year in review

If the boss can write a retrospective, so can I. :)

2009 has been an Entourage-filled year for me. At Macworld 2009 in January, we announced Entourage for Web Services. While EWS didn't get a lot of UI touches, I still got to make some UX improvements, especially with regards to perceived performance. The public beta gave us a lot of awesome feedback (as well as feedback that we shared with our friends on the Exchange team), and we released the final version in August. It was also included in the spiffy new Office 2008 Business Edition.

Aside from all of this goodness, we made a big announcement in August: Outlook is coming soon to a Mac near you. The next version of Office:Mac, which will be released in time for your holiday shopping pleasure in 2010, will include Outlook. The UI is Cocoa, it will work with Time Machine, and it will support Information Rights Management. I've been doing mountains of research on Outlook (and that will continue into 2010, so don't forget to sign up to participate in my usability studies) in 2009, and I can't wait to be able to tell you more about what's coming in that release.

I did manage some non-Entourage/EWS/Outlook work in 2009, too. We announced the Document Companion at Macworld, too, which I'd been working on for some time and was happy to get it out into the light of day. Office 2008 SP2 came out this summer, which included the new feature of path animations in PowerPoint.

Dennis Liu showed us how he is pretending to work with Office 2008. It's a scientific fact that no-one can be accused of not working if there's an Excel spreadsheet open. Heh. He also made Office 2010: The Movie for my friends on the WinOffice team. This is somewhat less flashy, but one of my co-workers put the new path animations in PowerPoint 2008 SP2 to work when he made a short film in PowerPoint.

Outside of MacBU, Exchange 2010 came into public beta, which includes some great news for Mac users: Safari and Firefox both support the full Outlook Web Access now.

What's in store for 2010? Well, the single biggest thing is that we're going to release the next version of Office:Mac. I'll be speaking at Macworld in February about administering Macs in Exchange environments. And there's more: this is just the tip of the iceberg. Watch this space ...