Microsoft Surface 10 Years On

2017, Feb 15    

It’s been well over a year since I last wrote a blog article, and in that time, I’ve been working back at Microsoft in the Windows division, mostly on the incoming Windows 10 Creators Update and Paint 3D.

I have a ton of stuff to talk about on this, but I’m holding fire until the update is out.

In the meantime, Zac Boden at Windows Central posted a really cool article about his old school, decade old Surface table which he recently upgraded to Windows 10 - check it out here

This brought back a lot of fond memories for me, as this was one of the first projects I worked on once I graduated from university.

I worked on the official training materials to help teach developers how to get up to speed on the platform. The main bulk of this being a collection of hands on lab documents and a bunch of training videos that explained how the Shell worked, the thought process behind “NUI” and how to get set up with the SDK and use the device specific APIs.

Now that I think about it, this was super early days in the world of touch screen development, which is something us as developers take for granted now. I know I do after the 10 years’ experience I’ve gained after working on this project.

When working on the training videos, I can remember recording the scratch voice over audio which Microsoft were then going to use as a guide for a professional voice recorder to then record. The project manager (I can’t remember her name, but she was based in Seattle) happened to really like my voice and accent (I’m British) and asked if I would mind recording the audio for the final product.

I’m no Stephen Fry, but Microsoft shipped a decent headset to my house and I recorded the videos from home. This was when I was working from home full time in my early twenties, which of course meant I was still going out on nights out during the week - something you can probably pick up in the videos as my voice changes :)

We also did some sort of tech event for a large cosmetic company in Nottingham (my hometown!) and we shipped one of these devices to my house to do this. However, the projector had become broken during shipment and I can remember being stood (!) in a giant crate, in the freezing cold waiting for the one engineer who knew how to fix it to arrive so the tech event could take place.

That’s obviously part of the non sexy side to being a developer that’s not in the job description