Public Apology to Steve Sinofsky – My Bad.

On Saturday morning, I was in a 1:1 email thread with Steve Sinofsky talking about a few things regarding Microsoft and .NET (mainly what is the future of .NET Framework). In the back and forth Steve stated that he thought my name-calling was unprofessional and that I should at the very least treat him like a human.
“..Dont respect me.  Just act like a human.  Dont say things you would not say to a person face to face in front of others…”
That bugged me a little, as in the end, he was right It was uncalled for from my end. I tell people from time to time that one of the biggest things I disliked inside Microsoft was the bullying behavior that took place. I found the overall behavior of watching someone verbally and emotionally beat others down to be a toxic thing to witness and is why I believe good ideas never rise to the top – yet – here I am via this blog doing the very thing I cannot stand to someone with whom I have a disagreement with in strategy & execution. I mean I teach my own son that this behaviors not acceptable yet here I am doing it. (Shameful). There is no need for me to call him names via blog posts and it is probably a good reminder for me that despite my strong disagreements with Steve’s choices in the manner of .NET community in the end he does have one positive thing that I am in firm agreement with – consolidation of the brands. Windows 8 and so on may or may not be a success and we can pick over the bones all we want but we all mist collectively admit that the first time in the history of Microsoft (that I can remember) the branding and product teams do show outward signs of alignment (which is rare). That all being said, I submit my humble and firm apology to Mr Sinofsky for any remarks or Photoshop doctoring of images and will not continue this behavior. Scott Out.

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  • guest

    Kudos to you for admitting a mistake and also to Steven for engaging directly. That shows class on both sides. Reasonable people can disagree on strategy and direction without resorting to ad hominems or questioning motivations.

  • Even if you opologize, that doesn’t hide the fact that it’s very likely that W8 will fail, they have pledged to the HTML-free-software community, the problem of this community is that it is very difficult to have a pricing model, because they want every thing free. For a company It’s not enough being popular, it’s necessary to be sustainable.

  • anonymous

    Why so serious all of a sudden? This is your personal blog not some place where you have to be politically correct or professional or whatever. You don’t have to satisfy some other person’s qualifications for professionalism, do you?

    No offense ( it’s a compliment ) but you don’t strike me as a grown up, mature, political person Scott and I actually like that. I thought of you much more like a bro who does silly ( read fun ) things and laugh at boner/fart jokes.

    Since when it’s wrong to photoshop someones pictures for a good laugh? It’s the whole reason al gore invented the internet for god’s sake. ( and boobs )

    That being said, if you want to be a nice guy, awesome. It’s great that you can come up and admit your mistakes like a man, I really appreciate that. Manly, classy, nice, “professional”… It’s just that I don’t believe in those “virtues”

  • anthonyb

    So, .NET’s future is…hhmmm….”consolidated” ??

  • It clearly bothered him for starters. He repeated it more than once in nearly all the emails. I guess for me its easy to target people who you never meet/interact with pranks / jokes etc but when it obviously affects them and they ask for it to stop then, well stop.

    Jokes gone to far etc.

    As for my maturity 🙂 *shrug* I get senior roles but i always feel uncomfortable in these roles as I like to not take life so serious which often leads me to joke around or make comments like the ones I do on my blog.

    In this case, I’m wrong so I’m not going to cower about it, admit your wrong, apologise and move on.

  • It clearly bothered him for starters. He repeated it more than once in nearly all the emails. I guess for me its easy to target people who you never meet/interact with pranks / jokes etc but when it obviously affects them and they ask for it to stop then, well stop.

    Jokes gone to far etc.

    As for my maturity 🙂 *shrug* I get senior roles but i always feel uncomfortable in these roles as I like to not take life so serious which often leads me to joke around or make comments like the ones I do on my blog.

    In this case, I’m wrong so I’m not going to cower about it, admit your wrong, apologise and move on.

  • I dunno, maybe win8 may succeed.. mobility is just so sketchy right now that anyone company can dominate here given the variables at play. I dont think W8 will light-up desktop deployment like we’ve seen with Win7 but tablets?… i dunno… she could still make it….*could*

    As for developers..yeah.. i mean the C#->JS does look nice (ie calling C# code from JS) but…JS… JS is just a bad bandaid to a broken limb

  • agreed. it was stupid of me.

  • I too had a REAL problem with the way Steven handled the transition away from SL to Metro. I thought he generated a culture of shutting people up about things that didn’t rise to the level of causing competitive issues, but would have been appropriate communication to MS’s customers(Devs).
    However, if you commit a crime, you need to make up for it in a BIG way, and while we will never forget how we got here, he’s done an admirable job!
    I never thought he could win me over again, but Windows 8, and more specifically Metro are things of beauty, both tecnically and artistically.
    I notice that some people are wondering if Windows 8 is going to be a success. Well, I can guarantee you that Windows 8 WILL be widly successful!
    However, I do think it will struggle a bit early on, simply because of the lack of apps, and the disjointed rollout of the OS and tools. Why MS doesn’t make sure that developers that are in their own development programs don’t get a copy of the best version of Windows 8 is a mystery to me.
    The people that will go out and promote the product the most, and will build additional apps, are pointed to a 90 day site?
    I don’t expect them to do everything right, so that’s a small rant, but it will contribute to slower initial sales. Having said that, I fully expect to see Windows 8 put MAJOR pressure on iPad next year.
    Now, Windows Phone for me is the one to worry about. The 3 Screens theory isn’t fully fleshed out, IMO, and Windows Phone in on shakey ground, but we’ll see…

  • Fizzal

    The whole SL/WPF debacle has driven many devs from MS (many of whom lost their jobs), once they are gone and they aren’t coming back. With SL MS owns the dev tools (Win/VS) and the backend (server & SQL) and 99% of the clients, with HTML/JS they own nothing. Once the devs have no need for VS they dont need windows and the rest of the enterprise will follow. 99% of somting is better than 100% of nothing.

