July 1, 2006

Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google - Technology News by TechWeb

Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google - Technology News by TechWeb: "'Do companies drink their own Kool-Aid? (or eat their own dog food, depending on which company culture you follow),' Hitchcock asked on his site." This is such an interesting question. I remember when I was at Corel and we took over the WordPerfect suite. After the honeymoon people started switching back to MS office. It took a very clear e-mail from way up to enfore "The drink your own Kool-Aid" mantra. For most we were more efficient with MS office, since all, not most, all files from outside the company, partners, suppliers, were coming in Office format. After that e-mail not only were we all using and learning to be more effective with WP Office, but we engineering realized that we had to get the MS office file format import right if we were going to interact with the rest of the world. I left Corel and I switched back to using MS Office, simply for convenience sake, it was installed on the machines we were buying. In the case of search the problematic is similar, as in it's all about efficiencies. In the case of search though it's even more important. The reason is as most if not all people at MS are knowledge workers, and they fall in the category of people in the work force that are spending a good chunk of their days looking for answers, searching, whether on their desk, desktops, or the web. So if Google gives them the results they need faster, sicne we all spend so much time searching, we save a lot of time by using the right search tool, finding us the answers we need. As MS I'm sure is about as much as eating their dog food as anyone, it's a tough call to force the crew to use their own technology if the competitor's is superior. They end up less productive, and loosing more ground to the competition itself by being forced to use less efficient tools. On the other hand how do you improve your own technology if you're not using it.

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