I have love for you if you were born in the eighties

The Tom Neville dance remix of this song rocksI find myself morbidly drawn to my own impending obsolescence.  When I joined Microsoft at the age of 26, the average age was 26.  Now that I’m 36, the average age is now 36.  Perhaps that’s because nobody ever leaves Microsoft, they just get old?  And so being mr off the peg Microsoft, I am something of a barometer for the Microserf culture. 

The millenials are coming to replace me I’m told and I think Microsoft has realised it might be getting old.  Two things seem to growing obsessions in Microsoft that I can see – the consumerisation of IT and how we need to focus on consumers generally and, perhaps related, how to adapt to the New World of Work – a culture dominated by the gen-Y teens and twenties entering the workforce.  

Yesterday’s presentation was to the Microsoft Student Partners – a more gen-Y group you couldn’t hope to find.  Raw, enthusiastic, smart and undoctrinated.  It was interesting to see how they think about themselves as a culture (they don’t really because nobody has told them they need to be more self-aware yet) and we had a present for them and all students.

– For a limited time (until the end of April) students can purchase Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for just £38.95 (perpetual licence) or £12.95 (one year subscription) at www.theultimatesteal.co.uk

– To be eligible you need to be a student with a .ac.uk email address, and have at least a 0.5 course load (this basically means a student must have at least the equivalent of 2 ½ days per week attendance at University or College.

– This promotion is download based, though soon the option to buy a CD too (for a couple of extra pounds) will become available.

– It’s not up on the site yet but there’s going to be a UK-wide blogging competition related to the offer. Anyone who blogs about using Office and includes a link to www.theultimatesteal.co.uk can enter the competition via the website (when the lawyers give it the thumbs up).

Of course the really scary thing is that as of next year we have love for you if you were born in the nineties as well as those kids go to university next year.  I take solace then from watching all those kids-of-the-eighties realising they aren’t young any more either as the 27-year old next to me experiences the crushing reality that he will now never play for England or be in a boy band.

Comments (4)

  1. Hey Darren!

    A big thank you for the great talk you gave. It was great a great two days in London for us MSPs and for us to see how passionate you all are was unique…

    I most enjoyed those interesting facts about office! We had a good laugh on Tuesday in the Visual Studio Demo, as he showed us how to develop for a ribbon, and at one point, we completely wiped excel of all its tabs and icons, leaving only one smily face button! Lot of fun… 🙂

    BTW, I think the ultimate steal is an absolutely tremendous idea. Good luck with the promotion!

    Many thanks again for your talk, which was one of the highlights of the two days at Microsoft UK!

    PS: Had never really thought about this Gen-Y business… intriguing…

  2. Greg Pearson says:

    An excellent blog. Not many blogs I read that get me thinking about it for the rest of the day.

    Strange how the world changes, I used to work at an IT publishing company with an avergae age of around 26/27 where we were all trying to understand and emerse ourselves in IT communities with averages ages well above ours.  Now you are saying that it is going the other way?

    The good news for us oldies is that we were successful in understanding the workings and needs of people from a different generation. I am sure the process is backwards compatable?

  3. Nick says:

    Yes indeedy, I’m intrigued about this gen-Y stuff, I guess the way Gen-Y use technology is different from Gen-X because we have grown up alongside it.. learning how to use it is effortless since its all we know…

    Gen-X users = Adapt to technology

    – Word processing

    – Printing

    – Filing

    Gen-Y users = Make technology adapt to us

    – Social networking

    – Recreation (music, learning, gaming)

    – Education

    I always remember when I was younger my aunt had a 90MHz PC running Win 95 (which at the time was AWESOME!)…

    Gen-X Aunt thought the idea of installing a new piece of software was a terrifying prospect..

    << "What if it breaks? We might click the wrong thing!? I think we need an engineer to do it!" >>

    ..eventually Gen-X Aunt started asking Gen-Y me to do it because I would happily change all sorts of settings, play around with the configuration and mess about with control panel without fear!

  4. Marc says:

    Darn it, I have just graduated. I still have my campus card, does that count? 🙂