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[News] [Rival] Serious Usability and Work Loss Issues in Office 2007

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Arrogance or efficiency? Why Microsoft redesigned the Office user interface,
Part 1

,----[ Quote ]
| Earlier this year, I was writing an e-mail message using Microsoft Office 
| Outlook 2007 and clicked on the button for adding one of my signature blocks. 
| Presto! Most of my message disappeared! Investigation and testing showed that 
| the behavior was unpredictable; sometimes, only the existing default 
| signature was replaced by the new signature but occasionally the program 
| became confused and wiped out portions of the text as well.    



Linux feels the need for speed

,----[ Quote ]
| I am happy to say Microsoft has run square into the self same unfamiliarity
| problem with Vista and Office 2007. They are a bit too different to
| the 'finished work' without offering any must-have extras.
| It gets even harder for Microsoft when even official Governmental bodies like
| BECTA advise the public sector procurers not to change. Ironically this
| stricture appears not to apply to other Government organisations in education
| such as the QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) who have clearly
| more money than sense.
| Microsoft though has enough clout to follow alternative strategies for
| persuading its customers to change when they show signs of dragging their
| feet. The most obvious is by not allowing vendors to install XP on new
| machines and making sure lots of stuff, bit by bit, won't work on the old
| machines (allegedly).
| The Open Source world in contrast with its plethora of cool Linux
| distributions and manifest lack of clout (on the desktop) only has the 'hey
| that's a cool desktop - I must change' strategy to fall back on and that's a
| pretty weak opener in the desktop wars.
| Why indeed would one now change desktops, why in the past were we so willing,
| eager even, to do just that and now are so reluctant?


Benchmarking Microsoft Word 95 through Word 2007

,----[ Quote ]
| Despite all the tweaks, tricks, hacks, and clever engineering, Microsoft's
| latest version of Word is a step back in performance. That's generally true
| of every new major release of any software. That's Wirth's Law. When Windows
| 95 came out, people joking exaggeratedly that "95" was the number of floppies
| Windows 95 shipped on. Though Windows 95 actually shipped on many fewer
| floppies, the point is that Windows 95 was a huge, slower beast compared to
| its predecessors. (Does anyone remember Windows 3.1, OS/2 Warp, and
| DESQview?) There were similar complaints for XP, and Vista's performance was
| the subject of the infamous "Vista Capable" class action lawsuit against
| Microsoft.



Connected: Microsoft Office 2003 better than Office 2007

,----[ Quote ]
| A review of Office 2007 could be considered doomed from the start. Its
| predecessor, Office 2003, is one of the best products Microsoft ever created;
| so the bar is raised high. After a year of using the newer product, I still
| see some features that are better than the older version; but on the whole,
| I'd rather be using Office 2003.    


Partners Fix Up Office 2007 and Windows Vista

,----[ Quote ]
| On Friday, Addintools, based in Hai-nan, China released Classic Menu for
| Office 2007, after more than six months of beta testing. The user interface
| enhancement does what Office 2007 can't: Revert to the Office 2003 look and
| feel.  


Why Microsoft's ribbon sucks

,----[ Quote ]
| Bottom line, I have a lot of respect for Microsoft and many of the
| outstanding people that work there (e.g. Bill Buxton).
| But the new ribbon sucks.
| I've been using it daily for months (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), and I
| consistently stumble on the same functions over and over again. I doubt I
| will ever master it. And I'm an interface designer!  


July 1: No more Office 2003 for OEMs

,----[ Quote ]
| It’s only been six months since Microsoft launched Office 2007 at retail. But
| as of July 1, 2007,  Microsoft won’t be making the OEM version of Office 2003
| to its PC partners, a k a “OEMs.”  
| [...]
| Microsoft has told OEMs that they must stop selling Windows XP preloaded on
| machines as of January 29, 2008. Retailers also are required to stop selling
| XP on that date.  


Poor Design by Microsoft - "Save As" Button in 2007 Excel has been located!

,----[ Quote ]
| In an experiment 4 out of 5 users took longer than 2 minutes to find
| the SAVE AS button. And 3 of those users needed to use the PAPER CLIP
| (CLIPPY). This is clearly poor design upon Microsoft. They never think
| about the end user. The menu structure is horrific and it has been
| proven inefficient!


Bold Redesign Improves Office 2007 But Learning Curve May Be Too Steep for
Some Users

,----[ Quote ]
| "it requires a steep learning curve that many people might rather avoid.
| In my own tests, I was cursing the program for weeks"


Office 2007 may be Microsoft's Titanic: former Government IT boss

,----[ Quote ]
| Bill Gates has been talking up Office 2007 ahead of its business launch
| on November 30. However, the recently departed deputy CIO of one of
| Australia's biggest government Microsoft sites believes introducing
| the new version of Microsoft Office may be the company's biggest
| ever disaster.


Question: why do I need to upgrade to Office 2007?

,----[ Quote ]
| Much has been said and written about Microsoft's "bold", "gutsy",
| and "innovative" initiative of releasing Office 2007, an office
| productivity suite with a totally new user interface. However, the
| question that is bound to be on the lips of every user will be: "why
| do I need to upgrade?" Microsoft doesn't really have a good answer.
| [...]
| Microsoft, however, claims to have come up with something better
| and more intuitive - the Ribbon. Such a claim begs the question:
| "If the new user interface of Office 2007 is so intuitive, why does
| it have a learning curve?" And it does have a learning curve - a
| very steep learning curve.


Office 2007 Review: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - Part 1

,----[ Quote ]
| I've been using Office 2007 for a couple of weeks and I'm convinced
| that Microsoft missed an opportunity to change the way we relate to
| software by taking one step toward radical change, but ultimately
| failing when it came to implementation.

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