Microsoft employees currently in a massive brainstorm session

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to be determined to not only change the way the company focuses on and develops products, but also its culture. Following the announced restructure, in which 18,000 Microsoft jobs will be rendered redundant, Nadella now wants to start a new tradition, which will allow employees to be more involved in bringing new ideas to the table. Yesterday morning, he gave a speech that officially launched the Microsoft hackathon event. Hosted in a makeshift tent camp on Redmond's football field, it is a sort of a massive brainstorm session, which includes not only the employees present, but teams from around the world as well, making up a total of more than 10,000 workers.

"Time to stop the criticism and do something about it" was the tag line of the speech, which referred to the fact that employees now have a chance to change something in Microsoft's product line, instead of complaining about it, as it seems to have been the case for a while now. The hackathon gives the workers a chance to step out of their regular daily jobs and duties and pursue a project they are passionate about – be it the development of a brand new app, fixing the way something works (or doesn't), add new features, or just try to hack into things and see where the security might need improvements.

The catch is that they only have 36.5 hours to create something. Of course, nobody expects a finished product. Near the end of the hackathon, Microsoft will bring in groups of various consumers to examine the different teams' projects. This is a reflection of Nadella's desire to make the company more responsive to customers. After the end of the hackathon, the projects will be voted on internally by Microsoft employees, and after being reviewed by the senior leadership – the winning team will get to sit down with Nadella and discuss their project's goals and future potential.

source: GeekWire via Neowin



1. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

I like this guy, Satya... We really are seeing a much improved MS by the way of urgency... Nevertheless, some (most) of the "smart" things that MS is doing now has been in the works before Satya, but this isn't the same old MS we saw last decade... ............... Although, I do find it weird that MS has just in the past few years decided to seriously take mobile serious, they are doing it strong now, and with WP... I would even say that WP now has the best support (from MS) than any other platform has from it's developers, even iOS... Near 20 updates in a little over 16 months has, and will have, given WP a huge step forward having made it super competitive with other platforms... For example, just back in November we were getting Lumia Black, and looking forward to the DP of WP8.1.. Now, the DP has passed, we have the official 8.1 update+ Cyan, MS has officially revealed update 1, and many of us are looking forward to update 2 for WP8.1... This is a HUGE departure from what WP fans we're used to years ago... ................ The thing that gives even more merit to all of this is that all of these updates have been done on past hardware, a single device... If they keep this up,,,, it's just good... Marketing is seriously f###ed but the products are tight now, no matter what the minority negatives have to say... This is a changed company, and I really don't see anything stopping them now.. .......... But, that marketing situation.... Nasty!!

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Brb, gotta go buy a lottery ticket, as I just about completely agree with that. Another angle is, this shows a sober face of reality for MS and is a good sign of change for those that have lost faith in the old dinosaur. Time to reinvent themselves.

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7225; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

They have been updating, but rodneyej1 is including preview updates as well for non released WP. That's like including all the ios7 and ios8 preview updates as well. Not to mention how many times Android L has been updated so far. So do you include those as updates? No you don't. Its just rolling development releases for an OS that's still not released to the public. The same holds true for WP8.1.

16. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

No.. I'm not including preview updates.. And, to clear up one thing really fast,,, I'm not interested in having stupid immature comparisons about android, and WP.. That's for idiots, and trolls.... ........... Now, what I mean by almost twenty updates in over 16 months is all the OFFICIAL updates that WP8.0 devices have, and will have had since January of 2013, and yes I am including Lumia specific updates because they are on 95% of WP devices..... ............... This is factually information, and it's really stupid to argue with it... So, I you can't give credit where credit is due then fine, but that doesn't dismiss the point that MS has greatly improved support for WP....

22. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Then there are those who really wanted a Windows based smartphone. Who really looked forward to Nokia hardware excellence married to Microsoft's Windows software. Yes. Such customers do exist. They were tricked into becoming the guinea pigs who were fed defective and incomplete bug-filled and poorly designed early Lumia smartphones. Most will have learned their lesson and will buy an Android or iPhone next. What good will was there to this partnership was definitely sunk when Microsoft announced that there will be no migration path from the first Lumia phones to Windows Phone 8. If you think Nokia's best reputation and what Microsoft had left last year, was able to achieve what modest 'success' they did, now it will not be that 'good'. No, this time it will not be 'as good as last time'. And this is before we consider how poorly the Lumia series and Windows Phone has met specifically Nokia customer needs - see 101 faults in Lumia (now with more Lumia: upgraded to 121 faults).

17. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

wp8.1 is rolling out, not the beta, have you heard of the luminary 630,635,and 930?

19. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Lol!.. But, I'm not including preview updates... And, besides.. They would only account for two so far if I did, so forget that..

4. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

MS used to be number 2 or 3 in mobile, but the market share were rebooted by Steve Balmer & Joe Belfiore by abandoning the current user (at that time). and again with WP7 to WP8 transition. Before the WP mass failure, MS has larger market share with Windows Mobile compared to WP. (source: )

5. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I agree, that extra reboot hurt their image going forward, was too soon after doing that to their Kin one.

7. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

I think Microsoft under nadela would not do something stupid a.l.a balmer/elop. I believe the sudden FORCED change in Windows 8 interface, and Nokia/Elop Symbian burning platform is a sign that if you HURT the user, they won't choose you for their next upgrade.

9. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Good point, agreed. They've burnt so many bridges, fans expect the world to forget and forgive but it's not that easy.

21. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

So who cares what this moronic strategy will achieve next year? I am truly tired of the story. But some Microsoft fan-boys again are promising yet once again, that 'this time' Microsoft will succeed in winning even though Microsoft failed with Windows Mobile, and failed with Windows Phone before Nokia joined, and failed again with Windows Phone 7 and now somehow it 'will be different' with Windows Phone 8

25. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

I know the Microsoft song, the WP 7.1 will fix WP 7.0 the WP 7.5 will fix WP 7.1 the WP 7.8 will fix WP 7.5 the WP 8.0 will fix WP 7.8 the WP 8.1 will fix WP 8.0 ... and just as aftershock said... some would not forget and forgive, My first smartphone is Nokia Symbian, and I've been using lots of symbian device, that I won't jump to Microsoft/Nokia ship easily just because they doing 1 right. They already doing too many wrong, and right now I'm statisfied with Google/Android. But I'm not talking about me, you, or AfterShock, there would be new user that have been using nokia for their whole life, and haven't got a chance to upgrade to smartphone, and don't know about Microsoft/Nokia bad history. Or maybe just someone, who want to try something different. Or maybe something else. So, If Nadela doing right, they (Microsoft/Nokia) might be able to hold that user. Otherwise, Nokia/Microsoft will be history.

29. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Microsoft/Nokia bad history? What are you smoking. Before windows 7, Nokia had no windows devices. They were the only one to not offer winmobile device. There was 6 major players and MS had 5, the 6th being nokia who again didnt offer winmo. You keep referencing the burning platform, and what me and other people who actually know the history of the burning platforms keep proving you wrong end over end, and it doesnt sink in. Elop called it a burning platform because your beloved Symbian was internal strife within Nokia, nobody wanted it anymore, not Samsung, not LG, Not even Cisco. The only one who wanted it was Nokia. Their dev team was out skilled, and torn, which caused many of symbians strifes, delays, and short comings to the point even dev tools were incomplete. There is a reason Maemo/Meego was born, it was to replace Symbian or reduce Symbian to a feature phone only OS. Problem was when Elop came on board, you dont understand, refuse to get, refuse to acknowledge, that during a board meeting not a single Meego device was ready to be shown to him or the board. And LTE was so far off that they didnt have a chance. Nokia was spending end over end on developing two OS's that no one wanted. It was literally a dead end. But you dont get that. So you have two truths, Nokia did not want to use Android (bad choice sure), but in the end they choose WP, they choose to offload software/OS dev to a software company and focus on hardware (with specialized software teams). This saved them.

6. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Yeah, that was the past.. Now their doing a lot better.. That's the point of the article, and my comment.... Everyone already is aware of their idiotic past... ............... So, what's your point? What are u trying to help?

8. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

Why so rude? Can someone in here just stating what he's thinking? This is a discussion forum. Were here to discuss, to bring idea, to make things better.

18. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

How is asking what your point is rude?.. I've seen you say the same thing over, and over, and it's old news.. So, I figure that you have some point that I'm not understanding... Therefore I ask what is it?... Why would you perceive it as rude?... Is it because of the arguments that you have with other WP fans?... Well, I don't have time for childs play... If I ask you a question then I'm looking for a mature, and unbiased, awnswer... All you have to do is tell me whether, or not, you can do that... If so then great.. If not then I'll be just as happy leaving you alone... Your choice.

20. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

That's how Rodney is. If you saying anything negative about his beloved Nokia WP MS , he gets repulsive.

10. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

They had a larger share because the smartphone market as we know it, was not the same by any means. Now i can go to walmart and pick up a phone that will allow me edit, create, and share office documents for free for $50 out of the box. Funny enough while they shipped phones, and lots of the market, Nokia at the time did not carry Win Mobile platform. But look at the stats, 2007, what came out in 2007 that made every platform out of date? iPhone. It made the upcoming android out of date (didnt originally have touch), the stylus input on PDA's were now obsolete and not needed, symbian was now dated, sluggish and old, BB was complicated and needed bb specific servers, sidekick was the same. All in all iPhone literally changed the world.

13. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I didn't feel I was missing out with wm when Apple came along. Had first GHz wm phone by LG, I was dual booting WM an Android, remember, WM was a dog, but somewhat user powerful. Though, frustratingly not capacitive display, but had stylus for somewhat of a win. That's what changed things IMO, the display. Then to now, I see smoke on horizon of their past an a infant OS at our feet now.

30. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I didnt either, but that doesnt change the fact that all 'business os's' like WinMo and BB immediately suffered. That symbian was dated, laggy and slow to adapt and killed off. Even android had to redesign because it didnt have touch yet. So while it didnt change the world for me, it didnt change the world of smartphones and getting it out of business hands and into 5yr+ hands to the point, you will have lines out the door, camping, etc to buy an iphone 6.

32. Damo579

Posts: 264; Member since: May 18, 2013

I agree with you Rodney. The apps need to be updated with the features of 8.1 and a couple of apps need updates bad like ESPN as an example. Doing this and a good marketing campaign would increase market share. I love my 1020 on DP and looking forward to next weeks update. I see you on WP central so you know what I'm talking about.

2. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

I think Microsoft should feel rejoice they 'might' choose the right man. I can't imagine if Elop were in Charge and he found that he's in another burning platform. Elop Burning Platform * Boston Chicken - .....bankrupt * Macromedia - Sold to Adobe * Nokia - Sold to Microsoft

11. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

gah. i wish i could have positive feelings about this, but i have so much ill will towards microsoft. the stupid decisions they made with windows 8 (using trial and error to figure out how to use the touch-only features that do things like close programs on a laptop with no touch screen has just been so great /sarcasm), the razing and burning of nokia, and their continued...microsoftness (not to mention killing the courier project). How does a company that big with that much money so consistently release such bland, honestly ugly devices? Without Nokia's design sense wp would be nothing. if this were just about any other tech company (apple, samsung, lg, sony, huwawei, whatever) it would be exciting, but mostly i'm just waiting for what new interesting idea is microsoft going to destroy by trying to hamfist it into the market without regard to how people might actually use it or how they can make it honestly beautiful. microsoft is annoying because they are like the obnoxious trust fund brat. they are the kid who succeeds not because they are smart or talented, but just because they have money. they have a grating personality, are disgustingly narcissistic and arrogant, and it is founded on nothing but the fact that their parents and all the yes men that surround them have fawned over them their whole lives. i definitely have my problems with companies like apple and samsung, but at least the s5/note 3 and the iphone are pushing devices in new directions. windows phone only exists, its sole purpose is just that microsoft wants a mobile operating system. this is not sailfish or firefox or ubuntu mobile that is trying to change how the market works. microsoft just threw a multi-billion dollar temper tantrum, had the driver take the rolls convertible out to the village, forced nokia into the car, gang raped it, and slit its throat before dumping the gasping body out on the highway. and just like the children of saddam hussein, no one will do anything about it because they have money. /rant. sorry. had to get that out. i know i am being irrational here. i'm still touchy about recent issues.

23. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

What we also hear is from both Elop and from Microsoft, that apparently they hear from carriers that the carriers/operators want a third ecosystem. They do not want to remain in a duopoly situation with Android and iOS. Ok. Listen carefully - what they have NEVER said, is that they want a Microsoft based third ecosystem. Not one carrier has ever said that. They have yes, said quite often actually, that they welcome another ecosystem or platform. But nobody welcomes Microsoft the cruel mistress and psycopath dictator. They want a partner. Like whom? Well, like Blackberry or bada or Symbian or Meego - all of these have been mentioned by some carriers/operators by name but never Microsoft or Windows. And what is their fave choice of third ecosystem today? Tizen! Yes, Intel's and Samsung's Tizen, what Elop abandoned from MeeGo partnership and Samsung jumped in to take over. Tizen. First phones launching in the Spring of 2013. Tizen. Tizen. Tizen. Why Tizen? Because many CARRIERS are themselves part of the Tizen partnership !!!!!! Rip Nokia WP MS

27. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

About the 3rd Ecosystem. It's a LIE!!! Carrier never want a third ecosystem. They want a THIRD BRAND, FOURTH BRAND, FIFTH BRAND. They don't care about ecosystem. They care about brand. The reason is simple, with third or more ecosystem it won't bring competition. But will bring headache. But with lots of COMPETING product from various manufacture, the carrier is on a good deal. ex. With only iphone winning (at that time), carrier (AT&T, T-Mo) got to accept the apple term. But with samsung challenging apple, The carrier can have a better bargain with Apple, and with samsung. With more BRAND/MANUFACTURE such as Sony, HTC, LG, the carrier can have a better position in negotiating with Apple/Samsung. so, the carrier DON'T WANT third ecosystem. the carrier don't even care about it. What they want is LOTS of brand/manufacture, NOT ecosystem. The 3rd ecosystem is ONLY SANG by ELOP/Balmer. They're the one that want the public to believe that lie. If Carrier (such as T-Mo) really care about 3rd/4th ecosystem, T-Mo won't kick BB in the bu!!.

28. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Lmfao Carriers and consumers don't want Wp. They want more brand Ms just give up and quit your Wp platform

31. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Your comment made me laugh not because it was true but because how ridiculously derp it was. Android we know today is one big, 'what if project'. They allow people to tamper with the code day in and day out and take what they want. Is that an OS with no vision? No. Did android 1.0 have what 4.0 has? No, remember the android 3.0 for tablets? me neither it was a big f-fest, that is worse than win8. I have used win8 on desktop with so much ease that if anyone had trouble with it in my company i would seriously question their skills to learn. This would be true with any OS i gave them. The OS you mentioned are all 'me-to's' in the game, even android is a me too. Remember it didnt have touch, when iphone came out with it, it was a big 'well crap gotta put touch in here and redesign our layout'. Nokia did not carry a single windows device till windows 7. MS did not rape nokia, to think so is so dilusional it is funny. Nokia raped itself. MS has had a mobile OS for over a decade, hell almost 2 decades. If you think this is some sort of temper tantrum i have a bridge to sell you. /end rant

33. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Hello Linux It's a family Webos Why compromise

34. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

UNIX is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Especially given the current state of the economy, it is difficult for a business to justify spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on UNIX hardware when Linux machines are just as capable and significantly less expensive. In the next few years, UNIX will most likely become a thing only found in history books about the evolution of today’s operating system. Unix is BS

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