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Hands-On Preview of Microsoft Office 2010 291

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fighting-for-relevance dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft has announced full details of Office 2010 and its plans for an accompanying suite of online applications, and PC Pro has been given special access to a technical preview. Contributing Editor Simon Jones gives his initial verdict on the new suite, concluding that there's 'still a long way to go in terms of fit and finish ... but overall Microsoft has made good strides in increasing usability, cohesiveness and collaboration.' This is followed by detailed first looks at Word 2010, Excel 2010, Outlook 2010 and PowerPoint 2010, with Outlook certainly looking to be the greatest beneficiary. And finally, a gallery of screenshots shows off all the new interface touches in Office 2010, including Outlook's conversation view, Word's picture-editing function and the new cut-and-paste preview option."
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Hands-On Preview of Microsoft Office 2010

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  • ODF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday July 13, 2009 @12:54PM (#28678571)

    Any traction on solving or at least improving Microsoft's ODF implementation? The last time I checked, there were serious issues [odfalliance.org] with the implementation.

    By the way, how does Office 2007's "Save-As-PDF" feature compare to the real thing?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      It works almost as well as saving a file, any file, under OS X... but uses much more overhead. I have found Office 2007 cumbersome, bloated, breaks standards... I would expect the same best practices in play with this product...
    • Re:ODF (Score:4, Informative)

      by nametaken (610866) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:10PM (#28678891)

      The Save-As-PDF works quite well for us, particularly since it's a compromise somewhere between the crappy third-party app option and the thousands of dollars that Adobe's products cost us in years past.

      Outlook 2007's rendering, OTOH, makes me want to kill people and break things.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by man_of_mr_e (217855)

      I'm kind of curious. What makes Microsoft's version of ODF any worse than anyone elses? Or for that matter, what makes OOo's any better? Just because OOo's non-standard spreadsheet formula is used more commonly doesn't make it better.

      Until ODF 1.2 is out, it's just a bunch of he-said-she-said.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      not as good or as fast as cutePDF works.

      Plus I can print to pdf from any program.. Extra BONUS!

  • ribbons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:00PM (#28678681)
    From TFA:

    Forrester Research surveys have shown that the percentage of people who liked the Ribbon interface in Office 2007 was in the mid to high 80s while the percentage who found it "significantly more difficult" to use was 2.4%.

    I find that hard to believe. How many of those people they asked actually used office as a mission critical application in their day to day use? In my admittedly small sample, nobody that I work with at all enjoys using the ribbons, which is about 5 that I have spoken to about it. The majority of people have Office 2003 put on instead, only those who are reluctant to change software on their computers leave it on.

    • Re:ribbons (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Freetardo Jones (1574733) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:09PM (#28678865)

      I find that hard to believe.

      Well it's a good thing that your incredulity doesn't override statistical evidence.

      How many of those people they asked actually used office as a mission critical application in their day to day use? In my admittedly small sample, nobody that I work with at all enjoys using the ribbons, which is about 5 that I have spoken to about it.

      In my larger sample of about 30-50 people almost all of them enjoy the new GUI and once they start using Office 2007 for a few weeks they never want to go back to 2003. I guess this is why anecdotes aren't good evidence of something.

      • by Maniacal (12626)
        I resisted. 100% of the reason I didn't change to the new office was because of the ribbon. Spent a weekend helping my dad with 3 docs (powerpoint, word and excel) on his 2007 install and I was converted. Originally when I tried it I would get frustrated because I couldn't find anything and would give up grumbling about not having time for this crap. Since I didn't have an option when working on his stuff I was forced to learn it. Glad I did.
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I agree. I don't know anyone that anyone that likes the new ribbon interface.

          It take me forever to find anything I used to find simply in the past.

          I'm guessing if you're kind of 'grown up' with the ribbon, it is easy, but, for someone like me, that is used to simple menus, it sure seems a PITA.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by EvanED (569694)

            I agree. I don't know anyone that anyone that likes the new ribbon interface.

            Let me paraphrase your post and the one you replied to.

            Your parent: "I really like the ribbon now."
            You: "I agree. I really dislike the ribbon."

            Did I get that right?

      • Re:ribbons (Score:5, Informative)

        by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:18PM (#28679035)

        Well it's a good thing that your incredulity doesn't override statistical evidence.

        You want statistical evidence? Look here [exceluser.com], from a survey of Excel users from May, 2009:

        Month in and month out, the respondents have said that Excel's Ribbon has reduced their productivity by an average of about 20%. And users with a negative opinion of the Ribbon estimate that it's reduced their productivity by about 35%.

