Friday, October 07, 2005

The curse of Middle management

I had a long discussion with a friend of mine about Longhorn aka Windows Vista. He had just caught up with news and some of the recent interviews with Jim Allchin. He knew I had some involvement with the OS divisions, and was just generally curious for my perspective 2 weeks out of the company.

In my view, a lot of the problems at Microsoft stem from bad middle management. Microsoft has built up a whole ecology of managers, who are at least as concerned with their career as they are with making good decisions. I've interacted more than I like to admit. The effect is that upper management doesn't hear a clear story about what is really going on. I think the phrase I used was that they 'massage the message'. Combine that with long release cycles and lack of accountability falls out as an inevitability.

One of the reasons I left is because I just don't see any way out of that mess. I am humbled by MiniMicrosoft and his determination to be part of the solution. His loyalty is impressive. To me Microsoft has always just been another company, one of many. When Microsoft stopped being the right thing for me, it was time for me to move on. Microsoft is still a great place for many reasons. It has the best benefits of any company I've ever heard of. It has great people. It has a huge customer base, and some really amazing customers and MVPs. It has some amazing internal-only tools. But I don't think it will ever be the hotbed of creation that it was 10 years ago.


Blogger breakdown said...

Unfortunatly Microsft feels like it is trying to rule the world together with Google.every day Microsoft, Google, Microsoft Google. there will come a time when they both will stale and lose their top slot.
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