Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft IT

IT Practice Within Microsoft 508

Posted by michael
from the yummy-dog-food dept.
SilentChris writes "Good article over at CNet regarding Microsoft's internal IT practices. Some intriguing statements from the CIO, from the obvious ('It's an easy choice for me--to run Microsoft technology. We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle.') to the not-so-obvious ('Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IT Practice Within Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • by Folmer (827037) * on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:28PM (#11083983)
    I thought that it was normal corporate behaviour to look at their competitors. Long time ago there was a story here on /. where one of the lead devs of IE admitted that he ran firefox. But when this guy doesnt run *nix and oracle, how should he be able to compete with them?
    • by ERJ (600451) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:32PM (#11084044)
      Eh, this is talking about their IT infrastructure. It would look pretty bad if it was based on unix servers and oracle databases.

      I'll bet you anything that they have unix servers and oracles databases for comparison purposes though.
      • Eh, this is talking about their IT infrastructure. It would look pretty bad if it was based on unix servers and oracle databases.

        Not only would it look, it would be bad for the future development of Microsoft's products; if they were inadequate for even internal use, how could they hope to compete on the open market? Not even Microsoft is that dumb.

        --

      • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:01PM (#11084418)
        I'll bet you anything that they have unix servers and oracles databases for comparison purposes though.

        Probably they do, but how mcuh real comparison can you do without running production systems? It could be just a small piece, but to ignore what it's like to maintain other products in production is short-sighted, I would say.
      • by dingfelder (819778) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @04:19PM (#11085591) Homepage Journal
        errr.. they do have unix boxes:

        Although MS has replaced some of hotmail from bsd to win2k, for other portions, win2k is just not powerful enough to replace the Solaris UNIX back-end.

        Quote:

        (from http://www.freebsd-corp-net-guide.com/rejrev/pref- 1.html)

        In the first section of the Preface, I cite the Microsoft-owned Hotmail service as an example of a major production facility that uses FreeBSD. Several reviewers pointed out that after Hotmail was purchased by Microsoft, they commenced a program to eliminate all usage of FreeBSD and replace it with Windows 2000, and that citing Yahoo as being entirely run on FreeBSD (which it is) would be a better cite.

        I rejected this purely for political reasons. Most people aren't aware of this, but Microsoft itself extensively used BSD UNIX for years for Internet serving through the Windows NT 3.51 days. This continued well into the Windows NT 4.0 days, although during that time the company began hard efforts to switch away from BSD UNIX to NT. This was not done because NT was technically superior but rather because Microsoft wanted to "eat their own dog food" as the industry line goes.

        The upshot of this is present even today. Microsoft uses Conexxion as their principal offsite FTP service to distribute upgrades of Microsoft Internet Explorer and other programs, purely for this reason. It is simply because NT 4.X and even Windows 2000 is not capable of serving such a large volume of files onto the public Internet. Other companies, such as Walnut Creek/BSDi and Sun, have no problems distributing just as large an amount of data because they use UNIX. Microsoft has mandated that this kind of file update only occur over NT/Win2K. As a result, it takes an entire plant stuffed to the gills with NT servers to accomplish the same thing that only a few UNIX servers are needed to do. After all, when the work is continually subdivided, eventually the limits of NT's abilities are reached. Because of having to involve so many NT servers, it turns what would be a simple task under UNIX into a giant task involving hundreds of people. In short, it cannot be done in-house anymore and must be turned over to an entirely separate company that specializes in distributing large quantities of files with Windows platforms. While every other major company that uses UNIX like Solaris or the FreeBSD operating system can distribute large numbers of files over the Internet without a lot of expense and effort, Microsoft--purely for marketing reasons--has to hamstring themselves and spend millions of unnecessary dollars. The fact that they admit this and were unable to redesign Hotmail into an Windows-only service deserves to be made obvious.

