Two steps forward, one step back

Comments 1 to 25 of 33

Cthippo 25th November 2006, 10:30 Quote
Great article. My hope is that this may drive some more people over to Open Office since it sounds like it feels like the old office and the price is right.

And on another note, i learned to dance at 22, it's not THAT hard! :|
Lazlow 25th November 2006, 10:35 Quote
Great article, I can see many sticking with 2003 (or as Cthippo says, alternatives), but eventually they'll switch back to 2007 and try to catch up with those that have embraced it. As the article says, if they'd left the GUI as is, there would have be an uproar that there isn't anything really new.

I've had a similar problem with introducing IE7 at work - many of our learners have started using it and initially found it alienating. But after I pointed out where the main features are on the toolbar(s), they've started to like it. I guess we're finally seeing software from Microsoft take a dramatic leap, in terms of design.
Ramble 25th November 2006, 10:58 Quote
Possibly. But businesses don't tend to upgrade every time MS releases software. Usually they'll upgrade their old hardware and the OS at the same time. I see that as when 2007 can make big inroads into the business sector.

However, many people are forgetting that a big chunk of office users are home users - people with no experience, and they may find that easier. Especially becuase Dell, HP and the likes often bundle office/works with their new computers which many people I'm sure will buy soon.

I've already forced my family to make the switch, and after some short protest of 'I don't know where this is' they bother me no more, and they frankly have become faster and the documents look nicer.
NemeSYS 25th November 2006, 11:29 Quote
First post :D

I agree, the vast majority of typical home users will be delighted by the new UI. And, anyway, I don't think that learning to use the ribbon is so difficult, no matter how much of a "power" user someone is. While there will surely be some slowing down of productivity in the beginning, users will soon be able to catch up with it, and in the end they are going to be able to write better documents, faster.

Since all we hear about any upgrade Microsoft publishes is that "it is not worth it" or "that there is no innovation in it", I think it is too much to criticize the most innovative product they have produced in years because the learning curve is somewhat steep. (Not so steep in my opinion, but anyway)
TMM 25th November 2006, 11:40 Quote
I don't like programs that try and force their own UI style - I'd much rather a program that uses the default OS style (like previous Office versions). That way everything is uniform. Tbh, there is nothing wrong with Office 2003. I don't find myself needing anything new.
antiHero 25th November 2006, 11:50 Quote
Originally Posted by TMM
Tbh, there is nothing wrong with Office 2003. I don't find myself needing anything new.

Same here! For that bit of reading/writing + the occasional Excel file i have, is Office 2003 much more then i need.
severedhead 25th November 2006, 12:27 Quote
When I first fired up the 2007 beta my initial thought was wtf happened here? But its not exactly difficult to get to grips with, everything in sensibly laid out and easy to use. But like most others, I don't see the point in an office upgrade. The only 2 differences I immediately spot are the UI and the new default font, Calibri.

Would it really have taken too much to add a "Classic Interface" option like some other software does when they create a new UI? They could have solved a lot of issues with businesses that way.
ozstrike 25th November 2006, 12:36 Quote
I must agree, I don't really like the new UI, and it takes a lot of getting used to. However, I don't really like Open Office all that much, and the other copy I have of office is 97.
sinizterguy 25th November 2006, 12:57 Quote
Havent tried the new version ... Had one of those magazine cover disks with the demo and was intending to try it at some point. But just couldnt be bothered as 2003 does everything I want to and more.

I think I'll be leaving both the new Office and Vista alone for a year or two until all the hiccups are settled. Probably only switch to Vista if I can get a copy with a laptop I buy or something like that.
Incog 25th November 2006, 15:30 Quote
I had the opportunity to go to a conference this past summer where a rep from Microsoft demo'd the new office and asked for our input. I had downloaded the beta version about three weeks earlier and had much the same reaction as Mr. Harris, but forced myself to use only 2007. At the time, I mentioned to the rep that like the new control panel in xp, wouldn't it be nice to offer a "classic view" for office 2007. He jotted down some notes and said that in theory that would be a great idea, and that he would pass it along. Now realistically, I doubt that the idea went very far. However, I still see this as the answer to Office 2007's potential problem of mass acceptance.

Drakensoul 25th November 2006, 15:34 Quote
I've been using it for a while. Probably 20 or so pages typed in word, and 3 or 4 excel data-set + chart projects. It took a few hours to get used to everything, but I definitely feel the UI is an improvement. It's not a question of whether or not Office 2003 "works," Office 2007 "works better." Don't keep riding around on a square-wheeled car because you don't want to have to "change" to the circle. :( :D
Lazlow 25th November 2006, 16:33 Quote
Originally Posted by Incog
...and had much the same reaction as Mr. Harris...
Don't you mean Mr. Thomas? There's other people @ Bit-tech too!
Mike89 25th November 2006, 17:55 Quote
Sounded like the guy was whining a bit to me. I don't have Office but I use Microsoft Word. If the changes the article talks about include Word, then by all means it has to be a good thing cause Word is pure junk. I have used WordPerfect at my job for over 14 years and compared to it, Microsoft's version of a word processing program is a feeble attempt at best. Unfortunately in the work I do I also have to use Word to communicate with others who don't have WordPerfect. Everytime I have to open it I cringe. It's not user friendly, it puts you through hoops to get things done, I just hate the program. Sadly a lot of people don't or never have used WordPerfect because of Microsoft's dominance in the workplace so don't know what I'm talking about.

Bring on the changes Microsoft, make Word usable!
Incog 25th November 2006, 18:29 Quote
Originally Posted by Lazlow
Don't you mean Mr. Thomas? There's other people @ Bit-tech too!

Yes, you are correct. I assumed that the first poster in this thread would have been the author. My apologies to Mr. Thomas.

