Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
More on Office 2007
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You know the more I think about the high-handed way that Microsoft is treating customers on Office 2007, the more ticked off I get.

Surprisingly, though, much of my ire is not directed against Microsoft.

First off, the new interface isn't bad, per se. Let's face it, Microsoft did have a problem when it came to the interface, which is that for all the core programs, Access, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the old interface style was really at the bleeding edge of what was possible under the old paradigm. The number of desired features—feature, I hasten to add, that were demanded by users—has puffed up like a tick. The menus, therefore, kept getting longer, and more complex, and the number of possible tool buttons was growing by leaps and bounds. At some point, the reality is that you have to come up with new interface designs as the software grows more powerful, and does more and more things.

The only reason that Microsoft can get away with such high-handed behavior, is because their competitors simply walked off the playing field.My anger at Microsoft is that they simply ignored the customization issue when creating Office 2007. As it happens, there is a third-party add-in that allows you to customize the ribbon controls. It's put out by some German guy. It probably took 40-60 hours of effort to create this add-in, which sells for 30 bucks. Sure, it only does customization for existing Word functions, but that's 90% of what you need to customize the interface.

But the fact that some C# guy in Schnitzel-land was able to create this add-in tells me that the Microsoft boys also looked at this issue, and then decided, "Huh. You know, out of the 150,000 man-hours required to produce a new version of Microsoft Office, adding in another 50 hours to let the user customize the interface would just be an intolerable burden on the project."

That just reeks of a total unconcern for the needs of the power user.

And you know, the "power user", for the most part, isn't the developer, who, if he cares enough about it, can create his own custom add-in. It's the secretaries or executive assistants who live and die by Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and who, even if they can't program in VBA, can record macros, and assign them to custom toolbars to make their lives easier.

Microsoft's message to those people is, "screw you."

Having said that, though, I also have to be honest enough to say that the only reason that Microsoft can get away with such high-handed behavior, is because their competitors simply walked off the playing field.

Let's take a trip in the wayback machine to illustrate this.

Divider

In the beginning, there was WordPerfect. And it was good. In fact, it was very good.

(Actually, in the beginning, there was WordStar for DOS, but it died because WordPerfect drove a stake through its ugly heart. I used WordStar in the 80's, and loved it. Sure, you had to enter odd formatting commands like ".po" at the top of every page. But that was just the way things were done back then.)

WordPerfect 5.X for DOS was the cat's pajamas. It used drop down menus and stuff in a DOS program. Just like a Mac application! That was way cool!

But, then Microsoft—shamelessly stealing from the Xerox, and ultimately Macintosh, work on the odd little peripheral called "the mouse"—released Microsoft Windows. By the time the 386 processor computers—with 16-color screens!—were out, Microsoft Windows was in version 3.11, and Microsoft Word was already in Version 2.0. But WordPerfect was still a DOS-based program.

So, the WordPerfect folks, seeing the Windows handwriting on the wall, decided to release WordPerfect 6.0 for Windows.

Only, it wasn't really for Windows. The WordPerfect folks decided to keep the old keyboard shortcuts, without considering that those shortcuts were in conflict with Windows keyboard functions. So, when you typed ALT+F4, instead of WordPerfect's Block Text command, what you got was Windows' Exit Program command.

An entire year went by before WordPerfect created an actual Windows program that, you know, actually worked with Windows. That was WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft used that year to ceaselessly flog a word processing program that did work with Windows.

Basically, the WordPerfect folks screwed up, "big time" as our current Vice President would say, and they never were able to catch up.

In 1994, Novell came along, and bought WordPerfect Corporation for $850 Million. Unfortunately, after dropping the ball on the switch to Windows, WordPerfect wasn't worth anywhere near that much money. Novell, however, showing the same keen business sense that was characteristic of the company on the 1990s, bought it anyway.

The WordPerfect folks screwed up, "big time" as our current Vice President would say, and they never were able to catch up.Only to sell it to Corel 18 months later for $180 Million, after doing precisely nothing at all to update the application to make it more competitive. Apparently, Novell thought they were buying a cash cow, instead of a pig in a poke, and took a $630 million bath.

But, of course, that should come as no surprise. Novell's management, declining to build a Windows-based interface for their networking software for years after Microsoft released Windows NT 3.51, was already in the process of loading up a large-caliber pistol, pointing it carefully at the company's temple, and slowly squeezing the trigger. That's why Novell, as a company barely exists in the modern world, and only as a Linux-based provider.

Losers.

Corel, on the other hand, was full of big ideas for WordPerfect, although they were all bad ones.

Well, not all of them. By this time, Microsoft had a comprehensive office software suite. They had Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0 and Access 2.0, all bundled together in a suite called office 4.3. So Corel, acquiring not only WordPerfect, but Borland QuattroPro for spreadsheets and the dbase-based Borland Paradox for database applications, as well as Harvard Graphics for presentations, came out with PerfectOffice v7.0.

But, in doing so, they confused Corel's core competencies with what users actually wanted.

"Hmmmm," said the management of Corel. "What is our company known for? Why, cool graphic software, of course. And what do users want in their word processing programs? Why, the ability to jam their documents full of graphics! It's as plain as the nose on your face!"

Unfortunately, that wasn't what users wanted. That was merely what users of Corel Draw wanted. Word processing users didn't, in 1996, want to spend two hours loading up 100MB+ of graphic and clipart files just to have a working word processing program. They really only wanted to, you know, type letters and stuff.

(I remember trying to install that first version of Corel PerfectOffice. For a 33MHz 486-based PC with a 5GB hard drive, that installation was a severe chore.)

By that time, Microsoft Office was already offering Office v7.0.

Corel then tried—and failed—to come up with a Linux-based distribution. Indeed, Corel created a version of Linux that looked exactly like the user interface for Windows 95, because, as everyone knew, Linux was the future, and a Linux distribution that looked like Win95 was a sure-fire winner!

Except that...it wasn't. So, WordPerfect died. So did Corel's linux distribution. Oh, it's still technically available. If you want to buy it. Which, of course, you don't.

Even worse, WordPerfect still, in 2007, doesn't offer any support for Unicode text, which means that it's completely useless outside the US, Canada, and some Western European countries. Moreover, when, a couple of years ago, everyone started to talk about a universal document format, the Open Document Format (ODF), the Corel folks—one of whom was Paul Langille, a senior Corel developer—Corel committed themselves to making Corel support the ODP, and then did...nothing.

Nothing at all.

Meanwhile, with Office 2007, Microsoft is close—although not compliant—to the ODF format with its Office Open XML (OOXML) format, and free plug-ins exist to convert Microsoft's OOXML to ODF. Not for WordPerfect, though.

It could've been a strong competitor to Microsoft, but a succession of incompetent buffoons at WordPerfect Corp., Novell, and Corel couldn't have killed it more effectively if they had intended to do so.

Divider

Meanwhile, the folks over at Lotus Software Corp. were building an Office-killer application suite, and they were serious about it.

Lotus already had the premiere spreadsheet application, Lotus 1-2-3. Lotus was releasing spreadsheet applications while Bill Gates was living in Albuquerque, trying to develop an operating system for the Altair personal computer.

When Windows came along, Lotus Corp. jumped right into the competitive pool, releasing not only a Windows version of 1-2-3, but a closely-linked word processing program (which I used most happily, along with 1-2-3) called Lotus AmiPro.

When Microsoft Office came along, Lotus responded by replacing AmiPro with Lotus WordPro, and bundling WordPro and 1-2-3 with Freelance for presentation graphics, and Lotus Approach for desktop databases. Moreover, Lotus SmartSuite, as it was now called, also created a Windows toolbar that floated on top of Microsoft Windows, and which allowed you to drag and drop word processing documents, spreadsheets, email contacts, etc. right into the SmartSuite programs, even if they weren't open. Microsoft Office had nothing like it.

Lotus SmartSuite was not only cool, but was more advanced than Microsoft Office in almost every way. (In fact, for a couple of years in the mid-90s, The Lovely Christine used Lotus SmartSuite exclusively, even though she had both SmartSuite and Office installed on the same computer, thanks to me.)

Unfortunately for Lotus, SmartSuite wasn't the only product they offered. Along the way, Lotus had created a fantastically useful enterprise email/collaboration software system called Lotus Notes, which was run from the Lotus Domino Server platform.

