Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Test drive Office 2007 now online

If you want to experience the great changes in 2007 Microsoft Office System first-hand, you can now log in to the Office 2007 test drive and try out the whole list of applications. This is really awesome--and it works faster than I expected. All the features are fully functional (except save and print); you can place graphics, apply templates, create, format, and search data, and much more. If takes only a few minutes to set up and you can get a real-world preview of the applications, kick its tires, and more. The UI alone is worth the trouble. Take it out for a test drive and step into the future of Microsoft Office. :) (Can you tell I'm psyched about this new release? I've been writing about Office products since Word for Windows 3.1--do you remember back that far? :)--and I am more excited about this release than any I've experienced yet. It's smart smart smart.)

[note: For a little backstory, here's a link to a quick interview I did for The Hive with Dennis Bye, Microsoft Senior Marketing Manager and the brains behind the Office 2007 test drive.]

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Next gen webcams!

A friend passed along info about the new Microsoft LifeCams that are optimized to work with Windows Live Messenger and MSN Spaces (soon to be renamed Windows Live Spaces). These cameras look awesome! The VX-3000 is available now--retailing at $49, it includes improved video, a built-in mic, zoom, pan, and tilt capability, and has a Windows Live Call button and One-Touch Blogging feature that enable you to start a video conversation or post a video entry with a single push of a button.

The VX-6000 is the top of the line (not out yet, unfortunately). It will retail for $99, offers high-definition video, 1.5 megapixel video resolution, 5 mexapixel digital images, 3x digital zoom, wide angle display, and much more.

If you're into gadgetry, check this out! At $99, I'm a lot more likely to indulge myself and get the LifeCam VX-6000 than to spring for the device I'm really yearning for: A UMPC! :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Dumb move, Adobe

Maybe you've heard about this, but in a singularly illogical move, Adobe has crashed talks with Microsoft about including the Save as PDF option in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. This is really upsetting to me--when Microsoft makes a great move toward open collaboration, Adobe squelches the deal (for what? greed? power? because they can?) and asks Microsoft to not only remove the Save as PDF option but to also take out Microsoft's own portable document format, XPS (which saves finished files in an XML-based portable format). And, reaching beyond Office 2007, they want XPS out of Windows Vista, too! Unbelievable.

Brian Jones, Office PM and XML expert, writes about this in more detail on his blog. But this Washington Post article really speaks my mind about the whole issue. It just makes no sense. It's heavy-handed and self-serving. And it clearly says--at least to me--that Adobe is more interested in its own bottom-line (or future strategic efforts) than it is in best serving a worldwide community of users who would greatly benefit from having a PDF option built into the world's most widely used application software.

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