Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Microsoft

Some Developers Leaving Google For Microsoft 685

Posted by kdawson
from the turning-tide-or-momentary-reversal dept.
recoiledsnake writes "We have heard about lots of talented developers jumping ship from Microsoft to Google, but is the trend beginning to turn? Dare Obasanjo (a Microsoft employee) writes about a few high-profile people picking Microsoft over Google — either making the jump directly, or choosing Microsoft after receiving offers at both. Sergey Solyanik is back to Microsoft and he primarily gripes about the culture and lack of career development at Google. He writes, 'Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] — PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. Google as an organization is not geared — culturally — to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications.' Danny Thorpe, who was the key architect of Google Gears, is back at Microsoft for his second stint working on developer technologies related to Windows Live."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Some Developers Leaving Google For Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:49PM (#24008707) Homepage Journal

    "Everything is pretty much run by [engineering] -- PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process."

    Oh what a fucking nightmare!

  • Money talks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info AT devinmoore DOT com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:51PM (#24008747) Homepage Journal

    When I hear "...is not geared - culturally - to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications" as a reason to leave a company that's NOT microsoft to go work FOR microsoft, I have to wonder exactly how large the dump truck full of money was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:55PM (#24008807)

    The difference between Microsoft and Google in this regard is that users pay to beta test Microsoft's sofwtare without being told it is, at best, in beta quality. Where as Google invites (initially selectively) people to try the product and provide feedback. They're in beta for a very long time because they want it to be stable before declaring version "1.0". Small contrast, but expectation goes a long way towards the perception of quality.

    If I'm paying money for retail software, I expect a rock solid product, not the buggy POS that I have to wait for the first Service Pack to use even the most basic functionality.
    Google is up front with the fact that their software is not necessarily ready for prime time and users can hedge their bets accordingly. That said, Google beta products are often many times better than the "final version" of software from other vendors.

  • by jdelator (1131933) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:03PM (#24008933)
    I love how there is an article that has first hand accounts of why actual people are leaving Google to work at Microsoft and there still seems to be argument against Microsoft. The Rush Limbaugh's of the tech world. We always get emails on our team about people that used to work at Microsoft then go to another (Valve, google, etc..) and then come back after a couple of months of or a year complaining how the other engineering systems just suck. Microsoft does deliver world class products if you are willing to look past non SP1 Vista.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mveloso (325617) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:06PM (#24008961)

    It is a fucking nightmare - for users. Everything google does (except advertising and search-related stuff) is half-baked.

    Google checkout? I'd like to use it instead of Paypal, but you can't even download a useful report of your orders. WTF is with that?

    Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.

    Grand Central: whoa, what happened? Looks like the trains have stopped.

    Google seems to be a great place to whack off as a developer, but when it comes to making stuff that people want, it seems less than successful (except for search & ads).

  • by bersl2 (689221) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:09PM (#24009005) Journal

    A few are needed, but the fewer marketing droids masquerading as engineering-types, the better.

  • by Wo1ke (1218100) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:12PM (#24009045)
    The problem is that beta products should eventually *leave* beta.
  • by chromatic (9471) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:13PM (#24009053) Homepage

    They're in beta for a very long time because they want it to be stable before declaring version "1.0".

    You'd think an 18,000 person company would be able to release a finished project once in a while.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:13PM (#24009057) Homepage

    The problem really is when either function gets too much control. Marketing tends to get capricious about features and blows huge sums on "research" and end up with a Ford Fiero.

    Engineering, well... I've seen low-level greatness that couldn't translate elegantly into customer-level value. I've seen projects never finish too.

    The problem is probably management-level. *Someone* needs to crack a few heads together to get people back into reality. A good anecdote about the organizational problem was on /. a couple of days ago when the mighty Bill Gates was supposedly pissed about some feature/application/thing. He cracked heads near his level. One level below it turned into a managerial quagmire.

