July 17, 2003 spout

My First Visit to MS Studios

I went with Erica Wiechers (.NET Show heart throb) to visit MS Studios today. Ostensively we were there to preview the Applied XML Developer Conference videos, some of which Erica will be turned into MSDN TV episodes. However, as long as we were there, Bob Snyder gave us the nickel tour.

The front entry was even more secure than the normal MS buildings, being encased in wire fencing and not yielding to my badge (we had to be let in from the inside). Once in, it was a big building with lots of open space and fun decorations. I got to see several blueprints of famous imaginary places, e.g. the spaceship from Lost in Space, the Addams Family house and the island from Gilligan’s Island. I got to see the two green rooms where talent” gets ready in the full locker rooms, then relaxes on the coach til it’s their turn (although neither room is green). I got to see all of the studios, including standing on one of BillG’s markers, seeing the set where he interviewed with Larry King and the other set where he recorded his antitrust testimony. I also got to see the set for the .NET Show, which looks like the inside of half of a giant bowl, so that they can blend in custom backgrounds, both physical and logical. I go to see all kinds of cool a/v routing and mixing equipment, putting my one little PC attached to my home theater system seem so pathetic in comparison. I even got to see some live footage of Steve Ballmer that they were filming that day (man, he gets excited when he speaks : ).

In general, I’ve been getting to see and do a lot of cool stuff here at MS. Recommended.