Redmond (WA) – Software behemoth Microsoft has roped in TG Daily writers as unpaid consultants to improve spell and grammar checking in the upcoming release of Office.
It’s quite flattering really. I’ve been running the technology preview of Office 2010 for a month or so and have just been presented with a dialog box asking if it’s OK for Word 2010 to phone home with a choice selection of phrases for use in the grammar and spell checking modules of the new Office suite.
It’s a test version – an alpha, if we’re honest – so I don’t really have an issue with this. In fact, I have to say that Microsoft has been unfailingly-polite here, asking me for permission to send data back to Redmond and allowing me to delete any phrases beforehand.
While most of the phrases relate to rather mundane technical stuff, some are rather more colorful missives to friends, relations, girlfriends and ex-wives, which should spiff up Word’s vernacular a treat.
Modesty forbids me from telling you – oh sod it, here it is anyway – that many years ago, Microsoft invited a select group of hacks to a one day workshop on what improvements they’d like to see in Word for Windows 6.0. I suggested a word count and more than four levels of undo.
“Would 100 be OK?” asked the MS person running the workshop. “Sure,” I replied.
The rest is history.