I find myself morbidly drawn to my own impending obsolescence. When I joined Microsoft at the age of 26, the average age was 26. Now that I'm 36, the average age is now 36. Perhaps that's because nobody ever leaves Microsoft, they just get old? And so being mr off the peg Microsoft, I am something of a barometer for the Microserf culture.
The millenials are coming to replace me I'm told and I think Microsoft has realised it might be getting old. Two things seem to growing obsessions in Microsoft that I can see - the consumerisation of IT and how we need to focus on consumers generally and, perhaps related, how to adapt to the New World of Work - a culture dominated by the gen-Y teens and twenties entering the workforce.
Yesterday's presentation was to the Microsoft Student Partners - a more gen-Y group you couldn't hope to find. Raw, enthusiastic, smart and undoctrinated. It was interesting to see how they think about themselves as a culture (they don't really because nobody has told them they need to be more self-aware yet) and we had a present for them and all students.
- For a limited time (until the end of April) students can purchase Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for just £38.95 (perpetual licence) or £12.95 (one year subscription) at www.theultimatesteal.co.uk
- To be eligible you need to be a student with a .ac.uk email address, and have at least a 0.5 course load (this basically means a student must have at least the equivalent of 2 ½ days per week attendance at University or College.
- This promotion is download based, though soon the option to buy a CD too (for a couple of extra pounds) will become available.
- It’s not up on the site yet but there's going to be a UK-wide blogging competition related to the offer. Anyone who blogs about using Office and includes a link to www.theultimatesteal.co.uk can enter the competition via the website (when the lawyers give it the thumbs up).
Of course the really scary thing is that as of next year we have love for you if you were born in the nineties as well as those kids go to university next year. I take solace then from watching all those kids-of-the-eighties realising they aren't young any more either as the 27-year old next to me experiences the crushing reality that he will now never play for England or be in a boy band.