What is Really Important

Microsoft Silverlight

Back in early March, I wrote briefly about all the changes taking place at work at that time. One of the first things I mentioned was I had taken on “a great deal more responsibility” in our organization. During the past 6 weeks, that increase in responsibility has resulted in our broader team working tirelessly toward the launch of a new technology, Microsoft® Silverlight™, culminating with last night’s press release and today’s announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

With all the buzz building around the Silverlight announcements in the news and blogosphere today, paired with the strides we are positioned to make in this space, these are truly exciting times in the Server & Tools business at Microsoft. It seems all the hard work and long hours and exhausting attention-to-detail and stress and disgruntled spouses and poor eating habits, etc. were indeed well worth it. In this tiny sliver of time, we are part of something rare and that provides vindication and gives a little meaning to why we do what we do.

That was until that other news story about the shootings at Virginia Tech University hit the wire and quickly reminded all of us what is really important. Thirty-three confirmed deaths and counting. Why? No one will ever know.

Technorati Top 10 - April 16, 2007 So what does Silverlight have to do with the VTU killings? Both, everything and nothing.

Many of us take our work very seriously at Microsoft. Some would argue too seriously. At the same time, we joke about what it is we actually do and don’t do in a typical workday and how that maps to our job descriptions. For example, “Human E-mail Filter,” “Meeting Room Chair Warmer,” and “Keyboard and Mouse Stress Tester” are a few I have heard used. Still, we take the good with the bad because what we do for a living impacts the world.

Today, I woke up anxious to see how Silverlight would fare in the news cycle. The announcement was the most important thing on my mind. Many of those VTU students probably woke up thinking about their classes with final exams as the most important thing on their minds. None of us probably gave a passing thought to the real possibility that we would not live to see tomorrow.

The world has a way of reminding each of us what is really important. It is amazing how something like Silverlight, that seemed so big just last night, pales in comparison to the loss of life at VTU today. Silverlight went from being everything to being nothing.

Thankfully, it appears those of us who spend way too much time on computers got the wake-up call…at least briefly. The image to the left shows the top 10 searches on the Technorati blog search engine today. Virginia Tech is (rightfully) at the top. Silverlight is sandwiched between Don Imus and Paris Hilton. Great! :sarcastic: