Friday Links and Dogfood

Hi, my name is Brian Johnson and I'm a product manager at MacBU. Welcome to our Mac Mojo weblog! It's been quite a week for usĀ  at MacBU. Starting a venture like this blog doesn't come without a bit of wondering whether you're doing the right thing. I think it's obvious that this is the right thing to do, but it's obviously not the easy or the safe thing to do.

I've been a blogger for a number of years and I've been lucky enough in my last two jobs to be working for leaders who understand how important it is to engage directly with customers. In my last job, it was Sara Williams and Shawn Morrissey who understood completely how this should work. (They're both directly responsible for this domain that exists today.) In my present job, GM Roz Ho, my boss, Mary Starman, and Sheridan Jones, have all been extremely enthusiastic about interacting with customers and this blog is the result.

My plan for contributing to this blog is to post weekly on Fridays and to link to blogs and other stuff I think might be useful and interesting to Mac Office users. I'll also try to answer some of the questions I see about our products that come in during the week.

This week I'm linking to a few of the news blogs that are linking back to this one. There are some good conversations going on at some of these sites about what our motives are, and whether this blog is going to ultimately be of any value to customers in the future. Hopefully it will be. - Microsoft launches MacBU blog
The Apple Core - What can we learn from Microsoft's Mac BU blog?
Ars Technica - The Tale of Two Mac Blogs: Microsoft and Apple
TUAW - Microsoft Mac BU launches blog

Two things I want to touch on before I sign off today. First, about Nadyne's post from earlier this week with regards to carrying a MacBook Pro around at Microsoft. When I started here at MacBU I thought I might feel self-conscious about carrying a Mac around at Microsoft, but that feeling faded pretty quickly. I've been at Microsoft for quite a while now and if there's one thing we feel strongly about here it's dogfood; that is, working every day with the products that we sell. I use the Mac about 98% of the time and I feel fairly self-conscious now when I'm not carrying one around campus.

Second, to answer Jason's question about an iPod ban on campus, check out my interview from One of the features we added to Entourage in the update we posted this Spring was the ability to sync your contacts and calendar on your Mac using Sync Services in Tiger. Of course, this allows you to carry your data pretty easily on your iPod, and we did this on purpose because it's what our customers were asking for and it's the kind of thing you need to do as a first class software developer on the Mac. (I still think most people outside of MacBU carry other types of MP3 players - I believe it's a dogfood thing.)