendor had “lost sight” of customers’ needs and said he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.

In my view, we lost our way,” Allchin, the co-president of Microsoft’s platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004. The e-mail was presented as evidence late last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp.

“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products.”


The case, filed in February 2000, charges that Microsoft used its monopoly position to overcharge Iowans for its software. Held in the Polk County District Court in Des Moines, it is one of two remaining antitrust cases — the state of Mississippi’s case is the other — brought by the U.S. government and multiple states against Microsoft starting in the late 1990s.

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