So now it gets personal?

January 15 2005

Microsoft's Jim Bernardo apparently couldn't wait to attack me on his new MSN Spaces blog.  "Never judge a book by its cover", he says...

My friend (though he probably wouldn't acknowledge me as a friend) and ex-Lotus colleague Ed Brill has a blog ( which is ostensibly about, as he puts it on his blog, "Collaboration, technology, travel, and more", where he spends unbelievable amounts of time twisting, turning, quoting out of context, and just generally finding any way he can to ridicule Microsoft, without really caring (it seems to me) whether he's being fair, or more fundamentally and importantly, accurate.  Ed even does a session every year at Lotusphere called "The Boss Loves Microsoft: Where Does That Leave Lotus?," which is basically his annual "let's get together and have a laugh at Microsoft's expense" session. ...
...[T]he one thing which Microsoft does better than any company I've ever worked for in any industry is its single-minded focus on continuous improvement -- not just in products, not just in technology, but in business. ... Instead of ridiculing it, Ed, you maybe ought to try and figure out what you can learn from it to make yourself a better businessman.
Of course, I've just quoted Jim "out of context", I suppose.  I'm happy to have you all read his full blog entry and decide for yourself.

As an example of how I quote things out of context, Bernardo attacks my recent entry regarding MSN Spaces, where I credited Microsoft with being so very good at staying on message, even when that message isn't necessarily credible in the market.  I note with some irony that anyone can freely comment on my blog, yet Jim has offered nothing here (nor anyone else from Microsoft or WaggEd, despite constant daily visits).  There is an anonymous comment as the first entry in that thread; one which I wondered about at the time and had quite a lot of difficulty tracing (ultimately to what looks like an anonymous URL redirector).  Not sure if there is a correlation between the anonymous comment, which is accurate but something only someone with inside information would know, and this attack.  

Anyway, moving on to Jim's point, he says that without quoting Gates' next two lines from the interview, that I've taken it out of context.  Jim, you've missed my point.  My point was that Gates insults the reader by saying that those initial spaces, how ever many there are, have a 1:1 correlation with people.  MS has made similar 1:1 claims for Hotmail, MSN Messenger, etc., yet we all know that the spammers have spun up hundreds of Hotmail addresses, multiple screen names, etc.

That's just the one example Jim decided to throw back at me.  He also says,
I don't mind a fair fight -- I never have.  But if your idea of a fair fight is to bring a knife to a fistfight and jump me from behind, then who's credible and who's not?
Jim, it's not like I'm jumping anyone from behind.  This blog, my session at Lotusphere, etc. -- is very rarely pure opinion or conjecture, and they are all out in public for you to rebut.  If Dave Thompson hadn't given me so many good quotes this year, or CNET hadn't run their "Outlook horror stories" series, or you hadn't hired "analysts" to write less-than-credible research reports, maybe you'd see me filling some competitive space with opinion.  But how can you claim that bogus analyst reports are a "fair fight"?  How about when an ex-Loti colleague of yours incorrectly declared Lotuscript abandoned at this time a year ago, and you were apologetic about it at LS2004 (and LS2005 is going to prove that assertion terribly incorrect)?

As this blog becomes more popular and more visible, I'm learning to let a lot of unreasonable criticism go, especially when the criticism is on a blog that nobody reads.  But with Microsoft sending a whole crew of ex-Loti to Lotusphere ostensibly with a "peace, love, and integration" message, it's important that you know the mindset that exists behind it.  They were the they're the groupies, and they obviously don't come entirely in peace.

Oh, and as for "better businessman" -- the number 1468 springs to mind.  You'll hear that number again at Lotusphere.

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