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Microsoft Employees are Hurting

By skim123 in News
Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 03:13:18 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

In this Fred Moody article, Fred discusses the impact Microsoft's employees are feeling with the sever Microsoft stock drop over the past couple of months. While it may seem hard to feel sorry for these folks crying over their lost stock value, it is important to understand that many of these people were planning to do good things with their lives once they had received financial independence with Microsoft stock.


In the article Moody comments on some of these folks who planned on doing good things (become a priest, do volunteer work, be a stay-at-home mom, etc.), but are unable to do them now due to their shrinking portfolios. Opinions on this? Is it just a bunch of rich folks whining? Do they somehow deserve this?
Six Month Microsoft Stock Chart (if you're interested)...

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Microsoft Employees are Hurting | 105 comments (105 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Tech and culture +1, Microsoft stor... (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by Demona on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:20:13 AM EST

Demona voted 0 on this story.

Tech and culture +1, Microsoft story -1. Good potential if I weren't so burnt out on MS in general lately.

Always remember that corporations a... (3.50 / 2) (#38)
by PresJPolk on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:23:08 AM EST

PresJPolk voted 1 on this story.

Always remember that corporations are only legal entities, not real ones. The real entities involved are always people.



Well they do say with the stock mar... (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by Marcin on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:26:21 AM EST

Marcin voted 0 on this story.

Well they do say with the stock market that you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. You shouldn't expect to hinge your future on stock options or stocks on the assumption that the value will be the same or greater in 6 months because you just don't know what the market is going to do.

So to answer the 'question' posed, yes it is just a bunch of rich people whining.
M.

... (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by Arkady on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:40:22 AM EST

Arkady voted 1 on this story.

Well, it's pretty difficult to feel sorry for:

1) anyone in the stock market
2) anyone who would work for Micro$oft

The primary reason, as I see it, for feeling sorry for these folks is that they are (or were) deluded into thinking that stocks could be depended on. But in my opinion that doesn't outweigh the fact that they went to work for a large (and very nasty) corporation and supported the wealth->wealth engine of stock speculation.

So yeah, it's a shame. But they did bring it on themselves.

-robin


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


I think Microsoft employees are sim... (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by Wil Mahan on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 03:10:05 AM EST

Wil Mahan voted -1 on this story.

I think Microsoft employees are simply joining the rest of the tech industry. Although it is lamentable that Microsoft employees are having a hard time financially, how do you think Netscape employees, or the employees of any other company unfairly pushed out of the market by Microsoft, felt?

im personaly sick of ms articles... (1.50 / 2) (#35)
by shonson on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 03:38:59 AM EST

shonson voted 0 on this story.

im personaly sick of ms articles
-- Steven in #kuro5hin

Fucking bs most claim if they had m... (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by Commienst on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 04:51:22 AM EST

Commienst voted -1 on this story.

Fucking bs most claim if they had millions they would do good things but when they get the money they dont. Look at the world today. The richest 1% of the population control a ridiculous amount of the worlds wealth (60%?). Too many people have more money than they can humanly spend in a lifetime yet they dont give a penny to others unless there is a tax deduction involved.

Nice to see a different perspective... (2.00 / 1) (#31)
by Coram on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 05:38:49 AM EST

Coram voted 1 on this story.

Nice to see a different perspective. Maybe there needs to be a realisation that it's more than a faceless corporation.

--
judo ergo sum

Buying stock is taking risk. It's j... (2.00 / 1) (#37)
by farlukar on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 05:51:06 AM EST

farlukar voted 0 on this story.

Buying stock is taking risk. It's just not smart to be dependent on stock, especially if it's from one company.
______________________
$ make install not war

ah. the end of the self reinforcing... (2.00 / 1) (#56)
by new500 on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 07:42:47 AM EST

new500 voted 1 on this story.

ah. the end of the self reinforcing mechanism. maybe. surely that chart link ought to have had a baseline % change against the index as well as volume? and are these employees so smart for leveraging themselves so heavily after this bull market has lasted nearly twice as long as any other? i wonder how hard they were sold on those options as having real value.
== Idle Random Thoughts. Usual disclaimers apply. ==

That's the risk involved when you t... (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by driph on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 08:30:11 AM EST

Driph voted 1 on this story.

That's the risk involved when you take options and actually value them. For me, receiving stock options was a bonus perk upon hire, my main concern financially was salary, didn't concern myself with options, and was pleasantly surprised when they were part of the offer letter. (of course right now they aren't worth much, but they wont go any lower. And I've got a great exercise price, if I'm still around in a few years).

On the Microsoft note, I just read(in eWeek or Inter@ctive) that Microsoft diluted shares for their employees when their stock initially tumbled. Not to mention that they are still in the high 60s, which isnt fun for those who were betting on the high around 120 but is still not THAT bad.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave

It's a pity. But, who's to blame? ... (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by marlowe on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:20:01 AM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

It's a pity. But, who's to blame? Couldn't they have associated themsleves with a less sleazy company?
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Well, first thing is that the judge... (4.50 / 2) (#3)
by bmetzler on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:21:54 AM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

Well, first thing is that the judgement against Microsoft shouldn't be based on whether it'll hurt 'innocent' Microsoft employees. Sure, they hurt when the company that they work for breaks the law, but that's life. We wouldn't find a murderer not guilty just because he had a wife and 3 children that would be 'hurt' if he were put in prison for life.

These people could have chosen to work for an ethical company. Moreover, if Microsoft *really* cared about them, they could have operated in an ethical manner, just as if the murderer cared about his family he could have not broke the law. We can't quit upholding the law, because because it 'hurts' people.

What can we do? If we were concerned about employees being forced to work in a sweatshop we wouldn't try to stop legal proceeding against the company to try to 'help' the labourers. We'd help them find new jobs, speak out as to what the real conditions of the factory are, and try to *bring* to company to justice.

Sorry, I think we should try to help the people. Not use the people as 'pawns' to protect the company, who'll then probably not care about the people anymore then they do now.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
Rich folks whining... (1.00 / 1) (#44)
by iCEBaLM on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:24:46 AM EST

iCEBaLM voted -1 on this story.