  • by Shados (741919) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:17PM (#24009093)
    Corporate culture of the people who work there. I didn't work for either, but I'd expect a higher percentage of OSS fanatics at Google than at Microsoft, and working with people who constantly go "OMG OMG OMG F/OSS or die!!!" can be awkward if you don't think that way... it is almost a religion (and that can go both way, so don't take THAT as a OSS cheap shot). The person may have been tired of hearing that open source was better, regardless of the actual software's quality, all the time, and thus jumped ship. I've seen it happen a lot in smaller companies too. (Of course, again, the other way around obviously happens a lot too)
  • Re:Money talks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AxelTorvalds (544851) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:22PM (#24009143)
    I've worked at a handful of large companies and a handful of startups. In retrospect, every single startup was clearly, if not doomed then pretty bad off from the start... but I still believed the hype and hopped on board. Hoping for untold riches (I actually got a couple good payouts.. but I still have to work.) I've been there, I've heard the yarn the boys at MS can weave trying to hire you. A place like MS actually has a lot going for it, they're selling products, they've got a lot of cash reserve, they've got some loyalty from both employees and customers, nobody thinks they're going to go away. After another bomb or two like Vista, the expectations will be low enough that they'll get a deadcat bounce in the stock. It stands to be a bloody stable and predictable job. On the other hand, I don't know too many people that are expecting to be wowed by MS again anytime soon, the most dramatic product they've put out recently is the Xbox360 and it's being blown out by the Wii and doing everything it can to fend off Sony. If you're okay being average or ordinary you might be happy there.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <corbettwNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:22PM (#24009147) Journal

    "Functionally" is not a synonym for "completely", "easily", or "seamlessly".

  • by EjectButton (618561) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:32PM (#24009251)
    Ok so we have one guy who starts his essay with "Google sux!" and never actually worked for the company, only interviewed with them. Then we have two people who worked at Microsoft, then worked at Google and got hired back at Microsoft, and are now praising their current employer. How is this newsworthy?

    Also someone who complains when "Everything is pretty much run by the engineering" and who uses phrases like "delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications" is a marketing droid and should not be trusted. As a sidenote I find it funny that he criticizes Google's offerings with the statement "most of them primarily help people waste time online" listing Blogger as his first example, on Blogger itself.
  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by statemachine (840641) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:32PM (#24009253)

    The fact I can afford a house on a software engineer's salary in Seattle, but not San Francisco?

    1) If we're limiting this to specific cities, then yes.
    2) Otherwise, if we're talking areas, then not quite.
    3) And you can always rent, which is much cheaper than a 30 year mortgage. If you want, save the difference and invest in CDs (the financial kind!) or another safe investment. In 30 years, just buy the property outright (or pretty close to outright).

    They both have crappy weather, so everything else equal, Seattle wins.

    1) Are we limiting this to specific cities?
    2) Otherwise, absolutely no way. SF weather is uniquely SF. Go across the SF Bay to Oakland on the same day and it'll be nice and sunny. Cold in SF? Drive down to San Jose.

    Plus, growing up in Oregon, I have an ingrained hatred towards anything California.

    That really says it all.

    Here's what I have to say about Oregon: Socialized gasoline pumps.
    I drive up there, and when I go for gas (god forbid), I can't get an attendant to come out and pump for my car. But all hell breaks loose when I've waited for 20 minutes (after 2-3 waves of Oregonians are serviced ahead of me) and touch that gas pump. That's right! It's illegal to pump your own gas. For a state of people that are supposedly very constructionally conservative about the Constitution and taxes, you'd think people would be able to pump their own gas. Instead they've legislated into existence an entire labor class. So, whenever I see this hatred expressed toward CA, I just think, "hypocrites."

    But yet, I don't hate entire states. I have better things to do.

  • by farmer11 (573883) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:40PM (#24009349)
    Sounds to me like this isn't about one place being better or worse than the other. Rather, that the blog author just likes Microsoft's old school, process heavy approach rather than Google's freestyle, open and engineer focus style.
  • by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:41PM (#24009357)

    You'd think an 18,000 person company would be able to release a finished project once in a while.

