I’ve been called a Microsoft Fanboy, a shill, a Microsoft employee. I’m none of those, really. Except for maybe the first one. However, the more I learn about Microsoft, and not just their products, but their employees, their mission, their passion, the more I really love the company itself.
For example, take this post from Dona Sarkar, the head of the Windows Insider team: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-believe-mission-dona-sarkar/ (Do You Believe in the Mission?). She, along with many other employees are not just drones creating the next editions of the software that many people enjoy, more people use, and a few people despise. They are very caring, passionate, and great people that are putting their hearts and souls into their work. Their work that doesn’t just stop with creating the software.
I took the time to watch the Facebook Live presentation from Microsoft Careers this morning, and again: the passion and the love the employees had was very apparent. They weren’t just recruiting new employees to fill the voids of others. They were looking for people that were as passionate and talented as the others at Microsoft that would fit into the company’s goals and their mission: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
While I have not been a Microsoft employee, I have interacted with many of their employees in the past and currently. They are always professional, yet very friendly and interactive with users. The Windows Insider team interacts with users via their Mixer webcasts, reddit, Facebook, Microsoft Communities, the Feedback Tool within Windows 10, and other outlets. They aren’t doing this to bolster their image. They are doing this so they can listen to consumers and improve the product they love working on. They will go out of their way to address an issue you may be experiencing, or let you know they are working on it. All while wearing a taco hat with a Ninja Cat mascot.
The Xbox team is always working to make sure you have fun. Major Nelson is very receptive online to any issues people have and pops in on some forums quite often to say hello and answer some questions.
The Microsoft MVP team and MVP’s work together to help bridge the gap between users and the development teams. They share information, MVP’s help users understand Microsoft products better, and many share that same passion that Microsoft employees have.
Microsoft has many social and outreach programs to help make the planet a better place. From the #Insiders4Good program (http://windowsinsiders.azurewebsites.net/Home/FellowshipMain) to the record breaking charity contributions by their employees (https://www.geekwire.com/2014/microsoft-2013-employee-giving-program/), Microsoft is constantly helping others.
Microsoft used to have that stigma that I used to think of with IBM. Suits, suits, and more suits. It came off as a tight ship, creating products to sell at the highest profit via an assembly line. As of lately, this is definitely not the case.
Does this make me a Fanboy? Maybe. I think the praise Microsoft gets as a company itself is well deserved. Their individual products? How they handle some products and hardware? Well… I can’t say they have a great track record in doing things right. Great products got the axe, while some less than great products stuck around. I sure wish I had a Zune right about now, and I wouldn’t be writing about it using Yammer!