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Minding Your Microsoft Manners

RCP's experts answer five tricky etiquette questions and provide pointers on what to do -- and what not to do -- when meeting with Microsoft.

It's not always easy to get noticed in Redmond. Microsoft, after all, has more than 300,000 partners in its Worldwide Partner Program. Sure, the big guys -- the global systems integrators and huge independent software vendors, for instance -- get plenty of access to Microsoft executives and lots of support from the company. But, for small and midsize partners, a meeting with Microsoft folks can provide a golden -- and, in most cases, rare -- opportunity to get into the software giant's good graces. And getting into Microsoft's good graces can produce all sorts of fringe benefits, from increased marketing support to access to more and better sales leads.

That's why partners should be prepared for their meetings with Microsoft, whether they take place on the Redmond campus or in a field sales office -- or even over the Internet. But being prepared means more than just having some PowerPoint slides ready and memorizing your company's pitch. It also means knowing what to do -- and what not to do -- in order to fit into Microsoft's culture and make a positive impression. After all, with so many companies competing for Microsoft's attention, partners need people in Redmond to remember them for the right reasons -- not the wrong ones.

Still, people in the know say that it's surprising how many partners make simple, seemingly easily avoidable gaffes when meeting with people from Microsoft.

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners."
--Etiquette maven and author Emily Post

"You literally roll your eyes [and] cringe at what the partner does or doesn't do in front of Microsoft," says Albert Bitton, president of Partnerwise, a Montréal-based consulting firm that advises companies on partnering with Microsoft. So, to help eliminate eye-rolling in partners' meetings with Microsoft and help them get the most of out of the experience, RCP has put together a concise question-and-answer guide to meeting with Microsoft. Follow it and you'll be a lot more likely to walk out of your next Microsoft meeting having left the right impression with the right people.

Q: Are there any gaffes that I should absolutely avoid when meeting with people from Microsoft?
A: Yes. Don't run Lotus Notes as your e-mail client. Don't talk about the music you listened to on your iPod on the trip to Redmond or to a field office. Don't schedule online meetings on WebEx or call people from Microsoft on Skype. And, above all, don't "Google."

You get the point by now: It might sound trite, but showing a commitment to Microsoft products and technologies is critical when meeting with Microsoft people. And steering clear of using -- or even casually talking about using -- competitors' wares is imperative.

It's especially important to avoid anything involving Google Inc. Although it has become natural for many people to do it, don't use "Google" as a verb -- and, if possible, don't say the word at all, says Mike Harvath, president of Revenue Rocket Consulting Group, a Bloomington, Minn.-based company that consults with partners on working with Microsoft.

"Clearly, Google's the evil empire right now [in Redmond]," Harvath says. "Google anything is bad, really bad. That is an absolutely off-limits topic."

Showing a commitment to Microsoft and avoiding competitive products is especially important for smaller partners, says Deanne Handron, former global director of Microsoft business for worldwide consulting giant Capgemini, who made a presentation on Microsoft etiquette at a Microsoft Partner 101 event -- a conference for selected partners on how to work with Microsoft -- in Redmond in December 2006.

"Those visible faux pas like running Notes on your desktop -- those are things that identify you as somebody who doesn't understand what's important to Microsoft," Handron says. "The best thing [small partner companies] can do is dedicate themselves completely to Microsoft and look as loyal as possible to the Microsoft platform. I've seen Microsoft partner with 100-percent-loyal partners that don't have a very good product [more readily] than they would with a bigger partner that also has a relationship with a Microsoft competitor."

Partners should even be careful when mentioning other vendors while talking about customer wins. Microsoft folks like to hear about all-Microsoft deals, says Rich Freeman, a freelance writer and frequent Redmond Channel Partner contributor who worked in various partner-facing positions at Microsoft over a span of almost nine years. Many partners have left meetings in Redmond wondering why their Microsoft counterparts weren't more impressed with wins that also involved technologies from companies that compete with Microsoft, he says.

"Partners would be really scratching their heads," Freeman says. "It's got to be frustrating for the partner because they know how hard it was to get the win."

Q: How should I structure my presentation for a Microsoft meeting?
A: First of all, to paraphrase President John F. Kennedy: Ask not what Microsoft can do for your company, but show what your company can do for Microsoft. A common mistake is spending too much time asking for something and too little talking about how you can deliver value for Microsoft.

