Microsoft’s “Future of productivity” showcases 29 years of evolution in information technology

Don’t let the name of this video mislead you, this is not a concept video like the infamous “Productivity Vision 2019” by Office Labs. In fact, this video doesn’t actually show anything that’s not possible today. Nevertheless, it’s still a very inspiring demonstration of information technology in practice.

The video, shared by Jesse Anderson from Microsoft Canada, portrays the imaginary career of an imaginary employee (Jeff Hay) at our beloved imaginary company, Contoso. For the first minute and a half, the video explores Jeff’s 19 year history at the company and all the Microsoft productivity solutions he’s implemented.

Notable IT transitions include 3.5″ floppy disks to 1.4″, mailing room to email, CD-ROMs, document archives to digital repositories and USB thumb drives.

Several promotions, shaves and cliche whiteboard brainstorms later, the video then shifts focus to the company today where the sun is bright, windows are shiny, people interact in slow motion and technology works like an Utopian society.

As you would expect, many Microsoft products make their cameos including but not limited to Windows Phone 7, Office 2010, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. In short, productivity is through the roof.

As for a bit of trivia, most of the footage for the modern company appears to be shot at Microsoft’s City Center Plaza building in Bellevue, currently the office for Bing and the Online Services division. Having been there, the view from the roof is pretty spectacular.

24 insightful thoughts

  1. That was a pretty cool video. Wonder what tablet they were using to show off, since they don’t have their own hardware, nor a showcased Windows for touch/slate. Looked like a Xoom, lol. Nevertheless, it’s a wonder how far we’ve come in terms of productivity.

    1. I believe the tablet the IT guy uses is the ExoPC. It would be logical because it runs Windows 7 and is also sold from the Microsoft Store.

      I have one, so I believe I can spot it when i see it… could be wrong though as I did not see any form of logo on the back of the device 😉

  2. Cool video, however I was less impressed by the technical innovations and more with the anti-aging face cream that guy uses.

  3. Neat video and trivia. I can’t help but wonder what Contoso doesn’t do. At least we know more about this elusive company, including the CEO name.

    The video title is still misleading though, since it’s showing the past and the present but not the future 😀

    1. CIO as in Chief Information Officer. The CEO of Contoso is still at large from appearing in a video about contoso that i have seen.

  4. Given the amount of work that must have gone into that video, why did they present all those screenshots in Aero Basic? 🙁

  5. Yeah strike out Cisco and Google that’s right Contoso. 🙂 If only they had retained the Office 2003 UI as an optional tab in the Ribbon.

    Btw the video didn’t play in real-time at my speed so I let it buffer for several minutes then realized after wasting several minutes I was being served the HTML5 version in IE9 and it was not buffering properly at all. So I viewed it in compatibility view which then made it serve me the Flash version which again I had to buffer and then properly watch.

  6. I don’t remember when Microsoft dropped the international market… we can’t use 75% of services that microsoft provides in America. Bing, zune, wp7, part of xbox services ecc… it sucks.

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