Monday, September 25, 2006

Taking the Blue Pill, RTM

So here I sit, 35000 feet above the earth, trying to figure out how to summarize my experience at the TAP Hands-On event.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: The Microsoft employees were great. They were genuinely interested in what we had to say and took our criticisms and comments seriously. They certainly went out of their way to make us feel welcome and wanted. The specialist that was assigned to us even showed up at the hotel this morning, to make sure we did not want to go to the Microsoft Store like we had discussed previously.

The last day of the event happened to be the same day as the big Microsoft yearly meeting, so all of the employees involved with the TAP gave that up to get our input and finish out the week. Maybe they'd all seen Bill speak before.

We did manage to see some sunshine yesterday, but the rain was still coming down. It's no wonder the pines and the moss and the rhododendrons thrive out here.

Now the true work is coming down the line, when we have to ramp up and test Beta 1, then 2, then pre – RTM, and finally the RTM. I'm looking forward to click on setup.exe with confidence, and turning the techs loose on the interface.

There were rumors of another get together as part of the TAP, but nothing definite. It would be nice to fly back in and have the same input into a later stage of the product, say after Beta-1. I'm thinking most of us in the states that were there would go back. I'm not too sure about the folks that were from overseas. I thought I had a long flight, but it couldn't even come close to the guy from Germany.

The entire experience has energized my thoughts about the product we're looking at and where it could help take us. I must admit it has also softened me a bit to Mictosoft in general. I'll always bleed red, but I'm no longer baised against the blue just because it's blue.

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