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Microsoft Software

Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected 291

Posted by kdawson
from the roses-or-the-ribbons dept.
CWmike notes a review by Preston Gralla of the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Office 2010. "I review plenty of software packages throughout the course of a year, and it's rare that I come across one that I believe will truly make a difference in the way that I work or use my computer. With Office 2010, which recently hit RTM status, it is one of those times. The main attraction, as far as I'm concerned, is the Outlook makeover that makes it far easier to cut through e-mail overload and keep up with your ever-expanding group of contacts on social networking sites. There's also an improved Ribbon that now works across all Office applications, and some very useful new PowerPoint tools for giving Internet-based presentations and handling video. Question is: Is Office 2010 good enough to stop the defection to Google Apps? Some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have, reports Robert Mitchell. The final version of Microsoft Office Web Apps, the Web-based version of Office, isn't yet available but is expected before summer."
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Microsoft Office 2010, Dissected

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  • by MancunianMaskMan (701642) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:13AM (#32096378)
    yes but is it dead yet... Otherwise that would be too cruel, even considering it's only a MS product and not some sentient GNU software
    • Otherwise that would be too cruel

      Don't worry.

      Any "dissection" of Microsoft products by Preston Gralla will be so gentle it'll seem like a product endorsement.

      Strange that...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
        Try to imagine my disappointment. "Dissection/disembowelment" was my fourth choice, after "burning", "flaying" and "breaking on the wheel".
    • by mantis2009 (1557343) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:30AM (#32096494)
      I've been using the Office 2010 beta for a while now. If you're using Office 2003, it's worth it to upgrade. If you're using Office 2007, don't bother.
      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        I am using '07, care to elaborate? (Visual Studio 2010 is a very nice step from VS 2008, so my irrational mind assumes Office 2010 will also be decent improvement from Office 2007)
        • by mantis2009 (1557343) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:18AM (#32097738)
          I unfortunately don't have much experience with Visual Studio, so I won't be able to offer any shining insights on that, but I'll take your invitation to elaborate anyway.

          The improvements in the core (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote) Office 2010 applications over their Office 2007 counterparts are very minor. The most notable change is a customizable "Ribbon," so you can move buttons around on the user interface. Also, the OneNote application is significantly improved with the addition of a "recycle bin" for recently deleted notes, enhanced notebook sharing, and a host of smaller improvements that really add up to a totally new experience. The rest of the improvements are incremental and unimaginative. Word has a new navigation and find/replace interface. Excel has slightly fancier charts. PowerPoint lets you edit videos. Outlook finally catches up to Gmail with "conversation view."

          The other headline change in Office 2010 is the addition of the browser-based applications. But these web applications aren't even really ready for primetime yet, and you can get access to a browser-based Office without buying 2010.

          These changes are all well and good, but does any of this seriously and significantly improve the daily workflow of an Office 2007 user? Probably not, unless you really need one of the new features. If you're looking for a "general upgrade," Office 2010 is way too expensive to justify. Wait for the next version.
      • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:01AM (#32096806)

        Am I the only one left that hasn't been eaten by the "If we force it and make them look at it often enough they'll eventually like it, no matter how bad" syndrome that seems to be affecting everyone with regards to that stupid ribbon?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's true, but you've mis-named it. It is the "If people actually use it instead of simply whining about something they don't know anything about, they actually *like* it" syndrome.

          Ya know, it's the same one that affects fanboy's of all products... Those folks who complain about drivers in Linux? About how "hard" it is to use a Mac... or complain that the ribbon is unusable. ;)

          • by V!NCENT (1105021)

            The workflos (read speed) is much slower with the ribbon.
            You have to use the mouse more (read greater distance between buttons.
            You cannot devide the ribbon by 2. In other words you can't have some toolbars on the left (File, Edit, Help, etc) and others on the top.
            It takes up too much screen space.

