Wow! Can it really be over so soon? Hard to believe my 5-day sojourn to Seattle is effectively over. I just have to write this post, pack, and put my head down for 5 or 6 hours. Then I’ll be into a cab, on to the airport, and on my way back home to the Austin area. We concluded this final day (for me, anyway: the last full day of the conference is tomorrow) with a lot of emphasis on the future. That included some long and hopefully fruitful ruminations on the future of the Windows Insider MVP program itself, some strong talk on how to convert single-threat Windows Insiders into double-threat Insiders majoring in both Windows 10 and Office, and additional insight into the Photos app and various versions of Skype. I can’t really talk much about all of these things, but I’ve been asked — encouraged, even — to talk about two of today’s agenda items in as much detail as makes sense. Here’s that very short list:
1. Ask Windows Insiders to consider joining the Office Insider program, too.
2. Spread the word about Microsoft’s peachy and free documentation on Mixed Reality (MR) for enthusiasts.
Let’s tackle each of those topics in its own independent sub-heading, shall we?
The pins of the conference go home as keepsakes.
Windows Insiders: Become Office Insiders, Too
The last meeting today was with Peter Cardwell, PM for the MS Office suite. Having seen the successes and accomplishments that the Windows Insider program has racked up, he’d like to get as many members of that program to become Office Insiders, too. Based on my own personal experience today, I can tell you it’s quick and easy to join the program. In fact, even though I had to download and install Office 365. I didn’t have it installed on the Insider Preview fast ring Dell Venue Pro 11 machine that I brought with me to today’s sessions. So I downloaded and installed Office 365 Home first, then visited the Office Insider page and downloaded and installed it, too. The whole thing took less than an hour to complete, so I got it done before Mr. Cardwell had completed his visit with our group.
The only caveat to this process is that would-be Office Insiders must already have a legit version of Office installed on their Insider Preview test machines (or do what I did, which was to burn one of the open remaining seats in my 5-seat Office Home 365 subscription, so it could play host to an Office Insider installation). The best thing about this combination is that you can use the Feedback Hub to provide quality, detailed feedback about Office components, just like you would for Windows 10 itself. Or, if you prefer, you can use the feedback tools built into individual Office components to send comments and input, or send email to email@example.com. All of those roads lead to Mr. Cardwell’s desk, and he will ensure that your feedback gets to the right sub-organizations under the Office umbrella after that. I sincerely hope that many, if not most, of the Windows Insiders who read this take up his offer, because Windows and Office go together so often, the Insider duo should prove a potent feedback combination indeed!
Mixing Virtual and Physical Realities!
In a meeting with MR Support Maven Paul Aaron this afternoon, he shared a publicly available document from Microsoft Docs entitled “Windows Mixed Reality: Enthusiast’s Guide” with us. This free and public document explains the considerations for people interested in buying and playing with mixed reality gear, and takes them into the details necessary to make this stuff work (and troubleshoot their PCs when it doesn’t). This document is further open to the public, in that it’s maintained through GitHub and open to comment, input, and suggestions for changes and additions. In fact, I think I volunteered to take a hike through it to look it over, and possibly add to or change it myself, in the course of today’s meeting. Readers interested in AR/VR/MR will definitely want to check this out to better understand Microsoft’s take on how to mix the virtual and the real together into an interesting cocktail of sorts.
It’s Been a Treat!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this reporting from the MVP summit. It was certainly a great experience for me, especially because of the many great and talented people I got the chance to spend time with. Please share your comments and reactions to this series of posts in the comments, won’t you? Do let us know if you’d like to see more or less of this kind of thing, and do please share any questions or criticisms you might have, too. Thanks in advance for those things.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.