Odds and Ends

Taking a few minutes to tie up some lose ends and highlight some

  • On the
    command usage contest
    : As of the first 32 comments, no one has guessed
    the top five most-used commands in Microsoft Word correctly yet.  Not
    only has no one guessed them in order–no one has even got the list of 5
    correct yet!  So feel free to
    put another
    guess in the box
    .  I’ll reveal the winner on Monday.

  • Tim Briggs,
    one of our usability leads has agreed to hang around and help answer
    questions in some of the more hardcore usability topics.  He’s
    currently posting in the

    Usability Redux comments area
    , so you might want to check that out.

  • Savraj, a program manager focusing on UI extensibility, has agreed to
    help out answering questions in my
    developer-oriented series
    that I kicked off last week.  Look for
    posting here for now
    , and then in future comments areas for developer

  • On the comments areas of the blog: thanks for making the comments area
    interesting by posting your ideas and keeping the talk civil (unlike so many
    other comments areas!)  I do read every comment that you post, although
    I don’t have time every day to reply individually to them. 
    Increasingly, I plan on addressing questions asked there in posts,
    especially when the comment is of wide interest.  Anyway, I do
    appreciate the comments and didn’t want you to think they were in
    vain–they’re the most rewarding and fun part of the blog for me.

  • On coming here and reading what I have to say: I’m floored by how many
    of you come here and spend a few minutes of the day with me.  All I can
    say is “thank you” and I’ll do my best to try keep you interested.
  • Despite what people are writing as fact in the blogosphere, Beta 1 of
    Office 12 doesn’t yet exist.

  • With this post, I’m breaking the 30,000-word boundary!  How long is
    a book, anyway?

  • A number of people have written to ask me about jobs at Microsoft. 
    We have a great web site with a lot of information on it, as well as resume
    .  Steven Sinofsky has also
    written in his blog about careers
    working on Office
    ; you might find that interesting reading.

  • My car does not have to be plugged in!  I’ve had a
    Ford Escape Hybrid
    SUV for just over a year now.  I love it, and I believe in the
    technology (and at 6’6″ I’m not fitting in any
    Prius anyway.)  But the
    number one question I get from people when they see the

    Hybrid badge
    , even in the Microsoft parking garage is: “how long do you
    have to plug it in for before going on a drive?”  Do Prius people get
    these questions too, or is it just because people don’t see many hybrid
    Escapes on the road yet?  There’s a hard road ahead getting people to
    buy hybrid autos when the average person thinks they need to be plugged in
    like a golf cart.  Nevertheless, Ford rules for shipping a
    full-featured hybrid SUV years before anyone else.

  • PreviewSeek appears to have some
    cool search features, and I’m honored in a weird way that my name comes up

    in the green box at the top when you search for Office 12
    , but… well,
    they got my gender wrong.  Also, what’s all this “Office Vista” stuff? 
    The product is codenamed Office “12” and that’s all there is so far…

Jensen Out!

Comments (19)

  1. Eddie says:

    Thank you for providing this insite into the usability of the next generation of Office. We are all aware of the 1000lb usability gorillas that MS has caged up over there. It’s nice to let us peek into the cage every now and again.

    Using Office now, I often ask myself "why would they design this dialog to do this?" or "who thought that would be a good representation of that command?" .. or most often "why is this activity that I do frequently buried under all these different menus?" Your posts at least answer some questions about how and why you build.

  2. James Schend says:

    There are three things that concern me about hybrids:

    1) Weight. The batteries and the electric motors, that stuff’s haevy. I know that they make the gasoline engine smaller and lighter to compensate, but wouldn’t a lighter-weight diesel vehicle be a better choice for economy, if only because you’re not dragging batteries around? Something like a TDI Toureag, maybe.

    2) Safety. Do you worry that, in an accident, there’s a possibility of electrocution or of a pool of gas being ignited by the electricity stored in the batteries?

    3) Service. When those batteries wear out, how expensive are they to replace? Can the vehicle operate with sufficient power if the batteries are completely drained and have no charge left? Do you have to pay to dispose of all of those batteries when you finally junk the vehicle?