            -Linux user

            • by adonoman (624929) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:04AM (#32098440)
              If you just like complaining, that's fine, but if you're stuck using it as work and want some tips:
              • Don't use the mouse: I don't use the mouse much at all for the ribbon - it's practically designed with keyboard users in mind. All the old menu shortcuts from 2003 still work (even where there is no visible menu), and EVERY command on the ribbon is available without moving off the keyboard.
              • If you don't like the space the ribbon takes up, double click on the tab headings and it collapses.
              • Add your most common commands to the little toolbar thing at the top left and you can access them with +[1-9]
        • by dtmos (447842) *

          No. [slashdot.org]

        • by GF678 (1453005) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:49AM (#32097346)

          Am I the only one left that hasn't been eaten by the "If we force it and make them look at it often enough they'll eventually like it, no matter how bad" syndrome that seems to be affecting everyone with regards to that stupid ribbon?

          You're appear to be stuck in a logical fallacy where you're unable to comprehend the idea that people might actually like the ribbon based on their use and experiences with it, and the clear benefits it provides, rather than for any other reason.

          In other words, you think no-one can like the ribbon, so if people do, there must be a negative reason. For goodness sakes, Microsoft are making good products these days; open your mind a tiny bit.

          • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:58AM (#32097452)

            I have to agree with you. I'll admit that it took some getting used to, but after an adjustment period, there really is nothing wrong with the ribbon. It works pretty well.

            I've never understood the people who praise KDE for doing absolutely batty things with their UI because they're "innovating", but when Microsoft does something a bit different they proceed to excrete a brick because they're "messing with established ui standards".

            IMHO, the ribbon is only a bad thing to someone intimately familiar with the products already. If you're a new or basic user, it does a VERY good job of getting useful functions in a more accessible location rather than buried 7 levels deep in a menu structure.

      • by Nukenbar (215420)

        I still have to use Office 2002 at work. You can't find tutorials about how to do things on Microsoft's web site anymore.

    • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msauve (701917) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:36AM (#32096560)
      as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.
      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ottothecow (600101) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:46AM (#32096658) Homepage
        I used to agree with this...but now that I have spent more time in a business setting, I can say that there are very real reasons why top posting and html email make sense.

        Hell, while I usually leave it in the default html mode, there are times when I switch it to RTF mode so I can control things like where attachments show up in the email (like you can do on internal network emails in lotus notes). Sure, I know not to send formatted stuff like that to unknown email clients outside the company, but 95% of my emails never leave our exchange server so I know for a fact that every feature is supported.

        \

        • by xaxa (988988)

          I think HTML is sometimes useful (although I don't like how Outlook does it -- too often it 'forgets' that I'm trying to type in blue and reverts to black, or messes up indenting).

          But what benefit does top-posting give?

          I can say that there are very real reasons why top posting and html email make sense.

          • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by nedlohs (1335013) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:44AM (#32097264)

            To posting is beneficial when someone new to the chain (or someone without perfect memory) wants to catch up with the history.

            You can read every email in the chain without it being chopped into pieces with bits removed.

            Sure you mightn't find that useful, and whether the cost of *all* the messages being top posted is worth it for the few that ever need it. But it's a real benefit for lots of people.

      • Agree, I don't think that the people designing these email apps even read email or understand the basic UI concepts of reading electronic systems.

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by moosesocks (264553) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:13AM (#32096898) Homepage

        as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.

        Jesus Christ. 10 years later, and we're still having this argument?

        Give it up, dude. Usenet is dead, top-posting is the norm, and everything supports HTML. Only a select few chose to trim their bottom-posts, which usually just meant lots of scrolling.

        (In any event, threaded conversations a la GMail are clearly the way forward)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TemporalBeing (803363)

          as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content, and discourage quoted reply trimming, it will still suck.

          Jesus Christ. 10 years later, and we're still having this argument?

          Give it up, dude. Usenet is dead, top-posting is the norm, and everything supports HTML. Only a select few chose to trim their bottom-posts, which usually just meant lots of scrolling.