Rich folks whining

If you bet your future on the stock... (2.00 / 1) (#39)
by tzanger on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:37:38 AM EST

tzanger voted 1 on this story.

If you bet your future on the stock market and it crashes, why are you surprised? I mean I feel bad for these people, sure, but at the same time I feel that if they had put all their eggs in one basket, it's only Murphy's law in action when they tripped.

Bah, puny do-gooders... I wanna hea... (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by Pelorat on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:55:23 AM EST

Pelorat voted 0 on this story.

Bah, puny do-gooders... I wanna hear about the people who plan to become evil mad scientists and conquer the world after receiving financial independence with Microsoft stock! =)

Seriously tho, how is this different from any other company that offers stock options and whose stock takes a tumble? Was it submitted cos it's about Microsoft?

And that's one of the inherent risks of stock options and stock in general. If it goes down, that's just too bad. And lastly, these people are not entitled to financial independence simply because they own MSFT stock.

Yes, they deserve it. They work fo... (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by Nyarlathotep on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 11:20:14 AM EST

Nyarlathotep voted -1 on this story.

Yes, they deserve it. They work for a company which engages in criminal activities. Would you feal sorry for a mob boss's accountants when he got caught? Microsoft broke the law, period. Microsoft's stock holders should loose lots of money. Microsoft's employies should loose lots of money. Microsofts executives should loose lots of money and go to jail. Microsofts witnesses lied under oath, so they should go to jail too. Actually, they really should put Bill Gates in jail for those emails that they found.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!

They are even worse than rich folks... (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by tidepool on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 12:16:24 PM EST

tidepool voted 1 on this story.

They are even worse than rich folks whining. They are wannabe rich folks whining. As my mother always says to me, "No one owes you a god damn thing - You have to earn it". While this may seem harsh, it is nothing but the truth.

If they were to get rich, who would bet that 80% wouldn't do these things that they mentioned - they would be too caught-up in their golfing.

DID YOU SAY MICROSOFT? Please, stoo... (3.00 / 3) (#16)
by Velian on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 12:57:05 PM EST

Velian voted -1 on this story.

DID YOU SAY MICROSOFT? Please, stoooooooooooop.

Remember, they just work there. The... (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by fluffy grue on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 01:49:01 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Remember, they just work there. They aren't all Bill Gates clones. At one time I was considering working for Microsoft, back when I was idealistic - I was thinking I could take them down (or at least improve them) from the inside out. I'm sure a lot of the MS employees felt the same way at one time. Also, remember that MS pays their employees *badly* (practically minimum wage) using stock options as the supposed offset of it - so because of their declining stock prices, they are now being paid on par with a burger-flipper.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

You got it (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:58:23 PM EST

Now that the stock is in the toilet, I'm making less than a school teacher or even a state employed secretary. We are paid like shit and have to rely on stock options to be able to live in this horribly priced Redmond area. My family and I haven't eaten out in weeks because we can't affoard to any more. We have enough to pay our mortgage payment and put diapers on our child. I don't think people on these anti-MS sites understand.

[ Parent ]
I don't see too much discussion her... (1.00 / 1) (#57)
by Denor on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:30:34 PM EST

Denor voted 0 on this story.

I don't see too much discussion here... but that's probably because I'm burnt out on microsoft :)

-Denor


Well, it's NOT new that Microsoft i... (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by Peureux et anonyme on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 02:54:18 PM EST

Peureux et anonyme voted 0 on this story.

Well, it's NOT new that Microsoft is "not playing by the rules". They were happy with it the day they signed their contract. (like the title said "they made a deal with the Devil") And I'm sure that if they are such good people, they can do good thing, even without the money (I don't think Mother Teresa got that much of an healthy share portfolio).

You may as well plan your life arou... (2.00 / 1) (#20)
by End on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 03:30:55 PM EST

End voted 1 on this story.

You may as well plan your life around casino winnings. Buying stock on debt is even more stupid, but that's another story.

-JD

They have arguably the most marketa... (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by mebreathing on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 03:50:13 PM EST

mebreathing voted 1 on this story.

They have arguably the most marketable skill in the world right now, and their resume says they worked for the industry leader. How about quitting Microsoft and working for a better company 'til it's time to retire like everybody else? Boo hoo.

Remember Ed Curry. ... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
by kmself on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 04:04:35 PM EST

kmself voted 1 on this story.

Remember Ed Curry.

Fred's friends are losing their dreams for doing the Wrong Thing -- working for an abusive, monopolistic company warned once and clearly going down a second time. Crocodile tears. Sorry, Fred.

If you want to see the real tragedy, look to Ed Curry. Ed was the security expert hired by Microsoft who won it C2 certification from the DOD for WinNT3.5. When Micorosft attempted to get certification for NT 4.0, Curry took up the task, but found major problems, which he claimed Microsoft was attempting to hide.

Microsoft misrepresented NT 4.0 as C2 certified (by blurring the distinction between 3.5 and 4.0), leading the government to buy millions of copies of Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 that do not meet the NSA's C2 level security requirements, according to Curry.

Ed paid for this integrity both personally and professionally. His business failed, and in November, 1999, Ed died of a stroke in his mid-50s. Stress is thought to have played a major role. He is survived by a wife and young children in Texas.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

I really don't know why I'm going +... (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 04:08:15 PM EST

FlinkDelDinky voted 1 on this story.

I really don't know why I'm going +1 here. I will say that MS likes to pay it's employees with stock options. That's useful for small companies short on cash to motivate their workforce. But some tricky loopholes exist that go along with it.

Anyway, the employees took the stock option risk. For now they're not doing to well. MS is a very talented and agresive company. Who knows what will be in 6 months, let alone 6 years.

They took employment under the term... (2.00 / 1) (#7)
by saw2th on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 04:25:17 PM EST

saw2th voted -1 on this story.

They took employment under the terms offered. End of story. ie. no story here.

