Networking

Sanity check: Will Microsoft be your next phone company?

On October 16, Bill Gates proclaimed that the business phone has been stuck in a time warp and that the moment has arrived to bring it into the digital age and revolutionize business communications in the process. This edition of Tech Sanity Check examines Microsoft's broad ambitions in unified communications and how it could impact IT.

Bill Gates has had a very interesting track record in the prediction business over the past three decades, and now he's making a new prediction: The business phone as we know it will be replaced by software that will unleash a higher level of collaboration and productivity.

In the 1980s, Gates articulated his vision of a "PC on every desk and in every home" that has become the foundation of the modern IT industry. During the 1990s, he predicted that e-mail would become indispensable, that consumers would eventually be able to time-shift their TV shows, and that users and advertisers would migrate en mass from print publications to Web sites.

On the other hand, in 1987 he predicted: "OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time." In 2004, he predicted that SPAM would be solved within two years. He has also made bold predictions about the rise of tablet PCs, voice-recognition software, and digital wallets, but none of those technologies has become a mass market phenomenon -- at least not yet.

Gates's latest prophesies came on October 16 at Microsoft's Unified Communications Launch 2007 event (view photo gallery) in San Francisco , where Microsoft revealed the full breadth of its products and plans for business telephony and unified communications. "In the next decade, sweeping technology innovations driven by the power of software will transform communications," Gates said. "Working with partners, we're making rapid advances that will enable fundamental advances in the way people communicate and collaborate at work."

Gates further explained that Microsoft's newly launched unified communications platform "... is about taking the magic of software and applying it to phone calls. We don't just say phone calls because, of course, once you get software in the mix, the capabilities go way beyond what anybody thinks of today when we think of phone calls."

So the question is whether this latest prognostication will be another clarion call for the IT industry the way the "PC on every desk" prediction was, or if it will be a false prophesy like the OS/2 statement was, or if it will simply be an idea ahead of its time the way the forecasts about tablet computing and voice recognition have been.

The Gates vision of the business phone

If you want to know how significant Bill Gates thinks Microsoft's unified communications platform is going to be, take a look at the lofty comparisons he made during his keynote on October 16:

  • He compared the PBX to the mainframe, and unified communications to the PC.
  • He compared the transition to software-based voice communications to the transition to computer-based word processing from the typewriter.
  • He compared the move to unified communications to the move to a graphical user interface from a command-line interface.

Bill Gates points to the new Microsoft Roundtable device during his keynote presentation at Microsoft's Unified Communications Launch 2007 event in San Francisco. View the entire photo gallery.

"This is a complete transformation of the business of the traditional PBX," Gates said. "The PBX in some ways is almost like the mainframe was many years ago where all of the functionality was there in that one piece. And the way that you had ... to add value, to customize, to bring in third parties to do new things, it just isn't there in that structure. And so by moving phone calls onto the Internet, using the powerful industry standard servers, we've got a very different way of being able to do things. And that can lead not only to lower cost, but far more effectiveness in how your employees work within your company, or with customers and partners outside your company."

Gates may not have much experience in the PBX and phone world, but he has had a ton of experience with the next transition he mentioned. He said, "So this transformation to software-based communications is going to be as profound as the shift from typewriters to word processing software. Moving from a dedicated piece of hardware to the general purpose, personal computer that happened over 20 years ago, and now we simply just take that for granted. Even 10 years from now, when people think about telephony ... if you see in a movie that old desktop phone you'll think, 'Oh yeah, we used to have things that looked like that!'"

Finally, Gates mentioned one of the prominent tech transitions he will always be associated with. "I think [unified communications] will be a lot like the revolution that took place with graphic user interface, where at first some people didn't participate [because] some people didn't know that [GUI] was going to be the mainstream. [Eventually, unified communications] will become something that's so pervasive it will just be expected."

Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division, added another comparison during his speech at the UC launch event. He said, "Unified communications software will transform business communications as fundamentally as e-mail did in the 1990s. Today, Microsoft is in the VoIP game, and our customers and partners are already winning with better economics and new business opportunities... We're delivering revolutionary economics in VOIP, and increased productivity and quality in voice communications."

