Bill Baer /bɛːr/

Skip to main content


Bill Baer /bɛːr/
Bill Baer is a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft 365 at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.

Hindsight is 360

Hindsight is 360

Hindsight is 360

  Microsoft Life

Hindsight is 2020, or for me, 360. I’m humbled to be writing this post, having joined Microsoft a few short weeks before the XBOX 360 was released, just shy of 15 years ago.

As a humble kid from Germany who joined Microsoft by way of Colorado - it has been an amazing journey.

That journey has been amazing, challenging, and rewarding. I had a dream of becoming of a veterinarian…and in the early 1990’s that is what I had majored in - and by a strange turn of events, I ended up realizing my true passion while accidentally working at Apple (to make ends meet) in the early to mid-1990’s working as a storage engineer on the Apple Power Macintosh 7 series. That accident started in the late 1980’s when my parents bought me a Commodore 64, later replaced with the 128D where I spent my time pouring over Commodore’s PET BASIC samples - at that time it never seemed like something I’d pursue as a career as much as a hobby.

Flash forward to mid-1990’s when I applied at Apple in an effort to pay down student loan debt - I spent a couple of years working on the 7’s storage when, at the time, I received an offer I couldn’t refuse at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) - the largest brain trust at the time. I spent about 18 months there before moving about First Data Corporation and Quantum (where I worked on DLP’s) before rejoining DEC.

Over time, DEC became Compaq and Compaq became HP - during that time I went from storage engineering to True64 to HPUX.

Then the phone call came - a good friend at Microsoft said they were going to change the world…change the world by bringing by software to the cloud and needed someone who knew storage… I couldn’t resist the challenge…

Welcome to SharePoint Online, or at that time, Microsoft Managed Solutions. I accepted the offer and started my Microsoft journey designing the storage architecture for SharePoint “in the cloud”, and later writing software to address customers’ needs - Recycle Bin, Timer Jobs, etc.

Over the course of time, MMS became BPOS, Office 365, and finally Microsoft 365.

I’m both honored and privileged to have had such an unexpected journey - and every day where I now work on Microsoft Search, I realize I have the opportunity to touch millions of lives and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

This is outside of my usual technical or informatory posts, so would be interested if a topic such as this would be of interest in the future… or if anyone wants to know “the rest of the story”.


vosajm -

Very interesting, such background information. Thank you VERY much for you effort put in all SharePoint versions. I know you foremost of the (cumulative) updates a/o patches announcements :) Thx/Rgds, Arjan - NL

#### [Matt Engibous]( "") -

Appreciate the background Bill! We always learn something when you speak. You are one of my favorite presenters, I remember multiple packed sessions at SPCs and Ignites. Keep it coming!

| | Permalink to this article
Fingerprint for this article2d05f28d4f9d175153631caf3f95810b


Skip to footer

Social Links