I dont feel particularly sorry for ... (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Nick Ives on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 05:48:20 PM EST

Nick Ives voted 1 on this story.

I dont feel particularly sorry for the Microsoft employees who have lost a lot of money on thier stock options. Its been pretty obvious to pretty much everyone for the past decade that MS have been doing some pretty dodgy things with their power. Regardless of wether or not what they did was actually illegal (I happen to believe that they abused their power, feel free to disagree), it was pretty obvious that someone was going to do something about MS eventually and cause them serious financial harm, thus harming their stock value and thus reduing the value of MS stock options. They should have thought of that before becoming an MS employee.

How dare you say anything nice abou... (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by the Epopt on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 06:37:08 PM EST

the Epopt voted 1 on this story.

How dare you say anything nice about the most evil empire to ever exist in this arm of the galaxy! "Many of these people were planning to do good things with their lives" -- hah! No THING working for Archfiend Gates, spawned in the muck of Hell, could ever have a noble thought in its entire existence! That one claiming to be planning to become a priest must have been a Satanist. Utter destitution is too good for them -- they should all be herded into cattle cars and sent to forced labor camps in Arkansas.


-- 
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
Re: How dare you say anything nice abou... (none / 0) (#99)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 02:58:04 PM EST

" i planned on doing great things after I secured my future with millions worth of MS stock"

translation:

" i am so damn selfish that the only way I could ever feel comfortable giving back to the world is to get what I DESERVE first - then, maybe, i'll pay for some food for those who can't afford it - but only after my big house, boat, 6 month vacation, new cars, expensive dinner etc..

THEN - i will give 10 bux to someone who has nothing... and I can think "WOW - now that I am rich - I AM a really good person."

[ Parent ]
they can only do good things if the... (1.00 / 1) (#36)
by 31: on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 06:51:05 PM EST

31: voted -1 on this story.

they can only do good things if they have lots of money? damned, I would help those homeless kids, but I can only afford one suv... no one has a right to lots of money.

-Patrick

I agree with Moody: They made a dea... (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by bigdogs on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 07:40:17 PM EST

bigdogs voted 1 on this story.

I agree with Moody: They made a deal with the devil, and the devil reneged. I have no sympathy for these people.

so? what is the point? ... (2.00 / 1) (#47)
by eMBee on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 07:55:43 PM EST

eMBee voted 0 on this story.

so? what is the point?
does he want us to feel sorry for them?
the stock-market is nothing but a huge legalized gambling hall.
there is a reason why gambling is illegal in many places.
you should secure your future, not bet on it.

greetings, eMBee.
--
Gnu is Not Unix / Linux Is Not UniX

While my sympathies may not be auto... (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by Stormbringer on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:21:28 PM EST

Stormbringer voted 1 on this story.

While my sympathies may not be automatically aroused for them (I'm sure the orcs had some very sad sob stories to tell after the fall of Mordor), the more the lines of communication are open with these people (as opposed to demonizing them in absentia), the better. They'll be looking for friendly support in moving their considerable talents to the free side of the fence over the next few years, after all, and it's important to the movement that they make it.

I say post this, just so we can dis... (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by magney on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:31:49 PM EST

magney voted 1 on this story.

I say post this, just so we can dismantle it piece by piece. I'm a recent Microsoft employee with all my options underwater, and you know what? I think the rule of law is a lot more important than a mere few thousands of employees who aren't quite as rich as they thought they might have been. I don't really have much sympathy for people who've staked their futures on the stock of one company, and despite the assurances from above, I think we all knew, or should have known, that it could have come to this. So I'm not filthy rich. Big deal. It's only money.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?

Re: I say post this, just so we can dis... (none / 0) (#98)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 02:52:27 PM EST

better yet: bill gates "so I'm still filthy rich - big deal" if he is such a generous guy - give you money to your employees - rather than other countries. ms employees: do NOT whine to us - go after bill/allen/balmer and demand that you all get the same amount of ms stock/money... :) would love to see that happen

[ Parent ]
The essential story may be interest... (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by osswid on Sat Jun 10, 2000 at 09:48:30 PM EST

osswid voted -1 on this story.

The essential story may be interesting, but anything on ABCnews.com is not.

You win some, you lose some. I'm n... (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by Neuromancer on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 01:04:21 AM EST

Neuromancer voted 1 on this story.

You win some, you lose some. I'm not going to purchase crappy software just to help out some charity of wealthy programmers. Girl scout cookies cost a lot less, and are a better product.

We're seeing the Microsoft breakup ... (2.00 / 1) (#60)
by cesarcardoso on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 02:43:29 AM EST

cesarcardoso voted 1 on this story.

We're seeing the Microsoft breakup soap opera only on the powerful people side, the DOJ, the Billy Boy. But nobody asked about the Dilberts, the microserfs or even Microsoft employees!
Cesar can be found on cesarcardoso at ig dot com dot br (or at least hope so)

You should never allow your financi... (2.50 / 2) (#45)
by haakon on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 03:43:18 AM EST

haakon voted -1 on this story.

You should never allow your financial future relay on one thing only. Be that stock options, property or COD's.

I don't want to hear it. I am brok... (2.50 / 2) (#30)
by adric on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 04:51:27 AM EST

adric voted -1 on this story.

I don't want to hear it. I am broke and altruisitic myself. Just because their vestings dropped a few points doesn't make them charity cases, I am sure.

I think it's just a case of normal ... (3.00 / 1) (#59)
by westyx on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 05:12:02 AM EST

westyx voted 0 on this story.

I think it's just a case of normal family economics mixed up with a bit of 'the devil' to get readers. I would imagine this sort of thing happens with every company that's going well that suddenly finds that it's stock price is falling.

I've been seeing this more and more... (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by marks on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 05:40:23 AM EST

marks voted 1 on this story.

I've been seeing this more and more lately: stock-owners whining about losing some money. Come on people: you make money with stocks because someone else loses that money, that's how the game works. It's just a big casino, and you shouldn't be whining when you lose, because that was part of the deal.

Re: I've been seeing this more and more... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by CodeWright on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 07:27:41 AM EST

I'd like to start off by saying: "I agree -- money invested in the stock market is a gamble, and people should accept both wins and losses with grace and dignity".

That being said, however, I have to strongly disagree with your statement, to whit:

you make money with stocks because someone else loses that money, that's how the game works.

If you were playing poker, that would be true. However, in the world of capital, it is not a zero-sum game. New wealth is created all the time (like, for example, Linux -- something entirely new -- new wealth.... and, since it is shared, it improves EVERYONE'S standard-of-living).

Although an increase/decrease in the price of one stock can mean corresponding inverse changes in the price of another stock (the movement of capital), the total sum of worth being traded increases over time (barring disaster).



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
I'm not in the mood for more micros... (1.50 / 2) (#12)
by kraant on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 07:48:26 AM EST

kraant voted -1 on this story.

I'm not in the mood for more microsoft articles ATM... sozzy
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

This is an example of what can happ... (3.00 / 1) (#1)
by rongen on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 09:15:48 AM EST

rongen voted 1 on this story.

This is an example of what can happen if you tie your future financial security to a volatile stock. Ahem. Diversify. Ahem.

Also, no-one deserves to have their dreams crushed (well, maybe bad people do), but often things don't work out the way we would like. These people are probably mostly intelligent and resourceful. They will do okay. This is an interesting topic for discussion, and need not be Microsoft-centric either...
read/write http://www.prosebush.com

An intriguing proposition -- is thi... (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by nate on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 09:22:34 AM EST

nate voted 1 on this story.

An intriguing proposition -- is this stealing from the rich to give to the poor? Personally, I like what I do more than what I'm paid for it, but I'm sure most of us would work for Microsoft for a year, if they paid us $1m to do it -- M$ may be a deceptive marketing machine, but Microserfs and similar tales seem to indicate that most people who actually spend time working there enjoy the environment.

This raises some interesting questi... (4.00 / 3) (#55)
by Digambaranath on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 10:28:39 AM EST

Digambaranath voted 1 on this story.

This raises some interesting questions, not only about the human cost of Microsoft's, er, misfortunes, but about the whole business of employee stock options. On the one hand they sound good, a kind of industrial democracy (albeit an extremely watered-down kind), On the other hand, it doesn't make much sense to have a stake in the compnay you work for when you still have no control of what that company is up to.

There are plenty of people with dre... (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by PaddyM on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 11:28:46 AM EST

PaddyM voted -1 on this story.

There are plenty of people with dreams who are unfortunate to never fulfill them. I'm sorry for anyone who doesn't fulfill their dreams, but this story reads the same anywhere, not just from people from Microsoft. It only partially tells one story, and though Fred Moody says "misfortune stories so powerful that they tug not only at the human heart, but at the journalist's, too", I get the feeling that he is bored by the end of the story. "The worst you can say about them is that they made a deal with the Devil . . ." (that's about the worst you can say about anyone.) I think a people joke that Microsoft is the evil empire, but I don't think anyone meant any harm to anyone who works there, so this story is pretty obvious and nothing special.

I've heard a lot of storied like th... (2.00 / 1) (#53)
by General_Corto on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 12:47:59 PM EST

General_Corto voted -1 on this story.

I've heard a lot of storied like these recently, it's being overdone... I think the point is: Don't count your options until they've vested.


I'm spying on... you!

Re: I've heard a lot of storied like th... (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:42:44 AM EST

Actually it should be: Don't count your options, til they're vested, excercised, and sold for profits!

[ Parent ]
Whiners. Gosh, I'm so depressed. N... (1.00 / 1) (#34)
by Saint Zero on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 01:23:28 PM EST

Saint Zero voted 0 on this story.

Whiners. Gosh, I'm so depressed. Not. They knew which way things might go.
---------- Patron Saint of Nothing, really.

I'd like to hear the Microsoftian t... (4.30 / 3) (#50)
by markbark on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 01:51:13 PM EST

markbark voted 1 on this story.

I'd like to hear the Microsoftian take on this.... I didn't hear them voicing concern over the declining stock price of Stac....or Word Perfect.... or Netscape....or... well... you get the picture. The point is... what goes around, comes around. M$ is finding out that Karma can turn around and bite you in the ass. s'pity that Ballmer/Gates/Allen barely feel it. They've already MADE their ExaBucks

so they made wrong choices years ag... (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by del on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 01:57:55 PM EST

del voted -1 on this story.

so they made wrong choices years ago. not my problem. you can do "good things" without the safety of billions.
--
how perfectly goddamned delightful it all is, to be sure

I really like this article because ... (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by extrasolar on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 05:08:01 PM EST

extrasolar voted 1 on this story.

I really like this article because it doesn't take an us versus them stance. The stock market is not something I intend to get involved with. Something them Microsoft employees must have forgotten is that the stock market is still a gamble---even if you are working for Microsoft. Its part of the risk. The US courts have to make these kinds of decisions all the time. More often than not, both sides have much to loose. But the courts duty is the same---to procure the common good. Or in other words, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. I really am sympathetic to the employees of Microsoft. But, you know, that's life. Nothing is guarenteed.

It's not whinging, it's blatant stu... (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by Dangermouse on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 05:28:22 PM EST

Dangermouse voted -1 on this story.

It's not whinging, it's blatant stupidity. "I'll do good, but I've got to get rich first...". Bollocks. One doesn't have to be rich to do good; go ask Mother Teresa if you don't believe me.


-----
No one has "Rights", neither machines nor flesh-and-blood. Persons...have opportunities, not rights, which they do or do not use. - Lazarus Long

Re: It's not whinging, it's blatant stu... (3.50 / 2) (#64)
by CodeWright on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 07:41:47 AM EST

One doesn't have to be rich to do good; go ask Mother Teresa if you don't believe me.

Actually, I would say that it DOES take money to do good. And that the good you can do is somewhat directly proportional to the amount of money (capital) available for that deed. How you get that money is another issue (ie, make it as a tycoon, or solicit charitable contributions).

