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back to article Office 2013 now available for some home users

Office 2013 is still a few weeks away from release, but Microsoft has made it available to certain customers as part of its Home Use Program (HUP), a scheme it uses to sell cheap software to folks whose employers have a Software Assurance deal. Office 2013 has just been added to the HUP, at very reasonable prices: the UK page …

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Office Processional Plus?

If Only! The sooner buried, the better.

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Coat

Re: Office Processional Plus?

The Emperor's New Clothes involved a procession....

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Office Processional Plus?

you have to queue up to use it?

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Flame

Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

I fired up the beta version of word 2013 the other day, and my immediate thought of the interface was:

"What the f*****g hell is this???"

Improved it has not.

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Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

I do understand that power users (particularly) hated the ribbon when it was introduced but for the casual user such as me that wanted to produce documenft for customers and internal use it actually made my life inordinately easier overnight.

There were things I knew that I _could_ do in Office but didn't know _how_ to and finding them (and even using them) was often laborious and frustrating.

With the ribbon and its layout I could suddenly find things much more easily.

That of course, is my own subjective opinion and yours maybe be different but equally valid.

I will agree that 2013 seems a bit of a step backwards in the way they've done some things and it's certainly a very bland UI compared to previous versions. Not sure there's a compelling upgrade for anyone on 2007 or 2010 or even those happier using the earlier versions if they work for you.

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Anonymous Coward

" no complaints if they had a toggle option between ribbon and toolbar/menu"

Amen to that!

You see, this cuts to the core of the complaints about Office 2007+ (and to a large degree, TIFKAM of Windows 8), why the hell can't they give user a choice?

If you have a large number of already trained and non-geek staff, which is the case in a lot of companies, one of the big headaches is the cost and inconvenience of re-training them whenever some GUI muppet decides it is time for a change.

It can't be that hard to offer a simple button to toggle between 'classic' and 'new' interfaces so users can stick with whatever suits them best, and not suffer the Maoist attitude we see a lot these days (not just MS, but Ubuntu unity also suffers from GUI muppetry though at least other desktops are available).

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Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

@TonyJ,

I think the issue is discoverable != easier to find.

I've come from 2003, and my immediate feeling was I had just been taken out of my simple Cessna and dropped into the cockpit of concorde. Yes, there's the familiar stick, throttle and rudder control, but there's *so many more" buttons, levers, switches, toggles, dials and god knows what else. It's overload frankly, and I have trouble finding stuff.

There should be some thought into starting a session with the absolute basics on show - fonts, bold, italics etc, and "introducing" more advanced features contextually or via other toolbars...just like 2003, if I'm honest.

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Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

"The ribbon does make some things more discoverable, that's true, and I would have no complaints if they had a toggle option between ribbon and toolbar/menu."

They did interactive guides for locating functions on the Office 2010 ribbon, not sure if the same is available / planned for Office 2013 but people at work found them useful.

Office 2010 Interactive Guides

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

@Lord Voldermotgage - Someone actually downvoted you for trying to be helpful. Unbelievable.

That's telling of the level of debate here - someone states a problem and rather than be helped out by another person and see that new skills can be learned, they downvote a challenge to their entrenched opinions.

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FAIL

Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

And when you finally find the option you want in the hideous ribbon interface, you are presented with the old style opion box.

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Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

Bejabbers! That guide is damn useful, thanks!

Was a time the non-trivial outlay for Msft Office got you a guide -- a perfect-bound book, indeed -- to go with your EULA. Some of us read it. A few even memorised its contents, so as to be able to use the applications without looking anything up.

This was deemed quite a major-dude skill and certainly came in handy when authoring a big bid and Word terminated with extreme prejudice.

However those days are gone forever, over a long time ago. A cheat-sheet is now very welcome.

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Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

The UI is pretty meh, especially in Outlook, where emails in the list tend to blend into each other cause it's all white.

The main productivity kicker will be what they've done with the to-do bar though - it now only shows your appointments for the current day and there is no way to change it. Showstopper for many (every?) business I think.

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FAIL

I tried this out on my new laptop and it is junk. Go into Word try to open a file on your local pc.

The old days ALT-F O..... Now at least mouse clicks on various icons to get the dialog open.

Then the fact its try to force Sky Drive on to you rather than use local storage....

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FAIL

Ctrl - O

Always has been, always will be

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?

Alt, F, O still works for me.

It then places a number by all of the recent documents you've edited so that you don't need the mouse (or arrow keys) to pick out the one you want.

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Anonymous Coward

HUP!

That's the sound you make when you vomit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HUP!

Also the Wonderstuff's second album.

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Re: HUP!

Back in the day (c1990) it was the one-word post we used to bring message threads back to the top of the list on the Cambridge University mainframe's bulletin board system. (Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.)

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Happy

Re: HUP!

Only if you purchased office at the full price then to be given a code from your employer.

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Windows

Microsoft knows...

...that the lack of the start menu is a lack in functionality. And as such they're now pushing the start menu functionality onto other programs. Amongst which, you guessed it: Office.

Unfortunately that makes it extremely annoying to work with, for me that is. Its the simple things; whenever I start, say, Word I do so to start a new document. If I needed to start with another document (be this an old file or template) then I would have selected it from the jumplist (in the Win7 start menu).

This Word otoh. always starts with the "Recent files "tab"" (in the backstage view). And you can't get around it, which is /extremely/ annoying.

And don't get me started on the "touch simplified" menu's and such, that's a major annoyance in itself.

I really don't see the need to upgrade from 2010, IMO that still is the better version. Especially if you're on Windows 7.

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Stay with 2010

I've been using the Office 365 preview for the last month. While I'm quite happy with the move to the ribbon the colour schemes and flat-styling is dreadful to use, its very hard on the eyes and difficult to navigate. Office 2010 was perfect, I just don't know why they didn't stay with that design.

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Pint

Ordered and will wait

Just ordered using the HUP and included Visio and Project, at the price, it is daft not to if offered and you use office at home, which I do. I will wait though and see what SP1 or the next update brings, usually these fix major issues and address UI criticisms if MS are going to address these. Also ordered Win 8 Pro which is on offer until end Jan, again, will hold off until I can confirm all my software will work. This is probably my cheapest upgrade ever, but happy with Office 2010 and Win 7, so will let others dive in and will learn from them before upgrading.

I reckon Ciaus Petronius would recognise the grief of software upgrades, ribbons and menus, even in 66AD, "We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising: and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation."

Beer, because that is what Fridays were invented for.

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Re: Ordered and will wait

That the Petronius who played soccer under Benitez?

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Re: Concur

That would be Ogburn :-) Not Gaius Petronius, but it's still so very true.

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Facepalm

Is there anyone left..

..who gives a shit about new versions of Office? Won't be long now before the shrink wrapped product is largely dead. I use Google Docs for all my stuff now (except highly confidential stuff, obviously. Only a Hmong would put that in the cloud) and I find that all the buttons I ever use (bold, underline, bullet, justify) work just fine and do not require me to remove wads of cash from my trousers for the benefit of Billy G.

Hardly even news. I work for a 50,000+ employee company, and we're not even fully off XP+Office 2003 yet!

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Mushroom

Re: Is there anyone left..

What have you got against the Hmong?

Let's keep non-comedy racism out of the Register.

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Holmes

Re: What have you got against the Hmong?

Fairly sure one of them ate my sandwich. (It was in the fridge last time I looked, and now it isn't).

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Re: Is there anyone left..

"Won't be long now before the shrink wrapped product is largely dead."

Be careful for what you wish.

That's what MSFT wants. The pricing on shrinkwrap vs subscription (Office 365 or whatever it's called these days) is so far weighted to subscription that the latter is the most viable option for all but the most die-hard must have a disc types. A subscription is an income stream that's a bit more predictable. Subscriptions bring along SkyDrive (or Lync) so more lock-in.

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Idy
FAIL

BUT ALL THERE IS IS CAPITAL LETTERS. AS SOMEONE WITH MILD OCD THIS PISSED ME OFF GREATLY.

Stick with 2010.

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Oh ...

... don't worry. Those without OCD get pissed off greatly too =)

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Anonymous Coward

low low price

apart from getting some people to try it out and hook them in at a low cost, the gambit may relate to the problem of workers who get the IT bods to slip it onto their personal laptop using the corporate serial code with a wink and a nod.

