Irresponsible 'Journalism'

I'm really pissed off. This comes as news to probably about 3 people, but this time, I have good reason. It's about 11am Europe time and the announcements are all up on the MSDN home page, so I'm finally able to talk about this without breaking all my NDAs (I'm currently under 7 different Microsoft NDAs).

Late last week, I got an e-mail  This e-mail was the same e-mail that went out to every Alpha tester, and stated very specifically that we were still under NDA until June 29, 2004. So I was fairly surprised to see information popping up on the web less than an hour after receiving the e-mail, telling me about Whidbey Beta 1, Yukon Beta 2, and the new Express SKUs of Visual Studio 2005. I had known about the Express stuff for quite some time, having spent a lot of time with the Usability team for Visual Web Developer.

Now, it was pretty easy to deduce from the VSData Team's post that Whibey/Yukon were going to be wrapped on the 29th. Anyone spending enough time reading the post instead of complaining about it figured it out quickly. But nothing was mentioned anywhere about the Express SKUs. It was a secret Microsoft really wanted to keep until today, and I'm pretty sure was the secret Scoble mentioned here.

Here's where my anger comes in. Someone leaked the contents of the e-mail to Mary Jo Foley. As nice as she is, she has a huge mouth. But, it's her job to, so that's ok. That's not my concern. As soon as she had the info, eWeek had their scoop. Then the web did it's thing, and everyone knew about it.

I wanna know who leaked it. It's really not fair that guys like me have to keep quiet to stay in Microsoft's good graces, while some schmuck gets to break all the rules and get away with it. If Microsoft stops being as open because if this kind of thing, and they stop telling us NDA-minders about the good stuff because of it, I'm REALLY gonna be pissed.

Not cool. Not cool at all. I hope someone gets punished for it. Otherwise, what is the point of an NDA if they are not enforced?


  • Wow, you sound like Roy

  • How do you know that Microsoft didn't "leak" it?

  • you really think Microsoft didnt think nayone would find out.... as soon as they sent out the emails they were ready for the world to know


  • It'd be cool if they could do something like the film industry does - they put little spots in pre-release DVD's that aren't noticable to the viewer but allow you to track a leaked copy.

    So there could be different permutations of the e-mail - a unique one per person probably isn't feasible, but at least you could segment it and say "An MVP on the West Coast leaked this".

  • Hi Robert,

    I recieved the same email you did last week regarding the upcoming news. Like you, I kept my mouth shut under the terms of the NDA. I too am disappointed that someone leaked the information.

    One thing that surprised me however was the fact that the notice and reminder of the NDA agreement was at the very end of the email. If I were composing the email, I would have made the NDA reminder the first paragrph. I almost missed it myself (I must admit that I don't always read to the end of everything).

  • I agree with you, Robert. People have been complaining about MS's lack of transparency for years, and now they're finally catching on.

    If they revert to their 'old ways' because of these friggin' leaks, I'm not gonna be a happy geek.

  • AT - With regard to watermarking, it can even be less obvious:

    Microsoft is pleased to announce Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1, together with a line of Express products.

    We are excited to unveil a line of Express products, together with Beta 1 of VS 2005.

    We will be releasing Visual Studio 2005, Beta 1, at Tech Ed. Additionally, we are happy to introduce a line of introductory products - the "Express" product line.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    They can hire me to crank these out at $2.50 a piece. $2.25 in bulk.

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