April 21, 2003 interview

The Human Side of Microsoft

For more than a year, I’ve had a request to video tape an interview at Microsoft up on this page. The goal was to show the human side of Microsoft by showing that one of their most famous practices isn’t something to be scared of. I never expected that I’d actually get to tape an interview. In fact, I expected to be ignored by Microsoft altogether.

Of course, as the most juicy litigation target in the world, and especially sensitive to legal issues, Microsoft couldn’t grant my request. That didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me is how hard that they tried. In fact, all kinds of folks at Microsoft — from engineers who wanted to interview me to managers who wanted to help make it happen to HR folks who went to legal to ask — all kinds of folks at Microsoft really did *try* to make it happen.

So, while I’ll never be able to put a recording of an interview up on this site, I can tell you that my mission to find the human side of Microsoft was a success. All of the people I’ve encountered there — whether trying to let me tape an interview or taking my feedback on whatever technology I’m working that day — all of the folks that I’ve encountered at Microsoft really *care* about doing the right thing. They want interviewees to succeed. They want to build the right products. They want to meet their customers’ needs. And as much guff as I give them (they are a juicy target), by and large they succeed. I wouldn’t spend my time with their technologies if they didn’t.

With that in mind, I withdraw my request. I’m seen the human side of Microsoft. Thanks for showing it to me.