        They found that 36% of advanced and 29% of intermediate users "hate or dislike" the ribbons, which vastly outweighs the people who "love or like" the ribbons at 20 and 24%, respectively.

        How 'about them apples?

        • Re:ribbons (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dedazo (737510) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:33PM (#28679287) Journal

          In my very humble opinion, and as an additional (possibly worthless) data point, people that dislike the ribbon interface are more likely to be "power users" that tinker and customize everything (like me).

          The rest of the demographic that tends to use Office software - you know, the millions of corporate users that still have the default background, theme, sounds and everything else that originally came with their laptop or desktop - the ribbon tends to be a little baffling at first and eventually extremely useful to them, because it mirrors the way they work. That's the reason it was designed and why it was introduced with 2007.

          Microsoft places much more importance on the latter group and tends to make design decisions based on their working habits and patterns. If you are part of the first group, it's best to get used to that fact.

          And of course, there are millions of people still using Office 2003 and even 2000.

          • Re:ribbons (Score:4, Interesting)

            by GeckoAddict (1154537) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:53PM (#28679703)
            Microsoft themselves actually have a presentation [msdn.com] describing their process of designing and refining the Ribbon, by Jenson Harris ('Group Porgam Manager of the Office UX Team'). They talk a little bit about the user feedback stats and how they made some decisions regarding the ribbon... it's an interesting video if you have some time and are interested in that sort of thing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by man_of_mr_e (217855)

          Wait, a survey that uses percentages estimated by the surveyed? Wow, that's not only inaccurate, it's inaccurately inaccurate. Everyone with a bone to pick will more than likely grossly over-estimate their inconvenience.

          Still, the numbers say that 64% of advanced and 71% of intermediate users either have no opinion or like the ribbon. That seems like an overall win to me. I note you don't include novices, which given the trend sould be as high as 85 or 90% who like or have no opinion of it.

          Since you can

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by man_of_mr_e (217855)

            I should have read your link first, so my figures are wrong.

            However, having read the link, I'm baffled by such claims as "On average, all users who responded estimated that the Ribbon has reduced their productivity."

            "on average" and "all users" do not belong in the same sentence. WTF?

            That sounds like someone trying to use statistics and weasel words to say something the statistics don't actually say.

            Still the survey's numbers look good, but don't really make a lot of sense because of the way they're presen

      • almost all of them enjoy the new GUI and once they start using Office 2007 for a few weeks they never want to go back to 2003.

        That's probably because, after a few weeks of a replacement, it's hard to remember the original, much less the REAL original (the one with simple menus rather than personalised menus).

        Personally, I can never find things in the ribbon. Menus are much simpler and more intuitive, EVEN when organised incorrectly.

    • by DeadChobi (740395)

      Get 33 people and I'll believe you. Even then, at a 99% confidence interval your anecdotal evidence may not be statistically significant. I'm more inclined to believe that that 2.4% dislike it because they expected to find it harder to use, and, not being disappointed, continued to not use it.

      • Even more than that, he has a sampling error. His sample set is from his work place. Rarely does a single work place represent the culture at large, particularly in IT or small companies.
    • Re:ribbons (Score:4, Informative)

      by Shados (741919) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:16PM (#28679009)

      here (douzens of thousands of heavy Office users), we're not quite done testing all our stuff with 2007 (our documents are fine, but some plugins have to be upgraded, and integration with in house apps have to be tested, etc), but we have to hold users back with chains from upgrading to 2007 (well, its a metaphore obviously, they can't upgrade on their own). -EVERYONE- wants it. Bad. The UI is a lot better for people who don't know Office by heart, and there's a lot of new features, mainly in the business intelligence integration and collaboration that make people drool over it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by clickety6 (141178)

      And 85% couldn't find the damn print option hidden under the shiny round globe thing in the corner...

  • Not again! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Good Lord, the business hardly deployed Office 2007 with big troubles, we just got used to the new interface absolute madness and yet again more changes :(

    Will this crazy running for "the new" ever end?

    • Re:Not again! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DeadChobi (740395) <DeadChobi AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:24PM (#28679147)

      So what you're saying is that when a company makes changes to something it is bad, but when it refuses to change things it is bad. I thought that Microsoft wasn't making enough changes to its software to keep up with other innovations. Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has ever attempted to create an interface like the Ribbon before in an office suite. So when Microsoft comes up with something new, suddenly it's not okay to be running for the new.

      This community constantly rails against how Microsoft has aped other OS vendors to try to make their products better, and then rails against Microsoft trying to innovate in their own software. It's like every post is a new punch bowl filled with red kool-aid stupid. Could we please get past the 1990's Microsoft vs. Linux attitude and admit that it's possible for one arm of a company to do bad things while another arm of the company does good things? Not everything boils down to a "good vs. evil" essential conflict.

      • Re:Not again! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday July 13, 2009 @02:28PM (#28680345) Homepage Journal
        It wouldn't be so bad, if they would just put in a 'classic' mode for Office.

        I mean, they do it for Windows (I've not gone past XP yet, dunno if they do it for Vista). I prefer the classic mode, I like to use and view the directory structure, that's how I'm used to working. I don't like when they try to abstract too much for my 'benefit'.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        This community constantly rails against how Microsoft has aped other OS vendors to try to make their products better, and then rails against Microsoft trying to innovate in their own software.

        First thing - "this community" is made up of individuals with differing opinions, so it's probably not the same people. It's a sympathetic audience, so no matter what you disagree with you're likely to find support here if you just post. Not surprising.

        For my part, it's because no matter what they do, they get it wro

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      They are not ending support for 2007...buy a new one.

      What's with people getting angst about a new product every 3-5 years? Adobe comes out with a new photoshop every 1-2 yeasr. Same with Intuit products. Not a big deal...keep using what you like. I still know many people who use office 2003. It works great.

      The biggest group of users to use 2010 will be those who got brand new computers and don't have an older version.

      Techies all of a sudden wanting to slow down progres...all in the hate of MS.
    • by pizzach (1011925)
      You should thank OpenOffice.org for forcing Microsoft to try something new and trying to keep ahead of the competition. After all, that is what OSS is for, right? Gotta keep that lower bar raising.
  • Good Enough (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:00PM (#28678687) Journal

    Microsoft has long been promoting "good enough" approach to things. It isn't the most secure ... it is good enough. It isn't the most robust ... it is good enough. It isn't the most productive ... it is good enough.

    This is the Achilles heal of Microsoft. With Windows XP and Office since 2000 or even 2003, has been "good enough". I can't think of ANYTHING Microsoft can offer in Win 7 or Office 2010 that I would actually use. And changing how things work, just for the sake of changing how they work, is counter productive.

    In early 2003 I made the statement that 2008 was going to be the first sign of Microsoft's demise as tech leader. The Storm has hit, and is now ravaging Microsoft. Google is building Chrome OS (which I would assume is tied to Android ... somewhere), Open Office is very usable, Wine is getting to the point of being solid, Linux is appearing on desktops, Webservices, mobile devices (iPhone, Blackberry, Android) etc.

    You can see the panic at Microsoft in their web services division, from the search engines changes to Live and now to Bing. You can see the panic in the OS and Office with the huge changes in the UI to cover up that really nothing has changed since 2000.

    Microsoft is suffering from the "good enough" syndrome. Everything they have made for the last 6 or 8 years is "good enough" and when Vista comes along and changes things just to change things, people buck against it. You'll see more of the same with Office.

    I honestly think one of the reasons Gates left, was because he saw the writing on the wall, and got out while the getting was good.

    • by greenguy (162630)

      Problem is, you're arguing against yourself. I quite agree that Microsoft products are good enough -- and by "good," I mean "familiar" -- but this undermines your point about OpenOffice and Linux gaining traction. These are still unfamiliar to most people, and they are unwilling to start over on the learning curve just because of some ethereal philosophical viewpoint. They're going to stick with what they know, which is Word on XP, over either Windows 7 or Linux. The only time Linux has a fighting chance is

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not really. Open Office resembles MS Office 2000 more than MS Office 2007(2010??). Therefore, people are willing to go to OO rather than have change.

        And Linux can be configured to look and function just like XP, and Ubuntu, except for the "start bar" being at the top, functions almost like XP for most things.

        Further, if people are being made (forced) to "learn" something new, they are more willing to look at alternatives, like OO and Linux or even Apple.

        The point being, if people are having to "change" they

        • The only issue is when Ubuntu will be in the OEM's pocketbooks. It is Mom and Pop ready right now. It's easy and damn simple, and it's a really fantastic product, once someone sets it up for you. Unfortunately, that "once someone sets it up for you" addition cannot and never will change.

