Saturday, June 24, 2006

WinFS is Dead, Hiring Stop, Another Missing VP, and Stack Ranking 2006 - Comments

Just a quick post to break away from the lascivious conclusions around why Mr. Taylor is an ex-Microsoftie. Seems as though the comments have gravitated to a consistent assumption, and if true, I think we're all glad to see such violations lead to termination vs. hand-slapping "don't do that again"-isms.

(1) Some interesting comments, starting off with a WinFS update:


Specifically, in the post What's in Store WinFS Update, Quentin Clark sort of says "WinFS is dead. Long live WinFS!" Aspects of WinFS are being rolled into other products, WinFS is going away, and that grand relational-filesystem is going back into ivory-tower incubation. Great. So how much money and cross-team integrated innovation randomization did we invest in WinFS?

Is this why Mark Zbikowski left Microsoft (for those that wonder why I keep bringing up MarkZ: he had been with the company for over 25 years. Only Bill and Steve have been at Microsoft longer. His departure: mmm, kind of big. The silence about it, internal and external, is weird, to me.)?

(2) A fun rumor (?):

Newest news at MSFT: Due to crappy stock price now the big bosses are talking about STOPPING ALL HIRING in FY07.. The non Business groups are already calling off interview loops for this. Of course there will be "Some exceptions" (we all know they will be in Vista).

Goodness knows we need that. How many times has Ballmer remarked lately that our hiring has exceeded our expectations? First: stop squeezing more and more new people into the offices. Second: rebalance needs internally (I hope easy internal transfers are still on LisaB's to-do list). Third: start aggressive downsizing, realizing for teams that have screwed up that it takes a lot less people to screw up, anyway.

(3) Someone wrote me asking about Corporate VP Robert Uhlaner. ¿Dónde Está? Not off the main VP pages. Not in our Outlook Global Address List. What was Mr. Uhlaner's responsibilities? Corporate Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Planning and Analysis. Oh. Well that explains it. Looking through our extensive VP list, there's a new corporate strategy VP. I've said it once. I've said it twice. #3: Dreamy. Sorry, Robert.

In the meantime, it's looking like I need to write a script to run every week during this time of change to find out whois disappearing from the VP ranks...

(4) Lastly: how's the new review system treating you? My team's stack rank is coming up this week and I've wandered the halls and buildings talking to various managers about their experience so far. Some are stressed out trying to figure how to distribute their budgets fairly and recognize their super achievers, plus roll that up and ensure it's inline with their group in general. Others are just happy they are not forced to draw a line the middle of a bunch of excellent people but can move the line down a few folks to a more natural divider. Others are bouncing up and down in their seats, quite happy that they've designated everyone in their group as "Exceeds! Outstanding!"

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