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June 11, 2013

A Note in Celebration of Eggfest

Let me confess something up front. I am obsessed with my Big Green Egg. This past weekend was Eggfest across the country, where multitudes of Eggheads (this is what we call ourselves and there is an army of us around the world) get together to celebrate, share ideas and most importantly, eat great food. I missed it. My nephew decided to have his 5th birthday party the same day. Kids. Geez.

This got me thinking though. One of the things that is interesting about the Egg is that it can’t really be classified. When you speak to Eggheads, we simply refer to it as The Egg, not a grill, not a smoker. In fact, if you go to the Egg’s company site, they describe it as: The most versatile cooking device ever. Is it a grill, an oven or a smoker? Yes. Yes is exactly right. These guys are on to something. Is the Surface any different? Is it a laptop, a tablet or an Ultrabook? Yes. Hold that thought. I’ll come back to it.

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I then got thinking about us Eggheads and why we are so passionate about the Egg. Why do we come together in parking lots around the country to cook and why we are always looking to tell people to get one of their own? To me, it comes down to the transformation that the Egg has helped create in how we think about cooking. The Egg is a radical rethinking of what the cooking experience can be. The Surface is doing the same for how people use technology to get work done. With just my Green Egg, I can sear steaks at over 800 degrees, do long, low-and-slow smokes for 18+ hours, bake bread (with amazing crust) and grill peaches for dessert. With just my Surface, I can go from a powerful productivity device with Microsoft Office, USB Ports and a click-in keyboard, to a gaming and entertainment device, to a great platform for Skype-ing with friends and family.

This experience is why there are Eggheads. There isn’t a group name for them yet, but this is also why people who own a Surface, love them unlike any other device they have previously had. The Surface and the Egg are transformational and when that happens, you want to share that both with people like you, and with people who aren’t.

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Now, a lot of folks buy these beautiful, multi-burner, stainless steel $1500+ gas grills that you find everywhere they sell barbeques. People feel like that is what they should buy they are expensive and when they look down the rows of houses in their neighborhood, they glisten on decks, seeming beacons of culinary status. I don’t think us Eggheads are counterculture, I don’t think we’re rebelling I just think we have had an experience with a device that has transformed us and there is no going back to the old way of doing things. This is also what I hear when I speak to our Surface customers. From students to doctors, artists, small business owners, road warriors and others, they express this feeling of discovery, of something new that is a radical rethinking of how technology is part of their personal, professional and creative lives. And they think it looks awesome to boot.

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There is no Eggfest equivalent for Surface owners, no digital meeting place where people named T Rex post now legendary techniques for cooking steaks, but I’m thinking that maybe there should be. I know there are a lot of you out there, speaking with pride about a device that is transformational, taking on legions of gas i-grill owners in message boards, one-to-many, like some sort of digital Spartan. Well, this is Surface. You inspire us. Enjoy the ribs.

Bryson Gordon
Director, Microsoft Surface