Friday, September 15, 2006

Does becoming a region mean we are ONE Microsoft?

6 Microsoft's - one India: Now that we are a region and are all exhausted from rushing to the rooftops and shouting out how dramatically our life has changed because of this, I'd like to understand whether this means we have one leader and one set of policies for all divisions residing in India? Right now, this is so incredibly broken it is not funny. R&D has higher grade levels, a different HR head, different HR policies, blah blah blah. We need to either stop talking about one Microsoft in India or genuinely make changes to ensure it IS one Microsoft in India.

The silence of the dead: I'm quite astonished by how quiet everyone has become. There was a reasonable exchange of thoughts and ideas before the retreat, but there is now a deathly silence on this blog. Even an inflammatory post from someone at IDC (presumably) could not wake up what I'm beginning to think are the living dead. I'll continue posting though. What is a little disappointing is that the people in Microsoft India don't appear to have much of a creative view on anything. It seems like you will every once in a while react to a thought, but there really isn't an unsolicited view that is actionable.

I read on the ''mother" Minimsft blog that ITG tracks the sites you go to and minimisft is on the watch list. While I wouldn't necessarily post on this blog while I am on corpnet, I don't think there is much risk of either identification or retribution if you do.

Reviews: The reviews are done. People are either thrilled to be here or are still trying to figure out if they did well or poorly based on their 'achieved' performance and 'strong' stock rating. There IS a forced curve and we're obligated to rate some as underachieved. There is indeed a quota system at it myMicrosoft or whatever.

Reflecting on the congratulatory mails that people receive when they complete 1 year at Microsoft, I think they can use it as ammunition if they get anything other than an 'exceeded' and 'outstanding' rating for there salary and stock ratings respectively. Wouldn't that be funny !

Feel free to post your level, stock rating and number of shares you got. It's anonymous and should open up an interesting dialogue on whether what you got was fair.

Millionaires now...NOT: Our stock price has started ticking up. We surprised the street about 6 months ago with some asinine talk about investing an additional $2billion, but not knowing exactly where. Not that you are I are going to get rich with a $3 share price increase. Those 200 share handouts that you got translate to about Rs. 25,000 a year after tax. Now, if you want to know who's really riding the great year we had, go to http://hrweb and look at what the stock grants could be like if you weren't so underlevelled coming into Microsoft.

iPod killer: Zune has launched. It's going to be a while before it lives up to our chest pounding reviews that it's going to be an iPod killer, but it looks quite good. We need go public with our efforts to get OEMs on board to offer accessories like docking stations and speakers custom made for Zune.

IPTV: I'm curious where we are with this considering Verizon just decided to take the code inhouse because of delays in the software. There is so much hype around this but Microsoft's TV business have been stellar underperformers in the 10 years they have been around and if I were a betting man, I would hesitate to predict that this is going nowhere in India for a while.

Vista and Office: On the flipside, we're making some good strides with Vista and Office 2007. RC1 is really nice and if we don't screw up, we may still get Vista out by the holiday season. These cash cows may keep us going for a while longer.

Flex-go: We also announced Flex-go. It is going to be a while before it is launched in India, but at least we can now talk about it in something other than hushed whispers. I think it is time we had some kind of briefing on what this is about and we all learned to speak about it meaningfully.

Finally, ever wondered why we move into a new office before it is ready for occupation? Phones not working, bad cell coverage etc etc. Why don't we pick a move date and ensure that the work is complete on schedule?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got to know of this site from mini.

First off I would like to say that I am no longer in MS IDC. I was there for a short while only, but then decided to move on. Kindly excuse my posting as anon.

Frankly, the experience in MS was a letdown. Maybe the hype of MS is so much that we are left with thinking that 'man! this is going to be a great thing'. I have friends in MS who are really happy with it, but as a company, it did not gel with me.

One of the first things I noticed is how quiet everyone is. I felt no energy in the air. In the 2nd week of my work there, I was having lunch and shared the table with someone who had come from Redmond office. My question to him was :"how is IDC different from Redmond". His reply was "Energy was lacking". So, I am not the only one thinking that.

Another thing I noticed was how individualistic people seemed to be. They were keeping to what they did, did not come to help a new guy, unless went and asked for explicitly. At first I could not understand it. Noone says no, but noone volunteers to help. I could not figure it out - until I got to know about the curve. Why would someone help me if they could steal the thunder from me ? Everyone is competing against each other. I do feel this is a bad environment to foster.

The stocks offered were peanuts. I got offered 200 and they were falling each day. Fine, I did not join here for the stocks but to be with some of the best brains. But I was seeing no innovation here. Everything felt like the stepchild treatment being meted out to the IDC from the mother Redmond.

Ulimately, I decided to move on. It was tough decision to take as MS is one of the dream companies of people. And no I am not in Google - but have joined a small startup. Better pay. A huge no of stocks compared to what I was offered in MS. More say in making a difference.

Does this mean that MS is a bad place to be? I dont think so. I have friends there who are happy with the work. I also have friends who are there who dont know where else they can go to (MS is the topmost company man - where do i go from here ?). My case was I realized I cannot work to my potential here, and I had to make a choice - to keep being associated with the name or make a move where I can make more of a difference. The facilities in MS are one of the best (startups dont hve such facilities - be warned!).

Oh yes - one more thing. Please ask someone to do something about the annoying 'validate' screens. Even installing beta software needs validating on an already validated system. Frustrating!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mini - India - looks like you have lost momentum on this blog - both your posts and the comments have stopped. Unfortunate.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that in the US there is a change to the internal job search process. Why can India not implement a rule where you don't have to get manager permission to interview? My manager told me I had to be in the role for 3 years before he would let me go. So I will look outside the company instead. I also want to know why internal positions are not posted anywhere. You get emails saying people has moved to different role, but I did not even know the role was open ! Maybe I want or others want to interview for these positions.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an IC in redmond thinking of moving to Hyd. What are the pros/cons of working out of Hyderabad? Does MS pay enough to live decently with a family and save some money? How is the housing cost/cost of living there?

Is it a meritrocracy in Hyderabad, or is it an old boys network as far as reviews and recognition for work are concerned?

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MS was a dream company for me before I joined it.In reality is not better than any other indian comapny.
My feedback for company as SDE/T
{May be useful for those who want to join as SDE/T}:
a.Work load is high specially for bachlors.
b.Work quality is bad. B.E/B.Tech. guys[Comp. science guys] do the work which MCA people can easily do.
c.Very low visibility for internal transfer.
d.Review is not fair. Never get what one deserve.If your Manager is dumb then forget about deserved award.Retension policy mayn't apply for test.
e.Innovactive work is not preferred. Manager loves to be safe.
f.Manager feedback never taken seriously.
g.Career will be screwed up and your manager will keep giving sweat promises so you can't quit.
h. Avoid SDE/T if possible.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Ragged Clause said...

Who guards the guards? Or the guards with little or no power, who purport to guard us from the guardians with (possibly) real power?

Or a seemingly more direct and less loaded question to the administrators, and those that care enough to ask it, perhaps? How does one start a new train of thought on this platform? How does one write something that does not forcibly need be posted as a postscript to a post by one of the postmen of the subcontinent's glorious outposts? In other words, how does one say something new and different and many times removed from what the mountain-porter family would have us talk about?

Sibling Sherpas, words of wisdom will flow out of the mouths of babes and sucklings. If you let them. Other unpleasant things too possibly, but let words of wisdom suffice for now. It is better to speak freely than to choke on someone else's words. I wish Plato said that, but alas, it was only I.

I *almost* took umbrage to the "anonymous" who started by saying "let me briefly introduce myself" and then did nothing of the sort. Except drop some sort of indication of rank in an organization that probably meant nothing to the organization that means something to this blog.

I *almost* took umbrage when this anonymous called us names, insinuated we were stepchildren exiled from the garden of eden...and then gloated we were "not ever going to be part of any of this". Of what? This xenophobic xanadu where the city shuts at 9 and the traffic shuts everything all the time and the only reason the cost of living is low is there is nothing to spend on? But I didn't mean to bring down my beloved city. Think of it as an unfortunate attempt to be witty. Think of how easy it is to put someone else's house or city or organization down...

Oh ye of little manners and questionable values, you defender of other peoples' ideas because you've never had your own; you believer in that we only work here for the money; you speaker on behalf of executives who probably don't know you exist; if you return to this virtual place again as i suspect you furtively do, to give advice to people in a world far removed from you; to bask in the glory imposed by aspirations of seniority, to attempt to stifle the creativity and quest for meaning that seems to be the purpose of this blog (or should be...don't shoot me, its not mine), and if you read this sentence through to the next logical semicolon, the one that happens right now; know then that in a color rich world you would be a racist. In a monochrome world, you are a bigot. And on the dark side of the moon, you would be a figment of our imagination.

As it is you're simply irrelevant. To those that come to this blog. To those that aspire to improve things. And ergo, to a billion people.

But I think its best I took no umbrage...this too shall pass. You might possibly not.

So how does one get equal posting rights over here?

3:46 AM  

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