Gates and Microsoft are so invested in unified communications because they believe that it will solve several common problems and unlock new capabilities in business communications, including:

  • Make it faster and easier to find contact information for co-workers and business partners
  • Use presence and calendaring to find the appropriate times and ways to connect to co-workers and business partners
  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to schedule meetings, wait on hold, play phone tag, etc.
  • Increase the IT manageability and security of instant messaging
  • Simplify video calling
  • Simplify the setup of audio and video conferencing
  • Make it easier to deploy voice communications for new users and to change/move current users
  • Open the door to Communications-Enabled Business Processes (CEBP), which can use events from business systems (reports, databases, monitoring programs, GPS systems, cameras, etc.) to automatically trigger alert messages to the appropriate worker(s).
  • Enable fixed-mobile convergence so that cell phones and smart phones can be equipped with software applets that allow them to become an extension of the business communications network

Microsoft's new unified communications (UC) platform

Microsoft's vision of unified communications is delivered in a modular, extensible platform that can integrate with a variety of different platforms, but as you'd expect, it works best (and requires the least amount of capital investment) if you already have Microsoft infrastructure in place in your organization. For example, if you already have Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007 in place, the path to Microsoft's UC platform requires a relatively short leap.

Here are the key components of the platform:

  1. Office Communicator 2007 --This is the client application that brings together voice dialing/calling, instant messaging, presence, audio conferencing, video conferencing, document sharing, and integration with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, and other applications that develop plug-ins. There are also versions of Communicator for the Web and mobile phones.
  2. Office Communications Server 2007 -- OCS is the backend server application that ties all of this together and provides the VoIP, video, audio, and communications framework to make the platform work. It runs only on Windows servers and it also requires SQL Server.
  3. Office LiveMeeting 2007 -- Like previous versions of LiveMeeting, this software enables audio and video conferencing, online meetings, PowerPoint sharing, document sharing, and whiteboarding. The latest version integrates with Communicator 2007 and OCS 2007.
  4. Microsoft Roundtable -- While most of what Microsoft is doing involves software, Roundtable is a Microsoft hardware device that brings innovation to video conferencing by sitting in the middle of a conference table and providing a 360-degree panoramic view of everyone in the meeting. At a price point of $3,000 and software integration with Communicator 2007, Roundtable is meant to improve and simplify video conferencing to bring it to the masses.
  5. Exchange 2007, Service Pack 1 -- The new service pack for Exchange 2007 includes a variety of the usual kinds of updates and improvements, but the most significant change is integration with OCS 2007. This includes some nice additions such as "Conversation History," which allows you to call up an instant messaging thread from Communicator in Microsoft Outlook.
  6. An ecosystem of hardware and software partners -- On launch day, more than 50 hardware and software partners announced new products aimed at integrating with Microsoft's UC platform. These partners make everything from desk phones and handsets that interoperate with Communicator 2007 to software plug-ins that take advantage of the presence and communications capabilities of OCS. Since of the prominent partners include Nortel, Ericcson, Motorola, Mitel, Polycom, Tandberg, SAP, BT, NEC, LG, Dell, HP, Palm, and Samsung.

The most original piece of Microsoft's UC platform is its Roundtable conferencing camera, which includes multiple cameras and microphones and uses software to automatically track who's speaking. View the entire photo gallery.

The Roundtable camera presents a complete view of everyone in a meeting as you can see at the bottom of this Communicator 2007 screen, which also includes a shared PowerPoint slide. View the entire photo gallery.

The standard Office Communicator 2007 window shows advanced presence information. View the entire photo gallery.

For offices that aren't ready to abandon the standard business phone form factor, companies such as Nortel are developing desk phones that use Microsoft's UC platform to present presence and contact data on the phone's display. View the entire photo gallery.

