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Re: Smaller Businesses and Linux Affinity

__/ [ Larry Qualig ] on Thursday 25 May 2006 15:30 \__

> Michael B. Trausch wrote:
>> Larry Qualig wrote in
>> <1148522818.760840.152990@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> on Wed, May 24
>> 2006 22:06:
>> >
>> > The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
>> [snip]
>> >> Note that $33.51B profit is about $91.75M/day, or $1500/day/employee.
>> >
>> > Numbers like this are absolutely staggering. The $1500/day/employee is
>> > *profit* - after the rent, employee's salary, fines, congressman, and
>> > everything else has been paid.
>> >
>> Yes, that is quite an amazing amount of money.  To be raking in $91
>> million
>> in profit per business day is absolutely astonishing.  Unfortunately,
>> they're not putting it to good use, or they'd have fixed the problems in
>> Vista already and had it ready for release.  I have to wonder if they're
>> doing so well financially, why do they have such a hard time turning out
>> quality code?
> This is an interesting statement/observation in a number of ways. My
> view on this is that having financial resources is largely (but not
> completely) orthogonal to being able to creating quality code. This
> money gives them two basic options: Hire more developers and/or hire
> better developers.

The developers need also cope withlarge amounts of code, which as we know, is
difficult to get a grip on. With morale declining and staff jumping ships,
you need to train new staff. I have worked with bad libraries in the past
and I know the consequences. There is a reason why 60% of the code need to
be rewritten and Allchin scraper Longhorn in September 2005. He said "his
engineers could not run it properly".

> Throwing more people at the problem doesn't scale very well. Eventually
> you reach the point where you have "too many chefs in the kitchen" and
> people start getting in the way of each other.

I heard/read that only a coupla' hundred work on Vista. That's nothingwhich
Novell or Red hat cannot match. Besides, they have OSDL, KDE and the other
groups working in isolation in accordance with standards (API's, modularity

> Hiring better developers doesn't work either IMO. There are already
> some incredibly smart people at Msft. Then you need to consider
> familiarity and experience with the product. Someone who may be
> marginally more intelligent than another developer won't be as
> productive as the other developer who has 8 years of experience with
> the product.
> I'm also going to take issue with the "quality code" not in absolute
> terms, but in a business sense. Keep in mind that Microsoft is a
> business, one of the largest in the world, and from a business
> perspective there really isn't any incentive to create a perfect
> product. It simply has to have reasonable and sufficient quality.

Then returns the issue of morale, as well as /drive/. Ballmer preaches about
the sacking of people. This means that training of new staff becomes a

> The example that you may (or may not) have heard is that Detroit could
> build a car that was 99.999% reliable, was incredibly safe and lasted
> for 500k miles. The problem is that such a car would be so cost
> prohibitive to manufacture that few would be able to afford it.
> That's somewhat the issue with software. Creating a
> 'perfect/great/excellent" product takes time, resources and money. If a
> company can get 80%-85% of the way there for 50% of the cost we all
> know what they'll do.

I will always remain curious, Larry. I wonder how much money you made from
your venture/involvement with Microsoft. I suspect your life without this
reward would have been altogether different, which is why your opinions are
taken with a barrel of salt. But I can't take away the credit.

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