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Re: MS ulterior motive for its weird UI

> The ribbon is not designed for fingers on a screen use.

On that note neither are word processors, spreadsheets, or coding IDEs.

Quite frankly who gives a toss about having Office on a tablet for anything other than reading, making mild edits, or marking up for review. Tablets are almost universally content consumption devices, and possibly drawing devices for those who like Wacom, but authoring and editorial devices they certainly are not.

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Trollface

Re: It's like trying to make an elephant into a mouse

Compromising on a beaver isn't so bad...

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desktop personal productivity software

a misnomer if ever there was one

Only partly joking here. Word is an application that I spend a large part of my workday in, and no other program has ever caused so much loss of work and productivity as this one. Crashes, hangups, stuff that didn't get saved and corrupted files. Without it, the world would be a better place. Or mine, at least.

I'll take libre office any day of the week.

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Megaphone

Why pay?

When Libre Office is FREE!

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FAIL

Re: Why pay?

Trolling. Don't do it.

HUP is a pretty amazing deal. Regardless of how much you may hate the interface (and everybody does, it's an angry icon salad), it is well worth 10 bucks for perfect compatibility with files from your work machine.

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FAIL

Re: Why pay?

MS Office also supports ODF.

And since Office 2007, it comes with a pretty decent equation editor. That's really important in my field, and until LibreOffice has something even remotely comparable then ditching Office is out of the question for me.

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Happy

It's so cool

Don't you know cool when you see it? They did a great job.

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Reality Check

So how many times must we re-locate cut and paste and call it amazing and revolutionary?

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I got it today

I was of the view it was £8.95 for professional plus so I might as well give it a try. So far it feels a bit weird, it's a different look, but I'm not sure how much of an improvement on 2010 it is yet.

It was quite odd that it didn't seem to do much of an install, it didn't even replace 2010.

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Just a mo

"bleeding edge of desktop personal productivity software."

What's that got to do with MS Orifice?

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Facepalm

Re: Just a mo

The bleeding bit!

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The landing screen

Dunno if this is of use but certainly in group policy for office 2013 there is an option for starting on the usual screen and not the landing screen...might be in options in word etc.

Been trialing it on several machines and the staff seem to like it, even the brilliant white screen which suprised me. I switched to dark grey straight away, hard on the eyes. Other than that gripe i quite like it. Some nice touches especially opening pdfs.

Windows 8 is another issue altogether.....tifkam would cause chaos.

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IT Angle

Can someone enlighten me?

I really don't know what the advantage of MS Office is, in comparison to Libre Office and Calligra Suite.

Can someone enlighten me here?

Whenever I discuss the issue why a company is spending thousands if not millions in licensing money every year on Office products, even die-hard Linux implementers don't want to move away from it. Don't count on support from the Acca trained CFO either, he cannot combine technological processes with financial decisions. All I hear is subjective arguments which can be summarized with "'cos we've always done it this way". When pushed, imagined or rarely occurring examples are mentioned, for example:

. "There is no support for Libre Office or Calligra Suite" - not true

. "Visio files won't work" - not true, they can be imported with Libre Office Drawing

. "The files our customers send to us cannot be opened with Libre Office or Calligra Suite" - not true, I've seen mostly data being sent in pdf format, also for legal reasons, as it is not that easy to change a pdf file. And, it is easy to export files in docx, xlsx, and pdf format with Libre Office or Calligra Suite. Libre Office even has a pdf import extension.

. "There is no project management application" - not true, there is Calligra Plan and not every employee needs PM software.

By comparison, open source or free products like rsync, Squid Proxy and Apache Web Server are happily installed on mission critical, revenue generating systems, but when it comes to desktop software large expenditures are signed off without accepting questions.

Thus, can someone please let me know MS Office' unique advantage?

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Unhappy

Re: Can someone enlighten me?

Mr Think, it's really the docx thing in my experience. I've many custs who have never even enabled the display of file extensions; they don't even know what a .doc is, let alone docx. On top of this you have to then explain how to export using an older format labelled 'Office XP / 2003' or whatever. It just makes their eyes glaze over. All quite deliberate and cynically planned for, of course.

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