I’ve Arrived

I’m in Seattle for the MVP Summit. This hotel is great. I just downed a whole jar of complimentary Macademia nuts and… What’s this thing that looks like a menu? Damn!

I’m off to register and score some of the Rock Bottom brew. I’ll be sure to have one for those of you who couldn’t make it this year.

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15 thoughts on “I’ve Arrived

  1. Have a great time. Now that ya’ll have an LSU coach you can discuss the upcoming season over a brew with confidence :)

  2. Dick
    Maybe a stupid question
    Apart from drinking beer are you allowed to tell us any details of the MVP summit?
    Or is it all hush hush secret MVP stuff!
    Hui…

  3. Lots of it is under strict NDA, so we’re not allowed to say much. We have had a number of VERY interesting sessions though. Some on Excel 14 and some even on Excel 15.

    We had a very good meeting about Office programmability, but like I said, we cannot disclose anything.

  4. There are two things I took away that I believe I can say without violating my NDA. For the first time in a long time (ever?), I got the sense that MS understands that they have customers that are not enterprise customers. To be sure, they are still investing in enterprise stuff, but they also seem to be investing in stuff that’s specifically for us smaller folk.

    The other thing is that they still don’t quite get that people use Excel as an application development platform, rather than a document creation platform (making spreadsheets). They nod their heads, but I know they’re thinking “Why don’t you just write it in .net?”.

    When I say “they”, I mean some small subset of MS employees that I met. Over the course of the year, I tend to think of MS as a glob of lawyers, marketing people, and poor decision-makers. But when I go to the summit, I’m reminded that the Excel and Office groups are a collection of really intelligent, thoughtful people. Well, at least the ones they allow us to see.

  5. Thanks for the summary, Dick! I’m sure that one reason that MS and small enterprise are not perfectly aligned is just a time lag: MS is working on upcoming editions of their products and very knowledgeable in .NET, but a lot of “laypeople” are still on Excel 2000 or whatnot and really haven’t seen the need for .net yet.

    Thoughts?
    Chris

  6. Dick – are the *any* of the softies aware that the ribbon and the switch to XML formatting for the UI are a significant source of irritation among their user base? Are they aware that most capable users see little or no benefit from the supposed “upgrade” – indeed, they see significant pain, with little or no gain at the end of the road? I used to be able to customize my user interface fairly intuitively – and to be honest, I don’t really care that an inexperienced user could just as easily screw up their interface: that isn’t my problem, thank you. Now, I have just purchased the RibbonX book by Martin / Puls / Hennig – a good book, by the way – to find out that customizing the UI will take *two* programs (or untold misery with notepad) – but joy of freaking joy, they are both a pain in the butt, and getting files into and out of at least one of them is “finicky.” That is a $40 investment (but the money isn’t the issue) and a 600+ page book to make their damned software behave – and doesn’t even touch on customization for an end-user – that’s just to make an expensive program work with something approaching the degree of functionality I am used to and have paid for. Let’s face it, the Ribbon is a hack – and not a very good one, at that.

    I have always been a pretty strong supporter of Microsoft (not that they needed it, or cared) – but I am a long way from a reflexive Microsoft basher. My attitude has changed – corporately, Microsoft has made it clear that backwards compatibility and support to their installed base is a long way down their priority list. My response is something along the lines of, well “Buck you, too, Phil!” – I have looked at Open Office in the past, and not adopted it because compatibility with my client base was more important. I am now much more open to alternatives to MS Office and Excel, and will always remember that Microsoft is willing to toss my human capital and my (fairly significant) investment in their software under a bus. I will be very surprised if my next computer runs Microsoft software – there are free alternatives that are at least no worse (and at the OS level, better); for a long time Microsoft’s advantage was that you couldn’t honestly say that.

    Sorry for the rant – I intended to send this as a private e-mail, but couldn’t find that option.

  7. David: He’s a Nebraska coach, we just loaned him to you. :)

    dcardno: Re ribbon=irritant: yes, they are aware and I can’t be more specific.

    I’ve heard from other people that they can’t find my email address. I always thought it was easy to find because I never try to obfuscate it, but it’s really not. A google search for “dick kusleika email” finds it right away, but that’s no excuse for not having it prevalent on my own site. I supposed I need to add it to my author profile and to the About page. Anywhere else?

    By the way, one of my email addresses is dkusleika@gmail.com

  8. Hi Dick –

    The place I ferreted out your email was in looking at the mailto html on the suggestions page.

    …Michael

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