Here’s the sixth post in our series of guest posts by Microsoft Most Valued Professionals (MVPs). Since the early 1990s, Microsoft has recognized technology champions around the world with the MVP Award. MVPs freely share their deep knowledge, real-world experience, and impartial and objective feedback to help people enhance the way they use technology. Of more than 100 million users who participate in technology communities, around 4,000 are recognized as Microsoft MVPs.
This post is by Stephen Oiller, Windows Phone Consumer MVP, who became a Microsoft MVP in April 2012. Thank you, Stephen!
My road through community and technology has been a long one. For as long as I can remember, technology has been a massive part of my life. Today I, like many, carry a phone around, have access to a computer, and play games on a console, but sometimes it’s good to look back at where today’s tech came from. My earliest experiences with computers were playing games in the mid-1980s. Back then the games seemed so amazing, but nowadays I wonder how I ever managed to play some of those games!
My journey through tech involved many home computers and dozens of consoles over the years, but I didn’t get my first powerful home computer until I started working. It was the mid-1990s and I’d started my first job, which involved using a Windows PC. The machine wasn’t anything special, but I started customising and tweaking it in ways that my employer wasn’t very happy about. So after a while I bought a first-generation Pentium PC for myself, which set me along the path of spending ridiculous amounts of money over the years to always have the best graphics card, the fastest processor, and so on. I carried on with this until the early-to-mid-2000s, but my interest switched back to consoles with the launch of the first Xbox.
For me the original Xbox launched at the perfect time. Due to work and life commitments, I could no longer afford to keep building gaming PCs, but I still wanted to play great games. The Xbox filled that gap perfectly with classics like Crimson Skies; I so wish for a modern day remake or an updated HD Arcade version of that game! I’m still a massive Xbox fan after getting an Xbox 360 on launch day and later replacing it with the sleek smaller version that I use often. I enjoy games that I can really get lost in, like Skyrim or the Mass Effect series. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next Xbox console, whenever that may be, as it’s sure to be mind-blowing.
From Fan to Online Community Member
Alongside the gaming I’ve been a lover of mobile phones, especially Nokia’s, for many years now, and I’ve had many models over the years. It was this interest that led me to participate regularly in an online community. Back in 2007 I had a problem with my smartphone, so I visited the Nokia Support Discussions site in hope of getting help. While there I noticed lots of questions that I knew the answer to, so I decided to help others while I waited for help with my issue. From there it kind of grew into an obsession; I’d visit daily just to help others out, and I still enjoy doing this now. Through the forum I made friends and contacts from within Nokia and Microsoft and from fellow Nokia fans, and these friends have made all my effort worthwhile.
This link with Nokia led me to my current passion, which is Windows Phone. Microsoft’s operating system paired with Nokia’s hardware have given me the best mobile experience I’ve had in years! Compared to many, I was quite late to Windows Phone, getting my first (a Nokia Lumia 800) in December 2011, but since then it’s grown on me quickly and it still feels fresh and fun every time I use it. I’m excited about the future for Windows Phone, and I’m looking forward to updates or new devices as the year goes on. One thing that’s certain is that my next phone will be a Windows Phone.
Find Stephen on the Nokia and Windows Phone forums community.