"This happens way too often: It's all about, 'How can you get us into your accounts, Microsoft?' It's not about, 'How can we drive more license sales for your accounts?'" Bitton says. Many partner-company executives don't naturally gravitate to the second approach, but "once they try to build a relationship and nothing happens, they tend to switch gears and ask better questions," he says. "Microsoft is a software company with a partner program that has one objective -- to drive revenue for Microsoft. Absolutely every partner that's part of the program is there to accomplish that objective."

It's important, though, not to over-commit and under-deliver. While that concept might seem simple, Handron says that it's very tempting for smaller partners to assume that a company as large as Microsoft won't notice if they don't generate the amounts of revenue that they've promised. However, while the company as a whole may not notice, the person at Microsoft with whom the partner is working almost certainly will.

"We can all be victims of hyperbole," Handron says. "We get so excited about our product and its potential. You get a little overexcited and over-commit, and that's bad. You just look at how big Microsoft is and you say, 'What's the big deal if we don't get it done?' [Microsoft] holds each person accountable. It is a big deal for the guy who's signing that contract. You're never signing a deal with that big Microsoft in the sky; you're signing a contract with that individual person."

Strategically, then, it's important to communicate your value and make sure that you can deliver it. Tactically, it's important to get that message out first thing when meeting with people from Microsoft. Folks in Redmond come to meetings prepared, observers say, and don't usually have a lot of time to spend with any individual partner. It's best, then, not to waste a lot of time up front making overly detailed introductions or repeating information that's already available on the company Web site. Just go straight to the bottom line.

"The very first [PowerPoint] slide you present has to tell them: 'Here's what I'm going to tell you, here's why it's important to you and here's what I want you to decide at the end of the meeting,'" says Freeman. "Microsoft people are so numbers-driven. If you're the kind of partner that meanders around and speaks in generalities, that's going to make a bad impression."

Q: I'm the CEO of a midsize partner company. Should I expect access to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer or someone close to his level?
A: No. Far too many partners, observers say, don't understand that Microsoft is a global enterprise with hundreds of thousands of partners and that very, very few heads of partner companies ever meet with Ballmer or other top executives.

"One of the things that partners forget is that they are one of many," Freeman says. "People will sometimes demand access to Ballmer and big executives and think, 'I'm a CEO; he's a CEO. We should be talking every month.' That kind of pushiness doesn't go over well. [Partner CEOs] are masters of their universe. In this other arena, you're a smaller fish in a bigger pond."

Furthermore, partners shouldn't necessarily expect -- or even want -- to meet with someone in or from Redmond, Bitton says. Microsoft has strong local organizations for a reason, he adds.

"Partners assume that Microsoft is just like every other company, where you talk to somebody and partner with them at Redmond," Bitton says. "You waste all your time trying to meet executives at Redmond when all that's going to do is have Redmond point you back to the local people." That shuffling-around process can waste six to nine months, he says.

While they shouldn't expect an audience with Ballmer, partners should send their own top decision-makers to meetings. Anybody who meets with someone from Microsoft needs to be able to make permanent decisions on the spot, right in the meeting, Bitton says. Sending a lieutenant to get information and report it back to the home office will rankle people in Redmond.

"Microsoft gets ticked off because you sent the business development manager to a meeting where the business development manager only takes information and goes back and gives information to the CEO," Bitton says. "If you continually have meetings with Microsoft and the CEO doesn't show up, that sends a message to Microsoft. This type of partner will be shunned, and it happens way too often."

Q: How should I behave during a meeting with Microsoft people, and how should I expect them to behave?
A: As always, basic rules of etiquette apply. The No. 1 rule is be on time -- observers say that Microsoft employees generally have multiple meetings scheduled with no breaks, so they don't have time to wait around for partners who are late.

Beyond that, busy Microsoft people are known for bringing laptops and other mobile devices to meetings -- and using them, sometimes a lot. Partners should bring their laptops and be prepared to send their Microsoft counterparts information electronically rather than communicating it some other way.

"When I would go into a meeting, usually everybody would bring PCs," Handron says. "They're taking notes on their PCs. They're less of a 'let-me-draw-this-on-a-whiteboard' type company."

Harvath agrees: "Make sure you bring your laptop to every meeting because everybody else will have theirs and will be doing e-mails during the meeting. They want you to send information to them in the meeting. Being able to use the technology in emphasizing your point makes sense."

But Microsoft folks won't just be reading your e-mails during your meeting. They'll probably be reading and responding to outside e-mails, too, "unless you say, 'we want everyone to turn off all their technology for the next hour.' [In that case,] they'll look at you sideways, but most people will do it," Harvath says, adding that only partners who have an established relationship with Microsoft should try that move.

Still, Handron says, it's wise for partners to not to follow the leads of their Microsoft counterparts and start reading outside e-mails and checking mobile devices during meetings. As partners move up Redmond's food chain, she says, Microsoft people will pay more attention to them. But at the outset, partners will just have to contend with distractions.

"It's just a pet peeve of mine when people treat my time like it's not worth as much as theirs," Handron says. "Microsoft people do it. More senior [Microsoft] people don't do it. It's my personal opinion that it's not smart for a partner to do it. Be prepared for Microsoft people to do it. You're not meeting with the senior people until you've been doing this for a long time."

On that note, Harvath actually recommends holding Microsoft meetings outside of Microsoft offices. He says that Microsoft people are more likely to give partners their undivided attention in a neutral setting such as a coffee shop -- or even in partners' own offices.

"I try to meet with Microsoft away from the Microsoft office. [Microsoft employees] tend to have a lot of distractions," says Harvath, adding that partners have told him they've had their most productive Microsoft meetings outside of the company's offices, too.

Q: Are there any other little tips I should know before I go into my meeting?
A: There are probably hundreds of them, but Harvath offers a few simple ones that might help partners differentiate themselves.

"Microsoft is the land of the three-letter acronym," he says. "Make sure you use plenty of three-letter acronyms. Make up some as you go along and see what they say. The problem with Microsoft-speak is that unless you're on the inside every day, even the partners don't understand it. To be able to do that a little bit back and poke a little fun at these guys helps create an environment where they respect a partner as a peer."

Harvath also says that it's important to talk up Microsoft products -- which, of course, partners should be using -- as much as possible. "[Microsoft people] just believe that their products are far superior to everything else in the market. That culture has permeated every employee in the company," he says.

"Mention Vista," he continues, referring to the operating system that Microsoft released earlier this year. "Say [you're] running it and what a productivity boost it is." Harvath notes that bad feedback about Vista has filtered back to Microsoft through corporate accounts and the channel, so a positive review of it from a partner could be a key to making a good impression.

The same goes for Windows Live, he says, especially Microsoft's much-maligned Live search engine, which has struggled in the face of competition from Google and others: "Sprinkle the word 'live' liberally into all Microsoft-related communications; they'll love you for it."

Microsoft partners might not be looking for love in their meetings with people from the software giant -- but they are looking, at the very least, for recognition. And knowing the answers to the tricky questions presented here should help partners get noticed for all the right reasons.

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Reader Comments

Fri, Oct 12, 2012

Oh, this is precious! I can't count how many times I've had to wipe the tears from my eyes. Brilliant!

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 Jay India

This satire is so well written that you don't realize until page 2 that it's really satire! Brilliant parody! On the other had, if you read it at a very literal, superficial level, it's nothing but plain common sense - substitute MS and its product names with any big coprporation's name and the article still holds good.

Sat, Oct 16, 2010

"Make sure you use plenty of three-letter acronyms. Make up some as you go along and see what they say." Come on now, that can't be a legit quote. So said Mike Harvath, president of Revenue Rocket Consulting Group? I just don't believe it--which means the whole thing is satire, right? Right?

Sun, Aug 8, 2010 Stoklait_Charfish EU

The fact this article is still being actively commented upon 3yrs after publication demonstrates it has become a 'cult comedy classic' renowned for its unintentional revelation of the fundamental reasons for MSFT's richly deserved decline. I am a declared MSFT-tax-resister who would sooner pay for Apple hardware to run Linux than sponsor MSFT's OS monopolism through their 'partner' OEM's offerings. Also, on the principle of accelerating their bankruptcy, I will never buy any other MSFT product. The only way to rescue MSFT is to impose Richard Stallmann as CEO, a la 'we had to destroy the village to save it' - hey, he'd probably even work for free - what a savings! Farewell MSFT, and may your demise be as painful (for you) to swallow as the overpriced crap you force-fed to the captive customers all those years. [PS: typed on my laptop via Fedora + Firefox]

Mon, Jul 12, 2010

Found this through an external link. I used to work for Microsoft, and now work for one of Microsoft's partners, as an alliance manager focused on Microsoft. Some suggestions in the article are very valid, e.g.,run Microsoft products on your computer, so they know that you actually know about their products; and avoid talking about all the work you've done with Microsoft's competitors and their products, since the Microsoft people won't care about this, especially if you follow that up by describing how it would be so much easier for you if Microsoft used the same APIs as their competitors, which typically would violate license agreements and therefore would be illegal, which just proves you're clueless. Some suggestions are just stupid, and will certainly be perceived as such, like loving on Vista and making up TLAs to confuse the Microsofties. One additional suggestion: get to the point, immediately. Don't spend 30 minutes reviewing your product line, your customer list, the awards you received ... extremely unlikely that was what the Microsofties came for. Tell them what you want, right away, so if the right Microsoft people are not in the room, they can get them there, before your meeting is over. When your hour is over, everyone will leave, whether you've gotten to the point or not. Help them, help you.

