Q & A with Mary J Foley at Microsoft UK

Mary J Foley Mary J Foley took time out from a promotional book tour to spend 1 hour at the Microsoft TVP Campus to answer questions from Microsofties and journalists.  It was a great informal discussion and we got to hear from Mary J Foley on topics ranging from Windows Vista perceptions to Ray Ozzie and from Virtualization to the Mojave Experiment

Thanks To Eileen Brown for organising the session.

Below is my annotated notes and interesting snippets I took out of the session (slight disclaimer: I have abridged the questions and answers based on not taking verbatim notes or being able to read my own writing)

  • Following the DOJ trial would it have been better if Microsoft was split up? –> Yes mainly because it would have made the companies far more agile.
  • On The Vista Perception problems… –> Microsoft cannot get a break no matter what it does with Vista, Microsoft messed up & apologised but still cannot fix the perception problem so get Windows 7 out.
  • On Apple –>  They get away with so much that if Microsoft did the same it would be very heavily criticised.
  • On the New ad campaign –>  Like the I’m a PC part which is clear and good to instil pride back.  Hated the Gates & Seinfeld ads.
  • On what it will take Windows 7 to be a success –> Be more transparent on what will be in Windows 7 (maybe more at PDC), be upfront about the fact that decisions about what features are in have already been made.  Suggestions now are likely to be in Windows 8 or 9 if at all.
  • On the Windows Product team –>  The Windows Team doesn’t like me!!! (well not all of us Mary J)
  • On the Mojave Experiment –> liked the idea
  • Who are the groups or persons out there that are being very focused on Microsoft and criticising the company whether correctly or not –> Competitors, enthusiasts who prefer other platforms and especially Linux users.
  • On reading your own blog comments –>  only do it when you are in a good mood and never when you have had a drink
  • On Ray Ozzie –>  Needs to be more visible as this lack of visibility is a big problem/issue.
  • On Enterprise Vs Consumer at Microsoft –> with the focus a lot on the consumer there is a danger Microsoft could drop its focus and attention on its less sexy projects
  • On Journalism Vs Blogging where is the line –> Journalism should be unbiased where as blogging is all about having an opinion
  • On UK Microsoft Bloggers –> quite refreshing change from some of the corporate blogs as there are more opinions and less press release type bloggers.
  • On Google and Microsoft –> Is it serious about areas such as Google Docs  and apps besides some students and small business who else is using it.  Plus also with the recent downtime if that had been Microsoft we would have been panned but Goggle gets away with it. But people love Google because amongst other things they want credible competition and someone to challenge Microsoft and stop us from winning every time.  (PS she is still using Google Chrome apparently!!)
  • On Microsoft bloggers in general –> they have helped a lot to change the perception of the company and it is good to be able to get to a person directly.
  • On Virtualisation –>  Microsoft making great progress, quoted an IDC report about 25% market, but there is a formidable player in VMWare and especially Paul Maritz who she praised highly


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