Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows Operating Systems Software News

Why "Vista" Nick White Left Microsoft 130

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the spinning-the-spin-control dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this week Nick White, Product Manager for Windows Vista and blogger at WindowsVistaBlog, announced that he was leaving Microsoft. Geek.com previously interviewed Nick about what SP1 for Vista was all about, so they sat down with him yesterday to get the details behind his departure, his proudest moments at Microsoft, a few regrettable moments, and more."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why "Vista" Nick White Left Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • No, no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I will not RTFA. Because I just don't GAFF.
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:59PM (#22968484) Homepage Journal
      Vista wins the coveted "Glass Turd" award.

      Most disappointing moment:
      Vista wins the coveted "Glass Turd" award.

      Windows 7? Going 2 for 2.
      • Despite my very unpleasant experience with Vista (before I went back to XP), I will still take a look at "Windows 7", and I'm sincerely hoping that Microsoft gets it right this time. Windows XP has been one of the more successful products I've used on a computer, and it's provided me with a platform for nearly a decade of productivity.

        I think there's still a lot of life left in the concept of a Personal Computer Operating System. I use a PC to produce media, and that's not something I expect to be doing o
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Despite my very unpleasant experience with Vista (before I went back to XP), I will still take a look at "Windows 7", and I'm sincerely hoping that Microsoft gets it right this time.


          So do I. I'm also hoping this will be the year of linux and that Stallman will shave his beard.
        • by funkboy (71672)

          Windows XP has been one of the more successful products I've used on a computer, and it's provided me with a platform for nearly a decade of productivity.
          How is 5 years "nearly a decade"?
        • by Gr8Apes (679165)
          My most pleasant and productive time with a computer?

          Well, the first time was running OS/2. It just worked... and worked... and worked... 6-9 months uptime between reboots was unremarkable, except that all the other OSes for PCs at the time had uptime in days or, optimistically, weeks.

          Fast forward almost a decade, and we have another incarnation of computer pleasantness: OS X. Another system that pretty much just works and works and works.

          Of course, both of those are "common" user OSes. If you went with th
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            OS X. Another system that pretty much just works and works and works.

            I like OSX, too. However there are so many high-end audio plugins and VSTi that don't yet work on an Intel Mac that I can't fully use it yet. I have other reasons for not making a Mac my main production machine that are admittedly more idiosyncratic. One of them is that I'm really uncomfortable associating with religious zealots. I had a bad experience when a neighbor saw me carrying my old dual G4 into my house and decided that we w

            • One of them is that I'm really uncomfortable associating with religious zealots.
              So you don't like Linux and Ron Paul?

              Seriously, I hate this attitude, and it says more about your own insecurities than it does the reality of MOST Mac users. I'm almost starting to understand what it must be like to be the victim of racism, given the attitudes people hold about me, because I use a Mac, without even knowing me.

              • by Miseph (979059)
                Sorry, but when virtually every Mac user the rest of us meets practically shoves the Kool-Aid down our throats because they can't believe that someone might *gasp* not give two shits for Apple or their overrated OS, it can be hard not to become a little judgmental.
            • I just don't want other people to know I'm using an Apple product.
              Sigh, how could I have missed this gem in my first reply?
          • by aliquis (678370)
            Except when you use Safari for a day straight and it take 1GB of ram and things stop working because you only have 2GB (but I'm sure it would take 3GB of ram after some time if I had 4GB so no difference) and then you have to copy all your urls and quit it to get your ram back. Very convenient ... Thought I'm more of an Opera person, but I have so many tabs in my Opera, which ofcourse are because it actually works ..
      • Can you say Toady? Sure, I knew you could.
    • by thetsguy (1211146)
      Did anyone throw a chair at him? If not he hasn't left M$FT
  • by kipman725 (1248126) on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:36PM (#22968274)
    For those not into RTFA here is a summary: Proudest moment: Dodging the chair as I ran out the door Details Behind departure: DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS... need more be said?
    • by GWLlosa (800011) on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:44PM (#22968346)
      Except for the fact that neither of the things you mentioned were so much as alluded to in the article, that's an awesome summary :)

