How To Evangelize Your New XML Features

Dear Bill,

Loved the big news today about how Office 12 will have an XML file format. But you blew it on the sound bite, my friend. Here’s how you described the benefits of XML last month:

Last month, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that Office
12 would make it easier for workers to "focus, prioritize and
apply their expertise, visualize and understand key data, and
reduce the amount of time they spend dealing with the
complexity of an information-rich environment."

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. If you describe the benefits of Office that way again I will kick you in the trousers. There is nothing about that quote that makes me want to buy Office. Any version. Even Word 2.0. Blah, blah, blah. (This story which went into more detail doesn’t do much better.)

If somebody wants to quote you on the benefits of the XML file format in Office 12, you want to say something like this:

XML is about openness and interoperability. The XML file format in Office 12 will make it easy for third parties to create a new generation of productivity applications that will make it even easier to interoperate with Office applications. For example, you’ll be able to easily import and export to and from Office documents from any software on any platform, use Office as the front end to your content management system of choice, easily transform any Office document for publishing on the Web, and so on. But the most exciting part of the new format is the fact that we don’t yet know what cool things third parties are going to do with it. That’s the benefit of being open.

Maybe this is a little verbose for the mainstream press, but this is the kind of crap that gets customers excited, my man. Free evangelism advice from me to you, no charge. Next one I’m invoicing you for, though, that’s just my policy.

P.S. Please find the people within your organization who thought it would be a good idea to create an ad campaign likening your customers to dinosaurs and kick them in the trousers. That’s right, the front side of their trousers. Kisses!