I'm seeing some things on the blogs that just chap my hide.
First, I love Microsoft and Microsoft did not lose me — at least as a supporter and friend. I am not throwing away my Tablet PC or my Xbox or my other Microsoft stuff. :-)
Second, my management team is awesome and I don't have a beef with them at all. They have ALWAYS supported me. I have, in my pocket, a corporate American Express card and they never have questioned any of my expenses. The reason I shared rooms with other bloggers is because I always treated Microsoft as a startup. I don't believe it's proper to waste shareholder resources if you don't need to.
Third, I wasn't, and am not, frustrated at Microsoft. I've never had more opportunities available to me. In fact, I am due to spend a day with ImagineCup contestants and Bill Gates later this month.
Fourth, believe it or not, but no one at Microsoft has complained to me about my views for a very long time. In fact, the harsher I got the more support I got. Friday I visited with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems. Management at Microsoft didn't say a thing about that. Imagine if your employees went to your fiercest competitor and had a very public lunch, wouldn't you be up in arms? Not at Microsoft. At Microsoft I am encouraged to change the world and make things better for our customers.
Fifth, I've never been told not to travel to any conference by anyone at Microsoft and my travel expenses were always approved. I was encouraged to meet with developers wherever they lived. And, it is my job to go around to Microsoft offices worldwide and interview employees about the technologies they are building. At many conferences, where I was speaking about non-Microsoft stuff, I didn't feel it was appropriate to charge our shareholders for those expenses. That was my decision, not my boss's.
Sixth, how do you know that the company didn't move heaven and hell to keep me happy? They did. I have the best job in the tech world. Bar none. I got to meet and interview and influence the best people in the world. Career decisions are personal and opportunity and growth require thinking about a lot of different things, not just one or two. I've turned down quite a few offers for more money than I'm now making.
Seventh, there is a lot more positive PR to come out of my mouth about Microsoft. It is the best big company in the world (and I've been lucky to meet and study quite a few of the world's best companies lately).
Eighth, I'm not the only blogger at Microsoft. There are about 3,000 of them here. They are not having the plug pulled on them. They changed the world. I just was the cheerleader.
So, what about the other news? This is a rapidly-evolving part of my life. I just made this decision and it got out before I was completely ready to talk about it. I invite you to meet with me at the VLoggerCon tomorrow evening at 3 to 6 p.m. in San Francisco where we'll talk about it further (and I'll post again tomorrow about what's going on in my life and why I made this decision).
Oh, and thanks Niall Kennedy for your post. I really appreciate your friendship and am so glad you're at Microsoft.