Warning...complete non-official conjecture for the sake of fun follows below...
Steve Ballmer. Stay with me now. I've heard the rumor that Mini was a actually a clever PR/Recruiting move by one of our competitors, but if the Business Week article is to be believed, then Mini does indeed work at Microsoft. But who? The C9 community has their theories, but I think Mini is Steve, or a clever move by the powers that be at Microsoft, or at least a high level exec who is known within the company. Is it all that crazy? Here are some things to think over.
1. I don't buy anonymity on the internet. I think that if Mini was just some guy he would have been exposed by now. Blogspot would have coughed up the info and some "Area 51" security team (they do exist... it's a long story) would have tracked the person down and set him straight.
2. As much as one could... Steve and Lisa Brummel (VP of HR) directly addressed several of the concerns that have been levied by Mini over the last year today at the company meeting. At one point I was waiting for Steve to break out with "And you should know I care about agility and the people here because I am .... WhoDaPunk!" He stopped just short.
3. The blog is a great testing ground. Imagine being a high level VP who may be surrounded by yes-men. You want to float a new review model idea past people, but you know they won't tell you what they really think if they know their reply goes to a VP... start a blog and pretend you are just some guy. Then you get real comments from people who will tell you if an idea is really crazy or not.
4. Brilliant Marketing. What better way to show that things are turning around (if you believe they needed to be) at Microsoft than to create a blog by someone who might be disgruntled... then start showing them in approval of what we've done. You've created an unbiased 3rd party who then becomes your biggest fan.
Thus concludes the silly thought that ran through my head during the company meeting. BTW - Vista and Office 12 look worlds better than you may have ever imagined. I'm excited as a share holder!