I just spent an amazing day at Microsoft

I’m writing this in a cafe in Bellevue, Wash., after a long day of briefings at Microsoft. As of right now, I’m starting to think the “Month of Microsoft” might turn out okay. I met with people who work on Windows, Windows Phone, Office, Hotmail, SkyDrive, Internet Explorer, Bing, Xbox and hardware. It was a blitz of information and really eye-opening for someone who hasn’t used Windows and other Microsoft products for years. The most amazing part for me was a demo of Windows 8, which isn’t out yet but might see the light of day later this year. In short, it looks amazing. I saw it running on a custom tablet that Microsoft gave out to developers a few months ago. I also saw it on a prototype Lenovo laptop that I am already lusting after. I have always loved Lenovo laptops. They’re built like tanks. Not a lot of wow factor in their styling, but just incredible build quality. You feel like a grown-up when you’re using one. This new prototype has the same amazing build quality but also is really stylish. I’m also hoping Microsoft can send me something with Windows 8 loaded on it so that I can spend time with it.

Anyway: many thanks to the people who took time to give me tutorials. Tonight I’ll be on a redeye back to Boston, and tomorrow the “Month of Microsoft” begins. First up will be moving the Xbox from the play room in the basement to our living room. Next, buy a Zune pass and an Xbox Live Gold membership. Then: unbox the Lenovo W520 that arrived today. Set up Gmail to forward to Hotmail. Get Newsweek mail set up on all these devices. Progress reports to come.

12 Responses to “I just spent an amazing day at Microsoft”

  1. Darwin

    Lenovo’s are noticeably cheaper materials and poorer build quality than Thinkpad’s were. They also cost a lot less and have much higher failure rates. Thats what happens when you cut costs to deliver a cheaper product.
    Sounds like Microsofts kissing your ass has had its desired effect on you. What a surprise.

  2. QueenMaryMac

    seriously Dan, most of us commoners don’t have personal one-on-one tutelage in the art of using Microsoft. So if you are really going to do this, shouldn’t you fly solo on it and try to figure it all out like the rest of us? It’s like you’re a lab rat in a controlled environment with everything at your disposal. A virtually perfect world in which to use Microsoft. And as a side note, obviously you’ve never played Rock Band or the Xbox would already be upstairs.

  3. Hedley Lamarr

    Agree with Darwin. My company (very big tech firm) ditched Lenovo because of quality and service issues.

  4. 100rabh

    Well I think u surely believe happiness is not all thats to life u must also experience pain :)

  5. Keith Shaw

    Agree with this comment. What does it say about Microsoft and its products that in order to fully enjoy it / use it / appreciate it, you have to spend a full day with them in order to learn everything? That’s the problem – when an average person buys a Microsoft product, they don’t get the full-day-of-training that you inevitably need. In the end, this just seems like a giant commercial for Microsoft – I’m surprised that Dan fell for this.

  6. Anon

    Damn I wish fake steve was still alive so he could make fun of how desperate Microsoft is for good press.

  7. The Iconoclast

    It all sounds way too complicated.

    Microsoft has gone out of style. That’s almost impossible to fix.

  8. Grez

    I shouldn’t even reply to this moronic comment, but I feel I should clear it up. As someone who was never a big fan of Thinkpads, I have a Lenovo for work, and it’s awesome. It’s the W510 and, as Dan described, it is built like a tank. It fell out of my backpack at about four feet off of the ground, and crashed directly onto concrete, bouncing several times. I had not only one, but two hard drives to worry about (swapped the opty for a 2nd one), and a critical presentation/demo the next morning. I was freaking out, but other than a small crack in the plastic housing, the thing shows no ill effects. It fired right up, the shock protection worked on the drives, and it’s been 5X5 ever since (this was about six months ago). It also has a spill-proof keyboard, so moisture isn’t an issue, either, which makes a big difference when you travel a lot for work.

    In short, Dan’s comments are accurate, and accusing him of writing something because it “sounds like Microsofts [sic] killing your ass” is as ludicrous as me accusing you of being paid by Apple to post your clearly prejudicial comment.

    In addition, Microsoft IS doing a lot of cool stuff now for which they deserve major props…we all complained about quality and security (and, not to mention, doing something cool again), and they’ve delivered. Continuing to launch unfair accusations their way when they’ve turned a corner is a silly, tech-religious thing to do. Sounds to me like you’re primarily just a hater that will find something wrong with anything pro-Microsoft or pro-PC that gets posted.

  9. Grez

    [Apologies...above comment was in response to Darwin...it didn't group the response with his post.]

  10. faddah

    dan, i think what QueenMaryMac indicate above is true, only more so. I think what you have here, Dan, is a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome – STOCKHOLM SYNDROME! We need to force an extraction and get you to a deprogramming facility STAT!!

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