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Microsoft Loses Key Engineer to Google 475

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the google-os-rumors-aflutter dept.
galdur writes "Microsoft Watch reports Marc Lucovsky, one of Microsoft's key Windows architects has defected to Google. His confidence in Microsoft's ability to ship software seems to have waned, too. Some hypothesize Google working on an OS but in the wake of Google's inroads into Ajax tech applications (GMail, Suggest, Maps), I think Google may have other plans for the chief software architect for Microsoft's .Net My Services ("Hailstorm")" CT Many users are reporting 404s on the Microsoft Watch article, but its working fine for others. Hopefully they'll fix their server soon.
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Microsoft Loses Key Engineer to Google

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  • The Bullet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fembots (753724) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:11PM (#11838739) Homepage
    It'll be interesting to see if there is any "Restriction of Trade" in the old contract.

    And how useful is this Windows architect to Google if it is to come out with anything built by this guy? With the current silly-patent lawsuits happening every day, this might just give MS a bullet. What this guy "thought of" might have already been patented by MS, and in most cases, it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong.
    • Re:The Bullet (Score:4, Insightful)

      by slavemowgli (585321) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:18PM (#11838824) Homepage
      True, but Google isn't a small startup without the financial/legal capabilities to defend itself anymore, either. Bullies always pick on the weakest - never those that, while still being smaller, might actually pose a challenge.
      • Re:The Bullet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by michrech (468134) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:34PM (#11838993)
        *cough*STAC Electronics*cough* (Their HDD Compression software)
        *cough*Corel*cough* (WordPerfect anyone?)
        *cough*IBM*cough* (What did they do to OS/2 again?)

        I am SURE there are others. Those weren't, for their time, "small" companies with no money to defend themselv's.

      • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.travers@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:58PM (#11839232) Homepage Journal
        The stock Microsoft employment contract has a non-compete clause which, IMO (IANAL) is appropriately scoped. It basically says that you cannot work where your work is likely to overlap with the confiduential information you had access to at Microsoft for a period of a year (and one would assume that trade secret protections last longer than that).

        So. Mark can't go and work on a Google OS.

        But I doubt that is what Google wants to do anyway. What would they enter a crowded market and compete with all the Linux distros out there? It doesn't really fit with their portfolio.

        Instead, I suspect that Mark will be working on new and improved web apps at Google. Great news for Google, and great news for Linux users. But some of the speculation is, I think, overblown.
        • by Tough Love (215404) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:13PM (#11840227)
          But I doubt that is what Google wants to do anyway. What would they enter a crowded market and compete with all the Linux distros out there? It doesn't really fit with their portfolio.

          There is no chance whatsoever that Google will set out to build its own OS. Linux works perfectly well and Google is well aware that they have more to gain by contributing to the common development pool.

          No, Google is setting out to build a web service infrastructure, powered by its 100,000 node (at last count) Linux supercomputer. And after all, this guy's job at Microsoft was to build a web infrastructure.

          By the way, it is very doubtful that in California he can be prevented from working in his area of expertise, no matter what his employment contract with Microsoft says.
        • by jerryasher (151512) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:43PM (#11840418)
          Washington: Non-compete.

          California [nolo.com]: Note: Covenants not to compete are not enforceable against employees in California. Since a California statute invalidates noncompete agreements except in very limited circumstances, California judges won't enforce a noncompete agreement against an employee. However, California employers can use nonsolicitation agreements and nondisclosure agreements to protect their trade secrets, client lists and employees when an employee leaves. (See Nondisclosure Agreements for an in-depth discussion of nondisclosure agreements.)

          And I'm in Arizona. Non-compete. Sigh.
    • Re:The Bullet (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:47PM (#11839137) Homepage
      People that are good at designing robust, orthogonal, extensible APIs are few and far between. If that's what Google wants to do with him, they can get their money's worth and more without ever touching any Microsoft IP.
    • Re:The Bullet (Score:5, Informative)

      by EddWo (180780) <eddwo AT hotpop DOT com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:10PM (#11839351)
      It's interesting you should say that.

      I was reading "Showstopper!", the story of the creation of NT, a few weeks ago. It looks like Lucovsky was one of the original seven engineers that followed Cutler to Microsoft from Digital.

