Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Microsoft R&D center in Israel

Just come back from new Microsoft R&D center house warming. Got some photos and  (how not?) some comments. Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft), Shimon Peres (the President of Israel), Moshe Lichtman (local R&D center corporate VP) and Danny Yamin (local Microsoft subsidiary GM) were here.

The event begun from short introduction of Moshe and Steve about the importance of local R&D and it’s size relative to country (we’re second place in the world with 0.015% of Microsofties per total country population). Yu-hu we’re on map!


Then journalists begun to ask questions. Of cause the first question was Yahoo or not and the answer was “not”


Then, there were two Hebrew localization questions (one about XBOX [just in case Steve saw the money there] and another about Windows Mobile). Both remains actually unanswered with doubtful remark of Danny (Yamin) about timelines of some day in the future. I heard the same answer before. About a year ago, but in practice nothing happed yet.

Side note: Silverlight will not support RTL neither in this nor in next version.

I asked Steve about legacy code of Microsoft. Actually, I, personally, think, that walking dead MSN, crappy Explore.exe (Windows shell) and “always-single-user-ever” Office is bad legacy, that prevent Microsoft from being really responsive and innovative company. He (Ballmer) wants to beat Web? He just have to kill MSN and do it.

However, his response was, that Microsoft loves its legacy and this why Microsoft so powerful. I agree with him, but Microsoft is strong in user’s desktop, not in the web. So with this agenda has not many chances to win there. One day they’ll see themselves hugging with Office COM objects, when the industry movers uses online rich client alternatives.

I believe, that Moshe (Lichtman). Got the point, thus he has absolutely Microsoft independent research center, that looking for innovative not through legacy prism. However, who knows…


Then we moved to central event with Shimon (Peres), Steve (Ballmer) and others. Another short “what was done” by Moshe and we moved toward Shimon.


This was the most impressive speech all over the event. He was able to switch (as always) people attention to “peace all over the world” instead of “thanks Microsoft for investment in Israel”.


Also, he found him young girl (Herzeliya Mayor, Yael German) to kiss while Danny envying him. The big brother is watching? Probably, let’s see what happened later…


Later, Steve told, that he does not like and does not understand technology innovations, thus he’s using regular yellow paper to take notes (BTW, my question)


After his speech the real action begun. It become clear, that Moshe saw Shimon kissing Yael. So he wish Steve to kiss him, but Ballmer did not want to do it, while Danny tightly spying them together with all other kissing people.


Thus, he asked Shimon to do it. When Steve recognized his fault, he was amused to Moshe. “Can't you see. It all makes perfect sense. Expressed in dollars and cents. Pounds, shillings, and pence”.


After all UFO come and took all celebrities out of the event.


The last part of the event was the Buffet. All attendees were really happy and enjoyed.


At the end staff begun to remove all decorations and everyone dissipated back to their homes.


Have a nice day and be good people.

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