Matt Goyer ‘s blog – A completely egotistical storyline of my life In an interesting twist on the vilification of Microsoft as the big bad evil corporate empire with the contrasting “Don’t Do Evil” Google, and in light of the incredibly stupid Wired story about Microsoft trying to discourage iPod use with their employees last week, it is worth noting today that on Matt Goyer’s (a Microsoft employee) blog he is blogging about the fact that he uses Firefox as his default browser.
Even more significant, Matt is asking others (yes Microsoft employees) on how to get around some of the Microsoft Firefox limitations.
“For the Softies out there, I use Firefox as my default browser, how do I get it to cache my work credentials so I don’t need to login every time I visit an intranet site? Also, when I get home I can no longer post to HTML forms. Is there a way to fix that without going in and changing my proxies every time I switch on and off the MS network?”
While Google is publicly taking a lashing by some in the blogosphere over the firing of Mark Jen, Microsoft has been very open in giving bloggers like Goyer and Microsoft’s most famous blogger Robert Scoble a very wide berth.
Say what you will about Microsoft, but one thing that Microsoft has really done right is to embrace their blogging employees. This is an enormous amount of freedom. At the same time, Microsoft bloggers are generally very responsible with what they post.
Certainly Matt is not criticizing IE merely by choosing to use Firefox as his default browser. However, the fact that he can feel comfortable publishing that Firefox is his default browser on his blog speaks volumes about the current culture at Microsoft.
The even deeper issue with the open blogging culture at Microsoft, however is that increasingly these days it appears that Microsoft does not fear negative news or publicity about their company. My own personal belief is that oftentimes critical self examination can lead to improvement. I believe that the culture at Microsoft is permissive at present because they too see the value in letting differing opinions flourish and that oftentimes real solutions and fixes can come out of the conversations.
It’s a nice thing to see.