        The final word on the Hotmail affair is this: FreeBSD is used as the "front end" mail processing part of the service. Sun's Solaris is used as the "back end" mail processing part of the service. Only the FreeBSD front-end has been replaced with Windows. Microsoft still cannot get Windows 2K to be powerful enough to replace the Solaris UNIX back-end.

        end quote

        Additionally, in their own whitepaper about the bds portion being migrated to win2k, (references here - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/11/21/ms_paper_t outs_unix/) they themselves state all sorts of advantages of unix, such as kernel stability, processing ability and complexity of windows.

        a good read :)
    • by fitten (521191) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:33PM (#11084065)
      Maybe because this is the company's internal IT practices, basically what they do to run their shop. He isn't talking about the product strategy groups who go off and do exactly what you are saying.
    • by sphealey (2855) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:47PM (#11084272)
      A few years ago I read an interview with Novell's IT Director. She stated that she had NT, Unix, etc running on her network and when asked why replied that there were two reasons: because she deployed the best application for any purpose regardless of platform, and so that Novell employees would experience what their customers experience.

      I know which philosophy I as a customer prefer my vendors have.

      sPh
  • Longhorn? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kmmatthews (779425) * <krism@mailsnare.net> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:29PM (#11083999) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?

    Aha! So that's why longhorn is taking so many years to write..

  • by Trekologer (86619) <adb@nOSPaM.trekologer.net> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:29PM (#11084003) Homepage
    I'm sure his relatives call him up constantly when their computer has problems.
  • Microsoft's internal IT practices. of all of their software security/bug/virus problems, I'd say that they show up to play without any practice.
  • Spam (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fruvous (776606)
    "We get 10 million e-mails a day coming into Microsoft. We delete more than 9 million of those as spam." Well I wonder why you're so popular...
  • Misquoted (Score:5, Funny)

    by HungWeiLo (250320) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:30PM (#11084012)
    "We don't run Linux....we run GNU/Linux"
  • they use macs to make their "MS is the best" PDFs
  • by Heem (448667)
    I wonder if that means they can install any Microsoft software they want, or anything anything - I mean, Microsoft sucks, but at least it doesnt have trojans and such in it - if they are installing just anything, They better at least know how to fix it - and I wonder if that applies to the office assistants and the girl at the front desk, and other non-techies.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mundocani (99058) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:50PM (#11084300)
      I'm a former MS developer/employee and we could install anything we wanted period. There were never any restrictions other than the stuff you'd expect such as no pirated software, etc. There were login scripts which ran every time you signed into corpnet and you were required to run anti-virus software (eTrust). Bridging to the public internet from corpnet was also prohibited for obvious reasons. Beyond that, it was a very trusting environment. Even WiFi was deployed many years ago on campus, something a friend at Oracle says they aren't allowed to have to this day.

      Neither our admin. assistants or QA people had any restrictions either, but I don't know about the receptionists. They sure seemed to play a lot of those boring built-in Windows games, so maybe they weren't allowed to install other software. I never asked them.
  • Comedy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by NecroPuppy (222648) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:31PM (#11084028) Homepage
    users are the admins of their machines.

    So even Microsoft has realized you can't do crap under a limited login in XP.
    • users are the admins of their machines.

      But are they masters of their domain?

      I suspect not.

    • Re:Comedy... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by omicronish (750174)

      I know it's a joke, but when you need to do stuff like kernel debugging, testing stuff with GDI, yes, you need Admin privileges. It's unavoidable. However (I worked there as an intern this past summer), they do emphasize non-admin accounts when possible, and certainly for application-level work it's doable. I did it at work, and I do it at home.

      A lot of people complain about Microsoft making Windows unusable with non-admin privileges, but I honestly am using it fine with such privileges. Sure, every once i

  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:31PM (#11084036)

    Of COURSE they allow users to admin their own machines at Microsoft. Half of their software won't run correctly in XP unless the user has Administrator privileges.
    • by wibskey (193633)
      Here I am, as an admin, trying to make sure all of our applications work on XP with regular user ID's, and it's so frustrating.

