Tell us what you think about Office 2010 (Technical Preview)

Using Office 2010, have something you want to tell Office? Maybe you're having trouble finding something in the UI or have a specific suggestion on how we can improve a feature. Or, maybe there's something you love and you want to make sure we know about it so that we keep it in the product. The best tool to use to give us feedback on the Office 2010 (Technical Preview) is called Send-a-Smile.

Hello and welcome to Office 2010! My name is Amanda and I am a Program Manager in Office, on my team we build Feedback tools, including Send-a-Smile. My job is to ensure the Office user has the opportunity to provide feedback (likes and dislikes) about their Office 2010 experience and then route this information to the right people on the Office teams. The teams use this information to make decisions regarding feature designs and to help prioritize bug fixes.

Where can I get Send-a-Smile? Send-a-Smile automatically installs with Office 2010, you’ll see two icons added to the notifications area of the taskbar over by the clock: a Smile to click when you want to give us positive feedback and a Frown to click when there's something you don’t like. On Win7, you may need to go specifically add them to the list of icons you want to see in the taskbar.

Send A Smile in Windows Taskbar

Do we actually read the comments? Absolutely! In fact we’ve already taken fixes to the product, which future downloaders of the Office 2010 (Technical Preview) will benefit from. Let me walk you through the process from sending a comment to someone on the Office team reviewing the comment.

How does one submit a comment? As previously noted, the Send-a-Smile tool installs along with the Office 2010 (Technical Preview). After the installation is complete, you will see the Smile and Frown icons in the taskbar.

Clicking on the Smile or Frown will launch the Send-a-Smile tool.

Send A Smile Tool

There is a text box to type your comment, and optionally you can include a picture of your screen and your e-mail address (so that we can contact you if necessary.) The screenshot is a really interesting and useful part of the feedback... especially where the UI is concerned. But, of course, you can just send the text if you'd rather. After you click “Submit”, off your feedback goes to Microsoft...

Where does the Smile or Frown go after you click submit and see the envelope fly away? Who reads my Smile or Frown comment?

The comment goes into a database here at Microsoft. Based on the comment text, we automatically group “tag” the comments by team and by feature. This helps get your comment to the appropriate team as quickly as possible.

An internal website has been created specifically for these comments. The Office teams use the website to review all the comments “tagged” to their team and features. While reviewing the comments, the teams have the option to give the comment a status to help categorize and later follow up on specific comments.

Office Feedback Portal

This feedback mechanism has already had a big impact on the product. Bugs have been identified and fixed. And of course, the many positive comments we receive help us not to tinker with the things that it seems we've gotten right.

We cannot guarantee that we'll act on every comment (which would be impossible anyway since many of the comments directly contradict other comments), but we can promise that we read them, consider them, and use them to help make decisions about the product.

The long and short of it all this, when you have feedback please click on the Smile and Frown icons...we are listening and love to receive feedback on the Office 2010 (Technical Preview). This is the most direct way for anyone in the world to get their feedback heard by the right person, with none of the barriers usually associated with trying to give feedback to a big company (phone trees, "customer service representatives", etc.)