Thu, Jul 8, 2010 anonymous anonymous

This is only hilraious because it is very basic. Teaming is an indirect sales cycle - you have to continually re-establish the win/win (why partner) to stay engaged. In any sales cycle you have to understand what's of value to that customer. It has nothing to do with 'sucking up' as much as it doe does with knowing the needs/values of the customer or partner.

Wed, Jul 7, 2010 Robert Paulson Las Colinas

Ugh. Reading this article makes me feel ill. Flatter and lie to them...it's a taste of MS internal culture leaking to the outside world in the guise of ADVICE.

Tue, Nov 3, 2009 Jackie

I came late to this party via an external link, but I have to say--stunning. And let's see--IBM, for example, OWNS Lotus and they are a partner. Now, Lotus crap is unspeakably vile, but according to this IBM should be banished to the outer darkness. What a pathetic crock this all is

Fri, Sep 25, 2009 Whatever Dallas, Tx

What a crock!! Is Microsoft royalty here? Do we have to lick their boots, too? Moral of the story: If your business depends on sucking up to MS, then you are pretty much screwed. Find a new business model that doesn't require you bow and scrape to an aging dinosaur who couldn't deliver a solid product if they really tried.

Fri, Jan 16, 2009 Anonymous Anonymous

hi all. You never know till you try to reach them how accessible men are; but you must approach each man by the right door.
I am from Japan and also am speaking English, give true I wrote the following sentence:

Tue, Nov 6, 2007 Ray Seattle

Microsoft is no longer a good Business Partner. They have abandoned their practices as far as backward compatibility in their latest upgrade. From a business stand point, if you want to communicate with your customers using office and word, you must have the latest version and by the way, if your customers want to read your communication, they must also upgrade. Forcing businesses and their customers to upgrade is costly and inconvenient. I sould not have to tell my customers that they have to spend money to be able to read my comminications. In short,Microsoft no longer communicates with itself! Microsoft is moving away from what made it a great company. I am beginning to understand why so many people are upset and moving away from Microsoft and it's products. I have alway been the strongest defender of Microsoft. I am now realizing I was wrong!

Tue, Jul 31, 2007 Becky Nagel Editor, Redmondmag.com

Hi anonymous -- I just went through our system and I don't see any comments deleted. I could be that this story also runs on our other sites -- maybe you saw those comments there? If I get a minute, I'll take a look. Feel free to contact me directly about this: bnagel@1105media.com. Our policy is NOT to delete comments unless they're spam, so I'm really not sure what would be happening here. -- Becky

Mon, Jul 30, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I am truly shocked. You have deleted pages and pages of comments, many of them insightful. Good bye, for good.

Thu, Jul 26, 2007 Diego Costa Rica

What a laugh this has been, I thought this was a joke but it looks pretty real, Vista increases productivity? How about increases the blue screen of death. That's why I moved from Windows to Ubuntu. If you want an increased productivity switch to linux.

Sun, Jul 22, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

To be clearly objective, imagine what a business meeting might be like at Google, Sun, Apple, or IBM. Remember, you are trying to convince the company to buy into your idea and to help you. Clearly, any corporation's interest in assigning valuable and limited resources to you is because there is some tangible benefit to them. If you want to succeed, you have to check your ego and personal biases at the door or you're wasting everybody's time. This really should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Fri, Jul 20, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Thank you for being to direct. I feel that some comments posted in reply to this are rude, and they only saying it because it's "Microsoft". If you go to ANY other Corporate company, would you be using their competitions products or tell them that their product is faulty? Of course not! Grow up. This article tells you what you supposed to do, without the red tape. Be thankful dammit! Lee, thanks for the article. It was very informative.

Thu, Jul 19, 2007 Willa Anonymous

I found your article very informative with good rules for dealing with any company. I've printed this to share with my colleagues; with the advoce that they put any name where Microsoft is and take good, sound advice.