All IBM cared about was the Notes/Domino Server system. As far as IBM was concerned, Lotus SmartSuite could go screw.Lotus Notes was way cool! And I mean way cool in almost every way. Not only did it offer enterprise grade email that leveraged the sophisticated WordPro formatting tools, the whole Lotus Notes/Domino Server system allowed developers to create database/collaboration applications that were server based, yet available to all users. Nothing Microsoft had even came close.

At this point, IBM decided that Lotus Notes/Domino Server was so cool that they just had to have it. So, IBM bought Lotus Software Corp. lock, stock, and barrel.

Of course, that meant buying SmartSuite, too. But IBM was never interested in selling a desktop office application. All IBM cared about was the Notes/Domino Server system. As far as IBM was concerned, Lotus SmartSuite could go screw. They didn’t need it. They had Lotus Notes!

So, they let it die. As of now, the most recent version of SmartSuite is the "Millennium Version", i.e., a seven-year-old version of the software. Needless to say, it ceased being competitive to Microsoft Office seven years ago.

IBM's managers couldn't have killed SmartSuite more effectively if the had taken the SmartSuite team out, lined them up over a trench, and machine gunned them down with Schmiesser submachine pistols like an Einsatzgrüppe in Ukrainia.

Divider

Finally, as one of the commenters to my previous post on this subject offered, there is always the OpenOffice software.

OpenOffice, of course, is not a story of corporate incompetence and neglect. It's merely a story of irrelevance.

Back in the 1990s, a German company, StarDivision—an utterly geeky and uncool name—came up with a low-cost office suite to compete against Microsoft Office called StarOffice. It was as effort that went nowhere, until 1999 when Sun Microsystems bought StarOffice, after which...the project went nowhere.

The head of Sun, Scott McNealy, hated—and presumably, still hates—Microsoft with a passion. So, Sun—a company that made its name creating high-tech computer hardware, not software—purchased StarOffice to stick it to Microsoft, despite the fact that Sun's presence in the desktop software market was negligible.

I remember the 1999 Comdex show in Las Vegas. Everyone who showed up was given a free copy of StarOffice by Sun. When I got back from Comdex that year, I installed StarOffice on my computer. I distinctly remember thinking, after looking at it, "I'm sure there has been a more useless software program. But, I can't think of one, offhand." I thought it wa ugly and kludgy.

Apparently, a lot of other people thought the same thing, because, a year later, Sun released the source code of StarOffice to the Open Source community, and OpenOffice was born. Now, Open Office is in version 2.X.

The thing is, OpenOffice is really nice in the 2.0 version, with almost all of the kludginess dispensed with. But, just out of curiosity, let me ask you a couple of questions. First, are you an IT professional? If the answer is "yes", you're disqualified. If the answer is "no", then the second question is, "Have you ever frickin' heard of OpenOffice or StarOffice?"

I'll assume the answer is "no", because Sun basically abandoned Star/OpenOffice almost as soon as they got hold of it. By 2000, it was too little and too late to bring a software suite to market that could beat Microsoft Office.

Although, having said that, OpenOffice does provide native support for the ODF document format, about which, more in due course.

Divider

Computer users need two things.

First, they need a common operating system. I've argued before that the OS is a natural monopoly, because companies can't expend huge amounts of money training their employees on boutique operating systems. If everyone uses the same OS, then employees can transfer between divisions or companies, and their knowledge is portable.

Second, they need a common document format, so that they can exchange information with customers and vendors. In the past, that has essentially meant a common office software system, because the different software vendors all had proprietary document formats. So, thanks to the two main competitors dropping the ball, that monopoly on formats has defaulted to Microsoft Office.

In Europe, a number of government agencies have already switched over from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice and the ODF format.That may be changing however. In the last couple of years, there's been a big push towards a common, XML-based ODF, as I mention above. While Corel has dithered over ODF, and IBM has done nothing at all, Microsoft has at least come closer to the ODF with office 2007 in Microsoft's OOXML format. At least it's XML, and is convertible to ODF via a widely-available—and free—plug-in. openOffice, of course, is fully ODF compliant.

And that compliance may be a key advantage. A few weeks ago, on 7 Mar, the California legislature began considering a bill to make ODF the standard document format for all California state agencies. This was done to bring pressure on Microsoft by using native ODF applications such as OpenOffice, rather than Microsoft office. But, again, it's probably too little, too late to bring any substantial pressure against Microsoft, even if the bill does pass, since Office 2007 documents are now easily convertible to ODF. But it may be a sign of change. In Europe, a number of government agencies have already switched over from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice and the ODF format.

Since Office 2007 OOXML documents are already easily convertible to ODF format, I suspect that the default option for agencies that already have license agreements with Microsoft is to upgrade to O2K7, rather than simply tossing Microsoft out, and going with OpenOffice. Yes, OpenOffice is free, but, being an open source software project, any sort of comprehensive application support is unavailable. At least with O2K7, you can call support technicians in Redmond for help at any time during the business day. Sure, OpenOffice is free, but, at the corporate level, when it comes to support, well, you might get what you pay for.

Sure, Microsoft is an irritating company. And, all too often, their products are only a 90% solution. But, at the end of the day, 90% might just be enough to beat competitors that only offer an 80% solution, when you consider training and support costs.

Oh, and by the way, this blog entry was written with Word 2007, a software application I don't really like. Which ought to tell you something, even if I can't tell you what that is.

Still, Microsoft has, over the last two years, made some serious mistakes that have irked customers large and small. First, they revised their licensing agreements in such a way as to suck more money out of enterprise customers. This has prompted some customers to at least begin looking for alternatives to Office.

Second is this newest release of Office, which will require a fair amount of retraining to use. This may be an inflection point. After all, if you've already got to pay to retrain your users to a new interface, why stick with Office at all? If—and it's a big if—you can find a suitable replacement.

If so, then maybe the free OpenOffice suite has a shot to dent Microsoft's desktop monopoly. At least a little bit, espcially if government agencies start the switch to OpenOffice and the ODF format. At the very least, for small and medium sized businesses, OpenOffice is worth a look.

Assuming, of course, that Service Pack 1 for O2K7 doesn't just add in ODF as a standard native format.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Blah, blah, blah.

Use all the Microsoft products that you want.

OpenOffice does what I want when I need to send documents to other Microsoft users. Or read the cr*p they send me.

Any technical documentation that I need is written in Docbook. If it’s a one shot, I’ll use LyX.
So, Sun—a company that creates high-tech computer hardware, not software
Forgot about Java already, hmm?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I hadn’t heard of most of the products in that post, not being an IT guy at all. However, I have noticed that WordPerfect and its demise causes me endless grief. You see, I thought it had been taken out behind the barn and, um, dispatched. But what do I discover when I graduate and show up on my first day at my new job? My boss uses WordPerfect, loves it, cannot imagine ever learning another program, all the files on all the computers are in WordPerfect. I have used Word throughout college and grad school, have no clue about WordPerfect.

So, I start to learn to use it. Some things are easier, some are harder, most just take some getting used to. However, as I soon discover, I cannot email ANYONE a document. Why, you ask? Because NOT ONE other person in my industry (legal) that I have tried to send a document to (so far, I recognize that it’s early) has WordPerfect. It’s frustrating. Some people even talk to me a little condescendingly because of it.

"Hi, Jinnmabe? Yeah, this is Bill at Hero and Hartbottom. Can you send me that document again? Yeah, I don’t have WordPerfect Are you guys still using that? Yeah, man, that stinks."

 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
OK, I will claim to be the exception on OpenOffice. My company (I am CEO) switched en mass from MS Office to OpenOffice (+Firefox+Thunderbird) and we could not be happier. It reads and writes to MS office formats when we have to. Most of my managers who use it are not power users and don’t have to do much with it, so it is great for us. Has saved us tons of money. I wrote my last novel in OpenOffice. MS has been trumpeting integrated conversion to pdf in its new version of office, something OO has had for years.

By the way, there is one profession that still uses word perfect, and that is attorneys. The reason for this seems to be that, after years and years on the market, MS Word STILL cannot manage a simple outline correctly. It is AWFUL, full of random glitches. Attorneys who depend on multiple level of outlining often use old versions of WordPerfect.
 
Written By: coyote
URL: http://www.coyoteblog.com
Any technical documentation that I need is written in Docbook...
Ah. You’re one of those. I see. Carry on, then. The rest of us will simply have to work in the environment that 96% of the customer base uses.
Forgot about Java already, hmm?
Ah. Java. The answer to the question that no one asked.

