back to article We went to Nadella's launch of Hit Refresh so you didn't have to

As soon as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's book Hit Refresh was introduced as a "masterpiece" of how to scale up the "growth mindset" by his on-stage interviewer, it quickly became apparent this wasn't going to be a Paxman-esque grilling. The book launch was at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, UK, a venue chosen because of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

    Yes.

    "The question was what would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street? "I thought about it for a couple of minutes and and said call 911," he recalled."

    The correct answer of course for Microsoft is "Eat it".

    Once a soul has gone to hell there's no way back.

    1. Cynical Observer
      Childcatcher

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      But it turns out the interviewer was looking for the more human response of picking it up and hugging it.

      Interviewer displays reduced understanding of how modern society has evolved.

      Response for many is to quickly assess situation to determine if severity of situation is serious enough to balance the charge of inappropriate contact.

      Thereafter to call 911, "hug it" or feign ignorance in the hope that someone will get there before them.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        "Response for many is to quickly assess situation to determine if severity of situation is serious enough to balance the charge of inappropriate contact."

        yeah, I figure that "huggy" stuff is the parents' job. If I do their job FOR them, they won't have anything to do, now will they? So a) check for obvious injuries, b) notify someone in authority, and c) find the kid's parents. And if the kid is in immediate danger [of being run over by a bus] then move the kid to a safer location. That concludes my civic responsibility for taking care of someone else's kid. And DELEGATE the rest [that would make me a better manager!]

        (except when snowflake interviewers are looking for touchy-feely types that usually nauseate me if I'm forced to work with them...)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

          I'm confused by why the correct answer isn't Call an Ambulance *then* Check For Injuries. Though if the baby is screaming loudly it's most likely fine and I wouldn't call an ambulance with as urgency - perhaps the original question Nadella was asked had more details.

          If baby is screaming then holding it whilst supporting its head and bouncing with your knees (not your arms) often brings more cheerful noises.

          If the parents are funny about an adult caring for a lost or distressed child, it's often to mask their embarrassment at having had the lapse in awareness that led to said sprog straying.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        If your first response is to weigh up whether your altruistic actions are open to misinterpretation I think the colonisation of this fair isle by American claims-culture is almost complete.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      “The question was what would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?”

      That depends of course on what operating system it was running.

      1. djstardust Silver badge

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        To be fair if it was running Vista or ME you would just walk away .........

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

          @To be fair if it was running Vista or ME you would just walk away .........

          If it was an xbox 360 you'd turn 360 degrees and walk away

        2. Chemical Bob
          Headmaster

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

          "To be fair if it was running Vista or ME you would just walk away ........."

          All babies run the Poop OS. As Vista means Excrement in Sanskrit.....

          https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1042396/what-microsoft-vista-mean

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "That depends of course on what operating system it was running."

        Being Nadella, I guess that depends what caste the baby is from.... and if male or female. If he/she is an "untouchable" it's OK to waif for the garbage collection, probably.

      3. Murphy's Lawyer

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        The baby lies on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun... but you're not helping. Why aren't you helping?

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

          "The baby lies on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun... but you're not helping. Why aren't you helping?"

          A. Grr! Kill... </replicant noises>

          B. It has red glowing eyes - that sort of 'fallen' - would you pick it up?

    3. Spock2

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      “The question was what would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?”

      Tell it it may be entitled to a financial settlement for the accident it just had.

    4. DJ Smiley

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      Pick it up was my first thought.... quickly followed by 'and look up' -- because when it's raining babies, they're coming from somewhere/someone.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        Picking it up and hugging it would probably get you charged with attempted abduction around these parts, so calling 911 seems appropriate. Either that or balling out the parent for being an irresponsible douche and dropping their baby. Either works...

        1. wayne 8

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

          Do not pick up anyone who has fallen. They may need to be stabilized. Picking a victim up can cause further injury.

          Do not try to move a victim unless there is an immediate threat of more harm if left in place.

          Nadella was correct in his immediate response.

          Still won't change my opinion of Microsoft and Windows.

          1. druck Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

            wayne 8 wrote:

            Do not pick up anyone who has fallen. They may need to be stabilized. Picking a victim up can cause further injury.

            Do not try to move a victim unless there is an immediate threat of more harm if left in place.

            Nadella was correct in his immediate response.

            Jeezus! Does anyone on El Reg forums have children?

            It was a supposed to be a baby (toddler) that had fallen over, they are learning to walk and fall over all the time without hurting themselves. They'll cry, but all you need to do is pick them up, give them a hug to reassure them, and put them back on their feet. Their parent will normally do this, but may be struggling with other children/shopping/buggies etc, and need a hand.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

              It was a supposed to be a baby (toddler) that had fallen over,

              Then the interviewer should have said "fallen over". Nadella (like most of the commentards here, it seems), appears to have assumed "fallen" as in "fallen from a building", in which case his answer was the safe one.

