Microserfs Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Microserfs.
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Microserfs Summary & Study Guide Description

Microserfs Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.

The year is 1993, a time when Microsoft has grown into a major software corporation. Daniel chronicles his experiences with the company at its Redmond, Washington, headquarters, his work with a new company called Interiority that he helps to found with his friends and his growing relationship with Karla, the first woman he has ever loved. Michael, one of the older Microsoft employees, quits in order to finish the programming of his brainchild, an object-oriented graphics development program he calls Oop! (exclamation point is part of the name). Michael, along with the people who have been renting room in a group house owned by Abe, quit Microsoft to join Michael's new company located in Palo Alto, California.

Daniel's father has lost his job with IBM and goes to work for Michael. Nobody but Michael knows what the father's project is until it is unveiled in an office building. While the rest of the crew—consisting of Daniel, Karla, Susan, Todd and Bug—put in long hours of programming, the father has been constructing a sculpture garden made entirely of oversized Lego blocks. Work on Oop! moves from Daniel's parents' house to the office building among the sculptures.

Ethan joins the company early on as its marketing professional. He suffers from extreme dandruff, comes off as smarmy to Michael and has major dermatology surgery done to his back. Michael warms up to Ethan when he discovers how much suffering the man is going through. Susan has cashed in all her Microsoft stock to fund the company, but the company runs out of money before Oop! has been finished. Just as the money situation looks the most desperate, Abe decides to leave Redmond and join Interiority. He brings with him enough cash to keep the company going.

Todd meets Dusty, both of whom are body builders, and they begin a relationship. Dusty becomes pregnant and decides to bring the child to term. Susan cannot seem to get any relationship off the ground. Michael finally meets a woman he has been emailing for about a year, Amy, and they immediately hit it off. Bug comes out of the closet as a homosexual man and tries to start a relationship too, which immediately fails.

Oop! finally becomes a marketable product, and it is well received. The company starts to make a good deal of money, but Daniel reports that he was never in it for the money. His relationship with Karla has bloomed, and while attending a technical conference in Las Vegas, he learns that his mother has had a stroke. This event brings everyone together into a loving family situation, which was what Daniel craved all along. He had been haunted by his younger brother, Jed, who had died years before. Daniel often saw people who looked exactly like Jed, but after this turn of events, he can put the memory away and carry on with his life. His mother accepts Karla as her daughter, something that had not been coming together and disturbed both Karla and Daniel.

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