Microsoft Business Practices

Here is a quote from an interview with Alex St John, a former Microsoft employee who helped transform Windows’ printing architecture and fathered the DirectX system:

Alex St John: A month or so in, I still didn’t know exactly what my job was until one of the guys who hired me said, „Write a strategy for how you would persuade the publishing industry to move to Windows.” I spent a lot of time writing documents saying here’s what our strategy should be, here’s how we could convince companies to sign on, all that. I came in to do my presentation, and I got about three slides into it before I was interrupted by one of the executives saying, „This is all great stuff, you have a perfect plan. Developers who are reasonable should all support it, but what do you do if none of this works.” „What do you mean?” „What if in spite of your best efforts, your best arguments, you best relationships, you can’t get them to support them. How do you force the industry to support Microsoft anyway?” „Force them? Well, I don’t know.” „Come back when you have a plan that answers that question.”
 
That perplexed me for a long time. I’m thinking, „What the hell does he mean, force them? I can’t hold a gun to their head, so how do I put all these companies in a position where, regardless of what they see is in their best interest, they have to adopt your technology?” That experience had a major impact on my thinking. I realized that a major part of my job was to figure out how to use technology control to create economic force, or leverage, such that money and business flowed in Microsoft’s direction, and people had to go [to them]. That, ultimately, is when I became a „Microsoft guy,” when I got that concept.
 
Shack: Did your fellow evangelists adopt that strategy as well?
 
Alex St John: Yeah.
The earth is flat, and Microsoft only acts in the best interest of its customers. Via Chris Linfoot.

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