About a month back, Microsoft came up with a challenge to all its MSDN Regional Directors (which includes me). It was to come up with the best Quote and Photo of the RD in their City landmark. Selecting the landmark for Chennai was tough – how can I manage to take a photo of Marina Beach without professional equipments from air (or) how do I get a photo of LIC / Central Station without Police suspecting me of terrorism :-). I wanted to go to Mamalapuram – but that whole week was hectic to get out of my desk and when I thought I can, it started raining.

The rider was that the RD’s face, Landmark in the background and the computer screen showing Vista, Office 2007, SharePoint all has to be visible. Most landmarks are outdoor, in that how do I get the screen to show – the natural sunlight’s luminosity is hundreds of time higher than your computer screen. I had to hire a professional photographer who gave up after few tries out door. He got permission to do a shot inside the Santhome Church (San Thome Basilica) – I felt it embarrassing to hold a PC in front of the sanctum-sanctorum and staring for a camera, while in front there were few people doing silent prayers. After 1 hour of waiting for the photographer, 2 hours of posing, I got tired and came home.

Venkatarangan in San Thome Basilica

In San Thome Basilica for My Vista, My Office challenge

The next day I went with my office graphics designer Sukumaran to Valluvar Kottam who got a good shot of me. Thanks Suku and E.Ravi for helping in the photo shot. Incidentally Valluvar Kottam is about a kilometer from my office and the whole thing got over in less than 30 minutes.

In Chennai Valluvar Kottam for My Vista, My Office challenge

In Chennai Valluvar Kottam for My Vista, My Office challenge

After submitting my entries, I waited. To my surprise, this week Microsoft announced me as one of the Top 10 Photo Entries. I will be getting as gift a Zune Player (WOW). The best quote and photo award goes to RD from Norway – Jonas Folleso, who got as Gifts a Xbox 360 & a new Zune player.

If you are interested the quote I submitted was: “With Vista’s WPF and Office 2007 Task Oriented UI, a disruptive change is happening in applications usability. The question for every customer now has moved from number of features to how much each of those features will be effectively used. This brings interesting days ahead for everyone”

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