May, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    Office 2007 screenshots


    okay, I’m up and running with Office 2007 on Vista beta 2. Tonnes of O2007 screenshots at eWeek and I have to say that my 2 favourite features are

    • Outlook Instant Search
    • Word’s blogging feature

    Grab the Office 2007 beta yourself (about 400mb for Pro) at . It took me about 45 mins on 2mb ADSL to download. 

    ….Now it’s time for bed as I’m off to shoot WWPC videos tomorrow in London. More on that soon!

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft Football Scoreboard


    Okay, if someone else in the PTS team hasn’t blogged about this I’ll be astonished :)
    You can now download for free the Microsoft Soccer Scoreboard to keep up with the World Cup. We all know that’s a spelling mistake of course as it should be the Microsoft Football Scoreboard but hey…

    Now, if this was available as a Gadget for Vista that would be even cooler as it’ using up just a bit too much screen real estate at the moment. There are good options to minmise the size though and make it very transparent (very Aero Glass). I’m sure there’ll be a tonne of World Cup Gadgets though now that Beta 2 is out. It would also be nice to be able to change the font but that’s just me…I’m picky about my fonts.

    Having said all of that, it’s an essential new addition to your desktop and when I find I good RSS feed to add in to the Options I’ll post it here.  

  • Steve Clayton

    30k divided by 8 just doesn't work


    I’ve been mulling this blog entry for a while and then just decided to hit post – it’s a post about something I think a lot about. Dividing 30k “what” between 8 “what” though?

    Partner Technology Specialists - that’s what!

    My team of 8 Partner Technology Specialists have a remit to help our UK partners build their skills around our products, help them in competitive sales situations and to generally be good eggs in helping to develop the world class partner base Microsoft has. (I call it the 3 C’s but that usually raises a wry smile so we’ll save that for another post). The guys do an outstanding job at this and are some of the brightest, most passionate people you could care to find within Microsoft – or elsewhere for that matter. The partners who know them well have great relationships with them and rely on them for advice, guidance and getting stuff done - quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to get the right answer from Microsoft or navigate our website and that’s where our PTS excel. If you want to know what feature is coming when, or how to deploy our products or how Linux, Blackberry or other products compare to Microsoft products, this is your team.

    The challenge is a word you hear a lot these days – scale. How do we extend the reach of this group to more of the 30,000 partners Microsoft has relationship with in the UK? It’s hard…very hard. But we have to crack it.

    One option is employ more of them but how many would you really need to address the problem at scale – too many for me to manage is the answer :) A more interesting way is to look at what we do and figure out what we can do differently. Sometimes we don’t think outside the box enough or learn from other successes and do the same old thing. This time of year is a great time to do it as we start planning for our next financial year and what we may change. We’ve already started some change though – hopefully you’ve seen us start to use blogs in a much more prolific way than we have in the past and we’re very exicted about reaching more partners and making a personal connection via PTS-TV. We can’t take the credit for either routes but I think we are innovating in the way we reach more partners with information that is specific for them. I don’t know if this is the right way to extend our reach but right now it’s where we’re focusing more of our energy so you will see even more on the blogs and we’ll look to ramp up the PTS-TV editions. There is some convincing to be done but I love a challenge :) It helps us get information out quickly, introduce more of you to the team and share stuff that you’re less likely to find on websites or in marketing documents I think. If there are other ways, I’m open to hearing and you can either email me direct at or even better, reply to this post and lets foster some discussion. To be successful we have to make our partners successful and I want to find new ways to do that.

    I’m going to be covering more of this stuff over the next few weeks – helping explain what we do and where I think we can help. By “we” I mean, David, Dave, James, Mark, Chris, Christian, Steve and John – I want to find a way to connect these guys to more partners, remove some of the barriers to entry and give you a better view of what we do and how we can connect with you. Perhaps a leap too far but we’re going to give it a shot. For some partners it may mean you see less of them but see them more in different ways. Who knows. I also wonder which audience we connect to – mostly it’s IT folks but the PTS has great relationships with many senior staff in our partners who look to them for guidance and we need to ensure we don’t disenfranchise those people.

    What does success look like? Quite simply, more partners know we’re here and that even though we can’t be on everyone’s doorstep, we can make a difference. Through email, blogs, TV, in person, at the pub, at a conference…

  • Steve Clayton

    The myth of "keeping up"


    Creating Passionate Users: The myth of "keeping up".

    This post hit home for me – I have a continual pile of “stuff” to read ranging from product whitepaper (l’ve been meaning to read up on Compute Cluster forever), Arena editions, T3 which friends bought me a subscriptions for,The Sunday Times (it is the Sunday Papers), Naked Conversations, iCon, Directions on Microsoft and so much more.

    It’s good to know that nobody is keeping up though and Kathy Sierra does a great job of giving advice on how you can lower your anxiety levels though. Here are my favourites:

    • find the best aggregators – including people. Reminded me of Ferrazi’s book but also the chats I have with folks like Terry, Katie, my bro and several others. They all have high signal to noise ratio
    • get summaries – spooky as I was just about to post an entry talking about GetAbstract which thoughtfully the company subscribes to for me. Seriously, this is a great site that makes me look way more well read than I am :)
    • unsubscribe to as many things as possible - well Outlook’s spam filter helps me here but I did do a major purge recently of crap I was subscribed to. Getting off some companies distribution lists though is like pulling teeth.
    • include some stuff from outside your field – I really SHOULD start reading some more National Geogrpahic as Anna tells me to

    So I took a deep breath and agreed with Kathy – I WILL NEVER KEEP UP - though I do have some tips of my own

    • get a mobile news aggregator – I use Newsbreak on my Pocket PC and it’s great for a quick shot of news when I’m on the Tube. Particularly Overheard in New York :)
    • print stuff – paper still works and though I know I posted about the BBC and NYTimes Vista stuff this week, Caffe Nero will still be in business in 20 years time because people like me (and half of Chiswick it seems) like to go down to the coffee shop, chill out and read stuff. Too many Buggaboos for my likin but hey…
    • holidays – they’re for reading. Well, i think so
    • have a think day – Bill does a Think Week (twice a year now I think) so I try to do a Think Day about once a month. I print off a mountain of stuff, take my tablet, grab a few magazines and drink a LOT of coffee.

    How do you keep up, or don’t you?

  • Steve Clayton

    the 12mb version of Vista guide


    Wanna learn more about Vista beta 2? The link off links to the 60mb Word document which is possibly the largest Word document I have seen this year. However, that linked seemed broken when I look no I nosed about elsewhere and found this page where you can download the XPS formatted version which is a measly 12mb. Nice. No where is that colour printer.

    Meantime…I’d love to know where the photo on of the girl in the field is taken. Looks quite Scottish apart from that mountainy type thing in the distance. Her cardigan looks very Scottish and my guess is her name is Heather.

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