back to article Windows Store apps for Office probably won't ship until 2014

Anyone who was hoping to see demos of Windows Store versions of the Office 2013 applications at this year's Build conference was in for a disappointment, because it doesn't look like they'll be ready before 2014, at the earliest. Oh, Microsoft is working on them, all right. During the Wednesday morning keynote at San Francisco's …

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Anonymous Coward

Why bother?

Serious office work requires pointing with a mouse, not a finger. Why? Because existing software provides dozens of selectable options, which will not fit on the screen if they are made large enough for touch screen use. This means that creating an equivalent touch version will present monumental difficulties.

This a general problem that applies to any desktop software that has a complex user interface (that is, most business software), and is the reason that I believe that announcements regarding the death of the PC are misguided.

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Re: WTF are 'Windows Store apps for Office'...?

When did OneNote become a core application of Office too? I always thought the 4 were Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook (with the latter optionally replaced by Access, depending on your needs)?

Was it just when it was found to be the lowest hanging fruit, being the simplest to convert to a touch environment?

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Terminology

I was going to congratulate you on an article that used the correct terminology for Windows Store Applications, without resorting to calling it 'Metro' or the hideous fanboy favourite 'Modern', which should never be used, but then it all went wrong.

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FAIL

Isn't this the sort of thing that should have been ready at launch?

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hardly unexpected they cant make a joined up plan

We all know Microsoft is really a confederation of divisions, not quite at war with each other but rarely cooperating with any enthusiasm. This time Ballmer put marketing and the planners in charge of bludgeoning their way into phones and tablets in charge and they aren't listening to any feedback, not customer feedback and it seems not internal either.

Tools got away with just dumbing down the chrome on their UIs because those users were always going to use desktop mode. Still caused a flood of complaint. Office have been ordered to do the impossible, fit a complex, high precision UI onto an inherently low precision, sparse GUI toolkit... and it's not easy, possibly not really possible. Maybe the delays are Office just refusing to play, more likely it's just the impossibility of the making full fat tools work in low fat Metro, iOS or Android.

At some point HQ will have to decide if the great Windows infestation plan is better served by shipping apps cut down to what works with deficient mobile and touch UIs. To stop pretending full versions of Office on those devices are a credible sales tool for the greater Win8 plan. ATM it looks like that will take the complete failure of Win8 before Microsoft changes anything and they won't see it coming because they have their eyes shut.

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Feedback, schmeedback

Enough about feedback, they'll never get it right if they listen to feedback.

Define a target & go there. If it's not working either the target is wrong, they're not all pointing in the direction of the target or are misreading the target. Gates & Jobs were obviously very good with defing the targets, Ballmer maybe not so and Cook too early to tell.

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Modern

The TechEd Europe conference in Madrid this week is full of Microsoft employees talking about "Modern Apps", so it not just a "fanboy term".

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Re: Modern

It is remarkably sad that even Microsoft employees don't know how to refer to their own interface. 'Metro' is legally dubious and if they call it that anywhere officially ought to be sued, but at least was the development name so forgiveable. 'Modern' is just a name that caught on when they were faffing about and bulk copy/replacing the name Metro and marketing ought to beat them with a stick for using it. I honestly prefer TIFKAM, it is at least technically accurate.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft Seeks End to Dinosaur-Era Software Upgrade Cycle: Tech

The comments are especially interesting .... I wonder if MS execs ever get to read their own News ....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-27/microsoft-seeks-end-to-dinosaur-era-software-upgrade-cycle-tech.html#disqus_thread

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