Redhat provided every delegate to LUGRadioLive with either a track suit top or t-shirt hence many people were sporting RedHat attire both at dinner on Saturday evening and on Sunday. In my earlier post about LUGRadioLive I mentioned that I’d accepted a challenge…it was for me to wear a RedHat t-shirt at the Microsoft office in Reading and to provide photographic evidence. In return I challenged Jon Fautley agreed to wear a Microsoft t-shirt at his office at Redhat.
It wasn’t a big deal.
I did get some funny looks as I wandered around the campus though few people even commented. I wore the t-shirt all day long. I’m sure that Jon will get on perfectly well at his office wearing the Microsoft TechNet shirt that I’ve put in the post for him. Many members of the open source community at LUGRadioLive seemed to think that I’d get fired for wearing a competitor’s t-shirt to the office and also that I’d receive a thorough de-brief upon return to the campus – hence the reason for posting this and to provide evidence that I’d gone ahead.
Much is made of the rivalry between major competitors and sure on a business level that’s appropriate. It’s easy to forget the companies are made up of real people. James wrote about an experience of an American Microsoft employee who registered for a Google event who received an email including the text “Because you work for a competitor, we politely ask you not to attend.”
I recently went to a GirlGeek dinner hosted by Google (making it clear I was a Microsoft employee) and found them to be very friendly courteous hosts – a company full of passionate individuals who believed in their products. James’ post goes on to mention another case as follows:
“We had a booth with Port25 next to the Google booth. I was handing out a lot of t-shirts and I asked the google guys if they wanted one.
“We are not allowed to wear any t-shirts from a competitor” very amusing, I asked a google t-shirt just for fun “
This seems a strange response and I doubt it’s representative of a corporate policy across Google. If someone at Google sends me a small/medium Google t-shirt then I’ll wear that to the office too and send them a Microsoft one in return!
Microsoft products compete on their technical merit. I believe that we do our best to build excellent products, help our customers get the most from them and where we get it wrong we listen to feedback and act on it to our best ability – that’s why I work at Microsoft. Wearing a rival’s t-shirt doesn’t mean my views have changed. I’m just challenging the tribal view that some people have.
Here are the pictures showing me going to work @ Microsoft Campus in Reading on Monday 9th July in my RedHat t-shirt…
Here’s a close up on the logo:
And here’s a picture of the LUGRadioLive organisers kicking off day two (Sunday):