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Editor's Note: We Put the "No" In Innovation!
,----[ Quote ]
| A general rule of marketing is "The more noise they make, the less they have
| to crow about." Who makes the most noise about "innovation"? I bet you can
| Every day I get virtually snowed under by blizzards of press releases. (I'm
| not sure that email is better than paper, because I could burn paper for
| heat, or compost it. Happy red worms like paper and break it down fast.) A
| few of them actually have something to do with Linux and FOSS. The rest are
| horrid collections of buzzwords, broken HTML, political foamings, spam, and
| irrelevant whatevers.
| For a long time the favorite buzzword was "paradigm." Remember all those
| paradigm shifts? There was a bit of humor value because none of them used the
| word correctly. (Wikipedia has an excellent article and definition.) But it
| got boring after the thousandth dopey repetition. Finally it died out, as
| these things do, and its replacement was "innovation". Now there is a
| perfectly good word that does not deserve to be abused in this fashion, but
| marketers are ruthless and without conscience when it comes to word abuse.
Watch the memo below. SteveB and BillG are being *trained* to recite the
word "innovation" for sheepish investors.
From: Larry Cohen
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 5:28 PM
To: Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer
Cc: Mich Mathews; Katy Hunter; Craig Beilinson; Kevin Johnson; David Siroky;
Debbie Hill; Dorothy Veith; Christine Turner; Bob Belan (D.N.A. Inc)
Subject: Company Meeting Outline Docs
Attachments: 9.10.04 comeeeting outline.doc; 9.10.04 comeeeting q.2.doc
Bill and Steve —
I have enclosed both an outline version and more complete version of the script
questions and messages for the company meeting.
As discussed, we expect that you will make a lot of this your own as well.
Additionally, Kevin is set (as appropriate) to go further on certain points,
question you on points you may make, etc. We don’t want this to come off as
over scripted. That said, these represent some of the messages we would like
you to convey.
We’re still gathering some key facts on security progress. These will come on
Monday and I will call them out for you
The speechwriters are following up with logistics information.
We’ll have time on Tuesday morning to work out any other synch issues on
subjects you both want to talk to and also hash through interactions with
7/14/2005 ~Plaintiff’s Exhibit~ 8887
Comes V. Microsoft
Microsoft Company Meeting
Draft Talking Points
As Microsoft matures, how will you continue to ensure that it keeps trying to
innovate, building the better mouse trap, recreating itself: continue to focus
on the future and not just rest on past laurels and defend its existing
portfolio? What are we doing that will change the world (again)?
* We live or die on our ability to drive breakthrough innovation.
* Driving innovation into our existing products, while also doing the work
to deliver a series of breakthroughs of the coming years.
* Uniquely positioned to change the world through great software
* How we will make it happen.
o Continue to aggressively fuel our investment in R&D
o Ensure we continue to attract the best minds in the industry
* No shortage of opportunity for us
o Still many inefficiencies that can only be addressed with software
o Important industry trends that fuel new opportunities for software
* Continued investment in R&D
* Working with BG leaders on driving new advances across the company
* The competitive landscape: “Faddishly hot” vs. lasting impact and winning
I understand part of our strategy is to sustain our competitive advantage
through integrated innovation, As we develop more complex products, and grow
as a company (in number of employees), this entails increasingly complex
integrated execution. How are we going to continue pulling this off? Do you
see a limit as to how large and complex we can be as an organization?
* Integrated innovation is a unique differentiation for Microsoft
* Putting in place the processes that really enable our various groups and
technologies to work together.
* We’re more focused on cross-company execution than we’ve ever been
* Many great examples of how that is working. Watson, CLT, MOM
* Infinitely scaleable
What was the reason for cutting WinFS from the Longhom release? Are we
abandoning the whole LH Wave concept?
* Vision and commitment to LH has not changed
* We are still on a path to deliver advances well beyond the magnitude of
our prior innovation leaps.
* Prioritizing and getting it right
* Outline Customer & ISV benefit
* Specifically highlight commitment to WinFS
What are the key strategies to deal with the security headaches we’ve had to
address in the past year?
* Making security a part of everything we do from the ground up
* Progress: Technology, Customer Education and Enforcement
* Continued focus on: isolation and resiliency; updating; quality:
authentication and access control.
* TWC vision and progress
* Future advances (R2)
Please help us better understand the vast sum of money we spend each year on
research? Where does the money get spent? What do we get from our investment?
* R&D is a lot more than MSR
* Innovation is key to our future success
* Tying innovation to scenarios and customer needs
* Technology transfer - payback and Examples - correlation to market
* Measuring impact patents
How much of your time are you spending in R&D area in MS, and what kind of
activities are you doing?
* Microsoft is still the focus
* Balance of time in working between research and BG work
* Excitement for the future and our prospects
* Committed for the long-term
1. My question for the company meeting is, “How aggressively will we grow”? Are
we moving to a model where compare ourselves with older or more conservative
companies like Disney and Dell, with little interest in taking risks and
offering new features and products, or are we going to stay the “Microsoft of
the 90’s”, and compare ourselves with companies like Google and Apple, and
take more new risks and really focus on crating cool and interesting
technologies that consumers “really, really want” to buy?
(Core question: Growth: How will we grow? Will we grow?)