Thu, Jul 19, 2007 Bruce McIntyre Phila, PA

I think you guys are all missing the point. If you partner with Microsoft, they are your customer as much as the end customer is, and it's never a good idea to create more problems than necessary.

If you were trying to sell Coke some software and they came to your office, would you serve them Pepsi? Most of this is nothing more than common sense.

Microsoft can bring a lot to the table, but they reall do consider partnership to be a two-way street.

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Lee: I'm hoping (for your sake) that it was the janitor who posted this article on your unatended PC. What a great way to make Microsoft and it's employees look like retards...

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 df colo

Mr. Pender, your article is a winner- check the accolades

Hilarious. ..
Brilliant...The Emperor's New Clothes at its finest....
Great article. I haven't laughed so hard in ages....
this is hilarious -...
I thought this was a stand-up sketch...
Sorry, it took me a while to stop laughing ....
this is tragic...
This is satire, right?...
What a hoot...
Are you sure this wasn't lifted from a Star Trek fan fiction site?...
Nicely biting irony -- I do hope the irony is deliberate....
Gosh, this is so tragic...
Unbelievable. Well, not really...

Lee, this is the funniest article I have read all year.

Wed, Jul 11, 2007 Mofongo Anonymous

Brilliant...The Emperor's New Clothes at its finest.
If insulated, delusional decisionmaking of this kind is good enough for the White House, then why not Redmond?

Wed, Jul 11, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Yuck, I'm going to be sick

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 df colo

The monopolist does not like competition. Conceal from the monopolist that you would ever consider a non MS product, let alone actually use one. When in the chapel of the holy monopoly in Redmond, do not defile its sanctity with non MS products.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Michael UK

Nicely biting irony -- I do hope the irony is deliberate.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 TemporalBeing Anonymous

As others have said - it's a laugh, and a kiss-up. Sorry, but I'll give them as much respect as they give me. If they're talking on their phones, writing or checking e-mail, then they better expect it from me too - or better yet, just not do it at all. Additionally, if I'm sending a CEO, then either it better be a meeting requiring one, in which someone of equal power should be there from Microsoft. Regardless, they should expect someone of equal power to the presentation being given, and no one greater than that which they are sending. If they're sending people without any power, then they better expect people without any power.

It all goes to what I first said - expect the respect you give. And it is a two way street.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Are you sure this wasn't lifted from a Star Trek fan fiction site?

How To Be Assimilated: A guide to joining the Borg.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Doug Anonymous

After reading this article, I suspect that "partners" is not the most appropriate term for those wishing to ally with Microsoft in order to make money. It also now makes me very uneasy that the people who handle my IRA keep investing in Microsoft.
With this kind of corporate culture and attitude, Microsoft apparently peaked long ago and will now be facing a snowballing downward slide. Even with tens of billions in cash reserves, sooner or later somebody's going to point out that the Emperor has no software worth hundreds of dollars per seat. It can continue to try to destroy alternative choices in its markets by means sometimes unethical and illegal, but I think that the better option in the long run is to offer better value per dollar in their products. Vista is a loud warning bell of derailed business management. Office's lack of backward compatability in some of its own components is another. Competition won't kill Microsoft. Its own management will.
Being enthusiastic about your own products is one thing, but what they are doing is begging for oblivion, corporately speaking. If insightful and accurate articles like this got out into general view, it would risk putting a small dent in my IRA sooner than I expected. My condolences to Microsoft Partners.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

You should rename this article to "five tricky etiquette reasons to avoid partnering with Microsoft and switch to Linux"

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Stunned Disbelief Anonymous

This is satire, right? Tell me this is satire.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Wow, suck up to a company so you can partner with them then, if they really like your product they will kludge together as similar offering and bundle it in their next OS. If they really like you they will offer to buy your product at the ensuing fire sale. MS does not deserve the respect they are demanding and are currently only supported by the low-lifes that make a killing from selling their 'products' such as RCP. The sad thing for the people at RCP is that they are so seeped in their delusion that they actually think their is something to be gained by selling their soul and being an MS partner.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 paulc gloucester UK

this is tragic... here we have people effectively avoiding mentioning bad news to the "old king" for fear of his displeasure... the "old king" is effectively ringed by sycophants who never give him the truth about the real state of affairs... that his "kingdom" is doomed and that the subjects are using other products...

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Paul Gibraltar

Wow, I just have to make a comment, though it mirrors the other comments on this article, all unanimous in stating how wrongheading this seems to be. This isn't about 'etiquette', this is about how Microsoft seem to be more interested in cultivating 'yes men' as partners rather than taking their opinions on board.