    Absolutely nothing to do with the blog’s topic. 😉

  3. Fox Cutter says:

    As a Prius owner I’ve never been asked about pluging my car in. I’ve been asked about the millage a few times, but that’s it.

    For the length of a book, the minumim legnth is 50,000 words but that’s a YA novel. 75,000 to 100,000 words is a bit closer to the mark.

  4. William Swanson says:

    Since this is an odds-and-ends post, I’ll ask an odds-and-ends question that’s been on my mind for a while: What’s under the "File" menu? This looks like the only real menu left in the interface, and I’m curious what you have done with it.

  5. Reminds me of the old days in Alaska. Perhaps you should get one of these leashes installed on the Prius to throw people for a loop…

  6. jensenh says:


    I am going to post about the "File menu", but after Office 12 beta 1 comes out.

  7. PatriotB says:

    Jensen, I thought you were a female too until relatively recently when I saw multiple places refer to you as a "he".

    Jensen isn’t too common as a first name; the only other one I have heard of is Jensen Buchanan, a female actress. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0118026/)

  8. sloan says:

    Toyota’s have a 10 year warranty on the hybrid battery. The weight is bad, but the overall emissions level I think make up for the extra fuel used to push that weight. I would love to know who is responsible for proper disposal of the batteries though and if the consumer gets hit with that fee.

    Battery leakage… from what I’ve read those batteries are built like tanks and the cables running from front to back are no problem for things like the jaws of life that rescue teams use.

    What is really a shame is the lack of good standards in the US. The gov’t really hasn’t done anything to increase full efficiency in like 30 years. Its ridiculous…

  9. Abigail says:

    According to http://www.nanowrimo.org, a novel is 50,000 words. 🙂

  10. Julia says:

    My guesses for top 5 commands






  11. William Swanson says:

    My guess:

    1) Paste

    2) Cut

    3) Copy

    4) Spelling correction via squiggle contex menu

    5) Font size

  12. Mr. Dee says:

    My guess:

    1) Open

    2) Save

    3) Copy

    4) Spelling correction via squiggle contex menu

    5) E-mail

  13. ChrisC says:



    (1) Did you forget about the Lexus H?

    Or is there some reason to not consider it a `full featured` SUV.

    I was going to look into one… until I found out that the first 6+ months worth were already sold out (about last Fall I think)

    (2) Maybe you could publish the oddist command in the list tomorrow – giving us a hint

    (3) What was the deal with the scrambled up comments on Monday… am I the only one seeing it? They look right if you view the HTML. (not that I think I win; IE 6 sp2 textsize=medium; if you want more details I can provide you with a friend`s name in MS who can give you my contact info – I won`t be offended if you don`t care 😉

    -Chris C.

  14. Maurice says:

    My guess would be copy, paste, cut, bold, and font size.

  15. Max Palmer says:


    One area that you have mentioned in your blog that was of particular interest to me was the gadget you wrote for getting user feedback while they use Office. Could you expand on this at some stage, i.e. how did the tool appear to the user, what was the quality of feedback like, etc ?


  16. Simon Jones says:

    If it is called "Office Vista" for real I will scream. You made this mistake twice before, once with Office XP and Windows XP and before that by renaming what was "Internet Mail & News" to "Outlook Express". Both cases confused the hell out of the users and caused endless problems for support people. Users would report "I’ve got a problem with Outlook" or "Should I reinstall XP?" and the IT support people have to try and work out which "Outlook" or which "XP" they mean.

    Don’t make the same mistake again. Make sure Office 12 gets a distinctly different tag.

    Simon Jones

    Contributing Editor

    Office Applications

    PC Pro Magazine

  17. jensenh says:


    I don’t get to name the product, nor do I get to have influence on it. But I’ve definitely experienced the same thing with support family members as well.

  18. jensenh says:


    The Ford Escape hybrid came out more than a year before the Lexus H, hence I give them credit for getting it to market before anyone else.