Last Thursday, 9/3/09, was the grand opening of Microsoft’s Utah Development Center (UDC) at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, where I work. We’ve been working here since the beginning of August, so this was more like the “official” grand opening and not the “technical” grand opening when we are first allowed to enter the building without wearing hard hats.
Microsoft invited Senator Orrin Hatch to attend the grand opening. In the spirit of full disclosure many of you who have read this blog for a while know that at times I have exercised my constitutional right to express my opinion on Senator Hatch on this blog before; he does represent my state after all. However, since he attended as a guest of my employer, I’ll keep that out of it for now, and express a sincere thanks to him for making our grand opening a special event for us.
Brad Anderson, the Corporate VP over UDC, was also here, as were other business dignitaries from Utah and some news folk. He demoed to Senator Hatch the Microsoft Surface that we borrowed from Redmond for a few days just for this occasion.
Then Senator Hatch picked up a plastic guitar, quickly formed a band, and began shredding to Guitar Hero World Tour.
(They are not very good.)
About this time is when the press conference began. All us employee-types were ushered into the foyer for a photo. You know how when you are trying to do something important, you distract your little kids by giving them something else to do? And how you might even say to your eldest child, “Can you go entertain them while I get this done?” That is pretty much what happened. They sent Senator Hatch in there to keep us from coming back in and ruining the press conference.
I know, it looks like a family photo.
Later, we found out that apparently Brad explained to the press that here in UDC we work on “virtualization technology, which is one of the hottest areas in the tech industry today.” This is pretty accurate.
Unfortunately for KSL News, who picked up the story, they don’t really understand what “virtualization” is. So when they graciously ran the news story, they made it sound like both the XBox 360 and the Surface are developed here in Utah. And the Deseret News article made it sound like a lot of the key features of upcoming Windows 7 were developed here in Utah also.
I came to work very excited the next day. I was excited to see how much we’d gotten done in just one month; I had no idea. Alas, I found that the news folk were misled. We are still working on enterprise desktop virtualization, just like we always have. I had to resign myself to the fact that our team is simply freakin’ awesome, not unbelievably freakin’ awesome. Oh well.