          (In any event, threaded conversations a la GMail are clearly the way forward)

          Obviously you are not on too many mailing lists. Most F/OSS oriented mailing lists (e.g. gentoo users, PHP users, samba uses, etc) forbid HTML mail, and discourage top and bottom posting. They also highly encourage trimming the message to just what you are replying to - as the rest, you know, is in the message archives. Outlook has always been a problem for mailing lists, but again - it's not impossible to do inline replies, just a bit harder to get it setup that way. Even Yahoo! Mail broke that for a while

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:13AM (#32096900)
        Top posting makes sense. The history is there, but the most recent message is automatically displayed first. You know, the bit you want to read.

        I know scrolling to the end of an email is hardly difficult or arduous, but it's one less thing for the Computer Users, None Technical to think about.
        • by xaxa (988988)

          The history is there, but the most recent message is automatically displayed first.

          The mail client could easily do that for bottom-posted stuff.

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

        by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @10:07AM (#32098518)

        >as long as Outlook continues to encourage top-posting and HTML formatted content

        1996 called. Its looking for its outrage.

    • by Golddess (1361003)
      "Technically it's a vivisection as I'm still alive." - Kodos.

      May not be an exact quote, my memory is a little fuzzy.
  • the new trend in business intelligence is using Excel to manipulate data in a cube so the users don't bug the BI developers for new cubes

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:15AM (#32096388)

    "There's also an improved Ribbon that now works across all Office applications"

    I don't care, unless there's a "classic" menu mode I'll stay with OpenOffice or older MS Office versions. I know some people like the ribbon, but I really, really hate it.

    • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:37AM (#32096562)

      Exactly, the only thing that would make me even consider a new microsoft application is if they provided a way to show normal menu's and hide that obnoxious ribbon. I can not even stand the new paintbrush, it is horrible.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      I know some people like the ribbon, but I really, really hate it.

      I have never liked the ribbon for Excel or *cough* Access as I was always trying to hunt down under which context sensitive section I could find what I needed. But late last year I was using a 3rd party graphics drawing program that used a ribbon. And to my surprise I actually like how it was done. So now I am of the opinion that a ribbon interface *can* be a good idea, but that not all programs can benefit from it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by McBeer (714119)
      Why is the "classic" menu so much superior for you? For most tasks, the ribbon is able to accomplish the same tasks in the same or less number of clicks. It doesn't really take up much more screen real estate then a couple traditional bars. I don't understand whats to "really really hate".
  • by Assmasher (456699) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:19AM (#32096408) Journal

    ...I can simply relate what things I believe and the things I hear from other CTO/CIOs regarding Google Apps and using Google Mail in a corporate environment. Everyone I know is adamantly against the idea. It isn't because there are technical shortcomings, it's simply because of liability and privacy. That's it, plain and simple.

    The idea that our company would place our mail and documents, and the mail and documents of people communicating with us into the hands of another company who are not tightly bound by laws regarding retention and usage? Makes my skin crawl.

    I wonder who the first company to be bought by Google will be using Google mail and apps while negotiations are ongoing? ;)

    Thanks, but I'd rather only have to worry about the ISP, not the ISP and the Cloud. It's unfortunate because I have no interest in running mail servers, exchange servers, file servers, I just want to make software.

    • "As a CTO?" I am curious. If you don't mind me prying, what company's CTO selects a Slashdot username of "Assmasher"?

      Actually, now that I think of in a broader sense of what internet industry you may belong to, I withdraw my question.
    • Until we can use Google Apps on an Airplane, we'll be sticking with Office for Mac for the foreseeable future. There are things I like about Google Apps, especially when you need to share a document for editing during a conference call. But the privacy problem renders that to anything you don't mind your competitors seeing. And with the advent of better screen sharing tools, it renders those needs fulfilled for us.

      • by Malc (1751)

        Don't Google also need to improve their reliability and guarantee data integrity? People have lost their email in the past due to Gmail disasters, with no backups to recover it from.

        • by PhilHibbs (4537)

          Oh, I hadn't heard that Google had lost people's email. When was that?

        • Don't Google also need to improve their reliability and guarantee data integrity? People have lost their email in the past due to Gmail disasters, with no backups to recover it from.