              At least he didn't suggest switching it off and on again to see if it would get up.

    5. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      "Once a soul has gone to hell there's no way back."

      Unless said soul belongs to Eugene "Arseface".

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

        A Preacher fan, Mephistro?

        (Please no spoilers, I've only seen up to the end of Season 1)

        1. Mephistro Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?(@ imanidiot)

          "A Preacher fan, Mephistro?"

          YES! I was also following the comics. Both are GOOD, And I'd advice you to read also the comics -if you haven't done so already- after the TV series ends, of course, as to prevent spoilers. Lots of corrosive black humour, lots of fun. :-)

          Heads up: If you like this show, you'll probably also enjoy "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency", loosely based on the book by dear & missed Douglas Adams.

          1. 9Rune5

            Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?(@ imanidiot)

            I thought I was the only developer in the village who enjoyed Dirk Gently (yes, the latest TV show) as well as Preacher.

            Good stuff.

            A bit odd, but both good.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      Nadella should have just recited one of his Microsoft speeches to the Baby, that always has the required effect of sending me into an induced coma/trance like state pretty quickly, even when I have a 2am case of insomnia.

      Though Nadella was much better than usual in his Newsnight interview this week, I did manage to stay awake the whole way through. A first.

    7. GingerOne

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      At least he didn't suggest pulling his phone out and live streaming the baby on social media. That seems to be the go to response for many when others are suffering.

    8. fobobob

      Re: Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?

      He waited too long; in the intervening time, a shadowy figure darted in, snatched up the babby and scurried back to the FCC commissioner's office.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hit Refresh

    Required for software which can't be trusted to show you an up to date view automatically, or even sometimes after repeated manual refreshes...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hit Refresh

      It's difficult to be certain if he's talking about a web browser or if Windows Explorer has no idea what's going on with network drives.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda

    Just the fact that he poses the question, is enough to make me believe that that is exactly what it is intended to be ... isn't that part of the CEO's leitmotifs

    He's probably also trying to achieve some personal credibility at the same time but for that first you need a character.....fail.....

  4. keithpeter
    Coat

    Precise questions

    "The culture at Microsoft was, we used to go to a class about precision questions. The idea was to destroy anyone's [argument] in the first five minutes by asking highly precise questions... but it was being used as an instrument of offence,"

    Isn't this discourse in this style called science?

    Perhaps without the agression but am I the only one who thinks that some of Microsoft's recent products could have benefitted from a little more precise questionning before release?

    Coat: Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery in one pocket and Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations in the other.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: Precise questions

      Isn't this discourse in this style called science?

      It's science if you're interesting facts and the truth or law if you're just interested in winning the argument. Effective interview technique falls somewhere between the two, whereas this sort of thing:

      introduced as a "masterpiece" of how to scale up the "growth mindset" by the on-stage interviewer

      Is clearly channelling Nadella's Marxist Dad by adopting a tone appropriate for 1930's Pravda.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Precise questions

      TIFKAM needed to be shot down with extreme prejudice.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Precise questions

        "TIFKAM needed to be shot down with extreme prejudice."

        And MY pointed question to Nadella: what in the HELL were you people THINKING when you came up with THAT???

        TIFKAM needs to be shot down with extreme prejudice and a nice fat reward to go with it

        or, see icon.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Precise questions

          And MY pointed question to Nadella: what in the HELL were you people THINKING when you came up with THAT???

          And MY pointed question to Nadella: what in the HELL were you people DRINKING when you came up with THAT???

          FTFY.

  5. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Expect a book review from us in due course

    Soft, strong and thoroughly absorbent.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Expect a book review from us in due course

      "I thought it would be right up yur alley."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lords Cricket Ground?

    So, because HE likes "the boring game", he chooses to launch his book for employees in a country that is host to what, 2% of Microsoft's workforce, and at a venue that probably most Microsoft employees have never heard of. And in case you missed it, your corporation is soooo committed to the UK, that it uses every opportunity to avoid paying tax here.

    OI! NADELLA! You BERK. Its bad enough that a volume of CEO brain-droppings are going to be foisted on your employees, but if you're going to delude yourself that you're an author, and need a book launch, why not do it somewhere you can bus a stadium of unwilling drones in to to offer you some faux-applause?

    1. Dr Who

      Re: Lords Cricket Ground?

      Bit harsh old chap. Wrong side of bed this morning?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lords Cricket Ground?

        Bit harsh old chap

        I didn't think so. Imagine if the boss of Sage software wrote a book, and then launched it in a country which represented a trivial proportion of sales, a yet more trivial share of employees, and the actual event were hosted at a sporting venue that was home to sport alien to most employees?

