It's a Microsoft tradition that the people who worked on a project get a copy of the project when it ships. I've got copies of OS/2 1.1, NT 3.1, Exchange 4.0, 5.0, 5.5 and 2000 on my shelves, for example, all with their shrinkwrap untouched.
Well, my copy of Vista finally showed up yesterday, and the ship gift people totally outdid themselves this time.
You probably can't make it out in the pictures, but across the front and back is a subtle wash consisting of code - don't know what code it is, but it's code.
On the front is the word "HANDCRAFTED" and the Vista logo
On the back is the text:
We build software line by line, idea by idea, side by side. Our software is an expression of ourselves, our best moments, our toughest challenges, our greatest hopes. So it's a strange and beautiful day when this handcrafted product leaves our labs and appears on millions of computers around the globe. Remember this day. You have changed the world."
Inside the fold is a collection of pictures, some from the ship party, some from inside Microsoft:
I normally don't open the packaging on my ship gifts but in this case I made an exception, because again, this one was special.
The text on the back reads:
"FOR ALL THE...
Delighted customers, great ideas, tough deadlines, clever solutions, lines of code, pages of specs, runs of automation, lines of text, screens of UI, missed dinners, fixed bugs, inspiring teamwork, countless iterations, courage to break the rules, time away from loved ones, times you rose to the occasion, late nights, early mornings, delayed vacations, chances you took, long meetings, short meetings, canceled meetings, killed features, features that wouldn't die, crashed machines, moments of victory, moments of defeat, coffees, doughnuts, pizzas, beers, relentless dedication, blood, sweat, and tears.
And I want to thank whoever it was on the product team that designed this packaging. It's absolutely awesome, and I think it totally captures the effort that went into Vista. I especially love the text on the inside package.
It's funny - when the commemorative edition started showing up, I noticed something unique. In my 22+ years at Microsoft, I've NEVER seen people take the "thank you" copy of the product out and show it to others. But when we got this copy, there were lots of people walking around the halls showing the box off to others. Every one of them called out the text on the package as being meaningful.