      According to the book there was a standoff on their first day, as they all refused to sign the employment contract because it contained a 'paragraph 10' that specified that on leaving Microsoft they would not be allowed to work at a competitor for at least a year.
      They reasoned that if their contracts with Digital had such a stipulation, then Microsoft could not have hired them away so easily. It only seemed fair that Microsoft could not impose that restriction on them either. In the end Cutler complained, and with the cooperation of Microsoft's lawyers that paragraph was removed from the contracts before they all signed.

      That doesn't mean Lucovsky was still working under the same contract in 2004 as he started with in 1989, but its an interesting question.
    • Re:The Bullet (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tesloni (727534)
      Hmmm...

      What if he was a Trojan horse?

      Maybe Billy gives him proposition to infect Google with MS ideas and to prepare for a google's takeover by him...

      Remember of old Ericsson software stuff which was been great Unix based, until some of MS high stuff was hired by Ericsson... After that they can't recover from MS intrusion...
    • Re:The Bullet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dmccarty (152630) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @08:15PM (#11839848)
      It'll be interesting to see if there is any "Restriction of Trade" in the old contract.

      I just finished reading Showstopper [amazon.com], the story about the creation of Windows NT. IIRC, Lucovsky originally came to Microsoft with about a dozen or so former Digital employees. But instead of a nice honeymoon period, the first thing that happened was a showdown over MS's no-compete clause in their contract. After a legal standoff that lasted most the day, MS relented and the employees were allowed to start working without agreeing to that clause.

      Some other interesting tidbits about Lucovsky, from the book:

      Many people felt that Lucovsky was a jerk. He was hard to manage but showed the pep and initiative that every team needs. Even more valuable, Lucovsky sought to understand how the many pieces of NT interacted as a system. [...] Lucovsky had a rare ability to learn the intricate details of his own pieces and at the same time clearly see how all the pieces fit together.

      At Cutlers behest, Mark Lucovsky, the team's most versatile programmer, filled the gap. He tracked check-ins on a white board in his office and managed the now twice-weekly builds. Before each build he compiled a list of proposed changes, then spoke with each code writer about the rationale for the change and its affect on the stability of NT. Lucovsky's opinions carried weight; he probably understood the mosaic of NT better than anyone else, including Cutler. And he didn't tiptoe around fellow code writers but battered their egos with criticism. "If Lucovsky didn't write it, everything is a piece of shit," said one colleague.

      And for those of you who would make cracks about NT or its children, 2K and Win server, please read the book or know what you're talking about before you pipe up. Sure, MS gets a lot of things wrong, and I'm no MS apologist, but name one other company/organization that has released a world-class, brand new OS in the last decade that runs most of the world's servers and computers. Cutler, Felton, Kimura, Whitmer, Abrash, Lucovsky and a host of others I'm probably forgetting. If those names don't mean anythign to you then you don't know some of the best software engineers alive. From an engineering standpoint, NT was a damned fine achievement.

      • Name One? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NeoBeans (591740) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @09:36PM (#11840376) Homepage Journal
        And for those of you who would make cracks about NT or its children, 2K and Win server, please read the book or know what you're talking about before you pipe up. Sure, MS gets a lot of things wrong, and I'm no MS apologist, but name one other company/organization that has released a world-class, brand new OS in the last decade that runs most of the world's servers and computers.

        I know this just barely exceeds your statute of limitations, but how about two:

        Sun (Solaris 2.x was their "NT")

        Apple (Mac OS X)

        This isn't to belittle Microsoft's accomplishment, but to claim they are the only company would be in error, as several OS vendors have had to go through at least one overhaul, and convince their user bases to stick with them through the transition.

  • I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ravenscall (12240) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:11PM (#11838742)
    How many Shadowrunners it took to pull off that one.
    • Usually it takes a group of four to six. However, considering where they were running, it would take a team as good as Sally Tsung's to pull it off. There must have been some serious nuyen behind this one.
  • Is it ethical? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Virtual Karma (862416)
    I sometimes wonder if it is ethical to attract the employees of a rival organization (maybe by offering better perks)
    • by Eternally optimistic (822953) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:13PM (#11838767)
      I'm sure this gentlemen acquired enough ethics at Microsoft, so this will not be an issue.
    • Re:Is it ethical? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geoffspear (692508) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:16PM (#11838805) Homepage
      Yes. Competing with your competitors is perfectly ethical.

