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June 5, 2012

What Does Turning 30 Mean?

As many of you know, Microsoft Hardware recently turned 30. Depending on which side of 30 you are on, you likely have a lot of opinions about what turning 30 means. I have one which basically nets out at “goodness, Microsoft Hardware is older than I am.” While I look at my big 3-0 with a mix of excitement (a whole new decade of adventures) and trepidation (am I getting wrinkles?!), I can also look at it with a bit of reflection. My friends on the Microsoft Hardware team asked me to do just that. I realized one thing: I’ve had a whole lot of their products in my life for a long time.

  • 22 years ago, I played Oregon Trail for the first time with a giant click mouse and I realized something that would stick with me for life: only when stranded in the woods and dying of famine is it really okay to eat bear meat.
  • 15 years ago, we finally got our own computer and my Dad and I spent literally 16 hours putting together a computer table. However, when we were done I created a Microsoft Paint card for my mom using the new PC and a mouse with a ball in it (remember those!) and when we gave her a new office for Mother’s Day, she cried. Life lesson: with enough effort and a homemade card, Moms will always cry.
mouse 2
  • 11 years ago, I typed all my college applications on the PC in my mom’s office. At this point, we had two of them and the kids had to share one. Life lesson: Colleges need a new application system and no matter how fast you type, your little sister will also need the PC an hour before you’re done.
  • 8 years ago, I typed my Master’s thesis on my first ever laptop on the floor of my apartment amidst a stack of books on genocide, some strange psychological findings and endless cups of green tea. In the end, I learned that that’s how carpel tunnel and bad backs are created. Life lesson: use a desk, get an ergonomic keyboard.
  • 3 years ago, I ran my entire business off a PC as I ran around New York City. Without it, I would never have had a chance to get where I am today. Having a digital job meant endless meetings via webcam with clients in different time zones. Life lesson: on a webcam, you can still wear pajamas if you throw on a button down shirt and your hair in a pony-tail.

Here’s to your 30th birthday, Microsoft Hardware. May you continue to be a part of great moments in my next 30 years.