        So if Sage's boss Stephen Kelly writes an employee handbook, which I'll title "Amazing yawns and how to do them", he goes to Thailand, and launches this book at Bangkok's "700th Anniversary Stadium", well known in that part of the world for hosting the King's Cup, the world championships of sepaktakraw.

        If he did that'd I think most people would conclude he had a screw loose. So am I really being too harsh on Nutella?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lords Cricket Ground?

      He needed probably to satisfy his ego - lords, the ex-empire ruler, etc. etc.

      Mixing with your employee in a place for the pleb? C'mon that's something maybe for Ballmer, not for him.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Lords Cricket Ground?

        He needed probably to satisfy his ego - lords, the ex-empire ruler, etc. etc.

        I'll add.. he needed to visit the folks at home and by doing this, he got a nice tax deduction for "business".

    3. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Lords Cricket Ground?

      Now now, no need to bring religion in to it.

      Lords' being hallowed ground and all that.

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge
    FAIL

    What didn't come out of that summary....

    ...... was what Microsoft does think it's for now. Which might be the real problem. For the last few years they've been chasing other companies' achievements. Probably since they missed the boat when the internet started to become a thing. Instead of finding what the world needs and trying to provide it they are consistently trying to do what the other companies have already succeeded with. Apple, Samsung and a few others have the high end tech hardware. Google have mobile OS, search, data capture and web advertising.

    But Microsoft have been trying to play catch-up by copying each of those. The one area where they were ahead of the market, operating systems, they've sacrificed on the alter of those other aims. Making Windows more like a mobile OS with Win 8.x, introducing data slurping like Google, trying to create a walled garden like Apple. And since their software (Office) is at saturation point they've just messed around with what worked fine to try and make people buy new versions that they don't need.

    1. Teknogrot

      Re: What didn't come out of that summary....

      You have to read the book to find out.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: What didn't come out of that summary....

      I have to update my initial post

      from ...... was what Microsoft does think it's for now. Which might be the real problem. For the last few years they've been chasing other companies' achievements. After today's announcement that they re now dumping their Groove music service too. Because it was yet another poor copy of yet another service that beats them, Spotify in this case.

      They just made my point for me..

  8. poohbear

    Mmm since no one else has done it....

    Cynical®us

  9. LDS Silver badge

    What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

    His answer landed him to the CEO position. As a CEO you don't have to feel empathy for anybody. And you will just assign any problem to someone else to sort it out.

    1. FLes

      Re: What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

      Check to see if Clapton was playing a gig in town?

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

      I thought you were supposed to replicate the glitch before trying to patch it?

  10. Alastair Dodd 1

    Hololens is not VR

    User viewing Real world with overlayed computer generated elements = Mixed Reality

    User viewing totally computer generated 3D environment with no real world elements = Virtual Reality

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Hololens is not VR

      AR isn't VR, but the technologies do have a lot of overlap.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Book title....

    "How to ignore the Consumer; gouge the Enterprise and catch Google on data harvesting"

  12. bombastic bob Silver badge
    WTF?

    comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

    FIrst of all, "Marxist Economist" isn't very "scholarly" unless your tongue is firmly embedded in your cheek.

    Second, THAT! EXPLAINS! A! LOT!!!

    No _WONDER_ they've taken on an evil,oppressive, "You will take this or we'll shove it up your a down your gullet" aproach to marketing things _LIKE_ Win-10-nic.

    It totally makes sense now. A socialist (Ballmer) handed off the leadership of the company to a *FEELING* COMMUNIST! ['feel' being the 'F' word In My Bombastic Opinion]

    And, like Mrs. Clinton, he writes a book. I'm sure the "fan club" will ADORE it. The rest of us will go "meh"

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

      The word salad is strong in this one.

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

        Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

        I prefer my salad without the accompanying spittle and dribble, thank you.

        Not sure about the exuberant sprinkling of '!'s - seems to overpower the dish somewhat.

        1. Palpy

          Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

          Word salad and !!! are Bob's mode when one of his involuntary reflexes has been triggered. It doesn't mean he's a bad commentard, just... a bit intellectually unsophisticated.

          I'll bet there's a fair helping of pseudo-intellectual word salad in Nadella's tome, though. Won't be reading it, meself; many other priorities rank higher.

        2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

          'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'

          Sir Terry Pratchett (Eric)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

        "Hey kids! Unlike Uncle Ballmer, I wear a t-shirt and jeans on stage whenever I give a keynote address. I'm a cool dude just like Steve Jobs. Therefore, Microsoft is as cool as Apple. Please love me, and read my refreshing book."

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

      Please, stop sniffing Chemtrails.

      Or is this merely 'doing a Donald' and trying to roll back the years with the 'S' word?

    3. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: comes from a scholarly background – his dad was a Marxist economist

      Watch out Bob you are getting close to

      “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” :- Sir Terry Pratchett

  13. johnnyblaze

    Baby fell from sky...

