back to article Geek's geek Guthrie heads up Microsoft's mega-billions enterprise software biz

The chief of Microsoft’s would-be Flash killer Silverlight, who also invented ASP.NET, has taken the top spot at Redmond’s $20bn enterprise and cloud business. Scott Guthrie has quietly been named acting head of Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud business in the wake of Satya Nadella’s elevation to Microsoft CEO. Nadella had been …

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Joke

He's the model for the Guid vNext era too

http://weblogs.asp.net/leftslipper/archive/2010/04/01/last-guid-used-up-new-scottguid-unique-id-to-replace-it.aspx

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Geeks

I think one of the biggest mistakes MS ever made was moving senior and middle internal management towards business focus and away from geeks. I understand why it happened, but geeks generally just suck at business. That's not a swipe at geeks, that's a swipe at MS for knowing that to be true and ignoring it.

There aren't a lot of universal truths out there, but one of them is that if you want to turn any situation into a pressure cooker, just introduce someone who doesn't mesh with the general groupthink of the groups majority. That's why geeks are famously acerbic with anybody who isn't a geek and why products designed by business groups are now all categorized alphabetically by their financial losses, starting with Surface RT.

Unless you have a very real psychological problem, the natural response of all Humans out of their element is defensive aggression. That's absolutely normal behavior. Only the thickest of pole smokers says things like that can be 'managed around'. You don't 'manage around' normal behavior, you manage with normal behavior in mind. It's a lot cheaper and easier if your pride can accept the fact that people doing as you tell them is not, in and of itself, indicative of your management prowess.

Anyway, it's common sense that you don't use an open-end wrench to clean windows (ha!) because the results aren't great and you're likely to end up with a bunch of broken glass everywhere. It's simply the wrong tool for the job. If you're lucky a few of the pieces will be big enough to reuse elsewhere. That's exactly what happens in business groups when you use the wrong tool to adjust them.

Sure, you can get results that way, and you can also enjoy a fireside evening at home with a lady friend by setting your house on fire. The results however are unpredictable, the home owners association might not let you rebuild there, your business partners and shareholders now hate you because the news footage showed nothing but the same clip of smoldering ruins, the state arson investigation team and the 30' tall company sign that used to be in your bar, but is now posed nicely on top of a crime scene and it's apparently fire proof, unlike your lady friend who you've now learned was also a prostitute. It's just not a good use of resources.

Seriously, this business people vs geeks idea is just fucking dumb. It's around in other industries as well, but none so much as IT I think. For millennia the skilled workers/craftsmen who made nice things and the business people that sold those things have had reasonably good relationships (mostly). One cannot exist without the other and only a completely inexperienced jackass would believe it to be the otherwise. Everybody has a role and it's just piss poor resource use to not put people in roles where they can thrive vs a role where they hold everyone else back so they can keep up.

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Silverlight?

Oh Gavin. Seriously?

All the stuff Scott Guthrie's created and all the initiatives he's led - such as completely open-sourcing ASP.NET, just to name one example - and you pick Silverlight to make him look bad.

Is this editorial policy or are you just being a massive dick?

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Re: Silverlight?

What was bad about Silverlight? Silverlight was amazing. It's a goddamned shame it never caught on.

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Re: Silverlight?

Yea, the shameful thing about Silverlight is Microsoft's almost, maybe, but probable abandonment of it.

In terms of a application building technology that can target desktop, web, mobile with relative ease its great.

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Re: Silverlight?

Silverlight itself wasn't 'terrible' it simply fell into that ginormous hole in Redmond where people abandon their unwanted pets and software projects.

For many decades IBM was the undisputed leader in turning out 'supplemental' software (that's what I call software created not so much as a product to be sold, but as a product that fills a gap in the company's product catalog. We don't usually see it on this side (customer side) but if you've ever worked at a big software company you've seen the internal 'roadmaps and strategies' stuff from management and there is always, absolutely always a product or two on there that obviously doesn't fit with anything else the company is doing. Making it appear to fit is why a lot of ExecuSpeak was invented.

That crown was passed to MS quite some time ago. MS has so many products that nobody has ever heard of but they keep them alive because it fills a catalog gap: 'Microsoft, we've got it and we'll sell it to you!'

Those products aren't (necessarily) bad, they're just unloved; kind of like a Christmas puppy. It's purpose has been fulfilled the minute it gets a name, but after you've shown it to everyone it looks suspicious if they don't see it around anymore, so you hang on to it and feed it just enough that it doesn't die immediately.

Almost every business has a few products like that, it happens. But it's also really important that you understand why you're building something. Doing it because you can is rarely worth the effort.

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