Friday, October 14, 2011
M for Microsoft
"There are people who don't like capitalism, and there are people who don't like PCs, but there's no one who likes the PC who doesn't like Microsoft."
And then Windows appeared. It was colourful, had a file manager and minesweeper. There on Windows became the holy grail. Each release was eagerly anticipated and more often than not, our expectations were met. The Office suite followed suit and Microsoft became an integral part of our lives.
Over the last 5 years, the company has been a major player in my career. First Aditi (I worked there for close to 3 years) and then Artech worked with Microsoft, Redmond for their recruitments. Aditi is also a gold partner with Microsoft and does a lot of software service projects for Microsoft. Over the 4 year tenure, 2 facts captivated me. Microsoft interviewed and hired people who had an aptitude for technology, creativity and challenges. Unlike Apple or Google, they didn't care about the candidate's background, more stress was on his ability. Secondly, Microsoft takes pride in the fact that although they are not the Industry's best pay-master, they provide one helluva place to work.
I was astounded by the way managers would receive me in their offices. Some of them had game consoles, while some others had pictures of their family pasted on the walls. The attire remained the same through the week, business casuals or plain casuals. I remember one specific incident while walking into a Microsoft building. A bunch of software professionals drinking Margarita's at 10 Am, celebrating the release of their new product. Over the years, Microsoft has diversified its product line. With the increasing interest in gaming, they released the Microsoft Xbox kinect a year back (formerly known as Project Natal), a gaming console without a controller. I had seen the television ads and the E3 demo for the product, but my eyes virtually popped out of their sockets when my cousin purchased it.
The console has a set of sensors that detect voice commands and muscular movements of the player. 15 years back, this could be a part of a Steven Spielberg movie. Today, its a part of reality. In the last decade, Microsoft has had its share of failures and competitors. But at no point of time, there has been one single entity that looks to take over Microsoft's monopoly in the technology space. Like someone once remarked, "Jobs might have the apple, but the orchard belongs to Gates."