“Next to the Web browser, Microsoft Office is probably the most-used computer software product in the world. Its three main components – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – are the top business applications on computers. And the fourth pillar of Office, Microsoft Outlook, is the leading email, calendar and contacts program. So, when Microsoft makes significant changes to Office, it’s a big deal. And the latest version of the software suite, called Office 2007, due out Jan. 30, is a radical revision, the most dramatic overhaul in a decade or more.”
Mossberg: Bold Redesign Improves Microsoft Office 2007
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2007-01-06 6:52 pmsappyvcv
Page Layout > “Page Setup” group > Line Numbers
Didn’t find it in help either, but took about 2 minutes to find, if that.
2007-01-12 6:42 amPlatformAgnostic
2 minutes is a very long time
2007-01-12 2:43 pmsappyvcv
That 2 minutes included trying to find it in the help file first.
But looking it from the CIO perspective the cost of rolling out Office 2007 is going to be far greater than earlier upgrades.
Very true. All the upgrades since Office 97 have offered very little return of investment, even though each version, as opposed to MS-Office 2007, carried very small training costs.
It could prove to be much better economy to keep existing office suits for as long as possible, and then switch to OpenOffice.org once Microsoft decides to end support for older versions of MS-Office.
MS-Office may be a better program, but remember how the at the time technically superior Netscape web browser was more or less killed by IE in the late 1990:s. Not only is OpenOffice cheeper, you also avoid a lot of hassle with registration and activation keys, not to mention that you don’t need to keep track of your licenses.
Making a home relatively cheep home edition was probably a smart move by Microsoft. The question is, will people pay $150 for about the same functionality they can download for free in the form of OpenOffice.org. Especially as that free functionality is a lot more than most people need for home, or even business use.
BTW, OpenOffice.org will not be the only serious competitor to MS-Office 2007. the new Lotus Notes 8 will handle Office documents directly, and may be the only office functionality needed by many companies. This could be an interesting solution to many large companies that still use use Notes as groupware.
2007-01-06 2:27 amflanque
I’ve been responsible for supporting Lotus Notes for the past two or so years and I can tell you it is a hideous bug riddled piece of software! I wouldn’t be trusting Lotus Notes to properly handle anything without some sort of need to know “common issues” and “common workarounds.”
“Next to the Web browser, Microsoft Office is probably the most-used computer software product in the world.”
I am sure that Windows is not far behind :p
Whilst Notes is certainly not the prettiest piece of software (the client version) it is certainly very reliable.
I sometime think there are just people out there astroturfing every time Notes is mentioned, someone has to say it is horrible and all. It is actually quite good. I have used it at different companies now and on the whole, things work like expected.
2007-01-06 4:07 amCrazyDude0
I have to disagree. I have used Lotus Notes in past and it is a piece of crap software…
2007-01-06 10:10 amsukru
It’s your experience, and it should be respected.
However saying a software product does not work, but not actually telling in what terms does not explain much.
At least you should mentioned a few important bugs or disturbing user interface annoyances.
2007-01-06 11:44 pmkaiwai
Oh, come on, just come out of the big blue closet and admit you’re a lotus employee who is shedding a tear because your beloved creation is getting an off the bat review from those in the trenches.
Lotus Notes is the most bloated buggiest POS ever to grace gods green earth, if it isn’t the iffy syncronisation, its the broken NNTP/USENET support, and if isn’t that, its the whole damn back end that goes tits up and you lose all your mail overnight.
That is just the tip of the iceburg; then there is the broken looping of sentences which are not done on the fly – that is, you end up with this massive sentence in the message window, and when you send it, the whole format of the message is butchered as the modifications are done as you send it.
People use and deploy Outlook because that is what people are used to; they use it at home, they use it at work, they use it everywhere; the cost is low because it is that common – so common, I’d be surprised if there was at least one person in an organisation who had never used it.
Sure, keep to the enterprise Lotus, but you’ll never get the economies of scale that as a result allow more people to become familiar with the application, thus lower training costs – that is why Outlook is cheaper and being deployed and taking over Lotus installations.
IBM doesn’t want to listen to customers, I’ve raised these issues, but since I’m not a 100,000 employee organisation with a 2 trillion dollar IT budget, IBM couldn’t give a shit about what I had to say.
Edited 2007-01-06 23:52
support a correlated subquery?
SQLite, the “little db that could”, certainly does.
2007-01-06 6:49 amjayson.knight
Do most Access users even know what a correlated subquery is?
Bear in mind that this could very well be the last major release of Access, SQL Express will be taking over those reins soon.
2007-01-06 1:17 pmshapeshifter
Will MS Access support a correlated subquery?
SQLite, the “little db that could”, certainly does.
Unfortunately it looks like most offices that use Access use it because of its interface.
I yet have to find a better database interface than Access.
Without a decent interface, SQLite and all the other great databases are not even on the radar.
If people can’t use the software then the software is useless.
There are a lot of gui fronts for SQL but they are not for use by a regular small office personel.
2007-01-06 10:28 pmstubear
Yes, Access ’97 did this so certainly Access 2007 will as well.
The original article that the Inquirer aricle linked to (http://www.moneyweb.co.za/shares/international_news/553820.htm) is a very interesting read. Hopefully this version of office will inspire people to get a better grip on styles, which might result in more readable, better convertable documents.
While I really would like to see a competitor to MS Office in the marketplace, I am unsure if OO.o will cut it. Only the contextual spell checking (no more their when it thould be they’re) would make Office 2007 a valuable investment for way too many people.