      It's actually just about how he likes to blog, he's generally positive on Microsoft, claiming that they allowed him complete freedom to write whatever he wanted to in his blog. His reason for leaving was basically that he thought the new job with some start up was a 'big opportunity' for him.
      • Nah, it went like this:

        MSFT: Nick, Vista was a complete flop. We are holding you responsible. You can either leave and say that you were chasing another opportunity and save face or we'll...

        (your choice)

        ...give you a bad review and make you work on something menial like minesweeper.
        ...send your car to the pound. With your dogs inside.
        ...paint your head green and call your aunt really nasty names.
        ...put milk in your toilet, and feces in your tea.
        ...spill orange juice in your refrigerator a
      • by Zordak (123132)
        Let's be honest. What he said was basically, "I left because my wife gave me permission to." Those who are married know exactly what he's talking about.
    • by neoform (551705)
      "[..] they sat down with him yesterday to get the details behind his departure, his proudest moments at Microsoft [leaving microsoft], a few regrettable moments [working on vista]."
  • by 26199 (577806) * on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:46PM (#22968374) Homepage
    So he sounds like a reasonable guy, and from what he says he was allowed to be honest and make his own decisions.

    Unfortunately it's one of the laws of PR that a dishonest PR person can claim to be honest just as easily as an honest one.

    Ah well. I have faith in humanity! I believe him.
  • by maynard (3337) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:47PM (#22968378) Journal

    The new gig is not about me blogging, itâ(TM)s about helping bloggers do what they do best â" shape opinion through the sharing of information â" hand in hand with helping companies understand the role they can play in that conversation.


    Mmmmm, the lovely taste of vomit. I never knew 'shaping opionion' by 'sharing information' was what 'bloggers do best'. That statement is even more ironic considering only a few paragraphs earlier he said:

    Listen to your readers â" theyâ(TM)re the reason you get a paycheck. Case in point[blah blah blah](


    I won't argue with whether Vista is good or bad, because what galls me about this interview is not the debate over Vista but the man's presumptions about his audience and the supposed purpose of marketing being to '[change] the prevailing âoewisdomâ around [the product], one user at a time[...]'. And one does this by 'to explain things in terms that didnâ(TM)t sound like spin but rather presented the facts without being leading, and in a manner that respected our readersâ(TM) intelligence.'

    Because, 'I learned that companies ignore or attempt to manipulate public opinion around their products and services at their peril.' And we know Microsoft (or any other corporate "blogger" (I'm sorry, let's call him what he is: Shill) would never do such a thing - right? I mean, Lord help the company that tries to 'manipulate public opinion' with lies - whoops, I mean market-speak.

    Asshole.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by nsayer (86181) *

      I'm sorry, let's call him what he is: Shill

      Folks, words have meanings.

      Specifically, in this case, a shill is "an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others."

      Now.

      Can you produce any evidence that while this guy was blogging for Microsoft that he in any way hid his affiliation? If you can't, then he's not a shill. He may be something else, but that being the case, you should have picked the correct word for whatever it is you want to call him.

      • by hondo77 (324058) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:57PM (#22968862) Homepage
        Merriam-Webster also defines shill as "one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter".
        • by hullabalucination (886901) on Friday April 04, 2008 @07:25PM (#22969080) Journal

          Would you quit shilling for Merriam-Webster?

          --

          I was ugly and had no penis until I tried Ma Rainey's Moleskin Cookies!

        • by nsayer (86181) *
          Then they're wrong. Every dictionary I have consulted so far has taken the opposite view. I even remember an old Bob 'n Ray sketch where they were talking about interesting occupations and one was a supermarket shill, who - wait for it - posed as a customer to influence the shopping behavior of the other customers. That was broadcast in the 1940s (I heard it on tape many decades later).
          • by klui (457783)
            You'll love the Oxford definition.
          • Every dictionary I have consulted so far has taken the opposite view.

