I am Microsoftie 4 ever (19+ years) working in Windows Services and Content team in the UK, my blog is mainly focused on the Windows family of products and trying to provide help pointers and resources for customers on our products.
No this isn’t a topic that will end up in a Phythonesque dead parrot sketch. But over my morning black americano I was reading The Independent when I stumbled upon an article about punctuation, and a complaint from our French cousins that:
"English writing style has killed the semi-colon; it’s too direct, they say."
anyway it was quite an interesting topic (for a Friday) so I thought I would share it with you below.
Punctuation: does it matter? - This Britain, UK - The Independent
On the web site, one of my goals is to get good and consistent use of punctuation, grammar and spelling so the site is as professional and easy to understand as possible. I don't always get it right as I am not an English language expert. Recently I have been trying to find out the correct use of the colon and if you should have a capital following it. Some sites suggest in British English that it should always have a capital, and in others that it depends. So my decision for now is get a level of consistency and try and get the capital correct.
Whilst on the subject of language, check out the Microsoft Language Portal
"...is designed to enable individuals and communities around the world to interact with each other and with Microsoft’s language specialists on matters related to computer terminology. "
The site is really useful if you are looking for computer wording translations as well as providing (ripped form the blog posting below):
Well worth a visit if you have to do any type of translation or localisation work.
The Microsoft Language Portal team have a blog as well over at http://blogs.technet.com/microsoftterminologyforum/default.aspx
Thanks to Mina, my French Canadian counterpart who sent me the information.
Well based upon a quick analysis of search terms sending customers to the Windows Help and How-To it is the following questions… I have also suggested a good link(s) to try and answer it.
Hope you find those useful, let me know if you do not.
It was great to see the tutorials coming up at the top as this is one of the primary aims of the web sites to provide simple, easy to understand help and how-to content so you can get the most out of Windows Vista.
Couple of quick notes
I was a little surprised to not see anything about Windows Vista service pack 1.
Why would you want or need a server in your home? Well if you got more than one PC it is great for doing everything from sharing your music and videos and digital memories to backing up all those PCs in one place, automatically.
We only have one current PC at home but are thinking of adding to this in the near future, plus both the wife and I have laptops that I am wondering if can be connected. So have been doing some looking around the Microsoft Web sites and have come across some useful stuff
I think it needs a little more research on my part before I make a decision but will let you know if I do…
Nick over on the Windows Vista Blog has put up an article describing what is available in the preview of Windows Search 4.0. Which should improve the search experience in Windows Vista.
You can read the detail in the article below, but a quick summary of the improvements are around performance, bug fixes and improvements for enterprise environments in areas such as Exchange Integration.
Windows Vista Team Blog : Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview
If you want to read the entire KB (Knowledge Base) article click here, or if you want to just go straight to the download centre to get it click here, this is the 32-bit Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 package.
I am downloading it now!
But on the subject of learning something new everyday, I was reading the comments and found out that by pressing F3 on the desktop it pops up the search box, thanks to Dovella for that :)
Yesterday I posted a list of the top 10 most visited pages in Windows Help and How-To for UK customers, but just because a page is visited a lot doesn’t make it any good, or in fact solve the problem you had that made you visit the page. So today I have compiled a list of the top ten pages based upon positive ratings, again for February.
A couple of points to note on the above list.
So why is this important to me and you ?
To analyse the web site I have various tools at my disposal that help me gain an insight into what is going on, giving me everything to your typical page view, browser info, referrers etc. to detail information content ratings and the comments you leave when you rate a piece of content on the Windows Help and How-To web site.
Please continue to let us know if the information we have on the web site is any good or not, and was useful to you. Without it it makes the decisions about creating new content or improving existing content that much harder.
I plan to share what the popular pages are on a regular basis (maybe monthly) to help highlight and signpost to others what is currently a hot topic. Below is the top ten list of the most viewed articles on the UK version of the Windows Help and How-To web site for February.
So a clear trend around tabbed browsing in IE, and looking at historical data these also seem to be popular in terms of page views as well. I can also see more recent March data which I will share next week and we are seeing a high level of views for the Windows Vista SP1 content I talked about earlier.
Tomorrow I plan to share with you the top ten highest rated in terms of the onsite rating mentioned above.
So today is my first official day in my new role as the Windows International Site Manager for the UK :) So what does that mean? Well in my own words I am responsible for all aspects of the customer experience when you are visiting the Windows Help and How-To site.
Initially my focus is just on the above site, but as I get up to speed in the role, I plan to get better connected into the rest of the UK Windows Online properties, planning for how the web and online elements will help Windows customers even more in future versions of the product and then wider afield into some of the UK Windows communities that are online.
So why am I blogging, well for a number of reasons:
Already on this my first day I have filed a number of bugs I have spotted with the web site, some small such as incorrect capitalisation, others bigger such as incorrect links from the home page. Also I have had a couple of conversations with internal stakeholders who will be helpful to me in making my role a success.
So if you have any comments on the UK Windows web sites let me know :)
The Dell PRODUCT (RED) is now available in the UK. Dell and Microsoft have teamed up so a portion of the sales of the PC (I think between $50 and $80) goes towards the global fund set up to help fight aids in Africa, so if you are thinking of a new PC running Windows Vista Ultimate (or an all in one printer) then maybe spend a few minutes looking at what Dell has to offer. All the systems have pretty neat looking red elements as well
'(RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chairman of DATA to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT)RED branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.' from http://www.joinred.com
Check out some of the links below for more info on Dell PRODUCT(RED) and how to order in the UK via Dell
We have just updated the Windows Help and How-to web site with information about installing Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (aka SP1). There is a section on the homepage dedicated to the topic.
The later link is included as you may need up to 4.5 gigabytes (GB) to make the update, although much of that will be reclaimed after the installation.
If you are running Windows Update then you should be automatically prompted to get SP1. However if you just want to get the update manually then follow this link to go direct to the download centre.
If you are running Vista on an x64-based system please use this download.
Some other good resources available to download include.
Release Notes for Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Windows Vista SP1 Guides for It Professionals
Hope you find this useful, if not please let me know.