The 10th of September saw my fifth year at Microsoft pass by and this got me thinking about what has changed since joining, working at Microsoft still has the novelty it did five years ago.
Here is a list of things I would never have predicted would happen
- No more need for VPN - Using Outlook remotely was impossible with VPN, that’s no longer the case since Outlook 2003
- My TV runs XP - I remember watching a 'futures video' talking about this, 5yrs down the line not only do I watch TV solely via Media Centre but my parents do also
- Smartphones - I remember showing my mum a video where the guy could not only pick up his email on the phone but also surf the net, navigate using GPS and play games. Now I wonder how I ever managed to use my previous phone :-S
- Buy a Microsoft console - I was never much of a console person because I always thought I would be bored of the games, especially if I got stuck on a certain level. Making the XBOX a multi media device and creating XBOX Live changed this
- Previewing a piece of the entertainment world bigger than Spiderman 2. A little while before the official launch of Halo 2 I managed to get a sneak peek of the game, which went on to be one of the fastest selling entertainment events of all time
- People would pay to use instant messaging - Now this one I didn’t see coming. Since joining Microsoft I have seen Instant Messaging and more importantly Presence graduate from an Add/Remove option in Exchange 2000 to a product in its our right. The next few years in this market is going to be even more exciting.
- I could write on my laptop and it would understand my writing - The industry has made several attempts at writing recognition 'tablet pcs' and I remember seeing a mock-up of these devices. A large percentage of the laptops I see these days are tablets and the place I see the most is on the TV in either a sci-fi program or on the news.
Still to come
- Microsoft makes its own music player - Like the XBOX, I think this one is going to take a while to get moving but I think we have some innovative ideas here
- A phone that isn’t just a handset with numbers and a big screen - Communicator Phone Experience is the thing I am most looking forward to. This phone really and what its planning to do is really going to change the telephony market
When I look back at what I have seen created over the last five years it reminds me that Microsoft is not a company that has any intention of standing still. When I get a chance I will try and find 'futures video' I watched when I joined, it was all futuristic stuff then but five years on I am actually living the life portrayed in the videos. It amazes me every time I think of that!