For several years, Denise Carlevato has studied millions of mouse clicks and keystrokes made by anonymous computer users from all over the world. Her objective: to make Microsoft Office better fit the way millions of people work.
“We were making many decisions based on … what customers wanted us to do.” –Microsoft VP P.J. Hough

Months before Microsoft rolled out the latest version of its productivity suite, Office 2010, 9 million people downloaded its beta version to test the software and provide feedback. As part of the program, Microsoft collected 2 million comments from beta testers. An additional 600 people participated in Microsoft’s Virtual Research Lab, where Carlevato and her colleagues could observe how people were using new features.

How Microsoft Crowdsourced the Making of Office 2010 | Gadget Lab | Wired.com