Sanity check

Normally, when you introduce a new platform that will change the way many users interact with their PCs, you can expect slow adoption from IT departments and businesses, as Microsoft has seen with its Tablet PC. However, I think two factors could speed the adoption of Microsoft's UC platform:

  1. VoIP -- Thousands of companies have been engaged in VoIP deployments over the past three years. One of the original motivators was cost savings, but there was also the promise of improved efficiency and collaboration. Unified communications can unlock the potential of VoIP's efficiency and collaboration improvements. For the companies that have recently finished or will soon finish a big VoIP deployment, layering on a unified communications deployment could be an easy sell, especially for the many companies that already have Windows Server 2003, Exchange, and Microsoft Office in place.
  2. Instant messaging -- IM continues to be one of the biggest pain points for IT in 2007. While IM has become widely used by business workers, only a small handful of companies actually have an IT-sponsored IM client. The rest of the workers are using consumer services, such as Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Skype. Using public IM clients obviously has major ramifications for privacy and security. If IT can find an easy-to-use alternative IM client that gives users standard IM functionality and still lets them connect to contacts on many of the outside services (Communicator 2007 can connect to AOL, MSN, and Yahoo), I think many of them will jump at the chance, because the stakes are getting higher all the time, especially with compliance audits putting additional pressure on IT. Microsoft's UC platform could help make the pain go away.

One final thought: Noticeably absent from Microsoft's list of partners in unified communications are IBM and Cisco. While Microsoft partners with both of them in many other ways, these two giants are building their own unified communications platforms. IBM is building an ecosystem of partners very similar to what Microsoft is doing (although even more open), while Cisco is trying to provide a high-quality end-to-end solution. Both have their strengths and are ahead of Microsoft in some areas. However, with the vast number of partners that Microsoft revealed last week and the simplified deployment path for current Windows and Office customers, Microsoft is establishing itself as a stronger player in business VoIP and UC than most of us expected.

Would you be willing to have Microsoft's unified communications platform power your business telephony? Would you prefer to simply have it interoperate with your current PBX or VoIP system? Would you prefer another UC system? Join the discussion.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

121 comments
sangs_000
sangs_000

What i told gates. you think many times before you will do. but, u don't think and ask to anybody's. Because, Lot of points will create confusion and regret.

izzyrod
izzyrod

Get Windows out of BETA first.

mrinternet
mrinternet

Not if I can help it... and Google becomes a telecommunications player. I would prefer Google any day over Microsoft. After the release of Vista, Microsoft is on the crap list. That OS was pure greed and NOT ready for commercial release and won't be until it is backward compatible with legacy software. I am working with Open Source Ubuntu to finally make the total break way from all the unsecure Microsoft crap. Been using Sun Open Office for years and am very pleased with it. Microsoft has definitely become part of the IT security problem in a very big way and believe very little of Balmer's manure!

marioaoun
marioaoun

this is a revolution for all of us! let us just support the advancement of technology, giants like microsoft and bill gates, and what they are providing to humanity! one either doesnt trust, or wants everything to work, diregarding its complexity and ignoring its importance, from the first run! UC will happen, because 'the flow' will always move towards stability and unification... :)

torroid88
torroid88

BSOD on your phone ? NO THANKS !!!

boricua61
boricua61

I think this would benifit most small companies as well as large ones, because it would greatly cut costs

btljooz
btljooz

no-No-NO-[u]NO[/u]-[b][u]NO[/u]!!!!!!!!!!!!![/b] X-( Succinct enough? ?:| BTW: I [b]REFUSE[/b] to do VoIP! ...at least until I HAVE to... but then again, there ARE [u]Cell Phones[/u]!!! ;) In addition, I'm not even going to do M$ in the future... LINUX ROX!!!!!!!! :D

ginkep
ginkep

we'll see. But statement: "In 2004, he predicted that SPAM would be solved within two years". SPAM is still there - mail servers are still faging SPAM through WAN chanels.

page.jason
page.jason

BSOD. Sorry not for me. If it was OS/2 as platform, then yes. For now I stick to Skype and SL in OS/X!

justin.w.walsh
justin.w.walsh

The Queen of England does too, He is Sir Bill. But she knighted Drake too and he was pirate. I'm trying hard to be positive. Most of the comments show that he is not to be trusted. I'll go with the majority. NO!

