Office Makeover

Today in Los Angeles at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005, Microsoft showed off the upcoming version of Office, code-named Office 12. Before I dive into the details, isn’t Microsoft going overboard with code names (the name is Bond, Bill Bond)? First we get used to a pretty cool code name like Longhorn, which it changes to Vista. Then we have Office 12, a code name that sounds like a real product name. How ‘bout we just name these puppies once, okay?

Office 12 (which will apparently be called something different when it finally ships) will boast an entirely new interface. The old pull-downs are replaced with context-sensitive, graphics-intensive command tabs. It also looks like Office will gain deeper hooks into Microsoft server apps, especially for collaboration.

What would you like the next release of Office to be called? (Try to keep it clean!) E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com

Greasing the Vista Skid
Also at the PDC, Microsoft pumped up Vista and hopes to jump-start software development with a $100 million marketing fund for ISVs. I’m sure Microsoft representatives phones are already ringing off the hook.

What kind of software would you like to see built for Vista? Shoot me a note at dbarney@redmondmag.com

New Notes and Oh, Domino
To be honest, I’ve almost forgotten that Notes, Domino and any other Exchange competitor still exist -- everything, it seems, is Exchange. That can make life easier for admins who need only learn one system, read one set of books and have one vendor to yell at when things go terribly wrong.

So I did scratch my head just a bit when I found out that brand-new versions of Notes and the Web-savvy Domino have just been prepped with hundreds of new features. In fact, IBM claims there are about 120 million "cumulative" licenses for its messaging/collaboration wares (I’m not sure what “cumulative” means, but it’s probably not near the same number of active users).

In any event, I hope these new revs are compelling and that IBM becomes an even bigger factor if only to keep Exchange on its toes. As a long-time e-mail user, I’m not a fan of the clunky Notes client or the often confounding Outlook. I just want to go back to the simple and sound Eudora.

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Pizza Is No Party
Computer engineer Jim Garrison did what any other red-blooded American would have done: When he saw pizza left over from a company meeting, he scarfed down a couple slices, leaving four for other scavengers. A month later, the mortgage company he worked for summarily sacked the 39-year-old -- long after the pepperoni had been fully digested.

The firing, though, won Garrison a trip to the Caribbean, courtesy of recruiting firm Simply Hired, who I hope found Jim a new job!

Here’s what Jim had to say about the whole ordeal.

Do you have any horror stories about being fired? E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com If I publish your letter, I’ll only use your first name (and no reader e-mail addresses are published -- ever!).

Cerf-ing the Web
‘Net legend Vint Cerf has left his long-time post at MCI to join the hottest tech company in the world: Google.

Cerf will develop new applications and serve as "Chief Internet Evangalist." As chairman of the ICANN, Cerf will remain the top cheerleader for IPv6.

Cerf's home page is here.

Let Doug know what you think of the topics in this week's Redmond Report! Share your take on the next name for Office, software for Vista, Exchange versus Outlook, firing horror stories or any other topic in this newsletter by e-mailing him directly at dbarney@redmondmag.com, or post your comments below. Edited versions of comments may be used in upcoming editions of Redmond Report, cited by first name only.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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