8 Years

As of today, June 22, 2006, I have been a full-time, regular employee at Microsoft Corporation for 8 years. :party:

It has actually been 12 years since I became employee #360?? (don’t want anyone using my employee ID for mischief :razz:) after joining MSFT as a summer intern in June 1994.

I believe the company had about 17,000 employees worldwide back in 1994 — today there are about 70,000.  I also remember Redmond, WA before the RedWest, Troon, Augusta and Pebble Beach campuses (evidently someone in facilities had a fixation with golf courses).  Of course, there are people at the company with many more stories to tell who have been there since it was considered a David to the Goliath known as IBM.

What is my most memorable Microsoft moment thus far? I actually have two, one near the beginning and one very recent:

  1. The Windows 95 Launch.  It was huge.  Hey, even Jay Leno was there and The Rolling Stones provided the theme music.  For all its faults, Win95 really did change the world of computing.  I remember installing the early, pre-release versions when everyone internally referred to it by its codename, “Chicago.”
  2. BillG moving on.  I knew it was imminent and now that it has happened I am actually excited for Bill.  He’s someone who seems genuinely dedicated to using his wealth to change the world for the better and his next big area of focus is so much more important than software.  As for the impact to Microsoft?  The stock price can’t get much lower so this was a perfect time to do it as opposed to when I was getting ready for retirement myself. 😉

Imagine working at Microsoft pre-Exchange, pre-Outlook, pre-Internet Explorer, pre-Remote Desktop, pre-IM, pre-OWA, pre-wireless networking and when only a select few had access to CD burners and laptops.

Everyone remember when mice lacked wheels and contained balls, not optics?  I worked on the very first IntelliMouse (codename “Magellan”) back in the summer of 1995.  It was Todd Holmdahl’s pet project after he joined Microsoft from Fluke and I was his intern working on the microcontroller for the “wheel” mouse.  Today Todd is the Corporate Vice President responsible for the design & manufacturing of Xbox hardware.  I retired from electrical engineering and hardware and became a web guy back in the fall of 1996 when Netscape Navigator and Java were generating so much buzz on college campuses everywhere.

Ten years later and it’s Internet Explorer and .NET dominating and generating lots of buzz.  This industry is crazy where even the best technology must fight to survive and that’s why I love it.