Saturday, March 19, 2005

Good Questions in the Echo Chamber

Via Tim Bray's post href="">Go
od Question comes this post from Brad DeLong: href="">M$
FT. Basically, it's a question about where all that Microsoft R&D
money goes. Snippet:

What will users have to show for R&D expenditures that
may crack $9 billion this fiscal year? What will shareholders have to show
for this $9 billion. I know, they say "10% sales growth." But what
would sales growth be if R&D were cut back to, say, $1

Well, several questions I guess. Tim especially wants to know what the
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses is comprised of.

These questions should be easy for our leadership to answer... should
anyone ever ask them and then not settle for a vague handwaving answers
about innovation. Sorry, but I think all the analysts and interviewers have
finally gathered up their skirts to avoid anymore sunshine from being blown
up them. But yet we still blow sunshine when we should be shipping product
(thumbs up to MSN as of late).

Brad, Tim: I work here and even I have scratched deep ravines into my
scalp trying to usher forth a good explanation about where all that money
has gone (though right now I have a mental image of Franklins swirling
around a big drain
). The recent on-campus Microsoft Research TechFest
was a nice diversion and all (ooo, free laser pointer!), but it sure
didn't feel like a billion dollar experience, let alone
billions-and-billions (I have a feeling that an experience like that
would still be with me

A track back to Brad's piece leads to href="
_customers_dinosaurs">Mmmm... let's call our customer's dinosaurs! which
leads back to, oh, today's href="
g.html">earlier post.

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