Welcome to "Hardcore Software"

4 min read
fairly difficult
Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution (a serialized book)

I am super excited to launch Hardcore Software: Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution here on Substack.

Hardcore Software is a first-person account of what I saw at the PC revolution from the perspective of joining Microsoft as a newly hired software design engineer fresh from graduate school working on developer tools, through my time as a program manager and ultimately leading Office, and then moving to Windows, and everything in between (like working as technical assistant to Bill Gates.)

Many think of Microsoft as it is today, a huge force in enterprise software with multiple anchor businesses that have been successful beyond most anything in software, and even business. As a reader, and subscriber, you'll be taken on a journey that starts at a time before Microsoft had market traction with the products the company came to be known for and ultimately defined the PC revolution. I was lucky enough to join the company before the seminal release of Windows, Windows 3.0, and before developers energetically targeted the Windows platform, and before products like Word, Excel, and Office were successful on Windows.

Full page advertisement from MacWeek Magazine that caught my attention from January 1989.

Hardcore Software has elements of a business memoir, and at the same time it also includes takeaways of management writing familiar to anyone working in a complex business setting. Many of the lessons in Hardcore Software are broadly applicable, learned through the challenges and mistakes we made over years of facing many all too familiar situations. We struggled with disruption and outside forces that at times we were blind to, and navigated complex internal dynamics of conflicting goals, varied strategies, and even clashing cultures. Hardcore Software is an in-depth look at the most critical and talked about decades at Microsoft, and the teams tasked with navigating ever-changing technology and customer landscapes, all while we had to come to…
Steven Sinofsky
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