    How do you "finish" a web based project? "Well, that's done, no one will ever think of anything new to do with this software, or any way to make it easier or better!" "Gee, we've indexed the entire Internet this month, so I guess we're done!"

  • In other words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:42PM (#24009369)

    Google is more suited for engineers while Microsoft is engineered for suits.

  • Microsoft PR (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimmyhat3939 (931746) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:43PM (#24009385) Homepage
    This article is basically Microsoft PR. Yeah yeah I recognize that you're dealing with a person or persons who did this of their own volition, but I'm sure there's more to the story than that. If I were a manager at Microsoft I'd try to get articles like this out there as well.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stefanlasiewski (63134) <[moc.ocnafets] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:45PM (#24009407) Homepage Journal

    Gmail: no folders? WTF is with that? Labels are not like folders, and they're not better.

    A single message can have multiple labels. However, a message can only be stored in one folder.

    Other then that, how are folders different from labels? They seem very similar.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:53PM (#24009511) Journal
    Just a little reminder, guys, from a very old programmer: Software is a machine with thousands of moving parts running on a machine with with several billion moving parts. Bugs are not put in there on purpose. The amount of work needed vs. the amount of time | money available in any development budget does not always correspond.

    I'm not trying to make an argument in defense of slipshod work, but rather point out that any piece of software of any scope is hard work and in many cases the result of heroic individual efforts. Just offering a bit of perspective from a point of view people sometimes forget. Not asking for gratitude, here, just a little respect for the efforts of people often demeaned as code monkeys and asking for a bit of appreciation for those allowing the mostly free and unobstructed flow of information at a scale unprecedented in history. It doesn't matter which company is wrapping the output, this still holds true. Cool?

  • by Moralpanic (557841) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:54PM (#24009543)
    Why? Because changing the label from Beta to Finished would magically make them better? Everything i've used from Google has been free so far, so why the hell do i care what the 'state' of the product is. I'd rather 'beta' some product for free than wait until it's 'finish' before using it for free.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strabes (1075839) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:02PM (#24009629)
    True except you can't nest labels like you can folders.
  • The worste? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMInterface (1039102) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:13PM (#24009713)
    Maybe because quality of life includes other factors besides the weather. And Seattle has ranked at the top in terms of quality of life for a long time. The bay area however isn't much further down the list.

    Seattle has extremely mild weather year round that rarely causes enough discomfort that proper clothing can't fix. At worst its just cloudy too many days of the year. If you think that's the even remotely close to the worst you really should leave your bedroom sometime. 1 month in Tokyo during the rainy season will show you what messed up weather really is. A down poor at 80 degrees with extreme humidity in June is a lot worse than 60 degrees with overcast. A monsoon interrupting 100 degree whether is messed up, especially when you aren't surrounded by palm trees and coconuts.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:13PM (#24009721) Journal
    Complicated projects require both good engineers and good project managers. Even if you call your project manager "Head Engineer of ProjectX", both are required.

    And while a good PM listens to (&understands) the engineers on the project, a good PM is also good at herding cats... and let's be honest here, not all engineers play well with others.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:19PM (#24009773)

    I so want to work there. I've seen both sides of this, run by engineering is 100000x better, if you're an engineer.

    I agree if you're trying to get to management and NOT the alpha geek in the pack, then you are dicked. But then why are you in engineering at all? The hours are long, the people are socially clueless, failure to know some obscure piece of academia turd may brand you the retard of the group...why put up with that? You are GUARANTEED to get in to management (in the private sector) if you are even slightly responsible and care even a little bit about the company...outside of engineering. Inside engineering, you need to be in a Microsoft (or the N equivalents) that will dumb down engineering to level the playing field. A few companies can do that, but not many that are on track.