      That's like asking if it's ethical for there to be more than 1 company on the planet.

    • Of course it's ethical to attract employees with better perks. This is capitalism; an employee is free to pursue the highest 'bid' for their talents, provided they're not breaking any existing contracts. Big companies like MS have anti-competitive clauses in their contracts to prevent defections; they also offer good benefits packages on their own. If google managed to trump that, then good on them!
    • Of course it is (Score:2, Informative)

      by NYTrojan (682560)
      it is how businesses work. Microsoft has made a living doing this. Ken Lobb went to Microsoft from Nintendo to help the XBOX. Heck, Microsoft buys COMPANYS to prevent them from working with rival organizations (See Rare).
    • Re:Is it ethical? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:00PM (#11839251) Homepage Journal
      Let me answer with a question.

      Is it ethical to forbid your employees to work for your competitors if they ever leave?

      In Mexico there is this case. The largest TV company in the country, Televisa, had this "shunning" clause on the contract, saying that all artist that left the company were forbidden to make TV appearances in competition's broadcasts.

      Due to this fear, all the people were "loyal" to the company. They had no choice, it was the only major TV company.

      And we ALL know Microsoft is a monopoly. Don't give them more ideas, please.
    • Re:Is it ethical? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MikeCapone (693319)
      I sometimes wonder if it is ethical to attract the employees of a rival organization (maybe by offering better perks)

      Hmm, isn't it what Microsoft does all the time (attracting them.. but also just buying out their competitors).

      Besides, it's not like after you've worked somewhere you must refrain from ever again working anywhere else ever. Contracts usually have no-competition clauses, but they have to be limited to reasonable demands. Google will just use Marc in ways that don't go agains the clause..
    • Re:Is it ethical? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @08:21PM (#11839886)
      Why not? It's competition. If Alice offers Bob a better deal than Charlie, then why shouldn't Bob leave and take Alice's offer if Bob thinks it suits him better than his current job working for Charlie?

      There's not even a shred of ethical dilemma here.

      The simple economic fact is that Microsoft didn't compete hard enough to keep that developer, and now he's gone -- too bad, tough shit to MSFT, and now Google is one (presumably) very-competent architect richer, at the expense of probably six-figures a year in salary and benefits from Google. But Google believes he's worth it, so they're happy; Marc Lucovsky is happier at Google, else he wouldn't have jumped ship, and MSFT - well, who knows whether they care or not.

      Perhaps MSFT cares - perhaps they valued Lucovsky enough to keep him at the conditions of his previous employ, but clearly they didn't value him enough to keep him at newer, higher conditions which in Lucovsky's mind beat the conditions of working at Google. And perhaps MSFT doesn't care at all; that they think they can get along just fine without him - we don't know, and probably won't know for a long time, if ever.

      In the end, this is a nice example of labor economics benefiting the laborer (Lucovsky), by his playing a game of wage/benefits/happiness shopping, and "buying" the package Google offered while "selling" the package MSFT was providing. Again, there is not even a *shred* of ethical dilemma here...

      If I can't convince you on the sheer fundamental economics of the situation (in which case, please try Econ101 sometime), can I at least get you on a "Microsoft is evil, so it's good that quality developers are jumping ship" argument? ;-)
  • Google OS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by danielrm26 (567852) *
    This is big. As the parent touched on, the possibility of "Google OS" is definitely real. It would be utterly non-trivial, to be sure, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Google. Between their cooperation with the Firefox project and now the acquisition of a key Microsoft architect, the sky is the limit for this group.
    • Google News (Score:2, Insightful)

      by solomonrex (848655)
      1. They already have their own OS that is specialized to be super reliable for their cluster (read the other Google news item from today). They even refer to it as 'Google OS'. It's really just a specialized Red Hat based kernel (according to the news).

