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!

    WordPerfect announce support for OpenXML

    • 3 Comments
    According to Clive Akass (who I demo'd O12 to earlier in the week) in his recent post "New Wordperfect will support Office 12 formats" Corel have announced that they, like us, will be supporting PDF and our new file format for O12, OpenXML. Even more...
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    Word 12 - full screen reading

    • 4 Comments
    One of the great things about being an Office PM is that whenever I do briefings to press, I'm always assured of one thing; they may love my product, they may have gripes but they all know what it is and most of them use it everyday. On the whole, whilst...
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    Can you keep a secret? Office 12 beta 2 is coming..

    • 1 Comments
    blimey what a lot to say - so much so that I've hit bloggers block for a few days. Just been in Seattle for a week at our internal "TechReady" conference. This is the main way that Microsoft teaches us about what's coming up. You get to live like a student...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Robert Fripp records the Vista sounds!

    • 2 Comments
    a bit surreal but apparently Robert Fripp has done the sounds for Vista - check out this channel 9 vid . Fripp played at the last G3 tour with Vai and Satch in London which I went to with my friend Martyn. Whilst Satriani and Vai were godlike as usual...
  • OfficeRocker!

    O12 summary article

    • 0 Comments
    Post on scobbleizer today about O12 worth a read. the article links to on Paul Thurrott's site is pretty good summary of the central themes in O12. It goes over the new UI, getter better results faster, working across boundaries and talks a bit about...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Idle thinking is the fuel for innovation

    • 0 Comments
    I loved OneNote - did everything in it, used my tabletPC to the max, wrote notes all the time with the keyboard and the pen, recorded meetings - fab. then I went off it. It just got too hard to find stuff, remember where I put it, search for it...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Who moved my metadata?

    • 0 Comments
    I got caught out yesterday in a demo looking for this so now that I've found it I thought I'd post. Where have the meta data - document properties gone in the new UI? The answer is that there is a new view in the bottom view menu where you can select...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Calibri

    • 3 Comments
    Couple of updates on this: I was asked yesterday what happens if you write a doc in Word 12 using Calibri, save it as 97-2003 format and send it to a 2003 user. Will they see the document in the right font? Just tested this and it must imbed the font...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Changing with the Times - new fonts in O12

    • 2 Comments
    The new font, Calibri, in Office 12 is one of the 6 new fonts you will find in Office 12. In 12 it will be Calibri rather than Times New Roman that you find yourself using on a fresh document by default. Office 12 is the first application to use them...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Better Christmas results faster

    • 1 Comments
    <jolly Santa-type colour for this post> Its been a busy few weeks (even the one I was on holiday for). We have closed out the beta and Rapid Deployment programmes for Office 12 now and have selected the customers and partners who will be working...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Office 12 beta 1 ships!!

    • 6 Comments
    Its the first milestone in our journey to ship this product - beta 1 was released to the Rapid Deployment Programme today. [:D] This is a significant stage in the development of the products and its great that we are running to schedule nicely. Having...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Focus on the sides not the corners!

    • 3 Comments
    I was trying to explain to a few people today where I think we need to focus our solution thinking in the Office 12 timeframe and I came up with this model that I thought I’d share with you all. If I look at the information worker solution space, I...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Knowledge Discovery and Insight – Business Intelligence for the masses

    • 2 Comments
    Office 12 is not the next version of Office, it’s the next wave of our productivity platform. It has all the programs, servers and services designed for people who work with information. So far we have talked a lot about the client side changes and about...
  • OfficeRocker!

    anonymous comments enabled

    • 2 Comments
    pink for embarrased. sorry I missed the anon comments enablement - should work now! thanks to Simon Murphy from codematic for pointing this out.
  • OfficeRocker!

    I name this blog..

    • 1 Comments
    people seem to like the name of the blog which is a good start I suppose :-) although not everyone has got the double meaning it seems.. To answer the question some are now asking (e.g. Dan ) about some of the other names considered (but rejected)...
  • OfficeRocker!

    PDC content available

    • 0 Comments
    thanks to Graham Tyler for pointing out that the PDC material has just been made public. Terrific resource with full streaming videos of the sessions. :-)
  • OfficeRocker!

    Beyond features – getting better results without the stress

    • 3 Comments
    It’s a common complaint – Why should I buy Office for my staff when they only use 20% of the product? Ask yourself – even the apps you know best like Word or Excel – how much of their power do you know how to use? In a time compressed world, who really...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Welcome to Office Rocker!

    • 6 Comments
    Hello, welcome to my blog. I'm Darren Strange, the Office "12" PM in the UK. My job is to bring Office "12" to market in the UK. I'm hoping you are here because you are interested in Office and in particular, the next wave of the Office products, servers...
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