    All this is peaceful bliss compared to being an engineer in an a business-oriented company. It's illogical, insane, dubiously profitable, hard in all the wrong ways...but yeah I could climb ye ole ladder and make mom happy. Somehow culturally incompetant middle management >> clueful engineer in the bragometer. Eh, I'll trade them my senseless business-driven engineering job for their engineering-driven engineering job.

  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by naoursla (99850) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:21PM (#24009799) Homepage Journal

    The fact I can afford a house on a software engineer's salary in Seattle, but not San Francisco?

    You can? Where do you work in Seattle? And what kind of engineer are you?

    $100k/year doesn't get you into a house within a 30 minute drive of Microsoft's main campus.

  • Re:Microsoft PR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:23PM (#24009813) Journal
    Furthermore, I don't think that its targeted at external developers. They can parade it around Microsoft and make their employees who believe they make enterprise class software feel better (If your job is to push a button every 108 minutes to save the world, eventually, you'll start believing it) . They can also show it to customers and claim that it proves they are a better company to work with than Google.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spydabyte (1032538) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:27PM (#24009843)
    Look at Google's process. Simply speaking from an outside perspective, they have very little designated process. They use an extremely agile processes of basically "just code the shit" and it works for them. As far as testing goes, if they're working with some kind of eXtreme Programming, then hopefully they're writing their test cases first.
    Look at Microsoft on the other hand, they're extremely nested in processes and cannot get out.

    As for the article, I'd say there's so much more to look at. Housing, as already mentioned, is only part of the picture. What about salaries and work environments (some people do like process more than working anarchy)? I for one understand the argument of being a god among insects.
    No knowledge or real research done here, just thinking "outside the box". I hear Microsoft likes that.
  • From Dare Obasanjo's excerpts of Sergey Solyanik's blog, about Google: "Everything is pretty much run by the engineering - PMs and testers are conspicuously absent from the process. While they do exist in theory, there are too few of them to matter."

    To me, the story lacks sufficient deep analysis to be sure we understand Mr. Solyanik's experiences.

    I doubt that very many people are moving from "Do no evil" to "Doing a lot of evil is the only way we know to make a living".

    What is Windows Vista but a rather unimportant update to Windows XP, that failed? Microsoft Word has new menus, but changing the menus also means that Microsoft now has two menu arrangement standards in use at the same time, and users must master them both. Internet Explorer version 7 has a third menu arrangement, further breaking the standard with which those who just want to use their computers are so familiar. TrueCrypt developers are talking about [truecrypt.org] suing Microsoft in European court because of anti-trust violations.

    Is that the direction successful people want to go?

    To understand this story, it's good to know more about Dare Obasanjo, in my opinion. He's intelligent, he's a good communicator, and he has a history of being very effective at promoting himself. To me, his story is just him being himself, and promoting himself to Microsoft. Maybe it is not very indicative of what is happening at Microsoft.

    Dare Obasanjo's excerpts of Sergey Solyanik's blog start with, "Last week I left Google to go back to Microsoft".

    In contrast, Sergey Solyanik says "There are many things that Google does really well, and I plan to advocate that some of these things be adopted at Microsoft."

    Mr. Solyanik went back to Microsoft because he didn't like the openness and lack of structure at Google. He wants more structure. He doesn't want to be a manager, and he doesn't want to decide himself the direction of what he is doing.

    Dare Obasanjo's excerpts are misleading, in my opinion. As I said, he seems to me to be promoting himself to Microsoft, rather than understanding anything about why a particular person would quit Google after only a year there and go back to Microsoft. Also, Mr. Solyanik may have been given a very sweet deal; that is not discussed.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:30PM (#24009871)

    There's a simple solution -- don't let such code monkeys dictate development, defer that to software engineers and designers.

    Keeping the 'sloppy coders' in check does not imply turning over the reigns to marketing and creating "product managers"

    Writing the least amount of code that will do the job is good practice.

    Writing excessive amounts of code (wasting lines) is just as bad as not writing the necessary code.