      2. This guy made a point of explaining in his blog (when it was up) that Microsoft doesn't ship software, and he admires that Amazon ships software immediately, via the web. Google would obviously appeal to him for this reason.
    • Given that the guy doesn't seem to have been doing core OS work at Microsoft, I don't see any reason to conclude that he must be (or probably will be) working doing such work at Google. Beyond "Dave Winer says so", which I don't rate any higher than "My Rice Krispies said so".

      Google seems to love to hire Smart Guys -- I'd guess his hiring falls under that heading.

    • Re:Google OS (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gimpynerd (864361)
      That seems to be a distinct if somewhat distant possibility. Google has slowly been on the rise for the past years. There would be no end of support for this type of venture considering the anti-Microsoft sentiment. Google might receive help from Linux as well, extending the relationship started witht he FireFox project.
    • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:20PM (#11838858)
      I don't think that the limit is the sky. I think the limit is the fact that Microsoft OS is installed on over 90% of world's desktops.
      Even Apple is struggling agains Windows and they already have a superior desktop OS, and penetration in audio/video and design markets.
      Heck, look at even Linux. It's free, it's useable, it's secure. And it took Linux a long time to be considered a viable desktop alternative.

      I like Google's services, but I don't think they could pull off a profitable OS.
      • Re:Google OS (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Iscariot_ (166362)
        The immediate goal is not profit, but growth of a "potential". Right now that 90% number you mentioned is getting in a lot of people's way. Reduce that deskop % and you increase your chance to sell your own plus apps to sit on top of it.

        Think Xbox. The goal of the xbox was not profit. It was to reduce the % of market-share owned by the PS2 (and to some extent GameCube) so that the Xbox 2 would have a larger profitability margin and have a wider selection of games (meaming Microsoft intends to actually
      • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel DOT hedblom AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:12PM (#11839372) Homepage Journal
        Think about it for a minute.

        What if google makes a bunch of swell services that are server centric? All computing is made on google servers and the user is just presented with a web interface like for eg. cgiirc.blitzed.org. I think thats whats going on, extending the google concept of clean easy interfaces to other services like IM and stuff.

        Things like theese makes it easier to later on make another OS since they pull code away from the client into the servers. I dont think Microsoft likes that, not one tiny bit...expecielly since theyve lost the battle of the web long ago.
      • I don't think that the limit is the sky. I think the limit is the fact that Microsoft OS is installed on over 90% of world's desktops.

        Yes, but look at the default Desktop background.

        The limit is the sky.

      • Re:Google OS (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tough Love (215404)
        I think the limit is the fact that Microsoft OS is installed on over 90% of world's desktops

        Remember when Microsoft was installed on over 95% of the world's desktops?
    • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by slavemowgli (585321) * on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:23PM (#11838894) Homepage
      Apart from what others have already said, I think you're missing one key question here: why would Google actually *want* to create their own OS? The dot-com bubble days of "we'll do it just because we can" are over; these days, (most) companies will only do things if they reasonably expect to make money with it.

      Furthermore, Google's main expertise is in the field of searching, and so far, literally ALL of its products services have been based around that. Where would an operating system fit in there?
      • Re:Google OS (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Auckerman (223266)
        Where would an operating system fit in there?

        Google already sells search appliances [google.com]. Perhaps this is a market they want to tap into further. Operating systems are not just for playing video games on.
      • Honestly... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bonch (38532) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:49PM (#11839157)
        I think the "Google OS" rumor was started by overzealous Google fanboys. We've heard all sorts of things, from a Google browser to a Google operating system.

        They're a search engine company. In fact, their search results have been in the crapper since 2003 when they adjusted their algorithms (some believe it was because they needed to increase the DocID integer size in order to not run out of them).

        Google also employs several ex-NSA guys with security clearances. I mean, if we're going to draw conclusions, why not look at Google's privacy policies that state they'll happily turn over anything the government requests on you? Did you know Google sets an IP-tracking cookie that doesn't expire for 30 years? There are bigger things to be talking about regarding Google.
    • They have already heavily modified Redhat for their own uses, so they know it inside and out. Could google be the group that finally gives us a distro with the ease of entry to lure away the windows crowd?
    • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by songofthephoenix (858004) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:36PM (#11839024)
      I highly doubt Google are going to create an OS. They are already in a position of profit. What I do see is Google expanding their online presence into other area's i.e.

