Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tell us what you really feel...

In an Open Letter to Steve Ballmer, Craig Burton rants about the ridiculous policy Microsoft has for controlling updates and enhancements:

As we drove further down to path to understand why, we were told the following unbelievable conversation. (The following is not an exact quote, but close.)

Changes like you are requesting can only happen in an “in-band” release of Windows. These sort of changes are prohibited from going out in the Tuesday updates. What goes out with in-band releases the Tuesday updates is controlled by—Steve Ballmer.

Well F*&% me. Dude, after all of these years, you are still micro managing the Windows release! Now I know why Microsoft is now been relegated to insignificance in the identity market. The reason is simple. Internal policy, managed by you, prohibits product mangers from keeping up with trends and innovation.

And what was the momentous change Burton was asking about?

In our meeting, we discussed how many man hours it would take to modify CardSpace to support context-automation. The answer is a few days of work at the most. When asked how long before such a simple change would find its way into CardSpace, the answer came back as two years at best, maybe.

Unfortunately, Ballmer has never understood the importance of identity to the fabric of computing, so he's never going to permit what he would perceive as "feature creep" in the regular monthly updates. That's good news for Microsoft's competitors, and bad news for it's customers.

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