Meow you doing?

It’s happened to Karen Easterbrook a few times already, and it’s bound to sneak up on her again. She’s in a work meeting with folks from different teams, and people are introducing themselves. When it’s her turn, she says her name and inevitably someone blurts out, “You’re the cat woman!” “Every time, I have to…

Meet me in the trees

Wi-Fi? Check. Power for your tablet or PC? Yep. Bird calls? All around. To get to Microsoft’s most unexpected new meeting space, embark on a leisurely outdoor stroll up a planked, accessible switchback ramp. At the top, a secure wooden gate swings open to reveal a deck suspended by timber beams and cables. A minty…

Widening the spectrum

For technology to truly help people achieve their potential, it has to be able to help everyone. And the people creating that technology must reflect the people who will use it. Technology needs to work across what Jenny Lay-Flurrie calls “the spectrum of being human.” “By having people with disabilities in the fabric of our…

Balancing act

When asked how she describes her experience at Microsoft, Lisiane Lemos says “the relationship” with the company is a “marriage where both sides are happy. Being a representative of Microsoft and leveraging the message through a lot of events contributes to my passion to change the world and to make people see Microsoft efforts to…

‘I want to believe’

“Warning! Area 51. It is unlawful to enter this area without permission from the Installation Commander. While on this installation, all personnel and the property under their control are subject to search.” It’s not a sign you’d expect to see hanging on a doorway in a Microsoft office building. But there it was, bolted to…

The road to Mixer

Matt Salsamendi and James Boehm released their alpha product under the website name “chilly dot cool.” If that sounds somewhat adolescent, it’s because Matt and James were, in fact, adolescents when they launched their first startup, a company so successful that Matt dropped out of high school to help build it. The stunning success they…

A safe space to be who you are

It was Beth Anne Katz’s last day as a program manager on a team that helps distribute apps. She’d just accepted a job with Microsoft Teams located in the Czech Republic. As we sat in her Redmond office, Beth Anne proclaimed, “I’m moving to Prague!” Judging from the many pictures of travel posted on her…

Lessons in vulnerability with Brené Brown

The line formed early outside Brené Brown’s recent talk at Microsoft. A researcher of courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame, Brown visited the Redmond campus to talk to employees about her latest book, Braving the Wilderness, and to explore the differences between fitting in and truly belonging—a theme that hits home for many employees. Before she…