No. I didn’t forget about it. I gave it precisely the amount of attention it deserved.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I thought lawyers still used wordperfect because it lets them charge more billables, and clients can’t edit the files themselves.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
By the way, there is one profession that still uses word perfect, and that is attorneys.
Ding, ding, ding! Give the man a prize!

I seriously don’t know why my boss insists on using it, other than, that’s the way he’s always done it. It certainly has nothing to do with money. But like I said, most of the other attorneys I contact to send files to, tell me "Can you convert it to Word? I don’t have WordPerfect."
 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
I was converted to OpenOffice when my Office trial ran out on my new laptop, and the choice was between lots of cash I don’t have (university is quite expensive enough) and a free download.

As long as I can still do word processing documents and spreadsheets, and open/edit/save documents that my peers can read, I’m just fine with the (very slightly) different interface. I’m no IT guy, I’m just looking for basic function, and on that it works very much like Word and Excel.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
It is my understanding that Lotus Smartsuite was not killed off by lack of interest from IBM, but rather the inability to send email from one of the Suite’s apps via Lotus Notes. If IBM/Lotus had managed to bridge the two systems - well, I think it may have given MS Office a run for it’s money.

In my past, I remember a day when a secretary needed to print a spreadsheet in landscape. This was at the time that HP Laserjet’s clobbered dot matrix (Epson). Anyway, we had the Laserjet but using Lotus 123 required an escape sequence code to be sent to the printer. This string of characters was very long and a complete pain. One day a beta of Excel turned up. Although grayed out, there was a "Print in Landscape mode" option. That did it for me and those admins, it wasn’t long before the switch to MS Office and bye bye Wordperfect, Harvard Graphics and Lotus 123.
 
Written By: Jim
URL: http://
The only reason that Microsoft can get away with such high-handed behavior, is because their competitors simply walked off the playing field.
Their competition didn’t walk off, they got nuked by being jerked around with Windows 3.0/3.1 coding.

It’s tantamount to having let GM own all the gas refineries. When they came out with a new formulation, who’s engines would you expect to run best on it for the first year or two?

I know this is probably blasphemy on this site, but we had better & smarter anti-trust at the start of the last century when government was supposedly in the pocket of big money than we do now.

Dale Responds: Nobody got jerked around by Windows coding. Lotus AmiPro and 123 worked perfectly on Windows 3.11. I know, because I used them instead of Microsoft Word or Excel. WordPerfect 6.0 didn’t work well because the company delayed too long in producing a Windows version, then, when they did, they cowboyed their way through producing a Windows version, instead of doing right like Lotus did. That was entirely WordPerfect’s fault.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
The reason IBM killed SmartSuite WAS lack of interest...I worked at Lotus then, and a former boss of mine (to this day, still the best boss I ever had) was the VP who got the job of laying off the SS team, and consigning the product to oblivion...well, to a team of IBM developers in India, which amounted to kinda the same thing...
 
Written By: Jim
URL: http://
Ah. Java. The answer to the question that no one asked.

No. I didn’t forget about it. I gave it precisely the amount of attention it deserved.
Well, that’s not entirely true; you could have mentioned that one of Corel’s more bizarre and hilarious missteps with WordPerfect was an inexplicable attempt to rewrite it in Java.

While Microsoft’s business practices have been a little dodgy on occasion, it’s amazing to see how, time and time again, their biggest competitors have shot themselves in the foot. Netscape 4 did as much to give Microsoft browser dominance as anything Microsoft could do themselves.

Dale Responds: Ah, yes. That was back in those heady days when it was as plain as the nose on your face that all future development, everywhere in the world, would be done in Java.
 
Written By: Bitter
URL: http://qando.net/
Ah. Java. The answer to the question that no one asked.

No. I didn’t forget about it. I gave it precisely the amount of attention it deserved.

Wishes and horses Dale
.

It will take quite a few more years for the dot net platform languages to even up with java usage.

Dale Responds: Really? Cause the second paragraph of your link says:
Also worthy of note in these graphs is the long, slow decline of Java and C/C++, and the continuing rise in market share of C#.
Oh, and by the way, you conveniently left out the VB share of .NET. Add that in, and the market share of .NET is signifigantly higher thas Java. Or anything else. As the graph you link to plainly indicates.