    From Microsoft's perspective, if a baby fell from the sky...

    First check what version of the baby it is. Is it Windows 10 Baby Edition - if not, move along and leave it alone.

    Is it running anything previous to the Baby Anniversary update? If yes, we don't support it, so leave it in the road.

    Assuming it's full patched and up to date (baby probably fell from sky after the latest humungous patch which forced a reboot of said baby), then next consult lawyers - can we legally pick up the baby?

    If consulted lawyers agree, pick up baby, return to side of road

    Three months later, ensure mid-level manager in grey suit no-one has heard of posts a blog entry saying that MS only thought of the baby at all stages, and no unauthorized information was gatherd during the 'saving' process. MS did get the nappy size, but the baby agreed to this without realizing when the Baby Creator's Update was installed.

  14. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Wierdly, Ive never read a management book that recommaneds: sucking upwards, shiting downwards and pretending all the releases in the last 15 years (excl. WS2008R2) is anything but a pile of shit.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

    Post it on Instagram

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

      > Post it on Instagram

      If the mother tripped and fell over, dropping her twin babies in the process, then your picture could be titled: "A Picture of the Fallen Madonna With the Big Babies"

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: What "would you do if you found a baby had just fallen on street?"

        I hope he has a spare knackwurst to hide it in.

  16. bitten

    A strong candidate doesn't hesitate to introduce a 2 minute silence in a hands on discussion about spontaneous behavior.

  17. Salestard

    And his follow-up title will be?

    "Pissing Into The Wind - How I failed to get 100k sociopaths to not be sociopaths"

    I've been inside US megacorps: The culture is so pervasive that only two types of people survive in any numbers; the totally clueless/harmless, or the alpha political backstabbers. Initiative is stifled, customers ignored, innovation crushed... mostly by middle-upper management relentlessly getting one over on their peers.

    Doubtless well intentioned, a book isn't going change that culture; that dog is too old and too set in its ways to stop biting itself.

    The other minor hurdle is that there is nothing to drive this change. Microsoft is so big and so ubiquitous it can't even kill itself - take the whole Nokia thing as an example; create a platform, then buy a hardware business to promote it further, then immediately stop both hardware and software you've spent years and billions on without even blinking.

    In fact, I'm struggling to think of something the reverse Midas touch of Redmond hasn't completely crippled (usually without any external influence)... "yeah, if we're really nice and groovy to each other then that WP10/Win8/Lync/Skype/OneDrive/Zune/Xbox/Explorer/Edge/Vista/ME/Band/insert name debacle won't happen again." Yet still it rumbles on.

  18. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    Waiting a couple of minutes???

    Seriously a baby in the middle of the street and you 'wait a few minutes?'

    What for? The five second rule? Utter D*ck.

    Look forward to the book review, I assume it will be filled with utter tripe and management bingo as he tries to leave his mark on history. Other than getting rid of windows mobile, killing Nokia and introducing the world to mainstream data rape with windows 10.

    1. Nolveys Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Waiting a couple of minutes???

      Seriously a baby in the middle of the street and you 'wait a few minutes?'

      It takes some time to unhook one's jaw and relax one's throat.

      "One of my biggest worries of this book and talking about it is: 'Will it be viewed cynically as corporate propaganda?'"

      Don't worry, Nad, I view it as a big bag of self-important ego wank.

  19. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Windows

    I like this guy...

    ...for not being Ballmer.

    1. YARR

      "non - violent communication"

      I presume this is a reference to the former chair-chucker in chief.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/05/chair_chucking/

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge

    In fact, he was playing with his cricket balls when the call came in

    This doesn't paint a pretty picture. Won't anyone think of the insects? Oh..wrong cricket... nevermind.

  21. Youngone Silver badge

    His Poor Parents

    his dad was a Marxist economist and his mum was professor of Sanskrit –

    And they now look at each other and wonder where they went wrong.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "His dad was a Marxist economist"

    This explains why Windows 10 seems like an OS from a Marxist dystopia: spying, crowdsourcing of bug testing, forced updates whether you like it or not.

  23. lukewarmdog

    book review

    "big enough to prop up that one table with a dodgy leg"

    ideal present for "the insomniac who has tried everything else"

    place most likely to be found "still in the bookshop, probably reduced for quick sale in the new year"

    1. Salestard

      Re: book review

      The real barometer is how quickly it plunges to the 99p deals section on the Kindle.

      Currently it's #1 in two categories.

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hit-Refresh-Rediscover-Microsofts-Everyone-ebook/dp/B06XX4KH4R/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1507025682&sr=8-1

  24. Julifriend

    Remaindered?

    Has the book been remaindered yet? If you're thinking of buying it then it might be best to wait a couple of weeks. It should be available in Poundland by then.

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