    Error situations and input validation are design elements.

    Not every code block will need to check for every conceivable error condition: the design will determine which elements of the system (which procedures) will validate certain input elements or not.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by William Baric (256345) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:37PM (#24009961)

    When you use a feature to emulate another feature, it is "half-baked". Seriously, have you tried to manage a gmail account with several hundred of labels? With a real hierarchical organization (read folder) it can be done, but not with flat level labels, at least not with the current interface.

    Anyway, as I said, the main problem is still the implementation of threaded conversation, which to me clearly shows incompetence.

  • Re:No, No, No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eudial (590661) on Monday June 30, 2008 @08:52PM (#24010077)

    For once a chair related joke could actually be funny on slashdot. Yet,everyone is screwing it up. Incredible. It should be the opposite. What is the opposite of throwing a chair? Building a chair. Eric Schmidt should be happy someone who thinks microsoft is a better company is leaving his company. He should be so happy, he builds himself a celebration throne. or alternatively Balmer is happy and has a chair built.

    Okay the joke still needs a bit of work, but its better than what was. Well, Sort of. I give myself a A for idea, but a C minus for implementation of that joke.

    Building a chair is not the opposite of throwing it. You can do a simple Russian reversal test to see if it's truly the opposite.

    In Imperialist Microsoft, a chair is thrown by YOU! is reversed to

    • In Jovial Google, a chair is built by YOU! ... No. this feels wrong.
    • In Jovial Google, a chair is thrown on YOU! ... is the correct reversal.

    So, ideally the employer should have thrown the chair at Schmidt when he left.

  • by LaughingCoder (914424) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:07PM (#24010201)

    They're doomed in the same way IBM was doomed back in the late 80's./blockquote> In the late 80's IBM stock was in the mid $20s. Now it is 6X higher at $120. As a Microsoft stockholder, I sure hope you are right!

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <corbettwNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:20PM (#24010301) Journal

    Except that you've completely broken the file paradigm that's dominated people's understanding of information storage for the last several millennia. I'll use another webmail service, Yahoo Mail, as a counterpoint since I'm familiar with both (I assume you are; if not, they're both free to sign up for).

    In Gmail, when I want to "move" an email to a "folder", I have to:
    1: Open the file, or check the box next to it.
    2: Click on 'More actions'
    3: Click on the label I want to assign
    4: Click on 'Archive'

    In Yahoo Mail, to accomplish the same task, I:
    1: Click on the message
    2: Drag-and-drop it to the new folder

    Half the number of steps, and it doesn't require learning a new paradigm.

    You need to go relearn the definitions of "seamlessly", "easily", and "completely".

  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tyrione (134248) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:41PM (#24010489) Homepage

    No, I didn't RTFA, but I'd guess the quality of life in Seattle is about, oh, one billion times better than the Bay Area.

    Having lived at both places, being a native Washingtonian I would bluntly call BullS*** on the quality of life being better in Seattle than the Bay Area.

    They are both over-urbanly developed, they both are full of self-egrandizing, gutless prigs who equally would be lost in the Cascades, regardless of their cozy home in Snoqualmie Falls or North Bend, et.al.

    The problem with the IT Industry is that it has discovered that their centers for the Industry haven't changed in over 30 years.

    Sure they've expanded into the suburbs of Portland, but on the West Coast you have Silicon Valley, Seattle and the LA region.

    The East Coast is fixated with New York, Boston and various universities of reknown to be incubators for more startups stuck in what? Overly priced, pretentious cespools.

    Look around. The best places to see growth aren't the sexy urban centers, or mystical retreat forrests in certain zones across the U.S.

    They are in areas that offer actual growth and a solid standard of living, a variety of outdoor options and a midscale urban life.

    The problem is they aren't saturated with every pindick fixated on the latest gadgets.

    The Cost of Living in the Bay Area sucks big hairy donkey balls. It's sucked since the early 90s so that's nothing new.

