Throwback Thursday–product from the 1990s

Microsoft Groupware Templates for Access.

Groupware_Templates

Above is an article from the September 13, 1993 issue of Computerworld describing Microsoft’s set of templates for their Access database product. Here is a link to the image on Google Books.

This was back in the days when software was delivered in a physical box with media and manuals. This product was no exception, having a SKU on the box and everything.

As the article indicates, Microsoft asked several firms to provide various templates for inclusion in this product. My firm (at that time), Canaan Analytics, was asked to provide a template for coordinating meetings; which we did.

I have built a lot of software systems over the years in all sorts of environments. This however is the only time that my software was shipped by Microsoft as part of an actual product and for which I received explicit credit on the box. I wonder how many other people can say that they got Bill Gates to sell their software and put their name on the box?

Don’t get me wrong, the software itself was nothing particularly exciting. In fact it was written for a version of Access that was outdated by the time the product shipped. The version was mandated by Microsoft, so I had no choice in the matter. Today Access is far from the appropriate database for one of these applications in the internet age where all of these type of applications are available as online services.

What I like to remember is that Microsoft came to me for software and I delivered. Further they liked it enough to ship it in a product. It has always been, for me at least, both exciting and fun to work with Microsoft. I am proud to have contributed to the Microsoft story in some small way.

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