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!

    Communicator 2007 slick

    • 0 Comments
    ..and more on this as I learn more about it. Setting my ring to be simultaneous it will ring on the PC and on my mobile as well. If I'm at the PC I can just take the call at my computer. The inbuilt microphone in my HP tc4400 works really well and the...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Flexiworkers craving social interaction

    • 5 Comments
    I like working from home. I like where I live and to be honest, my home office environment is probably better equipped than the office. Since I moved to a 30 minute commute distance away and to a nice house in the country, I've found myself working from...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Random roundup July 19th 2007

    • 1 Comments
    things I read today.. New ways to sell Office Interesting article with some good quotes from Chris Cap about the future. "We're very happy to be the leading vendor in the space and we want to continue to be the leading vendor in the space," he said. ...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Jensen shows off his new fluent look

    • 2 Comments
    The UI god (and thoroughly nice bloke) that is Jensen Harris has put together a new demo video that shows off the new Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface including "the ribbon". Apart from the annoying lift music backing track which made me want...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Working Smarter part 2

    • 1 Comments
    It's my fault for not posting this sooner not Colin's and thanks to Mark who nagged me about it today over lunch :-) Here is the second installment from Colin my guest blogger and senior lecturer at Durham Business School. ----- Last week I started to...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Cometiquette guide published

    • 1 Comments
    Are you a polite or a rude user of communication technology? We've teamed up with The Finishing Academy recently to create a guide for good comm-etiquette to teach us all better manners in using technology like instant messaging. Mark Deakin has a great...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Calculated fields and formulas in pivot tables

    • 6 Comments
    You've been meaning to get round to it for years haven't you? Did you realise that there are some brilliant training courses online that can help. A much underadvertised resource IMHO is the office online training. It takes you through the lesson with...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Local dialects for Microsoft Office

    • 3 Comments
    Microsoft is often synonymous with the classic big American firm but as I'm proud to work for Microsoft Ltd (or Microsoft Un Limited as we call it) in the UK, it's great to be able to add a truly British touch to my product. Today I am back with Jonnie...
  • OfficeRocker!

    The pen is mightier than the mouse

    • 2 Comments
    Interesting freebie got delivered to me today from Wacom. They've decided to send me one of their new Bamboo tablet pads . I do get asked from time to time how to start using ink without a tablet PC. Even with a tablet PC, when docked it is handy to have...
  • OfficeRocker!

    It's not what you know, it's who you know

    • 4 Comments
    It's the first week of the new financial year at Microsoft, typically the time when we all get our new objectives, people move jobs and when the music stops, we try to remap the landscape. Every coffee shop on campus is jammed with people chatting and...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Man pines for abandoned electronic dog

    • 2 Comments
    The Arthur C Clarke/Stephen Baxter novel "Time's Eye" is a bit of a silly story which brings people of all different times together onto the same planet, resulting in Alexander the Great meeting the British Army and Genghis Kahn meeting astronauts from...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Working smarter

    • 4 Comments
    Today I'm very pleased to introduce my first guest blogger, Colin Ashurst from the Durham Business School in this the first of a series he will be posting on officerocker. I've known Colin for many years and I'm looking forward to working with him over...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Encarta instant answers

    • 6 Comments
    Really cool new Encarta bot for Windows Live messenger. Just add encarta@botmetro.net to your windows live messenger contacts and then you can ask it your homework questions. It also opens up the Encarta page for you in a control in the chat window. Very...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Ye Olde Office update

    • 3 Comments
    ok update on this - I think I've got offers of XP Pro, 2000 Pro, 97 dev ed and pro, Office 95 (no box) and Office 4.3. So does anyone have a copy of Office 95 with the original box? (not just the CD jewel case). Does anyone have 4.2, 4.0 or 3.0?? I'm...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Prove it! The point of evidence

    • 2 Comments
    Have you ever read a case study from Microsoft? I bet you haven't. More likely, you've been sent one (it got shifted about on your desk for a bit and then filed in the bin), you've sent one to a customer (but didn't really read it yourself) or you've...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Ye Olde Office - new for old!

    • 11 Comments
    I'm trying to complete my set of old versions of Office and I'm prepared to blatantly bribe you if you have one for my collection. If anyone fancies donating me an old copy (must include the CD box and preferably the cardboard box) I'll replace yours...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Accountants getting value from Office 2007

    • 1 Comments
    Its fair to say we've had rather a lot of cynicism from the readers of accounting web as to the value of Office 2007 to an accountant so it's great to see John Stokdyk profile this interview with Richard Abel from Aggrawaal & Co. Good quotes: "Our...
  • OfficeRocker!

    BT Vision and Microsoft TV

    • 1 Comments
    I met up with my friend Julian Kirby-Johnson today for a catch up on what he's doing. Julian works on the BT Vision project - he's the project manager for the delivery of the integrated solution to BT, working into the US. The BT Vision product is developed...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Facebook fatigue

    • 7 Comments
    Another day, another social networking tool. Seems like every week there's another blimmin internet startup craze to get your head round. I remember the days when I would run off and start setting up my space/site/profile/friends list or whatever but...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Office Live - Live interview

    • 2 Comments
    As Office Live comes out of beta, I thought it would be good to catch up on the latest news. Today I'm joined by Mr Office Live himself - Tim Kimber to tell us more: Hi Tim, perhaps you'd like to introduce yourself and what you do? I'm the Office Live...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Random roundup.. June 5th 2007

    • 6 Comments
    "Open battle will boost compatibility" writes the Guardian computer editor, Jack Schofield in a computer weekly article . Open XML will never win over ODF proponents: nothing would. However, the new formats are more open, more accessible and more standardised...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Open XML SDK launches

    • 3 Comments
    As James Senior beat me to saying , Microsoft has created an SDK for .net programmers to manipulate Open XML documents. The point is that whilst it is technically possible to write a .docx or an .xlsx using the Ecma spec, it requires a detailed knowledge...
  • OfficeRocker!

    Live Writer beta 2

    • 1 Comments
    As I said before , beta 2 of live writer is available . I really like it already. Cool new features include: spell check see picture below, at last proper red wavy line spell check tools tables proper table tools for doing tables like this one - see below...
  • OfficeRocker!

    beta by far: the role of trial software

    • 6 Comments
    Following on from some of your less than exuberant feedback about the new Mac converters, I looked into it. To summarise, the Mac BU have released the beta 1 of the file format converters of Office for Mac. You can download the converter for Word documents...
  • OfficeRocker!

    The Enterprise Learning Framework

    • 1 Comments
    I was chatting with my friend Colin Ashurst from Durham Business School this morning about the world of the information worker. He was saying he still thinks there needs to be more focus on helping get the technology deployed and getting people to use...
Page 4 of 11 (268 items) «23456»