Wesley Rupel’s 1980s Vintage Microsoft Executive Phone

Hey peeps, I’ve managed to acquire an Early 1980s Vintage Microsoft Executive Phone which used to be owned by a guy named Wes Rupel or Wesley Rupel, who was one of 10 people that designed Microsoft Windows.

Wes has over 20 years of experience in technology covering software, internet infrastructure and wireless. He has demonstrated success in growing and shaping start-up enterprises.

Wes left his chosen field of physics in 1985 to team up with 6 others at Dynamical Systems Research (Berkeley, California) and build a multitasking windowing operating system. In 1986 Microsoft and DSR merged and Wes then became one of about ten developers who architected, designed and helped build Microsoft Windows, in the late 1980’s. He holds a number of patents from that era for developing innovative algorithms to optimize performance.

In 1999 Wes joined another startup, becoming the Development Manager of AskMe Corp., a Seattle based knowledge sharing portal.  The company grew from 10 to over 100 under his tenure. In October 2002 he left to start Allegro in Italy with AskMe colleague Savino Griesi.

Here’s a photo I’ve took of the phone, notice the old Microsoft Blibbet Logo! 🙂

UPDATE 05/01/2012: Some interesting information that I thought I would post here, courtesy of Dr. Dwight Beery, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Manchester College USA.

In looking up information on DSR, the little company that Bill Gates bought to help him at Microsoft, I found your note about a phone used by Wes Rupel, and his original field of physics.

That was also the field of the other members of DSR.  They were all physicists, as I understand it, except for two persons.  One was a computer scientist and the other an English major.  DSR worked for a year to develop a graphical user interface for IBM.  At the end of that year, IBM had a corporate shakeup and lost interest in the project.  So in looking elsewhere for a buyer, they found Bill Gates who then was unable to pay much except in stock options in Microsoft.  And Bill Gates hired them in return for stock options.
Wes Rupel was a graduate of Manchester College in Indiana where I was a physics professor until I retired in 2004.  I was Wes’s academic advisor and have been interested to follow his interesting career since then.   I visited him once in his home in Belleview, Washington when he lived there.  He really enjoyed working at Microsoft.  At Manchester College he was my Observatory assistant for 4 years and also an excellent physics laboratory assistant.  His trademark when he helped with writing suggestions on lab manuals of beginning students was that he always included a good joke.  He was also an outstanding Frizbee player.
As a graduate student at the University of Santa Barbara, CA his specialty was General Relativity.  He completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D. except the thesis.  His idea for the thesis was too far off the beaten track for the professors there, so he could not get any of them to follow his path.  99% of grad students would have just modified their proposed thesis to fit the expectation (as I did) and finish it up.  But Wes dropped out and joined this group of other physicists, and the rest is history.


  1. Eric Cheung   •  

    Is it still functional? 😛

  2. Darren Straight   •     Author

    No idea yet!

    I need an adapter or something to fit in the normal UK telephone lead into it! 🙁

  3. Nate Lanxon   •  

    Oh man that’s excellent. I think I’ve got one of those adapters around somewhere. If you can’t find one then let me know and I’ll send it down to you. That beast deserves to be used!

  4. Pingback: Techs Message - Dedicated UK technology and Internet news » Wesley Rupel’s 1980s Vintage Microsoft Executive Phone

  5. Tyler   •  

    Whoa, thats pretty neat..lol. Hey Darren by the way thanks for linking to me 🙂

  6. Darren Straight   •     Author

    @Nate: Thanks dude I’ll have to see if I can find anything, if not I’ll let you know! 🙂

    @Tyler: Dont mention it, hope it helps! 🙂

  7. Greg   •  

    Interesting. The phone number listed on the phone did not belong to Wes, but it did belong to another person who had previous been at DSR

Leave a Reply