          Yeah, this would be a pretty big news story. I'm not saying that I'm 100% sure that Google has never lost an e-mail, but I'm inclined to think that as someone who keeps pretty good tabs on the tech industry, that would have made my radar. And the simple truth is that I remember absolutely nothing about this.

          Without some kind o

      • Until we can use Google Apps on an Airplane, we'll be sticking with Office for Mac for the foreseeable future.

        I thought that if you installed Google Gears [google.com] then you could use things like Docs in an airplane. They've dropped support for it currently [venturebeat.com] but I think that it was designed to store your documents and mail locally and then when you were "working offline" in the browser Gears would kick in and provide you the same experience and then sync up once you were back online.

        I also personally believe that airlines will soon begin to offer in flight wi-fi but right now it's just a few where I live.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Not only are you correct, but HTML5's offline functionality is supposed to let them do the same thing without gears, which is why gears is being permitted to die.

        • No, they announced they will drop support, but not until HTML5 storage [wikipedia.org] support is in, which is already supported by Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.5+, Safari 4, Google Chrome 4, and Opera 10.50.

    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:52AM (#32096712) Homepage Journal

      I work in the IT group of a Fortune 100 company, and to be honest, I see little difference between using Gmail and other third-party companies. For example, we use Symantec as our mail filtering/virus scanning company. Every e-mail that comes to and goes from our company goes through servers located physically on their premises, and as far as we're concerned, it's a "black box" of a scanner--we don't know all the nitty-gritty details of what all they do when they're scanning our mail, we just know the end result. And it's a lot of mail--just the other day, our gateway crashed for a couple of hours, and they held over 14,000 e-mails for us while we worked on getting it back up.

      Granted, I don't know what legal agreements we have in place with Symantec, but if you want to be paranoid, you could imagine all sorts of evil things they could be doing with all of that e-mail, and there are no telling what kind of sensitive information is being misclassified by the users and sent completely free and clear through their system.

      At some point, though, unless you want to literally do everything in-house and never take advantage of the value-added services that third parties can provide, you have to suck it up and trust them not to screw you over. If nothing else, Google should know that all it would take is one major data loss or one gross breach of corporate privacy, and their Gmail service would pretty much be dead. Just as if we find out that Symantec has done something evil with our e-mail--even something that is legally allowed in the contracts--that their business would suffer a nasty hit.

      At some point, the benefits of using a service like Gmail outweigh the risks that Google, a company with an excellent reputation, suddenly turns evil. As a CTO, your job isn't to sit around and dream up reasons why you'll never trust a third party; it is to assess those risks, reasonably compare them with the benefits, and decide whether it's worth it or not.

      As a side note, I'm actually part of a large team of people who were recently outsourced by my former employer to a third-party IT services provider to handle all of the IT services for that former employer. So now, I'm on the direct opposite side of the coin that you're mentioning here. It's pretty well understood that if we do something to screw over my former employer--now our client--that it would not only cost us our careers, but likely cost all of our friends and coworkers their careers, too. We still have and require root access to almost every server and network device across the world. If you start dreaming up things that could happen in that situation without considering what you're getting in exchange for that risk, it seems on the surface a pretty stupid thing to do, but it's actually working really well.

      And when you really think about it, just about anything you could dream up a third-party provider doing to you, I could dream up much, much worse your own internal people, with even less motivation, doing to you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wvmarle (1070040)

        Your mail may go through a third-party server (which every single mail does that does not get sent to a local recipient - when I send out an e-mail it first goes to my ISP's server for starters), they are not responsible for storage/retention of your mails. I assume in your case Symantec basically acts as a relay for your network, storing mails only long enough to check for viruses/spam/other filtering and delivering it to your own mail server (from your mail I understand that you are still running your own

        • Your mail may go through a third-party server...they are not responsible for storage/retention of your mails.

          At the same time, there's nothing technologically speaking stopping them from storing all of our e-mails for whatever nefarious purpose they have in mind.

          If Gmail were to suddenly crash and burn, most of the people using it would lose all their mails.