Grayson Peddie
Grayson Peddie

I'd be glad to try out all the Unified Communication hardware and software, but only if I have the money for that. As an addition for trying out the hardware and software, I'm also happy to learn Office Communication Server 2007.

arche_Lj
arche_Lj

Don't get yourself wrong!! Take a PLACE right now and register quickly with the ALL COMMUNICATION NETWORK company that ruled every VOIP hightech phone. Go to: http://video.acninc.com/Misc/promotions/videophone.html and REGISTER at: https://myacn2.acninc.com/OnLineRepAgreement/RepAgrmStart.do?country=US&lang=EN&teamid=01353949 We've got the "visiophone cellular" with the 5 people conference's option. Any question? Go to: http://www.alouisjacques.acnrep.com/a_information.asp?CO_LA=UMmRkvznLAEquHcgSaKVhysNyrjrxLQjSilwUwvEwpjkMMqlmK60652D1127YjqTpZzvKHhkLYwgEVRnfOBjVXfIGLpZJtQhcjxgXvYfLLnnwt&BW= Take care

FXEF
FXEF

I can see it now, BSOD... You have performed an ILLEGAL OPERATION, the phone will be shut down!

Tig2
Tig2

But I am not yet convinced. VoIP solutions still have to overcome the foundational issues that they have. The lion's share refer to up-time. My server goes down and my users are locked out of the system. Okay, it happens. The server team engages immediately to bring the server back up and the network team engages to define root cause. In the mean time, end users can fill the empty time by returning phone calls. Unless you are VoIP and the server takes the phones out too. I've seen that one happen and it isn't pretty. And then there is a question around engaging emergency services. Even in your workplace, the poo occasionally hits the fan. Every place I have ever been instructed employees to dial 911 and then engage whatever on-site security folks they had. What is the impact of UC on this scenario? Finally, most of the places I have contracted to had some sort of instant messaging- SameTime or Communicator mostly. And most folks simply refused to use it. With Communicator, I simply set my condition as "Busy" when I logged in and turned it off at the end of the day. I agree that some level of unified communication will happen at some point. I just don't think that we are there yet. Good and informative article, Jason!

teleshin
teleshin

putting into consideration microsoft bad reputation of frustrating rivals..well, i dont think microsoft can pull this off because he has a lot of players in the phoning industry to pass through and they are going to pull their weight together to make sure it does not happen.its going to be a showdown

roblespaulo
roblespaulo

Oh My GOD!!!! He is a Bussines Genius!!! What is he going to do with all that money any way? It is very interesting that he is going to have his hands in every bussiness in the world!.

Meesha
Meesha

1) Microsoft - Unified Communications - OXYMORON!! 2) Trust Exchange/Outlook - must be dreaming or having a nightmare! 3) Doesn't work well with others, ever!!! 4) Not platform independent. Open standards. MS's vision of Web 2.0 et al, it doesn't exist unless you're MS. 5) Way to little to late. Already have excellent UC (since 2002) with existing email/scheduling platform. Blackberries work; mail works, fax works, IM/WebChat works, RSS, Blogs, Wikis, video/web conferencing works (not as fancy though as MS's Roundtable but getting there), archiving for ease of eDiscovery, security, etc. - it all just works. We have no trouble with our communications in any of these aspects - in large part because they're not Windows stuff. So the only good out of MS entering this field is if you've already saddled yourself with MS everything you may begin to have what we already have minus the scalability, portability, security, and stability (I'm sure MS will never get to use the expression "always on"). If you're not MS everything, don't bother!!!!

acdlfn
acdlfn

I lost my mind long ago............let Bill have the world. I don't think it can stand much more.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't see anybody with half a lick of sense dumping their current PBX or VOIP systems just to jump on the M$ bandwagon until a Microsoft solution achieves the reliability, maintainability, and built-in redundancy of the existing solutions from Nortel, Cisco, and others. Of course, that "half a lick of sense" thing could be the problem...

jackie40d
jackie40d

Well IF IBM had got off their thumbs and did something with O/S 2 it would have been the desktop of now . . I know I had it and it ran circles around MS WindBlows ! I had stuff which took MS years to get caught up to !

