February 08, 2003

Rebranding, the Microsoft way

I saw a poster in a hallway on the Microsoft campus in Redmond last week while attending the WS-I BP work group meeting which brought a smile to my face.

Recently there has been a rebranding move at Microsoft so what was previously called "Windows .NET Server 2003" is now known as just "Windows Server 2003". A general awareness / publicity poster in the hallway for the "Server 2003" program had been carefully folded in the middle to hide the ".NET" bit of the name which has now been dropped. At one point in the week, the Blue-Tack or Scotch tape holding the fold closed came loose to reveal the ".NET" part inside the fold, so somebody dutifully re-stuck it again.

Imagine if you can the Marketing Department of the richest software company in the world not being able to afford to reprint those posters! Well, it made me smile anyway ;-)

There were also some other posters in the hallways which rate a mention too I think. Apparently there is a big push at Microsoft at the moment to encourage a better work / life balance, and there are several posters promoting and encouraging this effort.

At face value, some of these posters may be seen as slightly strange - promoting ideas like chatting or eating lunch with people you don't work directly with, or even just visiting the museum or art gallery. Some people will probably try to diss Microsoft for these efforts, with statements along the lines of "needing to teach MicroSofties how to be Human", but I think Microsoft actually deserves some praise and credit here.

All companies (especially high tech ones) struggle to a greater or lesser extent with the problem of workaholism, with the working life eating into people's private lives too much, and other generally family-unfriendly activities and expectations in the workplace.

As a test, ask yourself this - does the company you work for have policies or programs in place to actively support Working Fathers? If not, then cut Microsoft some slack here, because at least they're trying!

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Entry categories: Microsoft
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at February 8, 2003 11:00 PM - [PermaLink]
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