First of all, I want to say thank you personally and on the behalf of my company!!! Microsoft appreciates your business and the opportunity to help you solve problems, make money and have fun. FY07 has been a blast for me. Let's rewind a bit and see what happened.
Back in July of 2006, the beginning of our fiscal year, we were heading into the final stretches of development for Windows Vista. Many people at that point didn't think we'd ship on time. Bad bet. We also decided to make our desktop virtualization product, Virtual PC free. No, not free like a puppy, really free. We also said a sad goodbye to Windows ME. Ok, maybe that wasn't so sad, but it closed the books on the Win9x era which frankly was very good for the industry. It certainly set the stage for Windows XP.
In August, I started doing some Windows Vista screencasts. It also became apparent in August that my recommendation for the Lenovo Thinkpad T60p as the platform of choice for Microsoft Across America, was a sound decision. Friends, we've been in front of 100's of thousands of people in FY07 with these machines as we launched Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. I didn't even need to play the supplied promo videos and slides at my shows. People were amazed at the stability and performance of our platform choice. In fact, my last show Thursday in Little Rock was nothing short of amazing. I decided to do an impromptu demo of the high definition capabilities of Windows Vista. It was amazing because at the time I did this, Windows Vista was hosting three other virtual machines running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Core Read Only Domain Controller, and another Windows Vista demo VM. It shocked the audience. It shocked me. It was impressive.
September was business as usual. We released Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 with little fanfare. What many didn't know was that many of the most technical people in Microsoft started using build 5600 as their production environment round the clock. The volume of traffic on the internal Vista alias increases dramatically as people discover the subject matter experts in the company. People talk about Microsofties being email centric, but trust me, you've never seen this kind of volume. Multiple your Inbox volume per day by 100. Laser focus is a good thing and I'm smack dab in the middle of it. One of the interesting things that happened in September is the fuss over the Windows Vista startup sound. Many people were concerned, present self included. Way to much energy was expended over it, but in the end, the Windows team made the right choices.
October, what can I say? We started giving away an Xbox360 at each of my events. Is that kewl or what? We also shipped IE7. I like IE7. Do you? We also shipped Windows Vista RC2. We are getting close to release and I'm downloading weekly builds of Windows Vista. That was a 6GB download at that time. "Got fiber?" has a whole new meaning. Thank you Verizon for FIOS. I still love the photo at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2006/10/29/ciclops-cassini-imaging-central-lab-for-operations.aspx.
November... November was the beginning of the thrill ride. Windows Vista RTM's. I post gobs of information. Lot's of people read. My blog hits an unimaginable number of readers (thanks by the way), and life is simply rockin. This is also the first anniversary of high definition TV being in my home. It's also the first DLP lamp I burn out. That sucked. I start to set my sights on some toys for Christmas... grin. November was also the month Harold and I benchmark the Vista/Office/Exchange launch content and realize a single laptop isn't going to cut it. Time to go shopping.
December started with a mystery. Remember that? Viral marketing at it's best. At this point of the year, I had been asked many times if Windows Vista would run well on x, y, or z machine. So I decided to install it on a Compaq EVO N620c. Pretty amazing results for machine that is almost five years old. 7200rpm drives certainly help. Daughter totals Honda Civic but walks away with a scratch on her knee. Scary. December was also the month Seattle got blasted, literally, by a wind storm. It knocked down trees and cut communications and power. Scary, too. We also released Exchange Server 2007. This completes the three amigos we'll be demonstrating at the huge launch events next month. As you might suspect, we're rather busy prepping for that but I still manage to find time for some fun.
January through March is a blur of humanity. We are in full frontal launch mode. Big events, huge crowds and we're giving away a copy of Office 2007 Professional to each event attendee. I wonder how many copies have actually been activated. Virtual PC 2007 goes gold and is available for free download from microsoft.com. March is the month I start paying closer attention to my HDTV recording habits and realize how pathetic the HD DVR's I've been using are. TiVo starts to look more interesting but the price is too high (back then). I purchase a new Honda Civic Coupe. I calculate I've already saved close to $2000 since that purchase on monthly payments, gas and insurance. Nice. I also posted some information about an episode of "Lost" and find out quickly that the episode won't be broadcast worldwide for another six months or so. Spoiler. People start to discover their hardware won't address all 4GB of RAM they purchased. The frenzy around daylight "savings" time begins to build.
In April, Halo 3 starts to take center stage in the world of gaming. We're testing the product internally and getting ready to let the world have a shot at whipping Microsoft employees. Fat chance. We release Beta 3 of Windows Server 2008. We rebuild our content, again. I purchase a HDHomeRun HDTV recording gizmo. This is one kewl device. This is also the month I discover a flaw in the way Microsoft IT handles updates for Microsoft employees. Grrrrr. The Windows Vista Resource Kit ships. Nice.
May was an interesting month. Dell started shipping Ubuntu on some of their desktop and laptop machines. I wonder how many have sold. Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 momentum starts to pick up. Intel officially announces the "Santa Rosa" chipset. I see an 8GB laptop in my future. Verizon starts shipping updated versions of the VZAccess Manager for Windows Vista EVDO users. All of the beta and RC versions of Windows Vista expire. We announce Microsoft Surface.
Then of course there's June. At this point, Texas has been pounded by rain for days, weeks and now months. Things are serious. We need some sunshine. I know, be careful what you wish for. I buy a TiVo for $400. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is released. We should have called it Virtual Server 2005 R2 D2. Archos launches their fifth generation PMP. Lust. Windows Vista gets a great report card. We release the June CTP build for Windows Server 2008. Apple launched the iPhone. Good luck Apple.
Obviously lots of other stuff happened the past 12 months, but as you can see, it was an impressive year. Today we officially close the books and will report earnings before long. Thanks for your support. Thanks for your business. I look forward to another great 12 months. Fiscal 2008 starts tomorrow. Back to work!!!