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Old 10-12-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
salasi
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Microsoft salary wibble


OK, my understanding may be a bit out of date, but this is how I understand things:
  • Microsoft don't really pay top salaries for programmers and techies
  • People who work for Microsoft often get stock options which can be very valuable while the price of Microsoft stock is going up and can partially or wholly compensate for the previous item
  • There is a credit crunch, and general finance market consternation, which isn't generally a particularly good thing
  • However, for this and other reasons the price of Microsoft shares hasn't been particularly exciting recently and over the past few days has been looking everything other than exciting (and, to be fair, so have others) unless you consider hitting a wall and slithering down exciting

Now it looks to me as if this means that there are a lot of people at Microsoft who have taken jobs with lower salaries than they could have got elsewhere and who have justified it to themselves with a 'but the stock options compensate'. And now they don't. Fair makes your heart bleed, doesn't it? All that nose-to-the-grindstone bug writing and going to meetings and now they don't get top dollar for it.

Well, the thought cheered me up briefly.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
irishbitte
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Hmmm, you're right to a degree. MS have a large operation here in Ireland, and to be fair, they take on a fair number of just graduated college students, which allows a substantial number of people to make the transition from graduate to professional. There is a wider debate, whereby if linux were adopted on a bigger scale then these students could possibly find themselves gainfully employed elsewhere, creating software for the good of all, rather than the relative few who can afford the license fee!

Overall, the transition here seems to be:

Work for large corp -> work for small company -> create own company

or

Work for large corp -> become manager in large corp!

Creative people will not stay with MS for any substantial period, IMHO.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
salasi
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I think in the US they have to remain with M$ for a few years to become vested (whatever that means). So there, at least, you can't just get M$ on your CV and move on very rapidly to someone you'd actually like to work for (assuming...) without losing value (well, cash, actually).
 
Old 10-13-2008, 12:40 AM   #4
irishbitte
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Yes, I think you are right there about the vested thing. It's a bit like any secret society really! They don't have the real means to keep the talent, so instead of creating interesting products, they channel their innovation into new ways to keep staff, and you can't be vested until you've done, oh, say three years or so!
 
Old 10-13-2008, 02:37 AM   #5
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Yes, a single tear rolls down my cheek! Who cares what they get, they obsiously do it because they want to!

Last edited by XavierP; 09-16-2010 at 03:39 AM.
 
Old 10-13-2008, 03:02 AM   #6
irishbitte
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@jb_get

Quote:
Yes, a single tear rolls down my cheek! Who cares what they get, they obsiously do it because they want to!
come on dude, you said in another post, here, that you are a Cisco guy!

Quote:
Im a cisco guy
In all seriousness, do you think if cisco had the choice they would not choose to be the same as microsoft? The only thing that is stopping them is their ability to assert their intellectual property rights! Don't be facetious for the sake of it. If you're going to post in a discussion thread, at least have the decency to express your own opinion rather than that of the masses. And for your information, the behemoth that is MS is making some move towards the linux world: http://www.moreinterop.com/, as advertised all over this site!
 
Old 10-13-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
jiml8
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Quote:
And for your information, the behemoth that is MS is making some move towards the linux world: http://www.moreinterop.com/, as advertised all over this site!
Embrace, extend, dominate, destroy.
 
Old 10-13-2008, 01:55 PM   #8
sundialsvcs
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It used to be that companies granted stock-options willy-nilly and employees came to expect them. But after the abuses of the "dot-bomb" days, many accounting rules have changed. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2008 ("SarOx") rewrote everything.
Quote:
Historically, accounting rules permit companies to report little compensation expense when stock options are issued to employees in exchange for services. This is because expense for stock options is based on the “intrinsic value” of the option on the date of grant.

“Intrinsic value” is the difference between the market price of the stock and the option price –- the price at which employees can purchase company shares. By issuing options to employees “at the money,” the intrinsic value is zero and no compensation expense is recorded. Not surprisingly, most stock options are issued at the money and as a result, the expense related to stock options is left out of income.
Source: wisc.edu
Stock options were effectively "free money" to the employee, too, because he didn't have to recognize any income until he exercised the options.

Options were being issued as what was, in effect, a form of "ordinary" compensation: it wasn't really performance-based. Grants were being made by the board-of-directors at a particular time, and then "held in reserve" to be handed-out. (All of this was technically legal at the time.)

When SarOx came along, stock-option grants to ordinary employees pretty much stopped. And many executives actually stopped asking for them.

I have had options, in those days, and I sold them fairly promptly (which turned out to be a very good thing ). I don't look for them now. It's not an incentive. I know how to account for cash, and that's how I expect to be paid.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 10-13-2008 at 01:58 PM.
 