For example, the driving force in my life is to protect the greater good of humanity by spreading it to the stars (massive redundancy). To do that takes more than good intentions and a smile.

Heck, even Mother Teresa could not have done the good she did without beaucoup money to back up her "good deeds" (gotten initially through the aegis of the Catholic Church, and later through direct contribution as word of her deeds spread).

In the end, no matter what "good" things you want to do, you have to work hard to get the resources to do them (whether that means writing the best software you can, or stoically providing for orphans). Eventually, assuming persistance outweighs disaster over time, success (in the form of available capital) will be the reward of that effort.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that people persisting creatively are inherently adding to the sum of human endeavor, and that their deeds, by that token, are "good". Conversely, people who add nothing to the human condition (always existing on the charity of others) are engaging in an evil act.

In other words, charity is, in a sense, a loan that tries to help someone reach their personal creative plateau, whereupon they can begin to return that "investment" to society through persistent application of their own gifts.

Someone who continues to accept charity without the "good faith" to someday return the favor is a cad and a scoundrel of the worst order.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Hear hear! (none / 0) (#102)
by rusty on Thu Jun 15, 2000 at 02:12:57 AM EST

Ok, this is a stupid "me too" post, and I ought to know better. But I wanted to back you up, and also draw everyone's attention to the fact that you managed to work the phrase "a cad and a scoundrel of the worst order" in there, which I think is damned impressive. Thank you.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Hear hear! (none / 0) (#104)
by CodeWright on Fri Jun 16, 2000 at 06:48:48 AM EST

Thanks!

I've been checking & re-checking this discussion, in the hopes that _someone_ (anyone?) would have something to say regarding the (ri)post(e) I made.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Re: It's not whinging, it's blatant stu... (none / 0) (#91)
by skim123 on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:10:40 PM EST

One doesn't have to be rich to do good; go ask Mother Teresa if you don't believe me

I'll be sure to tell that to my priest next time he asks for tithe!

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
actually mother teresa wasn't exactly poor... (none / 0) (#101)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 14, 2000 at 11:46:06 PM EST

it's been over a year or two since i read about how not poor she was but i believe it was around $30 million US. Some thought she should not have accepted money from some of the people who funded her...

it goes to show that... no one is perfect not even motha teresa and even if you _are_ mother teresa people will find fault in how you do something...



[ Parent ]
At least it's a new take on the old... (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by jetpack on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 05:46:04 PM EST

jetpack voted 1 on this story.

At least it's a new take on the old MSFT thang.
--
/* The beatings will continue until morale improves */

I am sorry that I don't feel much s... (3.50 / 2) (#41)
by AArthur on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 07:25:49 PM EST

AArthur voted 1 on this story.

I am sorry that I don't feel much sympthy for some of the best paid employees in a high paying industry. So what if some don't get to have millions to retire on -- guess what, most of us won't either. I think Moody kind of made a point -- if you make a compact with a company that's know to do sleezy things, you are in for a risk. Microsoft's stock have been overvalued for quite a long time -- multiple sources confirm this.

Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264

An interesting reminder that there ... (2.50 / 2) (#13)
by finlayson on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 07:59:10 PM EST

finlayson voted 1 on this story.

An interesting reminder that there are real people behind this company. Also a reminder that there's no such thing as a sure thing - even when high-tech stocks are involved!

Who cares about Microsoft employees... (4.00 / 3) (#62)
by Marshall on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 08:21:44 PM EST

Marshall voted -1 on this story.

Who cares about Microsoft employees! What about the employees of other companies that Microsoft has buried along the way. "Oh, but I was going to start doing good things once i became wealthy enough to stop serving my evil master Bill Gates!" Fuck them! I hope they are all on welfare a year from now.

Re: Who cares about Microsoft employees... (1.50 / 2) (#67)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 08:58:44 AM EST

And I'm sure the companies you all work for have NEVER done ANYTHING wrong...

[ Parent ]
Oh boy. The "nobody's perfect" argument (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by marlowe on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:46:31 AM EST

"Nobody's perfect, therefore it doesn't matter how bad I am." What kind of person buys into this sort of logic?

Or maybe I'm misjudging the poster. There's a more moderate form: "Nobody's perfect, so that makes what I'm doing somehow less bad." I wouldn't go so far as to call this childish. Adolescent, certainly.

It's a good bet that few of the other companies are nearly as sleazy as this one.

--- I will insist on my right to question ---
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Re: Oh boy. The "nobody's perfect" argu (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:16:38 PM EST


how about this:

let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone.

[ Parent ]
Re: Oh boy. The "nobody's perfect" argu (none / 0) (#85)
by bobsquatch on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 05:02:40 PM EST

Jesus: "Mommmm... you always ruin everything!"


[ Parent ]
Tell that to the judge. (none / 0) (#87)
by marlowe on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 06:46:02 PM EST

Remind him of all the times he forced shoddy software products on helpless consumers for his own gain.

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but we're just flinging words here. (And some of the words make more sense than others.) So this talk about throwing stones is rather disingenuous, don't you think?

--- I will insist on my right to question ---
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
This story is obviously a lie; No o... (2.25 / 4) (#8)
by Perpetual Newbie on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 08:24:20 PM EST

Perpetual Newbie voted -1 on this story.

This story is obviously a lie; No one has ever earned below best-case scenario profits in the stock market. Ask any Republican.

Feel sorry for them? I don't care ... (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by kovacsp on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 11:15:18 PM EST

kovacsp voted 1 on this story.

Feel sorry for them? I don't care if they were going to give it all to freaking charity! Anybody with a moral and economic conscience knows that Microsoft does bad things. I wouldn't feel any more pity for these people if they were government spooks! Or hired assassins for that matter. As far as I'm concerned, they made their choices, they should live with the consequences.

I think this might be something tha... (2.00 / 1) (#54)
by dto on Sun Jun 11, 2000 at 11:50:49 PM EST

dto voted 1 on this story.