ebouza
ebouza

I do believe for those companies that already have Server 2003 and Office 2007 deployed and are in the middle of upgrading to Outlook 2007 it seems to be a easier step to linking everything together with the UC software from MS and have Microsoft as thier next phone company. I know where I work we are looking into this technology from Microsoft. I do believe that Bill Gates has the right again. Erick

acoastwalker
acoastwalker

Since many workers live in Outlook all day long there is significant potential for Microsoft to take on the availability of VOIP. What could be better than having a meeting in your calendar fire up a VOIP connection to a conference with shared Powerpoint slides? All the bits are already there, they just need joining up.

eznasi
eznasi

yes, absolutely. i count on Microsoft to do the best it could - this is will be future, and I'm sure that Microsoft wants to be there

adityaitsolver
adityaitsolver

why not if it develop windows and other friendly software why not ... i would also be a part of the organisation if i have given oppurntities and as per last interview of l.n. mittal it has bright future in every secto.. my contact details: adityaitsolver@sify.com adityaitsolver@hotmail.com 919830067791

murali1309
murali1309

really Super Technnology. but some of country did not give rights for VOIP Technology. so microsoft how will face that problem?

Jaqui
Jaqui

since I am actually registered to attend the Vancouver Launch on November 13, I'll wait until I have a chance to look at the software before ripping it apart. ]:)

vikaskanungo
vikaskanungo

I fully subscribe to the vision of Bill gates. Looking at the way mobile is becoming the most important companion for the next generation and impacting their day to day communications, it is very wise to predict unified communications to be the next paradigm. The paltform can be used to provide location based services to the users. Check http://www.mgovworld.org , the global observatory and knowledge portal on mobile government for examples on mobile based citizen services across the globe. Vikas Kanungo vikaskanungo@egovindia.org

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

that he understood every word. les.

anty
anty

It is not because no one bothers attacking Linux that it means it can be considered a secure OS. When ever OSs like Ubuntu will be used a bit more than by a few million people, you will start seeing a lot more security holes being patch every week. There is no OS today that can claim that it has the best security. Except if you just don't connect it to the Internet and any network for this matter....

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I see no justification behind your statement. If history has shown anything from Microsoft's blatant antitrust behavior and disregard for laws, then of all corporations, they should not be trusted to host telephone services.

zen71001
zen71001

Its the advancement of the MS Bill Gates Vision of what communication technology will be. Which can be summed up in one word "expensive" When you install your nice new MS phone you will find it won't work properly with your existing telco provider because they did not pay a fee to be a MS certified MS provider. After coping with all the resultant irritations and problems for a while you will be forced to switch. Then you will find it wont work properly with your in house servers and your Oracle Database it will only work properly with MS servers and MSQL. Then you will find that Bill has released Version two and you need to upgrade all your phones because the old ones you only bought two years ago don't have enough memory or processing power. So you upgrade to a new MS certified phone with a nice hologram sticker on the base. Then you find that none of the upgraded phones will communicate with Apple iPhones but your mobile staff are not going to give up their iPhones and refuse to use your MS certified Mobile phones. The many calls you make to MS helpdesks don't provide any answers so you struggle on working late every night. Then a new phone virus takes the whole communications infrastructure for the state down for three days and your company misses some vital orders. Some how the boss thinks its your fault even though you did not write the virus. Eventually after surviving this nightmare for several years you give up IT and take up landscape gardening. being out doors all the time You buy a mobile phone for your business. A little IPhone and you marvel at the simplicity of its operation and how it always "Just works" ;-) Be careful of advancement you might just get what you wished for.

roblespaulo
roblespaulo

I dont think that you will dump youre current system.. i thing you'll upgrat it.. this kind of apps.. are not a substitute are an upgrade. Considering that he is going to buy nortel. and then probably lucent-avaya... there is a good market oportunity if you can buy stock from nortel.. is going to go UP and UP!!!

