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Gray Matter

Gray Knowlton's blog on Microsoft Office

Gray Matter

  • Thank you and farewell.

    May 30th will be my last day at Microsoft. I appreciate Microsoft so much, and I hold the company in very high regard. The experiences I have had here I couldn't have had anywhere. After almost 10 years, I will change industries and roles, and...
  • A comment about September and October 2013 Patch Tuesday

    Given our challenges with September I thought a comment about our preparation for the October release appropriate. Update: Details about the release and its contents have been published to the Office Updates blog. September caused us to spend...
  • Today is Patch Tuesday

    Taking a departure from my promised post on C2R for a minute to celebrate the passing of another Patch Tuesday. A term recognized across the IT industry is "Patch Tuesday." I'm hopeful this post will remind folks about Patch Tuesday stuff they...
  • How Office Updates - The Basics

    Our Update Strategy Today Before we get into the considerations of release cadence and Service Compatibility, it is probably good to start at the beginning. I find these posts are always useful as a digest to initiate the new users, and to refresh...
  • Office Updates: Weighing Currency vs. Cadence

    Customers give us a lot of feedback. We depend on that feedback to improve the quality of our products. Since I joined our release management team 3 years ago, we have been operating with a mantra that our updates will improve the quality of the product...
  • 3 years later

    I'm back to blog some more. This time about Office Updates. Posts to roll soon.
  • RSA: What Motivates Us

    This is a great video for aspiring managers. Excellent production as well. (Please visit the site to view this video)
  • A Company of One

    I may have hit a chord with the management theme last week, lots of offline feedback on that post. I’ll post on the topic again to see if I can turn a data point into a trend. At Microsoft we have a competency called “Cross-group Collaboration”...
  • Office Round-up

    Tossing up a few useful links and a few random comments to go along with it. BPOS Customers can now view service status through a new dashboard. An RSS feed is also available. Mac Office will Arrive on October 26 th . Office 2011 is a fine product. We...
  • How to present to an executive

    Taking a left turn for a moment on the software talk. I’m at a point where I have to vent on a topic, and no better place to do it than to the anonymous reader. For some reason I’ve been in a lot of these lately (usually the presenter or...
  • Updating the Custom XML Scanning Tool

    A while back I posted a scanning tool to detect the presense of Custom XML Markup in Open XML documents . I wanted to provide an update for this tool to reflect the new Open XML SDK 2.0. The scanning tool has been recompiled against the new version...
  • Welcome Back

    Resurfacing, It has been several months since I last posted. I have spent that time transitioning to a new role in Office sustaining engineering . I am the proud owner of a new title, I changed my office, my boss, my commitments, bought a mini-van...
  • A New Challenge

    A great thing about Microsoft as an employee is the ability to manage one's own career and to invest in one's own development by seeking new opportunities and experiences. Role changes at Microsoft are common, part of the unique cultural fabric that exists...
  • Open XML SDK 2.0 Released

    On February 21, 2008, I posted on Microsoft Interoperability Principles , which are designed to make our products more open and more available to the broader software community. Since that day, Microsoft has made several strides in this area, too many...
  • Office Developer Atlas

    If you are new to Office development, or are if you are looking to learn more about what's new in Office 2010 for Developers, we have a new tool available for you. Today we are publishing the Office Developer Atlas , a tool for self-training on Office...
  • Office 2010 Application Compatibility Tools Bug Hunt

    Hello, this is Michael Kiselman again with exciting news related to the Office 2010 compatibility program and tools . We have many participants using and testing the Application Compatibility tools for Office 2010. Thus far we have received much feedback...
  • Office 2010 Application Compatibility Tools Bug Hunt Sweepstakes Official Rules

    MICROSOFT OFFICE 2010 APPLICATION COMPATABILITY TOOLS SWEEPSTAKES OFFICIAL RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. PLEASE NOTE: It is your sole responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate...
  • Open XML SDK Code behind the Custom XML Markup Detection Tool

    On Brian Jones' blog today, Zeyad Rajabi has posted the source code for the Custom XML Markup Detection tool from my last post. This should give readers a bit more insight into what it is looking for to identify affected documents. The source is provided...
  • Scanning Tool to Detect Custom XML Markup in .DOCX and .DOCM files

    Quick Start The Installer is located here . (update: A new version of the installer is here: http://blogs.technet.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Components-PostAttachments/00-03-35-69-65/Custom-XML-Markup-Detection-Tool-Setup.zip ) ...
  • Off Topic: Check out the Office Ribbon Hero

    Taking a break from Custom XML for a moment. more posts on the topic are imminent. Jennifer Michelstein announced the Office Ribbon Hero today, a fun thing you can install with Office 2007 or the 2010 beta to test your depth of usage of Office. The challenge...
  • Associating Data with Content Controls

    Background reading What is Custom XML- ... and the impact of the i4i judgment on Word , Regarding Custom XML Patch distribution and availability , Using Content Controls vs. Custom XML Elements , Scanning tool to detect documents with custom XML By...
  • Regarding Custom XML Patch distribution and availability

    Background reading What is Custom XML- ... and the impact of the i4i judgment on Word , Associating Data with Content Controls , Using Content Controls vs. Custom XML Elements , Scanning tool to detect documents with custom XML A few questions have...
  • Using Content Controls vs. Custom XML Elements

    Background Reading What is Custom XML- ... and the impact of the i4i judgment on Word , Regarding Custom XML Patch distribution and availability , Associating Data with Content Controls , Scanning tool to detect documents with custom XML In my last...
  • What is "Custom XML?" ... and the impact of the i4i judgment on Word

    I recall saying recently that " this is my last post for 2009 ." Whoops... I don't think I was anticipating this. I watched with interest yesterday the coverage and reaction to the i4i judgment. I am not keen to share my own thoughts about the case here...
  • 2010 New Year's Resolutions & Beer Selection, Simplified + 2009 blog in review

    On December 15, 1999, I was sitting in my home in England (near Reading), having just wrapped up a trip to Salzburg to fix a huge problem related to classified pagination. This work was sandwiched between several Y2k conversions (in reality it was more...