My WinPhan Story and #Win10Countdown


Windows 10 is here in 10 days.

To celebrate, let’s use #Win10Countdown in the days preceding Windows 10’s release.

If you see someone else using #Win10Countdown on any social network, share it, favorite it, and comment!

Let’s get some serious buzz around this hashtag and Windows 10.

Not sure what to write about? Here are some ideas: 10 Reasons Windows 10 Will Rock Your Socks

Whatever you post, be sure to be authentically you. Share the things you are really excited about want to tell the world.

My WinPhan Story


Windows 95 was the first operating system I have ever used.

I don’t recall too much about using my parents’ Windows 95 PC as a child, except I was fascinated with creating “maps” on Paint and writing silly stories in Word.

It was there that the spark of my inner WinPhan was brought to life. It’s what initially got me excited about using technology and creating content.

Then, when I was older, I got my first PC. It was a hand-me-down machine, that had a little over a gigabyte of RAM of a mere 32 gigabytes of hard disk space. But it was still my first PC. It ran Windows XP, which dazzled me at the time. While using it, I figured out how to install programs, organize files, browse the web, and other basic PC functions.

Not too long after that, I discovered Zune. It was the only media device and music software solution that looked appealing to me at the time. And when I saved up to purchase the black Zune 8GB MP3 player, it would change my life. There was something charming about the design of the devices and the software inside. Particularly the design elements of operating system were like nothing anyone else was doing at the time. Lowercase sans-serif typography, the intentional way motion was used, and a beautiful set of flat icons gave the Zune OS a clean, modern look.

After Zune, I officially became a Microsoft geek. I couldn’t stop talking to people about it, first in the off-line world, then also in the online realm.

Windows Phone’s announcement was a big deal – in my mind it would be the Zune phone.

I was delighted to discover it was a lot more than that.

LG Quantum on AT&T was my first Windows Phone on the debut of Windows Phone 7. Since then, I’ve been sold on Microsoft Mobile.

Post-Windows Phone 7.1 (NoDo), and especially during 7.5 (Mango), I discovered the WinPhan community and began making connections with all of you amazing people.

I could list so many names, but I’m only going to list one: Sean Johnson. Here when I thought I was unmatched in enthusiasm for Microsoft products – Sean consistently found ways to surprise me. Whether it was him rallying behind a new device, helping someone new to the community, or the organizing WinPhan activities (like the Scavenger Hunt), Sean continually scarified a large portion of his free time to support the community he built from the ground up. He loved Windows Phone, that was clear – but he loved the people in his community most of all.

Sean inspired me to show, share, and lead creatively. He was a master at it!  So I was delighted to hear from a personal friend who worked at Microsoft that Sean would get his own ticket to Build 2014 – a dream of his to be sure. And many of you were on that journey with him – through this website, (posts here and here). Sean stepping down at the end of 2014 was a shock to everyone, and I’m not confident anyone (especially me) can replace him and what he’s done. But his efforts have led to a vivacious community that grows even today – so if he does come back to our community one day, let’s not disappoint him!

All this to say, I don’t take the responsibility of being the WinPhan lightly. I know things have been a little rough lately – Windows Phone in particular is going in a new direction and I understand not all of you are sure about it. But if there’s one thing I’ve been addicted to since being a WinPhan, it’s being on the cutting edge. Nothing is more thrilling than being a part of what’s new and truly different, helping push what we think about apps, services, software – and even hardware. Microsoft and its community are at the forefront of that, and Windows 10 is yet another impressive step foreword.

Do you think it’s possible to build one OS that works on computers, gaming consoles, and a pair of holograph smart glasses? It’s truly an audacious goal. Despite doubts, however, it’s already taking shape, proving to be an impressive product on multiple fronts, from over 5 million community-driven testers.

I have Windows 10 on my devices, both mobile and PC, and I can say with confidence that I love it.

One’s thing’s for sure, whether the Windows 10 journey ends up being smooth or rocky: it’s going to be exciting.

Rock on, #WinPhan nation!




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I'm a technology enthusiast.

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