For sheer, gut-wrenching highs and lows, even the worlds tallest, fastest, most technologically advanced fly-by-wire roller coaster cant compare with the last 10 years of highs and lows at Microsoft.
Whether youre a shareholder, an employee, a customer or a competitor, youve experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of BSODs.
In the year and a half leading up to the debut of Windows 95, I wrote more than 100,000 words about the upcoming operating system, mostly for the late, lamented PC Computing.
I was at the launch party on Aug. 24, 1995, and Ive been covering succeeding versions of Windows (and the controversies surrounding them) continuously since then. Its been quite a ride.
Aug. 24 kicks off an unprecedented celebration of Windows 95. Crowds line up at computer stores at midnight to buy copies of the software, and a million copies are sold in the first four days.
Jay Leno hosts the extravagant launch party under picture-perfect Redmond summer skies. Microsoft buys the rights to the Rolling Stones "Start Me Up" as its theme song. Its a high of giddy, dance-on-the-tables proportions.
In fact, maybe the hype is a little too much. Microsoft Vice President Brad Silverberg, whos in charge of the development effort, has to damp down expectations repeatedly, saying "Its only software. It doesnt cure cancer."