In September 1996, I joined Microsoft to work on Internet Explorer for Macintosh. I've always been a Mac guy since I got my first Mac SE (I was an Apple II guy long before that). I was excited to be able to work on an application that was so ubiquitous on the Mac platform and it was really a thrill to do that.
After a couple of years working on Mac IE, a bunch of us Mac IE folks moved up to Redmond to start working on various Windows applications. I spent some time working on Outlook Express, and then joined the Windows Shell team for Windows 2000 and Windows XP. That was a real blast. Working on what would be the defining computer experience for years and the things my team and I created during that time - the Luna look, cool logon screen, fast user switching - are still to this date some of the high points of my coding days.
After Windows XP shipped, I worked on the MSN client, Digital Image Suite and many long years on what would eventually become Windows Vista helping to create the Digital Photography features and platform. As long as that slog was, we had a great team and a ton of fun.
For the past year, I've worked on <super secret project you don't know about yet> but as of this week, my tenure with Microsoft is ending.
I never really thought that I would be there for 11 years but there was always so much more to do and the people I've worked with were top notch! Heck, they're still top notch though many of them have left for cool new things. Well, now it's my turn. So at this turning point, I want to thank all of the folks I worked with and all of the folks who used the stuff we built.
I'll close with a funny story about the earliest days. Having been a Mac guy for so long, I figured that when I left my old company I would work at Apple. Apple flew me out to California to interview with them back in 1996 and while I was there, I interviewed with Microsoft. I got offers from both but this was during the dark days at Apple (aka - before the second coming of Steve Jobs) and Microsoft's offer was so much better that I went with it. When I called the Apple recruiter to tell him, I said "Who knows... maybe I won't like it and I'll go to Apple in a year..." "No," he replied somewhat dejectedly, "No one has ever done that..."
It sure sounded like I had made the right choice :)