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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.
Amani Dye (MS) wrote: >> 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. Two areas to consider: 1. Word Options
2. Insert SmartArt. These actions produce no recorded code. In the case of the options, it is only through recording that a user can find out whether a checkmark in the user interface equates to True or False. For some options, a checkmark equates to True. To others, it equates to False. Worse yet, a checkmark that equates to True in Office 2003 sometimes equates to False in Office 2007. The ability to record changes to options would clarify how the OM behaves and make clear that it changes from one release to the next. Example (reported by Lene Fredborg):
In VBA, you need to set the option to _False_ in order to turn it on which actually seems logical when you look at the name of the constant "wdExpandShiftReturn" (but the label in the GUI is opposite): ActiveDocument.Compatibility(wdExpandShiftReturn) = False Word 2007:
In VBA, you need to set the option to _True_ in order to turn it on: ActiveDocument.Compatibility(wdExpandShiftReturn) = True In the case of SmartArt, users unfamiliar with Word or with Word's OM would benefit from being able to record a macro to establish appropriate commands for manipulating SmartArt.
Thanks for sharing these design principles.
In what way is the integration of Find into the Nav Pain <sic> "Polished".
- If I want to do advanced find I still have to use the pre ribbon "gooey" Find and Replace dialog. Yes, I've seen the new "options" dialog, but that is only the lesser half of advanced find.
- why is there no keyboard shortcut access to the advanced find functionality. The only way to access it is via mouse or indirectly by first invoking Replace shortcut keys?
- when I invoke the old Find and Replace dialog it still has the "more" option. That is a design choice that goes back to early 1990's or before, when screen resolution was below 800x600. Why are we still forced to click on the More button? It should be displayed expanded by default. At the very least, there should be a selectable option to do so
- why do we still have the "Format" drop down. At very least those options could be moved up as separate buttons / hyperlinks on the find dialog. There is more than enough space available on the existing dialog box
- why does the Replace tab add the <ALT><W> shortcut indicator for "Ignore white-space characters", when it is not functional, and actually conflicts with the previously established <ALT><W> for "Find all word Forms" option?
Oh, yes, and you "forgot" to give us the history of search values that we have in the old Find and Replace dialog...