          First of all, I'm pretty sure Gmail has much more robust datacenters, with multiple levels of redundancy and backups, than 99.9% of all companies out th

          • by yuna49 (905461)

            If you host your own mail server so that the mail is never stored on the Internet, then by definition that server has to have presence on the Internet, and again, the risk is still there.

            You made a lot of good points, but I have to take issue with this one. There's no reason why the server that stores the mail needs to be visible on the Internet. Usually I have three machines involved -- one running a secure store-and-forward SMTP listener, one dedicated to scanning for spam and viruses, and a third where

          • by wvmarle (1070040)

            If Gmail were to suddenly crash and burn, most of the people using it would lose all their mails.

            First of all, I'm pretty sure Gmail has much more robust datacenters, with multiple levels of redundancy and backups, than 99.9% of all companies out there.

            I was more thinking in the lines of going out of business for whatever reason (takeover, bankrupty - now don't tell me "they are too big/rich", think Enron for example) and Gmail is closed.

            The only difference is that it's your personal responsibility for ensuring that the server is secure instead of Google's. Now, I'm not doubting your technical prowess, but even giving you the benefit of a doubt that you are personally smarter than the hundreds of PhDs working at Google that do nothing but this for a living, the vast majority of people and companies aren't.

            The number of attacks on Google's servers is also certainly way higher.

            Because if you don't, then even if you run your own mail server, you are still at pretty high risk of your e-mail being intercepted and read.

            Yes, but no historical mails an be gotten that way.

            And even if you do, then I have to point out that even if you run your own mail server, you are storing your mails on servers in a country which government has a total lack of respect for privacy.

            No I don't. My location's (Hong Kong - no that is not China) government has far better respect for privacy than the US government. And as I said before I like to keep my data in my own hands as much as

      • I understand your premise, which is a secure one of risk, cost and benefit, but seems like issues like that are why major industries have such horrible privacy issues. At the very least both IT and legal should interface and figure out what is acceptable, but above that IT should be aware of what devices do. Ignorance is not an excuse, saying you evaluated it and determined the risk to be worth the reward is good. I have helped migrate some business users to GApps, but I've noticed one thing in particular,
      • by melikamp (631205)
        I see your point. My only reservation with systems like Gmail is that they are impossible to audit. How much do we know about their long term stability, security, access control, and how do we know about it? We cannot see either hardware or software, so we have to judge them solely by "Google's track record". Giving them all of your email is a faith-based decision. I will go ahead and say it is great for applications where security is not a concern. But as soon as you promise security to your customers (and
    • I don't quite agree (Score:4, Informative)

      by FallLine (12211) * <fallline@opMENCK ... com minus author> on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:32AM (#32097100)

      As a former CIO, I disagree with your diagnosis of the issues. Many companies, both large and small, outsource services to companies with access to all manner of sensitive materials (e.g., documentation destruction, electronic reading rooms, business continuity services, AR, etc). The difference is how those services are implemented and the trust in the organizations, not so much the laws that specifically regulate their offerings or even the ability to sue them.

      In my opinion, the problem with Google Apps is that they:

      1) don't make many important explicit commitments (e.g., availability, security, retention policies, restoration times, etc)
      2) provide very little visibility into their implementation
      3) their low cost service model provides little room for day-to-day customer service (e.g., mailbox restore) and the confidence to know that you can rapidly escalate a problem should one arise (not to mention offline backup)

      I say this because this implies the issue is not inherent to outsourcing email in principle. The outsource service model is the future for generally commoditized services like email. There are several offerings today that I believe are generally superior to in-house for most SMBs that want Exchange functionality and need good availability. I have recommended Rackspace's Hosted Exchange to a $60M (revenues) client of mine and a few others. I am generally quite pleased with it, though there are a few shortcomings that will prevent others from adopting it today (especially larger organizations).

      The biggest issues with the various Hosted Exchange offerings (those I'm familiar with at least):

      #1: Authentication cannot be readily shared with other services, i.e., the employees need to juggle yet one more set of credentials.
      #2: Limited ability to use 3rd party software (e.g., VM, Fax, two-factor authentication systems, etc) unless it exclusively uses exposed interfaces (RPC/HTTP, IMAP, etc).
      #3: Won't scale well with large companies (with multiple subsidiaries/operating companies) that need/want to use more advanced AD features.

      That said, these companies will figure most of this stuff out gradually until all but the most conservative big companies concede that they are better off outsourcing it, i.e., that an outside company has the scale and expertise to do a better job at less cost and in a more capital friendly way. When real customization is required then in-house makes sense, but the reality is that many of these issues are fairly widely felt and can be addressed with more generalized solutions.

      • by Assmasher (456699)

        I did not diagnose the issues for all companies, only for my own and those of the people I know in similar positions who have discussed their issues with me on the topic.

        There are many companies, as you said 'both large and small', who make use of third parties for all sorts of sensitive issues which require 'trust.' The only third party that my company involves in our business affairs on the technology and communication side is our ISP (although that trust chain inherits all the ISPs through which communi

    • Don't Google offer an appliance for in-house use? Basically a rack mount server - plug in, config and away you go. Get the benefit of a web-based office suite with none of the security and legal concerns.

      Of course that implies that you have full control over the server - I've never worked with one so I can't say if that's so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jimicus (737525)

        No, the rack-mount server is only for in-house search. If you want the email, docs and spreadsheet - that's in Google's data centre.

    • I thought the same thing when I read the summary. Some large enterprises are seriously considering moving to GMail? Like who? As a sys admin I would be not at all comfortable using Gmail for my company's email, calendaring and contacts; for most of the same reasons you describe.
      • by Assmasher (456699)

        You would be surprised (hopefully) by how many CIOs base their decisions entirely upon the dollar amounts involved. You'd also be surprised by how many CIOs spend most of their time at work looking for their next position. ;)

  • Window management (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yoozer (1055188) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:19AM (#32096414) Homepage
    Does Excel still have the WTF-like window management? (2 items show on the taskbar, 1 main window)
  • Google Apps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:28AM (#32096478) Journal

    >some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have

    We use Google Apps and we are thinking about moving away from it. First off, their customer service sucks, two you get occasional outages and extremely poor performance quite often and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    Google Apps (spreadsheets, documents, etc) are usable only for non-professional things. Like documents shared within a work groups. Don't even think of using them for professional needs that will be used outside the company.

    The contacts / calendar is nice. Especially if you have a Android phone where it syncs directly to it without having to hooking it up to your computer. (providing you aren't also trying to sync a normal (read personal) Gmail account. Gmail doesn't let you connect both a normal Gmail account and a Google Apps domain account at the same time (which REALLY SUCKS)

    I've used Exchange and if managed properly, you can minimize your pain. Though we've also been looking into OpenXchange. It seems to have many pluses and some minuses also. (clunky interface)

    • by Assmasher (456699)

      I would be interested to hear what you guys/gals use Google Apps for and what specific you don't use it for.

      We had, of course (since money is involved), discussed what the ramifications of using Google Apps was and felt it might make (as you mentioned) an good intra/inter team communication media for sharing things (instead of using something akin to Sharepoint), but we were concerned about confining the types of sharing that could be involved due to concerns about the medium. For example, although we use

      • by C_Kode (102755)

        Google Apps will now let you upload other types of files (including tarballs) though you have a maximum of 1GB of space.

        We currently use a xWiki for heavily updated stuff like documentation and Google Apps for other things like spreadsheets and project planning / development that require signing off before becoming actual projects.

        We have to watch capital expenditures also as we are a start up. For stuff Google Apps isn't good for, we use Open Office or Microsoft Office. Most of the guys that use MS Offic

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by matang (731781)
      blindfolded moderating. parent shouldn't be modded troll. i've had the same experience and i'll add that i don't like the idea that when i delete a document it's up to some other company to determine how long it continues to exist.
    • by alen (225700)

      i've managed Exchange before. what exactly is so hard about it? configure your I/O properly by not dumping everything on the same RAID5 volume and you should be OK.

    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      I still think that whether Exchange is adopted or not is kind of a moot point, since a smart company/users will probably set up an email client for IMAP or POP3 on Gmail. Heck, even though I made the switch a long time ago I'd probably be using Outlook if I didn't enjoy Thunderbird so much.

  • It's nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chebucto (992517) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:29AM (#32096488) Homepage

    I've been using the beta for awhile and I can say without a doubt that it's far better than Office 2003. The ribbon menus, in Word especially, are actually easier to use than the menus of 2003. And some of the other features, like auto-print preview, automatically showing what new formatting will look like, and the navigation sidebar, are actually useful. There are still some bugs, and the interface in Excel isn't as easy to get used to, but in general I'd say 2010 looks like it will be worth the price of the upgrade. I say this as someone who never got used to or liked 2007.

    • Yeah, I have to say, I've been playing with Office 2010, and I like it. I'm not a Microsoft fan. My response to Windows Vista and even Windows 7 and Office 2007 has been, "So what?" Yes, they're all prettier than previous versions and have a couple nice improvements here and there, but mostly.... meh.

      But I don't know what it is with Office 2010, somehow it feels much more pleasant to use. It's like they smoothed over a bunch of rough edges, and though I can't give a very long list of what's different f

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:30AM (#32096498)

    FTA: "The File button, by the way, replaces the Office orb button from Office 2007, which Microsoft says thoroughly confused people -- many thought it was a piece of branding eye candy rather than a functional button."

    Indeed. Now how much do their UI people get paid?

    • by ngrier (142494) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:41AM (#32096608)
      And you'll notice that they've also reverted to letting you customize the ribbon [computerworld.com]. So really we're largely back where we were in 2003 except that they've cleaned up a few things and made 'big icons' so that folks who don't get menus have a better idea of what they're doing (not that half the icons make any sense or that their organization helps anything - have you tried working with tables, for example, where half the tools are on one menu and the other are on the next?!)

      Here's hoping they've also fixed some of the inconsistencies in the ribbon as well - it's incredibly frustrating that you can adjust some formatting in one application but not in another - you'd think they share the same codebase. Are they just trying to protect us from having too much control over our documents?!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bearhouse (1034238)

        have you tried working with tables, for example

        Yup, daily. Drives me mad...for extra insanity points of course, you can always try pasting a table from Excel/Access, (for most 'Office' users the logical place to store tabular data, especially numeric), into Word or PPT.

        it's incredibly frustrating that you can adjust some formatting in one application

        Indeed. Want to highlight some text in PPT, like you can do very easily in Word? SOL...
        Of course, you can do it in 'presentation' mode, (F5) using the pen : (Ctrl+P then select highlighter). But that's not persistent, unless you save your annotations...which is 'all or nothing')

    • FTA: "The File button, by the way, replaces the Office orb button from Office 2007, which Microsoft says thoroughly confused people -- many thought it was a piece of branding eye candy rather than a functional button."

      Indeed. Now how much do their UI people get paid?

      I hope they get paid well as Office 2007 was an overwhelmingly positive change. There's always the fact that many of Office's users are the kind of users that get confused by everything. There's a remedy for the button: "Guys and gals, that candy button is the File menu". There, damage done. There's no harm to make it more obvious in ver. 2010 either. Means they listen to feedback.

    • Hmm, how many years to bring the rest of the menu buttons back? Fortunately there are free plugins that bring the old style menus back already. MS will go out of business without the support of other little companies fixing the bugs in their software on their behalf.
    • by yuna49 (905461)

      I thought it was "branding eye candy" when I first used Office 2007 myself. I looked and looked for the equivalent of the File menu, then clicked the button when I couldn't think of any other solution.

  • Okay, it's 2010, He's going on about how everyone promises productivity enhancement and Outlook finally does it... this is going to be good. The new feature, that we've waited over a decade for, this will change everything... is.....

    Thread-view for messages. Flat, by subject-line and date.

    Did previous versions of Office really not have this?

