Breaking down the 4th wall; the typical end of year fun

Winding down the year causes a variety of reactions from people. Some (like me) have a mild panic when they realize another year has ticked by on the calendar, wondering how they managed to fill all that time between the things they didn't do this year. Realizing that they must have had a birthday at some point in the past 12 months, some take a moment to do the math to figure out their age. After I passed 33, I needed to calculate to remember. My age fell off the stack of numbers that I cite frequently for some reason.

I'll go quickly through the part where I refer back to my "what does 2008 look like?" post and I'll refrain from describing myself as a visionary, there are plenty of people for that. (Although sadly, most of those folks are paid to write things for a living rather than invent technology)

But to recap that post:

My post in January said…

And now I think…

Application Virtualization

App-V is getting incredible traction for Windows customers. As deployments of App-V and MDOP accelerate, virtualizing Office will only become more important. The best number I've seen from a customer is that they reduce desktop TCO by a whopping 44% by deploying virtual apps.


That building the DAISY translator for Open XML was a very useful investment. (So much so that the ODF camp elected to duplicate the effort.) This activity has been a springboard for all sorts of investment in Accessibility for Office.

Visual Studio 2008

We're doing quite well with Office from the development platform perspective. There are currently 200+ solutions registered on, and many, many thousand solutions that are integrating Office in one way or another.

Open XML

IS29500 was ratified earlier this year. It was a big year for Open XML, one where I feel we were finally able to separate the FUD from the real discussion and get folks focused on what Open XML represents in the transition to XML-based formats: a way forward for all those legacy documents, and a very powerful solution for line-of-business integration… both of which continue to differentiate Open XML from ODF.

InfoPath and Groove

These products keep ticking along and enjoying great success. Particularly as solution enablers for SharePoint Server 2007, InfoPath and Groove are succeeding in their mission of helping centralize and funnel business applications and process through SharePoint.

2008 also represented a transition for me in terms of focus. Where I was primarily focused on Open XML, I have now transitioned to managing the Office Business Applications program. Office as a front end to line-of-business solutions is a very compelling value proposition, and one which we are uniquely suited to address. The traction and mindshare we have around this program is incredible. For Developers, it means building applications that are instantly familiar. For solution providers, it means building applications that get baked into the core IT infrastructure. For LOB managers and folks making deployment decisions, leveraging Office as a solution front-end means a dramatic reduction in training cost and deployment time… goodness all the way around. Open XML is a key technology in enabling a successful OBA, and investments like the Open XML SDK are providing great benefit for folks who want better access to the document formats.

And some fun… I don't spend a ton of time on my blog traffic, but I do try to keep up with comments and I do spend time on occasion marveling at the various blog stat traffic monitors. The other day I was taking a look at the keywords that land folks on my blog. These are pretty fun to share:

Keyword Examples

Referring to:

"does office 2007 work on xp", "does office 2007 work on XP?", "does office 2007 work with windows xp", "works 2007 work on xp", "does office 07 work on xp", "does office 2007 work with xp?", "MS Office 2007 Service Pack 2", "does office 2008 work on xp", "does microsoft office 2007 works with windows xp?"

Does Office 2007 run on Windows XP? (yes, it does)

(Dissertation topic #332): Why do search engine users spell and capitalize so poorly, and yet, think enough to add a question mark at the end of their search? Do you get a better result if you use a question mark?

"word 2007 encryption aes", "document encryption", "microsoft office", "word 2007 encrypted paper how to unencrypt", "word 2007 password document encryption open," "office open xml encryption", "how to open a password protected document in office 2007", "office document encryption", "ms office open document how work with encrypted documents", "Office 2007 SP2 Encryption Improvements", " This document is both encrypted and password protected. The Office Open XML Formats available in the encryption strength office 2007", "encrypting documents OpenXML Excel Password", "what happens if you encrypt a document?"

Seems that as many people want to break encryption on these documents as they do to apply it. We're fortunate to have excellent encryption strength for Office documents, given the recent dust-up over Acrobat 9 and its use of AES encryption.

"producer 2007", "powerpoint producer", "powerpoint producer 2007", "producer 2007 beta download", "powerpoint producer for powerpoint 2007", "Where is Producer 2007?", "PowerPoint producer vs downloading ms producer for powerpoint 2007", "producer for power point+beta", "ms producer 2007", "microsoft producer 2007 download", "powerpoint producer 2.0"

Producer for PowerPoint 2007 is a very popular topic. We learned after shipping 2007 that a solution was needed to help people on 2003 move forward to 2007. This is an enormously popular download, my team worked on this for quite a while to get it to the beta stage.

"silverlight document viewer", "openxml viewer", "save as pdf office 2007", "silverlight pdf viewer", "office 2007 save as odf", "silverlight excel", "microsoft to include opendocument in office 2007 service pack", "openxml viewer ie", "openxml document viewer", "silverlight viewer", "ODF adoption rate OOXML", "getting image size open xml, "silverlight powerpoint viewer", "technet office 2007 sp2", "silverlight view pdf", "odf vs openxml", "how much save file size office 2007 format", "openxml file size", "File size reduction Office 2003 XML", "Open XML viewer", "viewer openxml", "silverlight word viewer," "document viewer Silverlight", "pdf open save as in outlook 2007", "silverlight ppt viewer", "silverlight word document viewer", "Office 2007 save as .ODF", "formatted xml to Silverlight", "microsoft office 2007 odf support", "creating an html viewer for Silverlight", "Silverlight OpenXML", "converting word 2007 to 2003 equation file size", "silverlight + document viewer", "open xml + compression", "excel + Silverlight", "silverlight viewer for openxml", "ODF OpenXML", "convert xml into binary file size", "Silverlight 2 on 98se", "office 2007 file size reduction tool", "open xml viewer", " ffice 2007 service pack 2 odf"

Given that my blog primarily discussed file formats in 2008, it's no surprise that the overwhelming bulk of keyword hits were about file format issues. This is only a (very) small subset. The thing I find most interesting about this (and exactly what I intended in creating this blog back in 2007) was to focus more on the adoption and usage of the technology. Folks interested in the SDK, development tools, the BRM blow-by-blow, etc., were finding their way to Brian's blog, or Doug's, or later on, Eric White's. I guess the keywords are a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but of the folks finding me through a search, they are doing so for the reasons I hope they would.

Clearly I had more to say about Open XML than just these things J. I did have quite a bit to say about the standards activity, and particular the FUD being spread about the formats and about various people involved in the activity. There are a number of keywords associated with those posts as well, but we'll save those for a future post if it is needed.

Of course I learned a good lesson about keywords for having blogged about "Russian cows and a.d.o.l.e.s.c.e.n.t b.o.y.s." A sad reminder that there is a lot of different kinds of information available on the internet. The permutations of keywords related to this subject were a little surprising, to say the least.

My new year's resolution? Blog more. After the Open XML vote my blogging frequency slowed considerably, mostly because I changed focus to OBA. But knowing what a useful tool a good blog can be for setting the record straight on things, it is a worthwhile activity that I'll invest more in for 2009.

Thank you all for your continued readership, and I hope that the new year brings good fortune to you!