HarryMcBack 25th November 2006, 19:11 Quote
Before you get all wrapped up in the interface you need to look at the new features and benefits of the primary purpose most of use office for, and that's the your finished product.

Excel has improved considerably, it's gone from around 66k rows to over 1M. You can now have over 16k columns in a worksheet. For someone who has run out of space in a worksheet this is huge. Also the calculation speed has been improved because it can now use multiple threads/cores. Ask anyone who has ever had an overgrown spreadsheet about changing one cell and waiting 5 minutes for the whole workbook to recalculate.

PowerPoint has gotten a major face lift too, gone is MS Chart, but instead it's finally using Excel's must superior charting technology.

When you main output is analysis and presentations, this means the world.

Not to mention all the possibles that the new Office Server and Business Intelligence functionality. It may take time, but major corporations will upgrade once their development teams get some things figured out and starting producing useful output for the decision makers.

Also you can get a download for Visual Studio that will like use mimic the Ribbon UI in custom applications, give it 3 to 5 years and this will be the standard interface for most apps (just like most web apps have been moving to some form of java or ajax).
Tulatin 25th November 2006, 19:12 Quote
I actually started using this piece of software waaaay back when the Beta program started up - and let me tell you, it's been one hell of a ride. The first thing you'll think when you open it up is basically "wtf?"

But as you force yourself to use it - to get used to it, you get to a point of - hey, this should be here. Oh look, it is. There are so many little touches that it really feels different, feels new. Now, while some things may be stupidly placed (i miss the menus, for finding preferences/properties and the like) overall, t'is grand.
cpemma 25th November 2006, 19:43 Quote
Originally Posted by Cthippo
Great article. My hope is that this may drive some more people over to Open Office since it sounds like it feels like the old office and the price is right.
I've used Word since v2.0 but only up to 2003, not seen 2007 (and no incentive to change) but my attempts to use OOo were, I imagine, like Brett's experience with Word 2007. A constant hunt for how to do things - first example, set up my usual set of styles. No doubt you get used to it, but it created a poor first impression.

No, OOo isn't like the old Office. But like the new Office, I guess you get used to it. With IE7 the "old" menu toolbar is only two clicks away, it's not a radical change. Seems odd if MS didn't cater for the stodgies. :?
HandMadeAndroid 25th November 2006, 21:55 Quote
:D Am I getting this right, you are all discussing Microsoft Office? Jeeze, maybe we all need to get out more
lealwai 25th November 2006, 22:12 Quote
My question to the author is: "Have you REALLY used office 2007?" this seems like an overly negative article. Sure, i can understand that the huge changes my result in less of a switch among corporate customers, but the program itself does warrant a change. a lot of people here have been complaining that office 2003 does the job for them, and that's fine. But for me, i have office 2007 on my laptop, and i bring it to class to type up notes. the single feature i used most is the ability to change the ribbon using just the alt button. this comes in real handy when in a math class and u need to used the insert symbol every 2 seconds for greek letters and operators. openning up its new location in a shortcut rather than having to go into the insert symbol file menu, hitting insert, and then closing the window is such a godsend. Almost every feature in office besides outlook has been made a hundred times simpler and faster.

Even with all the changes however, the basic format of word hasnt changed. pretty much all the default buttons that were there before have stayed in the Home ribbon, just moved around to different categories. It seems that all the other ribbons are just the file menu options moved out. It really takes about 5 minutes to learn most of what you would normally use in office anyway. It's really not that disorienting people.
Ultimate Gamer 25th November 2006, 23:16 Quote
Great Article loved it :D

thats just about the same way i think of it "out of touch" it isant as well productive as the others. im not sure why but it just isant
cebla 26th November 2006, 03:44 Quote
I have been using Office 2007 since beta 2 and I love it. I find it much easier to have a good looking document than before. That being said I have never really used any of the more fancy formating options before this version of Office so the switch wasn't hard.
Da Dego 26th November 2006, 06:38 Quote
Originally Posted by lealwai
My question to the author is: "Have you REALLY used office 2007?"
Hi lealwai!

First and foremost, welcome to the forums!!

Next, in answer to your question - yes, I have really used the software. But please don't take my article as bashing the interface. Indeed, if you read closely, you'll see I praise it at every step, I just doubt how well the business community will accept it. My point wasn't to say MS shouldn't have updated it, but instead I question how well these changes will be accepted, how that translates to sales of the product, and how those sales will translate to future innovativeness and updates.

With that clarified, carry on!
Nature 26th November 2006, 08:46 Quote
Funny that the colum By Mr. Canes before this was complaining about Vista being automated to the point of stupidity, and in your article Office 07' is complicated too much for it's own good.

I believe 99% of the population will conform to the new aged software at some point, except for third world countries that have ancient computers and rely on a mass of pirated software to sustain in this modern capitalist world of ours. Very few will be burdened by 07'. and those that are shouldn't allow the new interface to marr the experience of being at the forefront of world-class software.

fathom17 26th November 2006, 14:13 Quote
My issue is why should corporations need to send staff on courses to learn the programme? If their literate enough to learn, just give them the software and you'll soon pick it up.

I installed the beta word, and i spent 10 mins just trying to find how to open a document (big cicle in top left), but then i was off.
Seth 26th November 2006, 15:13 Quote
^ I agree with you. However, people like free rides... If they can get some time off work to go listen to some guy talk about office for a day or two then why not?
If people don't get this sort of course they simply use it as an excuse if they do something wrong. "Well I was confused about the new software so I could not get that report to you sir."

Some people just play the system. People like that will always be around.
With that said some people just do not pick up on new things or are scared of exploring. I know that sounds funny, but I know a few people that are great at things once they are shown but have no ability to simply fiddle with something to learn about it.
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