          What Shuttleworth and gang need to do is polish their desktop up a bit more, get everything stable and then advertise the heck out of it. Even if people can't install an OS (which is a pretty big deal, honestly) they'll kno
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gbarules2999 (1440265)
      I agree that it's a start, but I can't see Microsoft ever "dying" outright. All I see is a few pieces of competition, perhaps a few that will grab a few more percentage points of market share from Microsoft every year.

      The interesting note to watch is what happens when the next generation of computer users comes forward. Teenagers these days know a lot more about computers than their parents do, on average. They understand the difference between Mac and Windows (and a heck of a lot know about Ubuntu - more
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      You're right, but there's one other important thing about Microsoft you have to realize:

      When they have no competition, they don't bother. When Microsoft's web browser competition dissolved away, we ended up with IE6 for years and years and years-- when the web browser competition picked-up again, thanks to Mozilla and Apple and later Google, suddenly, WHAM! IE7, IE8, back to a regular development schedule, tons of great features.

      Office moves slow because it has very little serious competition. And, hell, ev

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:01PM (#28678699)

    Word's been around, what, 20 years? Guys, if you want to provide maximum usability to use users, leave it alone. We've all figured out how the app works, what the keyboard shortcuts are, where in each menu our most-used commands are, and how to use mail merge. STOP CHANGING IT. Every time you change how Word works, all you're doing is decreasing my usability and needlessly taking away time I could otherwise spend doing actual productive work.

    Full disclosure: I've been trying to avoid Office for the past year or so, relying on Apple's Pages instead - in part simply because Word is a bloated beast, and in part because Microsoft just keeps pointlessly adding useless crap and changing things to give the illusion of "innovation".

    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:06PM (#28678821)

      Yes,
      But you are getting old and are going to die and you probably have no intention of buying a new version of Word since you are happy with the current one.

      New users will see a wierdly arcane program or an easy to use (for a novice) program.

      Think of these versions of word as targeted to naive users.

      ---

      What I can't see is how they intend to compete with free (Openoffice) when we have 25% real unemployment and no growth in sales for the rest- with the corrupted financial industry pillaging and looting heavily from the 75% that are still producing.

      • by bheer (633842) <rbheer&gmail,com> on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:13PM (#28678949)

        > What I can't see is how they intend to compete with free (Openoffice)

        Simple. By giving away Office Web Edition for free on the web, via live.com. (This was mentioned quite widely in the tech press but the /. summary doesn't mention in specifically.) Frankly, given that I prefer Google Docs over OpenOffice, if Office Web is any good it'll be the 800lb gorilla in the market.

        • by nizo (81281) *

          Or, keep just enough people on the upgrade treadmill that other people who absolutely have to be able to read the documents of these people are forced to buy the latest version of Microsoft Office. If your client, who pays your bills, insists on using the latest Microsoft Office, then most places will see it as simply easier to upgrade. Especially if your client is a government agency.

      • But you are getting old and are going to die and you probably have no intention of buying a new version of Word since you are happy with the current one.

        Besides linux people, the people that I personally see using openoffice most often are young, hip college students. The reason? They have no money to spend on things like software. You forget that young people also grew up with the internet and are accustomed lots of free software and see no reason to pay to use something that some other software does

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)

      So just stop upgrading. Files from recent versions go back and forth about as well as files from the same version, so compatibility isn't a huge problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spyrochaete (707033)

      Just because "View / Header and Footer" is the way you're used to doing it, doesn't mean it's the best way. Word has been evolving and expanding all this time. You can only shoehorn new features into the old UI for so long before it becomes convoluted.

      To learn the new ribbon all you have to do is think about what you are trying to accomplish and then navigate where you think it ought to belong. The new layout means you will find related functions that will improve your productivity and quality of communi

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:31PM (#28679257)
      My apologies. I didn't realize I strayed onto your lawn. I will promptly remove myself forthwith. Good day, sir!
  • by tomax7 (1261742) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:01PM (#28678711)
    â¦but can PowerPoint incorporate BOTH a landscape and portrait setting in the same slideshow yet? Or can users rearrange the Quick Access Toolbar by dragging the icons around instead of the retarded way of going into the Options/Customize area? Or Excel open with the page break showing, as in dotted lines showing the margins?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PainKilleR-CE (597083)

      or how about Excel's cut & paste functionality working in even remotely the same fashion as everywhere else in Windows (or Office)?

  • ... for software that really isn't needed these days. Other than a one-off printed letter, what place does a word processing document have in today's world of Wikis and such? Same with spreadsheets. Great for high school and college labs, and quick what-if stuff, but outside of that, should they really be used (don't get me started on the number of spreadsheet 'databases' or printable tables are out there).