            My advise to you: consult more dictionaries. The definition you use is also equally valid, but there are multiple accepted definitions...

            dictionary.com: 2. a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty; 4. to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle

            m-w.com: 2v. to act as a spokesperson or promoter; 1n a: one who acts as a decoy (as for a pitchman or gambler) b: one who makes a sales pi

            • by nsayer (86181) *

              m-w.com: 2v. to act as a spokesperson or promoter; 1n a: one who acts as a decoy (as for a pitchman or gambler) b: one who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter

              The word "decoy" indicates deception, which fits my definition better.

              wiktionary: 1n: A person paid to endorse a product favourably, while pretending to be impartial.

              Again, this fellow never pretended to be impartial.

              encarta: 2. self-interested promoter: somebody who promotes somebody else or makes a sales pitch for something for reasons of self-interest

              I, and a majority of the dictionaries that have been quoted in this thread disagree with that definition. To be a shill, you must misrepresent yourself to your audience. Any definition that does not include that element is incorrect.

              • Interesting how you just ignored the aspects of the definitions that didn't suit ;) "One who makes a sales pitch or serves as a promoter"; "to act as a spokesperson or promoter". Which, by the way, directly supports the encarta definition that you went on to say the quoted dictionaries don't support...
      • Can you produce any evidence that while this guy was blogging for Microsoft that he in any way hid his affiliation? If you can't, then he's not a shill.

        He wasn't then.

        He is now.

        • by nsayer (86181) *
          How has he hid his former affiliation? How could he, since TFA is about him being the former blogger from Microsoft?
      • Well now that he's still saying nice things about Microsoft but no longer works for them, I think he's definitely a shill. He definitely is demonstrating more restraint than I ever could.
        • by nsayer (86181) *

          Well now that he's still saying nice things about Microsoft but no longer works for them, I think he's definitely a shill.
          But, again, that's not what a shill is. He would be a shill if he

          1. Was compensated by Microsoft.

          2. Said nice things about Microsoft.

          3. Did not tell his readers about point #1.

          Since #1 is no longer in effect, he is not a shill. Since #3 was not in effect back when #1 was, he wasn't a shill then either.
    • by garcia (6573)
      And we know Microsoft (or any other corporate "blogger" (I'm sorry, let's call him what he is: Shill) would never do such a thing - right?

      No, he's not a shill [wikipedia.org] because everyone knew what the blog was and who was hosting it. He also openly admits that he was working for Microsoft which is completely opposite of what a shill would do while astroturfing.

      To call him an asshole might be true, I don't know him personally but to call him an asshole because you confused about what the words you use mean is another
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ILikeRed (141848)
      What piece of shit software are you using that can not handle simple English text and insists on inserting (TM) trademark symbols where I assume you meant single quote mark? And, yes - it is a serious question - I have seen it in other places - just wonder what piece of Software is responsible for such garbage in something so simple as plain text entry.
      • by Tim Browse (9263)
        Believing that text entry is 'simple' is probably one of the reasons so much software has a problem with it.
      • by maynard (3337)

        What piece of shit software are you using that can not handle simple English text and insists on inserting (TM) trademark symbols where I assume you meant single quote mark?


        Unicode differences between Widows and the Mac, I presume. Using Firefox on OS X 10.5, and all I did was cut and paste the text in. Didn't notice the problem in preview or I would have hand edited out the errors.
  • And we care why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:47PM (#22968382)
    Marketing writer leaves Microsoft... and this becomes a /. story?
    • So true.

      SLASHDOTNEWSFLASH! Bill gates is getting coffee at a starbucks right now!

      Read more... 3225 star wars quotes and other /. inside jokes
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        by philspear (1142299)
        lurk moar plzkthx.
        • There was the word "lurk" and then there was some gibberish. I didn't understand that.
          • lurk more, please, okay, thanks :) I didn't bother thinking what it meant til I saw your reply, but yah the inside jokes get okay after a while, despite sometimes being overdone or improperly applied
    • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:22PM (#22968628) Homepage Journal
      Well, if an economist quits department of treasury, or a priest quits church, is something to note, someone is quitting from a place which main speciality is what does that person.

      And now that kind of things happening to a company that is part of /. culture... yes, is stuff that matters.
  • spin spin spin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bored MPA (1202335) on Friday April 04, 2008 @05:49PM (#22968392)
    name recognition, name recognition,
    rolodex, rolodex,

    blah. why are there even MORE stories about this on slashdot. it was obviously hype to benefit nick, benefit his new employer, and then play down the MS leaving angle to make somewhat/all nice with his old employer. everybody wins. even slashdot. go go gadget newscycle.

    everybody except me, im the idiot taking the time to click the link and write this little rant. and you're the idiots taking the time to mod me -1 troll and +5 underrated.

      *headdesk*

    • blah. why are there even MORE stories about this on slashdot. it was obviously hype to benefit nick, benefit his new employer, and then play down the MS leaving angle to make somewhat/all nice with his old employer. everybody wins. even slashdot. go go gadget newscycle.

      everybody except me, im the idiot taking the time to click the link and write this little rant. and you're the idiots taking the time to mod me -1 troll and +5 underrated.

      It's called "circlejerk". [urbandictionary.com]

  • seems to me that he left because he was blogging about the making of vista, and now that's over. his job is done. i found it interesting that he's moving to a "word of mouth" style marketing firm. i guess that it still is true that even with all the advertising we see everywhere in our lives, word of mouth is more effective.
    • Word of mouth is the best marketing. Why do you think there's all that hype about "viral marketing" now?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:00PM (#22968492)
    Considering it's MS, my guess is, he knew too much.

    How you interpret that now is up to you, I think both ways could be true.
  • by ahabswhale (1189519) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:01PM (#22968502)
    I read the whole article and nothing was actually revealing probably because he failed to say anything negative whatsoever about his former company (and everyone has something negative to say about their employer), yet he offers no real reason why he left but it's supposedly an interview about his leaving Microsoft... Sorry for the run-on sentence.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gujo-odori (473191)
      Heh. I'm a former Microsoft employee and I have loads of negative things to say about Microsoft. Some positive things, too, but the negative list is far longer and contains more "heavyweight" items. He may be under heavy NDA, but OTOH I never signed anything regarding not saying bad things about Microsoft after I left, and I was a manager there, FWIW. Probably, as others have suggested, he doesn't want to piss off Microsoft by saying negative - if truthful - things about Microsoft or its products.

      On the thi
    • he makes his living by being a voice on the internet for companies. You don't go to an interview and bad mouth you're previous employers. It's the quickest way to end your career opportunities with the company interviewing you. Which is another reason why no one seeking or thinking about ever wanting to seek employment should blast their former employers in publicly accessible forms like postings on the internet. If you are one of the top three coders in the world, you can probably say or do anything and no
  • ZZZzzz.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrobinso (456353)
    He had me at:

    "PR had a voice in what content appeared on the blog but they were only one stakeholder among many."

    It was the only statement he made that had any substance. And if you think for one minute there never has been, isn't, never will be a muzzle on this dude:

    [geek] "What feature did you want to see in Vista that was dropped at the last minute and why?"

    [nw]"I came onto the Windows team too late to have an informed opinion, and what I do know should probably remain non-public information. Sorry."

    Pfff
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DannyO152 (544940)
      And Vista(TM) which I use every day makes me more productive(TM). It must be all the forest creatures who fly in to help with the housework.
  • My take (Score:5, Informative)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:35PM (#22968706) Journal
    Marketing Droid speaks Marketing Noise, to people who really don't care.

    "Did you ever post something that Microsoft wished you hadnâ(TM)t?

    The first post I put up was on the use of BitTorrents to distribute Beta 2, and I gave it a rather sensationalistic title. It got senior managementâ(TM)s attention, and from there we had a blank check to engage anyone we needed in order to get the story in time for it to be relevant to our readers. So while it was perhaps a risky route to go in the short-term, it was that story that ensured our blog was apportioned the resources necessary to get the job done right. In short, Iâ(TM)d do it again and in the same way (only Iâ(TM)d blame it all on my managers :) )."

    If you read this, he never answer the freakin question, as asked! In fact, he said he'd do it again. I don't know if that was sarcasm, which doesn't work well in written form, or what.

    Why can't people ever answer the question? Seriously. Crap crap crap. I just wasted 5 minutes
  • by San-LC (1104027) on Friday April 04, 2008 @06:48PM (#22968788)
    The real reason why Nick White left is because too many people kept calling him "Vista" Nick White, and as soon as the ladies correlated that, like Vista, Nick White underperformed and was overhyped, they left him like a chubby kid at fat camp.
    • Don't forget, he also needs higher-end, expensive hardware to perform adequately and doesn't work well with others, so he's kind of like a belligerent, high-maintenance, chubby kid at fat camp. None of that's good.
    • Wouldn't a chubby kid at a fat camp be like a skinny kid at a normal camp?
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Friday April 04, 2008 @07:08PM (#22968964)
    Someone who has held a position like that is unlikely to fight back and burn bridges by slagging off Microsoft. In fact you would think he still worked there given the positive spin his article provides.

    There's no way he'd ruin his career by giving us any dirt on Microsoft and Vista, future employers wouldn't like that. He's probably signed an NDA anyway.
  • by JebusIsLord (566856) on Friday April 04, 2008 @07:45PM (#22969218) Homepage
    This quote, at the end caught my attention:

    Q: "Are you going to be blogging for BuzzCorps?"

    A: "The new gig is not about me blogging, it's about helping bloggers do what they do best - shape opinion through the sharing of information"

    So he's moved on to a far more luctrative career in training astroturfers. Great.
  • I'm now part of BuzzCorps, a word-of-mouth marketing firm

    I always thought that Word of Mouth Communications (WoM) could be a great way to spread news about the best products and companies, but I realized that my friends were simply unable to communicate their thoughts and opinions all on their own.

    That's likely why I went and installed Linux - the word-of-mouth for Windows just simply wasn't there.

    But now there is a whole emerging INDUSTRY leveraging the idea of word-of-mouth!

    Just think: This new industry could make this whole recession thing go away by spreadi

  • Regrets? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoeDrippins (769977) on Friday April 04, 2008 @08:41PM (#22969496)
    Can someone point out the regrets? I couldn't find any. Neither could firefox.
  • MS Speak (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Whiteox (919863)
    If you read the FA, you might of picked up a bit of MS Speak:

    Whether I'll be missed is a question better fielded by the audience of our blog and the members of the community influencer program I managed.
    I come across MS Speak every now and then. Some of it surprises me for its arrogance, and some shows how insular the MS culture can be.
  • Wow, I'm really interested in this! What were the details behind his departure from Microsoft... I'll bet it was something really juicy...

    It was time for a change and the opportunity was too good to resist.

    Uh.

    I tied my bathrobe for this?

    Sigh. Nickrolled.

  • It was nothing but a bunch of softball questions answered with corporately loyal rhetoric. The whole thing can be summed up:

    He was a blogger for Microsoft and whose job it was to report news about Windows Vista's superior functionality. Every experience he had was great, challenging, and emotionally rewarding.

    I don't like spin, and that's all this "interview" is. I'm not in the market for any bridges or swampland.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

Working...