* Tie our growth prospects to innovation
* What you’re doing to drive the innovation - big bets and aggressive R&D
* The difference of being “First to cool” vs. “first to profit”
* Optimism for growth opportunities
* Success requires execution excellence
2. If you were projecting our financial figures 5 years out, what would you be
happy with in terms of an annual revenue and profit growth over those five
years? What would be a stretch target?
(Core question: Growth. Be specific, what is your target, what level of growth
should we be happy with?)
* Define success metrics and indicators
* Outline specific opportunities in the P&L’s
* The target: illustrate the magnitude of growth you will he happy with in
2a. Follow-on question from Kevin. “You mention the importance of improving our
excellence in execution and how this is related to our success. Make this real
for people, give an example of what you mean by driving greater excellence.
* Define “excellence:” consistent, high quality (and low cost) execution in
all we do
* Examples: Engineering excellence, marketing work
* It’s about how we work - clear priorities and accountability
3. I am feeling concerned with the announcement to give back $75 billion back
to shareholders. It sounds as if we could not find better ways to invest the
money in growing the company.
(Core question: Evolution and Innovation: Why did you do the dividend? What
does it say about the company?
* The dividend represents optimism
* Why we did the dividend
* Responsibility to shareholders
* Preserving our ability to invest in innovation
4. How are we doing vs, Linux? Can you give us some specific comparables so we
know where we are winning, holding our ground and still losing ground? Do you
see a threat from Linux in the home PC market?
(Core question: Winning: Will we win in our competition with OSS?
* We are hitting our stride in understanding how we meet the challenge
* Competing with Unix through innovation, quality support execution, and
facts-based customer education.
* Confidence for our success- OSS evolution and the commercial model
* Need for flawless execution
* Getting traction- The facts are speaking for themselves
* The home market threat- customer value, our investments and partner
5. As MSFT is a maturing company, certain priorities have seemed to change -
the cost cutting initiatives being one of them…what are your concerns about
the type of message that things like cost cutting send to employees? Meaning,
are we sending the message that working for MSFT is like working for GM - a
big stodgy corporation?
(Core questions: Evolution is all the cost cutting evidence that we becoming a
* Keeping the company dynamic and agile - We have as much opportunity to
grow and are more dynamic than just about any other company in the world.
* Still making the big bets across our businesses.
* Evidenced in the products and technologies we have and are bringing to
* Staying dynamic, while also becoming responsible
6. Cross group collaboration consistently rates as one of the lowest scoring
areas within Microsoft on the Company poll, and one would assume that to keep
organization structures eams out of our designs it would need to be one area
where Microsoft must excel, What steps are we taking to make sure that
Microsoft’s organization structure is also not showing through in the design
of our products? Do you feel these steps are sufficient and how (Io you think
we are doing?
* Steps we are taking. Accountable for clear commitments and sharing across
* Integrating to meet customer needs
* Value propositions
1. What are the 3 crucial things you want employees to focus on in FY05 for our
collective success? What will you do to ensure that we can execute on those 3
1. innovation and Growth
2. Business Performance:
3. How we work: Excellence
2. You talk a lot about commitments. Do you have specific commitments?
- - Bill and Steve to talk to their commitments (from offsite)
- - Key commitments that other execs are responsible for.
3. What is your vision for the company in ten years, and what is it in 20
- - Continuing to invest, making big, strategic bets and doing innovative work
- - Bringing in talent that ensures we have necessary abilities to seize
- - Maintaining the dynamic environment
[skipping pages 6-11 (see PDF)]
4. How are we doing vs. Linux? Can you give us some specific comparables so we
know where we are winning, holding our ground and still losing ground? Do you
see a threat from Linux in the home PC market?
(Core question. Winning: Will we win in our competition with OSS?
* Hitting our stride in understand how we meet the challenge
o We know how to compete with Linux through innovation, quality
support execution, and facts-based customer education.
* Confidence and strategy
o I have a for of confidence in how we stack up competitively with
Linux in terms of strategy, sales and marketing, and our product offerings. As
terms of Linux distribution model matures, we see vendors like IBM and RedHat
adopting a commercial model around Linux, which, due to high services costs,
is quickly putting to bed the notion that there is a cost advantage over
o But we have to keep making sure we’re doing the right things:
+ Where we have a good story to tell vs. Linux are we telling
+ Are we talking to customers and engaging on the right fronts?
+ Where Linux has traction, are we delivering the dght products
o With single-purpose server scenarios such as file/print/web server,
it’s a battle, no question, but we are responding with very strong
workload-specific SKUs such as Windows, Server 2003 Web Edition, Windows
Server 2003 Storage Edition and an upcoming High-Performance Computing
* The facts are speaking for themselves
o We now have independent studies from respected analyst firTns like
Forrester, IDC, Yankee Group and Beadng Point underscore the advantages over
Windows over Linux in key areas such as TCO, performance, reliability,
interoperability, security, support, indemnification and a worldwide partner
network. Our Get the Facts campaign is focused on educating customers about
o Customers are taking notice- we’re making significant strides.
(invite employees to look at the site.)
* Specifically, the home market
In the home market, OSS products simply do not provide meaningful
customer value on the client compared with our offerings. Customers are
demanding easy home networking, great integration with digital media, games,
etc., and here, we and our partners are absolutely in a position of
leadership. I am confident that will continue as long as we continue to
* Most importantly, nobody is really making the investments to completely
understand the customer in the home and also investing to make the PC
experience easier and easier.
[skipping page 13 onwards (see PDF)]
Comes vs. Microsoft - exhibit px08887
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