You may or may not have heard of The Blue Monster. It started life as one of Hugh MacLeod’s business card cartoons. It evolved. A simple picture conveyed the feelings of so many people who work within Microsoft but who are rarely heard or talked about:

Today, the New York Times has an article describing the Vista debacle – They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know – in relation to the law suit that has kicked off from customers unhappy that their machines were marketed Vista-capable when the sticker should have said Vista-incapable. The law suit has led to the release of a number of internal Microsoft emails and those emails show The Blue Monster has been around for a while but is too often and easily ignored:

The minimum hardware configuration was set so low that ¨even a piece of junk will qualify. It will be a complete tragedy if we allowed it¨ – Anantha Kancherle, Microsoft program manager

¨It would be a lot less costly to do the right thing for the customer now, than to spend dollars on the back end trying to fix the problem¨ – Robin Leonard, Microsoft sales manager

Maybe the lessons will be learned this time. Maybe more internal people need to follow Robin’s and Anantha’s lead. Be prepared to take the risk and speak out when you see the company make a wrong turn. Don’t just wear the t-shirt.


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