I’m happy to see that the anonymous blogger at Mini-Microsoft is seeing the same “sea change” that I was betting on when I first joined not quite nine months ago. I agonized over the decision all through the interview process (six interviews over the period of a week), pored over articles, books and reports about the company and had phone, email and IM conversations with every Microsoftie I knew, all in an attempt to “read the tea leaves” and see if the company was sailing towards the future or stagnating in the Doldrums. While I saw some serious challenges (including a few that could induce serious facepalms), I saw opportunities to match. And with that, I signed my offer letter back in October, bought my red travel-sized accordion that same afternoon and declared myself a Sith Lord.
The painful-but-necessary process of correcting the company’s course is nowhere near done, but signs like the ones mentioned in the article are not only good news; they’re necessary. It’s like seeing that first drop in the numbers on the scale when starting a diet: while there’s still still a long way to go, it shows that you’re actually heading in the right direction, which encourages you to keep going. Just as vanishing love handles and better-fitting clothes the good signs that a dieter watches for, things like Windows 7, Bing, Silverlight and moves towards interoperability and open source are the good signs that I’ve been watching for. But yes, while we’re turning the corner, we have to watch out, ‘cause Steve Jobs might be waiting ‘round the bend, shovel in hand.
As with many companies and organizations, we’re at the start of a new fiscal year at Microsoft. Like the calendar new year, there was some looking back (as in my annual review, where it was concluded I rocked in my Rookie Year), but there was also looking forward, in the form of setting goals, on personal, team and company-wide levels. My big goal this year to contribute to that “sea change” that both the Mini-Microsoft blogger and I see, and in the process change the Microsoft, the tech world – and hey, why not the whole world? – for the better.