I am a developer at Microsoft and work in the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR) team. For the last 4 years I have been working on virtual machine technologies on a variety of form factors including desktops (Windows, Linux), tablets (Win8), gaming-consoles (Xbox 360), mobile devices (Windows Phone 7, Windows CE, Symbian).I have worked on various core pieces of the runtime including Garbage Collector, memory manager, platform abstraction layer, runtime-performance, etc.Before working on .NET I worked on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio Team System, Adobe Framemaker, Adobe Acrobat, Texas Instrument's Code Composer Studio.
Last week at Microsoft India we had a 24 hour non-stop coding competition named Build 24. It was one of the most amazing things I had seen in a long time. Initially we got luke-warm response and a very few teams signed-up. However, in the morning when the competition started we soon had 36 teams and 150 people signed up.
All of the folks gathered in a room and started working non-stop for 24 hours on their ideas and pet projects. The next day at noon each team presented their ideas, half-finished work and for some folks fully working stuff to a set of MS India execs. They were exalted with what they saw and anounced the prizes. Guess what, we won too!!!! Unfortunately I can't disclose what we developed but I can give a hint. Its on the wishlist of every coder under the "I'd one day create a ..." heading. I sincerely hope that we are able to give better shape to this one day...
I was reading Sriram's posts about his fling with fonts which reminded me that I have a peculiar attachment with courier new. I use it liberally. My emails are in Courier new teal and my website is also in the same font but uses a different color scheme (white over black). Since most of the time I'm coding and editors typically use fixed width font like courier new, I kind of got used to it.
Each time I boot up a new box, I set the console font to courier and some insanely small size. Again I have an obsession with seeing as much as I can in a single screen.
However, working in Adobe had got me in touch with some people for whom fonts are the very basis of existance. I saw one of them cringe when one mentioned "font format". He went into a lengthy lecture on how modern fonts are actually languages that specify curves and not a format like the older Bitmapped fonts.
Symantec reports that MSFT fared better than apple and other copetitors (including Red Hat) in providing the most secure OS. Read a nice summary here. Since this comes from a MSFT competitor (in another market) and a leading security software vendor, it makes it all the more credible.
I was pleasantly surprised.