Adjusting to life at Microsoft

About 1.75 years ago Microsoft acquired Connectix’s virtual machine technology.  At that stage I had been working at Connectix for a year and a half on the Virtual PC for Windows product line.  As a long time IT enthusiast – it seemed kind of strange to be working for Microsoft – as I have personally come from a background which viewed Microsoft as the ‘Evil Empire’.

This was an interesting adjustment period for me on two fronts:

  1. On one hand – I was amazed to find that Microsoft is a much cooler place to work than I would ever have guessed.  There are a lot of amazingly smart people here who are very passionate about what they do.  I was also amazed to find out that there were a number of areas (like security) where Microsoft was 10 times more determined than any other software company I had worked at before.  These days I have a lot of respect for Microsoft.
  2. While we had largely the same development team working on the same products – with the same beliefs and attitudes – there was a whole subsection of our user base that immediately decided that we were evil and out to screw them over.

    Hmm…

    Wow.

    I am still not sure how I should react to that.  The real answer is that this is one of those areas in life where we have to work to win peoples trust in your product – but still – it was weird when I realized that all that had really changed was the company logo – and all of a sudden everything was different.

Which leaves me with one nagging problem – for a long while now I have been able to claim ‘outsider’ status when talking to anti-Microsoft people (‘Hey – I have only been here a year – and I am here because of the acquisition, yada yada yada’).

But as I am coming up on the 2 year mark at Microsoft – I am thinking that this logic will not fly for much longer.  I will just have to give in and admit that I have gone to the dark side – and you will all have to hate me for it 🙂

Cheers,
Ben