Feeds

New Microsoft Longhorn chief is indigestion expert

Star hire has stomach for the job

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has a new star hire to head up its Longhorn project, Mike Sievert. And he brings a deeper and richer personal experience to the job than many of his marketing counterparts in the technology industry.

Sievert took up the post of Corporate VP for Windows Product Management, to give him his full title, at the start of the month. He joins from AT&T Wireless, which has just been acquired by Cingular, and before that he was at E-Trade. Nothing unusual there, you might think. But once upon a time, Sievert held one of the most important marketing posts in the nation: he was brand manager for the United States' favorite indigestion remedy, Pepto-Bismol®.

As the nation slept off its All-You-Can-Eat steak and lobster buffets, and 14 oz steaks, Sievert was the man responsible for making sure salvation was never more than a lurching trip to the bathroom away. By placing a bottle of Pepto-Bismol® at the heart of the American home, he single handedly saved many a celebration from turning into a drive-by projectile vomiting incident.

Strangely, Microsoft doesn't see fit to mention his achievements in Mike's official corporate biography. There, the copywriters refer only to "management positions in the Health Care Division of the Procter & Gamble Company." Procter & Gamble is the manufacturer of the runny pink saviour.

Perhaps they want to shield the competitive advantage that Sievert brings to Redmond a secret from the competition. We don't blame them. For Microsoft sure has an indigestion problem with its own software development processes, where infighting and indecision rule the day. Originally slated for a 2003 launch, ship dates slipped. Bill Gates' boast that Longhorn would take as much manpower as putting a man on the moon began to cut little ice with licensees when it became clear that neither manpower - nor even blogpower - was helping Microsoft get code out of the door.

Word of Longhorn delays became so frequent that even the conservative Gartner Group suggested that it might be 2008 until the death march bore fruit. In response, Microsoft scrambled to promise that it really, really would ship something in 2006. But the only way it has been able to meet this very public promise is the emetic route: hurling features such as Avalon and WinFS, and the 'managed code' overboard.

He doesn't have much experience of actually shipping software, but we think the industry's Duke of Dyspepsia is up to the stomach-churning task. If you can't be at the heart of the American Dream, the next best thing is to be close to the digestive tract - and we wish Mike the very best. ®

Related link

"Create your own 5-in-1 Pepto-Bismol® Dance!" - the Pepto-Bismol® Dance Machine

Related delays

Avalon, WinFS decoupled for Windows Shorthorn
(Almost) everything may go, as Longhorn rushes to release
MS Trusted Computing back to drawing board
No Windows XP SE as Longhorn jettisons features
MS delays Yukon
Windows Shorthorn is dead-on-arrival
Even Microsoft can't wait for Longhorn
MS moves into get Longhorn on the road mode
Longhorn to erase Cairo mis-step with 1995 ship date
Windows Longhorn build leak starts hype two years early
Longhorn RTM what it means to you
Microsoft delays Longhorn. Again
Only kidding? MS may ship Longhorn server after all
Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003, Blackcomb MIA?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?