    Meanwhile: after months of people saying they couldn't switch to Thunderbird because they couldn't import their filters, and they NEEDED their filters, it turns out (aft

  • by dingen (958134) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:39AM (#32096582)
    Of course not [msdn.com].
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:52AM (#32096714) Homepage

    Some large enterprises are seriously considering jumping from Exchange to Gmail, or already have, reports Robert Mitchell.

    The last place I moved off Exchange to Gmail would probably not want to go back. You can still keep Outlook, if you think the email organizing tools are worth it, but most people just used the Gmail interface.

    The real question is if the Office 2010 upgrade is compelling enough and cost effective enough to keep current users from jumping ship? My experience suggests it would have to be a near software miracle to make that happen. The cost savings of switching to Gmail are pretty significant.

    Unfortunately MS doesn't have to worry about much of a threat from OpenOffice. I find their product gets more difficult to use with time instead of better. GoogleDocs is good enough for a lot of things but formatting options are limited. If OO was a home run product, then Office 2010 would be yesterday's news.

  • Yeah, every time I've ever tried to load my perfectly legitimate copy of Microsoft Office 2007 the Microsoft Outlook would never ever load up. Go to the Microsoft site, to all the forums and it's 'a known problem' - which never got fixed. I'm looking forward to the same degree of outstanding service with this next iteration of Microsoft Office! Something that loads up and takes up a lot of memory and still manages to provide less of a product than Open Office. Thanks Microsoft. More of the same please.
  • Fawning reviews (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:56AM (#32096758)

    "rare that I come across one that I believe will truly make a difference in the way that I work or use my computer."

    Yeah, that was said about 2007 and it DID make a difference. It made a number of people i know finally dump MS and move to OO.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:00AM (#32096792)

    very useful new PowerPoint tools

    What are two words that cannot be used together?

    • by Abstrackt (609015)

      very useful new PowerPoint tools

      What are two words that cannot be used together?

      PowerPoint can be useful if it's used as a visual aid instead of the entire presentation. As long as you don't read the title of every slide out loud, don't read the slides verbatim, and do use them as reinforcements of key points in your presentation it's quite effective.

      The flaw in PowerPoint (or any presentation software) lies mainly in the users. I think the best analogy for this is a cooking analogy. The presentation is your dish and PowerPoint is the seasoning. A little bit of seasoning can, and u

  • Unlike others I could probably live with the ribbon and I appreciate that MS do make bold UI changes in the name of usability. My main issue with MS Office is that it is filled with functionality that is completely superfluous for most people.

    I don't see why most medium or small orgs need the headache of buying MS Office, being subject to software audits, being subject to semi-annual updates for features and new functionality they don't even use. It's money down the drain. Open Office is more than adequat

  • by initialE (758110) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:26AM (#32097044)

    When I need a feature I'm still pecking around for it. The ribbon is supposed to identify features that I need and categorize it in a sane manner, but it just isn't the case. Just try in outlook: importing or exporting mail, adding additional exchange account views, finding actual email headers - you're in for a shock. Instead of a ribbon, why not a contextual search for features? Isn't that more in line with the new windows concept?

  • by initialE (758110) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:40AM (#32097220)

    1. 32 and 64-bit versions of the software. Apparently this addresses various performance issues, but also means there is incompatibility with 32-bit versions of other office apps (and perhaps visual studio) on 64-bit OS.
    2. MAK and KMS replace the use-anywhere, no activation open license key. Heh.
    3. There are fewer editions of office this time around, missing Enterprise. I guess that is a good decision, but there should be fewer. Nevertheless Microsoft believes strongly in market segmentation.

  • by Sprouticus (1503545) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @09:04AM (#32097534)

    when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    Regardless of anything else, I just have never seen any reason to keep secure, mission critical data in another companies data center. Especially email with all of its legal implications.

    SaaS (or cloud or whatever buzzword you want to use) has its place. Spam filtering is a great example. Economies of scale, easy setup, reduced internal overhead. The data that flows through is not stored in any meaningful fashion.

    But as soon as you are talking about storing data, you lose me. So many issues, so little time.

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