I think this might be something that hasn't recieved enough attention, especially if what ESR has written about Microsoft's financial games is true. ( I think this was in a recent Linux Journal.)
--- @@@ dto@gnu.org @@@ GNU OCTAL @@@ http://www.gnu.org/software/octal

Yeah, sure, okay. The problem here ... (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by Field Marshall Stack on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:13:42 AM EST

Field Marshall Stack voted 1 on this story.

Yeah, sure, okay. The problem here is that everyone would be more prosperous if Microsoft didn't use its deeply slimy tactics to ruin everyone else's day. I'll take a thriving middle class over a few philanthropic millionaires any day of the week.
--
Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork

ok, even evil empire employees have... (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by starvo on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:26:23 AM EST

starvo voted 1 on this story.

ok, even evil empire employees have souls too, we can't think big bad bill is the onle and only Microsoftie. Good read.
=---------------------------------- -My views are mine, -and not that of my employer -unBOLT the email addry to mail me =----------------------------------

should i feel sorry for then? fuck ... (1.28 / 7) (#46)
by nickb on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 03:13:18 AM EST

nickb voted 1 on this story.

should i feel sorry for then? fuck no!

Yeah the ones in prison.... (4.00 / 3) (#65)
by joeyo on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 07:44:28 AM EST

I'll tell you which Microsoft employees I feel sorry for: the ones in prison!

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

Microsoft uses prison labor? (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by marlowe on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:49:25 AM EST

Part of me really loves this. The part that loves a rich opportunity for countless cheap shots. But no. There's plenty of legitimate reasons to slam Microsoft.

--- I will insist on my right to question ---
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Sorry, that's the breaks (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by finkployd on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 08:41:36 AM EST

Many good comments have been made, basically I don't feel sorry for these people for a few reasons.
1. I didn't see them feeling sorry for Netscape, DR-DOS, Sun, etc.

2. If you base your imcome on potential stock earnings, you take a risk. If you were dumb enough to think that Microsoft would rule the world forever, then you should have studied more history in college.

3. They can get another job. One that pays well. Microsoft DOES hire well educated people (who are a little clueless about stock options), so I'm sure you could get in somewhere else.

4. Welcome to the real world, Microsoft employees.

Finkployd




Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Ha ha. (1.50 / 2) (#68)
by ksandstr on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 08:59:13 AM EST

I'd say that's what you get from working for an evil & immoral company. No sympathy from me.




Fin.
Most MS employees aren't evil (4.00 / 3) (#69)
by El Volio on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 09:37:38 AM EST

Let's remember that the majority of MS employees are not evil folk, out to rule the world. They're regular people who work for bosses that, at least at the higher levels, make decisions that have now been ruled illegal, and that many of us have considered unethical for a long time.

I'm not saying that all lower-level employees are totally innocent, but let's be honest with ourselves: How many of us are proud of everything our company has done? Maybe those who are independently employed or work for a small company where the owner is still a 'regular guy', but there's a lot of us in a different situation. I work for a large phone company (which one isn't important), and there are times when I'm not real proud of some things the company does. But then again, I'm just working in internal IT, and >90% of the people I work with every day are just doing their jobs, trying to keep the internal network running.

I know enough folks at MS to be sure that the same is true there. Don't confuse the corporation with the entire employee base.

Most WWII German soldiers weren't evil... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by marlowe on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:32:06 AM EST

at least not by the standard being used here.

The fact remains, they should have known better. They abdicated responsibility by refusing to think. That may not be supervillain grade Evil, but it sure as hell ain't good.

The same goes for Microsoft employees. And for Dr. Evil's poor henchman who got his head eaten off by those sea bass.

--- I will insist on my right to question ---
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
Live by the sword, die by the sword. (3.30 / 3) (#70)
by whuppy on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 09:39:06 AM EST

And while we're at it, isn't it a shame that all those nice Germans didn't get to settle into those vast tracts of Poland and Russia that they were counting on; they were going to do such nice things with the land once they had driven everybody else out.

Skip the moralizing (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by error 404 on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:30:10 AM EST

I'm five years past my planned retirement age.

I had a job where part of the compensation was in stock, and if things had gone anywhere near to plan, I would have been living in Chiapas when the war broke out. But I would have been down there enjoying the scenery and culture while employing quite a few people who would otherwise be much worse off and revolting. Heck, I might have helped prevent a civil war. The civil war part wasn't in my plan, but the rest was.

The company didn't do anything evil. But it didn't work out, and we all had to move on. None of us has made the big money, with the possible exception of this one real slimeball that I've lost track of. The govornment shut down the company in the end, for tax problems.

Don't feel sorry for me. My dreams were as worthy as they come, I worked as hard as anyone. It just didn't work out, and I'm still working toward other dreams. The way it didn't work out kept me from being shot at, probably by both the rebels and the PRI. Life is like that.

Yeah, it's kind of sad that some people at Microsoft had their plans fall through. But, damn, what reality do you come from where there are supposed to be sure things? When the steel mills crashed in the '80s and people who had worked 30 or 40 years had their sure thing go away, they had something to complain about.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

Not just employees (3.50 / 2) (#73)
by ubu on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:36:39 AM EST

My grandfather (70-odd years old) and his wife are Microsoft investors. Much of their retirement savings have been forcibly devalued by the federal government in this breakup. He spends a large portion of his time visiting local prisons to encourage and minister to inmates and their families. He actually started the local Prison Fellowship in Hartford, CN. At this point we don't know how much the MSFT devaluation will affect his financial independence. Ubu
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
Visit Chuck Schwab... (none / 0) (#94)
by rusty on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 12:48:26 AM EST

Any investment counselor will tell you not to put most of your investment money in one company, no matter what company it is. And any half-decent one will tell you not to put very much of your retirement in the stock market, which is all over the map right now. And, furthermore, any counselelor who isn't a total drooling idiot will tell you not to put any money in high tech, unless you can afford to lose it.

I'm sorry about your grandparents. I hope they don't panic and sell now, when they're underwater. I fully expect that MS stock will gain back all it's value, and then some. It's still a big company (er, *two* big companies) with a whole lot of ready cash, and a lot of really smart folks.

And I hope they fired whoever told them to put a significant part of their savings in a tech stock.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Oops (2.80 / 4) (#77)
by ubu on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:51:08 AM EST

Should've read the rest of the comments before I posted my own. Apparently, I've stumbled into the midst of the most sinister demagogues I've ever encountered, the general consensus being that Microsoft employees shouldn't have invested in a "volatile" company. I suppose it's of no account that the federal government forcibly devalued that company's stock, and that it had provided consistently outstanding shareholder value for two decades prior to that action.

No joke, this site's readers are the Nazis of the new millenium. You people are just despicable. Go ahead, submit another article about "rights" and "privacy", O Lovers of Freedom. This is some kind of sick fascist masquerade, like Mussolini parading as a human rights activist.

Ubu

"Utter destitution is too good for them -- they should all be herded into cattle cars and sent to forced labor camps in Arkansas."
--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
Forcibly devalued? (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by error 404 on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:37:55 PM EST

There is no mechanism in place to force devaluation of a stock. Yes, the govornment action resulted (apparently) in a reduction in stock price. The company was operating in an illegal fashion, and steps are being taken to move the company into compliance. There is not even punishment involved. And, frankly, whether the govornment is right or wrong here, anyone who didn't see it coming has no business investing in the software industry. The findings of fact came out a long time ago (paradoxicaly, the stock went UP on the news) and the findings of law several weeks ago. If you didn't know Microsoft was about to get in some kind of trouble, you were under a rock. Under a rock is fine - but if you are under a rock, your money should be in the bank, not the stock market. The only people who lost money and have any right to complain are those who had it in mutual funds. And they need to complain to their fund managers, who should have sold quite a while ago, unless they are holding out for the long-term.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
Re: Forcibly devalued? (none / 0) (#90)
by skim123 on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 10:04:34 PM EST

There is no mechanism in place to force devaluation of a stock

One way to send Microsoft stock to near-zero value: have Bill Gates announce that he plans on selling all of his shares.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Re: Oops (none / 0) (#84)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 04:52:29 PM EST

Have you ever heard the phrase "past results do not guarantee future performance?" Apparently MSFT employees never have. Counting on stock options for your retirement is a risky business.

There is a reason why MSFT gives so much compensation in the form of stock options. Specifically it is so they can have the best of both worlds - take tax cuts as if the options were actual compensation, while at the same time ignoring the same stock options when figuring their bottom line. This is the type of accounting they have been doing for years. From what I've read, if their methods were consistent, they would't have shown a profit since the release of Win95. You won't find this in the mainstream media, and it may not be entirely accurate, but the point is that they are not nearly as profitable as they would have us believe.

However, putting aside my contempt for MSFT, I don't think the stock will actually stay low. When (If?) they split, then stockholders will presumably hold stock in TWO companies with virtual monopolies. How is that a bad thing? IMHO, now would be the time to buy more MSFT. But then again, what do I know?

[ Parent ]
Re: Oops (none / 0) (#93)
by rusty on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 12:43:48 AM EST

Ha! Two other responses so far, and no one even took offense at being called "the Nazis of the new millenium". I take that as proof that this is indeed where all the troll-proof readers from slashdot went. ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Common sense investing strategy (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by KindBud on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:11:29 PM EST

Diversify, diversify, diversify.

I've only been investing in stocks for a year or so, but I already know this lesson well.

FWIW, almost all my options in the dot-com I work for are under water. Still believe it will come back, only question is when. But I am not counting on that money to arrive at any particular time.

<brag class=pointless>Hey, how about that AXP? Bought at split-adjusted 41 back in March. Did I call it or what? :)</brag>

--
just roll a fatty

From a MSFT employee (4.50 / 2) (#81)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 12:51:30 PM EST

Most of our compensation is from stock options so it is very devistating to have the stock drop like this. MSFT pays in the 50 percentile which is not high at all. We depend on stocks to live.

Also the cost of housing in the East-side rivals the most expensive spots in San Francisco. I paid $250,000 for a 1500 sq foot home (cottage rather) which is 25 miles from work. Anything closer was way out of my price range.

As part of our recruiting team I am having a tough time landing new recruits because they don't want to work for so little money.

Final note: Both MSFT and its employees give more money to charity than any other company bar none. We are a generous bunch which may seem hard to believe but it's true.

If the government and our competitors break us apart and destroy the company, so be it. I'm not losing sleep over it. We're talented, smart folks who will all land on our feet. See you on the other side!

Re: From a MSFT employee (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 05:44:00 PM EST

Are you in debt? Some people pay $140,000 for a medical education. Forget house, that's just the MD degree, and in most states, that's still not enough to practice legally. I don't cry over that, because that's what I want to do. I know I'm getting screwed, and it's my fault--I didn't get into a better school, I didn't get into a local/state school, and iit's in an expensive area of the country (Washington, DC), etc. Part of the reason for the latter is because I'm capable and willing to pay so much--I'm fortunate enough because I can.

The fact is, you paid $250,000 for that house because someone knows you are willing to do so. And you did. It's not because the cost of doing business in Redmond costs much, it's because you are willing to pay that. MS created that problem and you *are* part of MS.

You chose to work at Microsoft. Part of your view and responsibility was looking at your financial future, including whether the company was doing right or wrong in implementing its biz practice (as that ties into your financial planning). You, in a sense, gambled. You lost this round.

Tough. That's life. Just like the kid that is 24 that leaves med school half-way through and $80,000 in debt, like some I know because they realized the MD, thanks to the HMO economy, is not for them despite they care to care.

Talented, smart people are a dime a dozen, unfortunately, in today's good economy. I'm sure you'll do well, but doing exceptional or being truly generous, well, that demands far more than money. See, it's easy to say, "Hey, we give the *most* amount of money around." Your company is worth billions and billions *still*. What *percentage* of your net worth have you given away? That's the real question you should be asking. And besides simply money or purchases, what else have you given away? Your time? Mentoring?

[ Parent ]
Re: From a MSFT employee (none / 0) (#103)
by mikeyo on Thu Jun 15, 2000 at 03:52:35 AM EST

Talented, smart people are a dime a dozen, unfortunately, in today's good economy.

What is unfortunate about that?

[ Parent ]
Re: From a MSFT employee (none / 0) (#96)
by bos on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 04:04:44 AM EST

East side of Seattle as expensive as San Francisco? I don't think so. You couldn't buy a 1500sqft house here for less than $800K unless you lived under a freeway overpass, and *condos* go for that much in most of the half-decent neighbourhoods in town. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure that housing prices in Seattle suck, but they for damn sure don't suck nearly as much as SF.

[ Parent ]
Re: From a MSFT employee (none / 0) (#105)
by johan on Fri Jun 23, 2000 at 04:51:33 AM EST

"Final note: Both MSFT and its employees give more money to charity than any other company bar none."

I'd be really interested to see some hard data behind this. I'm not trying to be overly-critical. I know that many people in the SF-Bay, Seattle and other areas are making siginificant charitable donations. I'd just like to see it substantiated with actual data from a fairly-reputable survey or study, if you can cite one.

[ Parent ]

I'm struggling with the reality of this (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 02:58:59 PM EST

Is this a bad thing because options from MS shouldn't really be considered options and instead should be guranteed? Or is this a bad thing because compensation otherwise isn't better than average. Any of us in the tech sector have seen our options and our actual equity drop in recent months and believe it or not - - we didn't have the EXPECTATION that we'd cash out @ 40 and save the world and open art galleries and stuff. Awwww - they didn't get to go on that 6 month trip to see the Gorillas after starting a foundation. Gee what a shame for them and for the whole world. I guess they'll just have to work for a living.

petition (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by mihalis on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 08:46:44 PM EST

Those poor people at Microsoft have been unfairly treated. I'm so upset about this I think we should organise a petition!

We should persuade the lawmakers to let Microsoft do just a little more innovating and delivering great value to the the customer until all the good people at Microsoft can dump their shares at absurdly high valuations to get on with what they really want to before they get punished.

I'm asking for suggestions on which targets they should meet before the law starts to bite.

Here are some suggestions :

Let them finish off killing Netscape (cutting off their air supply as they called it) so that they can control web standards

Similarly, Quicktime should die (knife the baby as Bill Gates put it).

Kerberos and DNS should be brought under their rightful control. They already have the polluted implementations right now.

One more Office product churn. One thing that would pump up their revenues would be a complete set of incompatible file formats for Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc based on some highly marketed extra features. They are probably close to launching this anyway. All they need is infection vectors into the top 1000 global companies (CEOs and CTOs, that kind of thing) and some breathing room from the trial and they will be able to screw their customers over worldwide yet again.

Any other sugestions?

Chris Morgan
-- Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>

Re: petition (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by mihalis on Mon Jun 12, 2000 at 09:24:34 PM EST

Sorry to followup my own post, but it seems Microsoft are organising their own petitions in their favour using organisations they control :

For example, take a look at this New York Times article on the topic.

Chris Morgan
-- Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>
[ Parent ]

Let's have a protest! (none / 0) (#95)
by rusty on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 12:50:28 AM EST

"Two! Four! Six! Eight! We MUST be FREE to IN-no-VATE!"

I can see it now...

ROFL. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: petition (none / 0) (#97)
by farlukar on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 06:29:26 AM EST

Any other sugestions?
Well... Corel is already taking action.
They fired 320 of their employers.
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
It's not just Microsoft (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 12:23:26 AM EST

Microsoft is not the only company to have the options ceiling rise above employee's heads. All of the smaller .coms had this hit not too long ago (mostly the ones with little prospect of making money).

The thing is, if your options are currently worthless, don't take it on the chin, negotiate. Go to your manager and say, "look, I had some expectation of value here, and forces beyond my control have put my options underwater. I would like a new grant at the current price."

If they don't like it, you have the same two choices you had before: stay or go.

Don't just look at it as an immutably bad situation.

They can have my sympathy... (none / 0) (#100)
by Rasputin on Tue Jun 13, 2000 at 05:31:45 PM EST

when they can prove they are more worthy than I am to be filthy rich ;)

I have zero sympathy for those "poor souls" at MS and not specifically because they work at MS, but because that's life. I also currently work for a large hi-tech company and most of my options are underwater. The fact that I could certainly do good things with the money (I am heavily involved in the local aboriginal community and helping at the local friendship centre would be a good job for me to retire into) doesn't change the fact that the company I work for is not obligated to make me a millionaire. Fortunately, I had been down this road before so I made sure the actual pay would be adequate to support me and my family. The options are just a nice touch, and I expect they will be valuable at some future point.

A few years ago, I retired from the military and went to work for a small start up here in town that was being backed by a larger and established company. The deal was that for a substantially reduced pay I would, after certain milestones were reached, own 20% of the company. I admired what the company was trying to do (advance hi-tech careers and options within the aboriginal community)and the prospects were really good. Unfortunately, the person running the company was not really the best person for the job. I eventually left, with a fairly nasty personal debt-load (remember the reduced pay?) and not much else. When I left, the company was rapidly going downhill, so I left without 20% of the company (or it's potential future debt) and a better appreciation of the dangers of accepting stock (real or virtual) in lieu of pay.

The fact that I have no sympathy for MS employees learning the same lesson I did in a very similar way, doesn't make me a Nazi (contrary to what someone else might think). I might feel sorry for the unfortunate timing of one individual (the guy who was waiting for his options to be sold when they tanked), but I cannot feel anything but disgust for the balance of the MS employees if they think they had some right to retire young and wealthy merely by virtue of working at MS.

To quote a popular rock tune, "Get over it!".

P.S. I know I'm sort of responding to a troll, but I never commented at 'that other site' so I wanted to see what it feels like ;)
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Microsoft Employees are Hurting | 105 comments (105 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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