Microsoft Wants To Make You Happy, Really!

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You heard this before, but this time they mean business. (ahem!) In a memo circulated within the Redmond giant on Thursday (7 June, 2002), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told his employees to improve how they relate to their customers. From a ZDNet article titled iBallmer memo rallies Microsoft troopsi:

In a memo sent Thursday, Ballmer called on Microsoftis 50,000 employees worldwide to improve relations with customers through a renewed focus on value and integrity. "Customers expect us to hit a very high bar in terms of product and support quality, delivering on our commitments, and providing excellent customer-focused decision making," he wrote.

Ballmer also said Microsoft will add a new board member. "While we like having a small board of directors that is very agile and effective, we will add a member from outside the U.S. to continue to broaden the diversity of the board."

The article goes to give some insight as to where MS is heading as it continues to try to find new sources of income, and Mr. Ballmer believes the Services offered by MS could play a major role in the companyis financial future. Mr. Ballmer laid out a list of 6 items that he believes MS should focus on in. From the article:

"Trustworthy Computing and broad customer connection are particular hot buttons for me," Ballmer wrote. "I will take the product quality initiative and customer and partner loyalty work now underway as direct responsibilities."

  • People. Employees should lead the industry by example. "We need people who have their own strong personal values, as well as those necessary to be successful at Microsoft," Ballmer wrote. He emphasized the importance of "integrity and honesty," accountability, and "passion for customers, partners, and technology."
  • Excellence. "Excellence must be at the core of everything we do and is central to everything we value," Ballmer wrote. He called for high standards for employees, products, and customer and partner relationships.
  • Security. Ballmer echoed the Trustworthy Computing voiced at the start of the year by Gates, who told employees that making Microsoft products more secure should take precedence over adding new features.

    "As a company and as individuals, we will earn trust every day not only through our products, but also through our responsiveness and accountability to customers and the degree to which we make high-quality decisions with customer issues in mind," Ballmer wrote.

  • Customers and innovation. "We have an enormous opportunity to harness innovation in a manner that enables our platform--Windows and .Net--to better help customers realize their potential," he wrote.
  • Transcendance. The company has to go beyond the PC revolution by "enabling people to do new things. Microsoft can no longer focus narrowly on the PC or desktop software. Our mission requires that we do excellent work in a broader set of areas to help customers and to enable the company to grow."

    Microsoft will look to new ways to extend existing products, incubate new ones, or acquire companies or products from others, as it did with FrontPage, HotMail and Great Plains. "Most of our new product efforts will start with a small team of very talented people inside Microsoft who have end-to-end customer scenarios in mind like Tablet PC," Ballmer wrote.

  • A global outlook. Microsoft must be "a company with a diverse work force. This diversity must take account of race, gender, nationality and every other aspect if we are really going to enable all peoples to realize their potential," Ballmer said.

Stop by ZDNet and read the entire article.

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