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The Reorg Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013 6:50 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Reorg






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Post #1473330
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:20 AM
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There are a few things to consider about Microsoft's reorg that put the thing in perspective.

1) they do this every few years
2) it does not change the patterns that have formed with steve in the lead
3) they have become a HUGE bureacracy with an employee to contractor ratio of 1/3. They cannot build a focused organization because they don't have dedicated mission-driven employees across the enterprise
4) businesses have cycles. IBM went up, then down and up again. So is Microsoft. They happen to be in the down cycle.
5) lack of vision. Steve was never a vision guy. Gates wanted a pc on every desk top and steve made it happen. There is no one in the org that has that kind of a vision
6) Long term is without form. They don't really know what the future will look like. So they don't know how to proceed.

I could go on but you get the point. MS is a big, lumbering, fat, inefficient organization filled with mercernaries that care not for its fate. If they became a lean, aggressive, visionary organization filled with people of a shared stake and vision then they might get somewhere.
Post #1473359
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2013 7:24 AM
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"Developers, developers, developers."

Agreed, but there's two sides to the technology house. MS's gutting of TechNet (or at the very least making it less accessible to those without deep pockets) is another troubling shift.

Add to this the focus on the cloud (which to us in sensitive industries is practically a non-starter) and the non-sensical obsession with touch computing on a PC, and you start to wonder if they're losing THEIR touch.
Post #1473360
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2013 12:29 PM
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The other day I saw the interview with Julie Larsen-Green, the new head of the Windows group and the replacement for Steven Sinofsky.

From the buzz around this new appointment it appears that she may be being groomed to replace Steve Ballmer. In a word, I hope so, since she is far more accessible as a business leader than Sinofsy ever was and this characteristic is probably what made her a natural fit as his replacement.

However, when asked about the low number surrounding the Windows 8 Modern UI, she seemed to attempt to dodge the question since she knew what people wanted to hear was the concern over the Start menu button.

Personally, as a senior software engineer I am in complete agreement with the overall technical community; that the Modern UI should have been either part of a separate OS for mobile devices or an extension module for the existing Windows 8 OS.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has a terrible tendency to throw the "baby out with the bath water" every time they develop a new technology.

Similar concerns can be seen with the latest Visual Studio 2012/2013 interfaces, which are quite unnecessary given the maturity of the VS 2010 interface and poorly designed as it regards eye comfort.

These major complaints concerning the two mainstays of the Windows Platform have yet to be addressed concretely by Microsoft since they have gotten themselves into a terrible corner over their promotion of the Modern UI. However, in all fairness, Microsoft is attempting to keep up with a relatively ignorant generation of new developers who are seemingly wedded to their gadgets while technical media outlets keep on insisting that we are in a post-pc world. This combination of intractable, sociological forces are major factors in the complaints surrounding the Microsoft technologies and they won't be addressed until a new set of people are forced to address the inevitable results that will be apparent towards a user interface that has no business being implemented for serious work with computer technologies.

I believe that Ms. Larsen, from what I saw of her in the interview, will eventually be more open to the changes that the professional technical community is seeking once she understands that concentrating on such matters does not mean giving up on a very unique and quality interface design that rightly belongs on smart devices... but on smart devices only with an option for the desktop if that is what a user prefers...
Post #1473375
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:30 PM


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I've resigned myself to the fact that even the world's MVPs don't have much of an impact on what MS does. For example, there's been an "approved" CONNECT item that was approved almost 7 years ago now for a function to very quickly generate either a numeric sequence or a date sequence. Nothing yet in the product, though.

They also take steps backwards. For example, Pinned Tables where extremely useful for things like Tally Tables and other helper tables. They took that ability away saying that the system knows when to cache something and keep it cached. Here we are coming up on 2014 and the introduction of Hekaton... which isn't much more than Pinned Tables on steroids except it has more restrictions than the old Pinned Tables.

And they still don't have anything to speak of for file handling or data exports from T-SQL. The overwhelming suggestion is to use SSIS for that. Yeah... another system to maintain, another language to memorize, and more troubles than you can shake a stick at because it doesn't do it all. If it did, you wouldn't have to write bloody scripts to make up for what it can't actually do.

Then there's MS's idea of what should be deprecated and dropped or not. I won't even go there because it's such a huge subject.

What I'd like to see is for MS to get back to some grass roots programming to make T-SQL what it should/could be. For example, fix Bulk Insert and BCP so you really can skip a header that doesn't have the same kind/number of delimiters as the data. Make a Bulk Export that's as easy to use as Bulk Insert. Stop farting around with add ons like needing ACE drivers to import a freaking TRUE CSV file or a spreadsheet file. And fix PIVOT so that it's at least as it is in Access. The current version is a joke. Build that stuff in and make it easy to use and do. People have to do this stuff a whole lot.

