Yesterday, on Mac Mojo, we gave a quick update on the progress of Messenger.
Windows Live Messenger has just entered beta (along with several other Windows Live apps). Their beta is important to us because WLM is moving to a new backend for their audio/video support. This new backend is the same one that's already in use by Office Communicator Server. Messenger:Mac users who are using OCS2007 servers can do audio/video chats today -- I've been using it for several months to chat with my (currently snowbound) colleagues in Redmond. WLM using the same backend as OCS brings us here in MacBU one step closer to being able to give users of the personal service the same support for audio/video as can be found in the corporate OCS service.
They're in beta, so they're still ironing out a few things. If you come by the Office booth at MWSF, we'll be giving demos of our support for audio/video on the personal service.
Getting caught up today, I noticed that Microspotting has done an interview with Dan Wittmer, one of our senior Entourage developers. In a Swiss skater on loving Macs and working at Microsoft, Dan talks about skating, surfing before work, and being a Mac guy at Microsoft. Those pictures of Dan are taken in his office here in Mountain View.
Update Tuesday is here, and today it brings Office 12.1.5 and 11.5.3. Office 12.1.5 is a combo update. You must have Office 12.1.0 or later installed; if you've skipped something between 12.1.1 and 12.1.4, this one will get you completely up-to-date. For Office 11.5.3, you must have 11.5.2 installed.
For Office 12.1.5, there are security, stability, and performance improvements across the suite. Entourage gets a time zone update, and Word has some formatting improvements when saving to .doc. Excel has a bunch of fixes, including several calculation issues. For full details of what's included in here, read over the knowledge base article for 12.1.5.
For Office 11.5.3, there's stability performance improvements across the suite, and Entourage 2004 gets the same time zone update as Entourage 2008. Full details are, as always, in the knowledge base article.
Go forth and download!
A writer's work is never done. After Office 2008 went out the door, they started collecting data about the help. Based on this feedback, they've been continually updating the help, releasing new and updated help topics every month.
As part of their efforts to provide help that's helpful, we've now made some short video help available. You can view it within the Office:Mac 2008 Help Viewer (make sure you're in online mode) -- type "videos" in the search box, and you'll see 'em all.
Now, they're also available as a video podcast in iTunes. Search for "Office 2008 for Mac" in iTunes, select the podcast, and subscribe. Or you can just follow this iTunes link.
There's currently 23 videos there, with more coming in the future. We produce all of our videos in-house, even down to the voiceovers -- those are real MacBU people you hear there.
Last year, for the very first time, we got all of the North American MacBU team together in one place. There were dozens of people who had worked together for years but didn't have a face to put with the name (or, more likely, the email address). As one of the people who travels between Redmond and SVC frequently, I found myself frequently introducing people from the two locations and letting them realise how well they actually know each other.
It was such a success last year that we did it again this year. Even though we did get to meet last year, there was still a lot of the same thing happening. Part of it was that we had one of our overseas team here, part of it is that we've done an amazing amount of hiring in the past year. There were enough new people around that it was hard to keep track of them all.
Watching everyone interact over beers, bowling, and billiards reminded me of one of the reasons that I like working here. Okay, so most of us can't bowl (yes, we usually do take home the MacBowl trophy, but the bowling prowess of a few hasn't helped the rest of us with our bowling scores), but we're willing to give it a go and have fun trying. There seems to be a few more people better at billiards.
I ended up staying out until well after 2am with my co-workers, sharing cocktails and good times. A girl can't complain about co-workers cool enough that this is something that you want to do with your Thursday night.
So someone came up with the five stages of Twitter acceptance: denial ("that sounds stupid"), presence ("I've got an account now"), dumping (posting links), conversing, and microblogging (publishing useful info and conversing). He followed it up with 9 ways to make Twitter more useful for you, which are more aimed at marketing than at being a real person.
I've been on Twitter since April 2007 (username nadyne). I guess I'm somewhere between (4) and (5). Most of my tweets are about conversations, with forays into offering information. Since I'm not here to market (if you've clicked through those links, you'll see that the title of the blog is Influential Marketing), I'm okay with that.
Yesterday afternoon, I was working at home, digging through my email and trying to let my background process work on my MWSF presentation. Suddenly, Twitter and my RSS feeds exploded with the news that there's no Stevenote this year, and Apple won't be at MWSF2010 (and the subsequent news that Apple cancelled Christmas too).
Well, Steve won't be there, but I will, along with the rest of MacBU. Okay, not all of us, but the booth is entirely staffed by MacBU and our MVPs, with a couple of crowd wranglers thrown in for good measure. We've got a little theatre set up for giving big demos, and of course you can ask anyone in the booth to talk through something in one of the apps.
If you want to chat with me sometime during MWSF, here's my schedule right now:
I'm sure that there's more (I haven't listed any of the parties or the beer swilling), but that's my official schedule.
See you in San Francisco!
I'm supposed to be working on my Macworld Expo presentation, but instead I'm linking you guys to an interview with Jake Hoelter. Jake is the Product Unit Manager for the half of MacBU that lives at the Silicon Valley Lab.
Jake came to us by way of Connectix, which lots of you will remember for Virtual PC. Since the acquisition, Jake has worked his way up the ranks. Now, he's second only to Eric Wilfrid, our brand-spankin'-new General Manager.
Looking around the leadership of MacBU, I like what I see. Eric has been with MacBU since its inception, and hasn't left (other than a sabbatical this summer). Geoff Price, Jake's counterpart for MacBU-Redmond, has been with MacBU since 1998. We've got lots of people who have been with MacBU since it was founded, and others of us who weren't old enough to be here (I had just completed my first undergrad in 1998) at the beginning but have spent our whole Microsoft careers here.
Bring on 2009! Hmmmm, I wonder if we might have anything interesting to say next week ...
I took last week off to visit my family in frigid Michigan for the holidays. (Sorry, I don't dream of a white Christmas.) Today was my first day back at work, and so I had to dig out from all that email.
As I twittered extensively yesterday, getting back here was quite the odyssey. I left my parents' home at 11am EST on Friday, I walked in my door at 7pm PST on Sunday. So working through my email today was a treat, at least comparatively speaking!