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Hi, my name is Scott Stiles and I run the Program Management team for Word. The goal of this post is to provide some context regarding how we framed this release.
As I've been largely behind the scenes in the context of this blog, I thought a quick introduction was in order.
I've been with Microsoft for a total of just under 19 years on many different teams and in many different capacities. My first job at Microsoft (an internship during my senior year at college) happened to be in "product support", supporting all of our DOS apps – a list that included DOS Word 5.0 and 5.5. This job ignited my passion for Word. I'd been using MultiMate in college prior to the internship, but returned to college a huge Word fan, offering to tutor anyone who'd listen. I even built a small business for a while writing Word document-processing macros.
Throughout my career at Microsoft, "authoring" apps (across client, web and mobile) have been a common thread, and I've never been far from Word. I was excited to join the Word product team about 3yrs ago as we ramped up planning for Word 2010. I continue to be amazed by how far the product has come since my first deep immersion back in 1990.
OK, back to the product…
By now you've seen Jon's introductory post, giving you a high level taste of the features we're delivering in Word 2010. I hope the post piqued your interest; we're enjoying the process of bringing the features to life, and are looking forward to finally getting the product into the hands of our users. There's far more content to come in future posts, as we talk in much more detail about what we're delivering in the client as well as on the web and your mobile phone. We'll tune the future posts based on what we hear in the comments, so keep them coming.
One of the common themes in the comments on Jon's post that struck me was "I see you're adding a bunch of new features – what about fixing the bugs I'm running into?" In hopes of addressing this, I thought I'd take a step back and talk briefly about how we address user feedback as part of building and shipping a new version of the product.
As we approach the release of each version of Word (or Office for that matter), a chunk of the team is already hard at work planning the next version.
This planning has many inputs, including market analysis, competitive trends, customer requests, MVP and Partner input, and a deep study of the issues users are having with the products we've shipped. We take customer feedback very seriously, and endeavor to fix as many of the known issues as we can in the next release. So, the key point here is that we work hard to fix existing issues as we build every release.
With the Word 2010 project, we went a step further than we have in past releases in this regard and did two things at the outset: we set aside specific development budget to address known issues, and we built one of our 3 release pillars around "polishing existing experiences" in the app.
In the simplest terms, here's our philosophy behind our investments in Word 2010:
While we haven't shipped yet, I believe we're well on our way towards delivering on both of the above goals.
To expand on this, I like to think of the work we're doing for Word 2010 in the context of the 3 "pillars" that we defined before writing the first line of code 2.5 years ago. These pillars have guided the decisions we've made at every step of the release. They are:
As important as describing what the release is intended to be, is describing what it isn't. In contrast with some previous releases, as a rule we haven't invested deeply in a particular customer segment in 2010. This doesn't mean there aren't a few careful exceptions to the rule, but I think it's worth stating the rule to help frame the release. This release also isn't about having the longest possible list of new features on the "back of the box". Think "quality and depth" over "quantity".
As Jon noted in our previous post, we'll have a regular stream of posts over the next year delving into increasing levels of detail on Word 2010. Again, your comments will help us tune the blog plan.
On behalf of the Word team, I want to thank the readers for their continued interest in and passion regarding Word. We look forward to your comments, and to sharing more about the release in the weeks to come.
Scott Stiles, Group Program Manager, Word.
Thanks to you for this interesting post and to the whole Word Team for the information you share in this blog. One small annotation: The Office Blogs list on the right side of the window is very helpful - but some links produce an 404 error because there is a space character (HTML: %20) at the end of the URL. Can someone please check and correct that?
Scott, Thanks for helping us understand your priorities for this release. What you've said makes a lot of sense. Serious users of Word have been arguing for exactly this set of priorities for some time, and it's great to see that you're out ahead of us. If you've added any depth to the macro recorder, especially for Word features introduced in Office 2007 and in the new 2010 release, you might consider devoting a future blog post to that topic. Developers of every stripe (C#, VB.NET, VBA) think of the macro recorder as their personal guide to the Word Object Model. :-) Bill Coan
Ute, we're working on the links. Thanks for the heads-up. A recent update appears to have broken them... Scott (MS)
Hi Scott, Could you please tell us, when office 2010 is going to be published officially. (Just Curious) :) Kind Regards,
Scott, Could you please let us know, when is office 2010 sheduled for release. Just Curious :) Kind Regards,
K@#th!k – We’ll definitely share our release dates as soon as we can. - Jonathan Bailor (MS)
Bill - We've enabled macro recording for many of our new features. Please let me know if you see places were people are having a difficulty learning the new OM because we didn’t add macro recording. Thanks, Amani Dye (MS)
What are the typical scenarios possible with Word on the "server" in 2010? E.g. will I as a developer be able to it generate, modify, convert and print documents on the server? Any info on licensing for this type of use?
Will there be any breaking changes in-terms of file format specification ? Thanks,
Hi Roman - More details on Word on the server will be comming in the next few months. Stay tuned. - Jonathan Bailor (MS)
I don't know if here is the right place to post this question, but I don't see any better place. We all know, the find and replace in Word is a very powerful feature especially when using wildcards, but one thing that I think will truly top it off, is that it should be possible to search for multiple formatting in one find, i.e. the first word should be bold and not the second etc. it's a feature that's on my mind for years and I look forward every new release but to no avail. Thank you!
LGFN - Thanks for the feedback and suggestion. You are correct that you are currently limited to a single set of formatting applied to a given search term (and many users don't even realize that you can do that much). I'll admit to only having been involved in this feature area for a short amount of time, but this is the first request I've heard along these lines. I can imagine a number of scenarios where this would be useful, and will pass along the suggestion. Thanks!
--Scott Walker (MS)
Thank you very much, Scott! I'm now looking forward to Word 15! :)
Hi Karthik – Sorry for the delay…let me know if this doesn’t answer your question: Office users with the latest compatibility pack and Office 2007 SP2 users will be able to read IS29500 documents. There will of course be new feature innovations in future versions of Office. Historically, neither Microsoft nor others in industry have back-ported new features to older products. As a result, there may be scenarios in which new features are not included in certain documents; again, this is common to virtually all software applications that introduce new features with new releases. We will provide guidance on which features of Office 2010 are affected later in our release cycle. - Jonathan Bailor (MS)
Hi Jonathan, Your answer does addressed my question, Thank you very much. Best Regards,