Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Microsoft got something right

I rarely, if ever, will say something like this. Microsoft got something right.

It took a while to put it together, because of other things we've been pursuing, but an innocent question today set me on a search that resulted in a remarkable discovery.

"Do we have any training material for Office?"

Well, no, we didn't. The closest we had was a CD Microsoft sent for Office 2003 named "Microsoft Office System Tips & Tricks". Good info - fast paced, and definitely a deep dive. We needed to finesse the videos to cut out products we didn't use, and chop them into product-specific components. Never got around to posting them, etc.

I looked around for that CD again, and eventually found it buried beneath some papers. Inside the mailer was a URL - Out of curiosity, I went there. Lo and behlod, this site has an unbelievable collection of docs, articles, and CBT material related to the Office suite.

If you've never been, you should visit. Anyone who uses Office or supports those who do should make use of this site. Better to teach people how to fish, than to catch the fish for them.

This is impressive because it's free, and it's good - two things not commonly associated with Microsoft products. At times like this it's obvious where the divisions are between product groups (there's no equivalent site for the Windows OS unless you're an IT professional looking to buy training materials). The folks at Office got it right, and should be commended. Even if it would put the Video Professor out of least they're not making money off of it.

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