OfficeRocker!

Strange thinking about Microsoft Office

Blog - About

About Office Rocker!

Thanks for stopping by at my blog.  I'm Darren Strange, the UK product manager for the 2007 Microsoft Office system.  We are launching the 2007 release in January 2007 together with Windows Vista and in the run up to that I'll be talking about what's new and why it is significant in the evolution of Microsoft Office.

A bit about me then. My job has two parts to it - an evangelist for the product and a project manager for the launch project.  The evangelist part means I do lots of presentations on Office and am the lead spokesperson in the UK on Information Worker matters.  I work with customers, partners, analysts and press to better understand the opportunities for Office and help people to understand and get value from it.  The project management part is running a pretty complex, multi-workstream project which covers each segment, audience and department involved in the launch.  I take a special interest in the rapid deployment customers and in the press and analyst outreach. 

Wherever possible, we are using the 2007 release to run the project using SharePoint Server, Groove, Project Server, InfoPath, Excel and PowerPoint in our project office processes.  This means I am hopefully "walking the talk" as we march towards launch.

My background is in Microsoft Consulting Services where I started as an Exchange consultant back in 1997 and later got to manage the collaboration team and then the solutions practice.  This comprised of three consulting teams; collaboration, Internet business and SQL & Business Intelligence.  Before that I worked for KPMG Management Consulting for 4 years which my first job out of university.  Last year I passed my PMI and this year my CIM professional diploma.  I won't be doing any more exams for a while now..

Anyway, do let me know what you think, add comments and let's discuss.  That's the fun of blogging afterall.

  • OfficeRocker!

    Dallas Cowboy letter proved fake by calibri

    • 2 Comments
    Check out the story here about a Lucille Hester who was accused of fraud after reading out her half brother’s supposed posthumous letter.  The letter said to be written by football star and former olympic sprinter, Bob Hayes, was read out on national...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Snow can’t stop Unified Comms

    • 1 Comments
    OMG apparently there are reports of frozen water falling FROM THE SKY!! and landing ON THE GROUND!! London and Reading declare state of emergency, cancel all buses and trains. Nobody can get into work today so meetings start to get cancelled due to the...
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    How to stop blogging and how to start again

    • 1 Comments
    I started the OfficeRocker blog to share our news as we built up to the launch of Office 2007.  I’ve tried to add perspective to any news I relay and stay true to this theme on the whole.  It has been amazing how well it took off too. ...
  • OfficeRocker!

    The difference between Vista and Office

    • 7 Comments
    One of the challenges in retail is when customers buy a PC with Windows on it and think they also have Microsoft Office.  They get home all excited to write their first letter on Word and find to their dismay that it isn't installed.  From their...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Office Live Small Business has >1M subscribers

    • 1 Comments
    Following on from my Office Live demo at the NCVO event, Tim Kimber sent me this today which is worth sharing I thought:   Microsoft Office Live Small Business has reached a pivotal milestone: In less than two years since its November 2006 commercial...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Officelive for charities

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    Last Tuesday I was running a workshop at the joint Microsoft and NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) on "getting the most from online communities". Mainly I wanted to show people what can be done either free of charge or for...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Microsoft Store launches in the UK

    • 4 Comments
      The Microsoft Store launches today.  This is limited to the UK and Germany - not even the US have this yet. Have a look at http://www.microsoftstore.co.uk This is the first time Microsoft has made our products available to the customer to...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Microsoft support for ISO Open XML

    • 1 Comments
    seems to be a good deal of chatter recently about our support for the modified version of Open XML that resulted from the rigorous ratification process.  The best summary of the story I found is over on Oliver Bell's blog here so I won't retype it...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Officelabs and the search tab for Office 2007

    • 4 Comments
    Every day on the blogsphere (I hate that word) I see one topic of discussion come up a lot.  I have talked about it often too - how to make the transition to the new UI.  There is good debate to be had about why we needed to make this switch...
  • OfficeRocker!

    last few days for university students and staff to get Office Ultimate 2007 for £38.95