      I get so pissed when I hear that some third party application requires admin to run... now I find out the people writing the OS are running it as admins. So much for these bugs coming out in the wash... then again, for MS, the end user is considered "the wash".

      For someone who has to deal with these problems all the time, reading something like this is very discouraging.
  • by enkafan (604078) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:31PM (#11084038)
    If you follow blogs.msdn.com, you'll find that while many people are admins of their own machine, they rarely actually run as admin. I think all they are saying is that they don't take away the power of the user to be able to install their own hardware or software. But the vast majority of people working at MS seem to understand the risk involved as running as an admin at all time.
  • Common (Score:3, Interesting)

    by over_exposed (623791) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:32PM (#11084040) Homepage
    Our 800+ users all have local admin rights on their machine. Why? We run some software that doesn't work otherwise. It's an AS400 client that needs admin rights to install updates to the client.

    Now, in all fairness, there is a way around it (and we're exploring it). The problem is, that while revoking local admin rights for our users would save us lots of time and effort in combatting spyware, etc, we'll use that time manually updating the AS400 client software.
  • by PhysicsGenius (565228) <physics_seekerNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:32PM (#11084041)
    Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want...

    That's the only way to run a network of computer-savvy users. Imagine a metalworking shop that wouldn't let the machinists adjust their own wrenches. You'd have to put a call-ticket in to "Tool Technology Support" and after a few hours (if you are lucky) or days (if you aren't) some kid comes over who doesn't know anything and tries to adjust your hammer.

    • How many networks are full of network savvy users. And even if you did have some people who Think they are network Savvy would you want them screwing with the settings? I believe that most people who are not network admins do not understand the implications of making everyone an Admin on their box. Major rule of networking....NEVER give someone more privelages than they need to do their job. That rule goes across the board, microsoft or non-microsoft.
    • Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want...

      That's the only way to run a network of computer-savvy users.

      Sure, but on the other hand, I suspect this is probably at the root of why Microsoft can't really grok why their products are so hard to use in typical enterprises. Very few of the non-technical workers in most enterprises are competent at managing their machines, so tools to make this easy and effective to do centrally are a must. Microsoft are beginning

    • That is one insightful analogy. I'll use it next time I send a request through to our "IS Helldesk".

      Mind you, I work in a call centre where it doesn't really apply in the same way.
    • by Doctor Crumb (737936) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:00PM (#11084403) Homepage
      Most programmers are not sysadmins. A better analogy would be a metalworking shop that wouldn't let the truck driver adjust the wrenches. He may or may not be qualified to do it, but it's not his job.

      If you are one of those rare programmers with sysadmin skills, get a job as a sysadmin and you will quickly learn that most users should not be let anywhere near a computer, let alone given admin.
      • A closer analogy would be that the machinist has a better wrench out in his truck but isn't allowed to just bring it in the building and use it. First he must put in a call-ticket, then hope that the helpdesk is willing to send somebody out to his truck, carry the new wrench inside, and put it in his working area. Because "it's not the machinist's job" to do that stuff.

        The point is that centralizing common and simple tasks wastes everyone's time - the support guy and machinist alike.

        Helpdesk is probably u
      • I've been a sysadmin and a developer and project manager (as well as tech support etc...).

        Your assumption, 'that sysadmins know what they are doing and programmers do not' is a fallacy.

        Just as there are inept users, there are inept sysadmins - and even good sysadmins can have their moments. I have seen sysadmins do really boneheaded things - primarily because they are focussed on the OS, as opposed to understanding how that OS interacts with applications and services running on the machine.

        The real answ
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:02PM (#11084429)
      I work for an Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Now one would think that the Computer Engineers at least would be competent. Well, not so much actually. Most of them are... how to put this... MORONS when it comes to computers.

      We have a Internet Technologies Lab. This is the lab where they study networking and so on. These are the engineers taht study this, they have degrees in this. However they have the most piss poor understanding of network fundimentals and security I've ever seen. They get boxes hacked all the time, they continually have problems with simple things like getting their subnet set correctly, and if their switch goes down plugging it in is too complecated a concept.

      Just because somone works ina computer related field, doesn't mean they are good at the support end of computers. I'd like to think that programmers and engineers ought to know enough to avoid spyware and such, but I know from experience that's not the case. Just because they can write good code doesn't mean they are good system administrators.
    • by IceFox (18179) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:46PM (#11085037) Homepage
      It all make sense!

      So this is why users in the real world need admin! Until internally they force their developers to only use user account there will always be problems. As a developer I can bet you that if I always have admin I will take the shortcut and not bother making sure it works 100% if I run it as a user that has no admin right. I always wondered why so many of their apps (MS Word needs write access to win32/ ???) require that you let them touch (not just read) files outside of your home directory. Know I know.

      Well I am happy. With this knowledge I know that Longhorn wont force users to only write to home directories like in Unix/Linux and virus's/bugs/spyware will continue to exists and they will only cause their Microsoft own downfall. This was the only feature that I figured would save Microsoft.

      -Benjamin Meyer
    • Tool Technology Support

      Actually, he is called a tool setter, and that IS how its done.

  • by EdwinBoyd (810701) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:32PM (#11084051)
    "Well Johnson, we found the latest build of Firefox on your machine and a copy of OpenOffice. Clear out your desk by noon"
  • Well, that clearly explains why the OS and applications are designed for the end user being an admin. Explains why all the non-admin accounts are such a pain to setup and get working with the permissions you want.
  • Nice Knee-Jerk (Score:5, Informative)

    by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:33PM (#11084061) Homepage Journal
    They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?

    I am a software consultant. The first thing I usually need when I go to a new client is to have local admin to run various coding tools (app servers, for example).
    Do those clients have spyware running rampant? No, because the people that have local admin aren't idiots. I'm sure MS spends time educating non-techies on what to d/l and what not to. Its not surprising nor do I necessarily think its a bad thing for people to have local admin on their machines.

    Of course, if this wasn't about MS, I'm sure no one would care... but some people simply need someway to stick it to MS....
    • by EXTomar (78739) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:41PM (#11084172)
      The people often bitten the worst by Spyware/Malware are very smart, very computer savy people. The problem is they don't realize all of the tricks that they will use to get onto your system. Besides, it can't happen to them! Many times people will recognize they've been bitten right away by an accident misclick but by then its too late.

      So while people might not be idiots, most should never be trusted with elevated privilages. But Windows does give you an option (or they are very painful) so load up the maintaince costs with all sorts of software and network monitoring because MS refuses to learn lessons painfully realized 20 years ago.

      For the love of all that is good and holy, I wish MS would abandon certain technologies (Active X hosting in application frameworks), I wish MS would stop requiring user level tasks with elevated privilages, and I wish people would stop making excuses for MS. Reinstalling from a backup image is not the proper way to fix problems on a platform that is supposed to be "enterprise enabled".
    • Do those clients have spyware running rampant? No, because the people that have local admin aren't idiots. I'm sure MS spends time educating non-techies on what to d/l and what not to. Its not surprising nor do I necessarily think its a bad thing for people to have local admin on their machines.

      You think a company, ANY company, doesn't have its share of non-techno-savvy idiots installing spyware? I work with people who are somewhat tech savvy, yet they still get spyware. Do you actually think that a com

  • Don't run unix, eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheGrayArea (632781) <graymc AT cox DOT net> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:33PM (#11084067) Homepage
    I guess that means they finally upgraded the phone system. Back when I worked there in Developer Suppport (98-03) the phone system for our incoming customer calls ran on a Unix system. To run the phone monitoring application and see the various queues you had to run an X-desktop emulator (Hummingbird I think) to run the monitoring app. I always thought that was funny at the time.
    We were allowed to pretty much install anything we wanted to. I had tons of command line tools, perl and other stuff installed along the way.
    Oh, and lots of guys had Linux boxes running at their desks along the way as well.
  • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:34PM (#11084083) Homepage
    So, if "We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux.", then WTF did Microsoft feel the need to pay SCO all those millions of dollars for UNIX licenses? Unless, of course, the money actually came out of the "Marketing/FUD" budget instead the "Software Licenses" budget...
  • If you read MSDN blogs [msdn.com] you occasionally come across references to people using non-Microsoft software, including Firefox, Apache, and *nix. Hotmail uses UNIX tools running on Interix [microsoft.com]... which includes the "viral" GCC.
  • Pain (Score:3, Funny)

    by Icarus1919 (802533) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:35PM (#11084089)
    We start with the product group that developed the product, so they feel the pain first. Man, truer words have never been spoken (at least by an MS executive.)
  • combatting spyware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgpeter (132079) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:35PM (#11084093) Homepage
    Some of the spyware that is out there will utilize known security vulnerabilities to install itself on the machine WITHOUT the user being an Administrator.

    Also, quite a bit of spyware will simply install itself to the user profile (hotbar, etc.), the only way to combat these types of spyware is to utilize Mandatory Profiles.

    Spyware is an ongoing problem with ANY Windows machine, whether it is "secured" or not.
  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:35PM (#11084098)
    ('Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines, but we do audit the network continuously.') I wonder how much time is spent combatting spyware?"


    Pardon me for standing up for them, but ... it's MICROSOFT. They have a lot of smart talented software engineers who are just as capable of administrating their own computers as those writing for /. - and whatever is missed, like some spyware, gets picked up by the continuous network audit.


    Peeves me off when the people writing the software are not trusted to administrate their own computer which they are writing software for (or some equivalent thereto). What's with this growing American sentiment that nobody should be trusted with tools, that only someone special should be (without noting the perversity that if nobody can be trusted, then nobody can be trusted)?

    • There's quite a difference between having a key to the gun cabinet and constantly having a double action 357 magnum pointed at your foot. This is the primary difference beween Unix and DOS culture. Unix users and admins realize thier own limitations and would rather not have the constant ability to screw themselves over.

      If you run as root when you don't need to then either you are an idiot or those that built your system software are.
      • root and administrator really can't be compared. root in UNIX exists because of the legacy system of multi-user time-sharing mini-computers. Admin/user in windows exists almost purely for sys administration tasks. So in the UNIX world its very easy to get software that runs with its permissions system, in windows you'll be surprised how many apps try to write to system32/temp or windows/temp instead of the local profile.

        Sure, they are similiar concepts but in practice they're very different. Windows is
    • Being a Smart and talented software engineer doesn't make you capable of administrating their own system. Sure a large percentage are but there are still an other large percentage that arn't. Many good Software Engineers take what they are doing for granted and assume themselves as computer gods. Thus being sloppy in there computer safety skills. Running as administrator when they don't have to. Installing conflicting libraries, or just the fact that they are Software Engineers they might just want to
    • just as capable of administrating their own computers

      Is it just me, or is the word "administering" being slowly replaced by "administrating"? Administrating seems to be the wrong tense to me.

  • No *nix? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anderiv (176875) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:36PM (#11084109)
    We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.

    That makes for a great testing environment for Windows Services for UNIX, huh?
    • Re:No *nix? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sg3000 (87992) *
      > I don't run anything that competes with Microsoft. My goal is
      > to make sure Microsoft products are the best products in the
      > world. It's an easy choice for me, in that sense--to run
      > Microsoft technology. We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux.
      > We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.

      100% Windows? Wow, that must make the Macintosh BU [microsoft.com]'s development efforts pretty hard.

      Although I agree that Microsoft should use their own products wherever possible, the interview with the
  • As both of these are MS ERP products?

    100% Microsoft my foot.

  • I no longer have access to ISP weblogs, but I seem to remember taking a browser census and noting that vistors from MS were indeed running Mozilla under Linux.

    This makes sense and is consistent with the CIO's statement. Since each user is their own administrator, they are allowed to wipeout windows and run any Linux distro they want. They probably use use VMWARE or VirtualPC to host their Windows OS and quickly switch to full screen whenever a manager is around.
  • Spyware... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WilliamGeorge (816305)
    I have a hunch that a really good way for MS to make sure it only has (reasonably) computer savvy employees would be to - ahem - "terminate" anybody who couldn't keep their computer clean. I mean, if a guy is coding MS security stuff, and can't keep a single desktop safe, he doesn't belong there...
  • Best practices (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:40PM (#11084162) Homepage Journal
    With every user at MS an Administrator of their own machine, it's no wonder that it's so hard to implement any other security model using Windows.

    I hope some of those users are smart enough to give themselves a luser account and run under it ... but wait, that doesn't work well in an enterprise using Active Directory, does it?

    Maybe they have an enforced policy of using anti-spyware and anti-virus software ... but Microsoft doesn't make any.

    Maybe they have extensive training classes with stock options going to those who don't spread viruses (sort of like those "accident free days" campaigns you see at some companies). But wait, no one wants their stock any more ...

    Oh well, they're Microsoft -- they must know what they're doing.
  • by TheCeltic (102319) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:40PM (#11084168) Homepage
    Is it not true that they use Suns to compile windows itself? Because they need the huge multiprocessor power of a real computer (130+ cpu's)? What about (noso)hotmail? There are still BSD systems running there. I guess the article is only talking about workstations?
  • Quoted from the article "I have no skills and no ability..." Yep, sounds like Microsoft to me.
  • No skills? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tchernobog (752560)

    We do [...] have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis. As an IT organization, I have no skills and no ability and no purchasing of those products.

    So he's an IT manager with no skills in the IT industry other than MS-related? Someone could call this "to be blind and overconfident".

    Me, I call him a lucky guy that is probably paid >= 4000€ a month to say to the world "I don't know a thing about IT, but with MS my income has doubled". Heck, being on Bill's bill, McBride can

  • by warriorpostman (648010) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @02:47PM (#11084267) Homepage
    Obligatory rant here...how do they know it's the best product if they never run anything non-microsoft.
    As a policy, I don't run anything that competes with Microsoft. My goal is to make sure Microsoft products are the best products in the world. It's an easy choice for me, in that sense--to run Microsoft technology. We don't run Unix. We don't run Linux. We don't run Oracle. We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server.
    What does the following mean? Other than an incoherent repetition of the above.
    We do, in areas on the client, have an open-source client running--just for competitive analysis. As an IT organization, I have no skills and no ability and no purchasing of those products. We don't even run J2EE. Everything is .Net.
    This guy really earned his title as Chief Information Officer. When I read this interview I got flashbacks of video clips of Iraq's Minister of Information making all those bizarre claims about the invasion.
    • by hunterx11 (778171) <hunterx11&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:07PM (#11084503) Homepage Journal
      The Linux boxes are not here. They are not anywhere. They are segfaulting in the parking lot as we speak. I must now inform you that you are too far from reality.
    • by Jester99 (23135) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @04:13PM (#11085508) Homepage
      Obligatory rant here...how do they know it's the best product if they never run anything non-microsoft.

      The point is they're eating their own dogfood. They may not have the absolute best product in the world, but it does everything they need it to do. If the only way to get feature X is to install Oracle WhizBangPro 5.0, they refuse to do it: they just write that feature into their own software. And thus, their software has all the features they need.

      Given that the IT needs of Microsoft probably rival or surpass almost any other organization, I'd say that probably qualifies their products as at the very least among the best.
  • "We're 100 percent Windows, SQL Server" Hold up a second, now. How the heck do they expect to know if their products are good or not, if they have nothing for comparison? You've got to be -very- familiar with both sides of an argument if you expect to win it.
  • At least in the "eating your own dogfood" department:
    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/12/11/wwwg e orgewbushcom_switches_to_selfhosted_freebsd_server _wwwsuncom_upgrades_to_solaris_9_not_10.html [netcraft.com]

    Of course if the Sun admins are going by what the www.sun.com webpage says, they're probably just as confused as I am about when the real version of Solaris 10 is coming, why they had a "release event" without releasing the actual product, why all those "Solaris 10" links go to Solaris Express beta download
  • Likely little to none... oh wait, they probably use MSIE... strike that.

