The Engineer Syndrome, VISTA, Microsoft and Google

After reading one Dvorak article suggesting that Google should make its own O.S. and begging Microsoft to focus on its core business, the O.S, business, here comes MICROSOFT getting a new face. Yes, Microsoft bought a slice of Facebook to beef up its advertising business. Clearly, Microsoft engineers and chiefs don't read Dvorak much.

But see, Dvorak has some valid points. I own a VISTA machine but sometimes, I want to revert back to XP. I just feel something isn't quite right with the VISTA. Little things really. Also, he mentioned something about the "ENGINEER SYNDROME," I think I am afflicted with that one too.

The "ENGINERE SYNDROME" as defined by him...

Engineers' syndrome. The only difference is that Microsoft, once a software company, keeps entering businesses in which it has little or no expertise. Microsoft may be suffering from engineers' syndrome, something you run into all the time. This is quite amusing, even to engineers, who see it occurring in other engineers but never see it in themselves.

The idea is that once you learn engineering disciplines, you project them onto endeavors other than engineering, since everything you ever do in life is actually some sort of engineering. While there is some modicum of truth to this notion, it's the leap of faith that pushes the idea into the absurd. What happens with engineers' syndrome is this: You start believing that since you're an excellent engineer in one specialty, then you're a friggin' genius in everything you do, because it's all the same, really.

This becomes most obvious—and ludicrous—when engineers decide that they can develop, design, and orchestrate an advertising campaign. Hey, it's a form of engineering, no? If you work with some of the big agencies in and around Silicon Valley, you'll hear great stories about what a nightmare working with engineering companies can be, because of the meddling of engineers.

His article here. He says MSOFT is afflicted with the "Engineer Syndrome". Instead of focusing on OS and fixing bugs, the software company still want to contain Google in the advertising turf.

Exhibit no. 554, Microsoft doled out $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in social network site, Facebook.com. (Dammit, as per Yahoo.com report, Facebook is valued 15B US dollars) Some are saying that Microsoft overpaid but I read somewhere that Social Network sites visitors are ad friendly people. Meaning, compared to portal or news sites visitors, social sites visitors are more likely to click on an ad and actually buy stuff. And I believe it so. So, quarter billion dollars to seal a partnership with Facebook.com is worth it. I think Microsoft did the right thing.

As for the VISTA, they did not.

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