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Remember that you don't have to rip out your current VoIP system. Microsoft doesn't want to run the VoIP hardware -- except the Roundtable camera -- it just wants to run the software to tie everything together.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Michael Dell was one of the featured speakers at Gartner ITxpo a couple weeks ago. The session was in interview format and the Gartner presenter started by noting that Michael was known as a gamer and asked what games he's been playing lately. He said, "Mostly I've been playing Microsoft Outlook." :-) He's not alone. So yes, you're right about Outlook.

clintonspicer
clintonspicer

Yes Sir Microsoft will push this technology to the extreme and take control of some of the more important proprietry gear that is out there on the market, swallowing the little companies and writing contracts that will make it hard for other emerging companies to get their hands on the good gear. If I were one of the little guys writing software and building adaptable phones ect I too would sell out for a good price... Such is life

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

He's pushing for more H1-B visas for MS drones like you so that he can work you into the ground and pay you peanuts while he approaches congress and whines that there is insufficient technical talent here in the USA. No Bill, there is sufficient technical talent in the USA, but they won't work for 3rd world salaries or be willing to shack up with 20 other people in a single apartment just to make ends meet. If Bill asked you to kill your firstborn, you'd probably do it too because you are a sellout. if it weren't for outsourcing, you'd still be shoveling the excrement left by cows in India because your country is not capable of creating its own industry without stealing it from others. I'm still waiting for you to provide us with a legitimate answer as to why you think Bill Gates' idea is a good one, other than blindly following him?

warhippy1
warhippy1

He was pokin' fun at Microsoft and it's many drawbacks and shortcomings, all of which I have to admit are true and put together in this format, anyone who would accept Microsoft as a phone provider is crazier than me

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

It might actually be time to buy Cisco!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

and how badly you need these "Gee Whiz" features. I'm sorry, I still don't see the need.

elimarcus
elimarcus

I have learned over the years not to trust Microsoft for anything important or anything that you want to be dependable in life. I have yet to see a Microsoft product that knows how to manage memory resources properly, or that can safely recover from errors or crashes. Most important of all in my opinion, is the ability to smoothly integrate your hardware/software with other applications and providers - and this is one area where Microsoft has the worst track record!!!

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

And how do you explain that Microsoft is starting a new development center in Vancouver Canada (the most EXPENSIVE part of the country to live and some of the highest salaries in the country). Kind of blows your cheap salary theory out of the water. In any case, you may want to check the number of CERTIFIED professionals in India and other of your so-called 'shovelling' countries. Also, the number of CMM level 5 shops is also STAGGERING -- as is the number of computer science graduates. Is it just Microsoft you have a stick up your butt about or the other 90% of American companies who take advantage of the global labor pool? Google is opening a new development center here in St. Petersburg Russia -- following in the steps of Intel, Motorola and many others. As a result, the labor market here is TIGHT and salaries have doubled in the past 2 years for all kinds of software engineers. You think $3,000 US per month with only 13% income tax isn't a fair wage? Maybe not in the US, but over here, there is almost no such thing as 'consumer debt'. Maybe there is not a shortage of talent in the US -- perhaps it is more a shortage of CREATIVE, WILLING, EXCITED talent who aren't sitting around moaning and griping that with the current price of gas (HALF of what anyone else in the world pays) they can't drive their SUV as much as they used to...

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

The issues of Off-shore Outsourcing and H1B Visas are hot topics that are certainly worth debating in the TechRepublic forums. However, the cheap shots you took at India ("your country is not capable of creating its own industry without stealing it from others") and Microsoft ("there is sufficient technical talent in the USA, but they won't work for 3rd world salaries or be willing to shack up with 20 other people in a single apartment just to make ends meet") are out of line and aren't based in fact. So this is my request ... Let's avoid the distortion field so that we can have some legitimate conversations about the important issues you brought up.

torroid88
torroid88

But that was after how many decades of crash-less service ? And M$ CrapWare-TM that crashes how often ??? Daily ??? Or perhaps you IT Dept is covering up the fact by rebooting nightly !!!

Scott.Anderson
Scott.Anderson

?why do we ride in cars instead of walking? After all, walking isn't broken. Simple, we can do more than with just a standard P.O.T.S.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't plan on installing an automatic butt wiper either. As I said below, I can't imagine anybody with half a lick of sense abandoning their current solution and jumping onto this bandwagon.