    The Cost of Living in Seattle has sucked big hairy donkey balls since 1996, as well.

    Corporations would better serve themselves by providing regional zones where they develop centers for specific products/services and then use Networks to coordinate all this activity.

    Dumping everyone onto Redmond's campus or Infinite Loop One's campus [my second favorite to work at next to NeXT], Google's et.al, aren't inherently going to produce think tanks of brilliance.

    An example of an area that is burgeoning, but only in the BioMedical Fields is Spokane, WA.

    If you're in these fields they've got jobs coming out of every orifice. Growth is strong, the summers are a scorcher [I grew up there] and the 4 seasons are solid. The city would have become a much larger hub if Expo '74 hadn't destroyed the second largest hub of trains west of Chicago but we can't go back in time to fix that mistake.

    The bigger problem with the IT Industry is how many damn people do you need to write Web Services Applications? Really, now. How many? Every f'n device gets a rowdy two thumbs up if it has the ubiquitous Web Services, Web Browser, huge data plans and apps to show them where they can find the nearest movie, restaurant and more.

    When is the IT Industry going to start seriously working with the traditional industries and streamline them into the 21st century?

    I don't need multiple portable devices. I need solutions to improve a crumbling US Infrastructure, but instead we've got people just a year younger than myself whining about career growth differences between Google and Microsoft.

    F*** OFF. Instead of being a Development Manager, actually find something that is screwed up that computers could fix and fix it.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:41PM (#24010491) Homepage Journal

    The paradigm isn't broken, and the new paradigm is better.

    And arguably the two tasks take about as long.

    1 - Click on message is the same.
    2 - Drag and drop is arguably two actions, the same as selecting one item from a drop-down list.
    3 - Archive is optional.

    That is another advantage. You can tag something AND leave it in your inbox if you want. You can't do that with a folder. I can tag something as a project I'm working on, and leave it in my inbox because I want to see it when I log in.

    Seamlessly - Drag-and-drop is only in the Yahoo beta. For most web mail clients, moving to a folder takes just as long if not longer, and involves the same steps as tagging with a label. You could argue that drag-and-drop is breaking the old paradigm of web mail and forcing people to learn something new.

    Easily - I wouldn't be shocked to see Gmail get drag and drop some day, but again you're talking about a Yahoo-beta-only feature as a comparison.

    Completely - Wait, it gives you every feature and then some. That sounds like complete to me.

    Don't argue semantics with me. You will lose.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Snaller (147050) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:56PM (#24010605) Journal

    Any extentions which try to fix the broken nature of gmail are not relevant since they aren't part of it. And create labels that you only use beneath another one? That's a total rubbish system.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:58PM (#24010617)
    They do ... but Google development's major deliverables reside in the server room. They've delivered some pretty phenomenal technology there, when you get right down to it. Their ability to rapidly deploy and update applications on a massive scale is impressive.

    And, like it or not, search (and associated ad revenue) is still their big game, just like Microsoft's is Windows and Office. They're also like Microsoft in that they too are casting about trying to find another major revenue source.
  • Re:Right.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:01PM (#24010637)

    I know slashdotters love to hate MS and love to think of them as faltering, But in reality the truth is the reverse, They have just had there most profitable year on record with record enterprise and desktop growth, even there entertainment division has turned the corner to profitability. Sure everyone hates Vista, but to say a company that is still growing revenue and profit is faltering is pretty idiotic.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by William Baric (256345) on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:05PM (#24010669)

    No, Gmail isn't trying to emulate folders with a half-baked implementation. It is the idea that it is possible to emulate a missing feature of gmail (hierarchical organization) by using a flat level system that is "half-baked".

    As for why need several hundred labels, as I said, the fact that someone don't need a feature, doesn't mean that no one needs it. Some people "waste" their time organizing things, other "waste" their time searching for things. Individuals think differently and I believe a system should be adapted to people, not the other way around.

