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3/24/2006
03:04 PM
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Some Microsoft Workers Call For Heads To Roll

Writing on an anonymous blog, some employees are venting frustration over the latest delays with Vista and Office.

Microsoft employees writing to an anonymous blog are calling for the heads of high-level company executives -- including Steve Ballmer and Jim Allchin -- after the double delay debacle this week when the Redmond, Wash. developer shoved its two most profitable products into 2007.

On the Mini-Microsoft blog, which is maintained by someone who identifies himself as a Microsoft employee and goes by the nickname "Who da'Punk," an entry tagged "Vista 2007. Fire the leadership now!" has accumulated over 325 comments from in- and outsiders.

The blog was a response to the Tuesday announcement that Windows Vista would not ship in new PCs until January 2007. Thursday, Microsoft added Office 2007 to the delay train.

"Who da'Punk" got things rolling Tuesday with this entry:

"After Allchin's email went out I imagined all the L68+ partners from the Windows division gathered together and told, 'You are our leadership. When we succeed, it is directly because of how you lead and manage your teams. When we fail, it is directly because of how you lead and manage your teams. We've had enough of failure and we've had enough of you. Drop off your badge on the way out. Your personal belongings will be dropped off at your house. Now get out of my sight.'"

Others commenting on the blog quickly took up the cry.

"[steve] ballmer: fired!

[jim] allchin: fired!

[brian] valentine: fired!

we cannot ship our OS. this is not a joke. if we don't take some radical decisions, the company is over."

And:

"Ballmer has presided over the fall of Microsoft. [His] days are numbered."

And:

"Accountability should start at the top. My commitment was to deliver on my component. Allchin's commitment was to release Windows . . . . and he failed to deliver."

But while the Thursday reorganization of Microsoft's Platform & Services Division shuffled several executives -- notably Steve Sinofsky from a position in the Office arm to head the Windows and Windows Live group -- no one was handed their hat.

Or were they?

Jim Allchin, who broke the bad news Tuesday and was set to retire after Vista was delivered, seems to have been put out to pasture months earlier than expected, said a source close to Microsoft. "Read what Johnson said very carefully, " he said.

In a leaked memo sent to some Microsoft employees Thursday, Kevin Johnson, the co-president (with Allchin) of the Platforms & Services Division, wrote "As part of the next step of Jim's transition, we discussed when it was appropriate to move his direct reports to me, and decided that this organization change was the right time."

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