Microsoft: Some Employees Express Discontent

June 12, 2020

Microsoft — yep, the outfit which cannot update its Windows 10 operating system without killing some computers — has another hillock obscuring its vision of cloud dominance. The obstruction is not Redmond’s other friendly jungle environment Amazon.

The mound of woe may be composed of employees objecting to whom and which entities the masters of JEDI sell the ever-reliable and entertaining digital products and services. Taking a less than 365 view, “Microsoft Employees Urge Nadella to Cancel Contracts with Police” reports:

Several Microsoft employees have written a letter to CEO Satya Nadella, urging the company to cancel contracts with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and other law enforcement agencies in the wake of police brutality episodes during the Black Lives Matter protests. The internal email with the subject line “Our neighborhood has been turned into a warzone” seen by the portal OneZero, nearly 250 Microsoft employees have asked the tech giant to formally support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and calls for the resignation of the Seattle mayor.

Interesting. Similar employee “suggestions” have been respectfully and not-so-respectfully submitted to other high-technology outfits.

The basic idea is that employees either perceive the right to influence what the company sells and to whom and which entities.

DarkCyber wants to note:

  1. Employees may have a hand in creating software like Windows 10 which, when updated, fails. It seems reasonable that [a] the employees cannot do work that “works” or managers cannot manage so that products and services “work”.
  2. A company with internal difficulties is likely to find itself vulnerable to sabotage or work slowdowns on certain projects which staff determine do not deserve full commitment. If this assertion is accurate, some entities may lose confidence in the Redmond outfit, assuming that confidence has not begun to erode due to other factors. (Possibly the Zune effect?)
  3. An operating environment which increases uncertainty can undermine stakeholder confidence. The appearance of “management effectiveness” is necessary to prevent feedback which escalates uncertainty. Such uncertainty can influence the behaviors of partners, shareholders, prospects, existing customers, and employees. (Yikes, employees.)

Net net: A small perturbation may presage a larger seismic event. To be frank, it is more difficult to envision worse news that Forbes’ Magazine publishing “Microsoft Confirms New Windows 10 Upgrade Warnings.” Imagine a news service for business people warning that a forced upgrade will kill devices and services like Internet connectivity.

Didn’t Microsoft roll out Bob (a graphical interface for Windows) and the big, bright, and failed Windows Phone?

Yeah. Management, governance, confidence — a trifecta.

Stephen E Arnold, June 12, 2020


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