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Marc B. McDonald is an American who was Microsoft's first salaried employee (not counting Monte Davidoff, who wrote the math package for BASIC for a flat fee). He is credited with designing the FAT File System for Standalone Basic which was the file system for the MS-DOS operating system and Microsoft Windows. He left the company in January 1984, citing a reason that Microsoft had gotten "too big" (Microsoft was at around four hundred employees at that time). He was Asymetrix's first employee where he worked on a Lisp pcode system used internally and redesigned the ToolBook runtime and compiler for ToolBook 3.0. At Design Intelligence, Marc worked on adaptive document design and an expression-based programming language used for layout experiments. He rejoined Microsoft in December 2000 when it bought Design Intelligence.
When McDonald rejoined Microsoft, a number of employees including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer tried to assign him the employee number "1" but found that the human resources software did not allow this. Instead he was given a badge with all the digits scraped off except "1".
McDonald worked in the QA-oriented Windows Defect Prevention group, focusing on organizational best practices to drive software quality from the bottom up. He is co-author of The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention published in November 2007. He holds six software patents.
McDonald left Microsoft in 2011.
- "Bill Gates: My 1979 Memories". Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- By: scobleizer (2005-09-08). "Marc McDonald - Microsoft's First Employee | scobleizer | Channel 9". Channel9.msdn.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention. Microsoft.com. 2007-10-31. ISBN 0-7356-2253-1. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Marc McDonald". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
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