It's time to get this blog jump started. Best laid plans of mice and men and all. But first a little background on me.

I'm the lead program manager for Microsoft Office Word. That means I manage the team that designs the new features in Word. If you’ve been reading any of the other Microsoft Office blogs, then you know some of the folks I work with. The Brian Jones, Mr. New File Format, is on my team and I work for Chris Pratley, who heads up the program management teams for Word, OneNote and Publisher.

A little history on me for the 2 people who may care. I’ve been involved in the software industry for roughly 17 years. I started on the phones in technical support in 1988 at a company called Aldus (which has long since been acquired by Adobe). Over the time I worked at Aldus I moved into the product development team, but my entire time there was spent working on PageMaker. An interesting side note, I worked with the estimable Julie Larson-Green while at Aldus. Julie has played a critical role in the new UI model for Office 12.

In 1994, after 10 years as a Mac zealot, I fell under the sway of Windows 95 after seeing it at the Microsoft PDC. On the same day I ran into a former boss who was now with Microsoft. One thing lead to another and I move to Microsoft to work on Word. During my first “tour of duty” on the Word team I lead the team that managed our graphic filters, text converters and linguistic tools. I also helped form a new group within Office that worked with the NLP group in Microsoft Research and created the new grammar checker for Office 97 and other cool natural language features.

Long story short, from 1997 to 2003 my family and I live in Indonesia and I did work for a variety of non-profit groups. I returned to Microsoft to work on Word again in late 2003.

What timing! I started just in time to help the team craft the direction for Word 12. I can’t tell you how exciting the past two years have been. Anyone who thinks that there is nothing left to do in word processing hasn’t seen where we are going with Word 12. More on that after this message...