    • by Shados (741919) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:10PM (#28678893)

      Have you set foot in a typical large business lately? These people live and die by these things, on -TOP- of using wikis and such. A big part of it is that you can't really link a customer waiting to sign a 15 million dollar contract a link to a wiki, and the accounting department can't do their "one shot deal" calculations on their blog.

    • Other than a one-off printed letter, what place does a word processing document have in today's world of Wikis and such?

      You mean other than for writing novels, papers and articles? Yeah, other than major stuff like that, I can see no use for a word processor at all. Last time I checked my professor or your editor isn't going to accept a wiki page as a way to turn in your writing to.

    • ... for software that really isn't needed these days. Other than a one-off printed letter, what place does a word processing document have in today's world of Wikis and such? Same with spreadsheets. Great for high school and college labs, and quick what-if stuff, but outside of that, should they really be used (don't get me started on the number of spreadsheet 'databases' or printable tables are out there).

      Wikis? Are you on crack. Wikis are not only often disorganized but they are also the epitome of poor usability. They do have their place but they are not a replacement properly rewritten and organized documentation. Wikis are a fad like twitter and will be forgotten in a few years.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Mod parent -1 incredibly naive

      • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:35PM (#28679323)

        Mod parent -1 incredibly naive

        Try adding "in my basement" to the end of each of the GP's sentences and you can understand his perspective a bit more.

        ... for software that really isn't needed these days in my basement. Other than a one-off printed letter, what place does a word processing document have in today's world of Wikis and such in my basement? Same with spreadsheets in my basement. Great for high school and college labs, and quick what-if stuff, but outside of that, should they really be used in my basement (don't get me started on the number of spreadsheet 'databases' or printable tables are out there in my basement).

  • The Ribbon... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:09PM (#28678869) Homepage

    ...is the new Clippy. If you want people to use Office, you need to get rid of it.

  • WordPerfect 5.1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by handy_vandal (606174) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:11PM (#28678911) Homepage Journal
    I could have been happy using WordPerfect 5.1 for the rest of my life -- it did everything I need a word processor to do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      I remember a WordPerfect demo for the Atari ST. Everyone in attendance agreed then that WP was gross overkill for just about everyone.

      For most people that have to put up with msword for no other reason to "be compatable", that's still true.

    • by adonoman (624929)
      So install it and quit complaining. It's easy enough to do under XP: http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/wpdos/windowsxp.html [columbia.edu] I have an old 286 laptop that the kids play with that has wp51 installed and as nice as it was 20 years ago (menus! woo-hoo!), the lack of copy-and paste between apps, an OS-based printer driver system, etc... makes it just that much more of an effort to use. Stick me in front of vi for coding anyday, but when I want to quickly create a document to print out that looks nice, I'll go w
      • So install it and quit complaining.

        I wasn't complaining -- I was (worse yet) sighing wistfully ...

        But seriously: thanks, I hadn't actually thought of installing it. But it might be a kick, for old time's sake. (Hell, I'm still fond of BattleZone, no matter how good the Quakes and Half-Lifes get.) And thanks for posting that link [columbia.edu].

        ... the lack of copy-and paste between apps, an OS-based printer driver system, etc... makes it just that much more of an effort to use ...

        Well, yeah, that's all true. And

    • I guess I don't need to ask why your sentence is in past tense. DOS and dot matrix printers used to suffice as well, but do you intend to distribute your hard work with modems and floppies?

    • I could have been happy using WordPerfect 5.1 for the rest of my life

      I will second that. Especially because Reveal Codes was so much faster for fixing formatting problems than Word to this day. There are times in Word some piece of formatting garbage gets so stuck in place that I have to delete entire paragraphs and repast the text as Paste Special Unformatted Text.

  • The last good version of Microsoft Word was Word 5.1 for the Mac, and that was over 17 years ago! They should stop throwing all the garbage in there and just make it extensible with plug-ins like Photoshop or a web browser.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Problem is that Office 2010 now has the Xbox Achievements system...

      "Achievement, you found the file menu function +10gp"

      Oh using Office 2010 will require a Office Live gold account or higher.

    • Because then you've got literally hundreds of "versions" to maintain within the organization by hundreds of vendors that may be incompatible with one another with some needed to recieve documents from suppliers and/or customers. We already get support issues because user "A"'s copy of the employee popsicle day flyer doesn't render the same as user "B"'s copy. Imagine if core-functionality was dependant on having the right mish-mash of DLLs or extenions installed. From a security perspective plugins also add
  • I found it really interesting to hear that Microsoft is pushing so hard for web-based solutions, as well as incorporating network features into the local client. They seem to be adopting all the best features of Google Apps/Writely and putting extra polish on them.

    For instance, anyone who's used Google Apps knows how bad the cross-compatibility is with Office documents so this alone will be the main decider for most businesses. Also, Google Apps' interface is rudamintary and the applications are utterly w

  • Not so surprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:20PM (#28679087)
    Is anyone else thinking that we may not have seen this early preview if it hadn't been for last week's announcement from Google of the upcoming Chrome OS, twisting Microsoft's arm into announcing something, anything at all?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shados (741919)

      Unlikely. Microsoft partners have bigger customers already have had access to the Office 2010 preview for months now. I'm amazed it took that long for it to be seen in public (though there were already some previews and screenshots, including official ones by microsoft bloggers, for a while now)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Aphonia (1315785)

      Except for the fact that this preview was announced in May [http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2009/05/12/microsoft-office-2010-technical-preview.aspx] and Microsoft has had sharepoint and other things. And ChromeOS being a little netbook OS to just browse the internets when people do so much more with Windows.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Is anyone else thinking that we may not have seen Chrome OS if it hadn't been for the upcoming release of Windows 7, twisting Googles's arm into announcing something, anything at all?
  • First Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:37PM (#28679349)
    First Question: Does it run on XP?

    Would be the first time that MS has tried to force an OS upgrade.
    • Yes, Office 2010 will run on XP. Wouldn't make sense for them to bump up the requirements. I wouldn't be surprised if some features were disabled on XP though.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday July 13, 2009 @01:41PM (#28679451)
    1: It takes away valuable vertical screen real estate and cannot be repositioned to less valuable side areas.
    2: It changes based on what it's Application Telepathy thinks you are doing.
    3: You are not even offered the option of backwards compatibility to the old, customizable, fixed menuing system -- Microsoft dictates that they know what's best for you!

    Can forced Dvorak keyboards with no QWERTY option be far behind?
    • by Allicorn (175921)

      Lots of folks love it. Bizarre isn't it? I've tried using it - honestly I have - but it just feels like a lot of hard work for no benefit I can find over the good old menu.

      Word (and its ilk) have bucketloads of features most folks would agree. A logically laid out, branching menu structure allows you to quickly home in on and find the feature you want. Each entry from the bar right down to the items is a clearly worded unit of descriptive text. Seems really simple, reliable, usable and effective to me.

      With

    • 1) You can make the ribbon go away by a single mouse click or hotkey.

      2) No, it changes based on what you are ACTUALLY doing. If you click on an image, it gives you image editing tools. If you click in a table, it gives you table tools. It's context, not telepathy.

      3) Microsoft has learned (the hard way) that if you give people the option to go back to the old, they will never learn the new. Thus you are stuck supporting the old for life. The only way is a clean break.

    • 4. It elevates all commands, even the most little used, to equal status, thus kicking the concept of multiple, user customizable toolbars right in the nads.
    • 1: It takes away valuable vertical screen real estate and cannot be repositioned to less valuable side areas.

      2: It changes based on what it's Application Telepathy thinks you are doing.

      3: You are not even offered the option of backwards compatibility to the old, customizable, fixed menuing system -- Microsoft dictates that they know what's best for you!

      1 - You can double click one of the major headings on the ribbon to hide it until it's clicked again. Then it behaves like a pulldown menu.

      2 - It's called semantic computing. It makes computing task-based instead of command-based. People don't want to think about repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other - they want to walk to the store.

      3 - AKA older is betterer? I disagree - especially when you call the old pulldown menus "fixed". Pick 5 tasks, do them on Office 2003 and 2007, and count the mo

    • by marsu_k (701360)

      1: It takes away valuable vertical screen real estate and cannot be repositioned to less valuable side areas.

      Word! (pun not intended) I'm typing this on a netbook with a 1024x600 screen, and having "the Ribbon" visible would use probably most of it. Yes, this (thankfully) isn't my only/main computer, but I like to write documents on the go every now and then.

  • ...but you wouldn't think so looking through some of these comments. Office works real well with MOSS (Paid version of SharePoint); which works real nice on a Active Directory and SQL Server; which is only realistic on Windows Server. When I say works well, I mean your grandmother could get it running.

    Office on it's own is missing the point really; documents should never stay on just one machine.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Office.

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