Today, our site is having a little tenth-anniversary party. The whole story is much more complicated, however, because we actually go back to late 2006 when Dieter Bohn (now at The Verge) launched our forums and an accompanying mini-blog, but it was that January 2009 effort that set the stage for our future.
On January 3, 2009 this site – then known as WMExperts – underwent a massive revamp. We went from a forum-centric site posting a few news stories every day with occasional reviews to a more active one with a larger staff.
That shift coincided with the heyday of Windows Mobile (hence WMExperts) that would eventually shift towards the shiny new Metro future of Windows Phone (and another name change for us in 2010).
Windows Central milestones
The first script for the WMExperts podcast with Dieter Bohn and Malatesta from February 2008.
There have been many milestones along the way. It was on February 15, 2008, that Dieter and I started the first WMExperts Podcast.
Many writers and much talent have come and gone over the years including Merlin3D, HobbesIsReal, George Ponder, Sam Sabri, Paul Acevedo, Seth Brodeur, and others.
In one of my first articles back in September 2007, I used to write under my nom de guerre Malatesta (named after an Italian anarchist) before using my real name and taking over editorial duties in 2010.
Going through our history of articles over 10 plus years surfaced a few interesting bits. Back in 2008 at IFA Berlin, there was a dual-screen phone from Toshiba that was shown off as a prototype. There was Microsoft’s dismissive response to Android back in 2007 which seems relevant under then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Flashback! WMExperts circa ten years ago January 2009.
I wrote a popular article in early 2008 that explained the then-new consumer technologies, like the differences between aGPS and GPS that today we all take for granted. You can even find hints (and hopes) of a future Microsoft-Nokia collaboration on a phone.
I was as fascinated with tiny computers 10 years ago as I am today, when I compared the MSI Wind (still have it) with the Redfly (also still have it). I was getting pumped for the Sprint Treo Pro (yep, still have it).
In October 2014, with the launch of Windows 10, we saw the future as going beyond phones. As a result, we rebranded to just Windows Central a move that many people thought was crazy. We think it was the right move.
Over the years, it has been amazing to see the site grow to everything including laptops, PCs, Surface, Xbox, HoloLens, connected devices, accessories, software, and for a brief time, Microsoft Band. We now serve over 8 million unique visitors every month making us the top-ranked Microsoft and Windows-focused site in the world.
Netbooks and thin-clients: things we were reviewing in 2009.
And since nothing is built alone, we have hired some of the best writers and talent around including: Zac Bowen, Jez Corden, Rich Edmonds (who has been here almost as long as I have), Mark Guim, Richard Devine, Cale Hunt, Matt Brown (now a full-time writer!), Jason Ward, Sean Endicott, and last but not least, Al Sacco, our hard-working managing editor, who holds it all together.
What does the future hold? Our site is due for a fresh coat of paint, so expect a more modern design in the coming weeks. Maybe we’ll get around to making a new app to match that design, too. We also have a few ideas to expand coverage into other Windows 10-related areas in 2019. And we’re genuinely excited.
The future looks great for Microsoft despite some rough years.
For Microsoft, well, the company went from meandering under Ballmer to flourishing under Nadella, and Microsoft is now one of the most valuable companies in the world. Not bad considering many were writing them off just a few years ago.
Microsoft Surface is stronger than ever, going from two devices in 2012 to six product lines, including headphones, heading into 2019. HoloLens 2, Windows Lite (Windows Core OS), and more are all on the table, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally get that foldable dual-screen PC that fits in my pocket I’ve been dreaming about. If not, I have another ten years to wait for it, right?
Finally, a big thanks to all of you who have been with us since the beginning, you people who started paying attention somewhere along the way, as well as those of you who are just joining us. We could never have done it without you, and we look forward to another decade of Microsoft and Windows coverage. We hope you’ll continue to tag along.