The dreaded “Reply All” button claimed a victim at Microsoft today when Roy Levin, distinguished engineer at MS Research in Silicon Valley, commented in response to Steve Ballmer’s internal email announcement that he would retire sometime in the next 12 months.
Here’s the full text of his response:
Right. Maybe there’s a back story. The market likes the news, which is interesting, given that the successor isn’t known. Now the speculation shifts into high gear.
While embarrassing, it’s hardly career-ending. He could’ve said “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, Monkey-Boy!” As Valleywag observes, it’s to Levin’s credit that he sent his reply from a Windows Phone (“Second place in the second world!”).
At this stage in the game, email clients are not new things. We’ve had decades of experience with them, and we know what works, what doesn’t, and what the pitfalls are, including the dangers of “Reply All”. Many desktop clients, including Microsoft’s own Outlook, have some kind of mechanism that double-checks with you before you reply to everyone on a mass email. For some reason, this handy safety feature doesn’t seem to be built into mobile email apps. Given that an increasing portion of our email is sent while on the go, it’s high time that we made the email apps on our phones as least as “smart” as their desktop counterparts.