OfficeRocker!

Strange thinking about Microsoft Office

March, 2006

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!

    Register for the 2007 Office beta

    • 4 Comments
    The preview site has been totally revamped and is looking very nice. This is where you can register for the beta. So to answer all you kind people who ask me every day for the beta code.. please go and register here :-) Not long to go now.
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    Offline document editing in Outlook 2007

    • 0 Comments
    In response to question from Swabes I tested out what happens if you change a document in a "SharePoint Lists" folder. The steps as demo'd in the blogcast are go to the document library in SharePoint and select the "connect to Outlook" option under actions...
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    Blogcast: Outlook 2007 (14mins)

    • 24 Comments
    In this blogcast I demo some of the new features of Outlook 2007. In particular I look at how it can consume RSS feeds and show off some of the great integration with SharePoint Server 2007 as well. Also have a look at the OneNote 2007 blogcast which...
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    2007 Office for Christmas?

    • 6 Comments
    I've learnt today that although we will be holding back 2007 Office for retail and OEM until Jan (see previous post), there is still the possibility of some form of agreement with retailers and OEMs to offer an upgrade. Apparently we are still finalizing...
  • OfficeRocker!

    2007 Office release still on track for RTM in October

    • 1 Comments
    I don't like to just quote press statements on the blog but this seems to have caused some confusion and is worth clarifying. Despite the rumours and Microsoft bashers jumping to conclusions, the 2007 Office release is still on track for RTM (release...
  • OfficeRocker!

    dev con coverage

    • 0 Comments
    I'm looking for bloggers at devcon and came across this one at Matthew Cosiers blog who's doing a good summary by the look of it. If you know of others, please comment.
  • OfficeRocker!

    The Groove Virus

    • 1 Comments
    OK relax, this is not a post about some new STD you need to protect yourself from. Although while I'm on the subject, was it really necessary for the Microsoft Well Being centre to advertise their free clamidia screening service by sticking rough paper...
  • OfficeRocker!

    OpenXmlDeveloper.org

    • 0 Comments
    More information on the Open XML Format Developer community is available at www.OpenXmlDeveloper.org . " We continue to support open standards and remain deeply committed to opening up broader solution opportunities through default Open XML Formats...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Devcon webcast recording link

    • 0 Comments
    if you are interested in the webcast I blogged yesterday: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=63190 . o 9:00 A.M. Pacific: Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect o 10:00 A.M. Pacific: Kurt DelBene, Corporate Vice President, Office...
  • OfficeRocker!

    NDA on Office lifted (nearly entirely)

    • 3 Comments
    Internally, we've been told this today which is a relief: 2007 Microsoft Office system news NDA lifted on 2007 Microsoft Office system details On March 21 to coincide with Microsoft Office Developer Conference, we we will be lifting all NDA-related...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Dev conf continued

    • 4 Comments
    Kurt DelBene on now - bit of marketing slideware for a while (sorry I started checking email there) Mike Fitzmaurice is on now showing some SharePoint Server demos: Shows new webparts to filter data on a backend - very slick BI using IFiltervalues interface...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Office Dev conference keynote continued

    • 5 Comments
    Bill hands over to Jay Paulus, GPM from the Office team for the demo: shows off excel pivot tables and charts publishing with excel services to the browser designing a workflow used business data catalogue to get data from backend sources...
  • OfficeRocker!

    OpenXMLDeveloper.org

    • 0 Comments
    just watching the live webcast of Bill Gates at the Office Developer Conference 2006. He's just announced the name for the working group for the OpenXML standard. As Bill says, they've managed to put his three favourite words into the name - OpenXMLDeveloper...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Why SharePoint was such a runaway success

    • 2 Comments
    SharePoint is in the "leader" quadrant in the Gartner's analysis. Apparently SharePoint is the most successful product we ever released in terms of licenses sold in the shortest period of time following its lauch. Except for Halo2 that is.. but hey...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Blogcast: OneNote 2007

    • 51 Comments
    I've been meaning to record a OneNote 2007 demo for a while so here it is. OneNote 2007 is a very important application now in Office. You will see it is included in both the Home and Student Edition and in the Enterprise Edition . It really is a very...
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    DesignIT: Innovation deserves recognition

    • 1 Comments
    I think this is such a great idea. DesignIT is a competition to showcase the vision, creativity and dedication of the IT community in the UK. All you need to do is submit your system design to enter. It can be on a paper napkin if you like (digitised...
  • OfficeRocker!

    The SharePoint User Group UK

    • 0 Comments
    There is a new usergroup for SharePoint that has been set up in the UK. It's a great forum to exchange ideas, get help and learn about the technology in 2007 SharePoint Server. To quote the site: "Welcome to the SharePoint User Group. Established in...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Word counter in Word 2007

    • 8 Comments
    A lot of people, particularly journalists who write articles for a living, ask me whether we can put a word counter into the mini-bar for them. Better than that, we have put a word counter into the Word status bar. This displays the number of words in...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Come and meet me

    • 8 Comments
    I'll be speaking at the technet event here in Reading on 25th April so come and say hi. I'll be showing off the latest 2007 Office release of course but not yet decided what to demo. If you have anything you'd really like to see let me know. If you can...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Hallelujah! beta 1 gets a face lift

    • 4 Comments
    Today the beta 1 technical refresh got released internally and it looks great :-) First impressions New look is nicely polished. This really does look the business now. Its fast. The live previews are stunning. Galleries are more...
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