Why open up?

I was over filming Mike Arcuri today. He’s a Group Program Manager over on Excel. He was showing me the new business intelligence features in Office 12.

You know, for those of you who say Office is dead it would be good to watch this video over and over when we get it up (it’ll be up in a few weeks). Office has a lot of kick left in it.

Huh? Last night I sat next to a director of finance and treasury for Starbucks while flying back from Oakland. He was using Excel to fiddle with numbers. He told me he loved Office and couldn’t live without it. He also told me that Starbucks opens five new coffee shops every day and chided me for working for a slow-growing company. Whew!

So, what does this have to do with opening Office up?

Well, Escamillo puts it pretty well: “Good. Now Microsoft Office must compete based on merit rather than file format compatibility and OpenOffice.org must compete based on merit rather than “use us because our format is open”.”

Oh, and Steve: have you watched the earlier video of what’s coming in Office 12? The guy from Starbucks hadn’t. Which explains just how big a challenge it is to get people to upgrade. Getting people to pay attention just isn’t easy. If it were the market would flip to new things every few years. Oh, and if it WERE easy we’d all have 60 million readers.

That doesn’t take away from what Steve’s saying. Attention IS important. Why? Because the attention system will either be siloed in the next 12 months or it’ll get built out.

Look at the decisions made in 1997 around instant messaging. IM clients are still siloed (although they are starting to be joined finally).

I sure hope attention doesn’t go the same way, although there are lots of pressures to silo that too.

Oh, just to make this post a little more confusing. Office is still going to sell like hotcakes because of Windows Workflow Foundation. That’s the new way that businesses are going to make themselves more efficient. The end points on such a system are all Office.

For those who are trying to figure out why Microsoft would make it possible to compete with Office, that’s where you gotta look. In all the Web 2.0 hype, you all missed this and there’s a big story here for enterprises and for developers.

Maybe we need to add AJAX to that so you’ll pay attention. 🙂

The A list letting a newbie into the club? Nah!

Hey, David Newberger, what makes you think you can crash our little party?

Don’t worry David. I am still trying to figure out how to make it onto the A list myself. Getting on Digg is harder than getting on Slashdot!

By the way, David, keep it up. Your writing has been getting better with each post.

One thing: don’t chase us. That’s lame. Make us chase you! Show us how it’s done. Yeah, I think you have the fundamentals down, which is why I’m checking in on you, but have some fun at this. Oh, and who said we are successful? You’re only successful if you’re having fun. A good blog is authoritative and passionate. Follow your passions and everything else will fall in line. And, if it doesn’t? You’ll still be doing what you love.

Chris and Ponzi? A fight? Or great PR?

Geekstreak, in a post titled “Relationship Wars” wonders if Chris and Ponzi are having a fight on their blogs just to get attention.

Oh, no, I’ve seen this one winding up for a while. I TRIED to get Chris to go snorkeling, but sounds like he’s causing trouble while on vacation in Hawaii.

Hey, Chris, you should have listened to me! It’s not too late to save the trip. Get off of your computer. Go snorkeling (it’s worth the ear infection). And have a few of those drinks with the little umbrellas in them. Trust me, they are good! 🙂