New blog on integrating Groove with Office

Andrew Wharton from Groove has started writing about integrating the team and its product with Office. His opening salvo sets the stage and hooked me in for what looks to be an interesting glimpse into life in another division at Microsoft. (Something that is as mysterious to me as it is to you.)

In the early days of the Windows division, there was friction among the groups that were thrown together to form the project, because when your group is told to join forces with another group, your natural tendency is to treat the other group as "them". And of course "they" are dumber, slower, and less physically attractive than you are. That's why they're "they" and you're "us". "We" always make the right decisions and "they" always make the wrong ones.

To remedy this situation, the powers that be established regular "Windows Integration Meetings" (also known as "WIMs"), wherein the disparate and mutually distrustful groups would get together and work out their differences. The medium for this process was, of course, beer and snacks.

The "meetings" were a success. The groups began seeing each other as members of a team rather than adversaries. As the Windows division grew, these "Integration Meetings" welcomed new groups to the project and continued to serve their purpose of smoothing tensions among them.

At some point, the "I" in "WIM" began to stand for "Informational" rather than "Integration", but that had no practical effect since people still call it the "WIM". Regardless of what the letter officially stands for, the "I" stands for "beer".

Comments (25)
  1. Two things:

    1. It would be super nice if every company treated their employees that good.

    2. I would love to see Mr. Chen’s perfectly tuned mathematical brainwaves on alcohol.


  2. Antonio says:

    Phychic powers per-beverage enhancement table:

    – beer -> 2x power

    – wine -> 3x power

    – vodka -> 5x power

  3. Travis Owens says:

    So are all the people at the meetings called WIMPs (Windows Intagration Meeting People).

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  4. -Wang-Lo. says:

    <i>And of course "they" are dumber, slower, and less physically attractive than you are. That’s why they’re "they" and you’re "us".</i>

    Newly integrated project teams should read <a href="; >The Sneetches</a > by Dr. Seuss.


  5. MSDN Archive says:

    I tell new hires that the I is for Intoxication.

  6. Chris Walker says:

    The SWI team (Secure Windows Initiative) which now covers most Microsoft products has its own WIM from time to time called the Security WIM, or SWIM for short.

  7. Josh Koppang says:

    The link to the blog entry is broken, and when I go to his blog directly, the post seems to be missing. Did he get shy?

  8. James Schend says:

    Josh, same here. All I get is a login screen.

  9. Carlos says:

    The link was working earlier but now it’s shagged. Maybe it was never supposed to be public.

  10. taleem says:

    As a devout Muslim I know where I will not be applying. Alcohol seems to feature so heavily in Microsoft (specifically Windows) supposedly diverse culture.

  11. feroze says:


    There are many employees in Microsoft who are muslims (me included). There is no pressure on you to attend these "meetings". If you feel uncomfortable, don’t come. Or if you do come, dont drink. It’s not like they will fire you or anything.

  12. pwibbele says:

    The first few posts were great fun. The blog is now gone. Hope it returns!

  13. There is no pressure to drink alcohol, and non-alcoholic alternatives are always available. Nobody cares or even notices whether you have a glass of beer, soda, lemonade, or just plain water.

  14. AA says:

    It’s sad when people can’t associate without alcohol.

  15. Say what? says:

    I should log into msdn to read it? Why?

  16. raduking says:

    I think the Gin would have done the job much better and quicker :)

  17. gedoe says:

    No need to login,

    the system needs you to be logged in to show a 404 :P

  18. I do get confused, but wouldn’t /not/ serving alcohol be more of an indication of lack of diversity?

  19. Cooney says:

    It’s sad when people can’t associate without alcohol.

    It’s sad when people project their shortcomings onto others. Regardless of how you feel, alcohol is merely available. This is true of pretty much every party I’ve been to in the past 10 years.

  20. Craig Lebakken says:

    We used to have similar meetings except we called them BUG meetings. BUG was short for Beer User’s Group.

  21. zzz says:

    Where did Andrew’s blog go? Can’t get to it anymore, but other blogs work fine…

  22. Andrew says:

    I have closed it up. Sorry folks.

  23. Craig Ward says:

    I just came across Raymond on wikipedia, complete with withered-hand pic:

  24. David Candy says:

    They left out the in the linux credits.

    Stuff raymond. How do I get into it?

    Did Ray write his own entry? Is that what I should do.

  25. Sometimes it gets off to a bad start.

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