  • Re:Right.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:08PM (#24010689)

    Falter may not apply here. Most people see the consumer end of the business. They see Google Search, and Apple Macs & ipods. MSFT keeps delivering what businesses want. So you & I may be perplexed at say, SHAREPOINT, but right now if you know SP you're employed- it's hot beyond comprehension. You got another version of server and sql server (sales up 30% qtr over qtr)... Get the idea. Profits are likely to go up, not down. Server rooms are getting more licenses not less.

    Google & Apple keep moving their targets and MS keeps moving theirs as well. They are just so huge that they touch everything. So they may not be the best at search or selling tunes, and that may make them look like they are faltering, but they have allot of other stuff to sell you that pulls you into the ecosystem.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:31PM (#24010849) Homepage Journal

    You know what is rubbish?

    A Fortune 500 company which tons and tons of public folders. Lord knows where any of the emails are. And people with gigs of email in a laundry list of folders. Who knows where the email exists.

    With a greater number of emails, there is a greater likelihood that an email fits multiple categories, and the number of categories also goes up.

    Folders don't work for serious email.

    Nesting of labels is unnecessary but easy.

    Label:

    ProjectA
    ProjectA-SubLabel-1
    ProjectA-SubLabel-2
    ProjectA-SubLabel-3
    ProjectB
    ProjectB-SubLabel-1

    In the end however, I can label and search directly for SubLabel and skip the ridiculous names.

    For instance, I recently was working on a large upgrade project with two outside vendors. In a folder concept the entire Aurosys upgrade project is one folder.

    Dealing with Eckleman is a sub-folder and dealing with Man Roland is a sub-folder.

    Instead of slowing navigating sub-folders, I can just skip that step and label Eckleman or Man Roland. Even better, if I deal with those vendors outside the ugprade, I can keep the labels.

    I label an email today Aurosys Upgrade and Man Roland. Tomorrow, outside the upgrade a seperate issue with Man Roland is just labeled Man Roland. I can easily search for all email related to Man Roland, or Man Roland and Aurosys Upgrade. Even better I can search for emails labeled Man Roland that exclude Aurosys Upgrade.

    The more case-scenarios you look at, more and more labels look better and folders look like rubbish.

    Use both for three months. Trust me.

  • by Snaller (147050) on Monday June 30, 2008 @10:34PM (#24010879) Journal

    No companies releases finished programs, they just say they do. And then you get version 1.01, 1.02, 1.03 and 2.0 and 3.0 and 4.0 etc

    Google are just honest.

  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toll_Free (1295136) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:12PM (#24011175)

    I'm sorry, but I have to call FULL OF SHIT.

    Anything East of the Rocky Mountains is humid. The farther East you go, the higher up the Barometric pressure goes. Period. It's a fact, you can't argue with it, and that's that.

    San Diego, Ca. Best weather in the United States.

    I really don't know what I'm talking about, though. Having travelled over a million miles in the US itself, been to every state (in an RV) over a 5 yr period, and have lived up and down the west coast, as well as spent three years (it felt like prison) in Texas.

    The weather in Texas is only nice if you have never been west of the rockies. And if you say Texas weather rocks (ANYWHERE), then you are, full, of shit.

    Nothing personal, just weather, experience, and someone who knows what he is talking about, speaking against ya.

    --Toll_Free

  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by statemachine (840641) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:20PM (#24011247)

    It depends on where you live. Around the big cities in CA, your rent is much lower than what you would pay buying a property.

    The reason for that is the landlords are paying on a mortgage from 20-30 years ago (or sitting on it free and clear) with only property tax and insurance costs. Real estate prices go up and up (with short-lived dips or stagnations) because more people keep coming to CA to live. You can rent a decent house in the South Bay for half as much as you would pay for just a mortgage. That's why it's not "preposterous" as you say. Maybe around year 15-20 your 2008 mortgage would be even with rents, but you're still in the hole overall.

    In the Midwest, population is fairly stagnant, so yes I would say spend the extra $2-300/month to buy it. However, in CA, that would be an extra $2000+ a month. Was that your jaw dropping?

    You shouldn't buy your primary house as an investment or to "save" money. It should be only seen as a method to have the final say (well, almost) in what happens with your property and get respect from your city government.

    Would I be right in guessing that you don't live in CA?

  • Even more: It is easy to imagine that Mr. Ballmer's competition with Google is partly in offering top developers extremely sweet deals. So, to do the best for themselves, they need to go from Microsoft to Google and back every few years.
  • Re:Is that so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by William Baric (256345) on Monday June 30, 2008 @11:45PM (#24011431)

    You and NNKK use the word "label" as a concept that could be implemented (but which does not describe the implementation of Google). I use the word "label" to talk about what is implemented right now with Gmail and which Google call "label".

    I'd like to remind you that the subject was Gmail and not some theory about a concept that could be called label. I'll let you think again about which comment was "dead on".

  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @12:18AM (#24011691)

    You might have dozens of folders for your bookmarks too. Well, del.icio.us uses tags and searching to organize bookmarks, and you may have noticed that has not held it back. Perhaps you have all your photos carefully organized into folders. Well Flickr shows us that tags and searching works very well to organize photos. Wikipedia pages are tagged. Everyone knows how to use Google to search for information. The metaphors in the Gmail interface are very well established in the populace.

    In addition, I find your comment to be pretty pointless because it does not describe an actual need. "Moving an e-mail to a folder" is not an information- or user-oriented need, it is a tool. It is a means not an end. An actual user need would be something like "find this e-mail easily later" or "keep all e-mails from my bank together." Needs like these are easily met with labels and searching, used together.

  • Re:Is that so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pmee (1250276) * on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @12:26AM (#24011739)
    Very few Google teams do anything as rigorous as XP and I doubt that many write unit tests. And as another poster noted, developers often get frustrated because they never actually get to ship anything.
  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Plutonite (999141) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @01:19AM (#24012059)

    Something about property taxes having low ceilings in Cali, apparently. I'm there now by the way and have no idea what the OP was talking about concerning "bad weather" and "quality of life". There are more luxury cars, amazing outdoor spaces, great places to go/things to do, and generally happier people here than almost anywhere I've seen in the US. Is OP on crack? Been here since may, and the views you get even on the way to work are breathtaking. The weather is great pretty much all year round. I'm pretty sure the folks moving to Seattle are not doing it because washington state is a better place to be than the Bay.

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @04:40AM (#24013119)

    Just to be clear, I think it's stupid that google has so many things in beta still. I mean, seriously, froogle and gmail are still beta? It's been what, 5 years?

    They may be betas, but they're not beta quality. Hypothetically speaking if you woke up tomorrow and the "beta" tag was gone, would you think it was premature or not ready?

    The "perpetual beta" thing makes for cute jokes, but if it makes Google more comfortable for some reason and user experience is not impacted either way, do the semantics of the situation really matter that much?

  • Re:Cost of Living? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @06:38AM (#24013605)

    pumped and handled by highly trained staff (you know, that guy who dropped out of school in the 9th grade and you didn't see again).

    Well, it takes time to get training to handle such hazardous substances.

    That guy.

  • by mrsteele (246533) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:56AM (#24026845)

    This leads to people like Warren Buffet owning million-dollar houses that they pay taxes on as if they were worth $100,000 (Buffet himself admits this is ridiculous).

    While it can certainly lead to ridiculous circumstances (can *any* amount of property tax *not* sound ridiculous for someone of Warren Buffett's wealth?), the motive behind the Prop is very noble. No one should be priced out of their house due to the property taxes. Look at the runup of property values in the last decade. People would have see the "value" of their house skyrocket, and their property taxes go through the roof. Some people would have had to sell, for no other reason than that their house appreciated. Try to explain how that isn't a poor taxation scheme.

Help me, I'm a prisoner in a Fortune cookie file!

Working...