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Microsoft's most famous blogger criticizes the company

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Robert Scoble, perhaps the most famous blogger who just so happens to be employed by Microsoft, has written extensively on his blog about the recent brouhaha.

Here is his reponse to CEO Steve Ballmer's recent memo to all staff (and the comments on his blog are equally fascinating).

He's a brave man to do this publicly. It's nice to see someone who can give voice to those employees who are too afraid to speak publicly:

Steve, I personally am not happy with what it appears went down in this case -- even the APPEARANCE that a church is pushing around Microsoft is just wrong in my view (and, when the pastor makes claims that we buckled because of his pressure then I'm left trying to figure out who to believe: a CEO of a company, or a religious guy. Most people I know will pick the religious guy, sorry).

One of the reasons I came to Microsoft is because of its very strong stance on human rights.

The fact that Microsoft is even in this position makes me want to leave and join a different company that won't be pushed around by religious folks. Is that the message you want to send?

Steve: this comes down to leadership. What kind of society do we want to live in? One where religious folks decide the society we live in? Hint: my wife left Iran for a reason. My mom left Germany for a reason. There are bloggers in jail as we speak because religious people are so powerful in their societies. I guess we (Microsoft) have to now pass every decision to our religious leaders to make sure it's OK with them.

As to the religious' guy's claims. I'm not gonna name him cause that just makes his popularity even higher which is EXACTLY what he wanted. He says that Microsoft should not be pushing an agenda outside our walls. Well, sorry, the religious right has pushed an agenda outside of THEIR walls. My money says "in God we trust." That's not my agenda. It's one that was pushed on us. (Our money didn't always say that, by the way). Same thing for a whole raft of issues.

But, I guess, religion in America has become so powerful that even we are willing to cowtow to them.

Steve, I'm sad. Very sad. This is leadership? What if we were a company in Germany in the 1930s? Would we have taken the same position you just did? After all, most of the churches back then were on the wrong side too. It took the Catholic church about 60 years, for instance, to issue an apology for their part in the Holocaust.

On the other hand, I see your point that Microsoft should only be about making great software and that we should leave the social issues to others to fight out. I disagree with that stance, but can see how you arrived at it.

Finally, I wanna get my readers involved.

What do you think about this?

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