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Microsoft staff savage Ballmer at company confab

Claims of staff walkouts and tanking morale

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

During Microsoft's annual full staff meeting, employees unmistakably expressed their displeasure about how the company is being run.

Every year Redmond assembles the rank and file for a huge presentation about plans for the next 12 months, with senior management laying out current progress and future plans. According to comments made on the unofficial but respected Mini Microsoft blog, staff were less than impressed.

“What a sad spectacle. While SteveB was yacking away, people were leaving in droves. Back in the good old days when BillG spoke, EVERYONE listened,” posted an anonymous commentator.

Due to prior leaks from these, events staff are usually told nothing too sensitive, and this year’s gathering appears to be no different. Windows 8 will be out in a year’s time, Microsoft is refocusing around cloud and applications, and there were frequent demos of the Windows 8 fondleslab that Microsoft showed off at BUILD.

Overall, the tone of the comments was almost uniformly negative, although one poster claiming to be an employee said that the event was “pretty good.” Others pointed out that most of the presentations were dominated by Windows 8, and particularly the new fondleslab.

“Is Win 8 tablet all we have left to be excited about? Has the morale across the company slumped so much that 20,000 of us together can’t even generate a decent applause? Please someone tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’ve just got a bad attitude and I completely misread the meeting,” pleaded one poster.

Commentators reported that Ballmer also didn’t do his traditional shout of “I love this company,” and there was no sweaty dancing around and screaming by the CEO, unlike at previous meetings.

“SteveB did one of the smartest things I've ever seen him do as CEO today: He delegated responsibility by paying someone else to jump around like an asshole during his entrance instead of doing it all by himself,” said a poster. “Now if only he'd do the same with his regular day job.”

Try as we might, The Register could find no Microsoft staffer who was willing to talk to us on the record. ®

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