Not that it matters. The graph you point to charts the share of
sales of computer books. I’m not sure how good a proxy that is for actual market share of programming activity.

In any event, the graph you link to shows that Java books are about 15% of computer books sold, while both C# and VB books combined consitute about 25% of the books sold.

I don’t think that chart means what you think it means. Nor does it support your contention.
 
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
Has anybody tried out the gmail documents and spreadsheets?

It looks like you can edit them on line and then automatically publish them to your blog, or e-mail them around or share them with other gmail users. It looks pretty good especially for collaborative work. I’ve only played with it breifly and I really doubt anyone in my office will want to use it, but I thought I’d mention it, perhaps some folks would want to take a look at it.

There are some security concerns though, I wouldn’t want to write my product design requirements and save them on an internet server. But if they offered some kidn of internal office version of gmail plus the docs and spreadsheets that would be pretty cool.
 
Written By: Shinobi
URL: http://liesandstatistics.blogspot.com
I loved AmiPro. Loved it.

I’ve not only heard of OpenOffice, I’ve been using it for almost four years, now.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Lotus AmiPro and 123 worked perfectly on Windows 3.11."
I never used 123, but that is entirely correct about AmiPro. I still think that was the single best WP package that I ever used.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
OpenOffice 2: a bit buggy (still) but Linux and open source are gaining popularity with the generation that really believes that information, entertainment, and software should just be free. We’re willing to bug test for you, though.
 
Written By: sketch
URL: http://ubuntu.com
Dale Responds: Nobody got jerked around by Windows coding. Lotus AmiPro and 123 worked perfectly on Windows 3.11. I know, because I used them instead of Microsoft Word or Excel. WordPerfect 6.0 didn’t work well because the company delayed too long in producing a Windows version, then, when they did, they cowboyed their way through producing a Windows version, instead of doing right like Lotus did. That was entirely WordPerfect’s fault.
Windows 3.11 didn’t come out for 1-2 years after 3.1, so I’d assume Ami Pro’s had gotten over its growing pains. At what cost?

"Undocumented Fuction Calls" I believe was the term. You programs looked clunky and ran slower if you didn’t use them. If you did, you risked being incompatible in subsequent releases.

I saw more than a word processor break. I saw programming IDE’s break, data acquisition software, driver, etc. also break. So the effort to keep up and keep programs smooth and slick wasn’t trivial.

As WordPerfect being late, why? They didn’t have the resources to keep up with the changes? Fell in the trap of making code based on documented calls so it sucked? Saying they were late doesn’t really conflict with my earlier claim unless you know for a fact that they had the money, resources, and foreknowledge of Window’s changes but chose to blow it off.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Perhaps I scanned both posts too quickly and missed any comment on this, but I thought you might address the significant amount of training that will be required to enable ordinary users to make the transition from previous versions of Microsoft Office to version 2007.
 
Written By: E. Dale Franks, Sr.
URL: http://www.edfmin.org
WordStar. *twitch* I remember *twitch* WordStar.

I especially remember coming to it from the WYSIWYG joy of MacWrite.

*twitch*
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
But the fact that some C# guy in Schnitzel-land was able to create this add-in tells me that the Microsoft boys also looked at this issue, and then decided, "Huh. You know, out of the 150,000 man-hours required to produce a new version of Microsoft Office, adding in another 50 hours to let the user customize the interface would just be an intolerable burden on the project."
Actually, I am betting that the code is sitting on an MS server somewhere. I think the real decision was, "do our MIS customers want to deal with supporting this feature, or are we better off letting some third party deal with this area of support?" I doubt it was a development issue; I think it was an overall ROI issue.

And being in a law office, I can tell you why they have WordPerfect. The courts demand documents in WP format. They do that because they are still using old computers running Win98 in some instances, and because the rules that were setup for electronic filing were created in the late 90s. None of our desktop machines have WP installed; we have to create our documents in Word, and then remote-desktop into a server machine that has WP installed to convert them (otherwise half the secretaries would have avoided the Word training and kept using WP.)
 
Written By: Phelps
URL: http://phelps.donotremove.net

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider