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Wow, fired for posting pictures of MS buying a few Macs. What blows my mind is who on Earth would be surprised that MS picks up a few new Macs each time Apple puts them out? Nobody! Of course they do, everyone knows this. Cynical (yet true) beliefs are that MS has been ripping Apple off for decades now, clearly they do "research" on Apple computers. Ignoring this even, what manufacturer of anything doesn't buy a competitor's product for evaluation? They all do. You can bet Apple has some Dell's kicking around. I think MS is a tad more sensitive about the issue 'cause they are such blatant rip off artists.

It was a bit naive of this guy to post pictures taken on company property, even though they were outside on a loading dock. I wouldn't have expected getting canned for it, but I certainly would have thought twice.
 

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Well, MS also develop software for Macintosh and as a Mac BU... I guess they use Mac and that's why Microsoft buy Macs...

Apple probably bought a few (insert company here : Dell, Compaq, IBM) PC workstation to develop iTunes for Windows... no? :confused:

My 2 cents...

Regards
 

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Hello,

You should consider reading what the original author of the blog had to say for why he was fired and not what the people at Slashdot write. He wasn't fired for taking the picture or for posting it on his blog.

He was fired because his post "is seen by Microsoft Security as being a security violation." The author continues, "[t]he picture itself might have been permissible, but because I also mentioned that I worked at the MSCopy print shop, and which building it was in, it pushed me over the line."

This is just another example of one of the many reasons why I don't care for the media and its reporting of 'stories.' Slashdot created a 'story' through poor reporting. And now a lot of people will bash Microsoft for firing this employee, which is completely incorrect.

James
 

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J2, ya, I surfed around his blog looking for the smoking gun too. It just seemed unlikely that he was fired for *only* taking a picture - there would have to be more to it, right? But, I don't buy the explanation that the photo + department/building is the magic formula to get you fired. Firstly, the photo is of a truck at a loading dock and all you can see is it and the trees outside. Secondly, how many photos do you think there are on the www of MS employees at work with titles like "Yay! Jane in _insert dept here_ turns 40!..." Seems more likely that he got canned because MS feels that buying Macs is a company secret. Not a well kept secret, for sure.
 

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Hello,

Well, this is the only information we are given. Microsoft has not, and probably will not, release any extra information. For all we know, this employee could have been totally incompetent and this last act was enough to push this person to the unemployment line. From what this former employee has stated, it does not appear to be an issue about posting a picture, but one of 'security.' This person's manager may have lied to him about this being the only reason why he was let go, but I doubt we'll ever know for sure.

I'm certainly not a Microsoft supporter, but the company isn't stupid. If they let someone go, they must have reasonable and valid arguments in favour of the dismissal. They don't want another lawsuit, do they?


James
 

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True, we will never really know the full story.
this employee could have been totally incompetent and this last act was enough to push this person to the unemployment line.
Your theory has support: it never ocurred to him that posting that picture might be a bad idea, so he clearly isn't the sharpest tool in the shed!
 

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Just reading between the lines here:

He's a temp working for Microsoft's print division (temp term contract, pretty common), he doesn't actually work for Microsoft;

His workplace is in the shipping/recieving building for the entire operation;

He's taking pictures at work;

He's publishing at least one of those pictures on the web;

He didn't ask for permission to do either.

I'm pretty sure he knows or should know that taking pictures is probably forbidden, or at least restricted. This is implied by how simple it was to fire him; it must be in the employee manual somewhere, and he must have said/signed off at some time that he read and understood it.

Temps and the companies that hire them are subject to pretty tight non-disclosure agreements and security clearances.

Bottom line: he should have asked first. By first, I mean before he took the picture.

MS security sees this as a relatively minor breach, but they don't trust the guy anymore. He's bringing cameras to work. He sees documentation as it's created (at his jobsite). And he's publishing stuff on the web that he sees at other work areas.

Everything that comes in and out of the campus is right there. Shipping/Recieving is not a low security area in any workplace, and MS, like Apple, keeps it cards pretty close when it comes to what is shipping and when.

Had he been a bona-fide Microsoft employee, they might have given him a talk, put a note on his file, and sent him back to work. Or they might have fired him just the same.

But a temp? See 'ya. Any trouble is too much trouble.

I think he's a bit naive; telling the world about it can't make him easy to shop around to other area companies for the temp agency either.

He definitely comes across as a nice enough guy; his boss went to bat for him with Security. But so far, from his blog, he doesn't seem to have learned anything from it, and he is coming across as if he feels he's a victim. He's the author of his own misfortune, and he should take responsibility for it.

I'm certainly no fan of Microsoft, but I don't see any evil here.
 

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This is ridiculous! Microsoft produces software for Macs and I’m sure they want to test their software upon the new 64 bit platform (G5). Even if that’s not the reason, it’s not so strange that Microsoft ordered those G5s, I’m sure Apple has tons of PCs kicking around. As for security reasons, what does this mean? Does it mean: Oh no, everyone on the internet now knows where to steal 20 G5s (hey, Virginia Tech has 1100!) or does it mean that Microsoft doesn’t want the world to know that they really prefer using OSX and Macs instead of Windows and PCs! :D Security reasons??? If it’s the former, I’m sure Microsoft has equipment that far exceeds the value of 20 G5s! Poor guy…life doesn’t make sense sometimes…
 

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I think GG hit it on the head.

Yes, it's not a surprise that MS buys a few Macs evrey now and then, though I'm sure the company doesn't care to have the obvious publicized on the web.

The greater concern is that if an employee, even a temp, will take pictures of such and post them on the web, then will he/she do the same when he/she comes into contact with something more sensitive? Say, prototypes or new components?

No company should be expected to take that risk.
 

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I can understand why they did it, but the guy doesn't seem to be a security risk. There's no way he (as a temp) would have access to the "skunkworks" dept. at Microsoft. I agree that taking pictures was a bad idea, but the guy even stated he was careful not to put the pictures into context. Maybe they were just looking for an excuse...who knows we don't really know all the details.
 

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A great interview with the guy; he comes across as very down-to-earth and I have to take back my comment that he doesn't take any responsibility for what happened.

Hope he does allright.
Beta News Interview
 
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