If you’ve noticed some changes to the way the Windows Insider program is presented, with less emphasis on personality and more on a corporate persona, it’s not by accident. In a Twitter thread posted over the weekend, former Windows Insider chief Dona Sarkar revealed a number of abuses she endured during her time as head of the program, including death and kidnapping threats, calls for her murder and/or firing, and more. Here’s the thread, which was apparently in reply to a tweet by someone with a protected account (so the original tweet Sarkar replied to is not visible):
Oh! And we had an Insider be invited to campus once for a tour. When he was here, he tweeted that he was on campus and that he was going to find the person that killed Windows Phone and kill them. That dude got sent home on the next plane.
— Dona Sarkar #EndSARS (@donasarkar) October 25, 2020
Sarkar reports being harassed at her home and at hotels, enough so that she learned to shoot, and relays threats coming from Insiders seemingly especially upset about the demise of Windows Phone. She also revealed that “It’s why we no longer have a person being the face of program on social and rather using a corp handle.”
While Sarkar brought her own personal style to the Windows Insider program, and continues to do so with Microsoft’s Power Platform, and had lots and lots of great interactions with Insiders, it’s a shame that anyone has to go through this abuse. If you’re a Windows Insider that thinks it’s ok to threaten others because of some element of the program, you’re very wrong. That Microsoft has had to pull back on a more personal and fun persona for the Windows Insider program because of death threats, that’s wrong, too. If you’re ok with threatening anyone over the state of the Windows Insider program, seek some help.