Old 10-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #9
jb_get
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishbitte View Post
@jb_get



come on dude, you said in another post, here, that you are a Cisco guy!



In all seriousness, do you think if cisco had the choice they would not choose to be the same as microsoft? The only thing that is stopping them is their ability to assert their intellectual property rights! Don't be facetious for the sake of it. If you're going to post in a discussion thread, at least have the decency to express your own opinion rather than that of the masses. And for your information, the behemoth that is MS is making some move towards the linux world: http://www.moreinterop.com/, as advertised all over this site!
Hahaha what does it matter what I am? Also if cisco became like microsoft no one would care becuase they already own everything so it would make no difference.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #10
immortaltechnique
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Quote:
Also if cisco became like microsoft no one would care becuase they already own everything so it would make no difference.
What exactly do you mean when you say, they own everything? I could name atleast 100,000 things that Microsoft doesnt own Cisco included and not even make a dent to that list! Come on! Quit generalizing.
 
Old 10-17-2008, 05:27 AM   #11
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I would argue that Cisco are anything like Microsoft.

For a start, much of Cisco's revenue comes from hardware, not software.

Cisco have much less reliance on intellectual property as IOS generally only runs on Cisco kit.

Cisco publishes detailed information about how their protocols work and they are often put forward as draft internet specifications which are by their nature open source. So much of their intellectual property they distribute themselves.

They focus on being leaders in the field, not finding ways of fencing the field in so that they are the only inhabitant.

Cisco's looks to reliability and quality of hardware, and more importantly their support operation, which is fantastic. If I log a support call with Cisco, I get a quick response. Bugs are quickly diagnosed and patches quickly put in place.

When I talk to Microsoft about a problem, they don't give shit. Late if any response, its always made out to be my fault, trying to get them to accept responsibility for a software bug is like beating your head against a brick wall.**

On a number of occasions we have had problems where the Windows IP stack is breaking the rules of Internet standards and the response is basically, we're Microsoft, if our software disagree's with the standards then the standards need to be changed.

Now I'll be the first to admit that Cisco's products aren't perfect and their software often has a bug list the length of your arm, but comparing them to Microsoft in their attitude towards their customers and competitors is flat out wrong.

** This is partly due to a major limitation in ther OS design. Reproduction of bugs in an uncontrolled microkernel environment is mostly impossible. The answer to any bug which they can't reproduce is - " Reinstall windows" that staple of the IT support department. (I swear that if I phoned up and said to IT that my laptop had just been vapourised by a small meteorite, their response would probably be "oh we'll have to re-image it....")

Last edited by baldy3105; 10-17-2008 at 05:31 AM.
 
Old 10-19-2008, 06:51 PM   #12
irishbitte
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It's kinda back to the old bugbear about MS:

Quote:
On a number of occasions we have had problems where the Windows IP stack is breaking the rules of Internet standards and the response is basically, we're Microsoft, if our software disagree's with the standards then the standards need to be changed.
I have had similar situations to the above, but if MS continue to dominate the OS market as much as they do, with the predatory licensing practices, and little or no adoption of standards that don't suit them, we don't have much choice but continue to make linux work alongside windows. On the other hand, linux, and ubuntu in particular, is generally moving towards better usability for the end user who does not care about standards or licensing, or any of the big issues.

Basically, in order to beat MS, we have to continue being competitive! The strength of Linux lies in diversity, and open licensing. That is the best way to beat MS. By continuing to improve all the distributions, and working with companies like intel, amd, and other hardware manufacturers, to encourage open source driver development, we can improve the competitive advantage we hold.

When I first started using linux about 8 years ago, it was a major job to install on a PC. That is no longer the case! We have come a long way, and we will continue to improve. Adoption on the PC will require concerted efforts from across the open source community.

It has to be said that corporations, such as the major hardware and PC manufacturers bear at least part of the blame for the lack of competition in the desktop OS market. It is a generalisation, but corporates don't like unpredictability. The licensing model offered by MS guarantees them revenue. It suits them! In the recent past, one of the issues highlighted by HP, Dell and Intel regarding linux, is that battery life in laptops, and integrated power supply control, is not well supported in linux. They are, however, 'open' to aiding the open source community in improving this particular situation.

Summing up, in order to beat MS, we must be competitive, be working with the corporates to continue to improve hardware drivers, and continuing to be vigilant about standards. In order to win the heart of the people in userland, we have to be easier than Windows, and do what users want. That will include gaming and so forth. Back to the point about working with corporates! We don't have to be like them to work with them!
 
  


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