Bill Harrison
Bill Harrison

Q: When is the last time the "old fashioned" outhouse failed? A: I can't recall but I'm glad somebody decided to try to fix it even though it wasn't broken...

da philster
da philster

Q: When is the last time that my "old fashioned" phone crashed, dropped a call, or produced a garbled or "echoing " transmission? A: I can't recall. Q: Why? A: Because it just works. Q: Why fix something that isn't broken? A: Beats me !

warhippy1
warhippy1

Can you offer me a job, they have some purty, purty women over there.....

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

And plenty of them; I was one. But most rednecks live upstate in the Adirondacks or the Catskills or out by the Finger Lakes. They don't live in the city*. Jack, the difference between a good'ol boy and a Yankee farm boy can be expressed as the difference between "Hey, y'all! Wawtch 'is!" and "Guys! Check THIS out!" *the city is currently defined by natives of upstate New York as any part of the state south of I-84. Edit: splelnig

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I am far from being a "redneck" and far from being a bigot as you call me. Perhaps you need to fully analyze the situation before you pull the old Jesse Jackson race card BS on me and whine like a typical liberal apologist. Out of respect for other TR members, I won't stoop down to your level of stupidity and engage in a flame war or start booking airline tickets to confront your dumb ass, because you're not worth the time or effort. Also, I won't be reimbursed for kicking your butt, but I will certainly send you a bill for wasting my time by having to fly over to Ohio to do it...LOL

DanLM
DanLM

email me if you want it: put droolin in front of gmail and you have it. If you want to know where I live, I am more then happy to tell you. That make you happy? Otherise, keep your racist biggoted oppinions to yourselves. Again, I can't stand biggots or rasits. Dan

warhippy1
warhippy1

Can you name one job that another nation has outsourced to the US in recent years? It seems to me that the "made in America" sticker has gotten tarnished a little by the same corporate greed that caused US companies to send their work overseas in the first place. But, you should know that already, living in Ohio, one of the hardest hit states. I owned a dump truck business in Ohio, then all four steel mills in and around Youngstown, Ohio closed, because they couldn't compete with third world countries in the manufacture of steel. Instead of upgrading their mills and competing, they just whined about it being unfair and went belly-up. Who castrated corporate America? Was it the pressure to remain politically correct and non homophobic? When did corporate America decide it was better to play follow the leader instead of taking charge and being the leader? Jack took it out on that individual because the individual made a blind statement without any knowledge of the facts surrounding the issue, simply because he now has a job at Microsoft. You attacked Jack because Jack pointed out the mindless drone answer that the guy made, showing his lack of knowledge of Microsoft's jaded past. And "straight in your face" doesn't mean sitting behind your monitor playing tough guy, because he doesn't know where to find you if he wants to get straight in YOUR face. So, tough guy, why dontcha give Jack your address and really be in his face.

Tig2
Tig2

We can't discuss the points when we are screaming at one another. The question, though poorly put, was valid. But it is not the topic of discussion here and should have its own thread. I have many Indian friends both in India and in the US. A great many of them agree with Jack on this. A great many of them are appalled by much of the "quality" of the Indian workforce and don't wish to be identified as Indian as a result. The issue over all is huge. All Jack is asking is that someone hear him. Please don't escalate a situation that has been handled.

DanLM
DanLM

That straight forward enough for you? You slam someone for living in a country whose talents are hired in the US. How often have other nations outsourced specific jobs to Americans? I might not like the fact that IT jobs are outsourced, but I do not take it out on the individuals that benefit by it. Want to blame someone blame corporations. But not you, you took it out on the individual because of his nationality. All that tells me Big Jack is that your nationality is red neck bigot. How is that? Straight in your face enough for you? Dan

btljooz
btljooz

I completely and totally support your position on "[i]Political Correctness[/i]"!!! "[i]Political Correctness[/i]" [b]IS[/b] nothing more than a steaming pile of [i]male bovine fecal matter[/i][b]!!![/b] A '[i]cow patty[/i]' is [b]STILL[/b] a [u]cow patty[/u] even if it's wrapped in gold leaf. ;) All that glitters is [b]NOT[/b] necessarily [u]gold[/u]. So those that you see "sticking their heads in the sand" are in for some fairly large surprises! They will then wonder, [b]"WHY' ?:| [/b] All with their noses the hue of the cesspool they didn't see as the sand covered their eyes, filled their ears and clouded their brains. Unfortunately, those of us who prefer to stand up on our hind legs and survey the territory before simply taking someone's word at face value are sadly in the minority in this day and age of ever decreasing [b]true[/b] Freedom of Speech. That is the [u]purpose[/u] of "[i]Political Correctness[/i]" in the [b]FIRST[/b] place ;) ...to attempt to cancel out basic Freedom of Speech/Expression! X-( Tigger is right about ONE thing. If you say something here that the "moderators" don't like, at minimum, that post will simply be deleted (with no notice or chance for the poster to [i]"fix"[/i] the thing) effectively putting a [b]STOP[/b] to [b][u]TRUE[/u][/b] Freedom of Expression!!! X-( This, coming from a [i]Free Democracy[/i]...the "Land of the [i]Free[/i] and the Home of the [i]Brave[/i]". :|

Tig2
Tig2

But we really do need to be careful. I saw a peer get booted because his language on this issue got a bit too colorful. I think that you have good points on this issue. But like Jason, I want to see them aired, not vented. You can vent to me in peer mail if you like. But I don't want to see you kicked because you are passionate about this subject. Let's work together to find the right way to frame the issue so that it can be discussed. I understand your rant. One of these days, I'll share mine on this (general) subject. Just not now.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

such posts from obvious drones who can't back up their statements.

Tig2
Tig2

Yes, it is a free country. But freedom of speech has some limitations on this international board. So let's take a step and think about how we can communicate the issue without the sounds of malice and without treading on the edges of racism. That isn't the best way to communicate your points. H1B is a serious issue to those of us living and working in the US. For every job outsourced, an American is on unemployment. Welcome to my world- one made more difficult by the fact that I have to beggar myself to get medical care while non-nationals are first in line. I get the frustration, believe me. But I suggest that we take the issues to their own thread and discuss what they are. Is it really that the US is shipping jobs overseas? Or is it that the paradigm shifted and we are still trying to learn how to cope in the global world. And while we're examining this, let's look at how this shift is different from the shift that occurred when we sent manufacturing overseas. And if there are lessons from that experience that we can use to cope with this new shift. All of us have seen posts by the seagull newbies that only care about how to do their homework or how to crack a system. But we have several US resident Indians who contribute well and wisely to both discussions and questions. We can't just make a global assumption about anyone. No one has their head in the sand. All Jason, and to an extent Dan, and I, are saying is that we need to have a discussion, not flames. The issues are real and important. But when it devolves to name calling, innuendo, and mud-slinging, those important issues don't get addressed.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

I'm a big boy and can take criticism from others, just as much as I can criticize others. After all, it is a free country last I checked and nobody I know has ever worried about exercising his/her freedom of speech. It's not my problem if others tend to get offended by my comments because they are not "politically correct", but you know what..that's their problem, not mine. If the truth hurts, then perhaps it is the truth, yet everyone seems to prefer sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that the problem does not exist.

warhippy1
warhippy1

Jacks points were right on the money. Because there are no points of evidence to prove it, does not disprove the validity of the facts. I never saw the document that Hitler signed, ordering all the Jews to be rounded up and put in concentration camps. I believe he gave that order, and most of the time when you call for customer support, your call is answered by someone with an Indian accent, that you can't hardly understand, but that's shared equally on the other end, because the support person has no clue what you're calling for support for either. So, they say, "Am I correct in understanding your problem is...." then they parrot back your original question word, for word, without an answer in sight. Then the support says, "I'll have to pass the problem to the next level", and hands the phone to his brother, the ex-sheepherder.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

He has yet to explain why he follows Bill Gates blindly without sounding like a typical MS drone.