So, a partner runs Lotus Notes instead of Exchange, or prefers an open source solution to the MS one, or wants to use Google and iPod instead of MSN and Zune. The smart thing for MS to do would be to ask why. Why would an MS partner choose to run a competing solution and be unconcerned about displaying that to MS? Could there be some constructive criticism that MS could take on board and make their products more appealing not only to that partner but to other customers of their competitors?

They'll never know, because apparantly MS employees are more interested in chuckling behind partners backs than attempting to improve relationships and products to suit their partners, and ultimately customers.

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Chris Belgium

Sorry, it took me a while to stop laughing and to compose myself enough for me to type this comment. My God, I'm bookmarking this for posterity. Never in my time had I read such a masterpiece about how to kiss someone's bootie. You know what, Microsoft and their partners, they really deserve each other.
The sad part of this story is that it is probably all true. I like the part where the author states that Microsoft will endorse a mediocre product over a better one just because that 'partner' kisses their behind in a better manner. Anyone ever wondered why some partner-software was so bad and why Microsoft would partner with a company that bad? Well, now we know.

I kicked MS software out of my home last year and am happily typing away on my PCLinuxOS laptop. God, what a good descision that has been!

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I thought this was a stand-up sketch but it's actually serious. What a hoot.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 kmkatarn CA

Unbelievable. Well, not really. The behaviour herein is typicaly of the mediocre company that cannot face the truth that there really are many, many better products than theirs. Sad, really....

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 paulc Glos, England

gosh, this is just so "tragic"... there's the old ruler surrounded by sycophants who don't tell him the truth because it enrages him...

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Cyfill Portland

When I was young the next to the first book I read was Etiquette by Emily Post,
I was to live in an American palace located in eastern Augusta County in Virginia for about six months, it was expected of me to behave in an appropriate manor for the home that was going to be my home during that time. I was a guest.
It was not expected of me to grovel as though the highly respected owners were sacred.
Microsoft has treated the world as though the world should kowtow to its wishes of absolute power.
Microsoft is a convicted monopolistic power of corruption and deceit.
Microsoft is controlled by megalomaniac individuals who use very foul language and chair throwing fits of rage when confronted by respectable competition of equal stature in the marketplace.

If Microsoft is "The Eye: that horrible growing sense of a hostile will that strove with great power to pierce all shadows of cloud, and earth, and flesh, and to see you: to pin you under its deadly gaze, naked, immovable."--- Tolkien

Then it's no wonder that you need to teach others how to kowtow to be rewarded with existence in the “great' presence of Microsoft.

Perhaps the lords of Microsoft should actually read some of Emily Post and treat others as something other than disrespected soil to be used to further the pure intent of Microsoft corrupted will.

If the products of Microsoft were supremely worthy of respect, then a little arrogance would be tolerated... by merit. But it seems that the only good product made by Microsoft is a Keyboard that will respond with three keys... Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Demanding respect as though your precious was supremely deserving says volumes about what is really happening. Surrounded by fear of its well deserved future, it is no wonder that Microsoft's own view of itself is jaded to the point of revulsion from the rest of the world. Its called delusion.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

How can a corporation "innovate" when they stifle the humanity out of people who have real ideas...

This article is hysterical.

I personally make it a point to visit the Microsoft Web site from my Debian box every few days, and use the search form a lot. "Ubuntu", "Debian", "Linux", "Samba", "OpenOffice".

Microsoft is a parody of an innovative software company.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Kiss their ass so they can kick yours

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

It is not like that at all. I had an opportunity to work with both Microsoft and Apple and as a developer I can say while Microsoft did everything to help us, including giving us free tools, that other must pay thousands for, Apple on the other side did not want to talk to us, until our product developed for windows, thanks to Microsoft, started plucking Apple users. If you think Microsoft sucks, try working with Apple people. You will, literally run back to windows after one project.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

microsoft is dooomed.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Do you have to give them blowjobs as well?

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Phyzz Anonymous

So, to be a MS partner you have to be a yes man about all their products even the ones that could use a few improvements. Does anyone see that as very very unadaptable flexible corporate culture.

Mon, Jul 9, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

this is hilarious - I would love to be one of the partners and show up with a laptop running ubuntu that I just bought from dell.

haven't laughed this much since their statement about the GPL on the 5th.

Fri, Jul 6, 2007 Sledge Anonymous

Great article. I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

Fri, Jul 6, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Title should be "How to suck up to MS". Sad commentary. Not saying it's not true.

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