2007-01-06 3:44 pmeMagius
A better link is the Wall Street Journal itself: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20070104.html .
…although I am surprised that MS did not include a way to revert to classic mode.
At first I was turned off (befuddled?) by the ribbon, but within a minute or two it seemed quite natural. I don’t think the ribbon is as revolutionary as people think it is. Dreamweaver has had a quite similar interface for a few years now. MS simply expounded upon (adopt and extend?) what is already happening in other software interfaces.
For large organizations there will be a steep learning curve, surly this round of office upgrades may be put off for a while, but these people really are not going anywhere else. What is worse is that MS will come up with a way to make companies pay for Office 2007 even if they run Office 2003.
I, for one, give MS credit for the bold move. I just wish they had had the guts to revamp the Win 95 GUI paradigm that Vista relies on.
While I use Openoffice on my home machine, I would get laughed out of a job if I suggested we use it at work. MS Office is not just an office suite, it is an entire ecosystem and platform.
Now, excuse me while I go wash the bad taste out of my mouth for using the words bold and MS in the same sentence.
if this weren’t enough, Microsoft has also changed the standard file format for Office files. Older versions of Office, on both Windows and Macintosh computers, won’t be able to read these new file types without special conversion software. The new version can, however, read files created in the older versions, on both Windows and Mac, without any conversion software.
These changes in Office, while much less publicized, are far bolder and more important than the mostly cosmetic user interface changes in the highly hyped new version of Windows, called Vista, which comes out on the same day.
The interface is just more crap replacing crap, above is the only interesting bit in the entire article with huge implications for everyone involved.
2007-01-06 5:34 pmsappyvcv
Have you used the new interface?
2007-01-06 5:42 pmSphinx
You think the interface is important?
2007-01-06 6:53 pmsappyvcv
You didn’t answer my question.
However, to answer yours — yes. Interface is almost always important. It plays a key role in a good experience using the software, finding what you need in it, etc.
2007-01-08 2:15 amjourney
> You think the interface is important?
Um, software is nothing without an interface — be it CLI, GUI, or whatever.
And the new interface makes Office much nicer to use IMO. Also, good but hard to find features in previous versions are easier to access. A good example here is compare/merge documents.
The best part to me, however, is that the predefined styles are sensible, and result in nicely presented documents without messing about.
2007-01-07 12:37 amwalterbyrd
>>The interface is just more crap replacing crap, above is the only interesting bit in the entire article with huge implications for everyone involved.<<
IMO, the “improved” interface in one major reason not to “upgrade.” If you are used to the old interface, why throw away all of that knowledge? QWERTY may not be the best keyboard layout, but I can type on a qwerty keyboard without giving it a thought.
Before the msft fan boys chime in, let me remind you that msft said it wasn’t worth moving to openoffice because the interface was so different. According to msft, it would not be worth the learning curve to learn a new interface. So why is it worth it to move from office-2003 to office-2007? Just because msft says: “jump” ??
Upgrading to office-2007:
– is expensive
– has a steep learning curve
– has a default format that is much less compatible with previous versions, or with other office products.
Okay, I’ll be fair. Just tell the absolute compelling feature that is in office-2007. Please no idiotic “horse and buggy” analogies. Give me something solid. What, critically important, function can I do with with office-2007, that I can not with office-2003?
Or, is the *only* reason to “upgrade” because of msft’s file format scam?
I wonder if I can expect any honesty on this board?
2007-01-07 3:54 amstubear
I wonder if I can expect any honesty on this board?
You’ll probably get honesty but you wouldn’t believe it anyway. SmartArt, however, is one new feature in Office 2007 that isn’t in older versions. More specific to the UI though is the ability to more eaily discover features related to the task you’re trying to accomplish. The ribbon isn’t just another pretty interface you know.
2007-01-07 9:10 pmwalterbyrd
Thanks for being honest.
But frankly, to me, this still seems like the least worth-while “upgrade” in the history of computing. All that expense, and fighting with a new interface, and new formats, the steep learning curve, and so on. For what? Ribbon and SmartArt? I don’t need either, and I doubt many other people do either.
If anybody other that msft offered such an “upgrade” it wouldn’t sell ten copies.
2007-01-08 1:04 amstubear
You’re assuming that SmartArt and the Ribbon are the only two new features in Office 2007, the ribbon is simply the most obvious change in Office 2007. Instead of asking others to tell you about the new features, perhaps you should download the trial and see for yourself?
in one sense, the UI is very innovative. However, it is actually a regression because it takes us back to the DOS way of using only 1 app at a time! This UI was designed for those who have the window maximized.
To me, real innovation would be a UI designed for working with multiple documents at the same time. I have a 22 inch monitor and I only go full screen for watching DVD movies on my pc.
For example, if the ribbon was detached (like a palette) you would have several docs open and you would do a search/replace or change style across all of them in just one action.
Edited 2007-01-07 00:39
2007-01-07 1:04 amsappyvcv
Why would you want to do search/replace or change style across all open docs? It’s not something that is common. If you need it done though, there are ways.
With the new interface, just click one of the ribbon buttons to hide the actual ribbon and you have a ton of real estate. Click again to show it temporarily.
I like the new Office a lot, but I had a hell of a time finding how to turn on line numbers within my document. The help was useless. I don’t have a problem with them changing the interface, but they really need to improve the help content in order to assist people in finding the new location for the old feature. My two cents.