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Another Microsoft Exec Steps Down 315

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
Arcanimus writes "On Tuesday, the corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN marketing, Martin Taylor, announced that he is leaving Microsoft. Just three months ago, Taylor was appointed to his new position to manage the marketing of Windows Live. In his 13 years with the company, Taylor even worked directly with CEO Steve Ballmer."
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Another Microsoft Exec Steps Down

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:17AM (#15575553)
    I hope he took his chair!
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cleon (471197) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <24noelc>> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:20AM (#15575572) Homepage
    Big shake-up going on at Microsoft. I wonder if this is related to Limbo Longhorn, or if something else is in the works. Change in direction, maybe?
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dionysos Taltos (980090) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:58AM (#15575822)
      Yes. I think it's safe to say a change in direction is at hand.

      Wired had an article last October which spoke to this.

      http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,69161,00 .html?tw=wn_tophead_7 [wired.com]

      As Microsoft hits 30, critics reel off a list of complaints that sounds like, well, a Microsoft commercial: stifling bureaucracy, frustrating miscommunication, different units working on overlapping technology without adequate cooperation. In short, the very ills Microsoft promises to cure with its software.

      ...

      As it gears up to release a slew of new products, Microsoft is trying to untangle bureaucratic snags with a corporate shakeup meant to get the best ideas to market faster and increase the company's push toward over-the-Internet software and services.

      ...

      Microsoft is facing the classic dilemma that befalls a company that grows from a small startup to a major corporation, said the analyst Garrity. There's really no way to manage thousands of employees without a strong corporate structure, but that structure will inevitably alienate some workers who remember the freewheeling early days.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ergo98 (9391) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:08AM (#15575880) Homepage Journal
      Big shake-up going on at Microsoft. I wonder if this is related to Limbo Longhorn, or if something else is in the works. Change in direction, maybe?

      Executive branches of large organization often work as loyal "teams" these days, which is why the departure of a high-level executive (e.g. CEO) often quickly leads to the departure of a large number of their underlings as well. Not only do they often resist the inevitable change, but the new guy/gal often wants to feel that they molded things in their own image (rather than carrying on the old guy's legacy), so they gently nudge theh last guys crew out, building their empire from scratch.

      Apart from the ascent of Ozzie, and now the virtually immediate department of Bill, a lot of executive level change is afoot. Ballmer's days are almost certainly numbered, and his and Bill's crew know it.
    • The stock has been basically flat since the split. Stockholders "not pleased" and patience is running out. They need to do *something* with that stockpile of cash they have.... soon!!

    • by Alien54 (180860) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:34AM (#15576082) Journal
      Big shake-up going on at Microsoft. I wonder if this is related to Limbo Longhorn, or if something else is in the works. Change in direction, maybe?

      The appropriate cliche is "rats leaving a sinking ship"

      In this case, it is well in advance of Vista shipping, so maybe it is more like a game of catch by the three stooges tossing around a hand granade. Somebody gets left holding on to the booby prize when it the spam hits the wall, so to speak.

      • by Ana10g (966013) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:04PM (#15576348)
        Actually, this has been observed with a lot of different companies in dire straights. Not saying this for sure (as it is only correlation evedence, but you make your own inferences), but when a lot of executives leave, the company is in trouble. Witness Sun Microsystems a few years back when they had tons of executives leaving. The company wasn't on solid footing, and the execs new it, so they began to bail.

        If I had to predict, I'd imagine that times will be rough at MS for the next few years, as major image shakedowns and restructurings occur. Hopefully, it'll prove beneficial to the rest of the universe, but I'm not holding my breath. MS is still MS.
        • I really can't believe there's imminent risk of MS tanking. They haven't really updated their cash-cow products in years now and the profits are still pouring in, with no serious threat to their desktop dominance on the horizon. Nice work if you can get it.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug@g e e k a zon.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:35PM (#15576600) Homepage
      Big shake-up going on at Microsoft. I wonder if this is related to Limbo Longhorn, or if something else is in the works. Change in direction, maybe?

      It's not even a small shakeup. Microsoft's upper management people are simply getting to the age where they want to retire. Techies tend to retire at a lot younger age, as soon as they make their first $million. People who go into management tend to be looking for a bigger fortune and stick around longer, but even they quit eventually. There are likely to be a number of high-tech big-shots retiring in this decade. It's a non-event.
  • probably because ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:21AM (#15575575)
    is it because windows live sucks?

    they were supposed to launch some 'new' (gmail competing) hotmail -

    they ask you if you want to try hotmail live beta, and you agree ... but it's not new, it still sucks.

    how do you think hotmail would be faring had should they still be running qmail and solaris?

    they still would've had to inovate in UI, features and disk space.
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:03PM (#15576340) Journal
      I was surprised how weak as a service "Live" was/is.
      (to be fair, there are still plenty of Live services in development)

      For those not in the latest-Microsoft-brand loop, Live is set to replace MSN as Microsoft's new online initiative to integrate windows services with Windows. And in these days, since Microsoft is facing fierce competition in the online business from Google, Yahoo! (and not just Yahoo! search, but their Flickr, etc), you'd expect a rather massive and impressive effort from the software giant. If you haven't looked at some of their past products, that is. ;-)

      And for such an important initiative in these days when MS probably need to expand their software market from an increasingly complex monolithic OS and Office suite, what do we get?

      Well, the most visible ones that are at least available today:
      - Windows Live Search, a competitor to Google and Yahoo at best.
      - Windows Live Mail, a rebranded Hotmail that's less compatibile than Gmail and many other services.
      - Windows Live Local, a rather poor Google Maps competitor, especially if you're looking for *global* coverage.
      - Windows Live Messenger, their proprietary IM application in the forest of IM applications.
      - Windows Live OneCare, a service where Microsoft have the guts to charge users for basic protection not aimed for the corporate sector, i.e. something other services supply for free. (AdAware / Search & Destroy / AntiVir / AVG / Avast, the list goes on...)

      Simply put, I think execs may be looking to leave because working for Microsoft:
      - Isn't cool.
      - Doesn't make cool stuff.
  • by MrNonchalant (767683) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:21AM (#15575576)
    Cue chair jokes in 3...2...1...
  • sinking ship? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EggyToast (858951) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:21AM (#15575578) Homepage
    Either there's simply more focus on MS this year, or something is up -- why would they all be leaving prior to Vista's launch? Especially all of these "no comment" departures. Gates' reduction in responsibility makes sense, but these other guys seem to be in rather important roles ("head blogger," "exec responsible for Google competition," etc) and are bailing out. I could understand if they had people lined up for these positions, but it seems like they're just leaving.
    • Re:sinking ship? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:36AM (#15575692)
      "no comment departures" are a result of the HR department giving you a nice sevrance package and, in return, making you sign a document that says you won't comment.
    • by joshier (957448) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:36AM (#15575702)
      They must have been honest in a meeting... *bill gates stands up*.. I'm sorry guys, we decided to face the truth.. vista is a pile of shit, and I for one am leaving.. thank you *bill gates walks out of room crying*
    • Re:sinking ship? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:03AM (#15575850) Journal
      why would they all be leaving prior to Vista's launch?

      Same reason so many people bailed out of Apple once the scope of the Copland disaster was realized. This was before Apple started talking to NeXT or Be, and it was pretty clear that having Apple on your resume would Not Be a Good Thing once it all hit the fan.

      -jcr
    • Re:sinking ship? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:09AM (#15575888)
      Or in this case fired. Monday morning being quoted in press releases, scheduled to be in a press briefing ion the afternoon. Monday afternoon escorted from the building. A senior exec with 13 years service. Must have been a very sudden decision, Friday is the traditional day for premeditated firing.
      • Re:sinking ship? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mjmalone (677326) *

        Friday is the traditional day for premeditated firing.

        Actually, this is no longer considered Best Practice (TM). Firing someone on Friday gives them the whole weekend to sit around feeling sorry for themselves and growing more and more resentful of their former employer. At least in academia, the general opinion (as far as I can tell from the several management classes I've taken) is that if you _must_ fire someone, you should do it on a Monday. Furthermore, you should schedule a meeting with a career

    • Re:sinking ship? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:12AM (#15575908)
      but these other guys seem to be in rather important roles ("head blogger," "exec responsible for Google competition," etc)

      I fear for my children's future when I read that "head blogger" is an important role anywhere, let alone a company of Microsoft's size.

      I'm not saying that is isn't, just that I fear...



      I tremble...

      • It's just a name (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Moraelin (679338)
        It's just a name for what used to be called a PR drone. It's the guy putting a believable face on whatever message wants to send to the sheep. It can involve manufacturing some "news", manufacturing some "impartial studies", faking a grassroots movement, or lately... pretending to be a hip and independent blogger just like you, so you're inclined to trust him. Enter the "head blogger" role.

        What I'm saying is: it's nothing new. It's the same old corporate scam under a shiny new name.

        And when I say that just
    • I've heard of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (as was referenced during the last management restructuring at MS) but at some point you have to wonder whether there will be any chairs left to rearrange.

      And despite the obvious chair ha-ha, what I really mean in this analogy is that so many execs are leaving that pretty soon a re-org will just mean Ballmer gets a new title. Chair == Exec, for those of us (like me) who are a little slow in the AM.
  • No surprise (Score:3, Funny)

    by VisceralLogic (911294) <paul@viscerallo g i c . com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:22AM (#15575579) Homepage
    After that many chairs flying in my direction, I'd quit, too. :)
  • by Theovon (109752) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:23AM (#15575587)
    As evil as Microsoft is, I've never been able to decide whether or not Bill Gates himself is evil. My suspect, even, that Microsoft's evil behavior is an emergent property of their corporate culture. No one individual person in Microsoft (well, actually, I think Balmer is a nutball) is truly evil. It's like how one termite is insignificant, but a colony of them can destroy an entire neighborhood. :)

    Still, a lot of corporate culture comes down from the top. Gates' ambition to have "microsoft products on every computer in every home" turns into overly aggressive business behavior. With him and others going, are things going to improve for the rest of us? Or have any of these guys been keeping others in check, and they're about to get worse?
    • by Spiked_Three (626260) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:34AM (#15575685)
      The evil was from the marketing guy jeff raikes (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/jeff/defa ult.mspx). He was from apple. The marketing people (and to some extent the HR people) were the most evil people I have ever worked for or with in my life. No holes barred get the sale no matter who you have to kill attitude.

      Raikes perfected the pre-canned answer to every question that gates and balmer soon adopted. Talking to anyone of them is like pressing buttons on a child's speak and spell toy - there is absolutely no thought behind what they say, just pr department approved pre-canned responses.

      Gates was a good guy. Balmer is a hot head that is out of his league but because of his friendship with bill and bill's desire to get out of it, balmer has had the lead for a while.

      But again, i reiterate, the evil is from the ruthless marketing leadership. Unfortunately they got the job done.
    • by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:44AM (#15575745)
      He is a good businesman, and he has done a lot. Microsoft has become the leading Software company and OS. And made himself a lot of money. Yes he may have had monopoly advantage. Yes things are not cut and straight. But Micrsoft is not Enron. Rememeber that.

      When Microsoft started, our current "friend", IBM, was considered evil.

      Microsoft has done some strange businness practices, but has also helped spawn Linux, Opensource, Firefox, etc. I dont think Opensource would have got even half the amount of exposure had Microsoft not attacked it so vigorously.

      SO in the future, in hindsight, we may even THANK Microsoft.

      Finally Bill Gates may have gotten most of his fortune through Monopolistic Practises, but hhe has already pledges to give away 90% or more to charity, and as funds. If he does indeed do that, well woudlnt that be equal to the amount of money that he gained from being monopolistic?

      If Microsoft were more "fair" as we wish, his fortune would be probably 10% of what it is. So in a way, he is giving away for good causes, exactly what he got through ill gotten gains?

      Points to consider
      • by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:13AM (#15575918) Journal
        Bill Gates may have gotten most of his fortune through Monopolistic Practises, but hhe has already pledges to give away 90% or more to charity,

        Giving away his ill-gotten gains is a great thing, but it doesn't really make him less of a crook. Carnegie built a university and a lot of libraries, but he still had blood on his hands from the people his Pinkerton thugs murdered.

        -jcr
        • by SenseiLeNoir (699164) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:43AM (#15576167)
          I am not a "Microsoft Apologist", but the argument you gave is not a fair comparison. I dont think Bill Gates has murdered anyone, or any other serious crime as such. They are a highly agreessive (probably tooo agressive) company, following Bill Gates original vision of "Microsoft on every computer". They may be a convicted monopolist, but please put it in context when comparing against Carnagie. I do not wish to hear a joke about Chairs here, please.

          Secondly his donations for AIDS IS important. I like most "M$ Bashers" tried to see if there was any catches, or somethingin the money he has donated. But try as I might, I cannot see anythign that is beyond reasonable. He has donated money to help fight a terrible desease. Also looking at the donations it does go beyond just drugs, but also looks at the education required to actually help preventing it from occurring.

          Sorry, but AIDS is a greater evil, and regardless of who, I am glad someone is providing some much needed funds and publicity to achieve that.

          We can arguably critisize Microsoft regarding the quality and security of their products, and decisions. But we should not critisize the contribution of the donations.

          In the long past, businesses in the United Kingdom, where I live, was responsible for starting the Slave Trade, transportign many africans to the Americas. Eventually when they realised that it was wrong (thanks to also some effective campaigns at home) They were the first to actively work on banning it.

          People can change. And without sounding like a religious preacher, many people sin, not many people try to put it right.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:37AM (#15576116) Homepage Journal
        Microsoft has done some strange businness practices, but has also helped spawn Linux, Opensource, Firefox, etc. I dont think Opensource would have got even half the amount of exposure had Microsoft not attacked it so vigorously. SO in the future, in hindsight, we may even THANK Microsoft.

        THANK? I think you misspelled "mock". Of course, that would be no different from today.

        If someone shoots at me, misses, and kills someone I don't like, I'm not going to thank them. I'll be too busy running for cover. I don't see how the reality is any different, except that the stakes are considerably lower.

      • by StormReaver (59959) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:38AM (#15576120)
        ..."but [Microsoft] also helped spawn Linux"....

        Microsoft had exactly zero to do with spawning Linux. Linus and RMS did not start Linux and GNU, respectively, for any reason that involved Microsoft. Linus started Linux to access his school account, and RMS started GNU in moral opposition to being otherwise not allowed to share software Freely.
        • Bad use of language. I did an "Al Gore", I am sorry.

          I meant to say that, When microsoft started attacking Linux, it helped raise the awareness of Linux across many business. Not as a name, but what it does. For example when Microsoft said in their "get the facts" campaign that "Although Linux is 'free', it has higher TCO.....", A lot of companies didnt even KNOW that Linux is freely obtainable, and it helped achieve some thought put towards it.

          At the place where I work, We use Linux for a lot of our servers
      • by Foofoobar (318279) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:47PM (#15576689)
        Open source did not come about because Microsoft was big; open source came about because they promoted code as being proprietary. Priot to that, people just gave away code. It wasn't until they started selling languages and promoting code as something that could be sold that that people stopped giving away code.

        Open source was a response to proprietary code. So in a sense, open source existed prior to Microsoft. Keep in mind that open source is not a business practice... it is a social movement. That social movement can be incorporated into business practices but you should not confuse one for the other.

        And while you put forth that Microsoft inadvertently promoted open source again your logic is flawed. It was not their portests that caused it to become popular because by the time Microsoft STARTED protesting, it had already gotten a decent foothold and had a faster adoption rate than any other company out there. No, it was word of mouth, inaction by tech companies and monopolistic practices that DROVE consumers towards open source. And to this day, it is still the three ingredients that push open source.

        Should a company decide to make a decent product that doesn't lock you in and interoperates well, it has been proven that people will still buy it. But once a company thinks that consumers don't have choices, won't make choices or are unaware of choices... thats when the consumer backlash begins.

        All open source did was taken advntage of the consumer backlash and give it someplace to go.

      • Just like Enron (Score:4, Informative)

        by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:11PM (#15576870) Homepage Journal
        But Micrsoft is not Enron. Rememeber that.

        You think? Until mid 2003 they conducted the exact same financial manipulations that Enron was criticized for. See the following for details:



        Sure things have changed there a lot in the last few years. But they were just like Enron except for Enron's shell companies used to multiply deceptive financial reporting. Microsoft's financials were under investigation for many years.
    • As evil as Microsoft is, I've never been able to decide whether or not Bill Gates himself is evil.

      Penn Jillette (from Penn and Teller) had a good take on this during a radio interview I heard a while ago. He said that these people truly think they are doing the right thing. They are not inherently evil, even if their actions end up seeming that way. In the end it is a skewed view of the individual, not someone being actively evil.

      Of course he was talking about George Bush, not Bill Gates, but the intent

      • by expro (597113) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:16AM (#15575941)

        these people truly think they are doing the right thing. They are not inherently evil, even if their actions end up seeming that way. In the end it is a skewed view of the individual, not someone being actively evil.

        At the risk of calling out the Godwin Nazis, Hitler and Sadaam also truly thought they were doing the right thing for their respective countries and were honestly not trying to be evil, but were trying to be a savior for their respective peoples. Anyone who knew them personally knows that.

        It is amazing how many people don't understand this basic thing, that no successful leader considers himself evil, but sincerely considers his opponents evil, i.e. the caricatures of the Jews in the case of Hitler, etc., as the source of all evil. And there is some logic that can be used to justify any such demonization. It is spin leading to polarization, which is what makes the world go around and often becomes the excuse for ignoring one's own supposed ethics and morals.

        One of Gate's villified enemies (I can name a series of others) was so-called software piracy, which he more than anyone else has made into a crime more than it ever was before. As much credit as the uninformed give him for progress in computers, this has destroyed growth and freedom that would have come otherwise. Could Unix have emerged under the current copyright regime? Operating systems would have been built for commodotized hardware one way or the other, but it was one more degree of freedom lost that is now hard to recover from under his shadow.

    • I have never credited him with the intelligence to be really evil. I think he is very dishonest which can become evil but is not really evil. The whole Windows venture was built on lies from the start and still is. Most of the myth about his 'intelligence' is because people believe the lies.
    • I've never been able to decide whether or not Bill Gates himself is evil.

      He was quite aware that he sold IBM code that was stolen from DR. I'm also quite certain that stealing Stacker's code and putting it in DOS 6 happened on his orders.

      So, yeah: he's evil. Of course, it's great that he's trying to spend his way to a clear conscience now.

      -jcr

    • I don't think you need evil people to have an evil corporation.

      Good people who have loyalty to "corporate ideals" are all that is necessary. Corporations are psychopathic:

      A corporation has a callous unconcern for the feelings of others; an incapacity to maintain enduring relationships; a reckless disregard for the safety of others; a pattern of deceitfulness; an incapacity to experience guilt; failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviour. In sum, a corporation is, in the words of

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:23AM (#15575588)
    Its obvious why he left. Check his picture - he is quite obviously a vampire, and one of the undead. Putting him at the wheel for something called "Windows Live" means there is quite obviously a conflict of interest.
  • Jumping Ship? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ironring2006 (968941) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:23AM (#15575591)
    Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of people are jumping ship now? Has Microsoft finally spread themselves too thin? Have they become so huge now that they don't even know what to do with themselves under the multiple multiple layers of complexity? Anyone else forsee a large implosion in the foreseeable future? Maybe those that are smart enough realize that they are fighting a losing battle against Google, Linux, and OSS. Then again, they may just to enjoy their million$.
  • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:25AM (#15575604)
    By Robots! [slashdot.org]
  • by Moby Cock (771358) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:26AM (#15575612) Homepage
    I suspect that this is not really a big deal. Ray Ozzie likely want to have a chance to set up his own exec staff and this guy does not figure in that plan. I won't be surprised if other folks leave over the next couple of years as the company transitions from Gates to Ozzie.
  • by boxlight (928484) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:27AM (#15575621)
    The best thing that Microsoft could do for itself is spin-out their products into separate spin off companies.


    Windows, Inc.

    Office, Inc.

    MSN, Inc.

    Visual Studio, Inc.

    XBox, Inc.


    The smaller companies would be more nimble and would have to be more competative. They'd be better performers as they wouldn't have the mother organization as a cruch.


    boxlight

    • um, I doubt this would make much sense. There's really no reason to spin-off their core products. By doing this, they would lose the cash-cows they need to incubate new products

      IMO, all the products you mentioned above fit well into Microsoft's core-competency, and make good business sense under the MS umbrella. Also, none of them are too risky, so there is no major threat to shareholder value by keeping them.
      • "um, I doubt this would make much sense. There's really no reason to spin-off their core products. By doing this, they would lose the cash-cows they need to incubate new products"

        We wouldn't want them to actually 'innovate', would we?

        bORK!
      • IMO, all the products you mentioned above fit well into Microsoft's core-competency

        What is Microsoft's "core competency"? If you say "software", that's enormously too vague of a focus, not to mention that it's a hugely diverse marketplace. Building a IM is nothing like building a corporate accounting system.

        "What's your core competency?"
        "Building things that move."

        and make good business sense under the MS umbrella. Also, none of them are too risky, so there is no major threat to shareholder value by keeping
        • It would make tremendous sense for Microsoft to split into a number of companies

          Except that MS doesn't see it that way - or they wouldn't have spent $$$ appealing the court ruling that told them to do just that.

    • At the same time, further spinouts wouldn't happen nearly as much, because the central funding from windows would no longer reach other potential departments. Your plan may work short-term, but cripples the ability of a large company to move bulk quantities of cash in interesting directions.
    • That's an interesting idea. The spin-off companies would have a fair amount of indirect competition among themselves in regard to reputation, quality, work environment, growth, profit, and so forth. That competition could lead to many good things - and many unexpected things, I'm sure.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:28AM (#15575628) Journal
    But I'd speculate it could have something to do with Gates' moderating influence on Ballmer disappearing over the next two years...

    Also note that MS execs hold a crapload of stock, and if they dump it while employed by the company, they could be investigated for insider trading violations. I wouldn't be surprised if when MS stock nosedives after the Vista release, it begins by the dumping of stock by ex-MS execs.
    • Also note that MS execs hold a crapload of stock

      Upper-level management has been divesting itself of MS stock - slowly - for years now. Only a tiny fraction of Bill's money in now in MS; the rest has been reinvested elsewhere (a large amount of it in the pharmaceutical industry). The people who still have a 'crapload' of stock are outside investors and middle management who got options as part of their employment package.

      I think it says something about the company when you realize that the people who run t
  • Too late (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slashflood (697891)
    I just submitted the following story:

    Suddenly and unexpected, the corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN, Martin Taylor has left Microsoft [bloomberg.com]. "We've made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin, but we don't comment on personnel matters," Microsoft said in a statement Tuesday. Taylor, the former Global General Manager of Platform Strategy rose to prominence as the face behind Microsoft's "Get the Facts" anti-Linux campaign. You can read the Slashdot [slashdot.org] interview with Martin Taylor here [slashdot.org].
  • by Bartman_279 (940580) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:32AM (#15575665)

    FTFA...

    "We have made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin, but we don't comment on personnel matters," the company said. "We appreciate Martin's contributions at Microsoft over the past 13 years."

    That doesn't sound like he resigned to go elsewhere, but more like "There's the door, someone grab his badge and escort him out."

    We'll probably never know why, but this is Slashdot, so speculation is almost as good as fact.

  • As if it was something anyone would want noted. I'd rather think he's trying to forget about that part myself.
  • Where can he go? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mr_majestyk (671595)
    I wonder what his career options in the industry are, since he essentially represents the "anti-Linux", and outside of Microsoft, there are now very few companies that aren't involved in Linux somehow. He would have to claim to convert and "see the light", or go somewhere else that has a low interest in Linux succeeding...Sun perhaps? Apple?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:39AM (#15575718)
    (Music is Yesterday, by the Beatles)

    Yesterday
    All my competitors seemed so far away
    Now it looks as though they're here to stay
    Oh I believe in yesterday
    Suddenly, my head has half the hair that used to be
    There's an office chair hanging over me
    Oh yesterday, came sudlenly
    Why Linux had to come
    It wouldn't say
    We did Netscape wrong
    Now I long for yesterday
    Yesterday
    Monopoly was such an easy game to play
    Now I need to catch up with IP
    Now I long for yesterday
    Yesterday
  • by DaSenator (915940) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:42AM (#15575734)
    ...but wouldn't it just be best for Microsoft to have Balmer leave? While I'm no Microsoft insider, I still think that most, if not all, of Microsoft's problems could just be solved if Steve Balmer left.

    On a slightly related note, imagine if Balmer was re-programmed to work for Apple.

    Megalomaniacal Steve vs. Crazy Steve with a quiet joker Steve off to the side.
  • Take Advantage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:44AM (#15575740)
    Other tech companies need to take advantage of this before it's too late ... with the MSFT shake-ups, resignations, and whatever else ... Google, Apple, Linux, FireFox, Opera, Open Office, and everybody else needs to immediately step-up their product pitches ... get some non-tech people to notice the issues MSFT is facing, and the fact that there are alternatives. These companies need to jump at the bit now ... grab some shares ... and introduce the world to a computer that doesn't depend solely on MSFT.
  • by rduke15 (721841) <rduke15 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:44AM (#15575742)
    Sounds like Cringely may have been right in his last column [pbs.org]:

    "So IF THEY DO IT THE RIGHT WAY, [...]look for several dozen of his closest and oldest associates to leave the company in the next four to six weeks, and look for Steve Ballmer to leave, too, within a year."
    • Well, you know what they say about stopped clocks.
      • I know it seems like Cringely is an unremitting idiot, but if you compare him to Dvorak, he comes out looking like another Einstein. Seriously though, Cringely is correct about half the time, which is what you'd expect if someone is just pulling things out of their ass. Dvorak is right approximately none of the time - certainly, his hit rate is statistically insignificant - so who KNOWS where he's getting his material from... Anyway I find Cringely to be occasionally entertaining and infrequently insightful
  • Who cares (Score:4, Funny)

    by Monster_Juice (939126) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:47AM (#15575765)
    Who cares if a VP left the company? The only reason this is news is because it is from Microsoft. A VP left my company a while back and I never saw it in the news, he was even the VP of IT.

    Here on Slashdot if the article contains "Microsoft" it becomes an important story.

    Next on Slashdot...."Mailroom clerk leaves Microsoft, claims he is tired of putting free AOL disks in all the mailboxes.
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @10:57AM (#15575819) Journal
    I wonder if in his announcement, he concluded with: "And all of the friends I've made these past 13 years can still contact me at my new address, MicrosoftMartin@gmail.com."

    *sounds of struggling in the background*

    "We bolt them down now, Steve."
  • I keep tagging this as "sinkingship" ;)
  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:29AM (#15576044)
    At one time, IIS 5 looked hopeless. It was completely riddled with security holes and was basically the joke of the industry. People who used it did so with either ignorance or extreme caution.

    Microsoft realized they needed to fix this but it took Code Red and various other major worms that took advantage of IIS to really kick the company into gear.

    What was the result of this? IIS 6. IIS 6 is an excellent web server and is one of the most secure web servers you can use. It's certainly the most secure application server you can use. It's had a total of 2 vulnerabilities since its release about 4 years ago. (See: http://secunia.com/product/1438/ [secunia.com]) Add to that the fact that IIS 6 is extremely performant, easily configurable and maintainable, and is very robust, you have to conclude that Microsoft improved. A great deal in fact.

    I see the work on Windows Vista and IE 7 being very similar in nature to the work done on IIS. They've completely revamped their development methodologies to focus on security.

    IE 7+ (the one that comes with Vista) has a feature that essentially runs the browser as a very low privs user. Any operations that need high privs (such as writing to the user's desktop or other directories) are done by a broker. This broker has only a few thousand lines of code (and is therefore FAR easier to audit for security issues) and runs with the privs of the current user. This is actually fairly innovative and will undoubtedly make it far more difficult to exploit and holes in IE.

    Obviously we'll have to wait and see if Microsoft has done with Vista and IE what they did with IIS, but it's hard to deny that Microsoft has proven they can take a product people view as a hopeless security mess and turn it into one of the most secure products on the market.
    • by codepunk (167897) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:39AM (#15576130)
      Securing the web server is one thing securing the applications that run on it is quite another. I am not saying that their platform has not improved because it has but right now the only way it is gaining market share is by buying it with good ole fashion cash. Nobody that is running linux/unix based web servers are likely to give them up without a fight, the unix/linux platform is 100 times more flexible, more secure, easier to remotely administer than windows ever will be. Add to this the fact that the os and apache and databases behind it are free and you have little chance of gaining
      ground.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @01:47PM (#15577168) Homepage Journal
      Add to that the fact that IIS 6 is extremely performant,

      No one outside of marketing has ever used that word with a straight face. If you're going to astroturf, at least do it well.

  • by llamaxing (895844) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:37AM (#15576104) Homepage
    uh-oh, we lost another one to Google!
  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:41AM (#15576146) Homepage
    This is really starting to sound like a bloodletting in response to the Vista release debacle.

    Who knew that *consequences* could find the folks in Microsoft's executive suite.

    Well, at least if the DOJ, FTC, and SEC can't effectively regulate monopolies, their natural hubris can bring them down. . .
  • by NilObject (522433) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @12:36PM (#15576605) Homepage
    Please say "beleaguered". Oh, please say "beleaguered"!
  • by bananahead (829691) * on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @05:29PM (#15578748) Journal
    After reading all of the various blogs and press over the last few hours, I can piece everything together except for the exact reason. Martin was terminated for cause. If an exec is leaving, it takes several months to coordinate. This was very sudden and abrupt. If Martin left on his own, there would not have been anything scheduled for him. Instead, he just didn't show up to a press event. So, why would Microsoft just fire someone and walk them to the door? There are, according to Microsoft HR, two reasons one can be walked out without due cause or process. The first is having child porn on your computer. The second is physical violence. I know this because I had to fire someone for getting into a fight with his girlfriend in the Microsoft parking lot. He pushed her to the ground, it was all caught on camera and she filed a complaint. Two days later he was on a plane back to his home country (he was here on a visa). I, as his GM, was given no choice, no recourse, no room to wiggle and this is when the HR policy was spelled out to me. Heck, we caught a guy mastrubating in his office and all he got was a warning. Regular porn gets a warning, child porn gets a boot. Martin did not just get mad and quit in a huff, people do not walk away from a $500K/year position in a huff. The only logical explaination is a termination, and the only two reasons for such an abrupt termination is the above. Even Ballmer can't override this particular policy. We can olny hope it was the physical violence, not the child porn.
  • Perhaps (Score:3, Funny)

    by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @11:52PM (#15580413) Homepage
    he finally Got The Facts

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

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