Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Only sorta hypocritical

Sometimes my coworkers seem annoyed that I tend to use Metapad to edit HTML pages instead of FrontPage, and that when I do use FrontPage it's usually just in HTML source view. But, I'm definitely not alone on the team; a lot of us seem to live in source view. I roughly estimate that about 40% of the team prefers source view and 60% prefer design view, with everyone using the split view at least sometimes. This actually works out pretty well for the product, since customers use all three views too (though not nearly 40% live in source view I imagine), and it ensures that both views keep getting better and better with each release. I may even use FP 12 as my default HTML editor at home sometime soon (though I rarely find myself editing plain HTML pages anyway). There's a lot of cool stuff in there that the world gets to see pretty soon; stuff that doesn't exist in any other product. I hope beta 1 isn't an NDA-only release; that would be kind of a letdown.

It will be fun to be able to say "I go out to eat with the guy who made that cool thing." My features won't be nearly as showy, but I can pretend that I had something to do with the awesome stuff. This is a big release for all of Office... in past releases, before I started working at Microsoft, there were always a couple new things in each app that were new and cool, and I really didn't care about the rest. Version 12 is going to shock people, I think. I anticipate that blurry camera screenshots of a pre-beta version will start leaking to the web in a month or two. People will compare it to Office 2003, to Windows Vista, to OpenOffice.org, to Mac OS X, and more, and I don't know what they're going to say. Not too many builds ago a lot of the Office apps, FrontPage included, looked like bad Photoshop mockups of themselves. I'm sure there will be bad Photoshop mockups of Office 12. It will be fun.

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