      Google Chat

      Google IM

      Google portal

      Google hosting

      Google Forum's

      A Google version of .Net Passport

      Google WAP and mobile device services (which would make sense if you take into account the recent push for technology in this area).

      They are definately in a position to do such thing's without placing too much effort into other area's of the I.T world. I can not see Google creating an OS, licensing that goes with it, HCL's etc etc.

      • Re:Google OS (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DarkSarin (651985)
        Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't matter much.

        The real possibility is not an OS, but a windows abstraction layer for linux (ala WINE) that really works. Would it violate his NDA? Probably, but that's his choice, and probably (in this scenario) underwritten by Google. Would I do it? Not likely, but I can't say for sure. It depends on their side of the contract, how the terms are written, etc.

        Are NDA's truly enforceable? (As in, what is the guy's compensation for adherence beyond the term of his employmen
      • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by biglig2 (89374) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:33PM (#11839540) Homepage Journal
        To me, the real OS that is going to replace everything is called the browser, and who better than Google to make that happen?

        I mean, what do people actually do with a client PC that you couldn't, in theory, do with a browser and some plug-ins?

        You can read news, e-mail, IM, blog, phone, listen to streaming audio and video, look at a recipie database, access an ERP or CRM system, upload the pictures from your digital camera, configure a firewall.

        What if Google introduced a GWord that let you do basic word processing and store the documents in your gmail account? And a GSheet? GQuicken? (privacy nuts would freak, of course) GCalendar with a way to sync with a mobile phone? (SMS messages perhaps? Or would your always on 3G phone just access gcalendar.google.com/pda and beep when the alarms are due?)

        Google are ideally placed to keep expanding this until Windows, Linux, OSX, etc. become irrelevant except for a handful of specialised tasks. Everything is in a browser; wireless is everywhere; and your computer becomes a phone handset or a TV/PVR or a imac style intelligent screen in it or a tablet or a seat in an internet cafe or a thing between PDA and tablet the size of a thin paperback novel.

        I read somewhere something that gave me pause for thought. When electricity was new, companies had electricity departments and electricity managers and chief electricity officers and so on. Nowadays that sounds silly, electricity just works. Won't computing go the same way?
      • Re:Google OS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bushidocoder (550265) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:55PM (#11839718) Homepage
        I'm amazed at how people have have misinterpreted this news. Sure MarkL was a higher level engineer on the NT team, but lets be honest - most senior engineers at MS through the 90s worked in platform services or Office.

        What's much more interested is that he was chief engineer on Hailstorm (MS Passport) for the past 5 years. Given Googles service spread and the fact that MS axed the Passport team, its much more likely he moved to Google to continue his vision of a centralized web authentication system.

        If I was going to make wild predictions out of this announcement, I'd say Google is going to try a run around the Liberty Alliance and establish themselves as Passport with a more friendly face. Of course, just about everyone was predicting they would start working towards this months ago, so its just reinforcement.

      • Re:Google OS (Score:3, Interesting)

        I highly doubt Google are going to create an OS. They are already in a position of profit.

        Also, where is the value? Who cares about your desktop, icons, etc in the web-centric world? Today's computer users sit down at their PC and open up a web browser to do what they need. As more services are made available on the web, the need for desktop apps will decline. Why pay money to the OS vendor when the perceived value is on the Internet?

    • I seriously doubt they're interested in an OS as we know it.

      More likely they want a framework for network applications to be available on the client side with more fidelity than you can get on a web browser. That's exactly the sort of thing Google would do.

      Building on Firefox to do this is a pretty easy way to get where they want. Javascript is a very clumsy way to put code on the client side, while Java applets tend to push too much of the logic onto the client side and the sandbox they live in disconne
    • Apple (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bonch (38532) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:52PM (#11839181)
      I would argue that Microsoft used to know how to ship software, but the world has changed... The companies that "know how to ship software" are the ones to watch. They have embraced the network, deeply understand the concept of "software as a service", and know how to deliver incredible value to their customers efficiently and quickly.


      Now does everyone see the benefit of an OS X update every 1-2 years? "Real artists ship."
  • Heh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:14PM (#11838785)
    Buck Fill...

    Man, what'd they use to call it when Microsoft did it to their competitors... There was an actual term associated with it when they'd drive up to their competition in Limo's and try to hire away their best staff for million dollar salaries... (like they did to Borland)

    And I end with a quote from Oliver of Bloom County:
    "Hackers don't handle obsolescence well."
  • Coral Link (Score:4, Informative)

    by deadmongrel (621467) <karthik@poobal.net> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:15PM (#11838794) Homepage
    I can get to the page without any problem. Perhaps this might work for those who can't http://www.microsoft-watch.com.nyud.net:8090/artic le2/0,1995,1772125,00.asp [nyud.net]
  • The end of Windows? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sure this is very similar when a key architect from Novell who created Borland Pascal, defected to Microsoft so that they could create MS Money which ended up dominating the accounting software field in the 32-bit arena.

    I hope that Microsoft does not see this as Google trying to appropriate insider-knowledge so they can created a FreeBSD-based variant of Windows that supports Win32 API and DirectX because that could have a serious impact in their corporate market share.

    Perhaps if MS didn't overwork th
  • GooOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Virtual Karma (862416)
    I'm telling you man.. this is all about GooOS Link: http://virtualkarma.blogspot.com/2005/02/is-google -planning-gooos.html [blogspot.com]
  • by aspx (808539) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:17PM (#11838811)
    I can't wait to hear all the predictions of how this is the end of Microsoft. Relax folks, a key M$ guy just got a better offer, that's all. If Google does build an operating system, they will have to face the same problem that has held up everyone else: critical mass.
    • by Golias (176380) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:49PM (#11839161)
      I can't wait to hear all the predictions of how this is the end of Microsoft. Relax folks...

      Ooo! Does this mean we can start calling Microsoft "beleagured"?

      What fun! It's like FUD Karma!

      "Hmmm... I suppose you could go with an Exchange Server, but I hear Google plans to come up with a new OS which will probably drive Microsoft out of business, and then what kind of support will you be left with? Let me show you some Open Source alternatives for your mail server which you know you can depend on..."

      • Ooo! Does this mean we can start calling Microsoft "beleagured"?

        "It is official; Slashdot confirms: Windows is dying"

        One more crippling bombshell hit the already-beleagured Windows community when Microsoft-Watch.com confirmed that Windows mindshare has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1% of all lead developers..."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:18PM (#11838831)
    He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

    Seems like 20 to life might be appropriate for this bit of malfeasance.

  • by jaylee7877 (665673) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:21PM (#11838862) Homepage
    He wrote the famous memo that claimed 63,000 bugs in Windows 2000 gold. Evidently his discontempt for Microsoft's software practices has been boiling for some time. Hope he does well at Google.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:21PM (#11838868) Homepage Journal
    Even the Borg themselves can't keep ahold of their own collective.

    All your drones are belong to Google.
  • AJAX... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drew (2081) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:21PM (#11838869) Homepage
    can we please ditch this acronym? it was lame last week when whats-his-name had to write a big article about this cool new technology (which has been around in one form or another since at least 1998), it's still lame now, and it will continue to be lame in the future...
  • by Karpe (1147) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:22PM (#11838877) Homepage
    One of the most interesting and complete descriptions of the history of the Windows NT family of OSes I've seen was this PowerPoint presentation [usenix.org] by Lucovsky.
  • by The-Perl-CD-Bookshel (631252) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:23PM (#11838888) Homepage Journal
    A 16-year Microsoft veteran, Lucovsky was one of a handful of "Distinguished Engineers" at Microsoft. He is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server.

    Windows NT: thank god he's not from the Darkside of the Force...

  • Great (Score:4, Funny)

    by motox (312416) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:23PM (#11838890) Homepage
    Now google will start crashing too.
  • Lucovsky wrote positively about Amazon.com's model for delivering new software bits to its customers.

    Yeah, I admire Amazon's FREE Super Saver Shipping (TM) model of delivery too. But I still prefer to use the Intarweb(TM) model for receiving my software bits.

  • ...with what they are calling 'Ajax' as in 'Asynchronous JavaScript + XML' aka the XmlHttpRequest Object.