The reorg should have been to split things up a bit... one to build new stuff (like Hekaton) and build it with some decent technology and no missing parts. Another group should be formed to fix all the crap (sorry, could help but call it crap) that's out in the field on a retrofittable basis. Lot's of people invest in MS technology like SQL Server and they keep the same rev for 6 to 10 years simply because MS makes revs have little "gotchas" from rev to rev that require full testing and lot's of rework because of deprecated features (decmial indexing, anyone?). How about the fact that you need to go to "Single User" mode for an entire database to set even just one filegroup for an Audit table to Read Only because it's static data!?

And holy shades of "Peter Norton", Batman!!!! Would it REALLY have been that bloody difficult to apply some 1980's technology when shrinking a database or rebuilding a clustered index???

Then there's the Office products... if they had spent as much time on giving people the choice of classic menus or using that (for example) bloody Ribbon Bar (which has really slowed me down a lot... takes 7 or 8 clicks to do what used to take 1 or 2 to get to the very same menus) as they did on "cool looking eye-candy" such as making "translucent" windows (REALLY??? How does THAT make you more productive???), they'd have a much reputation.

This reorg reminds of what happened in the 70's when RITZ crackers changed their box. They advertised that "Not to worry... You can change the box but it's still the same ol' Ritz!" and I'm really afraid that MS is going to follow in that path except their crackers can be pretty rotten at times and they need to change the cracker instead of the box.


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"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

"Change is inevitable. Change for the better is not." -- 04 August 2013
(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #1473410
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 8:52 AM


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The latest MS gig of software as a service strikes me as companies trying to hold onto their IP and dressing it up as good for the user….

Don't get me wrong I want developers to get an honest buck.

Seriously am I going to have to subscribe to every piece of software I need in my entire life through subscriptions?

Hopefully software houses and MS in particulare can figure out how to transition from products that require constant development to products that require less and less development which gives them an honest buck but doesn't ham string their users into dead end ghettos driven by selfish IP protection / marketing.

My guitar tab software has recently moved to software as a service. Luckily I have a desktop version but will that get cancelled at some point in the future?

Unfortunately software as a service is still the driving policy that I see at MS - maybe that's the underlying problem and not the structure? I think I'm saying what everyone else is. Concentrate on the users needs and less on protecting short term shareholder value. In the long term you'll achieve both. Anything else and you gradually sink the ship.
Post #1473699
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 9:24 AM


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As a developer, I've generally disliked Microsoft's application development products ... or at least the way they evolve.

Microsoft seems to make a habit of taking what is initially a good idea, and ruin it with bloated, unnecessary feature sets. I would suggest a case in point is SSRS, which was improved between the 2000 and 2005 versions, but which since has become something of a chore to work with. .Net is another example; the object model eventually became so large and complex, that reascending its learning curve with every new release detracted from the efficiency gained by using the product (not to mention last year's announcement .Net was being phased out in favour of 'Metro apps' and their HTML5/JavaScript/Ajax/CSS3 underpinnings. Suddenly, ten years' worth of labouriously acquired experience with the .Net product seemed hugely devalued.).

We all realise that in the IT profession, the only constant is change, and I understand Microsoft, like all of us, needs to change with the times. But I do wish Microsoft would avoid 'change for the sake of change', and concentrate on making good products better, not just different, from year to year.
Post #1473721
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 9:39 AM


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dg81328 (7/14/2013)
There are a few things to consider about Microsoft's reorg that put the thing in perspective.

1) they do this every few years
2) it does not change the patterns that have formed with steve in the lead
3) they have become a HUGE bureacracy with an employee to contractor ratio of 1/3. They cannot build a focused organization because they don't have dedicated mission-driven employees across the enterprise
4) businesses have cycles. IBM went up, then down and up again. So is Microsoft. They happen to be in the down cycle.
5) lack of vision. Steve was never a vision guy. Gates wanted a pc on every desk top and steve made it happen. There is no one in the org that has that kind of a vision
6) Long term is without form. They don't really know what the future will look like. So they don't know how to proceed.

I could go on but you get the point. MS is a big, lumbering, fat, inefficient organization filled with mercernaries that care not for its fate. If they became a lean, aggressive, visionary organization filled with people of a shared stake and vision then they might get somewhere.


They reorg constantly, but I'm not sure they've reorg'd to this extent in the past decade.







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Post #1473732
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 9:39 AM


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BTW, an interesting read here: http://stratechery.com/2013/why-microsofts-reorganization-is-a-bad-idea/






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Post #1473733
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 5:52 PM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/15/2013)
BTW, an interesting read here: http://stratechery.com/2013/why-microsofts-reorganization-is-a-bad-idea/

Yes, it's very interesting. If they continue with an appraisal system which insists on the bell curve, going over to a function orientation instead of a divisional organisation will have a pretty catastrophic effect; that particular bit of HR insanity has done plenty damage even in companies with product-oriented divisional organisational structure.


Tom
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