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November 18, 2005

Microsoft accountability: Vista RTM and more

Posted by David Hunter at 1:17 PM ET.

Jay Greene at Business Week provides an interesting analysis in Microsoft’s New Word: Accountability. Some snippets:

Execs at the software giant hate setting expectations, lest they slip. So the company has been mum on the date, saying only that Vista will launch some time in the second half of 2006. Analysts have taken that to mean a shipment date some time near Christmas.

It turns out, the company plans to ship much sooner. According to an internal blog by Chris Jones, one of Microsoft’s top Windows execs, the shipping target is Aug. 31.

Jones’s blog post appears to address the question of low morale head on. “If you want my personal accountability, I will not take a bonus if we don’t ship Vista with high quality and the soul intact by August 31st, 2006,” Jones writes in a Sept. 28 blog post that was obtained by BusinessWeek Online. “If there is more I can do, let me know.”

Indeed, Microsoft may be entering a period of greater accountability, something the company’s critics say is long overdue. The Vista deadline isn’t the only evidence. On Nov. 17, Microsoft announced that Doug Burgum is giving up his operational responsibility for the Microsoft Business Solutions group. He’ll become chairman of the division, which sells software that helps small and mid-sized companies run their businesses.

Microsoft was careful to avoid calling the move a promotion. As group chairman, Burgum will help build support among independent software developers. Burgum’s replacement, for whom the company is searching, will report to Burgum’s boss, Jeff Raikes — not Burgum.

Much more by following the link.

Filed under Doug Burgum, Employee Retention, Executives, General Business, MBS, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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