Notes from Bill, Sean and Jeff -- the 'I'm a PC' Guys
Wow - seconds after publishing my blog post on the latest Microsoft ads about everyone being a PC.. I got responses back from those in the ad who offered up email addys in their spots (Bill Gates, a guy named Sean and a guy named Jeff).
Here they are:
**FROM BILL GATES**:
Thanks for checking in. I hope you're beginning to get an appreciation
of the broad scope of human beings that take pride in using and being
called a "PC".
Yes, this is one of those auto-response emails.
Nothing impersonal. It's just a tribute to the fact that so, so many of
you have taken the opportunity to look deeper.
I can't promise to answer every question or respond to every comment.
But, I (with a lot of help from the team here) will do my best.
In the meantime, feel free to join in to tell your own story at
And please keep watching and connecting the dots in the campaign.
We're all getting a real kick out of it.
**FROM SEAN SILER**:
Hello! I'm a PC -- and I can't answer your email right now. I'd like to say that I'm out climbing Mt. Rainier or biking across Europe with the Swedish Beach Volleyball Team, but in fact I'm probably just chained to a desk somewhere in the depths of Redmond pounding out product specifications.
Now that I have been in a commercial, Microsoft has given me access to super-secret "BillyG" level of executive resources. That's right -- I have my own email auto-responder!
This, as you have probably surmised, is my pre-prepared auto-response (All natural, no filler. No animals were harmed in the making of this response. Except for a ferret.) I really would like to have answered you myself, but if I did, (a) I'd probably get no work done, and (b) then I'd get fired, and (c) then I'd have no chance of doing any more of those really awesome commercials.
So let me try to prognosticate a few of your questions and answer a few of them.
Why did they put you on TV?
I think it's my devastating good-looks and animal magnetism. No, really -- there's a ferret stuck to my leg right now.
But really -- you aren't even an actor!
No I'm not. But I play one on TV. I really am a Microsoft Program Manager. I work on IPv6, and other things that you haven't heard of.
How did you get selected?
I auditioned along with a couple of hundred others. I guess I looked very Engineery. And the ferret probably helped.
Are you interested in more acting?
Oh no, I think that Engineering is MUCH more fun.
What's with Windows Vista?
-The Real PC, Sean Siler
**FROM JEFF SMITH**:
Thanks for your email. I apologize if I can't send you a more personalized response than this auto-reply --I'm super busy these days trying to optimize my code & squeeze out that last drop of performance. Or sleeping off a caffeine crash ;-)
In case you were wondering (you did email me, right?), I'm a software engineer working on Windows Networking technologies. (Networking, like, wireless internet and all that). I'm super proud of the great networking features in Windows. I can tell you that we collaborate really closely with lots of other companies who make the networking gadgets (and even things that aren't traditionally "networkingish", like wireless printers), so that these devices work great with Windows. The coolest part is that (cue $6 million man voice over) we have the technology to improve continuously, thanks to Windows Update (you do have that turned on, right?). Some of our customers opt into the "Customer Experience Improvement Program" (you do have that turned on, right?). When one of these customers plugs in a gadget and it doesn't work right (we call these "Driver Not Found", or DNFs for short), Windows sends a short description of the device back to HQ, and we use data that to go back and fix the problem. It's a ton of work, but it really pays off, since we can see that each month that fewer % of our customers are sending back the DNFs, and that means Windows just keeps getting better.
Anyway, sorry for rambling about networking��� no more nerdy stuff now. Another question I get (usually from jealous coworkers ;-) is how'd you end up on a TV commercial? (Besides my good looks, of course). That's pretty simple. We wanted this TV commercial to show you the real people who are behind Windows -- not paid actors & hollywood stuff. In fact, one of the clips in the commercial shows me standing in the real actual computer room where Windows itself is built (compiled, linked, signed, componentized, compressed ��� um, sorry, I promised no more nerdy stuff).
Anyway, I hope I've answered some of your questions & given you a glimpse into the world of a Microsoft engineer. I really need to get back to work now, so bye & thanks again for your email.