    • 2 Comments
    In case you missed the nearly unbelievable promotion we have running for uni students and teachers at www.theultimatesteal.co.uk you only have till Weds night this week to take advantage of it before it closes.  If you are a student, tell your friends...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Random catch up 22nd Feb

    • 1 Comments
    Skydrive comes out of beta Beta is over for http://skydrive.live.com and the new version increases the storage by 4Gb to 5Gb! I use this to put my presentations in on the right column on the blog - easy to imbed the link with the icon Interoperability...
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    How to run Office 2007 on Windows XP

    • 4 Comments
    It is still worth pointing out to everyone that Office 2007 is designed to run on Windows XP sp2 and above.  So if you just live.com/yahoo/googled this, welcome and let me assure you.. You don't need to have Windows Vista to run it.  From a...
  • OfficeRocker!

    The crazy world of Open XML

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    With the ballot resolution later this month, the temperature is high around the issues on Open XML.  On our side we believe that Open XML is solving a different problem to ODF and so we supported it through fast track.  IBM and others have decided...
  • OfficeRocker!

    making capitalism work for the poor

    • 1 Comments
    Good interview on cnn with Bill Gates about how he says we need to "tweak" capitalism to work better for the poorest 2bn people in the world. another vid of him, bono and michael dell talk about the (RED) campaign .  A bit of an annoying...
  • OfficeRocker!

    3 new Office Live customer stories - training, the Algarve and premium fresh cocktails..

    • 1 Comments
    Three stories about small businesses using Office Live to get their businesses up and running.  Algarvesol - how a couple made renting out their apartment in Algarve a lot more professional with an online site with Office Live . Sublime - an enterprising...
  • OfficeRocker!

    New Excel MVP and user group

    • 2 Comments
    Good to see the Excel User Group site that is run by the new MVP for Excel, Nick Hodge . 
  • OfficeRocker!

    Office quiz - answers

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    Ian has posted the answers to his Office quiz - some of them are not quite right IMHO :-)
  • OfficeRocker!

    Random roundup of Office news 18th Jan 2008

    • 2 Comments
    Office Quiz I'm liking Ian Moulster's quiz on Office 2007 .  How many can you get - even I struggled with some of them.  He's going to publish the answers next week.. Progress of Office Open XML We are busy preparing for the Ballot Resolution...
  • OfficeRocker!

    OneNote power toys

    • 0 Comments
    nice little summary of OneNote powertoys that the guys in the OneNote testing team have written over on John Guin's blog.
  • OfficeRocker!

    Burton group analyst house strongly comes out in support of Office Open XML

    • 0 Comments
    The Burton Group , a respected AR firm targeting the enterprise technologist, has published “What’s up .doc—ODF, Open XML and the Revolutionary Implications of XML in Productivity Applications” —a 35+ page examination of...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Microsoft admits we were draconian and fixes it

    • 4 Comments
    Did you see the flurry of interest in this issue with Office 2003 sp3? Essentially sp3 blocks certain *very* old file formats for security reasons and this understandably got some people annoyed.  The error which was not a bug was "You are attempting...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Acquisition of FAST - what the analysts said

    • 1 Comments
    In a $1.2bn purchase, Microsoft is offering to acquire the Norwegian enterprise search company Fast Search and Transfer (FAST).  This is being reviewed as a very positive move by the industry analysts as it more or less completes our end to end search...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Can you all update your sections of the document and email it back to me?

    • 1 Comments
    Professional life teaches you to make adjustments to your normal mode of working at times.  Sometimes you have to adapt your style and consciously do things differently.  If you've ever worked in a big blue chip, you will be familiar with this...
  • OfficeRocker!

    I found a better way to manage my email

    • 6 Comments
    goodness knows its about time.  I get between 50 and 200 emails a day depending on what's going on.  It's dropped a lot since instant messaging really took off.  I thought I had tried every possible way of working with email and had arrived...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Random roundup post Christmas

    • 1 Comments
    Hope you had a great Christmas and happy New Year.  I certainly did not work during the break so here is a collection of stuff that I thought was interesting in my inbox when I got back to work today. "A Santa without Excel is like a scrawny...
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