Remember back when Microsoft apps had cool easter eggs? Easter eggs were always a fun way for the development team to leave their mark on history. Maybe your favorite feature got cut, but hey, your name was there in lights for all to see!
Leading up the release of Windows 2000, Microsoft starting getting a lot more serious about selling servers into the government and large enterprise markets. These guys saw NT 4 as the first really credible enterprise-class product from MS, and were evaluating Win2k to see how things were progressing.
The story, as I recall it, is that one of these customers had some strong words for our easter eggs, suggesting that any company that could let such things frivolous things into their products wasn’t doing a very good software engineering job, and thus couldn’t be trusted to run an enterprise-scale business.
The argument never made much sense to me. Easter eggs, at least on teams I worked on, were never anywhere near critical-path code. And they often seem to have been pretty well tested by every member of the product team who wanted to verify their name showed up. Maybe there’s some story I don’t know about how an Easter egg caused a perf hit, or crash or something (I bet if such a story existed, Raymond would know it.). In any event, it seemed like we one day got this email that said “no more Easter eggs ever again”, and that was pretty much the end of it.
Too bad, I always enjoyed the creativity and humor behind these little gems.