Wow! The Microsoft 2008 Company Meeting was definitely an experience to be remembered. Not only was it cool to be just one of the 20,000 cheering Microsofties at Safeco Field, but it was STAR-STUDDED and ACTION-PACKED! Seriously, it was more like a rock concert than a company meeting.
First, it was hosted by the one-and-only Rainn Wilson (he plays Dwight in The Office on NBC). Hilarious as usual, he talked about how he loves Microsoft not just because Seattle is his home town, but because they are a "YES company" and told him YES when he asked to light the stadium on fire, and YES when he asked to drop a thousand beach balls on the crowd, and YES he could cover them with confetti and sparks, and YES we could have every person throw a paper airplane at the same time and set a WORLD RECORD for most paper airplanes in the air at once. His performances consisted of a bunch of skits in between speakers which were basically Dwightish performances doing anything from yoga, to martial arts, to landing on an alien planet with an un-inhabitable atmosphere. Here are some shots:
Second, Microsoft is coming out with a LOT of cool things that will royally kick our hoity-toity competitor's behinds. We're not supposed to talk about them yet, but let's just say the great innovations and features are coming out across our whole range of products from Windows, to Office, to Search, to Windows Mobile, to XBox, to Zune and more! To see what they are, you'll have to wait until after PDC in October. Just watch out Apple and Google, the iPhone and Google Search are not as invincible as you may think!
Third, we have the coolest CEO in the world. Steve Ballmer gave an extremely energetic keynote speech as usual. I don't have the video, but here is a clip from a previous Company Meeting to give you an idea of what he's like:
Yeah, he really is that nuts/crazy. He has been criticized by some for making Microsoft the bully in the playground that is the software industry, but he isn't a bully, he's just relentless. It's not like Microsoft hasn't had their fair share of competition. They have gone head to head with other huge companies like IBM, AOL, Sun, Apple, Google and many more. And in some respects, they're behind their current competitors! Microsoft just doesn't give up. And they never will. They are criticized for being too much of a monopoly. Monopolies are bad because they stifle competition. But Microsoft LIVES to compete and has competed relentlessly for decades, which has brought software to what it is today. So the whole monopoly argument just doesn't hold any water with me.
Another thing that Steve and others talked about is how for too long we have allowed our competitors like Apple mischaracterize our products. You have all seen the PC and Mac commercials. I have always loved them. Even though their message isn't very accurate, they are pretty funny. After seeing Microsoft's new ad campaign, however, they aren't so funny anymore. Here is the new "I'm a PC" commercial to show you what I mean.
After watching that, I guess the Apply commercials just didn't seem so funny anymore. Now they just seem elitist. So I want to take this opportunity to say that I AM A PC. Here are a couple pictures showing my commitment:
And finally, do not adjust your screen, yes, my Mac is a PC as well.
Click here to go to Microsoft's website and learn more on what we are doing to change the world and its perception of us.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this very biased rhetoric about my company. It was fun for me to write, because it's pretty dang fun to be at Microsoft right now at such an exciting time.