    Who exactly is "they?" Please god don't let this stupid, coined-after-the-fact acronym [slashdot.org] creep into general usage!
  • I have been going back to yahoo and trying some others.
  • Why does everyone keep saying "nooo! google won't make an os! no u!"? Given what google has done w/ the web, and the amount of money they now have, it would be STUPID not to try and get into the OS market. We all know now that thin-client pcs that run remote web apps isn't going to happen. Hardware prices fall so fast, and everything's getting so small, it's more economical to have a MacMini that to have some huge server farm out there in the ether running everyone's apps.

    So in order to compete furthe
    • Re:Yes, Google OS (Score:3, Insightful)

      by javaxman (705658)
      We all know now that thin-client pcs that run remote web apps isn't going to happen.

      Change your definition of "thin" and "apps" and it's happening now. What is slashdot, if not a web app? What's my PII with it's 20GB hard drive, if not a thin client? ( not that it's what I'm using now, but it would work, I'm making a point here ).

      they could easily repurpose a linux distro + wine + firefox into a very OSX like OS for intel/amd that is, to some extent, windows compatible.

      "easily" is a matter of opinion, b

  • by RMH101 (636144) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:25PM (#11838911)
    consider the google portfolio. It's machine-independent (bar a few niggles like the google deskbar, but concentrate on the web stuff). Email? Check. Usenet/web groups? Check. Contacts? Check. Add a basic wordprocessor and a few niceties like calendaring etc and you can give joesixpack@gmail.com just about everything he'd need via a web interface from any PC he sits at.
    Web apps are pretty nice these days: use a browser that supports XUL like Firefox and it's not dissimilar to a real, locally installed app. And who's partnering with Firefox....?
    • And how hard would it be for them or anyone else to make a system that was a Linux kernel + firefox + plugins, and put it in ROM on a range of cheap ARM-based tablet PCs in 3 sizes (paperback book, trad tablet, imac style desktop version) with wifi (and maybe GPRS/3G) and sell them? Then they have a chepa package that contains everything you need to run their platform.
  • "Hmmm ... Steve, Bill, he's already left us!"
  • There's a guy down at my local Home Depot that engineers keys just fine. Maybe MS will just hire him.
  • I mean I know what Ajax is but where in the world did that term come from? And it doesn't seem like until that [slashdot.org] story on slashdot no one was even using the term.

    I would however like some links to sites that talk about how to do this kind of code and do it well because from what i know about javascript there are alot of pitfalls.

    (***note: use of buzz word ajax not required)
  • Fan-fscking-tastic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LesPaul75 (571752) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:30PM (#11838955) Journal
    Anyone else get a chill when they read this?
    Luckovsky isn't sparing harsh words for his former employer, however, pointing fingers at everything from Microsoft's difficulties in shipping software to its users on time, to its policy of requiring users to validate that they have non-pirated versions of Windows in order to obtain fixes and downloads.
    I sure did. Way to go Mark. It's rare that big shots will speak openly about their former employers in a move like this. Granted, there's usually good reason to keep your mouth shut. But it took guts to say that and it really hit close to home, for me at least. Microsoft's validation thing is garbage, and it just makes me angry every time I need to download something.
    • by devphaeton (695736) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @06:38PM (#11839052)
      Microsoft's validation thing is garbage, and it just makes me angry every time I need to download something.

      It's especially disheartening when it is wrong. I was repairing a machine with its Active X controls all hosed up (from spyware). MSKB suggested to reinstall ActiveX on top of itself.

      But since ActiveX was messed up, their download site's test for a valid WinXP image failed, thus keeping me from downloading the latest ActiveX.

      This was an OEM install on a 3-month old Dell Dimension.
  • Waiter:What'll it be?
    You: 25,600 possible answers. [google.com]
    Waiter:Come again?
    You: About 1,190,000 possible answers. [google.com] ...
  • Right now... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:04PM (#11839284) Homepage Journal
    Right now, Bill Gates is in his office having a temper tantrum.

    Wait, don't mod this as 'funny' because I'm completely serious.

    From what we know about Sir Bill, he easily loses his temper, especially when someone other than Microsoft is succeeding in the technology marketplace. Google is succeeding at doing many of the things Microsoft wants to be doing right now. Google is taking the 'net to the next level -- they're turning it into a "platform" the way Netscape wanted to. Netscape failed to do this mainly because their engineers got a little too full of themselves a little too quickly, but Google appears to not be making this mistake. They're careful about who they hire and they're careful not to make too much of their own noise -- they just create new technology and let the buzz appear on its own.

    Right now, Bill Gates is in his office screaming at his top-level henchmen. He's ordering them to do whatever it takes to kill Google, just as he ordered them to do whatever it takes to kill Netscape back in 1997.

    It's going to be an ugly show.
    • by gottabeme (590848) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @08:09PM (#11839801)
      Right now, Bill Gates is in his office screaming at his top-level henchmen. He's ordering them to do whatever it takes to kill Google, just as he ordered them to do whatever it takes to kill Netscape back in 1997.

      Good post, BTW.

      As I understand it, MS killed Netscape by giving away IE and bundling IIS with Windows. How could Netscape survive if they had to give away their product for free to compete? They weren't a services company like Google (not mostly, anyway).

      Google is different. Google gives all of its products (services) away for free already (not counting its appliances, which are niche products). The end-users get all of Google's services for free. So how can Microsoft kill Google? How can Microsoft take away their revenue stream? Just as MS has critical mass with Windows, Google has critical mass with search and AdWords. How can either overcome the other in their respective areas? (Not that I think Google is going to make an OS; that would make no sense at all to me.)
      • *Few weeks later*

        "Oooo, IE7 is out and Windows is automatically updating, so exciting!"

        *2 hours and 4 reboots later*

        "Hmm, strange, it wont connect to anything Google-related." :D

        - shazow
  • by Bun (34387) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:15PM (#11839407)
    From the article:

    When a Microsoft engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they "ship" that software to me? I know the answer and so do you... The software sits in a source code control system for a minimum of two years (significantly longer for some of the early Longhorn code). At some point, the product that the fix is a part of will "ship" meaning that CD's will be pressed and delivered to customers and OEM's. In best case scenarios, the software will reach end users a few months after the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) date. In many cases, particularly for users working in large corporations, they won't see the software for a year or more post RTM...

    While this is true of major software releases and service packs, it's certainly not true of critical updates, is it? And besides, software on the scale of Longhorn or Office 2006 is vastly different than a point-and-click problem on a web page.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @07:47PM (#11839648) Journal
    So that's the jerk who invented the windows key!
  • by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Thursday March 03, 2005 @08:10PM (#11839808)
    What does Google stand to gain by writing their own OS? Or, more likely, if they are indeed creating a new OS, will it be built heavily off of Linux or BSD?

    Given the low margins, intense competition, high barriers-to-entry (like MSFT's 95% desktop market share), high initial capital investment required (startup costs), and so on, I really don't see a market for a new OS at all. There's no way Google can market a proprietary OS to compete in the server space -- Linux, being free, is dominating there (alongside Win2k/2k3), and will for the foreseeable future. The desktop space is even bleaker, again, due to MSFT's controlling 95% of the market and the massive installed base of users, apps, etc. that goes along with such a large user base.

    I truly don't understand the reasoning behind a supposed Google OS... They have made themselves a fantastic info warehouse/data-mining portal for the masses, making knowledge & info formerly only barely-available to wealthy customers available to everyone for nearly-free, leveraging the "market" of links available on trillions of webpages (among other factors in their algorithm, no doubt). But that's a set of services best provided to existing OS's over the Internet - not from a brand-new OS.

    Now, if Google is going to make a modified GNU/Linux distribution... that could have some considerable potential, b/c much of the heavy-lifting has already been done and there's a large enough base of users they could cater to... But what would they offer over other Linux distros to make Google's distro stand out? A better file-searching tool, probably, but what else? A replacement for X11/XOrg? Perhaps not, as this is entering ito GUI coding, something they as a company don't do much of - or at least, the GUI stuff they do isn't made public (the desktop search and IE Google bar aside)...

    So even on that idea, I'm having a hard time imagining what they have up their sleeve, and therefore, a hard time imagining why they'd bother in the first place. :-/

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