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Video: An oral history - Former Xbox boss Ed Fries on the early days

August 14, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




Back in May, Halo 2600 developer and former Xbox executive Ed Fries spoke at length about his history and his work at Microsoft as part of the Computer History Museum's ongoing series of "Oral History" interviews with notable figures in the tech industry.

Speaking to museum representative Dag Spicer, Fries covers everything from his origin story as the child of engineers in Bellevue, Washington to his experience working as a programmer at Microsoft (where he earned the nickname "Fast Eddie" and coded game projects like Microsoft Fish-O-Rama in his spare time) on software like Excel, as well as his eventual progression to helping pitch the Xbox project to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

It's an interesting peek into what it was like to work at Microsoft while the company was reaching new peaks of influence in the industry, and developers will likely appreciate Fries' anecdotes about working on projects like Microsoft's Bungie acquisition and the decision process that led him to code the Atari 2600 game Halo 2600 in 2010.

The interview was recorded and published to the museum's YouTube channel, and we've taken the liberty of embedding it above. If you find it interesting, take the time to comb back through the museum's channel and check out similarly interesting presentations like this conversation between Mark Cerny and EA's Rich Hillieman or this 3dfx history panel.


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