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One of the very best things about working for Microsoft isn't the free beverages (although it's quite nice). It also isn't the no dress code policy (also nice although I've seen more of my coworkers' spider veins and bunions than is necessary or even right). No, it's the fact that I get to witness, first hand, some of the new and creative inventions and technologies for the future.
For the past several Wednesdays, I've been introducing you to some of Office Labs concept tests, grassroots programs, and other projects. (Office Labs experiments with ideas that come from anywhere inside Microsoft; it's kind of an online sandbox where you can see and play with concepts we’re exploring to help improve your productivity.)
About a year and a half ago, Office labs released a video (dubbed "Microsoft 2019" by the blogosphere) that explored how technology could transform the way we get things done at school, at work, and in the home over the next 5 to 10 years. This video that I'm going to show you today illustrates possible scenarios of we will create and share content; collaborate across teams, organizations and networks; and how we will gain contextually relevant and anticipative insights based on preferences and intent. In other words, hold onto your hats because the future is coming up fast.
If you plan complex projects you know all about Murphy's law: Whatever can go wrong, will. Not a happy philosophy, but a useful reminder to build in contingencies when planning ahead.
This guest post on the MVP Awards Program Blog, by Microsoft Project MVP Bill Raymond, describes how he uses the Inactive Tasks feature in Project Professional 2010 to mitigate risks in a classic IT situation: when the software is ready, but the hardware is late.
For more information after reading Bill's post on the MVP blog, see Getting Started with Project 2010 and Inactivate a task, from Office.com.
The big news from the Office for Mac team today is that Office for Mac 2011 will be available October 26, and that you can pre-order it now. Watch this video about new features and performance, and find more information at Mac Mojo.
I once owned one of those low-to-the-ground robotic vacuum cleaners that goes round and round in ever-widening circles, allegedly picking up dirt, hair, and any bad memories you happened to have tossed under your bed. The thing worked pretty well but it didn't really get to knowmy floors like, say, a housekeeper or (heaven forbid) I would. I could only program it for a small-, medium-, or large-sized room; there wasn't anything else I could tell it to do. Needless to say, we soon parted ways.
What about your computer? Ever wish you had a tiny creature inside it that did your bidding (instead of gremlins that undo everything you just did)? Something to pick up slack on a particularly hard day? It happens that you do: your macros. You tell them what to do and when to do it, and they are forevermore at your beck and call.
I tell you, I learn new things—sometimes even elementary things, that even typing monkeys already know—about Office programs every day and today I'm offering the newest one.
I'm going to make this short and sweet today. You can thank Kathy, a Crabby reader who posed this question:
"In Excel, when I hit enter the cursor moves to the right, which is what I want (most of the time). How can I change it to move down?"
I just figured that there was a default setting and that the user couldn't change it. Boy was this old dog wrong. Time to learn a new trick...
Sometimes being creative means going back to your comfort zone…