Tl;dr: Steven Sinofsky was a technical assistant to Bill Gates. He writes a memo to explaining the use of the Internet at Cornell University which would lead to Microsoft going all in on the internet
In 1994, on a visit back to his alma mater, Sinofsky was stuck at Cornell during a snowstorm. While he was there, he saw how Cornell was taking advantage of the Internet with email for undergraduates and online course listings. He dashed off an email to Gates with the subject line “Cornell is WIRED!” emphasizing how important the Internet was becoming. Sinofsky’s email kicked off a chain of events that eventually led Bill Gates to write his famous “Internet Tidal Wave” memo in 1995. That memo caused every Microsoft product group to start building Internet connections into their products and paved the way for Internet Explorer to be bundled into Windows, kicking off the consumer Internet revolution.
Imagine having all the confidence of an early twenty-something at an incredibly successful technology company leading the industry and lucky enough to be in a job giving you access to the leaders that made that happen. Now imagine getting trapped in the snow at a university and experiencing a software experience cobbled together by a tiny number of people using free code from other universities. That would be one thing. But what if that experience collided head-on with the grand vision the company was working towards.
This memo is a full description for Bill Gates (or as BillG as he was referred to internally).
Computing at Cornell and the InternetComputing at Cornell and the Internet
You can read the rest of the memo collection here.
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