Among his many interesting comments was a discussion of what he called the Microsoft "strategy tax." Said Spolksy of Microsoft InfoPath, 'they had that thing ready to go years ago. But they couldn't release it, because they had to do all this "Office stuff" — things like customizable tool bars, VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and lots and lots of other things like that. The cross of being a good Office application which took 90 percent of their time is what's called the "strategy tax." And that makes them a much less nimble company, I think.' Knowing what he knows about Longhorn, Spolsky goes on to predict that Service Pack 2 for Windows XP will turn out to be a better upgrade than the next version of Windows.
When it comes to the industry, Michael Dell may be "the Don" (see below), but when it comes to Microsoft, ex-Microsoft employee Joel Spolsky is known as "the Joel" (see his blog). Though he's been gone from the company for a decade, his opinions to this day remain among the most respected in the halls of Redmond. In her interview of him, Microsoft Watch editor Mary Jo Foley asked Spolsky for his thoughts on his ex-employer.