    Hey Steve, if you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, and duck everyone over, expect to get called a duck.

    Scott please keep standing up for the dev community, because without some help there will not be one.

  • Thanks for vocalizing this, I’ve said the exact same thing repeatedly over the past 6 months. It’s baffling to me unless Microsoft can come up with some compelling reason to use their infrastructure and tools in the HTML/JS world. I’ve seen so many highly visible people moving to node.js and Microsoft has absolutely no story there except that it might run almost decently on Azure or IIS.

    I’ll forgive everything if I make a ton of money on Win8/WP8 development but it looks like that may be the only compelling reason to use MS tools going forward.

  • D

    OK, apologize for the antics, but not for the content. The Steves have run many talented people out of Microsoft or capped them in the knees to shut them up. They shut down any and all knowledge sharing discourse from the blogs, and stuck it to the devs with the ‘strategy shi(f)t’. I guess no apology needed for the morass they caused by their tactics – chalk it up to strictly business – eh. I wonder if they offered the same level of courtesy to the departments they devoured, drained, destroyed or the peoples’ lives they totally messed with by their tactics. I don’t see any apologies from them for their behavior.

  • Native Nate

    If you’re talking to Steve about the future of .NET, please broaden the discussion to the future of the desktop in general. .NET is an enterprise dev tool, IMHO, not an ISV tool. I work for an ISV, and I want enhancements on the native side. I want to use XAML with C++ on the desktop side. In talking with MSFT development support about WPF, it seemed like they were hearing from a lot of people (not just me) that had a lot of native code around that they needed to work with, and that was a barrier to adopting WPF. Supposedly we’re having a native code renaissance. Well, when will we have native/C++ renaissance in the form of a modern desktop app dev framework?

  • I think a lot of that “they want everything free” theory is sound only because collectively, devs want to be popular. Even at the expense of the cost associated with their own work.

    Think about all the stories you’ve heard of developers deciding to give their software away for free and then blame “piracy” as the cause. How does this solve the problem? It doesn’t. But it does increase downloads in a way that is easier to track.

    It’s a hive-minded race to the bottom in some ways, but I don’t think it has to be that way no matter what the pricing expectations are of the users. The trick is to not devalue it. Water is generally free too, but there are people who are willing to pay for it if you put it in a bottle.

  • As a technical head in a SL project, I confess you can’t imagine how difficult is for us to find/hire a skilled xaml dev. They barely know C#, aspnet and linq, but they have not a clue of xaml, mvvm, not even talk about async or rx. Maybe thery are awaiting to learn some new technology in a new project, and what they’ll come up is with a mess of webforms, ajax, and poorly designed mvc, due to timeframes.
    My question is, do people deserves this low (room for improvement) quality software
    just because it can run in html standard?

  • AS147

    A value I try to instill in my children that may be appropriate here, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”
    Hey Scott, after the last few months of reading pure drivel from the “popular” press/bloggers out there I dispaired for and thought integrity led journalism and some level of intelligence. It had got so bad I gave up responding in thread posts. Now if you knew how I enjoyed the to and fro of thread debate you would realise how bad things have got. In many instances I have stopped reading stories by particular authors and in others I have stopped subscribing to the site.
    It is based on the huge volume of vendor/product bashing that is going on and the rampant anti MS bias that has caused me to react this way. Whilst I am not a fanboy I realise how hard it is to please everyone and these writers (I use the term very loosely) have just got into such a fever of bashing there is no logic or journalistic value in their articles any more.
    Then I came across your site. Having never heard of you before I listened to your vodcast disecting and interpreting the MS roadmap in November and immediately subscribed. Whilst I heard critiscism I also heard informed and in the main balanced output.
    Posting what you have here further confirms my belief that this is a rare site where real information (rather than baseless speculation) and informed supposition can produce a valuable output.
    Well done sir and having recently converted to being a fellow Aussie – Good on yer mate.

  • AS147

    If only Paul Thurrot and Mary Jo could show equal class. I saw their vodcast where they basically danced on his grave and spent almost an hour bitching about the man. This was all based on self interest because he was black balling them when he was at MS. It dropped my view of the two of them to a degree where I rarely visit their site any longer.

  • Best comment ever. After just reading Paul Thurrot’s fair but even handed beating on my recent post, this comment did make me feel that warm after glow of “well…there you go, that was nice to read” moment 🙂

  • AS147

    You have set a standard that now needs to be maintained.
    Lets hope you are up to it 😉