Choosing Passwords

There’s an old joke about two hunters who come face-to-face with a bear.  The bear charges them, at which point they start running for their lives.  While running, one of the hunters says, “Why are we running?  We’re never going to outrun this bear!”  And the other says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. …

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Bay Area Mac users needed again!

You responded in droves when we last asked for usability test participants!  We have another usability study that Bay Area Mac users will be interested in. We’re doing another usability test of new features in both Entourage and PowerPoint. We need users who use Entourage at least once per week and PowerPoint once per month….

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And we’re back!

Thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of people, I’m happy to let you all know that the new Mac Office updaters are now available. You can download them for Office 2004 and for Office v. X (and the Office 2004 updater should be available via Microsoft AutoUpdate as well).  These updates can be applied…

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Now you see it, now you don’t.

By now you’ve probably seen the news about the Mac Office updates that went live on MacTopia for a few hours this past Tuesday.  Things were a little crazy here on Wednesday and Thursday working out what happened and how we should resolve the problem.  Since I’m the development lead for our Sustained Engineering meta-team,…

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Converters Coming! Free and (Fairly) Fast.

There’s been some pretty alarmist news stories this morning (apcstart.com; CrunchGear) about file format converters and Office for Mac. Because some of these stories seem designed more to inflame than inform, I want to reiterate our previously reported intention to provide free converters, clarify our timing for their release, and also give some direction on…

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A day in the life, usability edition

A few weeks ago, Brad told us what a day in his life is like. Inspired by Brad, here’s a day in the life of a user experience researcher. My days are highly variable, depending on whether I’m doing a usability study or not, so I’m not sure if this description is typical of one…

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Speaking of numbers…

One of the features in Excel I’m in charge of testing is “Calculation, Functions, and Formulas”, which (surprise!) is exactly what it sounds like. Being a big math and numbers geek, I was very excited to learn that I would inherit these features when I started. The way that we test these this area is…

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Living complexity

Brad’s Carl Sagan-style post on code size stirs up some familiar questions about complexity management here at MacBU. With every release of Office, we remove, rewrite and add new code. Often we can remove significant amounts of code without losing functionality – say, remove use of a custom HTML renderer when the OS offers a…

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It’s all in the numbers …

A friend of mine and I were shooting the … breeze (freaking ‘G’ ratings for blogs) and he was asking me when the next version of Office was coming out.  Now being the wise Microsoft spin doctor that I am, and having spent numerous hours being brainwashed by marketing, p.r. and some guys in black…

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MacBOO to you! Happy Halloween and TidBITs Treats!

Today kicks off our official sponsorship of TidBITS, and it’s a real Halloween treat for us to work with this legendary online newsletter (sixteen years and counting) and the amazing Adam and Tonya Engst. We’ve been talking to them a bunch since Macworld last year about how we should do something together – ever since another…

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