Coffeehouse Thread

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Channel 9, Microsoft and NDA

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  • User profile image
    lars

    Hi.

    I found an interesting thread some time ago in an Microsoft group on Orkut. The first guy asks how come everyone is so quiet. A second person replys something along the lines of "have you read your NDA lately?". And then a third person goes on to hint that even discussing the NDA could land you into trouble.

    Is the Microsoft employee NDA really that harsh?
    And in that case, how can this place exist?

    Cheers,

    /Lars.


  • User profile image
    spod

    oops..i didn't know i had an NDA...i'd better go and have a look i suppose Smiley.

    I've worked in various parts of microsoft ( support, consultancy, msr , windows server ) and in my experience we are allowed to be as open as we can be. Obviously we work in a competitive world so we have our secrets...

    I feel pretty free to talk about most technical things to be honest, legal etc issues would make me less comfortable ( but i'm a dev, that stuff scares me Smiley

    Personally, a lot of the time that i won't speak about things, it's not from a non-disclosure pov, it's because they are speculative and may be changed / cut etc. Once you talk about something in public people tend to start wanting to use it...and this can be embarassing. IMDB in windows 2000 is a good example if anyone remembers that one...

    cheers

    jeff


  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    you can read it and judge by yourself

    MICROSOFT CORPORATION NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

    http://www.wellsregister.com/ciosummit/CIO2004NDA.pdf

    and also the
    Microsoft Vendor Program Agreement

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/9/2/e92ad3da-3433-4bc3-a7a0-7a492c62243c/Agreement.pdf

  • User profile image
    lenn

    Sure, Microsoft employees have a responsibility not to disclose trade secrets, plans for future products, and details on business arrangements just like any other company does.  This is not an unusual practice in any business.  Nothing says you can talk to customers about our products or company.  It is simple responsible communication.  Just be smart!

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Ok, but what about that poor guy that got sacked for taking some shots of Mac's coming into Microsoft... I wouldn't call that a trade secret. Doesn't seem fair to me.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Manip wrote:
    Ok, but what about that poor guy that got sacked for taking some shots of Mac's coming into Microsoft... I wouldn't call that a trade secret. Doesn't seem fair to me.


    This has been discussed a thousand places, including his blog. He was fired for taking pictures of sensitive areas. There are hundreds of Macs at Microsoft. The fact that Microsoft uses them isn't just unhidden, it's pretty near public knowledge.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Not to mention MS owns part of apple Smiley

  • User profile image
    Dag

    And even non-microsoft people have signed this NDA. So it's also used outside the company. And I like it. With that we could get a look at things even earlier and to prepare us a bit ahead.

    /dag

  • User profile image
    lars

    lenn wrote:
    Sure, Microsoft employees have a responsibility not to disclose trade secrets, plans for future products, and details on business arrangements just like any other company does.


    True. That's standard practise.

    I found the text on Orkut now: 

    "As MS software covers so many areas, it seems that there is very little that is computer related that you can discuss with a a non-MS employee -- including members of your family". /Amir.

    For those on Orkut:
    http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=103&tid=2

    Scary. Before I read that I thought it would be really cool if I was ever offered a job at MS, but if I can't help my grandma install Windows, well I dunno.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    scobleizer

    NDAs? We don't need no stinking NDAs!

    Hey, hey, who's this lawyer dude and why is he in my office. Helpppp...

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