OfficeRocker!

Strange thinking about Microsoft Office

October, 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!

    The best marketing freebie ever

    • 7 Comments
    I never fail to be amazed at how motivating new kit is to a techie. I'm also slightly pleased to observe this is still the case for me even though I have clearly lost it and sold out to the crayon-weilding lovies at the in-touch-with-our-feelings end...
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    My deskphone is stupid

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    Actually my deskphone is probably very clever and I, like most people, just can't be bothered to learn half of what it can do. The thing that is stupid though, is that it sits on my desk right next to a much more powerful computer - a computer with a...
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    Microsoft Works joins the fight

    • 2 Comments
    The Microsoft Works suite , if you are not familiar with it, is a productivity suite aimed at the low cost consumer market from Microsoft. This year it became part of the the Information Worker business alongside Microsoft Office and as such is now another...
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    Live writer upgrade and cool flickr add ins

    • 1 Comments
    In case you missed it, there is a new build of live writer. The update has some new stuff: Tagging support Support for Blogger Beta Categories are sorted by name and support scrolling, plus improved support for reading categories from your blog Improved...
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    Perpetual motion machine from HP

    • 2 Comments
    the rest of our free kit arrived from HP this week including the extended battery. It's a wedge shaped block that sits under the machine, is very light and you can charge it independantly. Having charged it up, I tried it out today: sorry...
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    recharge my own batteries

    • 3 Comments
    I'm off on holiday for 2 weeks so blog silence will ensue for that time. What should you read into that? well probably that I am sure enough that we are on track for launch and that everything is going smoothly. So have confidence in our timeline. In...
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    the launch is not cancelled

    • 1 Comments
    My days now seem to consist of queues of wild people, frothing at the mouth running at me like some sort of marketing shaun of the dead scene screaming "cancel the launch!". People, hear me, take a chill pill, we are launching and we are on track. :-...
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    What is the Business Data Catalogue?

    • 1 Comments
    Martin Kearn who is one of the guru Microsoft Consulting Services in the UK team has written a really great blog post on the business data catalogue which he reckons is the best feature of SharePoint 2007. He also presented it to our special interest...
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    Open XML reaches final draft

    • 1 Comments
    To quote Brian Jones : As I already mentioned, in the last face to face meeting in Trondheim, Norway we unanimously voted to approve the final draft of the Office Open XML spec as ready to submit to the Ecma General Assembly. The GA will then review...
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