Hazy memories of the Windows 95 ship party


One of the moments from the Windows 95 ship party (20 years ago today) was when one of the team members drove his motorcycle through the halls, leaving burns in the carpet.

The funny part of that story (beyond the fact that it happened) is that nobody can agree on who it was! I seem to recall that it was Todd, but another of my colleagues remembers that it was Dave, and yet another remembers that it was Ed. We all remember the carpet burns, but we all blame it on different people.

As one of my colleagues noted, "I'm glad all of this happened before YouTube."

Brad Silverberg, the vice president of the Personal Systems Division (as it was then known), recalled that "I had a lot of apologizing to do to Facilities [about all the shenanigans that took place that day], but it was worth it."

Comments (19)
  1. anonymouscommenter says:

    Are you saying Microsoft doesn't store security camera footage from the period?

  2. anonymouscommenter says:

    >As one of my colleagues noted, "I'm glad all of this happened before YouTube."

    Sounds like this colleague is the guilty party. Anyone else would want to see it

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

    What do Todd, Dave and Ed remember?

  4. anonymouscommenter says:

    I bet it was Todd.  Some time ago, the company I was working for moved into a new building.  Before they built out the warehouse, though, our Todd took his Corvette for a few laps inside.  He left a few tire marks; I don't remember who was stuck with cleaning them up.  Probably things had to be cleaned before the build out anyway.

  5. NotThisMind says:

    Will someone drive a motorcycle into the wall now with w10?

  6. Blake says:

    I have searched in vain for years for the photograph *I know I still have* of the motorcycle/rider in the hall of building 2.  It's my white whale of MS mementos.  Also FWIW, I thought it was Dave at the time.

  7. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hey, I didn't even work for Microsoft.

  8. anonymouscommenter says:

    For Windows 10, they should give everyone a HoloLens and have them race holographic motorcycles through the halls.

  9. anonymouscommenter says:

    I worked in a building next to the Win95 building(s) during that time but unfortunately as a contractor. I remember a whole lot of activity that day.

  10. anonymouscommenter says:

    > nobody can agree on who it was!

    That should be enough to know how hard 'softies partay!

  11. anonymouscommenter says:

    I was a summer intern then.    I remember the motorcycle burn marks in a hallway, I think it was in Building #5.

    I also have a vague memory of something being thrown from the upperlevel of the building lobby and smashing a coffee-table sitting in the lobby.

    It was pretty crazy.

  12. anonymouscommenter says:

    I was thinking about Windows 95 coming up on 20 years ago (released Aug 24, 1995) just a few days ago.  If it's crazy for me to think about that, I can only imagine what it's like to look at it from the perspective of a developer who's still working on the next, next, next, next, next, next generation of the operating system :)  Congrats on such success kicking off the first of what most people today would still probably recognize as "Windows".  

    If you were so inclined, I know I would be very interested in reading an introspective on the progress from Windows 95 to Windows 10 from your point of view -- what's changed on the development side, the user side, your favorite highlights, what's better, what's worse, and everything in between.

    This also must mean that you've been at Microsoft for at least 20 years.  I hope you got a fancy belt buckle or sword [1] or something else nice!

    [1] us.blizzard.com/.../service-awards.html

  13. anonymouscommenter says:

    Reading the link, and the link within it. So many Noodle Incidents (tvtropes.org/.../NoodleIncident)...

  14. anonymouscommenter says:

    I remember Dave as a passenger (at least in the begining). It might have been Todd's bike, but that's really hazy.

  15. cheong00 says:

    @Paul: I think it would be cool to produce an App like the one for Excel 95's easter egg.

    Btw, anyone know who had written that easter egg?

  16. anonymouscommenter says:

    I don't recall who drove the motorcycle, but I do recall someone in proper Catholic school attire getting tossed into a water fountain. He did not go willingly, either.

  17. anonymouscommenter says:

    @Nico:  The 20 year award at Microsoft is a clear glass obelisk, kind of quartz-looking, with a horizontal yellow/amber tint stripe through the middle.  You can see the awards by doing a Google image search for "Microsoft 20 year award".

    @Cheong00:  A couple Excel developers wrote that.  They'd been spending time playing Doom and wanted to write their own 3D game.

  18. anonymouscommenter says:

    I believe it was the guy who wrote the floppy driver. Can't remember his name.

    Hope to see you on 9/12, RaymondC.

  19. anonymouscommenter says:

    I remember that Ed had the Windows logo painted on either side of the gas tank on his Harley.  That's commitment.

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