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Ship-It Awards presented to the Product Team

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Old 02-28-2007
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Ship-It Awards presented to the Product Team
When we release a product to market at MS, tradition holds that everyone involved in building it is usually given a small gift in recognition of their efforts. These "Ship-It Awards" are usually of more sentimental value than anything else, but everyone who's received one displays it proudly in their office as a badge of honor (and often in remembrance of the sacrifices it took to get the product out the door). Senior Software Development Engineer Larry Osterman makes mention of his Ship-It Award on his blog and even includes a few photos.
The front is inspired by the Windows Vista Ultimate packaging. On the reverse is the text:
Delighted customers, great ideas, tough deadlines, clever solutions, lines of code, pages of specs, runs of automation, lines of text, screens of UI, missed dinners, fixed bugs, inspiring teamwork, countless iterations, courage to break the rules, time away from loved ones, times you rose to the occasion, late nights, early mornings, delayed vacations, chances you took, long meetings, short meetings, canceled meetings, killed features, features that wouldn't die, crashed machines, moments of victory, moments of defeat, coffees, doughnuts, pizzas, beers, relentless dedication, blood, sweat, and tears.

To say that Larry's been around the block more than once is to vastly understate the matter. What's significant in his blogging this Ship-It Award is that in >22 years working at MS, Larry notes that what's normally a private affair this time has become a very public one here in our halls: "...there were lots of people walking around the halls showing the box off to others."
Perhaps it's because now that the challenge of building Windows Vista is behind us, people find themselves still wanting to share the glory (and relief) of the moment and relive a little bit of their part in making software history.

The Windows Vista Product Team (Devs, Testers and Program Managers) also received the final installment in their "DVD Cubes" a few weeks ago. The Cube contains DVDs of Windows Vista Beta 1, Beta 2, RC1 and now Windows Vista RTM -- all the major milestones in the Windows Vista project.

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