Tuesday, April 27, 2004

chris_pratley: Let's talk about Word

chris_pratley: Let's talk about Word "So far this blog has mainly been about OneNote and general product design. I started that way because I love OneNote, and with its hard core fan base and relatively newness, I thought it would be a fun thing to blog about (and I will continue to do that). I've been staying away from the "elephant in the room" though. I also manage the program management teams for two other products you would recognize: Word and Publisher. Publisher I picked up last fall, so I am not terribly familiar with the details of its history, but Word I have worked on for 9 years.
I've been a little gun-shy of blogging about Word for fear of being inundated by what are as far as I can tell a gang of "net thugs" who roam the net making outrageous claims about Microsoft and its behavior, motives, etc in every public forum they find (none of which information they are privy to, little of which they have evidence for, and basically all of which I find personally offensive, not to mention incorrect - since they often are implicitly about me and therefore I for one know them to be incorrect). But enough about that - let's just dive in and see what happens. Hopefully the net-dwelling paranoid delusional conspiracy theorists won’t descend upon me… :-) I should note that anything I write below (or in my blog in general) is my own opinion and memory, and is in no way official Microsoft anything.

... [long essay on the history of Word -- see the post]

After Word2000 (really Office2000 for me), I worked on Word2002 (OfficeXP), as a lead for awhile before becoming the group program manager (GPM) near the end of the project. The GPM is the person in charge of all the application designers and spec writers. Word2003 was my first version where I was "running the show" so to speak. The 2003 XML work, research tools, collab tools, and so on were all done under my watch. I also oversaw the creation of the OneNote team at this time, as I have written about earlier.
I've shared all this with you to try to give you a sense of how we (I) see the world, and how we work on products. So, let's talk. Reasonable comments will be replied to."

Let's talk about an exceptionally effective product-focused blog -- check the post and replies. Chris Pratley is a blogging pioneer.
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