    While I service a lot of Windows machines, my own WinXP box remains free of such contamination due in part to my own browse habits (I don't click "yes" to everything and I don't visit a lot of weird sites all of the time.) as well as the browser that I use.

    My users are a different story... I keep fairly busy with it.
  • they must be admins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by multi io (640409) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:04PM (#11084463)
    the not-so-obvious ('Our users are the admins of their machines. They can load whatever software they want on their machines

    Note the subtle line of reasoning there -- what he implied to say is "Our users are the admins of their machines *so* they can load whatever software they want on their machines". Which is perfectly obvious, because it appears that on Windows, to do anything even slightly more advanced (like, say, installing new non-trivial software), you have to be an admin. Personally, I don't know of any Windows development shop where the programmers aren't admins and don't each have their own personal single-user PC...

  • by LilMikey (615759) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:22PM (#11084732) Homepage
    Do you use any Linux?
    As a policy, I don't run anything that competes with Microsoft. My goal is to make sure Microsoft products are the best products in the world.


    Ah, the old 'bury your head in the sand' technique. It works well. Maybe if they actually *tried* linux they could see what pisses disenfranchised Windows users off or where these TCO numbers come from.
    • You're allowed to run whatever the heck you want as long as there's a business reason to do so. In fact, at one time I had a RedHat box under my desk and ran MySQL on it, and I used MySQL quite extensively on Windows as well, until I figured out the architecture that allowed me to do bulk inserts into MS SQL backend. I know for a fact that lots of folks run unix command line tools, emacs, firefox, etc.
  • We don't run Unix? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quixote (154172) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @03:58PM (#11085234) Homepage Journal
    Here's a snippet from a Microsoft knowledgebase article [microsoft.com] about how they ensure virus-free software release:

    Disks are duplicated on a variety of industrial strength, quality focused systems. Most of these systems are UNIX-based. The UNIX-based duplication systems used in manufacturing are impervious to MS-DOS-based, Windows- based, and Macintosh-based viruses. The few MS-DOS-based and Windows-based standalone duplication systems do not allow MS-DOS-based operating systems to access the duplication system. Virus protection systems used by these MS-DOS-based and Windows-based duplication systems strictly govern the duplication process, even when they are not running.

    That KB article has since disappeared... smirk... ;-)

  • 10% Security (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stuffduff (681819) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @04:55PM (#11086030) Journal
    Q: How much of your department's time, as an IT organization, is spent on security? We've heard the figure 10 percent thrown around.

    A: "It's hard to capture the overall time spent on security, but 10 percent is probably about right."

    This is exactly what is wrong with Microsoft Security. It needs to be the total responsibility of a few individuals who work closely with the larger security community, clearly when security is everyone's problem and they spend 10% of their time on it, then it is really nobody's problem. (Except that then it is everybodys problem! )

    Microsoft could save money and improve it by outsourcing security. Rather than trying again to fix a broken culture, why not just admit it's broken and realize that other companies use outside resources and it works fine for them. For example, would you but an extension cord without it first having been researched by Underwriters Labs? Would you go to a hospital that was not inspected by JCAHO?

  • "We don't run Linux" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quigonn (80360) on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @06:14PM (#11087238) Homepage
    Ah, why have they then bought 200 (in words: two-hundred) boxes of Caldera's Linux distribution (forgot the name, it was before Caldera was the new SCO) a few years ago...?
  • by Pop69 (700500) <billy@@@benarty...co...uk> on Tuesday December 14, 2004 @06:58PM (#11087876) Homepage
    I'm an accountant for an insurance firm and I admin my own machine AND the dead rat mail/dns/webserver as well.

    That's because all our "technical" people only know how to admin Microsloth products. If a couple of reboots doesn't fix it they re-install from scratch.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

Working...