Alright, so I’m blogging. I’m Sean Lyndersay, and I’m a lead Program Manager on the Network Experience team in Windows (at Microsoft). What’s that mean? I don’t know either, but it sounds good, so I’m going to stick with it. Maybe I’ll explain it later. If anyone cares.

Anyway, I’m out here… trying out this blogging thing, seeing if it can be useful to me, and ultimately to you, the end-user. That’s right – I’m trying to get something useful out of this. Most people who blog seem to have something witty and intelligent to say to the world. Not me. I’m just here to see if this is a useful tool for getting in touch with people that it’s otherwise near impossible to have a dialog with.

You see, what I do is simultaneously one of the easiest and hardest (at least, imho, and, considering this is my blog, my opinion’s all that counts :) things to do in the world. I build UI. That’s “user interfaces.” Or, in the current lingo, I design “User Experiences” (short form: UX). Now, as a minor aside, I like the term “experience” because it does a great job of bringing together the intangibles of UI design, but since the release of Windows XP, the proliferation of the term “experience” (and in particular, it’s rarely-seen-outside-of-Microsoft plural form) comes dangerously close to the being another “Active-“, “Intelli-“, “Direct-“ or, more recently, “.Net”.

Back to my point (yes, I had one)… My goal is to build UI that I can be proud of. And that means UI that is “great” to everyone who uses it. Of course, that definition is completely arbitrary (and that is the topic of a completely separate entry). To do that, I need feedback, suggestions, and smacks on the head. I need people to say, “this sucks” or “that doesn’t suck”, or “what in heck is that supposed to mean?” and especially, “what were you thinking?”

So, with this blog, I’m going to try an experiment. A dialog, if you will (and yes, the pun is intended). I’m going to openly discuss the UI (specifically, the Networking UI) of Windows, starting with some new stuff we’ve introduced in the beta of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.

If you reading this – first, I have no idea why you are, but thanks! – then, this is an opportunity to get involved. I hope this will be a great success and together, we can make sure Windows networking is “great” for you, and millions of other users.

Before I’m finished, since this is a litigious society, I’m going to include a little disclaimer. Come to think of it, I may attach to the page on the whole. I’ve borrowed it from the MS “wish” site, so it gets the point across, I think:

By offering suggestions through this page, you give Microsoft full permission to use them freely. We can't guarantee we will use your suggestions, but we will review them for use in future products. Due to the volume and variety of suggestions, we can't provide compensation or personal responses to each suggestion.

So there.

But seriously, I’m not out here to steal people’s ideas. I’m out here to make Windows better for everyone who uses it. If you have an idea you don’t want me to know about it – don’t post it.

Sean