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Confession of a Microsoft Shilling Advocate

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Public message from James Plamondon:

"Roy, et al.,

"You’re right. Some of the evangelism practices that I taught and executed at
Microsoft in the 1990’s were unethical. I didn’t think so at the time — I
thought that they were just hyper-competitive — but I agree now.

"I am trying to change the error of my ways. I trust that you will agree that
even the most hardened sinner can be redeemed.

"Read more here: http://platformevangelism.spaces.live.com/blog "

Does anyone still believe Microsoft is acting within the bounds of the law? For


"5: Jihad

"A Jihad is a road trip. in which an evangelist visits a large number of ISVs
one-on-one to convince them to take some specific action. The classic Jihad is
one focused on getting Tier A ISVs to commit to supporting a given technology
by signing the technology’s Letter of Agreement (LOA - see above).

"A Jihad focuses on the Travelling Salesman aspect of evangelism. As in sales,
the purpose of the exercise is to close – to get the mark the ISV to sign on
the dotted line, in pen, irrevocably. Not to get back to us later, not to talk
to the wife about it, not to enter a three-day cooling-off period, but to get
the ISV to sign, sign, sign."


"8: The Slog
Guerilla marketing is often a long, hard slog.

"slog (sl^g) v. slogged, slogqing, slogs. –tr, To strike with heavy blows, as
in boxing. -intr. 1. To walk with a slow, plodding gait. 2. To work diligently
for long hours. –n. . 1. long, hard work. 2. A long, exhausting march or hike.
[Orig. unknown.] -slog’ger
–American Heritage Dictionary, 1991

"In the Slog, Microsoft dukes it out with the competition. MSDN and Platform
marketing are the regular forces, exchanging blows with the enemy mano a mano.
Evangelism should avoid formal, frontal assaults, instead focusing its efforts
of hit-and-run tactics.

"In the Slog, the enemy will counter-attack, trying to subvert your Tier A ISVs
to their side, just as you should try to subvert their ISVs to your side. New
ISVs should be sought, and directed to MSDN’s one-to- many programs.
Evangelism should constantly be on the lookout for killer demos, hot young
startups, major ISVs, customer testimonials, enemy-alliance-busting defections
and other opportunities to demonstrate momentum for our technology. If bugs
are found in our technology, or missing features are found to be critically
important, then now is the time to identify and fix them. Stay engaged with
the technology development team; ensure that you are a valuable resource for
them, not a hectoring pest. Document all of your progress (ideally in
regularly updated internal Web pages) and forward it regularly to management.
If management is not aware of your progress, your successes, and your
stumbling blocks, then they can’t help. (They may not help anyway, but they
can’t if they don’t know what you need.)

"Keep those Tier A ISVs on track to delivery! They are your strongest weapons
and cannot be forgotten.

"The elements of the evangelical infrastructure - conference presentations,
courses, seminars, books, magazine articles, whitepapers, etc. – should start
hitting the street at the start of the Slog. They should be so numerous as to
push all other books off the shelf, courses out of catalogs, and presentations
off the stage.

"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our
technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during
the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your
technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent”
consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations
and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts
in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic
sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money
granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their
early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should
be sought and turned to our advantage.

"I have mentioned before the “stacked panel”. Panel discussions naturally favor
alliances of relatively weak partners - our usual opposition. For example,
an “unbiased” panel on OLE vs. OpenDoc would contain representatives of the
backers of OLE (Microsoft) and the backers of OpenDoc (Apple, IBM, Novell,
WordPerfect, OMG, etc.). Thus we find ourselves outnumbered in almost
every “naturally occurring” panel debate.

"A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with
people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact
strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able
to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to
select the panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t
expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to
get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No
one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies
would be allowed – just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.”
Sounds marvelously independent doesn’t it? In fact, it allows us to stack the
panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up
telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the
press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.

"Finding a moderator is key to setting up a stacked panel. The best sources of
pliable moderators are:

"— Analysts: Analysts sell out - that’s their business model. But they are very
concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them
very prickly to work with.

"— Consultants: These guys are your best bets as moderators. Get a well-known
consultant on your side early, but don’t let him publish anything blatantly
pro-Microsoft. Then, get him to propose himself to the conference organizers
as a moderator, whenever a panel opportunity comes up. Since he’s well-known,
but apparently independent, he’ll be accepted – one less thing for the
constantly-overworked conference organizer to worry about, right?

"Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the
Slog. We need to know who their allies are and what differences exist between
them and their allies (there are always sources of tension between allies), so
that we can find ways to split ‘em apart. Reading the trade press, lurking on
newsgroups, attending conferences, and (above all) talking to ISVs is
essential to gathering this intelligence."


"The Slog may continue beyond the Final Release, for many months, until
Critical Mass is reached. It is possible that Critical Mass will not be
reached at all for Version X of a technology, such that Phases 1-9 will have
to be repeated – possibly more than once – before ever reaching Critical Mass.

"Critical Mass is reached when the technology starts evangelizing itself. When
reviews subtract points if it’s not supported; when analysts say “great
product plan, but what about [Technology Name]?”; when VC’s won’t fund a
company unless it supports [Technology Name] - that’s Critical Mass. At that
point, Evangelism of the technology stops, and Evangelism’s resources are
applied to other technologies – or, if you’re lucky, moves into the Mopping Up

"11: Mopping Up

"Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is
to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in
the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology
becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus,
the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts,
newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s
technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place
selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic
weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly
resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.

"12: Victory

"Some technologies continue as competitors long after they are true threats -
look at OS/2, the Operating System that Refused to Die. It is always
possible - however unlikely – that competitors like OpenDoc, SOM, OS/2, etc,
could rise from the dead… so long as there is still development work being
done on them. Therefore, final victory is reached only when the competing
technology’s development team is disbanded, its offices reassigned, its
marketing people promoted, etc. You have truly and finally won, when they come
to interview for work at Microsoft.

"Victory is sweet. Savor it. Then, find a new technology to evangelize — and
get back to work :-) "

Scott Douglas, Gary Stewart, Bill Weisgerber, "DFS" et al,

Do you know Mr. Plamondon? Did you received that "REQUIRED" training from him?
He said that all who were involved in Microsoft's shilling had to learn the
principles above, which were super-highly confidential.
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