The last week or so for Microsoft has been a bit of wild ride, mostly in a pretty good way. Personally, as a big fan of consumer technology and entertainment, I’ve been like a kid in a candy shop.

First was the RTM for Windows Phone 7, and the ongoing coverage and speculation about hardware, software, games and so on. I’ve been using one of the prototype phones for a bit now, and am loving it – but the best part will come when we get to see the reactions from everyone to the final hardware and software. There is a ton of competition in this space, but the team has done incredible work and I’m looking forward to launch and availability on….oops, not supposed to say yet... ;-)

Then there was Halo Reach. Did you catch the jet pack fly-in at London’s Trafalgar square? Go take a look, I’ll wait here for you. My favorite part of the video may be when he talks about the pre-work to ensure he could actually steer the jet pack while dressed as a Spartan from head-to-toe! The initial sales figures are even more impressive -- $200 million in sales in the first 24 hours alone, by far the biggest entertainment event of the year.

Then on Wednesday we released the beta for IE9, a seriously nifty piece of software, made even better by the way the hardware under Windows makes it sing. I love ripping tabs and snapping them to the edges of my monitors. And then there were the web sites optimized for IE9 – personal favorite being The Killers site. Go try IE9 for yourself.

I got new bits for Windows Live, too, as a bonus…the gift that keeps on giving!  And of course, the anticipation is building for the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360 later this fall – we announced more games specifically designed for Kinect at the Tokyo Game Show. And in the middle of all those big announcements, we also rolled out a killer piece of PC hardware – our LifeCam Studio webcam that offers true 1080p HD video. And all of that is just on the consumer products side – there’s lots of cool new products and services cooking for business, too. But that’s another post…

A common thread ties all these products and services together—the concept of an idea made real. They represent what everyone at Microsoft aspires to do – take a big audacious idea and make it real, for us and for the millions and billions of people who use the products we bring to market.

Each program or product or service we create is a labor of love, a marriage of science and art, dreamed of and brought into existence by individuals and teams who worked and tried and tested and improved and got slammed and sometimes looked at failure but got back up and tried again. And others who picked up the near final thing and figured out how to bring it to the market, to promote it, to ship it, to support it.

The products shipped and chattered about this week began their journey a while ago, maybe months, maybe years. Some are now real in the world, others on the cusp – but the journey only really begins when people get to use them, and others take what we’ve done and add value of their own.

Click below to enjoy the week that was...

Bring on the Fall!

fxs

Posted by Frank X. Shaw
Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications