Did MSFT leak on purpose, or did they know they could easily be leaked?

I've read several accounts relating to Microsoft's recently 'leaked' documents about the new strategy, for example, Cringely says:

"While ostensibly written solely for internal discussion, the documents from Bill Gates and new Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie were clearly supposed to be leaked."

... and ...

"These are external marketing documents -- the equivalent of those ubiquitous white papers ..." (via Scripting News)

I have a couple of thoughts on this:

  1. "On Purpose" is relative: Any email that is sent to tens of thousands of people is essentially certain to be leaked.

  2. Any experienced emailer knows that just about any message might get leaked, and writes many if not  most messages with that in mind.

  3. When you write anything that will be read by tens of thousands of people, of course you copy edit it, of course you review it, of course you write it carefully. That's not evidence of any kind of evil intent, it's just rational

Oh, and do I have any substantial thoughts about the content itself? Sure, why not:

  1. Microsoft and the press like comparing these recent memos to the famous Halloween memos from years ago when Microsoft 'turned on a dime' and embraced the Internet. I don't buy it. That was a long time ago, a much different Microsoft, a different Bill Gates.

  2. I will wait to see it before I believe it. This is classic repackaging of old stuff, making many beautiful architectural drawings to distract the world. Color me skeptical.

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Posted on November 12, 2005 and filed under Politics, Technology.