MS Office 2007

My work computer came with MS Office 2007 pre-installed. I have decided to go back to using for two reasons - the ribbon and the 'docx' OOXML file implementation. That and the fact that it reeks of EEE.

Firstly, the ribbon. Nice idea, but it doesn't work. It's not intuitive and adds an extra click to any function that isn't displayed on the 'home' tab. Its attempt to get people to use styles is positive, but the way it's been implemented is, frankly, rubbish. It took me about twenty minutes to work out how to make my styles the default settings and it wouldn't let me delete the ones that were getting in the way.

There is no option (that I could find) to go back to a drop-down menu. I think I'm pretty handy with a computer and pretty good at adjusting to new systems (I managed going from MS Windows XP to Ubuntu without any problems) and it's taking me more time than I'd want (at work, when deadlines are sometimes tight) to adjust. If it's bothering me, I should think it'd bother less geeky computer users even more. As The Register says:
Training is one reason, with users apparently requiring "more intense" coaching than expected. Forrester reportedly said most business users will need up to three hours formal training, which will be followed by a drop in efficiency for up to four weeks as they adjust to their new environment.
Secondly, file saving. The default format to save a Word document in is now .docx. This is meant to be an implementation of an open standard. It is, however, Microsoft's version of an open standard - it can't be easily opened by older versions of Word and there is already an open standard, OpenDocument.

Microsoft's OOXML has a few problems. Well, more than a few. There is a comprehensive list here. Do take a read - they're all very good reasons why OOXML should not be adopted as a global standard, particularly when OpenDocument is already being used 'in the field.

Lastly, the Office Genuine Advantage kill-switch and the shrink-wrap license mean that Microsoft are up to their old tricks. ZDNet sums it up well:
We spent 40 minutes just skimming the 10,379-word End User License Agreement and stopped before we could understand it all. Here are some of the highlights: You're allowed to install Office 2007 software on two computers; you must agree to download updates whenever Microsoft decides you need them.
I'm fairly negatively disposed towards Microsoft anyway, but the changes from Office 2003 to 2007 would not convince me to upgrade, particularly when the free comes with a database programme as standard and the OEM MS Office does not.


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