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It Must Suck To Be Ray

It would suck to be Raymond Vardanega right now.  Raymond is the mid level marketing manager at Acer’s subsidiary in Australia who fed Smarthouse’s David Richards the rumour that up to 60% of Windows Vista code was to be rewritten for launch. When the blogging world told Dave he was full of baloney, he trotted out mail from poor old Ray as his source. Ray’s mail, which Dave quotes, leaves one wondering whether he actually knows anything at all.

The decision to delay Vista into the consumer market will have an impact on hardware sales particularly in the Media Centre market. We have been told that Microsoft has bought in programmers from the Xbox team to work on the problems. We have also been told that up to 60% of the code will have some form of re writing or changes made. We are told that Microsoft is concerned at the impact that the delay will have on hardware manufacturers. We have raised our concerns directly with Microsoft.

He writes "We have been told" three times, and then states that they have raised their concerns directly with Microsoft.  Told by whom?  Why the need to confirm, if it’s Microsoft telling him?

More importantly, why would Ray be privy to Microsoft’s internal engineering plans?  Citing Ray as the source of information about Microsoft’s internal engineering plans is like asking the marketing manager at the local MacDonald’s franchise for information on recipe changes that McDonald’s bun supplier is planning for the next year.  He doesn’t know.  He just knows he’s going to get buns to build burgers with.   Similarly, because of his role, Ray’s just not that credible as a source.  Like a lot of people, he knows that Vista will be delayed.  What else does he need to know?

By the way, Phil Sims blog Squash is a good, local, on the ground in Australia, view of all this.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Alec March 25, 2006, 6:12 pm

    Haven't seen it pd.

  • Larry Borsato March 25, 2006, 6:55 pm

    Actually a better analogy is that the McDonald’s has been expecting to sell healthier buns to their customers, when the bun supplier announces that the buns will be late. You wanna bet that every franchise owner is aware of the situation.

    In every large company I’ve ever worked with, my customers were exceeedingly well informed, often knowing ahead of me what other divisions of my own company were up to. And it makes sense. The key customers had multiple points of contact and sources of information. It wasn’t always perfectly accurate, but it was often better than that which my own company communicated to me. After all, they tell their customers what they need to know about their products, while the they may not pass that information along to other people in other divisions of their own company.

    And then those customers pass that information around their own companies, where it may lose some of the facts, leading to comments like “60% of Vista is being rewritten”, as opposed to a possible 60% of the code has issues that need to be resolved.

    I’d assume that Acer is a key Vista customer after all. You used to work for Microsoft didn’t you? Are you saying that you knew more than Microsoft’s key customers about every aspect of Microsoft’s products?

  • Alec March 25, 2006, 7:05 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Larry. Someone at Acer head office in Taiwan, I am sure, was formally informed by their OEM account rep in Redmond, about the delay. Citing that person would have made Dave Richards’ story more credible.

    I worked in the Windows group, by the way. Even if we had wanted to know, it would have been impossible to categorically state that x% of the product needed a rewrite. It just didn’t get developed that way. Nor have I ever seen any software engineering organization deliver stats like that.

  • /pd March 25, 2006, 8:44 pm

    Any pointers to a .pdf or screen scrap of the actual email ?? I am searching for the root converstations -nowhere am I seeing this.. its a bundle of strings all put together which camoflogues how the hypthesis of 60% code rewrite is being driven…..

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