Windows 10 Throwback: January 21, 2015 (Premium)

In January 2015, Microsoft held its second Windows 10 event, and while this one was focused on consumers, we also learned a lot more about its ambitions for a platform that would include phones, tablets, video game consoles, and other new kinds of devices.

Microsoft had previously announced that it would replace the reviled Windows 8.x with a new version of Windows called Windows 10 that would drop the emphasis on “touch-first” experiences and return the desktop computing prowess of previous releases. Going forward, the plan was for Windows to work equally well on different types of PCs, we thought, but really Microsoft was positioning Windows to work with a growing family of hardware form factors, the most exciting of which it would reveal later.

In the weeks and months after that initial announcement, Microsoft prepped for its consumer reveal as I suddenly found myself in an awkward position: I was suddenly forced to change jobs.

I had been associated with and working for Windows IT Pro, originally Windows NT Magazine, since 1999, but after a series of corporate acquisitions, our overlords at Penton Media had stopped letting us operate independently and were trying to cut costs. It did so in a way that I believe to be illegal: It started laying off our most experienced editors and employees, saving money on their expensive salaries and benefits packages. And then it eventually did away with virtually the entire staff and cut ties with our physical offices in Fort Collins, Colorado so that it could hire freelancers much more cheaply and make our organization, such as it was, fully virtual.

Don’t worry, Paul, I was assured: Your job is safe. But it was basically only my job that was: Rod Trent was the only other content creator who Penton didn’t lay off, and I was told that I could just keep doing what I was doing. Instead, I made them a counter-offer: Give me the SuperSite for Windows, which I had created in 1998, and I would continue writing Short Takes for, and continue driving traffic to, the main Windows IT Pro site. My boss thought this was an excellent idea, as did her boss. But by the time my offer made its way to the vice-presidential level, we were told that the SuperSite was “a corporate asset” and that it would require a 7-figure payment for me to take it. So I quit.

Well, not immediately. First, I set out to find a new job. I had only spoken with one company when I got a call out of the blue: Jeff James, a former coworker from Penton, had hooked up with a small Chicago-based company called Blue Whale Web (now BWW Media), and it had purchased a Windows IT pro site called Petri that it was trying to turn into the next Windows IT Pro. George Coll, the owner of BWW, had asked Jeff about content creators, and while it seemed like a long shot, he figured it was worth a try. In the end, it was great timing: They needed help, and I was ready to leave Penton. They quickly flew out to Boston, we had dinner, th...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC